Category Archives: Granny’s Journal

A little ode to #1228

What a cold miserable morning out there!    Mind you, it will be a great day for doing heavy yard chores 🙂    Even better, it is just cold enough to keep those darned bugs at bay.   Best of all of course is that at least we did not get the wet snow that last night’s forecast had promised!

This Sunday is Mother’s Day!   What does that mean in realspeak if you don’t have any human offspring of your own?   Plenty actually.    Savvy gardeners know that, in this province at least, this is usually the best weekend of the year for sales as the race kicks off for the big bucks that homeowners spend on trees and shrubbery!   Traditionally, it has also been an excellent time … in this somewhat sexist world we still live in … to buy small appliances 🙂

Mind you .. things are nowhere near as rosy for cats and dogs!     There are no wild commercial extravaganza  celebrations of motherhood for them!    Indeed, many pregnant pets are left to fend for themselves and find out first hand what survival of the fittest means 😦

To make matters worse, even when little Momcats or dogs are lucky enough to be rescued with their litters, the little mothers often ‘sit on the shelf’ long after their offspring have been adopted!   As if they were … after all that they had been through .. somehow secondhand and second rate!

This of course is why I have such a soft spot for Spay Day NS.    Although they do occasionally rescue, their core mandate is so beautifully and elegantly simple.   They spay and neuter cats.   Straight, sweet and simple!

For four years, Linda Felix and her team of dedicated volunteers have been doing this.   They make it very easy for cat owners who cannot afford to spay and neuter their cats.   In their own words “We strive to over come the obstacles to having cats spayed or neutered. We make the clinic appointment, provide the cat carrier and the drive to the appointment. We return the cat back home and discuss after care with the owner.  We provide education to the cat owner on the benefits of spaying, neutering and keeping their cat indoors.”

Are they the first ones to spay and neuter cats?   Of course not!   Cat rescues have been quietly doing this for years for both rescued and owned cats.   Not to take anything away from that work, what makes Spay Day so special is that their willingness to collaborate with other groups and with the society.

Today … as we speak … Spay Day is running a Mega Twenty-Six Cat Spay Day.   Early this morning, volunteers with carriers picked up cats from all around the city and delivered them to their clinic appointments!    Wow!   What does that mean in realspeak?   Simply that the surgeries are really only the tip of the iceberg!     Without the behind the scenes fundraising and application checking, there would be no marvelous days like this!

What time is it?   It is always time to applaud spay neuter work in this province.   Of equal import .. it is always, always time to applaud the kind of collaboration that is needed to make a meaningful difference for cats!

PS ….today will make a total of ONE THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHT spays and neuters  Spay Day NS has done in the four years since they began this good work!      At the end of the day, the ONLY way to fix the cat overpopulation problem is to fix the cats!

pyramid

A little musing about showing up

I have been paying Very Close Attention to the beech trees in the yard today!  Why would I say this?    The answer is pretty darned simple …  at least to anyone familiar with folk weather lore.     According to said beliefs, beech leaves trembling on the trees in winter is a sure sign of stormy weather.

So far so good … even if it does fly in the face of the more ‘scientific’ forecasts online.   To be perfectly honest, I could lead a full and complete life without the fifty centimeters that the weather network is promising, eh?

But … here in the real world, I have learned it is simply wasted energy to worry about the weather.   The best we can do is borrow from the boy scouts motto and be prepared, eh?   There is another storm brewing, however, that we can do something about.  I am of course talking about the very real possibility that we are headed for a federal election this spring.

I am a middle-aged grandmother, not a political pundit.   Yet even the most casual observer can see that the gravy train has already pulled out of the station.    To be perfectly honest, it would just be smart to get election day out of the gate before the Senate Scandal roars back to life with the Duffy trial, eh?

I am old enough to remember the election of 93.    The conservatives went from a strong majority to fifth place.     From 169 seats to 2 seats!    In other words, from first place to the fringe!   For the first time in Canadian history, the time-worn old formula of safely doing all the unpopular bits during the first half of a majority mandate simply did not apply.  Even after two years, clearly Canadian voters were still pissed about the way the GST was railroaded in.

But I am wandering afield, as I am wont to do in my meandering way.   The point that I am trying to make today is that if I am right about the whole spring election thing, pretty soon we should all have a chance to meet the candidates for our riding.

What does that mean in real speak?    It does not necessarily mean that they will actually promise anything of substance.   Sheesh, our own Liberals here in Nova Scotia were very, very careful not to go out on a limb and make any unrealistic promises that could come back to haunt them later, eh?

It does mean that this IS your opportunity to provide direct feedback to the candidates on issues that are important to you as a voter.    For instance, if you are ticked off about tax dollars supporting the failing mink industry, now is the time to speak up!

More importantly ….. if this time young voters were to make history and actually show up in serious numbers at the election polls, there would never, ever be another election where all political parties did not take their concerns seriously.

What time is it?    It is always time to remember the truth of the old adage … there is no point in complaining if you did not show up to vote.

Tis the season

I love making my Mother’s recipe for Hot Water Gingerbread from the old Barbados molasses cookbook!   Like anyone who had lived through the depression, Mom was a master at stretching a dollar and most of her cookbook collection came from carefully clipped box tops, eh?

Perhaps that is why I have such an affection for the hardworking cat rescuers in this province like Melissa Lee!    They are adroit at stretching every dollar!   Even better, every last cent that is donated is spent saving kitties!    There are no admin fees!    No advertising budget!     Every last bit goes for vet bills, cleaning supplies and food!

Best of all of course is that cat rescue groups like Safe Haven Animal Rescue are providing a valuable service to our communities by making them healthier and more humane places to live.   A service, I might add, that comes at no cost to the taxpaying public!

Does that mean that they have deep pockets?   That there is no need to fundraise?    Of course not!   Just  Last Thursday, Safe Haven spayed and neutered five cats!    What does that mean in realspeak?   Simply that even with donations, there is still a big chunk of a vet bill to pay down!

Why is that so urgent?    That answer is so simple the compost perking away in the bin could understand!    In spite of all their hard work, a cat rescuer’s work is never done!     Already this morning SHAR has another cat that needs to see the vet, eh?

What time is it?    Not everyone has time to rescue.    Not everyone has time to foster!    But in the midst of all the holiday shopping, most folks have time to donate a little something to the cat rescuers who work so hard on our behalf!     Kind hearts who wish to help SHAR can:

  • phone in a donation via credit card to the SHAR account at the Berwick Animal Hospital at 902-538-8039, or
  • send an EMT to felinebirthcontrol@hotmail.com   or
  • email the above address to ask where to send a donation, or last but not least
  • open their home and their heart to one of SHAR’s adorable adoptables!

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.    Washington Irving

 

On trying to change the channel

Political campaigning seems to be sinking to a new low in this country!   Why do I say that?    Aren’t we more polite … and more civilized .. than our American cousins?     Nope!     Lets face it … the New Brunswick election campaign is getting dirtier than the garden boots parked by my door.

Am I talking about last night’s news story about the NDP staffer who crashed a Liberal speech?   Blatant lies about the environmental impact of fracking?    Candidates being charged and then mysteriously cleared?    Close but no cigar!

I am talking about the Anti Abortion postcards that depicted the remains of a purported five-month-old aborted fetus, along with a photo of Gallant and the message: “A vote for Brian Gallant and the Liberals is a vote for this.”

Well then!     David Alward insists that he had nothing to do with this.    That “different groups and organizations have the right and responsibility to provide information to their members.”    Coming from the head of the same sitting government that refused to support the only private abortion clinic in the province, such protestations are as thin as the scientific research he uses to support fracking.

Oscar Wilde once said the truth is rarely pure and never simple.     Nowhere is that more applicable than the anti abortion / right to choose debate.    Underneath all the emotionally charged opposition rhetoric lies a simple little fact … that folks are claiming it is wrong to kill.   That every life is precious.

Is it?    Of course it is!    But of course not all life is created equal.     When our Canadian troops were in Afghanistan … each and every time one of the One Hundred and Fifty Eight Canadian fallen soldiers were killed, the loss was marked with cross-country headlines.   Each and every time!      Yet little if any mention was made in our mainstream media of the thousands and thousands of civilian casualties there.     Clearly those lives did not count quite as much, eh?

There is still a laissez-faire attitude at the federal level to the horrific murders of aboriginal women in this county.   Clearly there is little if any concern for those lives either, eh?

Although there is some enthusiasm for stepping in to help now … for months noone was really worried about the Ebola crisis either!      Clearly those lives did not matter as much over here, eh?    At least not until the specter of it spreading over here rose its ugly head!

But … I am wandering afield as I am often wont to do in my meandering way.     The point I am trying to make today is that this is just dirty, dirty politics.   Straight, sweet and simple.    Such tactics smack of desperation and seem to be shape of things to come for Conservative politicians at every level.  Not to be mean, but bringing the anti abortion activists into play is simply a diversion from the environmental issues on the table.

Little children are very good at changing the subject when asked to explain about homework and broken vases.       Adults seeking the privilege of governing this beautiful country are supposed to be better than that.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.    Abraham Lincoln

 

On the best bit about living in a democracy

My parents were Card Carrying Conservatives!    Not just for a few years!    Not just for a couple of decades!    No sir!     From the early days of displaying Dief for Chief signs, my hard-working Conservative at heart parents never wavered in their support until 1991!

Why?   What happened in 1991?     For those of you too young to remember, that was the year that Brian Mulroney passed the GST!    Was there such strong opposition to that?   You bet!     Had party discipline not been enforced, even the Conservative MP’s would likely have voted for their ridings!

And THAT boys and girls is when I learned the most important lesson ever about democracy!        What would that be?     Why of course that we ‘hire’ our politicians with our vote and that we can also ‘fire’ them!    

In the next election, the Conservative Party plummeted from a whopping 169 seat majority to only two seats in the House!   Two seats!     And that was in 1993 …. before social networking!    Best cartoon ever on the next day showed Kim Campbell out on the ledge with the Marijuana and the Natural Law Party Leaders,  captioned, ‘Welcome to the fringe’!

Did my parents ever vote Conservative again?   Not once …. not for the rest of their lives!

Now here is the thing ….  prior to 1991, my parents were like poster children for the Conservatives!     They were hard-working, old-fashioned,  church going Capitol C Conservatives!

So the moral of the story …. as the NDP bobsled team learned last fall … is that while politicians CAN do whatever they want when they are armed with a strong majority …. it is not always in the best interests of the party to do so!

As any restaurant owner can tell you … we Canadians generally do not complain if we are not happy!   We eat our meal, pay our check and then …  we just never go back!

Out where I live, most folks DID vote for the Conservatives last going around … even the more moderate ones.    My parents would have fit right in here, eh?

How about next year?     Will it be another slam dunk?   Somehow I suspect not!   Why?     Honestly, I could go on like the Energizer Rabbit .. but instead will stick to a Top Ten List

#10    A fair amount of folks around here earn their daily bread on a farm or on the water!   Both are hard work and take a big toll on the body!      By the time these folks are 65, they are ready to retire!   But wait .. now they will have to wait two more years!    Folks might understand if the government was struggling … but seem to take a dim view of sacrificing so that Senators can live high on the hog!

#9     This is a family oriented community!   What does that mean in realspeak?   Why of course that many women around here have been raising their children instead of contributing to CPP!     Now …. when they are widowed, these ladies will have to wait until they are 67 for their Old Age as well!    And before the keyboards catch on fire .. no … most farmers and fishermen and even tradesguys never, ever have pensions!

#8    Tourism is one of the backbones of the economy in Nova Scotia!     Here in the real world of Nova Scotia winters, tourism is a seasonal business!   Even  Nova Scotians who can afford to go on vacation go someplace warmer in the winter, eh?    So anyone who suggests that these folks are living high on the hog on unemployment in the winter has never tried to live on half income!    To suddenly insist that these folks be willing to drive upwards of an hour is absurd.     No one is going to give them gas or subsidize vehicle upkeep!   There are no buses running out here!    So to send Integrity Inspectors out with assigned quotas to meet was not the way to win votes in this riding!    Not to be mean … but that was even BEFORE the Senate Scandal!

#7     Here in Nova Scotia we are really very conscious of the effects of global warming!     We are surrounded by the sea … and so have seen first hand how much stronger the storm surges are!   Our own provincial government is urging our communities to come up with plans to deal with climate change, eh?     So we would really appreciate if the Conservatives would stop referring to environmental advocates as terrorists!

#6    The possibility of income splitting really appealed to hard-working families and was actually the reason a lot of my friends did vote conservative!      Now it would seem that the Conservatives have changed their mind about that!    Hmmm!    Will that make people change their minds?   Hmmmm!

#5     One would be hard put to go anywhere in this province without finding families of serving and retired military members.    Here in the Valley where the base is an integral part of the community, it is even more so!    What does that mean in realspeak?   Why of course that it is pointless for politicians and generals to combat concerns about suicides with ‘we didn’t knows’!     Here in the real world, where serving members are shown the door as being medically unfit for duty with PTSD, it should come as no surprise that so few seek treatment 😦

#4      In this riding … seeing the government swap out sustained support for injured veterans with a one time payout has not been popular!     It certainly has put paid to the myth that the Conservatives were the party who took the best care of the military!

#3   Around here, closing Veterans Affairs offices has been viewed on the same level as stealing purses from little old ladies!   That the Minister made such a public bollocks of the whole situations really just iced a cake that he had already laid out on the table!

#2   This government thinks that public servants are easy targets!   They hope that people will be so jealous of their job security and benefits that they overlook one very tangible fact …   these people provide service to the public.     Fewer servants = longer wait times + less disposable income in a community!      Hand in hand with that … Tony Clements is really hoping that nobody notices or cares that doubling public service health care plan costs fore retirees ALSO affects retired military and RCMP!     Or that nobody remembers that these rates were just doubled in 2011!

#1     Lets face it … this government has changed Canada as we know it!   Deliberately and willfully!   In the face of strong public opposition!    All these changes  ….. from stripping environmental protection to decimating Federal departments and libraries … through to this new Election Act ….  keep making the revolving rounds of social networking sites of all stripes!    In the face of such destruction … even the Senate Scandal pales by comparison!

What time is it?   It is always, always time to remember that the best bit about living in a democracy is that each and every one of us do have a voice!     It does not matter if those in government now will not listen!     All that matters is that we are only ever one election away from change!

 

On burdens and bad press

Publicity … like anything else in life … tends to be relative.   For someone hoping that a hint of notoriety will help redefine their image,  there is no such thing as bad press.    For a politician whose  campaign  was long on personal integrity and promises of Senate reform, publicity can quickly become the short end of the stick … so to speak.

Last week, a famous ‘reality show’ star stirred up  a hornets nest when his infamous GC interview hit the stands.     A&E was quick to respond with an indefinite suspension from the show … and THAT triggered such a maelstrom of support for the show that A&E soon redefined ‘indefinite’ as eight days!

So what do I think about that?   A few things .. actually!    Freedom of speech has never, ever included hate speech in this country.     Sadly, this is not the first … or will likely be the last … time that the Bible has been used as a disinformation tool  😦

In the sixties, opponents of Women’s Liberation and Civil Rights always had a ready round peg of a Bible quote to try to fit in their little fear filled square holes.      Proponents of slavery have found their own ‘proofs’ there.     From the Spanish Inquisition though to the Woman’s Holocaust, successful persecutions  have dressed themselves up in Biblical language!

Does this mean that there is anything wrong with the Bible?   Of course not!   The original tenets of the Church were kinder and gentler than all that!     Any faith founded on such teachings as “love thy enemy” and “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” would surely shirk at some of the misuses that the Bible has been put to 😦

But I am wandering afield, as I often do in my meandering way.   The point I really want to make today is that … while it is disappointing .. it is actually no great surprise to discover that money is the moral compass for a television network!

Lets face it ….  the term ‘reality show’ is really an oxymoron.     Straight, sweet and simple … like any other TV show, they  are carefully packaged to play to their audience.     Only the names have not been changed … because really a company could not buy that kind of publicity, eh?

As someone who has watched the show, I can understand the appeal.   It presents a simpler and kinder version of the world where the family gathers around the table at the end of every episode.

Will I watch it anymore?    What do you think?   Does it even matter … when over a quarter of a million people lined up to sign the petition to bring the show back?

It does to me.     So I will revert to watching reruns of the Red Green show.   It is funny!   It is Canadian!    And if Steve Smith lives to be a hundred, i expect he will still be reminding us to ‘keep our stick on the ice”

I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

The beauty of light ….

I love being in the woods at this time of year!   Poets and minstrels may natter on about the circle of life … but for my money, the trails are lighter and brighter once all the leaves are down!    That colorful carpet of leaves does double duty by providing both beauty and all sorts of ‘surprises’ to be scented out!   Really it is just frosting on the cake that those darned bugs are just a bad memory by now!

To be perfectly honest, even all that pales beside the sure knowledge that our Nova Scotia winters seldom wait for the official calendar kickoff next month!    Every day we can enjoy all this before we need boots and snowshoes and the trusty sled for the little dogs is made all the more precious, eh?    We know it won’t last forever, so we simply enjoy it now!

It is no secret that I have a soft spot for senior pets!     Folks who worry about the whole ‘circle of life’ thing cutting their time together short simply do not get it.    There is a special brightness to a seasoned pet that is completely separate and apart from the cuteness of puppies and kittens!

Time is a human hangup, eh?   We worry about finding enough time in the day … the week … the month .. or even the year!     We think of it as investment … how long will the warranty last?     We measure our work by how much we are paid by the hour / week / month!   When it comes to love, our inner three years olds all expect it to last forever!

If I go out to empty the compost bucket / bring in an armful of wood / or even check the mail at the end of the lane …. the greeting is just as warm as if I had been away whale watching for hours!

Straight, sweet and simple … there is a LOT of joy to be had for anyone who opens their home and their heart to a senior pet!

Does this mean that there are no tears?   Of course not!    This week … completely and unexpectedly ….  Cookie was lost to us forever with a massive stroke!     One minute I was dropping her off for her first appointment with my groomer  …. and the next I was dashing back to rush Cookie to my vets!

After everything that Cookie had been through, it was utterly heartbreaking for her to have only had a couple of months living the good life!    I am human … so I cannot help wishing there had been years and years, eh?

Does that mean that I regret saying ‘yes I will foster her’?   Of course not!     Even though it was clear early on that Cookie might become a palliative care foster, she was still full of joy and bounce and fun!     When a dog has had a hard start … it is an honor and a privilege to offer them the opportunity of a better life

Really .. there is no way to measure the value of that!

At the end of the day,  there is also no way to assign any guarantees of longevity to pets of any age!      We can only love them with all our hearts while they are here …. so that when they leave us we can keep them in our hearts forever!

Love is not consolation. It is light.   Friedrich Nietzsche

The real problem with turning a blind eye

from the CBC news website

Saint Mary’s University frosh chant cheers underage sex

Frosh week leaders, student union executive sent to sensitivity training

Saint Mary’s University in Halifax is promising disciplinary action after a frosh week chant glorifying underage sex with girls without consent was posted online.

A 15-second video posted to Instagram on Monday shows orientation week leaders leading a cheer about the sexual preferences of Saint Mary University men.

On a crowded football field they shout out, “Y is for your sister […] U is for underage, N is for no consent […] Saint Mary’s boys we like them young.”

Students said the chant has been used at frosh week for years.

On Wednesday Jared Perry, the student union president, called it an oversight and apologized.

The university’s senior director of student services said the administration had no knowledge of the chant until Wednesday at noon. Keith Hotchkiss said he was “disgusted.”

All of the 80 frosh week leaders and the entire Saint Mary’s University student union executive have been ordered to take sensitivity training.

The executive is also being sent to a conference at St. Francis Xavier University next week to learn about issues of sexual violence and consent.

The short video is garnering a backlash of disgust and anger.

“It’s derogatory, really. Underage. No consent. It’s saying that’s OK. It’s definitely not. It’s a bad message. It’s saying we like the frosh girls, we like them young. It’s not good, it’s not cool,” said Shannon Neville.

“I have a little sister, too. It’s definitely inappropriate,” said Luke Simms.

“Kind of heart-wrenching. Because I don’t think that girls especially should be subject to this,” said Melanie Duffy. “It’s promoting violence and a negative image of girls.”

Well then!    I am a middle-aged grandmother, not a University Director … so perhaps there is something in this story that I am missing.    Last year, most of the members of the Dalhousie University Women’s Hockey team were suspended for the season for hazing!  Suspended!   For some of them, that was a potential athletic career breaker with broader implications than the loss of one season!

To be perfectly honest, I do not know what disturbs me more about this weeks story!    Was it the horrific lyrics “glorifying underage sex with girls without consent”    Was it that out of  80 frosh week leaders and the entire Saint Mary’s University Student Executive there was not one single person to step up to say “this is wrong”?

Was it that clearly the participants are not as ‘smart’ as their cellphones?    If there is one thing this generation should have learned in high school it is that these days if one is going to do anything in the company of others, one had best be prepared to ‘own it’!

Was it the overly optimistic idea that a remedial conference on sexual violence and consent is going to prevent future occurences of this sort?    That sensitivity training will turn things around right away?

Without something more serious than a slap on the wrist, it is going to take a lot longer than one week to change a cultural mindset that saw nothing wrong with publicly promoting underage sex without consent!    When the military finally starting tackling a similar issue ,  change only began after a decade .. not a week .. of regular, mandatory sensitivity training and workshops for every serving soldier!

To be perfectly honest … that is not even close to being the worst bit!    Lets face it … some of those participating will go on to become educators and executives!   Lawyers and judges!    Others will work in human resources and be employed as psychologists!    What a sorry start for those who will be responsible for managing the consequences of ‘underage sex without consent’!

What time is it?     It is never time for a quick fix when so much is at stake!

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OpSweepItUndertheRug

Tomorrow it will be two months to the day since the tragic death of Rehtaeh Parsons!   Two months since Angel Rehteah burst upon the collective consciousness of caring folks around the country and even the world!

Our provincial government was utterly unprepared for the universal outrage generated by Rehtaeh’s tragedy!    At every step of the way, playing politics has superceded any meaningful action that could have been taken!   The following timeline simply highlights this!

April 7th – Rehtaeh Parsons is taken off life support and her story reaches out to the world when Angel Rehtaeh is created.   Response is immediate as Rehtaeh’s story skyrocketed through the social networking world!

April 9th – A sensitively written article in the Herald, “Who Failed Rehtaeh Parsons? “, catapults the story into the mainstream media.   Rehtaeh’s story quickly grows legs and appears in mainstream media outlets around the world!

April 9th – Nova Scotia Justice Minister initially refuses to reopen the Rehtaeh Parsons case, stating that “I have confidence in their investigative experience, and I have no reason at this time to question that.”      Amidst the comments on this story is one very notable one from Anonymous stating that OpJustice4Rehtaeh is underway!     Hours later, after an outpouring of public outrage, Landry “revisits review of the case”

April 11th – Anonymous issue a press release launching OpJustice4Retaeh

April 12th – Halifax Police launch internal review of the Rehtaeh Parsons case

April 12th   The RCMP announce that they are ‘worried about vigilante justice”

April 12th    Police reopen Rehtaeh Parsons Case

April 14th   Anonymous publish a YouTube video on opjustice4rehtaeh

April 15th   Dexter orders an independent review of the Rehtaeh Parsons case   It should be noted that this review will not actually begin until the newly reopened criminal investigation is done.

April 18th – Two experts are appointed to review Halifax School Board’s role in the Rehtaeh Parsons case

April 23rd – Rehtaeh’s parents meet with Canada’s Prime Minister

May 13th – the review panel of experts release their interim report and state that they will focus on solutions not blame

June 6th – Nova Scotia announces that it will be hiring five cyberbullying investigators

What is missing from this picture?    Have any charges been laid?   Of course not!    Why?  The NDP government are hoping that the public furor will die down and people will forget all about the Rehtaeh Parson’s Case!    

Indeed, it has been suggested on Facebook that our provincial government have simply launched OpSweepItUndertheRug  …. a catchy little name that I suspect will also soon grow legs and gallop around the social networking world!

How can you help?   Besides reminding your MLA that you have neither forgiven the indifference that was shown to this child nor forgotten that rape culture is still live and well in the police and school systems in this province?

Tomorrow there is a Facebook Event called Hands Up for Rehtaeh !    In the words of the organizers

On April 7th, 2013, 17 year-old Rehtaeh Parsons died from suicide.Her suicide has been linked to a photo of her rape (17 months prior) being circulated via texting among her school and community and the failure of the Canadian justice system in adequately addressing the assault and its aftermath.In light of this, Steubenville, and numerous other rapes and sexual assaults in the news, we are making a call to action.

We are tired of girls and women being treated like sexual objects and the effect rape culture has on global society.To that end, we are organizing a global day of awareness on violence against women, particularly rape culture (the institutional bias against victims and failure to prevent rape and sexual assault).

We ask you to join us on June 7th and write “Rehtaeh” on your wrist to let the world know you stand against rape culture.

Also: post pictures of your wrist (with “Rehtaeh” written on it) on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and explain why you’re doing so.

Hashtag on Instagram and Twitter with #handsup4rehtaeh.

Her mother has given us her blessing for this event.

 
What time is it?   Tomorrow it is time to do this one simple thing … to Stand Up for Rehtaeh and lend the strength of your voice to this call for change!
 
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We won’t be fooled again!

I love living in the Valley!   What’s not to love?   The Zone 6b climate is as easy on the gardener as the garden!   Even better, it is lovely to live somewhere without ‘daily smog advisories’!   Best of all of course is the comfort and ease that comes from finally …. after a lifetime of moving …. being able to put down roots!

However, I have been told that met techs ,,,, or weathermen in civilian speak … are not normally quite as excited to be posted here!    Why?   It only takes one look at Google Earth to realize how utterly surrounded the Valley is by water. 

Between the Bay of Fundy and the big lakes back on the mountain,  there is unlimited potential for weather forecasters to look foolish!    To be perfectly honest, I have lost track of how many times I have scooped 36 inches of partly cloudy out of the lane!

It should, however, be much simpler for our politicians in this province to fulfill their promises!   Sadly, it seldom is!     Why?   Should they not respond in a full and complete matter to concerns raised by the very people who elected them?   Of course they should!   Instead, we so often see studies serving as a substitute for meaningful action!

Two months ago tonight, Rehtaeh Parsons was driven by desperation to hang herself!   In spite of the fact that her entire school saw the horrible pictures that so shamed her when they were shared  …. not one of the school staff reported the child pornography floating around their halls!   

Even worse, the Keystone Kops looked positively professional compared to the part the police played in their parody of an investigation!  In what other crime would police take the criminals word for it that “I did not do it”   What other victim of any other crime would have to suffer the shame of such indifference from the police who were supposed to protect her?  

Even more horrible was that it took a strong swell of social networking support at the grassroots level before our provincial Justice minister stopped defending the way the Rehtaeh Parsons case was (mis)handled!

What caused that change?    Was it the international attention this story received?    Or the negative image it reflected on the Nova Scotia Justice System?    Without a doubt, it was strongly influenced by the special interest taken by Anonymous with OpJustice4Rehtaeh

Whatever the reason, there was a new flurry of activity!    Our Prime Minister met with Rehtaeh’s parents … twice!     Our Premier hopped on the bandwagon … or should I say flew to Ottawa to join in … as well as attending the funeral!     A new investigation was launched!    And in true political style … a study was set up by two well-respected experts on bullying!

It has been two months today … and to date the only thing we have heard is an interim report from the two experts that clearly states that they will not be laying any blame!    Really?    No blame?    Truth and No Consequences is the new name of the game apparently 😦

Not to be mean, but how on earth can parents expect their children to be properly protected if there are no consequences for the indifference and apathy that drove Rehtaeh to her death?

Let us be crystal clear about one thing!   Rehtaeh’s case is NOT an isolated incident!    Since her Mother found the courage to come forward in the middle of her grief, other parents and young women have begun to bring their own stories forward.    If there is one, single upside to this whole tragedy, it is that Leah’s determination to see justice for her daughter has opened the lid on an ugly Pandora’s box in this province.

That is of course that here in beautiful Nova Scotia, rape culture is still strongly embedded in our school and justice systems.    That too many of our young men deliberately overlook the obvious bit that it is not possible for a drunk woman of any age to give legal consent!

Sadder still of course is that there now seems to be strong evidence that at least one of the criminals who raped Rehtaeh has gone on to repeat the crime!   Why would he not?   He raped a girl and he liked it and he told everyone about it and even had the pictures to prove it … AND STILL THE POLICE TOOK HIS WORD OVER THAT OF THE VICTIM?    Really … why would any young man in this province have any motivation to behave properly ?     

Last week we did see in the media that the police charged a Nova Scotia youth for making child porn .  While it was promising to see that this was brought to light so quickly ( Police found out on April 8th and laid charges on May 2nd) … this case also serves to highlight the inactivity in the “new” Rehtaeh Parsons case!  

Clearly we do not need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows!  The NDP Bobsled Team are clearly hoping that nobody has noticed that they have substituted promises for action … which is of course how they won the last provincial election!

What time is it?   It is time to remind your MLA’s and our Premier … and that cast of clowns he calls a Cabinet … that we will not forget this when we go to the polls!   Fool us once … shame on you!   Fool us twice …..

PS … perhaps our police should have a chat with the West Mercia police, eh?

poster_Worc