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Tag Archive: case


The verdict just came down that George Zimmerman was found NOT GUILTY of shooting teen Trayvon Martin. My opinion was that Florida law and burden of proof on the prosecution forced this conclusion, but that the jury made the right decision based on what it was compelled to by Florida law. I don’t agree it is the right and just conclusion, but that the jury didn’t have too much of a choice if it were to have followed the law… a law that’s going to need a review soon!

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In the aftermath of the Newtown shooting tragedy, I am hearing and seeing a lot of social media about needing to provide more mental health support to stop incidents like that. Well, talk about a crazy argument, pun doubly intended! And I didn’t pun because I’m insensitive to those needing mental health. Rather, the argument of better mental health support for gun violence in America is that ludicrous!

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This is part 2 of 3 posts showing all the ads TED deemed worth spreading. (Part 1)

The TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) community just released its 2011 Ads Worth Spreading contest winners, and the ads are better than the ones I have seen for the Super Bowl in any year! But what did you expect from a brilliant group who’s moniker is “Ideas Worth Spreading”?

Now these ads aren’t like ones in the Super Bowl lasting 30-60 seconds. These ads are much longer, often being the full version of the shortened ads for TV time slots. However, with ads like these, I could watch commercials in place of TV shows because I don’t notice how long or short they are. I’m actually a little sad once it’s over, alongside whatever mood the commercials left me in.

I have posted a bunch of the ads here because I have found higher quality versions of the ads than the ones available on the TED website. Otherwise, I’d have just posted links to them all on TED’s site.

The link for Part 3 is at the end of the post.

Enjoy and be prepared to be wowwed!!!

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Halifax Skating Oval

For about $1 of tax per person per year, or a $2 (toonie) charge per use, the Halifax Skating Oval can be sustained, at the highest cost estimates. It could be as low as 50 cents per use. I’m not encouraging this, but if paying for use of the Oval were a last resort, it could be very affordable and definitely worth its value!

There’s a big debate on whether or not to keep the Canada Winter Games Skating Oval on the Halifax Commons (CBC, Jan 4 2011). A lot of the public is enjoying the facility, but the worry is the cost of maintaining the Oval after the Canada Games are over. The hope is that business support can be found to pay the costs, rather than increasing taxes or having to charge skaters. However, that’s a political solution. This analysis looks at the business case of keeping the oval if the public had to pay for it.

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Ski jumper Katie Willis, second right, of Calgary, Alta., cries as fellow athletes Lindsey Van, left, of Park City, Utah, Jessica Jerome, centre, of Park City, Utah, and Karla Keck, far right, of Oconomowoc, Wisc., look on after a B.C. Court of Appeal denied a bid to have women's ski jumping included in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, in Vancouver, B.C.

UPDATE: Feb 19 2010
Governor-General Michaëlle Jean
took up the fight for the women ski jumpers as I had suggested when I wrote this article on November 14 2009. Of course, I’m not saying she did it cause I suggested it, but I had the idea… and it wasn’t a bad idea, apparently. Now, she just needs to hire me as counsel and not let Harper prorogue government and then we’ll have something going! Well, should give her credit for doing her first right action. ;-)

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Three judges on a British Columbia Court of Appeals panel unanimously decided on Fri Nov 13 2009 that the Olympics Games Charter trumped the Canadian Charter of Rights. On this, the judges dismissed the appeal of some women ski jumpers to have their case heard for women ski jumping being included in the Olympics, because there was a men’s event, or have no such sport events at all, because having a men’s event without a women’s event violated their Charter of Rights. That’s to have their case heard, not decided. The decision effectively said their appeal was so ridiculous they were not going to bother wasting their time on it. The judges did not give reasons for their decision, and also gave no time line for releasing the reasons in written form. Real class and professionalism (sarcastically)! There will be no women’s ski jumping because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted so in 2006, and their charter trumped our Canadian Charter of Rights.

Really?

Are the IOC that powerful they could just go in and trump the law of the land? Or is it the money associated with the Olympic Games that’s really that powerful?

Where was the IOC when there was apartheid in South Africa, to go in and allow blacks to participate in their games and set an example since their charter trumped the charter of the land?

And should the IOC decide they didn’t want some particular race competing in Vancouver, like having Caucasian only hockey, would we allow that in Canada?

Of course, not! Well, maybe the BC Court of Appeals would disagree with me, but I’d like to think we generally apathetic Canadians would be outraged by the fact! So what’s the difference here? Is sexism a more acceptable form of discrimination than racism that we can tolerate it in a provincial appeals court? How do people who think like that become judges any how?

The judges, apparently, didn’t even think about this decision. They ruled immediately after hearing two days of arguments. They had made up their mind beforehand because clearly, this wasn’t that clear an issue if it took two days to argue the merits of both sides. Shame on those judges!

As for the VANOC (Vancouver Olympic Committee) CEO, John Furlong, I’m also calling him out on bullshit.

“I don’t like these kinds of days, we are first and foremost men and women of sport and we believe in athletics. This is a matter that’s been far from our reach and our influence and we simply didn’t have any jurisdiction here … these girls have tried very hard, they have put up a very good fight.
— John Furlong, VANOC’s chief executive officer
(Vancouver Games organizers also said they were glad the process was over, but they were sad for the women)

Hey, John, I’ve heard better bullshitting by the worst politicians I know, OK? Let’s be clear on something here. It was VANOC who fought this decision, on behalf of the IOC. They weren’t some innocent bystander. VANOC argued that because the decision not to include a women’s event was made by the IOC under the terms of its own charter, Canada’s charter doesn’t apply. VANOC argued the Olympics were not a government activity so the government had no decision-making power over the Olympics, as that power rests solely with the IOC. If it weren’t, then why do we keep seeing government and politicians involved with the Games? That is utter bullshit, and utter bullshit for John Furlong to make these sorts of statements and then to say they were men and women of sport, and that this was a matter far from their reach.

At least they were nice on the losing side, to say they thought they had a “fair” hearing and all.

As for the future of this appeal, there is nothing clear yet, but it’s getting rather late to do much legally and have an impact, which, believe me, the judges also knew considering it’s their system. The women could appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, but that would take months. They could also ask the appeal court to suspend their ruling pending an appeal. However, the last is unlikely given the prejudices that already exist there demonstrated by this quick and crude decision.

As for women’s ski jumping, it will become stagnant for now until this issue gets resolved. And the fight isn’t over, but it might not get resolved till 2014. But let’s not lose perspective here. Aside from the shameful discrimination going on in Canada, which I would beg to ask if Canadians are going to tolerate, people’s dreams are also being put aside. It’s not just a matter of time, but of lives and national pride. Imagine how Canadian female ski jumper Katie Willis had to feel about a court in her nation dismissing such a case, beside her fellow athletes from the United States, who together made the appeal?

So Canada, what are we going to do about this issue? Let’s see if any of our politicians or other high ranking officials will have any guts to do anything about this. It might be a good opportunity for the Governor-General to do something of merit for a change, rather than formalities and playing political favouritism by declaring prorogue in Canadian Parliament like she did in  December 2008 on Prime Minister Harper’s “advice”.

Post-scriptum:
A lawyer friend made an excellent point that the sexism label should be put on the IOC. True, but I wrote this in the light it was a given since they weren’t willing to change so it got brought to the BC Appeals Court. He also wrote the BC Court also faced a straightforward and narrow legal question having to do with the application of the Charter, and suspects they made the right decision given previous law on the issue. I’m not going to dispute that, but let me ask this then. Is every law going to be held as such forever? What’s the point of having power if you can’t set precedence? Where’s the independent thinking here to do what’s right rather than to follow precedence like a computer could? And if precedence were all that mattered, or mattered most, why appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada as they would just do the same thing? And what if the Supreme Court reversed things? What distinguishes them from the BC Court on this matter given the BC Courts could have reversed things themselves? Are the Supreme Court judges more intelligent on a matter most Canadians could see for themselves?

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 9.5

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