Here are my thoughts on today’s headlines. Everything but the titles is written by yours truly.

Conservatives’ irrational crime laws make no sense, cost billions of dollars by Neil Boyd:

The Conservatives have decided to allot billions of dollars towards the construction of new federal and provincial prisons.

This is yet another step in the Tories’ crackdown-on-crime movement, like their crime bill proposals and mandatory minimum sentencing for people who grow more than six marijuana plants.

According to Boyd, a professor and associated director of the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, studies have shown that rates of imprisonment are relative to the confidence of the people in the legislative and justice systems of the county.

In other words, a lack of confidence in our systems of governance is a significant factor of high rates of imprisonment.

Globally, Canada has the highest rates of incarceration and comparatively has high crime rates.

Where is our confidence?

More importantly, why don’t we have confidence in our democratic legislative and justice systems?

Iran’s leaders launch a new crackdown on ‘immodest dress’ by Rasa Sowlat:

Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed to “deal harshly with corruption in society” to ensure that the faces of chastity and Iranian virtues, religion and society remained unblemished within the country.

Consequently, women can be fined over $1,000 if deemed too fashionable, and suntans, nail polish, cosmetics and improper hijabs all result in financial penalties.

Approximately 27 government agencies are promoting Khamenei’s vision of how citizens should dress and how men and women should interact. The state has also proposed to take over 14,000 private kindergartens to ensure that the “bad hijab” campaign’s values reach youth at an early age.

Iran’s interior minister stated that children can only play games that uphold Islamic culture and are religiously correct.

This is where the problem lies.

Khamenei is the ultimate leader of said campaign. After his recent announcement to “deal harshly with corruption in society,” prayer leaders across the country began preaching his values.

It is not a god who deems it sinful to wear lipstick or sport a tan; these are the corrupt values of one man, hidden behind the mask of religion.

CP news service to privatize by Mark Iype:

After 93 years as a non-profit cooperative, The Canadian Press will be placed under private ownership, according to a tentative deal.

CTV-globemedia, Torstar Corp. and Gesca, CP’s biggest members, will become equal partners in what will be called Canadian Press Enterprises, a for-profit entity.

Should the deal be finalized, the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and La Presse, owned by the three companies respectively, would become papers written, edited, manufactured and sold with the aim to achieve a profit.

Freedom of the press doesn’t mean that the press, what should be a reliable and independent source of information, is free from conflicts of interest…

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Here are my thoughts on today’s headlines. Everything but the titles is written by yours truly.

More than 600 arrested during protests by Linda Nguyen and Juliet O’Neill:

Over 600 arrests were made this weekend as demonstrators protested the G8 and G20 summits hosted by Toronto.

Police cars were set on fire, windows were smashed and objects were thrown at officers.

But only by a such a small percentage of the protestors.

A handful of irresponsible citizens, who think that vandalism and violence are necessary to prove their points, tarnish the value of our right to peaceful assembly.

Instead of sensationalizing the actions of a few, those actually breaking laws should be quietly arrested with little media coverage: it doesn’t have to be covered up, but it doesn’t deserve attention either.

G8 pledge comes up short. Surprised? by Craig and Marc Kielburger:

Statements and accusations that Canada spent over $1-billion on security for the G8 and G20 summits have been all over the news.

While on the topic of billions, the G8 fell $19.5 billion short of it’s goal to send $50 billion in aid to developing countries by 2010.

In 2008, $300 million was promised to Haiti. Unfortunately, only 30 per cent of that had been delivered when the early 2010 earthquake struck.

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Here are my thoughts on today’s headlines. Everything but the titles is written by yours truly.

Supreme Court to decide future of safe injection site by Janice Tibbetts:

Even after two court rulings that Vancouver’s Insite is allowed to stay open, the federal government has once again challenged the final verdict by taking the battle to the Supreme Court of Canada in the hopes of shutting the site down.

Before visiting Insite personally, I was strongly against its function: supplying needles to drug addicts on the downtown eastside, and essentially encouraging illegal drug use.

But after talking to some of the site’s facilitators, I now understand that this isn’t a black and white issue. The principle behind Insite is that addicts are going to use either way, so we may as well give them the option of injecting with clean needles, which reduces the risk of spreading HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C.

The spread of said diseases not only affects users, it also puts a strain on the healthcare system.

Programs like Insite clearly don’t fall under conservative ideals, but what would shutting down the site be achieving?

If the Tories want to discourage drug use, a better first step would be tougher sentencing and penalties for drug related crimes, a step that would reduce the number of people relying on Insite for health purposes.

RCMP Taser use drops, but mentally ill remain more-frequent targets by Philip Ling:

Down from an all-time high in 2007 with 1,583 incidents, Taser use dropped to 276 incidents in 2009.

Since the public inquiry into the Tasering and death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, new measures have been implemented to ensure the proper use of Tasers by RCMP.

Police are no longer allowed to use the weapon on uncooperative suspects, and are only supposed to be fired when there is a threat to the public or the police.

First nations want ‘reconciliation’ on issue of eagle-killing by Lori Culbert:

Canadian law prohibits the killing of eagles for any purpose, but First nations argue that their traditional practices, which involve killing eagles for the creation of special regalia, are constitutionally protected.

This issue is a part of a broader and ongoing dilemma: Canadian laws vs. constitutional rights.

Several years ago, the law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets was challenged by those whose religion requires them to wear a turban.

A similar conflict arose over whether or not women wearing a burqa should have to reveal their faces at airports when using passports.

First nations’ rights to practice tradition may be constitutionally protected, but so is the right to freedom of religion: if the government makes an exception for one group to operate outside of the laws we all abide by, then the same must go for all of the other groups.

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@HayleyWoodin

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