September 29th, 2010


Dad puzzled son not considered Canadian

By Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - When Paul Compton was born in Scotland, his parents rushed to register him as a “Canadian born abroad.” They were finishing university and were eager to cross the Atlantic to raise their son as a true Canuck.

But 40 years later, their effort to ensure their son’s citizenship has resulted in their grandson being ineligible for his.

Compton’s son Mateo was born in Lima, Peru, just five months after a revamp of the Citizenship Act last April brought a first-generation limit to citizenship by descent for Canadians born abroad.

“It’s ludicrous,” said Compton. “The most important thing for me to do for my children would be to give them my heritage of being Canadian. And I can’t do that.”

Compton, who was brought to Canada when he was five months old, lived in the country until his early 30s. A teacher, he wanted to work in international schools. He now lives in Lima with his Peruvian wife, but plans to bring his family back to Canada in the future.

His first son, born before the new rules came into effect, automatically became a citizen and has a Canadian passport. Mateo, now a year old, doesn’t.

Last year’s legislation, Bill C-37, was brought in to solve the problems of so called “lost Canadians” – thousands whose citizenship had been taken away from them by outdated provisions of the 1947 Citizenship Act.

But the addition of the first-generation limit created a new problem of statelessness in children born abroad to Canadians who themselves were born overseas. At the time, the government had said the limit was introduced to preserve the value of citizenship.

For Compton, the rule and the reasoning behind it was like a punch in the stomach.

“They’ve taken the pride I had at being Canadian away from me.”

What rankles him most is what he calls a lack of communication from the government.

The family only found out about the first-generation limit when, in preparing for a trip home in July, Compton applied for a Canadian passport for his son and was told his infant wasn’t entitled to one.

“I think this is a major change, something you need to consult the general public about,” he said. “It has extreme implications.”

Now, Compton isn’t asking for an appeal or special consideration. He’d rather see the legislation be amended so his son and others have an equal right to citizenship.

He isn’t the only one.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has already heard from multiple Canadian expatriates worried about the impact of the law on their children and grandchildren.

In a speech delivered in Hong Kong last week, Kenney acknowledged their concerns.

“We changed the law to protect the value of Canadian citizenship. My government believes that Canadian citizenship is more than a legal status, more than a passport, and we expect citizens to have an ongoing commitment, connection and loyalty to Canada,” he said.

“Let me be very clear: It was not the intent of the new law to deny citizenship to children born outside Canada to Canadians,” Kenney said, adding that families affected by the first-generation limit have two possible paths to citizenship.

They can either take measures to ensure their child is born in Canada, or sponsor their children born abroad under the Family Class category so they may obtain permanent residence. Parents must provide evidence they will live in Canada once their child becomes a permanent resident.

Once permanent residence is obtained, Kenney has said parents can apply for a regular grant of citizenship on their child’s behalf, without being subject to the regular three-year residency requirement if the children are under 18.

The minister has also introduced a bill in June that, if passed, would allow grandchildren of Canadians who served abroad with the Canadian Forces, the federal public administration or the public service of a province, to be citizens by descent.

NDP Immigration critic Olivia Chow says the fact that such a bill was introduced indicates the government knows something is wrong.

She’s hoping to take the bill a step further to lift the first-generation limit for everyone.

“If we know it’s wrong to declare a diplomat’s granddaughter to be stateless if born outside Canada, then why should the same law apply to ordinary Canadians,” Chow challenged. “There should be an equal law for all.”

The MP plans to propose inclusive amendments when the bill comes to the standing committee on immigration after its second reading.

She’s suggesting an amendment that would require parents to show some sort of connection to Canada, through residency or a Canadian education for example, to ensure the value of citizenship is protected.

Immigration expert Sharryn Aiken, who calls the current law “very short-sighted,” has suggested the same approach.

With an increasingly globalized workforce, the Queen’s University law professor said the amount of dissatisfied Canadian expats affected by the first-generation limit is only going to increase.

“I think the articulated rationale for this restriction was the notion we didn't want people carrying citizenship cards who didn't have an attachment to Canada,” said Aiken. “But that assumes just because you're not living in Canada you're not attached to Canada and I think that's an unfair assumption.”

Compton’s mother couldn’t agree more.

“It’s just so frustrating,” said Flora Compton, who considers her son a proud ambassador for Canada.

The Smiths Falls, Ont., resident has bombarded MPs with letters appealing her grandson’s case, asking for advice and an explanation. One response suggested her son apply for British citizenship, as he was born in Scotland, and pass that onto her grandson.

Although that advice made the family shake their heads at first, with the worrying knowledge that in an emergency only one son would be able to travel to safety in Canada, Paul Compton is seriously considering the option.

“When (the government) puts us in a position like this they’re basically saying don’t go study or work overseas,” he said. “It leaves a lot of expats in a really unstable situation.”



Lusby, Maryland (CNN) -- A conservative activist known for making undercover videos plotted to embarrass a CNN correspondent by recording a meeting on hidden cameras aboard a floating "palace of pleasure" and making sexually suggestive comments, e-mails and a planning document show.

James O'Keefe, best known for hitting the community organizing group ACORN with an undercover video sting, hoped to get CNN Investigative Correspondent Abbie Boudreau onto a boat filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session, those documents show.

The plan apparently was thwarted after Boudreau was warned minutes before it was supposed to happen.

"I never intended to become part of the story," Boudreau said. "But things suddenly took a very strange turn."

O'Keefe is best known for making a series of undercover videos inside ACORN offices around the country in 2009. The 40-year-old liberal group was crippled by scandal after O'Keefe and fellow activist Hannah Giles allegedly solicited advice from ACORN workers on setting up a brothel and evading taxes.

The videos led to some of the employees being fired and contributed to the disbanding of ACORN, which advocated for low- and middle-income and worked to register voters.

But prosecutors in New York and California eventually found no evidence of wrongdoing by the group, and the California probe found the videos had been heavily and selectively edited.

O'Keefe's next big splash ended with his arrest after he taped associates entering Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in New Orleans posing as telephone repairmen. He ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of entering a federal office under false pretenses and is now on probation.

But he continues to do undercover projects through his organization, which is called Project Veritas.

The incident occurred in August, when Boudreau agreed to meet O'Keefe to discuss CNN's request to be present on set for a music video shoot in which O'Keefe stars.

For months, CNN had been following a group of young conservative activists, including Christian Hartsock, the director of the music video. The activists will be featured in a documentary, "Right On The Edge," that will air October 2 and 3.

Hartsock said O'Keefe did not want CNN to shoot on the set of the music video, but said he would encourage O'Keefe to call CNN to discuss the request.

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More sad news...

Rutgers freshman is presumed dead in suicide after roommate broadcast gay sexual encounter online

PISCATAWAY — A Rutgers University freshman appears to have killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate broadcast live images of the 18-year-old having a sexual encounter with another man on the internet, according to campus and law enforcement sources.

Tyler Clementi, 18, of Ridgewood, is presumed dead after his car, cell phone and computer were found near the George Washington Bridge last week, law enforcement sources said. His wallet was found on the walkway adjacent to the New York-bound lanes. In a statement released this afternoon, Clementi’s family confirmed the suicide and said his body has not been found.

Dharun Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, and Molly Wei, 18, of Princeton, were charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy for setting up a camera in a dorm room on Sept. 19 and using it to view and transmit a live sex scene, said Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan.

Paul Mainardi of Woodbury, the Clementi family's attorney, said Ravi and Clementi were roommates at Rutgers.

Ravi's Twitter feed on that date referred to seeing his roommate have sex with another man in their room on the Piscataway campus, classmates said.

"Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly's room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay," Ravi said on his Twitter page in a Sept. 19 entry posted at 6:17 p.m.

Two days later, Ravi posted another entry directing his nearly 150 Twitter followers to iChat, an internet messaging service with a live video feed.

"Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it's happening again," Ravi wrote in the Sept. 21 post.

Ravi's Twitter feed has since been taken down. But the entries survived in a cached version of the page still available through Google's search engine this afternoon.
Yearbook photos
Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, both Rutgers students, are charged in connection with broadcasting a sexual encounter involving Ravi's roommate Tyler Clementi.

Prosecutors said Ravi and Wei set up a camera on Sept. 19 and broadcast live images of Clementi having a "sexual encounter." Ravi is also accused of trying unsuccessfully to broadcast a second sex scene Sept. 21.

The Clementi family released a statement this afternoon. "Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words. They respectfully request that they be given time to grieve their great loss and that their privacy at this painful time be respected by all," it said.

"The family and their representatives are cooperating fully with the ongoing criminal investigations of two Rutgers University students," the statement said.

Clementi was an accomplished violinist who had received a college scholarship from the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra for his musicianship and leadership.

The violinist left a lasting impression with some in the Bergen County town, said Hiro Kagei, 17, who played in the orchestra with the teenager. A solo Clementi played in a concert last year "blew the audience away," he said.

"Now that he’ dead, it’s sad to think we won’t hear something like that anymore," Kagei said.

On the Rutgers campus, classmates described Clementi as quiet. At a mandatory dorm meeting called the day he was reported missing, only three students said they had spoken to Clementi since they moved into the dorm last month, according to students who were at the meeting. 

Ravi and Wei — who were classmates at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North before enrolling at Rutgers this fall — did not respond to e-mail requests to comment Tuesday. Steve Altman, Ravi’s attorney, also declined to comment.

Ravi surrendered to Rutgers police Tuesday and was released on $25,000 bail, the prosecutor’s office said. Wei surrendered to the campus police Monday and was released on her own recognizance.

Under New Jersey’s invasion-of-privacy laws, it is a fourth degree crime to collect or view images depicting nudity or sexual contact involving another individual without that person’s consent, the prosecutor said. It is a third degree crime to transmit or distribute the images.

If the students are convicted on a third degree offense they could face up to five years in prison each under state law. Conviction on a fourth-degree crime could lead to probation or up to 18 months in prison.

  • qable

Man apologizes for bullying bullies.

Dad goes into tirade after bus bullies target disabled daughter

ORLANDO, Fl. -- A father is facing charges after he boarded a school bus and threatened students who were allegedly bullying his disabled daughter.

James Jones says boys on her bus put opened condoms on his daughter's head and twisted her ear.

When Jones found out, he went on the bus in a rage, cursing and threatening the alleged bullies.

"My daughter is not going to be hazed and beat up and touched on like what they've done, okay," said Jones.

Jones says he told school officials about the bullying and they did nothing. The father is now facing charges.


Fla. dad sorry for storming school bus, threats

LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) -- A father tearfully apologized Tuesday for acting like a bully himself when he stormed onto a school bus to confront students he believed were harassing his 13-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy.

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Gwen is not impressed by your bullshit

Just for once, the school authorities suck but the pupils don't!

High School Strips Transgendered Homecoming King of Title

Imagine being voted Homecoming King, then having your high school unceremoniously rescind the honor. That's exactly what happened to 17-year-old Oakley (nicknamed Oak) Reed, a senior at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon, Mich.

The problem with him wearing the crown? Reed is a transgendered student who is still female.

This was hardly a secret to his school, where, as he told Wood TV, teachers openly refer to him as "him," and he will wear a male robe and cap at graduation.

It was only after Reed posted "Vote for me for Homecoming King" on his Facebook page -- and his fellow students decided he deserved the title -- that he was summoned to the principal's office, where he was informed he couldn't fulfill his King-ly duties because he was a girl.

Translation: Any form of gender-bending will not be tolerated in the halls of Mona Shores.

Thankfully, his fellow students have rallied, creating a Facebook group, Oak is my King, where they've posted the protest below and created specially designed T-shirts in support of Reed and transgendered rights, which they plan to wear in solidarity on Oct. 1.

While this isn't the first time a high school has used a big dance-y dance to throw the rule book at a gay or transgendered teen, we hope it will be the last. It's kind of depressing when the student body seems more enlightened than the adults in the faculty.


I am more than a lttle bit in love with this kid's fellow students, though everything else in this article is just ... what. I don't really get the point of 'homecoming' (I'm British) but that's not the point: he was voted in fair and square and he should be allowed to fulfil that.

And as per usual, whatever you do, DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS AT THE SOURCE.
Little Mermaid 2 - Wednesdays

Apparently Arab people have no souls and UCF is okay with that

After more than sixty years of statehood, Israel is a lone outpost of Western civilization and its values. It is the staunchest ally of the United States in that part of the world – a bulwark of democracy. The Arab nations surrounding it are a swamp of terrorism, corruption, dictatorship, and human enslavement. But the hatred of the Arabs against Israel and against all Jews is so abiding and so virulent that peace, at least for the foreseeable future, seems unattainable and most unlikely.

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This was in the UCF paper today. Okay, well technically it was in the Monday edition, but I have a really long and boring class on Wednesdays, so I grabbed a copy of the paper so that I'd have a crossword to do. And yeah, I opened it up and there was this bullshit staring me in the face. I mean, really UCF? I knew that you were made of fail every now and again, but really? You want to sink so low as to actually publish this in your newspaper?

I'm planning to write the paper a very strongly worded letter, and I'd encourage any like-minded ontd_political UCF people to do the same. Because this? Not cool.

ETA: Source as how it was published in the Central Florida Future
JFK Jr '88

David Miliband quits frontline politics.

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David Miliband today confirmed he was quitting frontline politics, but promised to serve the Labour party and his younger brother's leadership to his utmost from the backbenches.

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, responded by saying his door was always open for his brother to return to the front bench in the future.

The defeated Labour leadership candidate insisted that stepping back from the political limelight was the "cleanest and clearest thing to do although not the most obvious or easy thing to do" in order to allow Ed Miliband to set the future direction for the party free of permanent scrutiny of any potential differences between the two men.

Ed Miliband, looking notably relaxed as he spoke outside Labour's Manchester conference, said that while it would have been "fantastic" to have had his older brother as part of his team, David's decision was "thoughtful and gracious".

"My door is always open for him to serve in the future," Ed Miliband said. Collapse )

It's a relief he's finally announced his decision, the media circus surrounding what he would do was really getting out of hand and it competley overshadowed the rest of the conference. The media have been pretty shit throughout the whole thing- I think in the end, he didn't really have much of an option but to step away- which is a shame.

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Parks and Rec Leslie and Ben

Detroit sees rise in white residents after 60 years

A stunning demographic reversal is taking shape in Detroit.

After six decades of white flight, the percentage of white Detroiters has shot up dramatically, according to a new census survey released Tuesday. The survey, more estimate than precise numbers, shows that the percentage of white, non-Hispanic Detroiters rose from 8.4% of the city's population in 2008 to 13.3% last year. Much of the rise can be pegged to younger white people -- along with some empty nesters -- moving to the city, even as African Americans continue to leave for the suburbs.
"What we're seeing is a move back to the city by a younger population that sees the city as cool," said Kurt Metzger, director of Data Driven Detroit.

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