Sunday, October 11, 2009


If we had a bird for Thanksgiving dinner, chances are we washed it down with a gravy of guilt that wasn’t present in my day. Now, not only do we have to think about the suffering of factory birds, we have to fret and wonder why so many earth people have little to eat or even anything at all. It’s true that many people were cash poor when I was growing up, (80 odd years ago) but most people still lived outside the big cities and could scratch out enough food on small plots to keep families reasonably well fed. With organic meat and vegetables. Certifiably organic. That was before chemicals became king. That was before corporations became persons.
I am thankful for the Constitution of Canada. The Constitution contains the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And even in the face of the ultra conservative Supreme Court of British Columbia and a privatizing crazed premier, The Constitution of Canada is at least a guide to a better, fairer way of governing ourselves. And because BC is becoming a harsh, even barbaric place with practically every man, woman and child scrambling for substance while choking on shredded social cut backs, that doesn’t mean this is the earthly norm. Or the norm for other countries, localities, world bodies, or even other provinces in Canada. I don’t think there are any other provincial leaders trying to incite people poverty (it is a war), and bust the back of health care all with a few secret cabinet meetings. And with unabashed gusto. It’s amazing. It’s shock and awe. But the Canadian Constitution is still there. The Charter still lives as much as the conservative judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and Gordon Campbell wishes it didn’t. There is hope. Even the judicial decisions that declare that corporations have the right to act as persons without responsibilities to anyone but their share holders and who, by law, can be sued if they don’t make money, more money, and even more money, regardless of environmental destructions, is under attack. I think we are headed into a new area. Let’s all be thankful today and tomorrow for the Constitution of Canada.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Bountiful and Bombings

What have these two news items in common? Our BC Supreme Court staying the charges of polygamy against the two Bountiful religious leaders, Winston Blackmore and James Oler on Sept. 22, and the announcement of the bombing of yet another school for girls in Pakistan ( there have been roughly thirty such bombings of schools in and around the Swat on Sept. 23?
Events in common? Well, let us consider. First, the dismissal of charges of Polygamy against the two religious leaders in Bountiful who keep multiple wives (27 and counting for one of the accused); never mind the practicality of accomplishing such a feat, the fact remains that it’s unlawful. POLYGAMY IS AGAINST THE LAW. IT’S A FEDERAL LAW. IT SAYS SO IN THE CRIMINAL CODE. THE CRIMINAL CODE RULES THE COUNTRY OF CANADA. Except in British Columbia. In BC judges make decisions that are, in my opinion, unlawful. And they are aided and abetted by the Attorney Generals and by government lawyers (Crown Council) who are in my opinion mostly a gutless bunch. They only like to bet on a sure thing i.e. putting away environmental protesters and the like for long prison sentences. BC Supreme Court Judge Sunni Stromberg-Stein said that Wally Oppal (then Attorney General) should have not shopped around for a second prosecutor when the first one refused to lay charges. Why the refusal? Because the charges might not pass a constitutional challenge from the Supreme Court of Canada on the grounds of freedom of religion.
Well, what was Wally Oppal to do except look for another prosecutor? The only way to know whether or not charges will pass a constitutional challenge is to present the case. But why is it that nobody in the legal profession or the Attorney General’s office will present the case of Bountiful polygamists to the Supreme Court of Canada? Does the claim of religion actually countenance breaking the law? The codified law of Canada? Evidentially yes, when the religion embraces the dictates that very young women (girls, actually) should be forcibly given over sexually to old and middle aged men. There must be something titillating abut this to old and middle aged men in law and government or else polygamy would have been treated like any other broken codified law long ago. In spite of the fact that more women judges are sitting on the bench the court is an extremely masculine place, run by men. And on the other side of the world religious leaders are preaching that girl’s schools will continue to be bombed because educating girls is un-Islamic and against religion. Religion, huh? What an all encompassing way to keep girls ignorant and sexually accessible and beyond the powers of the court to intervene. And beyond the powers of mothers to protect their daughters. In my opinion, women should heed these two religious extremes because the results have a way of nesting on our own doorsteps. Women in Ontario narrowly escaped a provincial acceptance of Sharia law a couple of years ago and it was Muslim women who understood what this would have meant and who fought fiercely against it. And won. We should all be so vigilant.