Discreditable Conduct

Ottawa has confirmed its 9th homicide of the year, matching the number of murders that we had for the entirety of 2009. The body of Jennifer Leigh Stewart, a 36 year-old street prostitute with a drug habit, was found in a Vanier parking lot. Jennifer died of multiple stab wounds, not at all unlike 27 year-old Kelly Morrisseau, who was found stabbed to death in a Gatineau parking lot in 2007.

The similaritis are anything but surprising. Both women were troubled by drug addiction, earned money to fuel their habit by turning tricks in Vanier, and leave behind young children. Left behind is another similarity: the person responsible for their deaths still roams the streets free, and will likely remain free. After all, both of these women were prostitutes.

And, both were Aboriginal.
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Front Page

Yeah, I know I’m in the habit of seeing something profound in something mundane, but I really believe that the newspaper today is an eloquent statement on the human condition. And, I’m not saying this because I think the content is particularly inspiring. Rather, I’m saying this because within the first few pages of the paper you can, at a glance, discover just what it is to be a human in the year 2010, and it’s not flattering.

Splashed across the front page of the newspaper today is a picture of Tiger Woods and his now ex-wife Elin Nordegren. Tiger’s divorce was finalized and announced yesterday, ending months of speculation and probably reviving the many jokes at the golfer’s expense, if they had ever waned at all. I’m not saying that this isn’t newsworthy, though the story of the trials and tribulations of Tiger Woods has grown tired and old. But, first page material? Have we grown so superficial and shallow as that?
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Legal Ballerinas

All charges were dropped yesterday against the Toronto Humane Society staff accused of animal cruelty and neglect. The charges stemmed from raids last year that uncovered animals that were in poor health or had died due to abhorrent treatment, poor nutrition and a general lack of care. The Crown dropped their case after having determined, before trial, that there were serious issues with how one of the search warrants related to the arrest was served. Critics are suggesting that this is something that should have been decided by a judge, rather than by the prosecutors.

Lost in all of this mess is that this incident provides yet another example of how we fail as humans to give proper importance to the care of the lives that depend on us. And, even if the greasy bastards escaping litigation in this case had been brought before the courts, the worst they would have received for their crime is the proverbial slap on the wrist. When it comes to animals, despite the fact that they are living creatures, the punishment for abuse never fits the crime.
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