Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Posted by Madi Lussier at 7:25 PM  


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Posted by Madi Lussier at 3:49 PM  


Friday, October 10, 2008

August 9, 2008- Freddy Villanueva, 18, was shot dead by police during a late-night confrontation with police in a Montreal North parking lot. The death of Villanueva sparked a riot in the borough.
Dany Villanueva, 22, Freddy Villanueva’s brother, already had a serious criminal record. On the night of the killing, he was playing dice for money knowing that this is illegal. Freddy Villanueva was with him and he began to shout when the police followed the procedure required to immobilize Dany Villanueva.
On his blog, Richard Dupuis challenges the readers with the idea that Dany Villanueva is responsible for the death of his brother, Freddy. Read his blog for more details. (http://richard3.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/mort-de-freddy-villanueva-son-frere-dany-est-il-responsable/).

“Villanueva, burn in hell!”
While on a bus, I saw this image. The person who wrote down these words might know something no one else knows about this case as there is no place for forgiveness in his/her heart.
What made this person feel like this?
It is, obviously, fierce hatred against the riots following the death, hatred against the mentality that leads individuals to such behavior. It is hatred against what some call their constitutional right to question and condemn every single step made by the police.
It is hatred against gang life, gang members and insecurity that dominate Montreal-Nord. It is hatred against the habitual practice of victimizing the criminals and criminalizing the victims.
What happens if every single time a teen, especially non-white, is killed by the police? Should the community start rioting, looting and destroying private and public property?

People have always been superstitious about mentioning the name of a dead person. It was the fear that the dead might come back. Such a belief is traceable all over the world. By wishing for a soul to "rest in peace," people hoped that the spirit would stay “peacefully” within the dead body.
Today, "May his soul rest in peace" is used more as a sign of respect for the dead person rather than the maintenance of a superstition. Even so, cursing the dead remains a strong taboo in our contemporary world.
The fear of speaking ill about the dead can be traced back to Roman times. The Romans strongly believed that doing so the dead were to return as ghosts and haunt the living.
Reading “Villanueva, burn in hell!” was unexpected. I believe that the person who wrote this must find his/her own peace and let it go.
After all, hell might be already here.

Posted by Madi Lussier at 8:12 AM 0 comments  


Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

The elections are knocking at the door. Some doors are open, others stay closed. Many are tired of “trick or treat”.
Canadians will vote on Tuesday, October the 14th. After the debates (in French and in English), Stephen Harper is leading and not only thanks to his linguistic abilities.
French speakers Gilles Duceppe or Stephan Dion, when it comes to English, are visibly struggling to be coherent. During the English debate, uncomfortable because of the language, their performance was less vivid than during the French debate.
As they were arguing, the candidates did not bring anything new. It was the same, old rhetoric, aiming mainly to discredit the adversary.
Who are the candidates in the 2008 Canadian elections? In addition to Dion and Duceppe, Elizabeth May, a newcomer.
Besides not knowing when to listen and when to speak, the Green Party’s candidate, Elizabeth May, can not represent Canada as a PM as she is politically not mature enough and I did not notice the gram of political talent during the two performances. As her French is simply deplorable (during the French debate she made elementary errors like: « Vous ne comprends pas », « Une question intéressée »,
« Vous avez peut-être souviens », « Les nations premières c’est très importante ». Imagine her having a conversation with Nicholas Sarkozy…) May has no chance in Quebec, as Dion and Duceppe have no chance in the non-French speaking provinces. On the other hand, May doesn’t have the social skills a PM requires in order to conduct or be part of an elegant debate.
She behaved more like a chicken in distress on the shore of the lake, hysterical that her chicks would drown, not knowing that “her chicks” are ducklings…
Dion and Duceppe cannot become Canada’s next PM as their English is simply ludicrous and more ridiculous would be for the Canadian PM to use an interpreter. Representing an English speaking country, the PM is expected to be perfectly fluent in English.
What would you think if the British or Australian PM would be struggling when speaking English?
Who else is on the list of the candidates?
Jack Layton and the actual PM, Stephen Harper. Both anglophones, they were capable of learning French, reaching a good command of it and they are the only two candidates who are truly bilingual.
Personally, I say no to Layton. Why? I smell too many fundamentalist Muslims financially back his campaign. The sweet and sour soup à la Layton doesn’t look appetizing.
In conclusion, the only one remaining on my list is Harper.

Posted by Madi Lussier at 7:57 PM 0 comments  


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

This Saudi cleric (a "doctor in religion” perhaps?), came with this juvenile idea: veiled women should not be given the slit for two eyes anymore, but a niqab with a hole for only… one eye. Is his intention to create a new sect, the sect of the cyclops? No, of course not. The reason behind this silly story is very simple. We’ll get there a bit later.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. As activist Wajeha Huwaider is now publicly campaigning for a change to the law, we might witness a truly weird reality: one-eyed women driving cars.
Besides totally disregarding these women’s freedom, Muhammad al-Habadan is also eager to endanger their health, as using one eye may lead to serious sight malfunctions. Moreover, who knows, maybe one eye might grow bigger than the other one and through evolution, move eventually slightly to the centre of the face, while what once was a second eye might lose its function and simply vanish. It sounds like a cheap, sci-fi scenario, but who cares, as we will not see this?
What a pity that the sheikh himself will not survive to see, with … both his eyes, the world of the one-eyed women.
The sheikh is sly. The truth lies in Futurama. He seems to be fixated on Leela, the one-eyed captain of the Planet Express Ship from Futurama, the American sitcom created by Matt Groening. Thus, under the pretext of the irritating makeup, the sheikh desperately wants to see… a cyclop. He wants this today and now, not in the distant future, to ease and conceal his surreptitious adoration of Leela.
1. If women will be given a niqab with a hole for only one eye, where should the hole be situated: on the left or on the right side? As an “eye job” for a middle option is not possible at the moment.
2. What makes this cleric believe that if women are allowed to look at the world with only one eye, they won’t use kohl and mascara anymore?
3. Why not just put a barrel around their heads and give women a periscope? Thus, no one will see them.
4. If the periscope is excruciatingly too advanced technology for the oil owners, women could simply be put in a sack, like those used for rice, flour or potatoes. Thus, a new profession could be created in Saudi Arabia, opening the market to foreign workers: wheel barrel pusher. Women could be moved around in this environmentally friendly means of transport.
5. If this scenario is also too complicated, there is another thing left: the old basket. I intentionally use “old”, as, who knows, a new basket might turn on some perverts and make them rape the women wearing new, shiny baskets on their heads. Here, a little technical problem could get in the way: how tight the basket should be woven to let the woman see, but not be seen? I am sure that the Koran could give them the answer.
(This could be a divine revelation for Muhammad al-Habadan.)

Image source for Leela: http://www.fox.com/futurama/bios/leela.htm

Posted by Madi Lussier at 7:59 PM 0 comments  


Monday, October 6, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Covered women are not something out of the ordinary anymore in the western world. You can see them everywhere, sometimes in the least expected places, like cosmetics departments looking for hair dye, make up or simply in a women’s garments department, admiring some not quite orthodox lingerie.
You can see them on the beach, at festivals, you name it, perhaps on a mission given by their imam.

I might say that these covered women want to prove us, maybe a bit too hard, that they feel integrated in this society. Plus, I might deduce that our world pleases them more than their world. Here, covered or not, a woman can walk hand in hand with her partner, a serious misconduct punishable in an Islamic country, governed by Sharia. They can sit at the same table at a restaurant and enjoy their meal together, as a couple.
The debate over the wearing of the hijab, niqab or burka or other drapes in our world has not ended and it is not likely to end too soon.
Opinions are divided between those who defend the drapes, considering that they do not interfere with the values of a secular society and those who are against these garments as they are perceived as segregationist and insulting to western women and their history of fight for equal rights with men.
Those who wear a hijab in Canada also defend the headdress as they declare that wearing it is their free decision.
Other emancipated Muslim women, especially Iranian, cannot conceive wearing any of these garments, as they are seen reminders of a constrictive society they have willingly left behind the day they have decided to emigrate.
As the debate goes on, so do we and I would like to discuss the use of high heels by more and more Muslim women who wear hijab. High heels tend to replace the traditional, flat, man like hideous slippers.
High heels and hijab? It is, indeed, contradictory. As Muslim scholars say that the true Muslim woman is modest in clothing as she is in all other respects, trying to be as invisible as possible (by the way, how is this goal reached in our world where covered women are anything but “invisible’, as they do not blend in the context, as they do in a Muslim country?).
Make up, sometimes as heavy as the eyelids and eyelashes can carry, high heels, tight jeans… what is next? Perhaps, hijabbed women… smoking? Modesty and invisibility with heavy loads of mascara and high heels is a difficult to achieve goal.
As they defend the hijab as a fundamental element of their spirituality, I am thinking that they should also respect the rest of the requirements of their religion, thus, they shouldn’t hold hands with their partners for instance.
As I see it, those who wear the hijab here make a statement of provocation and not one of conviction.
You want to wear the hijab? Very well, then respect the rest of the interdictions.
So, you who cover your “precious” hair (by the way, your hair should be aerated for hygiene purposes) and expose the rest of your shapes, don’t you dare to consider yourself more virtuous than western women.
Don’t you dare to talk about modesty and don’t you or your husband dare to criticize western women.
You wear a hijab, high heels and make up?
In our world, prostitutes assume what they do and never try to hide what they are. They deserve my respect more than a hypocrite hijab on high heels.

Posted by Madi Lussier at 1:25 PM 0 comments  


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pirates have been around forever. Their tales of looting the seas, pillaging villages and sailing across the globe survived long after the golden age of piracy. Cilician, Viking, Arab, Slavic or Chinese pirates all took to the sea, some as late as the last century.
Others ended their pirate “careers” as far back as medieval times.
Surprisingly, a few are still practicing this antiquated means of subsistence. Among them, the Somalis.
While other nations develop new technologies used in medicine to cure incurable diseases, or explore the universe and oceans for new forms of life, today’s pirates are incapable to relate to modern times, remaining in the rear of our epoch.
I just read that three Somali pirates have died during a gun fight among themselves on the Ukrainian-operated cargo ship they hijacked off Somalia's coast.
The episode is tragically funny. Besides, it presents an accurate depiction of the geographical area populated mainly by rival clans. What are the chances for these clans to put their egos aside, work for the benefit of their country and stop relying on foreign help?
There are voices trying to victimize the pirates, suggesting an explanation of the piracy consequential to extreme poverty and lack of opportunities.
What the rest of the world should know is that Somalia is not exclusively famine and fly-ridden children.
Some claim that Somali piracy is triggered by hunger as they seem to target ships delivering UN food aid, however crew members have been kidnapped for ransom. The French luxury yacht seized on 4 April, 2008 or the Hong Kong chemical tanker seized on 15 September, 2008 are only two examples that defy the hunger theory.
Pirates are almost exclusively based in Puntland, a rich coastal region of Somalia abundant in fish and other resources, exporting large quantities of seafood, dried fish, tuna, frankincense, gum Arabic and sea salt.
Recently, the pirates have hijacked ships carrying Russian tanks to Nigeria (“nice” job, Russia!) and 30,000 tonnes of petrochemicals (a Malaysian tanker).
All nations affected must act immediately. Ignoring the escalation of violence at sea gives Somalis a green light on piracy. A country without a national legal system, Somalia lacks the juridical apparatus to crush sea piracy. Some clans might even be against criminalization, just as they opposed the abolition of slavery in the past.
Reading about piracy today, when advanced societies travel in space and discover new planets, is like reading a book about cave men.
They should be sentenced to community service for at least 10 years.


Posted by Madi Lussier at 9:01 PM 0 comments