Monday, January 03, 2011

The Second Post of the Year

Might as well get the ball rolling.

Sectarian violence in Egypt:

The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church appealed to the government on Monday to address Christians complaints about discrimination to ease tensions as fierce riots broke out in the capital following a New Year's Day church bombing that killed 21 people.
The interview with Coptic Pope Shenouda III on state television came as hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police in northern Cairo in late night demonstrations expressing frustration at the government.
Knots of protesters clashed with police armed with batons throughout the neighborhood of Shubra, which has large Christian population. An Associated Press photographer saw at least five people injured including two bleeding from serious head wounds.
In rare criticism by the 87-year-old church leader, Shenouda called on the government to address Christian grievances in the country, especially of laws restricting freedom of worship.

Violence in Islamic countries is nothing new. Like clockwork, incidents of violence against Christians occurs, it is denounced principally by the Pope, ignored by everyone else and forgotten until a major incident happens. When- not if- this occurs in a "civilised" country like Canada, what kind of press coverage will it receive? Who will take action? Someone had better start formulating a plan now. Lip service doesn't work in these kinds of situations.

A judge with common sense:

A case about what to do with man’s — and woman’s — best friend when a couple splits was the subject of an unusual family-law ruling before a Saskatchewan court recently.
With the help of experienced lawyers, the middle-aged former couple was able to reach a compromise splitting up almost all of the family property, some of which is described as having “substantial value.” However, the one stumbling block was the family pet, a female chocolate Labrador retriever that was the focus of a one-day trial last month in Moose Jaw.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Ted Zarzeczny, in his recently released written ruling, made it clear he was none too impressed with the dogfight.
“It is an unacceptable waste of these parties’ financial resources, the time and abilities of their two very experienced and capable legal counsel and most importantly, the public resource of this court that a dispute of this kind should occupy all in a one-day trial involving three witnesses, including an expert called by one of the parties,” Justice Zarzeczny said.
“It is demeaning for the court and legal counsel to have these parties call upon these legal and court resources because they are unable to settle, what most would agree, is an issue unworthy of this expenditure of time, money and public resources,” he added.
Justice Zarzeczny said the only reason the court “tolerated” the trial was out of consideration for the progress made in settling other property issues.

Let me say this simply: it's. A. Dog. I like dogs as much as the next person but I cannot imagine chewing up a court's valuable time with something that sniffs its own butt.

When Irresponsible People Have Knives:

After a night of drunken revelry that escalated into a violent street fight, Crystal-Dawn MacKenzie grabbed a knife from her neighbour's kitchen, yelled "I'm going to kill him" and stabbed her common-law husband in the collarbone.
If the knife had moved just a centimetre in either direction, Patrick Andrew Thomas likely would have lived, a pathologist later testified. But the 29-year-old bled to death on a downtown Saint John street.
Eight months later, Ms. MacKenzie walked out of a New Brunswick court a free woman after a nine-woman, three-man jury in Saint John acquitted the 28-year-old mother of three of second-degree murder, accepting that she had finally snapped after years of abuse at the hands of Mr. Thomas.
The Crown filed an appeal last week, a rare move for a jury trial. Prosecutors are arguing that the judge erred in his definitions of murder and self-defence and that Ms. MacKenzie had alternatives to killing her husband to escape his violence.
"Of course she had other options," said her lawyer, David Kelly. "But she had been drinking and that impaired her judgement."

As appalling as domestic abuse is, this woman clearly killed her boyfriend in a rage (not husband because both irresponsible parties went out of their way not to marry in order to "stick it to the man",  just like the other thirty and forty year old teenagers out there). "She had other options" and had been drinking, as her lawyer succinctly said. Yes. Let us excuse the twenty-three year old child from racing into her neighbour's kitchen and then planting a knife into her boyfriend's collarbone. Why even say that? Seriously? I thought the whole point was to defend an abused woman's desperate actions. This case isn't landmark or even bizarre. It's just a vignette into the lives of total infants.

And now for something completely interesting:

Archaeologists on the island of Crete have discovered what may be evidence of one of the world's first sea voyages by human ancestors, the Greek Culture Ministry said Monday
A ministry statement said experts from Greece and the U.S. have found rough axes and other tools thought to be between 130,000 and 700,000 years old close to shelters on the island's south coast.

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