Quote of the Day: “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”

by matttbastard

x-posted @ Comments From Left Field

“The Defence Department is so desperate to validate this broken process that they will disregard just about any concern of judicial economy or fairness to the accused… .

“They write a rule giving Omar a right to appeal, they tell Omar he has a right to appeal, and when he appeals, they claim he doesn’t have a right to appeal — Alice in Wonderland really is the only way to describe it.”

– Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, lead military lawyer for Omar Khadr, commenting on U.S. military judge Peter Brownback’s order that Khadr’s trial “proceed in a “judicious manner,” in spite of a court appeal from Khadr’s lawyers questioning whether the young Canadian can legally be tried at all.”

CP further quotes Kuebler:

The U.S. would never tolerate this kind of treatment for an American, yet the Canadian government continues to agree with the U.S. view that it’s good enough for a Canadian.

In an op-ed published this past June, Maude Barlow, Alex Neve and Roch Tasse noted that:

Despite the controversy surrounding Mr. Khadr and his family, who are well-known for terrorist connections and anti-western rhetoric, there is no justification for the Canadian government’s failure to demand forcefully and publicly, as other U.S. allies have, that his human rights be fully protected, including the right to a fair trial. Our government’s failure to make this public request, and its failure to demand that Guantanamo Bay be shut down immediately, sends a very worrying message to the rest of world about where Canada stands on human rights and international law. And it speaks volumes about the Canadian government’s tendency over these past five years to fail to put human rights at the centre of its relationship with the United States. [emph and link mine]

More from CanWest News on how “Canada is the only western country that has given the U.S. the benefit of the doubt in its treatment of “enemy combatants” being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba… .”

Background: 2006 Rolling Stone profile of Omar Khadr, who has been in Gitmo limbo since 2002 after being captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15; Human Rights Watch: The Omar Khadr Case: A Teenager Imprisoned at Guantanamo.

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Any Colour You Like

by matttbastard

Via Feminist Peace Network: Death now comes in a pretty pink wrapper. Meet ‘Barbie Camel’:

Camel No. 9 cigarettes are the pink version of Joe Camel, or, as one Oregon newspaper put it, “Barbie Camel.” And R.J. Reynolds’s marketing strategy is abetted with giveaways to fashion-conscious young women that include berry lip balm and hot pink cellphone jewelry, mini-purses and wristbands. The tagline for Camel No. 9 is “light and luscious”; how better to sell a cancer-causing cigarette than to make it sound like a tasty treat? There’s even a Camel No. 9 “stiletto” line, meant to evoke images of the sexy shoes.

Someone should remind R.J. Reynolds that there’s nothing sexy about emphysema or dying prematurely from cancer. No amount of pretty pink packaging can obscure the fact that lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer among American women — a truth that underscores tobacco companies’ desperate search for new smokers.

And, surprise surprise, women’s fashion mags are willfully aiding and abetting the lethal marketing strategy – and could care less about the carcinogenic consequences:

While we have come to expect this kind of sleazy marketing from tobacco companies, a big disappointment is that they’ve found an ally in women’s fashion magazines. That’s right, America’s most popular magazines for women, which set trends for the country and have historically served as respected sources for articles on women’s health and fitness, have sold out the well-being of their readers to help Big Tobacco in its search for new victims.

In June, 40 of my congressional colleagues joined me in writing to the publishers of 11 leading women’s magazines: Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, InStyle, Interview Magazine, Lucky, Marie Claire, Soap Opera Digest, Us Weekly, Vogue and W. We asked them to stop accepting misleading advertisements for deadly cigarettes, particularly for Camel No. 9. Not one of the magazines bothered to formally respond. We wrote again on Aug. 1. Seven of the 11 magazines responded, but none has committed to dropping the ads.

Several of the magazines asserted that they can report and editorialize on the dangers of smoking while simultaneously accepting advertisements for the very product they pretend to decry. One complained that we were using “coercion” to prevent it from doing business and even questioned our patriotism for questioning its blind pursuit of profits.

It would be nice to think that the four that never responded — Interview Magazine, Marie Claire, Soap Opera Digest and Us Weekly — have been shamed into silence over their acceptance of ads that promote to young women a deadly, and entirely preventable, addiction. But the truth is all of these publications seem to care more about their bottom lines than the health of their readers, young and old.

Ah yes, the primacy of the profit margin. To quote FPN, “[i]t is a sad commentary that the profitability of death, which plays out in so many ways, is a value we hold more dear than life in in this supposed democracy.” You’ve come a hell of a long way, baby.

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