Entries by Peter Worthington from 05/2012

Why Kids Get Away with Murder

| Posted 05.01.2012 | Canada
Read More: Canada News

What's kind of law gives kids 12 and under a free pass to do whatever they want, and not hold them accountable? Or at least punish them in a way that inhibits future repetition? No matter the crime, three years is the maximum sentence, and the perpetrator's identity is protected.

The He Said/She Said Over bin Laden Kill

| Posted 05.02.2012 | Canada

It's been a year since Osama bin Laden went down, but a debate rages on. Republicans accuse Democrats (if not Obama himself) of trying to get political mileage out of the anniversary, while Democrats (and Obama) say that Romney felt it wasn't worth spending billions of dollars to catch one man. Both factions are right, and both factions are wrong.

Oh Please! Lord Black is no Omar Khadr

| Posted 05.03.2012 | Canada

Like him or not, approve of him or not, despair of him or not, Conrad Black is as Canadian as maple syrup and a hockey stick, and neither a threat nor a danger to fellow Canadians -- unlike, say, Omar Khadr.

I Wouldn't Follow This "Star" Reporter Into Battle

| Posted 05.04.2012 | Canada

When the Toronto Star's City Hall reporter, Daniel Dale, was caught snooping behind Mayor Rob Ford's home, he became frightened. When confronted, journalists don't usually yell for help, drop their camera and recorder, and run away. Maybe when facing a mob in Somalia, but not when a Toronto mayor catches you snooping. Gracious!

Obama's Vietnam?

| Posted 05.06.2012 | Canada

In Afghanistan, Obama is all but conceding defeat. We saw it in Vietnam when then-President Richard Nixon assured that the withdrawal of American troops meant "peace with honour." But it's still a country where, if the Taliban have power, Sharia law will flourish, women will continue to be persecuted, niceties like amputations, stoning, honour killings and such will blossom.

Elephants Should Turn Up Their Trunks at Toronto

| Posted 05.07.2012 | Canada

What seems to be missing in the hullabaloo over the three remaining elephants in the Toronto zoo, is what's best for the animals themselves. Beyond dispute is that Toronto is not an environment conducive to maintaining contented elephants. Perhaps it's even lethal.

Ukraine's Braided Heroine is Being Beaten, Where's Canadian Outrage?

| Posted 05.10.2012 | Canada

Today, Canadian Ukrainians should be thinking about the leader of the Orange Revolution, Yulia Tymoshenko, the braided once-prime minister of the Ukraine, who is currently on a hunger strike, and being beaten in her prison cell.

What do the Elections in Greece and France Have in Common?

| Posted 05.10.2012 | Canada

For starters, the status quo in both countries has been capsized. Voters in both countries reject austerity measures that were imposed to save the euro and avoid bankruptcy, and to deter some countries bailing out of the 17-country European Union.

Masks Should be Banned from Protests, Period.

| Posted 05.12.2012 | Canada

Bill C-309 states that anyone who commits an illegal act while wearing a mask at a protest can face 10 years in prison. While we are grateful for such a bill, it isn't good enough. If someone carries a loaded gun while committing a crime, it can be assumed he is willing to use it; I'd argue that any person wearing a mask or disguise at any controversial protest is up to no good, and can be assumed to be contemplating illegal behaviour.

Are the Pope's Nuns a Bunch of "Radical Feminists"?

| Posted 05.14.2012 | Canada

Last month the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith scolded the Leadership Conference of Women's Religious for subscribing to "radical feminist themes" like social justice and poverty, while being silent about abortion and same sex. It simply looks bad. Many feel that nuns represent the strength and mainstay of Catholic Church.

Meet the Only Person Who Escaped North Korean Prison Camp

| Posted 05.15.2012 | Canada

Arguably, the most poignant interview ever broadcast on CBC Radio's The Current was the story this week about Shin Dong-hyuk -- possibly the only person ever to escape from a North Korean slave-labour prison camp. His story is important as it is unique in giving the world a peek inside that regime, and how the ruling Kim family maintains absolute control through fear and cruelty.

Why an Israeli Coalition Government Now?

| Posted 05.16.2012 | Canada

Netanyahu's proposed coalition government strikes some as ominous, others as encouraging. Some see it as Israel preparing to do something about Iran and its developing nuclear weapons, whereas others sees it as a tool to pass mandatory military service for all -- Ultra-Orthodox Jews included.

Why it Was Right to Shoot Down the Long Gun Registry

| Posted 05.16.2012 | Canada

By abandoning long gun registry, the federal government is saving the taxpayer considerable billions. It was a foolish law from the start, in that it made criminals out of farmers and people in rural areas who didn't trust government assurances, or simply couldn't be bothered to register their rifles and shotguns.

Lady Justice, You're a Fickle Mistress

| Posted 05.17.2012 | Canada

Three odd cases of "justice" are in the news these days, all of them likely to make those who don't commit crimes uneasy. No sane person wants an innocent person wrongly convicted (hence the abolishment of the death penalty). By the same token, no sane person wants a guilty person freed on a technicality. Marian Andrzejewski, Byron Sonne and Michael Rafferty all made headlines for their less-than-usual cases.

Shimon Peres: The Man Who's Seen It All

| Posted 05.18.2012 | Canada

In old age, Shimon Peres is more dove-like than hawkish. But when he spoke in Toronto, in early May to a sold-out crowd, we were in the presence of greatness. There was no question he would not answer. Little wonder why, he's one of the few to have seen it all in the Middle East.

Obama's "Evolution" on Gay Marriage Won't Cost Him Votes

| Posted 05.18.2012 | Canada

Obama doesn't acknowledge that he's flip-flopped on the "marriage" aspect; he says he's "evolved" to that belief, encouraged by his wife and daughters. By supporting gay marriages, Obama may have lost the Evangelical vote -- assuming he ever had it, which is doubtful. But in any case, same-sex marriages are more a case of national curiosity than national importance.

Running Shoes Are the Worst Thing to Happen to Running

| Posted 05.21.2012 | Canada

The invention of the running shoe is "the worst crime ever committed against the human foot." To see the proof, one needn't look further than the mysterious Tarahumara Indians of Mexico for whom 300-mile runs were routine, and 60-mile runs a jaunt. They wear nothing but sandals, and suffer no injuries.

How to Avoid G20 Violence Again? Let the Police do Their Jobs

| Posted 05.22.2012 | Canada

Even those who are sick of the subject have difficulty escaping the regurgitations of last year's G20 demonstrations that went horribly wrong. Mistakes were made, force was over-used and misdirected, blah, blah, blah. Get over it. Everyone in authority has acknowledged error, and (one hopes) lessons have been learned; the same mistakes will not be repeated next time.

Harper Closes Eyes on Russian Spies

| Posted 05.23.2012 | Canada Politics

A junior officer in Naval Intelligence was arrested last January for turning over incredible amounts of secret information to the Russians which rivals the volume of data the U.S. lost to WikiLeaks. Why is Harper downplaying this espionage case for fear of upsetting relations with Russia?

Canada, Afghanistan Doesn't Need Your Guilt Money

| Posted 05.24.2012 | Canada Politics

Harper pledging $110 million in 2015 and beyond -- rather than soldiers training Afghanis -- is more like guilty conscience money than a lifeline for a secure future. So much has already been invested in Afghanistan during the past decade that the country cannot return into the primitive, isolated state it once was. The world doesn't work that way.

Meet Lawrence Connelly: A Canadian Taxpayer Who's Told He's Not a Canadian

| Posted 05.25.2012 | Canada Politics

Lawrence Connelly was issued a DND birth certificate by the Canadian government when born in Germany. He now lives in Orillia, works in daycare, pays his taxes, and is married with two kids. But when he applied for a passport to go to Disney World in the U.S., the Passport Office told him they needed proof of citizenship, and that has birth certificate wasn't enough.

Black is Back, And (Some of) Canada Loves Him

| Posted 05.26.2012 | Canada

One hesitates to guess what was on Black's mind as he walked up Spadina Avenue to the journalistic offices of HuffPost and AOL, but he must have been slightly uneasy or wary of his reception -- would he be shunned, welcomed or ignored? Whatever concerns he may have had evaporated immediately. He was an instant rock star.

The Toronto Zoo's Elephants Won't Forget

| Posted 05.29.2012 | Canada

The system is being foiled in the case of the proposed and agreed upon plan to send the Toronto Zoo's three remaining African elephants to an elephant sanctuary in California run by PAWS. To some, it seems a predictable case of the bureaucracy -- i.e.: the zoo people who want the prestige of having elephants -- trying to short circuit or sabotage decisions of those who are their bosses.

Is Obama the New Sarah Palin?

| Posted 05.31.2012 | Canada Politics

"Polish death camps," isn't the first embarrassing "misspeak" by President Obama. But for some reason, when Palin makes a gaffe about Russia, it gets parodied by comedians. When Obama makes a gaffe about the Holocaust or concentration camps, all that ensues is an apology. Like warfare, politics isn't fair.