The Hunt for Tarantino

originalQuentin is in trouble for a stand he recently took and some remarks he made.

According to a news report on MSNBC, Tarantino made a comment during a seven hour long rally in New York. This particular comment is being burned like the witches of Salem by the police unions.

“I am a human being with a conscience, and when I see murder I cannot stand by and I have to call the murdered the murdered and the murderers the murderers.”

The police is calling for the boycott of Tarantino’s movies after branding him a “cop hater” and are threatening to “hurt” him financially between now and the release of his upcoming movie.

There are so many things wrong with this picture! Tarantino is a celebrity, but then he is a citizen of the USA as well. He has as much right as any other citizen to go out and voice his opinion and join a protest.

Isn’t it murder when an unarmed man is shot and killed? And isn’t it all the more shocking when those charged with protecting the innocent, the general population abuse their power to kill?

It is fair to be outraged at this, but every side has a story. Sure, there are some bad cops, but mostly there are good cops, cops who stick their necks out every time they put on their uniform and go out on duty.

But Tarantino isn’t the only human being. Cops are human beings too…they have families and they want to go back to those families after their shift. So when they are out, on a suspicious call and the protagonist doesn’t comply with what they are asking him to do, isn’t it only human for the cop to be the first one to use force?

Let’s pause and think about America for a second. This is a place where mentally deranged people are able to go out and freely buy a gun, not only that, they can build veritable arsenals. So every person a cop is engaging has the potential to kill that cop.

If I am a cop, faced with such a situation, I am sure I would try to use force before my adversary does. This is just common sense, even a reflex, this is why the police in the USA have gotten so militarized, because they have to contend with an armed and dangerous population.

The Americans are vociferous in protecting an archaic second amendment right, which was writ into law in the 1700’s in which time the evolution of weapons into automatics with the capacity kill tens and hundreds of people with a single gun was unfathomable.

The real issue is not being discussed as both sides in this ongoing debate fail to realize that neither is really at fault. At fault is this old fashioned law which has brought the American populace to a crossroads. Brought them to a place where they might be looking down the barrel of a civil war sparked by race relations which is based on perceived brutality by law enforcement agencies. Not to say that real brutality against a visible minority doesn’t actually happen.

It is time for Americans to really ask themselves, is this tattered old law worth protecting by sending their country into a spiral from which it will be unable to recover?

So to the police unions, stop blaming people like Tarantino and start talking about getting weapons away from citizens. If you want to be able to do your duty with fewer to zero casualties, your citizens should not be allowed to carry dangerous weapons.

And to people like Tarantino, organize and protest the real problem, the illogical second amendment law that allows ordinary citizens to carry deadly weapons. It will be a tough nut to crack, but if you start chipping away at it now, you might be able to blow this conversation open in a few years.

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I just proved Stephen Harper wrong!

Every_vote_counts“Nobody votes strategically, you and I both know that,” he said. “People vote for what they think is best for them.”

This is what Stephen Harper had to say about strategic voting. Guess what Mr. Harper, I just proved you wrong! I voted strategically in my riding and voted against you and your party! And I am not the only one! It was so good to see fellow citizens scores of them, on a comment thread telling Harper they just had!

A country isn’t just a piece of land, it isn’t just borders, it is a living breathing collective of human consciousness. Here are a few of the things that makes Canada number one in my books.

A welcoming people: One truly appreciates Canadians when crossing over from the American border into Canada. It is a breath of fresh air. Knowledgeable, helpful and kind Canadians make me proud.

Fair: I have had business dealings around the world and again it makes me proud to say that Canadians tend to be fair in their dealings. There are bad apples everywhere, but Canadians seem to bring their A game as far as ethics are concerned.

A melting pot: A country that embraces newcomers, and invites them to bring their cultural heritage with them. People don’t look at another person in a funny way if they look different. This social experiment video in Hamilton went viral and shows what Canadians are truly like. Stephen Harper is like this guy who is selling fear on the streets, it is time for voters to punch him out!

We want our Canada back Stephen Harper!

Let me know what you think after you’ve seen this video. Do you want Harper out?

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A Lot To Be Thankful About!

thanksgivingThe Great White North celebrates Thanksgiving on Monday. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Canadian Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving (FrenchAction de grâce), or Thanksgiving Day (Jour de l’action de grâce) is an annual Canadian holiday, occurring on the second Monday in October, which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. On January 31, 1957, a proclamation was issued stating Thanksgiving was to be “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.

I identify with the original sentiment, celebrate the harvest and blessings of the past year. Life is a series of ups and downs, and I am actually thankful for both. In November of last year, I became a proud Canadian Citizen. At that moment I was thankful to a person who orchestrated the downfall of a business I had worked hard to establish for twenty years!

Those family and friends who know me were amused! ‘Really, you’re happy? Why?’

My reason was pretty simple. I would never have left my native country and ventured into Canada had this person not been in my life. I ran a successful family business, my company exported products to various well known retailers in North America. In the early 2000’s we bought into a manufacturer who made a complimentary product and gave them shares in our company, becoming partners.

Within three years of working together, we decided that I should move to North America which was by far our largest market. This gave me the opportunity to be closer to my customers, interact with them more frequently and hence grow the business. So off I went into the unknown. My family followed within a year. My partner was left to run the business back home.

I worked hard, grew sales and increased margins, but we always seemed to come up short. I had to seek funding from my family to keep the business going. Seven years after getting in bed with this partner, a phone call from a cousin who had helped me out inspired me to pull the plug on my partnership. It didn’t end well. I found that there were financial irregularities at my partner’s end, it seemed his family had been siphoning off sums of money while I toiled.

My position was quite transparent, I asked him to bring in his fair share of the losses, with me having brought money in earlier so we could call it quits and move on with our lives. I have never believed in prolonged litigation as a means to resolving differences. He obviously had no such desire and was willing to make it difficult for me.

In the middle of a severe Canadian winter, I had gone overseas to meet with him and sort things out, he refused to meet me for days on end, while my family faced the winter days without me. My wife didn’t drive, my daughter was young, I thought this was his most cruel deed. So finally, we lost money, six figures, not exactly chump change.

The point of writing all this here? I am still thankful to this man. Had he not come into my life, I would have never ventured to Canada. Had he and his family not cheated me and put me through an excruciatingly difficult time, I wouldn’t have rebuilt a bigger and better business.

The lesson I learned is, I am thankful not only for the positive things that have happened to me, but also for those which have seemed negative at some point. Because it is the sum of our experiences that propels us through life; the good, the bad the ugly. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Niqab-Citizenship ceremony – A Letter to Prime Minister Harper

I read an article yesterday on CBC. Now, I am not Muslim, I am just an ordinary citizen of Canada, and Mr. Prime Minister I disagree with you. For a minute, I invite you to look at this from the perspective of the devout Muslim woman whom you are asking to give up a fundamental right.

This woman has come to Canada with her family, broken ties with her native land for better opportunities for her children. It is likely she comes from a country where she is being persecuted for her religious beliefs. She has read about Canada, a great and free land, which promises in its Charter of Rights, fundamental freedoms which she doesn’t have in her country, including freedom of conscience and religion.

Becoming a Canadian citizen for most is a moment of pride, of achievement, of belonging and acceptance. So imagine the mental torture inflicted on this woman when at this moment she is asked to either subvert her conscience and her religion or forego Canadian Citizenship, a goal she and her family have sacrificed for. You must remember that this woman has probably worn the niqab for most of her adult life, never taking it off in front of strangers, specially men. Your direction for her to remove this piece of clothing is akin to asking her to disrobe.

I don’t understand Mr. Prime Minister why you think that most Canadians would want to see this woman remove her Niqab? If she believes she is following her religion then most Canadians would want to defend her Charter Rights because that means they are defending their own rights as well. Why would they want to allow you, your ministers or any other member of government to decide what constitutes their religious beliefs.

If this was only a matter of identifying this woman, to make sure it is indeed the same person who is mentioned in the documents, this can be done in private with a female official from CIC and then the woman in question can continue to the ceremony keeping her dignity and religious beliefs intact and go on to be a law abiding Canadian citizen.

I urge you to reconsider your decision to appeal this ruling as you are wasting tax payer money to impose your will upon Canadian citizens and affect their Charter Right to freedom of conscience and religion.

To my fellow Canadians I will say this, today these ministers, instead of upholding the law and protecting our Charter of Rights, are creating division based on their personal bias and views. Tomorrow, they may not like something another group of us does and they will apply that same baton to that group. This is not just about a Muslim woman and her Niqab, this is about upholding our Charter of Rights, so please let these politicians know that we will not tolerate this.

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Stop Cop Brutality

arton3214To serve and protect, this is what the police force is supposed to do. But in the recent past, police brutality has been highlighted in various high profile incidents, from Ferguson, to New York and recently to Philadelphia.

Najee Rivera was framed by two officers of Philadelphia PD. They charged him for aggravated assault when they were the ones who assaulted him. A video found by his girlfriend proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the police officers had falsified their report and brutally beaten up this man.

Najee settled with the PD for $200k and the DA has committed to prosecuting the police officers to the full extent of the law. Despite the damning video evidence, the police officers through their lawyers are looking to prove their innocence in court.

I understand that the police has to deal with an extreme amount of pressure on the streets. Gang wars, drugs, thieves and carries, however that is no excuse to mistreat the very people they have sworn to serve. To be fair, till date I haven’t been on the receiving end of mistreatment from the police, however these instances leave me unnerved.

Citizens shouldn’t have to feel unnerved when dealing with the police. They need to be comfortable enough to approach officers for help when required. To me the problem is proper recruitment, psychological assessment and training. This can ensure that only people with the correct mental makeup are ever made officers. The other part is complete transparency. Cops should wear cameras at all times, that record their encounters with everyone they come in contact with.

In today’s advanced technological age, accomplishing this is not difficult, it just needs willingness. From our politicians, from the police department and commitment from the good officers who are sullied by the actions of the few rogues out there.

The other part towards a better situation is interaction with the community. An ongoing outreach program encouraging dialogue between cops and community will also go a long way to fostering goodwill.

We really need a police force that respects the citizens that actually employ them. Let’s make a change.

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Life for Dummies

“My life is going as per plan.” Said Victor as we drove from NYC to Toronto. “I believe that I have full control of my life.”

I was aghast at hearing this. My friend actually believed that he was in control. To me this was the most ridiculous concept.

When I was in twelfth grade, my father had a heart attack, and went through bypass surgery. I had to take over our family business at the time. While my friends finished high school, went to university, I was working full time. This wasn’t my plan!

A couple of years later my mother was diagnosed of breast cancer. Again this wasn’t all planned out. The doctor suggested conservative surgery and five years after she had a relapse, again not as per plan.

She passed away at a young forty nine years of age, twelve days before my daughter was born, again if I were in control, I wouldn’t have let this happen.

And the list goes on and on.

I explained all this to him. I said life is so unpredictable that to think this way can be extremely damaging to him. Because when life lashes out at him, and he feels he is in control, it might break him.

Towards the end of the drive, he refused to acknowledge this so I just gave up. I got a phone call from him the next day. “You’re right,” he said grudgingly, “You’ve just completely changed my world view.”

His wife went on divorce him soon and came after him in such a vicious way he just couldn’t imagine. They had been married for under two years. She had him reported to the police, and took him through legal proceedings for three years and finally took him for a quarter of a million dollars.

Suffice to say it wasn’t as per his plan!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “(Your Thing) for Dummies.”

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Light – Another name for my Favourite Person.

Mother SilhouetteShe was the first person that held me, looked into my face and smiled. She fed me, clothed me and taught me my first words. I grew up listening to her directions, her voice shaping my thoughts and actions. If I wanted something, she was the one to ask, if I had a problem she would solve it for me. When she wasn’t around it seemed like I was lost at sea, when she was, the biggest burdens felt light. I grew up to be her friend. I grew up to respect her for who she was, for her choices and I grew up to be proud of her. She isn’t here anymore. She died at a young age. She was only forty nine when cancer took her away from me. But in her death were the biggest lessons of all. People who she had only met once or twice, shop owners she usually bought wares from, doctors, nurses, pathologists who treated her came to say goodbye. That is how she touched people. All we take away when we die are the good wishes of those around us. No worldly article can go with us to the other side. Another lesson from her death was how to die with dignity. She knew the cancer had gone to her liver. Doctor’s suggested aggressive treatment, yet gave a poor prognosis. She decided to forego any further treatment. She wanted to spend what little time she had with her family. She sorted out her affairs. Divided up her belongings between us siblings, wrote letters to all those she was close with, something they could open after she was gone. And then she closed her eyes. I saw the last breath leave her body. Yet, she is with me. Always and forever. My mother. In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Do or Die.”

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