Friday, February 28, 2014


We have laws,
We do not have justice -
Because our legal systems are
Designed to serve criminal lawyers,
and -
"The Faithful",
That is, "The Christian Right" -
Not crime victims.
Most violent criminals are
Our criminal justice systems -
The Realm of The Lawyers -
Find a zillion ways to protect criminals:
"Temporary Insanity"
Is a free pass.
One violent crime is
One too many.
Victims are victimized
First by the Criminals
And then by
The Police,
And then by
The Lawyers,
And then by
The Judges -
Who are usually Lawyers.
And those who are paid to protect us,
Our elected politicians,
"This is not in my jurisdiction -
It's the Law."
We need NEW laws.
We need protection from lunatics,
And from their accomplices,
Criminal Lawyers.
We need justice.
Silence is the enemy.
Acquiescence is the enemy.
Minding your own business
Makes you an accomplice.
Secret handshakes
Are the enemy,
When it comes to violent crime,
Nice and Polite is the enemy;
Religious doctrine is the enemy:
Forgive your enemies
"Seventy times seven".*
They laugh at the law,
They mock their victims,
They threaten life and limb.
"The Faithful" forgive.
Not Guilty by reason of insanity?
Almost all violent criminals are insane.
Therefore, all rapists and murderers
Must be set free.
All of them.
No one is ever truly safe today.
Who will say, "Enough!"
And stop the madness ?
* Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said, "Not seven times, but seventy times seven."  (Matthew 18: 21-22.)  - Meaning endlessly.
Western law rests heavily on Scripture. And so criminals walk free among us while the innocent continue to suffer, and new victims wait for their turn, pretending, hoping, they are immune.
Have we learned nothing in 2000 years?

Thursday, February 27, 2014


February 27, 2014:  In announcing new FDA food labels, America's First Lady, Michelle Obama, said, 'You as a parent should be able to walk into a grocery store, pick an item from a shelf, and tell immediately whether it's good for your family.'

Michele Obama, says the American people have a right to know what is in the food they are eating. However, Canadians do not have that right. As things stand in Canada, if you want to know the contents of the package or can of food you are about to buy, you will have to bring a magnifying glass, a set of scales and a book on mathematics with you when you shop. And even then, some vital information is not required to appear on Canadian food labels.

It was reported in 2008, that as many as 300,000 Canadians suffer from painful Celiac disease, a genetic condition that causes severe illness when the victim of Celiac disease eats gluten.

Yet, through the years, Canadian governments have deliberately refused to require food labelling to inform consumers that a given product contains gluten.

Why? Who is paying Canada's politicians to keep the truth from consumers?

Phyllis Carter


Although as many as 300,000 Canadians suffer from celiac disease, many of them don't know it.

Celiac disease, a lifelong, genetically based disorder, occurs when gluten - a protein found in wheat, rye and barley - triggers an abnormal immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine interfering with the absorption of nutrients. Often the condition goes undiagnosed.

Experts commonly refer to it as an "iceberg" disease. Visible at the tip are individuals whose symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and, in children, delayed growth. The rest of the iceberg consists of those with more subtle symptoms, such as bloating or excess gas. Although these may go unrecognized as signs of celiac disease, the damage continues.

While most people think celiac disease afflicts mainly children, it can occur at any age. In fact, two-thirds of those diagnosed are adults. Later in life, the disease can be triggered by pregnancy, surgery, gastrointestinal infection or severe emotional stress.

According to a 2007 survey of the Canadian Celiac Association's more than 5,000 members, the average time it took to get diagnosed was 12 years. Many respondents had consulted three or more doctors before getting their diagnosis.

While stomach pain, abdominal distention and diarrhea are considered the classic symptoms of celiac disease, in adults they're often not present. Constipation and bloating may be the only outward signs. Symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, joint pain and migraines - ones typically not recognized as gut-related - are commonly reported, and the diagnosis is often anemia, stress, irritable bowel syndrome or chronic fatigue syndrome.

If left untreated, celiac disease increases the risk of osteoporosis (because of poor absorption of calcium and vitamin D), infertility, certain digestive tract cancers and other autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 diabetes and thyroid disease.

Screening tests that measure the level of antibodies in the blood are available. (People with celiac disease have higher than normal levels of antibodies to gluten.)

Health Canada recently approved the Biocard Celiac Test Kit, an at-home test that measures gluten antibodies from a fingertip blood sample. The Biocard is currently available in British Columbia and is expected to be available for $50 in pharmacies across the country by the end of this year.

A blood test, however, is only the first step in diagnosing celiac disease; it's used to detect people who are likely to have the condition. Confirming a diagnosis requires a small bowel biopsy in which an endoscope is passed through the mouth into the stomach and upper intestine so that the lining can be examined and a biopsy taken.

The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet for life. That means eliminating all foods and food ingredients made from wheat, rye and barley. Included in the wheat family are spelt, kamut, semolina, durum, einkorn and faro. The main sources of gluten are breads, cereals, crackers and pastas, but it's also found in luncheon meats, yogurt, seasonings, salad dressings, sauces, marinades, soy sauce, soups and beer.

Even if you think you are following a gluten-free diet, you may be unknowingly consuming gluten as a hidden ingredient in food products, medications or vitamin supplements. Ingredients to question or avoid include graham flour, malt, dextrin, modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, MSG, emulsifiers, stabilizers, caramel colour and natural flavour.

Oats, previously on the list of gluten-containing foods to avoid, have now been given the green light for people with celiac disease. The Canadian Celiac Association maintains that eating pure, uncontaminated oats - up to ¾ cup dry oats a day for adults and ¼ cup for children - is safe.

The problem is that oats may become contaminated with other gluten-containing grains during processing. Pure, uncontaminated oats are trademarked "Pavena" to ensure accurate identification. Still, a small number of people may not be able to tolerate oats and should follow up with their doctor when adding them to a gluten-free diet.

(People with untreated celiac disease may also have difficulty digesting lactose in milk products. That problem usually disappears when gluten is removed from the diet, allowing the gut to heal.)

Today, it's getting easier to follow a gluten-free diet with the influx of products in supermarkets and natural food stores. Manufacturers of gluten-free products include El Peto, Glutino, Kinnikinnick, Enjoy Life, Kaybee, Rizopia and Tinkyada. And it's important to consult with a registered dietitian who can advise you on gluten-free alternatives and the need for vitamin and mineral supplements.

If you suspect you have celiac disease, don't put yourself on a gluten-free diet until you are properly diagnosed. If you do have the disease, the Canadian Celiac Association ( can provide more information and support.

By Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based dietitian at the Medcan Clinic. 

Last updated


Canadians in Quebec still believe in Canada
Tetes Carres  (This is the plural form, I believe.)
My computer speaks English, so please insert accents at your pleasure.
However, the Kebeck Language Police have not yet removed my apostrophes, so I still enjoy using them at will. It makes me feel so sneaky.
Phyllis Carter
Building Camelot One Essay At A Time.
A French-language slur used against "Anglophones" in Quebec. It means "square head" and is often used against English speakers who know little French. I wonder if this relates to "Blockhead"? Oh, well. What's in a name?
An English speaker - so called "Anglo-phone" - who tries to order food at a restaurant or ask for help in a shop or in the Montreal subway system - called Le Metro - using English or stumbling French - may overhear the term Tete Carre or Tete Carree if you are a girl or a woman - used against them.
Tete Carre  - for men and boys  - French is sex specific, of course. Pourquoi pas? Used by Francophones - French speakers - against Anglophone bigots, and by Francophone bigots against Anglophones. Fair is fair when it comes to bigotry, n'est pas?
By the way, Anglo Montrealers, through the years, have been known to refer to French speakers - those Franco-phones - nothing to do with the dictator, Franco, I think - "Pepsi" and "Frog".
I don't know for sure, but a Greek friend of mine who, decades ago - ran a diner on Sherbrooke Street West - not "Ouest", back then - told me the pseudonyms came as a result of the tastes of French speaking truck drivers who started their day very early at the diner with Pepsi Cola instead of cafe. I don't know if they expected to have frogs for breakfast instead of eggs. I think not. They probably liked bacon and eggs in the morning like most non-vegetarian folks.
Doesn't this get crazy?
Those of us who have French-Quebec-Canadian family members and friends - Christians and Jews - a variety of colours - are sick of all this garbage. Most people just want to live in peace and go about their business. But the bigots always get the press, the media attention, and thus, the media give power to lunatics and bigots.
So, folks, before the Montreal, Kebeck Police knock at my door again, and take me away again, for another thirty-day-mental-evaluation, I publish these observations for the world to see. Now with more than 137,000 readers worldwide. 

I would not be silent. I would not stop demanding justice. I would not stop talking about - writing about - the crimes committed by Dawn McSweeney and those she proudly called her "partners in crime" on her own blog. I had to be discredited, intimidated, punished, silenced.



More than 200 people opposing proposed amendments to Quebec's language laws held a protest in front of Premier Pauline Marois' office in Montreal.

Many of the protesters said they are worried about the Parti Quebecois' plan to strengthen Bill 101.

Beryl Wajsman, president of the Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal, said the PQ has taken its plans too far.

"This has been taken to a new level. This is one law too far. This is no longer just a bunch of people expressing their rage, it's anglophones, allophones and francophones who, frankly, are ashamed," he said.

"They're ashamed because the government is attacking the most vulnerable," he said.

Only one man showed up at the protest in support of Bill 14 and the PQ's plans for sovereignty.

"Anglophones attacked our rights and they continue to impose English," he said. "Here, we have Bill 14 that imposes a minimum of respect for French language in Quebec. English can be useful for the outside, for our communications with foreign countries if necessary."

The new bill would bring changes to the Charter of the French Language and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms in order to promote the French language.

Robert Libman, who created the Equality Party in 1989 – which focused on promoting anglophone rights -- said anglophones face some of the same issues they did 25 years ago.

"Our community has been marginalized politically for many years, and with the PQ as a government, many feel it is time to act," he said.

Richard Yufe, a member of CRITIQ – a group advocating for English speakers – said relations between francophones and anglophones are strained.

"We have an environment that is extremely hostile and it's directed at all non-francophones," he said.

Dan Lamoureux, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network, said the group has been fighting for anglophone rights for more than two decades and welcomes the presence of new anglophone support groups.

"I think... it's a concern of the English-speaking community of being swallowed up or being non-existent in the future. I think it's encouraging that other groups feel they need to voice their opinions," he said.

Amendments to the Charter of the French Language:

  • Designation of a minister responsible for language matters, planning and policy.
  • Educational institutions must take reasonable steps to ensure that students receive sufficient training in French to prepare them to interact and flourish in Quebec society.
  • Businesses that employ 26 to 49 regular employees must make French the everyday language of the workplace.
  • Businesses that serve the public must communicate with customers in French.

Amendments to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms:

French is defined as the official language of Quebec and a "fundamental factor of its social cohesion."
Every person has a right to live and receive an education and work in French in Quebec.
Immigrants to Quebec have a right to learn French and to benefit from reasonable measures to facilitate their integration.

Half of Quebec's anglophone and allophone population have considered leaving the province in the past year, a new EKOS poll commissioned by the CBC suggests. 

While only 11 per cent of francophone respondents said they had considered leaving, the top reasons why people said they have considered leaving weren't centred on language.

"The results are actually quite surprising. That's an awfully large number,"  said Frank Graves, president of EKOS research. 

"It's a pretty drastic decision to actually vote with your feet and leave your place of residence. I was frankly a little surprised at how complex the reasons were."

Most people across all groups named taxes, jobs, political uncertainty and the economy as the most significant reasons they had contemplated a departure. 

As part of an exclusive two-week series, CBC Montreal will look at what is pushing people to consider relocating out of Quebec, what is keeping them in the province, and what hopes they have for their future in Quebec.

A total of 2,020 Quebec residents were interviewed by phone between Feb. 10 and 18, 2014, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

Divisive mood

Suni Hope-Johnston, who moved from England to Montreal in the early 1970s, said she was attracted to Montreal because it had the flavour of Europe and was exciting. 

"I can remember my husband and I dancing until 4 a.m.," she said. "We had a wonderful time, and then it stopped."

Hope-Johnston started a family, and her lifestyle changed, but so did the city that was once so attractive. 

She said the present mood in Quebec is divisive and limiting. 

"I think it's every young Quebecois's birth right to speak both languages," she said. "Every child should go to school to learn French and English. For the moment, this kind of separation, it's a tragedy."

She's considering a move to Ontario, which, the EKOS poll findings suggest, is common among people thinking about leaving the province. Forty per cent of those who said they were thinking about leaving — both francophone and non-francophone — said Ontario would be the best alternative. The U.S. was the second most popular alternative, with 14 per cent of all respondents.

Marc Stamos, a Montreal native, is also thinking about a move to Ontario. He said bilingualism used to be a source of pride, but language has become so politicized again in the province that it's become a point of contention. 

"For the first time since the '90s, I feel like I have to assert my anglophone-ness, my English-ness," he said. "You know, things have been dormant and so calm for so long that my brother and myself and my friends were comfortable speaking French."

With a looming election, however, and the possibility of a PQ majority, Stamos said many people he knows are debating whether they want to go through "the whole roller-coaster" again.

Graves, of EKOS, said that while the number of respondents who said they'd considered leaving was higher than he expected, telling a pollster is one thing, and selling your home and uprooting your family is another. 

He said it's unlikely many of those who had considered a move would go when push comes to shove. 

Economic factors

In total, 16 per cent of respondents cited the economy as their main reason for considering a move out of province. It came in just behind political uncertainty as the top reason for potentially leaving Quebec. 

Brett House, senior fellow at the Jeanne Sauve Foundation and the Centre for international Governance Innovation, says the economic picture in Quebec isn't as bleak as some of the perceptions, but the province is under-performing. 

"We're mediocre right now — we're not doing great, but we're not a disaster either," he said. "We're improving a bit, but we could do a lot better.

"Quebec has the potential to be one of the two economic engines of this country, in addition to Ontario and yet, it's still performing far below what it should be." 

About the survey

A total of 2,020 Quebec residents were interviewed by phone between Feb. 10 and 18, 2014, as part of this CBC-commissioned EKOS study. The margin of error for a sample of 2,020 is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Those surveyed included 782 anglophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points 95 per cent of the time), 1,009 francophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points 95 per cent of the time) and 223 allophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 6.5 percentage points 95 per cent of the time).

Anglophones are respondents who identified their mother tongue as English; francophones are people who identified their mother tongue as French; and allophones identified their mother tongue as "other."

Percentages for total respondents have been weighted to reflect linguistic population make-up of Quebec.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


You probably won't hear anyone else saying this, but I will:
Not all people who have brown skin are the same.
Not all the Negro, Coloured, Black, Afro-American people are the same, no more than all pale skinned Caucasians are the same.
Yet people always speak of "Blacks" as if they were one people, one organization, one nation, of one history, one character. What a lie! Yet most people never stop to wonder if it is true. No, it is not true.
People whose ancestors originated in Africa are as diverse as people with pale skins whose ancestors came from Europe. And, by the way, folks, we ALL originated in Africa. All human beings have their roots in Africa. Time and climate have changed our physical characteristics but, if you prick us, do we not bleed?
People descended from the slaves brought to America in chains are not the same as dark skinned people who have come to America in recent decades from Africa or the Caribbean or the Middle-East, Mexico, South America or India. They have different histories, different cultures, different experiences and different attitudes.
Like the Jews who fled the Nazis and the Cossacks, the descendents of the slaves have worked hard and paid their dues with sweat and blood, and earned the right to stand tall among others in society. I believe that those with more than a century of history in North America are less inclined than some young newcomers to expect to grab whatever they want from others rather than go to school and work for a living. And still, even that is a generalization based on observation and experience. Still, a generalization.
Another distortion of facts - "Blacks" are imprisoned disproportionately compared to "Whites". Why? Is it bigotry? Are all the jurists and all the judges bigots?
I believe many are. But has anyone asked if more dark skinned people than white skinned people are in prison because more dark skinned people have committed crimes? 
Yes, I dare to ask. Heaven forbid that anyone might check the facts and remove the opportunities for bigots on all sides to sling mud and claim they are being oppressed. There is plenty of real oppression going on without false claims. 
Since I was old enough to read, I have had a tender place in my heart for coloured people. Those I came to know preferred "coloured", and the darling who would one day be my husband, hated the word "Black" since, in his time, "Black" came along with "Bastard".
Most people of colour are not black but multifarious shades of brown. "Black" was a political statement, not a fact, and it is arrogant, ignorant and presumptuous to think that all people of colour want to be associated with the Black Panthers. But it serves the extremists to make it appear that they hold the minds and votes of all people of colour in their hands.
I resent people who tell me that "everyone is prejudiced." I am not and I refuse to go along with the accusation. Prejudice means you have made up your mind about someone or something before you have any facts. I am always searching for facts and I have decades of experience. Many people are ignorant, afraid, shy, self-centred, but not everyone hates and not everyone is a bigot.
I also resent people of colour who spit on people of a different colour - pink or white, for example, Christians or Jews, for example - who reach out to help Negroes or people of colour or African-Americans or Indigenous or Native people. Caucasian Christians and Jews have risked life and limb and spent great resources trying to bring justice and succour to people of colour. Caucasian Jews and Christians befriend and care for and heal and some even love people whose skin is dark. But haters term this "Big Brother" and have contempt for us. Bigotry works both ways.
Most people avoid the whole issue. They would rather not have to deal with conflict that does not affect them personally. But bigotry is used by some people for personal gain, for power. They are jealous and greedy and it is easier to do - as the Nazis did - and take what others have rather than earn benefits by honest effort.
It is important to expose the hatred and the greed that underlies bigotry. Silence is the enemy. It serves the interests of tyrants of all colours and religions and nationalities.
When I was a Pinkerton Investigator, I checked the backgrounds of people. I went back at least ten years to see who they were and what they did. That way, you get some idea of who a person is.
Yes, judge us. Judge us by our actions, our character, not by the colour of our skin, the language we speak or our religious choices. Judge us by what we have done.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The list of problems facing the Catholic Church is long. Among the scandals Pope Francis inherited nearly one year ago are the clergy sex abuse crisis, allegations of money laundering at the Vatican bank and the fallout from VatiLeaks, to name just a few. Given the challenges, where should reform even begin? Moreover, how much change can truly be expected? FRONTLINE put these questions to five experts. Here's what they said:

True Reform Will Take Expertise From Outside the Church

John Thavis is the former Rome bureau chief for the Catholic News Service and author of The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis came out of the gate quickly following his surprise election nearly a year ago. He established a series of advisory commissions, launched a deep reform of the Roman Curia and insisted that the Catholic Church must shift its focus from identity-building to wider spiritual outreach — as he put it, healing wounds and aiding "those who are most distant, who are forgotten, who are most in need of understanding, comfort and help."

Momentum is important for any reformer, and Francis goes into his second year with unprecedented support from Catholics around the globe. But to push his innovations to the finish line, the pope will need to navigate many obstacles.

"If Francis is serious about challenging the Vatican's clerical culture, restructuring must be more than moving the chairs around. There's no good reason why lay men and women should not head Vatican offices."

He will also have to deal with a problem that is partly his own creation: impatience for change. Francis has raised expectations on many fronts, and the one-year mark is seen as a time to start delivering results.

In some ways, the institutional reforms the pope envisions at the Vatican may be the easiest to enact. Francis was elected with a mandate to bring order to the dysfunctional bureaucracy and clean up financial corruption in Vatican agencies, and his decision this week to establish a central panel to oversee Vatican finances was a giant step in the right direction.

The fate of the Vatican bank will be a bellwether. Some have suggested that outright suppression of the bank would send a strong signal about the church's direction, but that option seems to be off the table. The bank needs to be reformulated so that many of the thousands of existing private accounts are closed and those that survive are closely regulated.

Unfortunately, Francis is discovering that when it comes to financial reforms, the pockets of resistance and infighting that plagued his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, have not disappeared. Just last week came revelations of tensions between Rene Bruelhart, the Swiss director of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF), and its recently resigned president, Italian Cardinal Attilio Nicora. The AIF board meanwhile complained that it was being kept in the dark about the agency's own investigations inside the Vatican.

The pope has approved the hiring of external consulting firms for other Vatican restructuring efforts, a move that will presumably give him leverage when it comes time to consolidate or eliminate agencies. But there's been pushback here, too. Roman Curia officials have been quietly criticizing what they say is over-reliance on outsiders who know little of the Vatican's history and culture, and who come with a heavy price tag.

The big question is whether Curia reform will bring lay expertise to the highest levels of the Vatican. If Francis is serious about challenging the Vatican's clerical culture, restructuring must be more than moving the chairs around. There's no good reason why lay men and women should not head Vatican offices.

Of course, Pope Francis' vision extends far beyond bureaucratic issues. His idea that the church should operate more as a "field hospital" and less as a gatekeeper will face a crucial test next October at the Synod of Bishops on the Family. One item on the agenda will be the current ban on sacraments for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, which has already sparked an unusually public debate in the Catholic hierarchy.

But surveys around the world have indicated a much broader problem: a tremendous gap between church teachings on marriage and sexuality and the practices and beliefs of ordinary Catholics. Will the synod be encouraged to freely discuss these issues and recommend changes, or will it be another exercise in rubber-stamping Rome's past statements? Much will depend on whether Pope Francis is willing to shake up the synod's methods and enhance its status, in a more collegial approach to church governance.

Over and above these internal debates, Francis wants the church to be a force of mercy and healing in society. As pope, he can lead the way with his own words and gestures. But in the long term, much will depend on the people he appoints as bishops. In many ways, today's Catholic hierarchy, formed largely in a conservative mold under John Paul II and Benedict XVI, represents the biggest drag on Francis' reform project.

The new pope's call for a church "of the poor and for the poor" will be successful if Catholic social teaching is better integrated in schools, in clerical formation programs and in people's lives. That, too, will require a change of emphasis that cannot be achieved overnight.

Pope Francis also faces the task of healing wounds the church helped create: the lasting damage and mistrust caused by sexual abuse. Some have criticized the pope for saying relatively little to date about the sex abuse scandal, though he has named a commission to study the problem. The real challenge for Francis is to go beyond rhetoric and take the difficult but necessary step of holding bishops to account for their cover-ups and their mistakes.




Boko Haram Attacks 1

Damaturu, Nigeria – Suspected Islamic militants killed dozens of students in a pre-dawn attack on a northeast Nigerian college, survivors say, setting ablaze a locked hostel and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive.

Adamu Garba said he and other teachers who ran away through the bush estimate 40 students died in the assault that began around 02:00 on Tuesday at the Federal Government College Buni Yadi. It is a co-ed school about 70km south of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, and difficult to communicate with because extremists last year destroyed the cell phone tower there.

Soldiers still are gathering corpses so he could not give an exact number of dead, said military spokesman Captain Eli Lazarus.

Garba, who teaches at a secondary school attached to the college, said the attackers first set ablaze the college administrative block, then moved to the hostels, where they locked students in and started firebombing the buildings.

At one hostel, he said, "students were trying to climb out of the windows and they were slaughtered like sheep by the terrorists who slit their throats. Others who ran were gunned down." He said students who could not escape were burned alive.

He spoke to The Associated Press in Damaturu, where he and several other teachers had made their way.

Tuesday's attack brings the toll from attacks blamed on Boko Haram to more than 300 civilians killed this month alone.

Christians burned alive in Nigeria (resized)

Acts of terror 

It is the first reported in Yobe state and the first school attack reported this year by suspected fighters of the terrorist network of Boko Haram — the nickname that means Western education is forbidden.

President Goodluck Jonathan told a news conference Monday night that the Boko Haram attacks were "quite worrisome" but that he was sure "We will get over it."

His understatement is cold comfort for people who have lost family members, houses, businesses, all their belongings and livelihoods in the 4-year-old rebellion that has driven tens of thousands from their homes.

And it likely will anger regional officials who charge the military is losing its war to halt the Islamic uprising in the northeast of Africa's biggest oil producer. The military has said recent attacks are being perpetrated by militants who have escaped a sustained aerial bombardment and ground assaults on forest hideouts along the border with Cameroon.

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday condemned the "unspeakable violence and acts of terror" and said the United States is helping Nigerian authorities to develop a comprehensive approach "to combat the threat posed by Boko Haram while protecting civilians and ensuring respect for human rights."

But survivors and local officials charge they get no protection. And refugees who have fled to neighbouring states have said that they are fleeing the extremists as much as the fallout from a military campaign in which soldiers are accused of gross human rights abuses including executions of people suspected of helping Boko Haram.


Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson

(December 19, 1875 - April 3, 1950)


Carter G. Woodson was the son of former slaves James and Eliza Riddle Woodson. His father had helped the Union soldiers during the Civil War, and afterwards he moved his family to West Virginia where a high school for blacks was being built. Coming from a large, poor family, Carter could not regularly attend school, but through self-instruction he was able to master the fundamentals of common school subjects by the time he was 17.

In 1895, at the age of 20, Woodson entered Douglass High School where he received his diploma in less than two years. From 1897 to 1900, he began teaching in Fayette County, and he later became the principal of his own alma mater. Woodson finally received his bachelor's degree from Berea College in Kentucky. From 1903 to 1907 he was a school supervisor in the Philippines. He then attended the University of Chicago where he received his master's in 1908, and in 1912, he received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.

In 1915, Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The organization was the platform that launched Woodson's mission to raise awareness and recognize the importance of Black history. He believed that publishing scientific history about the black race would produce facts that would prove to the world that Africa and its people had played a crucial role in the development of civilization. Thus he established a scholarly journal, The Journal of Negro History, a year after he formed the ASNLH.

Seeing the need to spread the news about Black history to the general public as well as scholars, Woodson and the ASNLH pioneered the celebration of "Negro History Week" in 1926, which has since been extended to the entire month of February. Even with the monumental duties connected with the association, Woodson still found time to write extensive and scholarly works such as "The History of the Negro Church" (1922), "The Mis-Education of the Negro" (1933) and many other books that continue to have wide readership today. Woodson's other far-reaching activities included the organization in 1920 of the Associated Publishers, the oldest African American publishing company in the United States.

Woodson is buried at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Suitland-Silver Hill, Md. His Washington, D.C., home has been preserved as the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site.



Cris Kesz Valdez Biography

Cris Valdez, is the 13-year-old scavenger boy who won the 2013 International Children's Peace Prize for his work as a head of a charity organization for children around the world.
The Filipino Cris Valdez who is now considered as a world inspiration for children was awarded with the special recognition handed over to him by one of the world's most renowned personality, the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
The South African human rights activist, Desmond Tutu was even quoted as saying that Cris Valdez is a "voice for the voiceless" and a "true inspiration."
Cris was also interviewed by Agence France-Presse (AFP) after he returned to the streets of Cavite and spoke in a soft voice about his noble philosophies that emerged from personal devastation and the people who turned his life around.
Cris Valdez was the third of nine children from a desperately poor couple who lived with hundreds of other squatter families on the huge garbage dumbp in Cavite.
Cris more popularly known with his nickname "Kesz," was just one of the few children who were suffering from poverty in a family that lives below $1 a day income. His parents even called him "bad luck" because they tried to sell him when he was a baby but they failed.
The Filipino scavenger was then rescued by a local Christian Youth Charity through the effort of it's head Harnin Manalaysay. The rescuer even stated that Cris started scavenging at an early age of two.
Through the years, Valdez have been involved with Club 8586, a group who has been helping troubled youths for more than 27 years and it's head Manalaysay became Cris' guardian.
Cris began volunteering at a an early age of 6-year-old to teach other street children about basic hygiene. According to Manalaysay, the charity that started by Valdez called Championing Community Children all started when he asked the former scavenger about his gift which he stated that he wanted to give.
Under Manalaysay's guidance, Valdez built the charity into one that raises funds from private donors to buy basic living items for children, including sandals, toys, food and clothes.
Valdez's charity has helped 10,000 children in Cavite over the past six years, according to the judging committee of the International Children's Peace Prize.



Toronto police say an 82-year-old woman and her 70-year-old neighbour were assaulted after a man gained entry to the woman's apartment by offering to help carry items inside.

On Sunday at about 1:45 pm. The woman was walking to her apartment building in the Dundas Street East and Sherbourne Street area when a man followed her through the lobby doors.

Once inside the building, the man approached the woman and offered to help carry her items inside.

Police say the man demanded cash, then grabbed the woman's purse and tried to flee. When she resisted, the man "used force against her," according to police. She suffered injuries that required hospitalization.

A 70-year-old neighbour heard the commotion and tried to help. He was assaulted after trying to hold the man for police.

The man was eventually held down by several other neighbours who also came to help.

Police arrested a 52-year-old Toronto man who now faces the following charges:

Assault causing bodily harm.
Mischief under $5,000.



A Montreal civil engineering student says police refused to help him retrieve his laptop, even after he was able to track down the alleged thieves and their location. (CBC)

Civil engineering PhD student Kinan Bahbouh said he left his laptop on the floor while meeting a friend at a coffee shop and when he looked down, the computer had vanished.

Bahbouh, who attends the École Polytechnique de Montréal, said he filed a police report last spring but it was his own sleuthing that led him to the alleged thieves.

A few weeks ago, the people who took the laptop started using an online file storage service that he subscribes to.

Bahbouh says the thieves uploaded close to a thousand pictures and videos of themselves.

Kinan Bahbouh laptop theft

Montrealer Kinan Bahbouh says he was able to track down the people who stole his laptop, after the culprits posted photos and videos of themselves. (Raffy Boudjikanian/CBC)

"I received like a huge quantity of information," he said.

When Bahbouh reached out to police with the new information, he said they told him a stolen laptop is not a priority.

He said he was also warned against trying to retrieve the computer on his own.

'Police should at the very least try to contact these people, or even go to knock on their door'- Eric Sutton, Montreal criminal defense attorney

"I'm afraid that someone will use my personal information for the wrong reasons and I would like to insist that the police do something," Bahbouh said.

Montreal police would not comment on Bahbouh's file.

Eric Sutton, a Montreal criminal defense attorney, said authorities should be doing more. 

Sutton said if Bahbouh's evidence looks plausible enough, police don't need a warrant to investigate.

"Police should at the very least try to contact these people, or even go to knock on their door," Sutton said.

Bahbouh is not sure what his next steps will be, but he said he's certain of one thing — he'll be more wary of where he leaves his new laptop.

"I really put it beside me, not on the floor."

CBC News Posted: Feb 25, 2014

In November, 2013, vandals slashed the tires of many cars in NDG. My car was among those damaged.

The criminals were so audacious, they actually left their business cards in the windshields of the cars they damaged with the name of their enterprise and the phone number of the dealer who could replace our tires.

I gave the Montreal Police a detailed report. I do not expect them to do anything. In my experience, the Montreal Police have no interest in pursuing criminals and no concern for crime victims.

See my detailed reports of

The Dawn McSweeney Robbery, carried out with the help of a Montreal Police officer.

Now with more than 136,000 readers around the world, but still no justice for victims of the Montreal Police and their associates.

Phyllis Carter

Monday, February 24, 2014

Most people consider hunting a sport, a game
They don't care about the pain.
They don't care about death -
After all, it isn't their death.
Some think hunting is "macho", manly.
I think anyone who kills for fun
Is insane.



NORTH KOREA'S four main political prison camps are known only as No. 14, No. 15, No. 16 and No. 25. All are modern-day gulags. According to a new report from the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, the population of the camps, now about 80,000 to 120,000 people, may have declined somewhat because of releases from a fifth camp, but also because the remaining prisoners are being exterminated. The commission says "deaths on a massive scale occur in the ordinary course of events" and "the camps have the objective of gradually eliminating the camp population by working many prisoners to death." The deaths are from "starvation, neglect, arduous forced labor, disease and executions."

The exterminations, and many other human rights atrocities, have been documented in chilling depth by the U.N. commission, which worked from outside the country and was not allowed to visit. The chairman, Michael Kirby, a retired Australian jurist, has laid before the world a text that compares in significance to "The Gulag Archipelago," Alexander Solzhenitsyn's seminal work on the Soviet labor camps, on which the decades-old North Korean system was based. The commission found that the Pyongyang regime is carrying out "crimes against humanity," specifically: "extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation."

Mr. Kirby's report says North Korea's camps and methods of political repression rival the and methods of political repression rival the worst of the 20th century's totalitarian crimes: Hitler's concentration camps and Stalin's prison system. This is happening not in the 1940s or 1950s but in our own time. Mr. Kirby's report says the world has a "responsibility to protect" the victims, but the response has been inadequate. We agree: North Korea's leaders must be held accountable.

Much of the attention to North Korea has focused on its reckless and dangerous nuclear and missile programs. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, in Beijing on Feb. 14, emphasized the goal of a "denuclearized" North Korea and again urged China's leaders to lean on the North. We don't underestimate the difficulty of influencing the regime of Kim Jong Un, but Mr. Kerry ought to realize there are limits to China's cooperation. The Chinese maintain political prisons of their own and, even if they help on the nuclear account, won't do a thing about alleviating the human rights debacle in North Korea. By invoking China, Mr. Kerry seems to be grasping at a crutch, and a dubious one at that.

North Korea's repressions and killings have been ignored by too many for too long. The Kirby report says "the gravity, scale and nature" of these human rights violations have no parallel in the world today. Perhaps the time has come to make this Topic No. 1 when we think about North Korea. We must take seriously our responsibility to protect as long as there is still something resembling Buchenwald or Perm-36 on the face of the planet.



And once again I say,
This truth is true everywhere.
Phyllis Carter

Sunday, February 23, 2014


The Canadian Government betrayed the citizens of Canada when it sold out the national postal service to Canada Post.
When I was a kid, we had two postal deliveries at home, Monday to Friday, and one delivery on Saturday morning. Stamps cost three or four cents.
Now we get one delivery a day, weekdays, and none on Saturdays, and the price of stamps keeps going up. More and more cost for less and less service. That's Canada Post. And the Government of Canada just shrugs its conservative shoulders because it doesn't give a damn about the Canadian people - except on election day.
Profit for the already ultra-rich comes before the needs of common folks. 
Profit comes before the needs of the elderly and the handicapped. 
Profit comes before the needs of the postal workers.
In fact, "Canada Post" serves the interests of Big Bucks and not the needs of the Canadian people.
So, what are we going to do about it?
Phyllis Carter

Canada Post says it will replace home delivery with community mailboxes

Vancouverites speak out against Canada Post's end of home mail delivery

The postal service says it is tackling a projected $1B dollar deficit, and will be installing new community mailboxes to replace home delivery over the next five years in a bid to cut costs.

On Saturday, NDP MPs Libby Davies and Don Davies hosted a town hall meeting in East Vancouver for people to share their concerns with the plan.

Daisy Phillips, one of around 100 local residents who attended, said she was worried new community mailboxes will be too difficult for her to access.

"I have a heart condition and everything, and pacemaker, I can't be travelling all over. I have a hard enough time already getting around."

Others at the forum said Canada Post should innovate and find ways to grow its business instead of cutting back on services.  

Canada Post is phasing out door-to-door delivery of regular mail to urban residents and increasing the cost of stamps in a major move to try to reduce significant, regular losses. The Crown corporation announced its plans in a news release on Dec. 11, saying urban home delivery will be phased out over the next five years. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

MP for Vancouver Kingsway Don Davies said an overwhelming majority of residents he encountered feel the same — and have questions about accessibility in addition to concerns over mailbox break-ins.

"I would say 90 per cent of the people I hear from are extremely concerned about ending of this service from a number of perspectives," Davies said.

Vancouver City Coun. Geoff Meggs said municipal governments like his are also concerned about finding sidewalk and parking space to accommodate super-boxes in urban areas.

"We started from the urban planning standpoint and asked ourselves how neighbourhoods that were built when when home delivery was taken for granted would somehow be retrofitted for huge community mailboxes where parking is already an issue, [and] where traffic would be generated," he said.

CBC News Posted: Feb 23, 2014

With files from the CBC's Bal Brach

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I dwell on the past a lot, especially late at night when I turn off the TV. I remember everything vividly. I know we can't undo our mistakes or the injustices we have suffered long ago, yet the memories hang on, pressing me to do something to make things better.
Every day and every night, I work, I strive for justice. But I still suffer from the injuries and errors of the past, my own and those of the innocent everywhere. Like my mother's mother, Dora Feldman, I feel the pain of strangers. I come by my ways through family and experience.
My Pop, George Rubin, taught me just about everything I know. He was a remarkable man - kind, bright, wise and talented. Given different circumstances, Pop might well have been a great public leader, a successful writer. But he never sought or accepted praise, money, titles, offices or any benefits for himself. Day and night, I am reminded of things my Pop taught me, not in the form of lessons, but in the course of daily life.
Pop told me stories - many, many stories. Here is one of them:
Two gold prospectors ran into trouble while crossing the desert. Their donkeys dropped dead from thirst. They started walking toward the mountains in the distance, hoping, praying to find water somewhere along the way.
The sun seared their skin. Their tongues were parched, their lips cracked, their eyes burned. Their cheeks were flaming red. They were no longer perspiring. They could no longer carry the heavy little bags of gold nuggets they had worked so hard to get. Finally, after some feeble arguing, they just dropped their treasure in the sand.
They plodded on, growing weaker and weaker. Juan complained, " Boy! Am I thirsty. Boy! Am I thirsty." Mutter, mutter, mutter. "Boy! Am I thirsty!"
Humphrey tried to encourage him. "Keep going. Just another few steps. Come on." Another few steps, just a few more yards. Juan whined softly, "Oh, Boy! Am I thirsty! I'm so thirsty."
Humphrey answers, "I'm thirsty too, buddy. Don't give up. Just a little further."
Juan drops to the ground and sobs, "Boy! Am I thirsty. Oh! Boy Am I thirsty."
Suddenly, Humphrey yells out, "Look! Look! Juan. Look! There's something green over there. Look!" 
The two men drag themselves toward the sight. And there they find a trickle of water bubbling gayly to a small blue pool reflecting the azure heavens.
The prospectors, shaking from exhaustion, plunge their faces into the life-giving pool. They splash the cool water over their heads, roll around in the clear puddle like puppies. They drink and cry and scream with delight.
Finally, they drop back and lie in the little bit of green growth, breathing deeply. Salty tears streaming down their raw cheeks. Pain. Relief! A miracle! 
After they have had their fill and rested, they sense cool evening approaching. The prospectors fill their canteens to the rim and start heading out toward the mountains which appear close now. They don't dare to go back for the gold nuggets they abandoned in the sand hours ago.
A few steps, invigorated by the oasis and the encroaching coolness of the desert evening.
And Juan starts to shout, "Boy! Was I thirsty!. Oh, Boy! Was I thirsty! Humphrey, I was so thirsty! Oh, Boy! Was I ever .... !"
Pop didn't say so, but I think Humphrey strangled Juan with the strap of his canteen.
I think I'll go get a glass of water now.


I venture to publish my own views on these things. I know full well that millions of others will disagree, but they can publish their views. The Internet has given a voice to anyone who is literate and has access.
In my not so humble opinion, worship has little if anything to do with The Creator.
The One who makes universes and protons doesn't need teensy-weensy little critters on a point of feeble light in the darkness to tell "Him" how glorious, great and marvellous "He" is.
People worship because it is something they need to do for a variety of reasons, mostly of a psychological nature, because we know so little, and feel so helpless, and fear so much. Worship brings people into community and we don't feel so alone and afraid.
As for prayer: That is an act of a human being reaching out for hope. When we are unable to cope with our troubles, when we feel helpless and cannot find support, solutions or justice among men, we reach out in the hope that there is a God - a Great Power - who cares enough to lift us out of our nightmares, bring us good health, friends, wisdom, resources, keep our dear ones safe from harm, guide us in making difficult decisions. We search for a glimmer of light in the darkness.
Prayer is the business between one individual soul and the Healer we hope is out there somewhere, or near here, though unseen.
Prayer is nobody's business but our own. If we pray in great assemblies, it is a social act designed to impress others and/or assuage our sense of loneliness.
Giving thanks. That is a good thing. Whoever or Whatever takes away our illness, protects our loved ones, solves difficult problems, provides, somehow, for our real needs, deserves our heartfelt gratitude.
Like chicken soup, it couldn't hurt - to be grateful and to hope.
I'm sure God understands.