Bill C-51

A lot of controversy has surrounded the issue of the proposed Canadian bill that has been deemed the ‘Anti-Terrorism Act’. Bill C-51 proposes to make several changes to Canadian law, and some of these changes have sparked worry in the minds of several Canadians who will be effected by this bill in, what they believe is, a negative way.

A website titled “Stop Bill C-51” has sprung up with several thousand supporters. This website outlines some of the alleged “dangerous” changes that will be made to Canadian law. Among the complaints, the most common is that under Bill C-51, you will be subject to unwarranted searches and seizures upon any authoritative suspicion. Police officers no longer will be required by law to first obtain a judge-granted warrant in order to enter your home and confiscate any contraband, or anything they deem suspicious. If you are stopped in the street by an officer, they will be allowed to search your person without warrant or evidence.

Another large complaint is that a fine will be given to anyone who is caught growing, preserving, or sharing an unwarranted health product. Put simply, if you are growing garlic because you believe it helps your back pain, you can be fined up to $5,000,000 CAD.

So, why is this bill in the running to be passed at all? Because of all the alleged terrorist threats that have been placed on Canada within the past year or so, the Canadian government feels like it is in our best interests as Canadian citizens to be subject to randomized searches without evidence or warrant. This is supposed to prevent and discourage any acts of terrorism against our nation.

But the problem with this is that the term “terrorism” is becoming increasingly difficult to define. As you may recall, back in October of 2014, Corporal Nathan Cirillo was fatally shot while on duty guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The fact that Cirillo’s shooter had converted to Islam before his shooting rampage had many people questioning whether or not he was in cohorts with the known terrorist group ISIS, who are infamous Islamic radicalists. The word “terrorist” was flung around by the media, sparking fear in the public that quickly spread.

It is this same fear that the government is currently building Bill C-51 upon. They are trying to pass the bill to keep Canadian citizens safe from terrorist growth and spread. Another portion of this bill is the elimination of terrorist propaganda and recruitment pages online in Canada. This bill will allow the government to monitor and filter through what we are able to view online, and if they believe you are a supporter of terrorist groups, ideologies or actions, they can arrest you without a shred of evidence.

In an ideal world, this would mean all the terrorists would get caught pretty quickly, but the reality of the situation is that innocent people will have some of their constitutional rights as Canadians stripped away from them. They will be searched without reason, seized without warrant and possibly even fined for fear of harbouring illegal drugs.

Is Bill C-51 a good thing for Canada? The area is still very grey, and the bill has not been finalized yet. There are evident benefits to the bill, certainly, but the real question is: do they outweigh the negatives?

How many of our rights are we willing to give up in order to maintain a sense of security?

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Creationism

I recently started watching Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a television show with the purpose of educating its viewers on the wonders of the world, including how humans evolved, how molecules work and what lies beyond our universe. I absolutely love it and have become thoroughly addicted, but it got me thinking. And that is never a good sign because then I write blog posts about it.

One of the aspects of the show is explaining how we came to have our modern-day knowledge of the solar system. Mr. NDT, who is the host of the show, talks about certain scientists and philosophers from centuries ago, such as Newton and Hook. Many of these men (yeah… not a lot of girls are mentioned. It’s not the show’s fault; girls just had no historical significance in the eyes of society until about a hundred years ago) had to recant their beliefs because of the church. They were excommunicated and jailed and sometimes even tortured or murdered.

So, I have a question. All of these guys believed in God, yet also knew that there was more to the world than what the Bible tells us. Now I’ve said before that I’m Christian but I don’t believe a single word of the Bible (other than the whole “Love thy neighbour etc.” bit). But I was wondering if someone can still believe in creationism in this modern age without seeming insane.

The answer I came up with is yes, of course you can. BUT you can’t deny evolution; it’s a fact that’s been proven. I’ve read a lot of pseudoscience articles claiming that carbon dating and such is inaccurate, and most of the times these articles have been written by radical religious groups that deny science. I don’t understand these people at all, but whatever, their opinion (even if it’s wrong, ha ha).

I believe in some kind of higher power (I don’t like to say God, but I believe in Something with a capital S) but I know that evolution is an actual thing that actually happened and I find it actually cool. I love watching documentaries and TV shows about this sort of thing (NOTE: if you’re the same, please check out Cosmos, Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Monsters, all available on Netflix). By no means am I suggesting that these events didn’t happen, but I am suggesting something else. There is only a certain distance away from out planet that we can see. For all we know, what lies beyond is the fact we’re being watched by an octopus in a crystal ball or something. Probably not, but I doubt we’ll ever find out, at least not in our lifetimes.

So what I’m proposing is this: creationism can be seen as an entity creating the Big Bang, or the cosmos, or whatever. Something/ someone/ some God could still have created all of this; no one knows thus far the answer to the giant universal “Why Are We Here” question. You can believe we’re here because of pure coincidence and that there was nothing at all in existence before the Big Bang, or you can believe a higher power put us here (insert picture of the guy with crazy hair saying “Aliens”).

My point is, you don’t have to deny scientific fact in order to maintain your beliefs. I’m not asking you to, nor is anyone else. But I’m saying that science and religion have worked and thrived side by side for generations. Many scientists chose to study science because of their love of God, and we wouldn’t understand the universe the same way without them. So I see no reason why the two can’t continue coinciding in peaceful harmony for many years to come.

Thumbprints

Blue, chipped nail polish,
brushing down his chest,
creating trails of fire
and dressing him in newness,
in expectations and forgotten lyrics;
he places his piano hands
on a boney shoulder
and finds hollowness.
Wilting flowers passed
so often for their withering petals
hold her memory
forgotten,
but a different kind of magical,
that to the untrained eye
looks dull in comparison,
but on her own,
she is a sun.
His back eclipses her like the moon
and she arches hers to meet him halfway,
to press herself against
someone who never wavered
visibly;
she is so afraid.
Unwashed hair and unspoken words
hang from his face like a shield
and he is eclipsing her,
swallowing her,
loving her in every way he knows how.
Afterward, his room still held her presence
as her ghost refused to leave,
and he found a thumbprint
on his chest, in the place
where his heart should have been,
that was covered in
blue nail polish.

Thunder and Loving Someone

“She pulled the love letters you wrote for her out of her drawer last night. She didn’t read them, she didn’t have to; she already knew all the words.

She knew the watermark in the middle where your tear dissolved, had traced it with her pinky. She knew the creases of the pages that led like fault lines to your grammar mistakes and through your messy cursive. She knew the place in the corner where you signed your name on a slant sloping downwards, as if your hand was tired with the decision of ending the letter. She knew your commas, she knew your meanings and most importantly, she knew the spot you scratched out a four-letter word you never spoke out loud.

She held the letters in her hand and looked up at the sky through the window of her apartment. She looked like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders, and it reminded me of wings. I could see the memories swim through her eyes like a movie screen. I saw the day she pressed her thumb into the hollow of your collarbone and swore she could feel your heartbeat. I saw the time her tears painted her face like watercolours she was drowning in, and I watched you change her eyes from cloudy to brilliantly bright. I saw you make love to her and watched as she clawed your back, trying to get closer than she ever possibly could. I watched you watch her do this, and I saw your uncaring gaze as it shifted.

She sat by the window for a long time, letters in hand. She did not cry, and I believe it’s because she didn’t have it in her. She was so goddamned tired you see – tired of you, tired of me and tired of everything.

She cut your letters up like snowflakes and I could see starlight shining through the holes in the pages. When I squinted, I saw the light shine through the holes she had made through her body too. And you might tell me she did it because she was over you, but I know better. She did it because you were the best part of her, and she had to cut you away like an infected tree has to strip itself of unhealthy limbs in order to live again.

She pulled the love letters you wrote for her out of her drawer last night. She didn’t read them, she didn’t have to; she already forgot all the words.”

– Watching the girl you love love someone else

Opal Daydream

We stretched our words
wound them between our fingers
and around our throats,
made promises we couldn’t keep
and sang our lies like lullabies
that we found ourselves drowning in.

We laughed away our biting fears
and drenched ourselves in comforts:
in the noise of our breath,
the beat of our hearts,
and then, we bathed in the silence
we found was loudest of all.

10 Signs You Need to Leave Your Relationship

I’ve seen so many lists like this and I hate all of them (shocker, right?) because they are gender specific. So I’m trying to create a list here that everyone can enjoy and appreciate, regardless of sex.

1. You have different values.
This is kind of vague so let me explain: if you disagree on where you want to eat out for dinner, it’s no big deal. If you’re an incredibly liberal person (AKA everyone on Tumblr) and your partner is not, maybe you should sit down and think if your relationship is worth it. They say opposites attract, but from my experience it just leads to fighting and resentment. If your core values of respect mirror one another, who cares if one of you likes purple and the other likes red?

2. You feel like your partner doesn’t listen.
If your partner is teasing you relentlessly, even after you ask him or her to stop, it’s a clear sign they don’t listen to you, and in turn, don’t care about you. If you find yourself venting at a blank wall expression, you’re going to eventually begin bottling up your feelings, which isn’t healthy.

3. You are no longer attracted to them.
This is an iffy subject. By this I don’t mean you should break up with them based on appearances, but attraction only. If your partner has stopped acting like the person they were when you two started dating and you don’t like this new person, it’s time to go. People change, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to stay with someone in spite of this.

4. You can’t handle their problems anymore.
Woah, woah, woah! Let me explain, please don’t rip my head off! I was once broken up with by a boy who didn’t understand my dysthymia (this was before I was diagnosed), and he told me he couldn’t handle my emotional swings anymore. It hurts knowing that someone “couldn’t handle you”, but it just means he wasn’t the right guy. He wasn’t supposed to be handling me, or feeling like he was. I had friends and family that I had known a lot longer than he who were there to support me. You can’t drink someone else’s poison for them; you can drink it with them, but that won’t solve anything. If your partner has gotten to the point where you feel physically exhausted from trying to please them, you need to get out and focus on yourself.

5. You fight all. The. Time.
If your relationship consists of waiting to be forgiven or to forgive, or if you are just plain worried of breaching certain topics for fear it will set off a fight like a tidal wave, you shouldn’t be with that person. You obviously rub each other the wrong way, and sometimes it’s just not worth it.

6. Your friends tell you to leave.
95% of the time, your friends will notice that you’re miserable in your relationship before you do. That has happened to me in most of my failed relationships. And if my friends didn’t notice, my family did. If they say you’re unhappy, odds are you’re unhappy and you just don’t realize it yet because you’re blinded by your seemingly flawless significant other.

7. You are “dating for a purpose”.
I know of pretty much a million people who’ve done this. It means you’re in a relationship for ulterior motives, whether it be sex or revenge on your ex or proving a point to your family or whatever. Think about why you’re really with someone: do they make you happy?

8. They make everything about money.
If the person you’re with either A) stresses how much you “owe them” for paying for things like dates and presents and vacations etc. or B) they always nag you to buy them the expensive things or to always pay, then you’re dating someone who only values the materialistic parts of your relationship. You should want to pay because you want to pay, and vice versa. Never feel pressured to do something you don’t want to; that being said, if they pay all the time (LADIES I’M LOOKING AT YOU HERE!) maybe you should offer to cover the bill on occasion.

9. They don’t appreciate you.
Remember that this rule is a two-way street. You need to ensure your partner feels appreciated and respected at ALL times in your relationship, even when you’re arguing or having a rough day. But if your partner sits on his or her phone while you’re on a date with him or her, or if they have stopped caring about asking you to hang out, or if they downright are ignoring you in any way shape or form, just go. It isn’t worth it and you deserve better.

10. They abuse you.
This rule is so important. If whomever you’re with has ever punched, kicked, slapped, shoved, hit or otherwise physically harmed you, leave. If they call you names and throw verbal abuse at you like confetti, leave. If they threaten you or anyone/thing that you love, LEAVE.

Tall Girl Probs

And once again I find myself bitching about a society that favours men. I’m sorry but this time it’s gone too far; I just spent a stupid month and a half’s salary on three pairs of jeans. Want to know why? Because tall girls apparently don’t exist in society.

Now for some background: as many of you know, I was bullied in school for two relatable reasons. 1. I was tall, and I’m talking “six feet tall at the age of twelve” kinda tall, the kind that was noticeable and the kind that was ridiculed. 2. I wore the same three outfits every day to school because it was all I could afford/ it was all that fit me.

When I was about twelve is when I discovered that tall girls aren’t meant to have clothes. Why? We aren’t meant to exist. I had to wear men sizes that didn’t fit me up until I discovered ONE shop in downtown Toronto called Long Legs that was actually catered for tall women. All their jeans were vastly overpriced because they knew that every single tall girl within a ten mile radius would be willing to pay that ridiculous price for some pants that would fit.

Want to know what happened to Long Legs? It went out of business because there weren’t enough tall women in the world I suppose.

I have had approximately nine-thousand shorter girls ask me why I don’t just shop in the long section of stores like American Eagle and Jean Machine. BECAUSE THE LONG SECTION IS MADE FOR GIRLS 5’9″ AND SHORTER. I am not meant to be tall, and I realized a few years ago why that was.

The first time I ever dated a boy who was shorter than me, I hated it. But… did I really hate it, or did I just hate the society I lived in that ridiculed me publicly for being with a boy who was anything less than six feet? I felt like a mother walking with her child on the streets with him, and it made me embarrassed, which made me ashamed. I am not supposed to judge people based on their looks, and I never had before, so what was so different now?

Because it was just one more thing that made me feel less normal. As if the bullying and the name-calling and the awkward stares and the constant badgering of, “Do you play basketball?” weren’t enough.

I see models ridiculed CONSTANTLY online. People complain that “nobody looks like that!” … I DO. I look like that. I am tall and thin and I DESERVE SOME FREAKING PANTS THAT FIT ME BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING TOO!

Women aren’t supposed to be tall, men are. That’s what society has told me ever since i was old enough to walk and talk. All the dainty Disney princesses, much smaller than their husbands, told me that. All the shoe saleswomen who advised me against wearing high heels to my grade eight graduation told me that. My teachers who openly laughed at me at semi-formals when they saw me dancing with a shorter boy told me that. I am not supposed to be tall.

BUT (and yes, there’s a BUT here) men, in turn, aren’t supposed to be short. Imagine how they feel when a girl rejects them based on their height. Imagine how they feel knowing that the smallest size pant length just isn’t small enough. I had a friend once who had to shop in the junior section in stores because they didn’t make pants short enough for him. Granted, clothing is fairly easy to hem, but oh wait I forgot: society tells me men aren’t supposed to sew either.

Well, fuck you society. You need a change.

I want to see Disney princesses that tower over their princes. I want to see more celebrity couples like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (I know they broke up, but she is a giant BOMBSHELL). I want to see Amazon Warriors and girls who get called giraffes.

I want to buy a goddamn pair of jeans that cost less than $150.