Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spirit Bear Post 1: Justice Circle

Recently, we have been reading the novel, "Touching Spirit Bear." It tells the story of a lawbreaking teenager named Cole Matthews.
I think that if I were part of Cole's Justice Circle, I would have to review the YCJA. That would help me to get a clear outline of the rights of both the offender and victim. I think when deciding the fate of Cole, it would be important to consider all the circumstances. For one, Cole's father beat him, a pertinent fact that seems at the moment to have been a major source of Cole's anger and frustration. It should also be considered that his mother was an alcoholic, so he would have spent a lot of time on his own. When you do that, it's easy to feel like nobody cares for you and just be really lonely. For Cole, it seems like that turned to anger. While he wasn't willing to cooperate the first Justice Circle, the second it felt like he'd changed. I think that remembering how Cole feels, how he is very angry, is important to giving him a sentence. If I were there, I probably would have come up with a similar verdict as they did in the book. For the first one, he would be really angry, so I would want him to spend some time alone and reflect through banishment. Sentencing him to banishment was also a good course of action because it could possibly teach Cole that being alone isn't so bad after all. A large focus of the YCJA is to try to change youth, because it has shown that youth are more likely to change than adults. This is why I would elect to send Cole to somewhere faraway with minimum human contact, so maybe he can appreciate life a bit more, and also calm down. This proved to be quite effective, and in the second Justice Circle, I would fight for Cole. I would be influenced by how confident he seemed, and how honest he was. It appeared like he really changed. Even though he disobeyed his sentence, he seemed to be changed, which is of course a key focus of the YCJA.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

GINS Quote

This quote adresses multiple issues, and the main issues in Afghanistan today. Those are: the Taliban and discrimination against women. I believe that this quote is very powerful because it directly showcases the Taliban worldview. I tried to make it very simplistic but powerful. I decided to just use a dark background to show the darkness of the Taliban and their dark plans. I chose a single Talib man staring directly at you. I feel like it shows the intensity and hatred, and it also feels like he is saying it, like the quote is a representation of his worldview. I chose this picture because the pain and suffering of his nation, but also the evil is reflected in his eyes. I chose a red font because I feel like it reflects all of the bloodshed that goes on because of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The actual font I chose because I thought it looked pretty intense with all capital letters, but still not comically so. Overall, I tried to choose a very powerful image but still keep the layout simple.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

GINS Post 7 - Exploring Empathy

Daily life for my GINS character from Afghanistan is not like daily life for a Canadian. Daily life for her means not being able to go out after dark. Daily life for her means living in fear of terrorist organizations like the Taliban. Daily life for her means never feeling truly safe. Daily life for her means constant discrimination. My life is a cake walk compared to hers. I get three meals a day. I do not need to fear for suicide bombers or merciless killers. Although I have not experienced a life like she lives, I understand that it is not easy. My life would sound like a dream to her, even though we often forget how privileged we are. The only true way to know how good we have it is to know how those less privileged live.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

GINS Post 6: Charter of the World w/ Kellan, Liam, and Jatin

Hello, and welcome to GINS post 6. Check out our "Charter of the World" where we talk about what some of the rights of all people should be here.
This post is going to talk about the process for that, disputes, and ideas that we did not have time for.

I know that specifically for my novel, the main issues were women's rights and the Taliban. The Taliban you can't do much about because they are already breaking laws. But, for women's rights, that could be addressed through equality rights, the right to no discrimination. We had to make sure that all people are equals in this Charter, so that if this were employed for the world, the issue in "Thunder Over Kandahar" would be resolved. When creating this, we essentially used the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a guideline, while incorporating elements that apply to the whole world, not just Canada. We used basically the same rights, but just added more, and changed the wording to be applicable to the world. For example, changing Canada to The World. Our group had minimal disputes. We generally agreed on the same concepts. The only times I can remember contradicting thoughts is when Jatin thought we should include rights to no terrorism, but it was quickly settled due to terrorism already being illegal, and there can be no guaranteed right against it. Another dispute is when Jatin put in to Equality Rights, no discrimination by age, gender, (etc.), or sensuality. We decided to remove sensuality because it means pleasure, and pleasure is not a physical trait, rather a feeling that you experience, and you cannot guarantee that a person will or will not feel something. Other than that, our group was pretty likeminded in creating this document.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

GINS Post 5: Return of the GINS

Hello everyone!

I am returning to post to my Litspiration blog. Recently, I have been learning about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. So today, I will be comparing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the equivalent of that for Afghanistan (The Country in which Thunder Over Kandahar takes place in).

The Charter for Afghanistan is within their constitution, mostly Chapters 1-2, which talk about state and fundamental freedoms. The first thing I noticed when looking at this document was that Afghanistan stated that they believe firmly in God and adhere strongly to being Islamic. This is very different from  Canada, wherein Canadians are free to choose a religion and that really wouldn't be put in the constitution as Canada has no concrete religion today. Another point that is important that I found is that in Article 40 (Fundamental Freedoms), it discusses how nobody's property shall be confiscated without the order of law. This is different in Canada because in Afghanistan that shows that they are subject to search because the law orders it. In Canada, they need a suitable reason or permission first.

In Article 48 it discusses how work is the right of every Afghan. This, in my opinion is an improvement of Canada's Charter because homelessness is a big problem in Canada, and not saying it is completely obliterated in Afghanistan, it just helps them by having the right to it. In Canada, it is more of a freedom, as you are free to work if you have the skill set. For it to be a right, that most likely boosts the amount of workers.

You can look for more differences between Charter's if you would like, as I only discussed the sections that really stood out to me. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GINS Post 4: Tumblr Mashup

Check out my consumerism-themed Tumblr here

Hello! Recently, I have been reading the novel “Thunder Over Kandahar” by Sharon E. McKay. We have also been talking a lot about consumerism and economics, and have created Tumblr's that focus on consumerism and economics. Today, I am going to talk about how the issues in Afghanistan relate to economics. In Thunder Over Kandahar, McKay addresses many issues in Afghanistan such as Women’s Rights issues and the Taliban. Consumerism talks a lot about scarcity and economic systems.
First, I will start off with Afghanistan’s economic system. Afghanistan has a planned economy, which means that prices, production, investment, and incomes are determined largely by the government. This is because Afghanistan has been largely devastated by war and the Taliban. They are still recovering, and so the government has to control, economically, pretty much everything. This is not a particularly efficient way to run the economy, but I think that if they slowly recover enough, they could manage to have more individual involvement. This means that in the consumer aspect of things, prices are largely predetermined so they likely have less choices to make. Instead of comparing prices between stores like we do, things probably have common price, not like the majority of people could afford it anyway. They are really poverty stricken in Afghanistan and so they typically have much less money than we in Canada do.
The quality of life there is much lower than we have here. Quality of life is your personal satisfaction with the cultural and intellectual conditions where you live. I would imagine that the quality of life there is very low because it is poverty-ridden, and probably pretty scarce due to war. Because the quality of life is so low, that means that they have very different consumer choices that they have to make. Here, we have lots of money, so we have lots of consumer choices. There, they have very little, so I would imagine they would take whatever they can get.
This really shows how different the whole concept of consumerism would be if I were to live somewhere different. Here, we constantly make choices as to what brand we buy or what price. There, as I stated, I would pretty much take whatever I could get. I would also imagine that it is more of a barter system than money, because people typically have less of it. They probably are also thinking a lot less about what they value in products. We could value brand or price but they could just value the product in itself if they can get it.
I think that a main issue that connects both economic systems and Afghanistan is the US military. We have been talking a lot recently about how economic systems. The US has a market economy, which means that the majority of the economy is made up of individual companies and the government rarely intervenes. This is a connecting factor because with a market economy, government rarely intervenes, but in Canada, the government provides a variety of public companies, like CBC. Our taxes also pay for free healthcare. But where do the US taxes go? They don’t have free healthcare. A good chunk (an estimated ⅕) of taxes do toward military/foreign aid. “Foreign aid” can typically encompass Afghanistan. There is a lot of controversy around this as to what they are actually doing there, as the impetus for sending troops was most likely the Taliban. Now, it is no longer under Taliban rule, and things are still not drastically improving. They have a planned economy as I discussed, and so most things are controlled by government. The government is mostly affected by other countries like the US. Things are still slowly improving, but many question the need for so many troops.
A main issue in Thunder Over Kandahar was the Taliban. A main issue for the US is the Taliban, and so they devote a lot of money to trying to stop them or whatever they do over there. Taxes are a large part of economics, so this is quite the issue in the US, and considering how in debt they are, I would imagine they would try to take all the money they could get.

Saturday, November 16, 2013