It's a miracle she survived.
I met an 11 year-old Muslim girl in the Central African Republic a few weeks ago. She had survived a horrific assault on the village of Bouguere – in a country where sectarian violence has spiraled out of control.
Join me in urging the UN to rush peacekeeping reinforcements and swiftly deploy international police units to help stop ethnic cleansing in the Central African Republic and restore law and order.
I came to this region with a small group of Amnesty investigators looking into reports of mass killings and forced evictions of Muslims. Throughout our travels, we found case after case of mayhem and death.
We found a young girl crouching in the corner of an abandoned house. She had been there, alone, without food or water, for four days. The rest of her family had been killed. She was terrified, and so weak she could not even stand.
To find her, we had just walked down streets littered with bodies, including 3 women and a baby. Small bundles of clothing were found near the bodies – indicating they were slaughtered as they tried to flee.
A miracle shouldn't be the only way out of this nightmare – and citizens of a country should not be forced to flee their homes on the basis of their religion. These communities need protection now.
Tell the UN and the African Union to act quickly and decisively to protect Muslim men, women and children who remain in the country -- and restore law and order for Muslims and Christians.
Peacekeepers could have prevented this massacre, but in too many communities, they are nowhere to be found. They have been slow to challenge the anti-balaka militias that are carrying out the barbaric campaign of ethnic cleansing against Muslims.
Tens of thousands of Muslims have been forced out of their own country. Others can't leave for lack of funds for transport or fear of being attacked on the roads. Whole neighborhoods have been abandoned. Mosques and property destroyed.
The anti-balaka militias themselves were formed in response to mass killings by Muslim militias linked to the former government – gripping the country in a cycle of violence and vengeance.
Christian individuals and communities have yet to find any justice or accountability for brutal attacks that ravaged their communities before the anti-balaka militias filled the power vacuum. Members of both communities are at risk.
The international community's reaction to these human rights atrocities has been shamefully inadequate. Help us break the logjam – please take action with Amnesty right now.
Thank you for defending human rights with me today.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Help protect a woman who is at risk for defending the rainforest
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Feb. 14 TV production: I mentioned before way back in 2008, I did a job interview at a TV production company. Then in 2012, I started applying to all these TV production companies in Edmonton, and then I stopped after a month because there weren’t a lot. Some were really far away, and some weren’t hiring.
I then looked at another TV producer’s Linked In page and he went to 2 colleges to study criminology. He then went to SAIT and took Film and TV production. I have thought of emailing him: “How did you get to where you are?” SAIT was helpful.
Screenwriting Goldmine: Today I’m reading and deleting all these Screenwriting Goldmine emails I had subscribed to. I see that most of them are advertising screenwriting classes, workshops, competitions, and production companies looking for scripts.
The production companies always say something like this: “We’re looking for a female lead story set with horror setting. Compare to House of Wax. Budget not exceed $500,000.”
Feb. 17 Spring cleaning: In Jan. 2014, I was reading and deleting my Stage 32 emails. In Feb. 2014, I’m reading and deleting my Screenwriting Goldmine emails.
Linked In groups: I like to read people write about writing on forums. There are forums on those above sites. I’m now going into Linked In groups. I had signed onto groups like TWO BITS way back in 2011. Prior to it, I was on twop.com reading about people comments on TV shows.
I then looked at all the groups I’m in on Linked In. I then checked out what my connections are in what groups.
Feb. 20: Most of Screenwriting Goldmine’s “Scripts Wanted” emails are from production companies in the US. One was from Canada so I pitched to them.
Meetup: I have read a few scripts and outlines from people in Meetup’s screenwriting group. It kind of reminds me of high school and college creative writing classes. In high school and college, there aren’t any scripts, but it’s more like fun short stories to read and critique.
However, I am impressed with people’s scripts here.
Betty Hectman: Ginny Grimsley sent me this article “I Love Yarn Day.” It’s about knitting and mystery books by Betty Hectman. Here’s her website where there are descriptions of her books.
When I read the summary, it reminded me of Mary Higgens Clark and Carol Higgens Clark books. There is a mystery, but there is this kind of light element to it.
Feb. 27 Dr. Dre: He is a rapper and music producer. I was watching some Much Music and the Today’s Top Ten was on. It listed music artists that you would wait for their album. He was to release his last album Detox in 2001. He hasn’t released anything in years. All he does is make and produce music for other artists instead of work on his album.
My opinion: That’s like me. I haven’t really worked much on my Rain script, because I am mainly writing my blog. Besides I’m busy working at my job. The other day I was listening to one of my old cds by the British rock band Athlete. I then felt inspired to look at my script.
I then decided to delete some of the beginning and wrote in a few lines.
Seth Meyers: I’m sure all of you heard that Saturday Night Live actor Seth Meyers is going on his own late night TV show. He says he writes SNL Weekend Update and the jokes are written on Mon. and Tues. and when Sat. comes, the jokes are stale. If it’s on daily TV, then the jokes are fresh.
My opinion: Yeah, I know what he means. Way back in the days of 2005-2006, I used to write daily emails. There were times I write 3 little emails a day, so it would be like 21 emails a week. One person said he was overwhelmed by it and not to send so much. Prior to it, I was planning on sending 2 big emails a week. So then I started sending 2 big emails a week. Now I send 3 big emails a week.
I like with email, you can send it in real time. I’m sure now people are more with instantaneous feedback like Facebook status updates, tweets, and texts. I’m fine with sending 3 big emails a week, it’s easier to manage and for you to read.
Mar. 4: You can compare this email/ blog post to “Linked In/ Stage 32/ 10 yr old blogger Hannah Alper”:
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Feb. 18 Temp: I was reading Metro on Nov. 28, 2013. It says the Workers Action Centre is campaigning for equal pay.
The centre organizer Sonia Singh: “Permanent workers are earning a lot more. The typical statistic is that temp workers earn 40% less than permanent workers. The government should include in the law that temp-agency workers receive the same wages as permanent workers when they are doing the same work.”
Government temp jobs: On the same page, it says government temp jobs aren’t that good either. “Wages for temp workers in the public sector have fallen up to 40% since the feds started awarding contracts to the lowest bidder, according to the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services.”
Irving Shipyard: I was reading Metro on Nov. 29, 2013. 200 workers walked out of the Irving Shipyard in Halifax after one of their employees Peter MacKenzie committed suicide because of months of harassment by management.
MacKenzie has worked there for 25 years. He was suspended for 30 days due to poor workmanship on a scaffold. He was 58 yrs old. Another engineer said that the work was up to standard.
Tyler Stewart, 29 says that the company got new management: “A lot of the older gentlemen, they’re trying to almost make them retire…they want to make their lives miserable. Unfortunately it has come to this to make a better situation.”
Feb. 19 Job interview: Today is my day off and I went to a job interview.
1. The boss and people seem to be nice.
2. There is potential for me to learn and grow
3. There is job security of this big company.
4. There is pay and benefits.
1. It seems kind of a hard and complicated job. They told me that I didn’t have to learn everything right away. The learning process is different for everybody. There are certain steps. I will have to learn and practice it.
The Office Job: That reminds me of last year when I was being trained at the Office job. It was two weeks of training. There was lots of practice on the computer.
Rick Mercer Report: This was like a month ago. I was watching a bit of this show. Probably waiting until dinner starts. Mercer goes on a boat to learn about fishing crabs and lobsters.
Mercer: What do you like most about your job?
Fisherman: The money.
Lol. I wouldn’t want to work as a fisher, because from the footage, it seemed really hard. It’s cold outside, with lots of physical labor of lifting cages of lobsters. There is something else.
Mercer: My camera man has been physically ill 3 times already. How long are we going to be out here?
Boss: We’re only 2/3 of the way done.
I don’t get motion sickness from car rides or roller coaster rides. Lol. But the sea seems pretty rough.
Feb. 21 Jobs in West: I was on Yahoo news and found this article “Looking for the best chance at a high paying job? Go West.”
Best places to find work in Canada:
1. Grande Prarie, AB
2. Red Deer, AB
5. Lethbridge, AB
Worst places to find work in Canada:
40. Charlottetown, PEI
41. Sarnia, ON
42. Chatham-Kent, ON
43. Brantford, ON
44. Kingston, ON
45. Sault Ste. Marie, ON
46. Oshawa, ON
47. Chilliwack, BC
48. Courtenay, BC
49. Saguenay, QC
50. Cape Breton, NS
Jim J says: “I'm living the dream. Food allowance, travel allowance, free accommodation; and over $30.00 an hour plus paid time and a half overtime nearly every day going straight into the bank.
Was it easy leaving New Brunswick? No way, hurt like hell!
Is the job a jammy gig? Nope, it's hard grafting all day long.
Thing is in a few years we'll leave and have enough money tucked by and a monthly pension to set ourselves up.
Can't figure why more people aren't out here, cause the company is screaming to get more help.”
My opinion: The comments go on about how it’s expensive to live in AB. I know AB is where the jobs are because I read the business section of the newspaper all the time.
Feb. 22 Long weekend: This is the first time in a few years where I didn’t work the long weekend. This is the Family Day long weekend.
Feb. 14: I had off because I was sick.
Feb. 15: Day off.
Feb. 16: I worked a few hrs on because I was still kind of sick.
Feb. 17: I had off.
I worked so much this week. It was really busy. It’s also Reading week for college students.
Getting hired after college: Ginny Grimsley sent me this article.
• Know what you will actually be doing. Interns tend to be eager to learn, wide-eyed and optimistic about gaining an internship somewhere. While simply being in a company’s culture has some value, many businesses simply want students to do their lowest-level work. Grunt work, to some extent, is a fact of life in most professions, however, students probably aren’t looking to gain experience in coffee-making or cleaning. Consider an internship that gives you real responsibility and provides experiences that will definitely come in handy in your future career.
• Consider the industry recognition of a company. While college is certainly worth the investment, it is costly and you want to get all you can out of the experience. Don’t accept working for free with just any organization; think about how the name will resonate on a resume. If you can, get information on how other former interns fared at a company who would have you.
• For entrepreneurial students, real experience is crucial. If you’re an artist, athlete, musician, theater major, English student or a STEM fields student, it’s much easier to get real experience by simply doing what one loves. But for business majors and future entrepreneurs, getting experience often comes with a heavy price, including the loss of personal or family finances. Look for opportunities that provide guidance while allowing you to apply skills to real-life challenges such as budgeting, marketing, and managing employees.
My opinion: I read the article and I was kind of eh with it. The tips I already know. Interns get boring duties that no one is interested in.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Have you heard the old folk tale, Stone Soup?
It’s one of my favourite stories of all time, a folk tale that speaks to the heart of what we do at Food Banks Canada…and how caring people like you are a vital part
We’ve created a special version of this story to share
with you and other caring members of the Food Banks
I hope you’re inspired to share it with others, and also
consider what you can contribute to our Stone Soup
Yours in sharing the warmth of our Stone Soup,
Food Banks Canada
The legacy of the Sochi Olympics will be tainted forever. The Games were fraught with human rights violations including the whipping and jailing of peaceful protestors. And the fanfare of Sochi has been overshadowed by the violent crisis in neighboring Ukraine – where protests erupted in response to President Yanukovych's decision to keep close ties to Putin's Russia.
With the Olympics now behind us, Amnesty International is working to ensure the global spotlight stays on Russia. Will you help us keep pressure on authorities to release peaceful protestors?
The harassment, detentions, arrests, fabricated charges and unfair trials meted out to activists under the blazing lights of the world's cameras do not bode well for post-Olympics Russia.
Just Friday, nearly 200 protestors and journalists were arbitrarily arrested outside the court as Moscow's eight "Bolotnaya Square" protestors were found guilty.
Yesterday, 234 additional peaceful protestors were arrested and detained outside the same court as the "Bolotnaya" defendants were sentenced to up to four years in prison.
It's clear – those who dare to express dissenting views in Russia face serious consequences. Amnesty is calling for immediate action. This is a moment when we need your help. Donate to support our grassroots mobilization and large-scale media efforts to keep the spotlight on human rights abuses in Russia.
The arrests during Sochi are part of a wider clampdown on the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression – put so prominently on display during the Olympics – since Vladimir Putin resumed the Russian presidency.
The cracks in Putin's Russia have been shown to the world. It is during historic moments like this when human rights struggles are won – or lost. Please help us win. Donate now.
You refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. You are Amnesty, the most powerful force for human rights in the entire world.
And in just a few weeks, we will unite in Chicago to fire up this movement and tackle some of the biggest human rights challenges of our time.
I want you to be there. Join me April 4-6 in Chicago for the 2014 Human Rights Conference: Bringing Human Rights Home.
Picture this: 3 full days working side-by-side with passionate human rights activists just like you.
We have a lot to talk about:
And much, much more. I promise you, this will be a transformative experience you do not want to miss.
Make your reservation for the 2014 Human Rights Conference today.
This year's theme of Bringing Human Rights Home is personal, for you and me.
It means that we connect police torture in Turkey with police torture in Chicago. It means a woman fighting for reproductive freedom in Texas has a deep, human connection to a woman struggling for these same rights in El Salvador.
The abuse of one person's rights is an affront to us all.
Bringing Human Rights Home will show us that human rights are relevant and personal no matter where the fight to protect them takes us.
Make the connection. Join me in Chicago April 4-6.
I hope to see you there.