Is it a crime to be a journalist in 2018?

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

MONTREAL-  For a few months, this question has been haunting me in a way I couldn’t have imagined. Right now, in this world we are living in, is still normal that some governments or regimes consider journalism to be a crime?

In Canada, we don’t have this problem, but in the Raymar, this is what seems to be the case. Wa Lone, (32) and Kyaw So Oo, (28), who could have been my little brothers because they are only a few years younger, were arrested in December 2017 simply because they were doing their jobs – being journalists. They were sentenced to seven years in prison last September after reporting the atrocities and the killing of Rohingya Muslims in the Raymar.

Their human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, gave a speech this last September at the UN Headquarters kindly asking if Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the famous Nobel Peace Prize honoraries and the Myanmar State Counsellor, could pardon the two journalists. By the way in early 2000, every time I have been to a U2 concert, I have seen a message of her telling us to be pacific and hope for a better world for the next generation.

So far, Aung San Suu Kyi is doing so little. With her inaction, you may question, damn, of all the people, does she truly think those journalists are criminals?? In my dictionary, The SAB Illustrated Dictionary 2018, being a journalist is not a crime. A journalist shouldn’t be in jail for doing their job. Criminals have done bad things like killing, stealing … Oh! Speaking of stealing, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were accused of breaching a secret act when they obtained confidential documents. Those documents would have been useful for terrorist organizations and enemies of the state. But those journalists were tricked. Clear and simple. Let’s try to find something to put them in jail so they won’t cover a very important story.

Even Amal said and I’m quoting: ”She (Aung San Suu Kyi) knows that mass murder is not a state secret and that exposing it doesn’t turn a journalist into a spy… History will judge her on her response”.

More and more, my conviction of not putting my trust in the government is growing. When I was young (I’m still young at heart), Aung San Suu Kyi was this really sweet and fragile, but feisty and courageous woman who wanted a better future for the country where she was born and raised. I saw her as a very gentle, pacific and kind-hearted person. Now, I have taken off my rose-coloured sunglasses, and I don’t find what I am reading about Myanmar in the news beautiful.

Those two journalists are apart from their young families. I can’t imagine the anguish and the kind of stress they are experiencing in their situation. I have the luxury of writing this post without fear of being thrown in jail or killed. I do take this for granted and I am ashamed of admitting it. But I won’t be ashamed to stand by those men.

Being a journalist is not a crime.

Never!

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I got Toronto on my mind

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

I’ve still got Toronto on my mind, even after a few days back to the city of a thousand church bells, Montreal.

It wasn’t my first time in the Tdot, but it was my first time alone as an adult in the city. A few days disconnecting with my usual non-orthodox routine, that is – my crazy life, and without speaking the Molière language was interesting.

Montreal does have a special European charm and a certain je ne sais quoi, but Toronto is more a cosmopolitan city, with hidden treasures to be found every few streets.

I was in Toronto especially to listen to a nice conversation.

This conversation was insightful, funny, charming and so authentic. I’m really happy to have been part of it as a listener. Especially since part of this dynamic duo is my ultimate favorite journalist and person I try to emulate the most in this kind of journalism.

He is one of the most respected men in this field.

Nick Clooney is the journalist I am talking about. I won’t deny, listening to him gave me chills. Listening to him talk about Hazim “Haz’ Avdal, a young Yazidi Iraki refugee who is like a second son to him, I saw the pride of a father whose son gave him hope to believe in goodness in people again.

Both Amal and Nick were proud family members when they spoke about Az, as well as with Nadia Murad. Nadia is a young Yazidi woman that was captured by Isis. She escaped with some scars, but that hasn’t stopped her from being the sister, the mother and the ultimate superwoman to all the Yazidis.

She is proudly fighting the good fight with her secret weapon, Amal Clooney.

Amal is more than the woman who married one of the biggest movie stars in the world and one heck of a director (come on, Good Night and Good Luck was a masterpiece).

Yes, the media talks about her latest look. I do have to admit, she mixes fun and sassiness in her look like the majority of us women in this world aim to do.

There is even a blog dedicated to her fashion sense, but my point is that even the blog dedicated to her fashion sense talks about the cause that she cherishes. I definitely have more respect for a blog like the one I’m talking about over the TMZs of the world.

Why she is more than a celebrity?

It’s because, like Audrey Hepburn, her main focus is to shine light on causes that may not been known or talked about much. It’s not be easy to have this growth in attention when only 6 years ago, she could go to eat at her favorite Italian restaurant in Notting Hill without being mobbed by a hundred photographers.

But she has a good co-pilot in George and a good family unit that will continue to be her fortress.

I came back to Montreal with a refreshing perspective on life and the act of compassion.

I didn’t think that the city of Toronto would be the type to remind me to continue being compassionate and to keep up the good fight.

Speaking of keeping up the good fight, the best boxing trainer is in Toronto! Go check him out, Jorge Blanco. If you are in Montreal, you are not forgotten. You can train here in Montreal as well.

I’m so overdue that I will give my coach a call.

In the end, Toronto and Montreal are the perfect couple (except in the NHL). They are complementary to each other.

Can we take this as an example and be more complementary to each other as human beings, especially with regard to compassion and human decency?

I did see it last weekend in the Tdot!

http://spaniard.ca

Clooney Foundation For Justice official website

Tom vs Time or Time vs Tom?

Written by Sabine Demosthenes

I know, I know… 
Another article about the magnificent Tom Brady, written by another admirer. You may be right in a way, I have admired Tom Brady since he started, but I do not like/love/admire or any other adjective describing a lovey-dovey attitude toward his employer, The New England Patriots. I will, however, be respectful because my mother and father raised me to be a respectful human being.
That being said, I watched the “Tom vs Time” episode about spirituality and had in a surprising “Wow” moment. Me! Mrs. I don’t give a (sorry kid – very bad word that I won’t write in this very serious article *sigh*).
Why Am I so serious?
My point is that I knew he was great, but now I get why he is the greatest, even as a Patriot (ouch, that hurts).
Tom is a very grounded, in an Earthly kind of way. I think his eco-system, aka his family and the people surrounding him, made him a grounded human being. He is not impressed by the superficiality of being seen as a superstar quarterback. 
I have realized that to be this kind of athlete, you need to constantly have an adversary. Sometimes, your adversary is the opposing team or a rival quarterback. My question/remark is: Could Tom have been his own adversary all along, ever since he started playing football as a child? Time is his drug, his goal, and his final destination?
With everything that has happened in the past two years, a different Tom has emerged for some people. For me, it’s the same ol’ Tom. The man, who as a youngster was a fan of Joe Montana, is glowing and is finally free from trying to please to his boss. 
I won’t go too deep into my thoughts on the matter because our correspondent – The Educated Fool, Donnie Demos – will do a segment in our new web series (spoiler alert!), The NorthSide, about this fascinating man and the complex nature of human behavior in sports.
But from my point of view, I realized that I have more in common with Tom Brady than I thought. I totally get his mentality. 
The title of his documentary is Tom vs Time, but time for Tom seems to be the Ying to his Yang, the Jerry to his Tom (the cartoon Tom and Jerry), the RoadRunner to his Wile E. Coyote or the Apollo to his Rocky. 
Even if retirement may come sooner rather than later, Tom vs Time will always be there. 
Wile E. Coyote Business card
Tom always has a plan. What will the next step in his plan be?
Can Tom Brady leave the most dangerous game? ESPN

Fantastic Mr. Clooney! Mr. Nick Clooney

I have wanted to be a journalist (and soccer maven) since I was a little girl.

Trying to look cool

I wanted to be as smart as Christiane Amanpour, as sassy and curious as Ann Curry and (when I was a little older) as perspicacious as Nick Clooney.

A girl can still dream. Those people are my anchors and journalism mentors.

I have wanted to do a post about Nick Clooney for a long time.

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Yes, he is the father of some famous actor we may have seen on the big and small screens and we’ve drank his Tequila like there was no tomorrow ( I sure did) and still, didn’t have the worst hangover.

Bily the tequila connaisseur

Nicholas Clooney (the same given name as my father) is so fascinating. He was a well-known anchorman and television host for so many years.

Apollo 8 crew with Nick Clooney

He was a true leader in his field. But, he displays the definition of what it means to be a true leader with his actions.

He protested for the Sudanese with pride, even though he got arrested along with his son.

Clooneys

That shows you the man he is. Someone not afraid to fight the good fight. This is something that his son will probably pass down to his children.

In my eyes, this is the most beautiful legacy a man could leave to his descendants.

Nick Clooney Journalist

While watching David Letterman’s show last night on Netflix, I was so happy and touched by the generosity of all the Clooneys for sponsoring a very courageous Yazidi man named Hazim Avdal (and he is a good driver).

Hazim Avdal

There is goodness around us. We just need to open our eyes and our hearts.

If you have the chance to watch it on Netflix, please do!

Letterman and Clooney

Mr. Clooney. Thank you for being one of my inspirations and in a way, one of my mentors.

I salute you.

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Good Night and Good Luck!

Written by Sab Demosthenes

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m a woman.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are gathered here to witness….

…another act of misogyny in the universe of professional sports.

Cam Newton was so damn stupid with his response to Jourdan Rodrigue’s question. For one day, he beat out Donald Trump for stupidest comment.

Her question was really smart. It was about route running, which is the path a receiver takes before he catches the ball, and the fact that he had made some good adjustments with it. His reaction was just plain stupid. My blood pressure suddenly rose and I started swearing like my Haitian grandmother (RIP Grandma Sue!). Like, what the f….

Cam Newton Jourdan Rodrigue

If it were a man asking, he would have acknowledged him, but since in his language, it was a woman that he referred to as “female” (another thing that made me so mad), he was misogynist and disrespectful.

Cam Newton press conference

For some that didn’t saw the segment, here it is:

I love talking about sports and I love to learn more about them. In order to learn, you must do research and educate yourself. I think this is a good thing for everyone. Jourdan Rodrigue did her research, and you can see that she loves to learn to. If you just listen to some of the questions that journalists ask during a press conference with NFL coaches or players, you feel like it could be as dumb as when a presenter ask to an actress on the red carpet, who are you wearing.

Bill Belichick actually wanted to be asked really smart questions. I’m not a Pats fan at all, but if someone is willing to listen and notice the thought put into the questions we ask, I’m all for it!

Bill Belichick

I’m really surprised at Cam Newton. Especially after only a week earlier, he took a stand for Colin Kaerpernick. Now, he does a 180, and just puts his foot in his mouth.

I applaud Jourdan Rodrigue having done her homework. She is obviously a smart and passionate journalist.

I was never a big fan of Newton because I always felt that he was lacking certain sportsmanship qualities, but now, I just don’t respect him. Superman, yeah right…

Cam Newton

There are many journalists, lawyers, doctors, scientists, mechanics, you name it, that are women and they are facing these situations on a daily basis. Hopefully someday the conversation will change.

We are strong women

It’s 2017 damn it!