Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tim talked about Mad Pride on Ryerson Radio

Speaking about Mad Pride, Art and Culture was a bit surreal but I was grateful to CJRU, The Scope at Ryerson for the chance to promote our events.

You can find out more about the events that have now happened at the Mad Pride Toronto site.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Donations welcome for Mad Pride Week - Toronto

madlogoColSm.jpgCelebrate and Empower
July 11th – 17th

Mad Pride Week is an arts, culture, and community festival created to celebrate, empower and build community. We are working not only to end stigma and oppression, but to show our strength and enjoyment of life.

Toronto Mad Pride was started in 1993 by community activists in Parkdale as “Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day”, and is now part of a global movement from the UK to Australia.

The festival will have a great line-up of events: the Mad Market of arts, music and fun; a Public Forum presented by the Empowerment Council; a Theatrical Performance by Friendly Spike Theatre; a line-up of Academic Events, including discussions and activities co-sponsored by Ryerson University; and the annual flagship Bed-Push Parade (symbolizing the movement from hospital to community) that ends with a Picnic at Trinity-Bellwoods Park.

To create these events we need and value long-term relationships with community partners and we’re asking you to contribute to Mad Pride Toronto 2016. There are many ways to do so:
  • Contribute through monetary or in-kind donations
  • Volunteer with event planning and/or on-site at events
  • Spread the word about Toronto Mad Pride Week 2016

And, of course, come out to the events and join in the fun July 11th-17th!

Your contributions will help achieve our shared goals and build your organization’s profile in mental health and community building. Partners and contributors will be acknowledged through posters, event signage, website and social media channels.

Please support Mad Pride 2016, supported by, and a project of, Sound Times Support Services of Metropolitan Toronto, (charitable status #133639187RP0001).

Help us make Mad Pride Week 2016 an outstanding event and support our goal of ending the stigma against mental illness and celebrating our Mad Pride.

Thank you,

Mad Pride Planning Group
280 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A 3A4   @madpridetoronto   

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sammy Yatim's murder - leads to Police Conviction

Does shooting a dead person (even if the shooter is unaware of death) constitute attempted murder? Yes, according to the recent conviction of Constable James Forcillo for attempted murder of Sammy Yatim.

Forcillo is the only officer facing charges. The police may offer more training in the future, but they have been saying they will improve training for decades. I offer a Proposal to ensure that the other officers are accountable and learn from experiences like this.

  1. Police at the scene of a violent encounter with a person in crisis (PIC) have a mandatory debrief. 
  2. During training, police have an experience of institutionalization (1-3 nights) in a forensic mental health facility or prison.
  3. All officers who fail to deescalate a situation involving a PIC have to reenter the insitutionalization process for training purposes.
Back to the case...

Const. James Forcillo, left, is accused of second-degree murder and attempted murder in the 2013 shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, right.
Const. James Forcillo, left, is accused of second-degree murder and attempted murder in the 2013 shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, right. (Toronto Star)

The verdict is disappointing for both sides. Forcillo is likely going to jail with a target on his back as a police officer. No one else is being held to account.

Yatim's family will have to live with this forever:

“Sammy was a young man who had his whole future ahead of him. Because of what the police did, we lost him forever. Nothing in this world will compensate me for the loss of my son, nor will anything bring him back to me, but I would like, for the sake of this great country, that the police remain a source of confidence, security and respect for all people.”
Toronto Star gives a longer account of the verdict:

However, they clearly found that the second volley of shots fired five-and-a-half seconds later was neither justifiable or in self-defence. The finding of guilt suggests the jury felt Yatim was no longer a threat when Forcillo fired at him six times, striking him five times in his lower part of his paralyzed body but not causing the fatal injuries that led to his death, possibly before he was Tasered by another officer.
...Defence counsel for Forcillo characterized the verdicts as a “compromise” but repeatedly said this is just Phase 1. Over the two weeks in May set aside for a sentencing hearing, the defence will bring an abuse-of-process application to have the charges stayed. Following that, they will seek to prove the mandatory minimum sentence for attempted murder is unconstitutional. 
The challenge is to find ways to stop this from happening in the future. Incentives for police must align with the interests of the public. Avoiding training institutionalization would encourage other officers to stop their aggressive partners.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Pop was for the masses. Now I want to be the masses.

I admit it; I liked the Spice Girls. But I also like lots of alternative rock and the idea that I was too cool for pop music in the mid 1990s.

So I was surprised, when I realized how much I was listening to catchy pop tunes by SIA, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Alessia Cara and Miley Cyrus, I was surprised.

Have I mellowed in my old age? Well, yes. But also, I like the drama, the pathos, the hope or the sense of everything being important and new. I also like to stretch my vocal range (Demi Lovato Confident):

And the cynicism is fun too (Alessia Cara Here):

Ok. My tastes are electronic or very old timey folk:

Friday, December 11, 2015

Coffee and chocolate and comedy

I am chocolate addicted and lactose intolerant. This caused problems when faced with fudge and Sima's suicide treats at the  Laughing Like Crazy showcase December 10, 2015 in Toronto.

Hot Chocolate Fudge Sauce
Chocolate makes me high. Thanks
I opted for the sweets and I survived so I was swollen, smiling and spiritually satisfied, . (35 s's so far...37)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Otter faking it?

Oil spills are particularly visible examples of our oil based system gone wrong. This is a topic that The Onion - America's Finest News Source brings to the public consciousness with their investigative report into the phenomenon of otters faking suffering due to oil exposure. Otters like environmentalists go overboard (pun intended) with their complaints about pollution destroying their environments.

According to Shell president Marvin Odum, the otter has been putting on "quite a show" in front of rescue workers and clean-up crews, and is making the 860,000-gallon, three-mile-wide toxic slick seem like a much bigger deal than it actually is.

"He's fine," said Odum, referring to the 40-pound sea creature, who was found washed ashore and appeared to be suffering from anaphylactic shock. "Trust me, before all of the cameras and reporters showed up, our little buddy here was having no problem at all cleaning himself off. Now, all of a sudden, it's severe spastic convulsions this and complete kidney failure that."...

Ollila went on to praise a number of petroleum-soaked seals, pelicans, and sea turtles in the contaminated area, commending them for remaining completely still and silent, and not "making a big production" out of the environmental disaster when rescue and camera crews arrived at the scene.

On a more serious note, oil spills present a particularly severe risk in the Arctic Ocean. The ecosystem is more vulnerable to disruptions, because there is a delicate balance of life that can exist in cold temperatures. The issue of Arctic sovereignty for Canada and other Northern nations is important here, because if the North West passage is owned by Canada then Canada can enforce environmental standards against ships that fly any flag. This way we can board, inspect, punish and deter rickety ships that travel with "flags of convenience". Maybe we can protect some otters too...