themadpoker: (never giving up)
I've found these two articles useful primers for beginning to understand what's happening in Libya and Bahrain right now.

What's Happening in Libya: Explained

What's Happening in Bahrain: Explained

I also found this news round-up on tumblr. It's current as of yesterday.

If you're looking for ways to help, Avaaz.org is currently working to black out proof the protests. They're a really good social justice organization in general, so you may want to sign up for their newsletter to stay updated on their work.

Both Al Jazeera and Jadaliyya are offering coverage of the protests. This article on Libya is being continuously updated, it's current as of two hours ago.

If you know of other organizations offering coverage or aid please feel free to contribute links in the comments. I'll edit this post to add anything else in.

EDIT: Online petition to the UN to send help to Libya.

Rec

Feb. 5th, 2011 12:24 pm
themadpoker: (reading)
Why Mubarak Is Out In order to understand where Egypt is going, and what shape democracy might take there, we need to set the extraordinarily successful popular mobilizations into their military, economic and social context. What other forces were behind this sudden fall of Mubarak from power? And how will this transitional military-centered government get along with this millions-strong protest movement?

I found this article incredibly helpful in giving me context for understanding who all the players involved in the protest are. Jadaliyya and Al-Jazeera are the best sources for Egypt coverage I've found so far (if you know any other sites doing good work please let me know). I've been watching the news and reading The Toronto Star and the disparity in useful analysis/information is very clear.
themadpoker: (busy girl)
I haven’t posted about the whole Burn a Quran Day fiasco because to be honest, I don’t really want to think about it. I’ve already talked to people about it offline, I don’t particularly feel like having to do the same on lj. This youtube video expresses my feelings pretty well though.

Class

Jan. 26th, 2010 06:12 am
themadpoker: (=D)
Okay a wee bit of background on my POLS 1000 course. It's required for first year poli sci students and I suspect my professor is under the impression that the whole class decided to take this course while knowing nothing about politics. He has this tendency to repeat every single one of his points multiple times with only slight word changes. (Sample: The major political unit of Athens was the polis. In Athen politics were carried out in the polis. The political arena of Athens was the polis. And did I mention the polis?) Also he will make a huge deal out of the most basic things (let's not talk about just how MUCH time he spent outlining basic conservative, liberal, and socialist ideology)

So yeah. Basically I spend a lot of time in that course bored out of my mind. Sometimes though I will have a bit of fun when he expresses his own political opinions. Like today when someone asked if Macleans was an acceptable source for the paper we have to hand in soon.

He said no on account of Macleans in recent years being hijacked by neo-conservatives.

Word, professor, word. Any publication with Mark Steyn as a regular columnist is a BAD PUBLICATION. (Back when my dad subscribed to Macleans I would read his column every week solely to see how he would manage to be offensive that day. He was quite creative at it!)
themadpoker: (tired)
STEPHEN HARPER PREROGUED PARLIAMENT. AGAIN.

Guys, sometimes I forget I have really legit reasons why I hate Stephen Harper. Sometimes I'm like chill out Zeineb he's only horrible for the environment and thinks the Kyoto Protocol is a socialist scheme and keeps shutting down attempts to create genuine environmental agreements, he doesn't seem so bad on other things! Like the economy. Or something. Idk.

AND THEN HE SHUTS DOWN PARLIAMENT IN THE MIDDLE OF AN INVESTIGATION REGARDING HIS GOVERNMENT'S CULPABILITY IN THE TORTURE OF AFGHAN DETAINEES AND I REMEMBER.

Edit: Oh and welcome new additions to the f-list! I promise I am not usually this full of rage. Just whenever I am reminded that my government is nowhere near as awesome as I would like it to be. Happy New Year!
themadpoker: (butterfly)
Guys, I can't believe it, our politics are actually being exciting. ^.^ And I know; oh noes economy and all that but seriously. This is cool. Usually I have to look to the US for drama.

So Candian f-listers (or anyone else who has been watching CBC lately). What's your opinion on the coalition? Do you think it really is a big threat during these 'unstable economic times'? Do you think Harper is clutching at straws to discredit them? Is two months way too early to be going for a new government? Has Harper already done enough faily economic and environmental policies for you to not care anyways? Opinions please.

P.S. Also, what Layton. I kind of - I don't even know how to describe your speech okay. Let's put it this way, if I was Harper I would probably be pinning your picture up to a dartboard right now. >_> Guys, why is the leader of the NDP reminding me of that one annoying kid who is stupidly pompous and does not know when to quit? I like the NDP. Cease and desist, sir.
themadpoker: (Default)
I don't think I can stop smiling today. I have a math test which I am not remotely prepared for in two hours. Normally this would depress me. But nothing can depress me today because OBAMA WON.

America, my beautiful neighbour country. I knew I could count on you to do the right thing this year.

^.^!

P.S. Cookies in North Caf to celebrate!

P.P.S. Guys, I don't even know what to do right now. If I had fireworks I would be setting them off. Only not cause I'm not sure how and I'm pretty sure my neighbourhood wouldn't appreciate that at 6 in the morning Maybe I'm going to continue jumping up and down for a bit.
themadpoker: (Default)
Umm. You're kidding me, right? Because the true test of your citizenship is your clothing?

GAH. This story makes me seriously unhappy. I know a girl who decided she wanted to wear the niqab (she's 15 right now I think although I don't know when she made the decision. I met her at the Reviving the Islamic Youth conference last year and she was wearing it then). It was her own decision, not her family's. And I really can't see any valid way you could make the connection between her wearing the niqab and practicing radical Islam. Apparently they know how in France though.

“She has adopted a radical practice of her religion, incompatible with essential values of the French community, particularly the principle of equality of the sexes,” the ruling said.


Really? I mean let's just ignore the assertion that wearing a niqab is a radical practice (and the implication that they have the right to arbitrarily decide what constitutes a radical practice and ban it despite it not having any impact on anyone beside the wearer herself) and look at that bit about equality of the sexes.

So. How is it practicing gender equality to deny the ability of a woman to make her own choices? Because Ms. Silmi pretty clearly states the niqab is her own choice.

“They say I wear the niqab because my husband told me so,” she said. “I want to tell them: It is my choice. I take care of my children, and I leave the house when I please. I have my own car. I do the shopping on my own. Yes, I am a practicing Muslim, I am orthodox. But is that not my right?”


That can't possibly be true ma'am. There's no way you would voluntarily adopt a practice you view as part of your religion. Particularly not one I think promotes gender inequality. Obviously your husband choose for you. You poor oppressed thing.

Also in answer to your question? No.

I wouldn't want to be a Muslim in France. =(
themadpoker: (Default)
Those of you on my f-list who are Canadian: you may remember the news stories about the Toronto 18 from 2 years ago. For those who aren't I'll give a quick re-cap.

The Toronto 18 are a group of 18 men who were captured in a counter-terrorist raid in the GTA on June 2 and June 3, 2006. 12 were adults, 6 were youth. They were accused of plotting to blow up Parliament buildings and planning to behead Stephen Harper (that'd be our prime minister). They were all over the news at the time, being billed as 'Canada's first homegrown terrorist cell'. There was a big media frenzy over them for awhile and then they disappeared. Completely. At least, until last week-end when an article was published in the Sunday Star by Thomas Walkom, National Affairs columnist.

Link to article.

In the same issue, there was another article, written anonymously by a sibling of one of the accused.

Link to article.

Reading these 2 articles really hit me hard. I had no idea that there were people being subjected to this sort of treatment in my own province - in the city where I go to school. I've never thought of Canada as a place where human rights could be denied, where someone could be accused and treated as though they were convicted before going through a trial. I didn't think I lived in a country where unconvicted prisoners could be kept in a jail cell for 23 and 1/2 hours a day or where guards could abuse a prisoner and not be held accountable. And I certainly didn't think I lived in a country where someone would report this happening to them:

"Yes I have seen the psychiatrist many times and I was told that I have post-traumatic stress syndrome and I was prescribed anti-depressants. I didn't go through any treatment simply because I was told that whatever I am going through will stop as soon as I was out on bail. Now I'm released from bail and I barely have any conditions but nothing much has changed. I'm still not even close to being the same person as I was before the arrest. I'm a completely different man, someone who keeps asking himself if he's really gone crazy ... I suffer from memory loss sometimes.


I assumed that in Canada everyone - everyone - had the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. And I guess I was wrong.

For those of you who feel like I do, there is a petition online that is trying to fix this problem. Their goals are outlined as follows:

"...we demand that Fahim Ahmad, Zakaria Amara and Mohammed Dirie:

- Be released immediately from solitary confinement;

- Be guaranteed conditions of detention that meet the minimum standards provided to other detainees;

- Be guaranteed their constitutional rights through the establishment of safeguards by the appropriate authorities.


You can sign the petition over here. Their goal is 10 000 signatures, currently they're at 1228. If you'd like to do further independant research, there's a website devoted to the case of the Toronto 18 here.

-gets off soapbox- That's all folks.

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