A Democratic U.S. House member from California said she now sleeps with a gun next to her bed after receiving death threats following comments she made that were critical of the governments of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.), who was born in Guatemala and came to the United States as a child, says people have staked out her house after she lambasted the three Central American countries’ governments for official corruption and not doing enough to help their citizens. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times last week, the California lawmaker said El Salvador President Nayib Bukele created a campaign to flood her district with calls and harass her staffers. Her social media pages may have also been targeted, with supporters of Bukele allegedly sending her hateful images, negative messages, and death threats, Torres said, adding that she now sleeps with a gun nearby.
Month: May 2021
That’s right. If you use the term “summer” for your hemisphere’s current season, it may exclude and offend someone in the other hemisphere who is experiencing winter. To be more inclusive, we must sterilize the evil beauty of language and refer to everything in business terms. And for MAXIMUM INCLUSIVITY, a bigoted term like “white boy summer” should be changed to “Q3 of the non-binary individual of unspecified ethnicity”!! Go out there and enjoy your Q3 vacation, but maybe don’t refer to it as “vacation” since not everyone will get to take time off and that might offend someone. And if you meet someone special on a hot Q3 night, before the leaves of Q4 fall and turn into the Q1 of our discontent, make sure to woo them with the depths of historic poetry! Shall I compare thee to a mid-Q3 day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of Month 5, And Q3’s lease hath all too short a date…”
Quebec’s Bill 96, which was featured in this column last week, like its predecessors, Bill 22 (1974, Bourassa) and Bill 101 (1977, Levesque), is opening up questions of the nature of Canadian Confederation. To civil libertarians, it is profoundly offensive to have a government regulating the size of different languages displayed on outdoor advertising and in-store products, and restricting access to schools on the basis of language. The whole idea of segregating linguistic groups in an officially bilingual country, and particularly of restricting the access of French-speaking secondary school and university students to English-language institutions, is deeply offensive. It is a cynical attempt to deny French speakers full access to the social and career opportunities available to North Americans by barricading Quebec youth into a unilingual French corner of this continent and restricting them from the opportunities available to the overwhelming majority of people living north of the Rio Grande River. It is doubly annoying because this effort has been justified under the guise of protecting French Quebecers from acculturation.
On the question of foreign travel in the time of COVID-19, there have been two dominant media narratives in Canada. There was “foreign travel does not matter and it is oafish to suggest otherwise”; then, briefly, there was “foreign travel is an abomination, let’s lock these awful people up in hotel rooms and charge them ludicrous sums.” Now, five months after Ontario’s then finance minister Rod Phillips was discovered luxuriating in the French West Indies and set off a full-blown moral panic back on the farm, we are mostly back where we were: The border is “an issue,” sure, but it’s not “the issue,” and to the extent it is an issue it is manageable. To wit: On Thursday, the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel recommended a dramatic loosening of border regulations for international travellers: shorter quarantine for partially vaccinated travellers, no quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers, and scrapping the “mandatory three-day hotel quarantine” program — the one that’s famously not so mandatory. In previous months, now might be a time of rising border angst. Cases are rising in the United Kingdom, albeit in clusters, apparently driven by the Indian variant.
A House of Commons committee descended into a tornado of confusion this week as it tried to approve amendments to the government’s net-zero emissions bill. Environmental law experts have proposed significant changes to Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, that would bring the legislation in line with what climate scientists say is necessary for Canada to meet its international obligations. A wide range of environmental organizations say the bill will fall short because its ambition is too delayed, its consequences too weak, and its expertise too powerless. MPs also found themselves bogged down by procedural wrangling during Wednesday’s House environment committee meeting. At one point, committee members voted down a Green Party amendment because they expected to vote later in favour of a government amendment that would have accomplished the same thing — except that the rules say they can’t do that. “Is this an ideological reason, that people didn’t want to vote on the Greens’ (amendment) but are ready to vote on the government’s? I’m wondering,” said Bloc Québécois MP Monique Pauzé.
Researchers have already debunked the top 20 myths that we all commonly believe to be true — such as, the most heat escapes through your head, we only use 10 percent of our brains, and goldfish only have three-second memory. A new survey of 2,000 adults found nearly 4 in 10 aren’t even sure how they came to believe these fraudulent bits of trivia — but 49 percent have shared them with others, in the belief they were accurate. Nearly half believe that most human heat escapes through your head, but experts claim only around 10 percent of body heat is lost this way, due to its relatively small surface. And far from the notion that goldfish only remember things for a few seconds, they are thought to have memories that last as long as three months. And, regarding our brain power, even something as simple as clenching and unclenching our fist uses far more than 10 percent of the human brain, according to scientific studies. Other misconceptions we often pass on include the color red sends bulls into a rage, yet the animals can’t even see the color. Similarly, you might have said that it takes seven years to digest swallowed chewing gum, which isn’t true because we can’t digest it at all.