5:30 – 6:00 pm: Break into heterosexuals’ houses in order to redecorate them.
6:00-6:45pm: Sensible dinner.
Go forth and read.
5:30 – 6:00 pm: Break into heterosexuals’ houses in order to redecorate them.
6:00-6:45pm: Sensible dinner.
This morning, the Washington Post writes that "More than one-third of American women are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV)...by the time they are 24 years old..." This is an awfully interesting statistic, given the recent foofaraw about Gardasil, the anti-HPV vaccine. In fact, the subject group of the study was females aged 14 to 24, making the protests against vaccinating 12-year-olds seem naïve and reckless. The silver lining is that prevalence of the strains known to cause cancer are lower than previously thought.
The end of the article notes that "Merck, which sells its product under the trade name Gardasil, has been lobbying for laws requiring the vaccine for schoolgirls. After criticism from politicians and editorial writers, it recently said it will stop doing so." This, I do not understand. I mean, I have mixed feelings about laws that require immunization (on the one hand, it limits free choice, on the other, required vaccines are usually funded which means they're not required lightly and the public health benefits tend to be huge...when was the last time you got polio/smallpox/etc?). But why stop a drug company from lobbying for the vaccine? I mean, I assume the politicians can review the information and make a rational decision. I always worry when measures are taken to "protect" officials from undue influence...since uhm, isn't it a job qualification that they not be susceptible to undue influence?
Random aside: I could swear I've been told/read numerous times that untreated HPV can cause infertility. According to the Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Canada, that's true of chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, all by way of pelvic inflammatory disease. Not so much HPV. From this, we learn that Gardasil ≠ no more pap smears.
Expect a lot of these. Why? Because it's reading week, and even I can only take so much CPAC.
Officially ON NOTICE is the Quebec Soccer Association that lead to this debacle:
...I'm sorry...I can only assume I misheard you...but no, in fact, the girl (from the pic on the CBC site, I'm going to say she's 10-12) was ejected from the game, leading to a walkout of hers and several other teams. The Association claims that "...the ban on hijabs is to protect children from being accidentally strangled." *eyeroll* Right, because that's a common tragedy. K
...although I would hope that the girl was wearing a "sporty" hijab (e.g. the ones available at this Dutch site) i.e. one that involves minimal pins and hopefully velcro.
The Beeb reports: Court clears Serbia of genocide (for "Court" read "International Court of Justice").
I'm not 100% sure about this one. I'll have to read the decision itself...but it doesn't jive with anything else I've read of the period. I mean, if ICTY was all set to try the Serbian leader, then there
must have been was probably a high level of official collusion, n'est pas?
I suppose the ICJ may have chosen to follow the hilariously restrictive precedent it set in Nicaragua v. United States vis-a-vis finding a state complicit in crimes against humanity. Although oddly enough, this Wikipedia article on the case implies that the ICJ did find the US complicit, which is the polar opposite of what we're taught in Public International Law.
Of course, Serbia did not get off entirely. The ICJ found "...that Belgrade had violated international law by failing to prevent the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica." The ICJ also found that "'Financial compensation is not the appropriate form of reparation...'" That much I agree with. I mean, it would be one thing if there was a concrete damage requiring repair, but otherwise, what's the point? Monetary damages do not prevent this sort of thing. Treaty of Versaille, anyone?
So I'm trying a new thing...posting to Thinking Out Loud via Goggle Documents. Why? Because the distortions present in Blogger when I put pictures in my posts is just too aggravating to be believed. Oh plus, I suck at html.
So let's attempt a picture....
Allrighty then, lets test this thing out...
Yesterday, in what will undoubtedly come to be known as a historic judgement, the nine justices of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that security certificates violate the Charter.
For those outside of Canada, or who do not follow security law generally, a brief background:
Security certificates can be issued by the executive (in the person of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration1 and/or the Minister of Public Safety, which is a brand-new post-9/11-hysteria position) to deem any resident non-citizen "inadmissable" to Canada--this is obviously a misnomer, since the person has been admitted, and may have legal status, e.g. as an accepted refugee who has not yet applied for citizenship. The grounds usually involve serious criminality, e.g. human rights abuses, ties to organized crime, and the like. I doubt many Canadians object to--or were even aware that--a certificate was used against Ernst Zundel, famed anti-Semitic whackjob. One was not issued against anti-Tutsi hatemongerer Leon Mugesera, because he faced a more straightforward deportation process.
So what's wrong with security certificates? Well, for one thing, since 9/11 they have ben largely used against people for "national security" risks, which is a much greyer moral area than deporting genocidaires. Secondly, the proceedings against a person held on a security certificate can take place entirely in secret, secret even from the accused, because the prosecutors might have to advance evidence that is sensitive for national security reasons. This breaches one of the fundamental rules of law, audi alteram partem: the right to know the case against you, and to respond to it. To call the system Kafkaesque2 would not be an overstatement.
You may find the decision itself here: Charkaoui v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 SCC 9
Also the Beeb has a brief article here
Research for the year 2001 showed that for every 1,000 male babies born in India, there were just 933 girls.
Research published last year estimating that the number of female abortions was as high as 500,000 a year was disputed by the Indian Medical Association.
Originally the biggest todo was over the use of amniocentesis or ultrasound/medical ultrasonography to determine the sex of the fetus, then selective abortion if the fetus is found to be female. I distinctly remember thinking to myself at the time this became Big News that's a problem, but it's better than infanticide...
According to The Lancet, according to Wikipedia:
...there may have been close to 10 million female fetuses aborted in India over the past 20 years. This is extrapolated partly on the basis of reduction of female-to-male sex ratio from 945 per 1000 in 1991 to 927 per 1000 in 2001. The female-to-male sex ratio is even lower in cases where a couple has had a previous daughter, but no sons, dropping to 759 to 1000 for the second child if the first was a daughter, and 719 to 1000 for a third child if the first two were both daughters.Now, I think it's easy for us in the developed, "Western" world to shake our heads in disdain at this, because we don't appreciate the reality that, in primary or secondary-sector industry economies,1 parents may depend on their children for income, and male children are more likely to fare better. Add to that a socio-cultural/religious preference for (or need for) male children--one which is only a generation or so away in our own society--and you have a perfect storm for femicide.2
...plus upcoming possible elections may mean a bit of a crunch for the Grits. But I really don't see how this:
During last year's leadership race, Dion promised that under his watch at least a third of the party's candidates in the next election would be women.
...is a viable solution. And I can't believe, after that went public, that they said this:
So-called green-light committees, set up to run the party's nomination process in each province, have been empowered to ensure the 33 per cent target is met. Among other things, the committees can approve or reject nomination papers from would-be candidates.
Where necessary, the committees will be able to simply refuse to allow men to run for nominations in some ridings.
"We're trying to find the techniques that are consistent with our democratic processes to the greatest extent possible," said Gerard Kennedy, Dion's special adviser on election readiness.I'm sorry..."to the greatest extent possible"? Do they hear themselves when they talk, or do they just move their mouths? Now I'm having flashbacks to the women in politics conference I attended in high school, when we were told by several female MPs--without irony--that Parliamentary politics should be made nicer and more polite so that women would feel more comfortable there...
Why is that? you may ask. Well, its because of the biggest wrinkle in the whole nationality/protection edifice. It goes something like this: nationality/citizenship has two elements, a) that it is recognized by the state of purported nationalism (in this case, Canada), and b) that it is recognized in international law.2 Some countries, like Canada, accept dual citizenship (which is a relatively new idea on the international law front), and some, like China, do not.3
Chinese officials have repeatedly rejected Canada's contention that Mr. Celil is a Canadian citizen. They even refuse to recognize the name on his Canadian passport. Instead they call him by his Chinese name, Yu Shanjiang, and they insist that he is a terrorist and a Chinese citizen.
The International Legal Commission's Draft Articles on Diplomatic Protection, while not binding, are nevertheless persuasive and offer this far more nuanced approach:
Article 4: A State may not afford diplomatic protection to one of its nationals against a State whose nationality such person also possesses.
This means that international law would allow Canada to assert its "ownership" or otherwise right of protection over Celil in an international forum (although what forum and on what grounds would depend what treaties are in force between us an China, among other things).
Multiple nationality and claim against a State of nationality
A State of nationality may not exercise diplomatic protection in respect of a person against a State of which that person is also a national unless the nationality of the former State is predominant, both at the date of injury and at the date of the official presentation of the claim.
Well, yeah, okay, it was a mistake...but let's be fair. The Hebrew Calendar is a little complicated to follow for those unused to it, specifically those used to the good old-fashioned (Christian/Euro-centric but stable) Gregorian calendar. I mean, even the calculation of Easter is based on the Gregorian calendar, albeit with a little lunar twist thrown in.
"We're happy the date has been moved," adds PC MPP Tim Hudak. "But my goodness, you think they would have thought of this two years ago when they set the election date."
Here's the Ontario Government news release.
But Jewish leaders see it differently, applauding the government's courage to admit its oversight after first refusing to alter the timeframe.
"This is something that all Ontarians should take pride in, and it should give comfort to Ontarians," claims Steven Shulman of the Canadian Jewish Congress. "There's a clear statement being made by the government to accommodate this sort of conflict, and next time it may be another community that's in conflict."
Saletan breaks down the pros and cons of the research being done on ovine sexuality at Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University.
My problem with this is the same as my problem with the biological determinism argument in general: how long before the discovery of genetic/neurological causes of sexuality turns into the search for a genetic control of sexuality? Apparently there is good evidence to suggest a strong correlation between a belief in the inherent-ness of sexuality and acceptance of sexuality.2 But then, those who reject homosexuality currently tend to reject a biological basis for it.3
Alan Turing, the famed British polymath, was treated with hormones to "correct" his homosexuality. He killed himself. But even if treatment worked, the question for me is: should it? Should we try to "correct" a benign biological characteristic, which to my mind is as much an element of personhood as handedness, eye-colour, et cetera?
And furthermore, should the (hypothetical) finding that sexuality is not biologically determined change our acceptance of people who identify as homosexual? In a time when political adherence and religion, among other things, are considered inherent to the extent that no person should be required to change them, why should sexuality be considered not just chosen, but apparently chosen whimsically, and open to alteration without doing fundamental damage to the psyche and identity?
I fear that the hyper-focus on the biological nature of sexuality (true as it seems to be) misses the point rather extravagantly, and while we can hope it will lead to short-term gains in the area of increased tolerance and acceptance, I can't help being concerned about the ultimate consequences.
Histological section showing cervical cancer specifically squamous cell carcinoma in the cervix. Tissue is stained with pap stain and magnified x200.
Seriously? Still? And apparently, "Texas became the first U.S. state to require that all 11- and 12-year-old girls be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus..."1 (Slate's Human Nature has a few more references to it).
...that 66% of the victims of alleged torture and ill-treatment were Falun Gong practitioners, with the remaining victims comprising Uyghurs (11%), sex workers (8%), Tibetans (6%), human rights defenders (5%), political dissidents (2%), and others (persons infected with HIV/AIDS and members of religious groups 2%).Of course, the investigators (distinguished Canadians both) were not allowed into China, so they had to look at organ transplant statistics. The whole thing is horrifying, but perhaps it will stop people from claiming this is just an urban legend.
So that the future residents can integrate socially more easily, we have decided unanimously, to make public, certain standards already in place and very well anchored in the lives of our electors.
We consider that men and women are of the same value. Having said this, we consider that a woman can; drive a car, vote, sign checks, dance, decide for herself, speak her peace, dress as she sees fit respecting of course the democratic decency, walk alone in public places, study, have a job, have her own belongings and anything else that a man can do....
Our children are required to attend public or private schools to insure their social development and to help integrate into our society. Any form of violence towards children is not accepted....
In our schools certified men and women teach our children. The women or men teachers can teach boys or girls with no sexual discrimination. They do not have to dress any different to accomplish their tasks....
...boys and girls [play] the same games and often play together....
Our immense territory is patrolled by police men and women of the "Surete du Quebec". They have always been allowed to question or to advise or lecture or to give out an infraction ticket to either a man or woman....
The employers must respect the governmental laws regarding work conditions. These laws include holidays known and accepted in advance by all employees....
You will appreciate that both parents manage the children needs and both have the same authority. The parents can be of the same race or not, be from the same country or not, have the same religion or not, even be of the same sex or not. If a boy or girl wants to get married, they may, they have the liberty to chose who their spouse will be.
We would especially like to inform the new arrivals that the lifestyle that they left behind in their birth country cannot be brought here with them and they would have to adapt to their new social identity.
...we consider that killing women in public beatings, or burning them alive are not part of our standards of life.
We listen to music, we drink alcoholic beverages in public or private places, we dance and at the end of every year we decorate a tree with balls and tinsel and some lights. This is normally called "Christmas Decorations" or also "Christmas Tree" letting us rejoice in the notion of our national heritage and not necessarily a religious holiday. These festivities are authorized in public, schools, and institutions and also in private.
In our schools the children cannot carry any weapons real or fake, symbolic or not.Thanks? That is a heavy handed indictment on the recent decision of Multani v. Commission scolaire Marguerite‑Bourgeoys, wikisummarized here, wherein a Sikh student was found to have the right to carry a kirpan, as mandated by his religion.
A...a what of democracy? Thanks, Jack Straw, but I hardly think the niqab qualifies as either a security threat or a threat to Western civilization, and by the way, in what alternate universe is Hallowe'en a) a human right, or b) a religious holdiay? It's a pagan holiday, you imbeciles, and by the way, your ancient pagan ancestors weren't above burning people alive, so lets not get uppity, alright? I say that with the greatest affection, too, being a sometime student of neopaganism myself, but truth is truth, and a history of human sacrifice is near universal.
You may not hide your face as to be able to identify you while you are in public. The only time you may mask or cover your face is during Halloween, this is a religious traditional custom at the end of October celebrating all Saints Day, where children dress up and go door to door begging for candy and treats. All of us accept to have our picture taken and printed on our driver’s permit, health care card and passports. A result of democracy.
Thursday night I went over to the palatial new apartment of 3 (temporarily 4) of my friends. There, among other things, I ogled Hypatia's** collection of books. God I love books, and she has dozens that have been on my "must read when not braindead" list. Hypatia lent me The Bone Woman, which I proceeded to read cover-to-cover on Friday.
It brought back all the thrill and righteous anger of my first reading of Carol Off's The Lion, The Fox, & The Eagle, a book which remains dear to my heart. Which has motivated me to get the hell on my reading list. Currently decorating my shelf are:
And I'm sure one or two other delicious nuggets of nonfiction that I've yet to sink my teeth into. Since starting law school, I find I've become a feast-or-famine reader, when it comes to my own reading. However, I feel like fresh baked hell today, so perhaps I'll catch up?