Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Be careful what you wish for on Craiglist

For those seeking sexual services or personal relationships on Craigslist continuing reading as here are all the juicy details. But be cautious on who you talk to online. What I discovered through the course of my own investigation is there are many fake profiles which are placed on Craig’s list to seek personal information, perhaps by undercover police to either catch pedophiles or entrap those looking to buy sex.
South Asians have a huge presence in several categories on Craigslist and it’s not just in the car/truck buying-selling category. For example, in the ‘erotic’ category you’ll find hundreds of escorts profiles with a brief description and a picture along with their number at the bottom. For a guy it can be extremely tempting to pick up that phone and make a call for companionship. In the search tool bar above if you type in ‘East Indian’ you get about 411 hits of local women looking for a date. What you’ll find soon enough is that many of these profiles are duplicate ads controlled by a dozen or more South Asian escorts, based in Vancouver but largely in Surrey. Some are independent and others are working for agencies throughout the Lower Mainland.
Here is the breakdowns of South Asian profiles on Craigslist. In the ‘men seeking men’ category you’ll find around 63 South Asian profiles. In ‘casual encounters’ you’ll discover around 100 profiles of mainly men. In ‘men seeking women’ you’ll get 92 hits. In ‘women seeking men’ there was only 6 ads. Under ‘miscellaneous romance’ only 4 profiles popped up. As part of my investigation, I decided to play under the casual encounters for a short time and see where my luck stood. In this category, you’ll discover profiles of people who are seeking sexual encounters as singles or couples. The profiles are very detailed, promising you the best sexual time of your life.

I also encountered a huge bi-sexual presence in this section. In the 30 or so emails I sent out most of them replied back immediately asking for my photo. Fair enough. I did send one out initially and what I discovered was it turned out to be gay man posing as a women on the site. This made me angry and I learned not to send out anymore personal information to hackers. If people were serious in meeting they would call. At the end, no one ever called and all the profiles were flagged or removed a day or two later. Ultimately, many on this site are unfortunately only photo collectors. Once some of these hackers get your photo they use it to set up another account with your face on it. This can be damaging to a person’s credibility and reputation.

Every hour new profiles are created and existing are taken down or flagged from complaints. There seems to be an existing pattern in many of the profiles in how they were written. Most of these fake ads had the same repetitive word structure and read like they were written by a female. They were generally well-written with no visible errors and sounded too good to be true. These bogus profiles come in all shapes and nationalities, including South Asian.

On average you’ll find every second or third profile under casual encounters to be a phony catch. Next time you’re searching for sex please be aware of some of the dangers that exist. Don’t waste your time and play safe. Actually, I urge you to stay away from visiting this site so hackers won’t gain access into your personal life.

Remember Sex is highly desirable but finding it on-line can be an entrapment for the weak and vulnerable.

Friday, September 24, 2010

September/October should be referred to as "diversity months" in the Fraser Valley

It's certainly multicultural season

By Ken Herar, The Times September 24, 2010 7:05 AM

I believe the moment has arrived: we name September/October as our diversity months for the Central Fraser Valley.

Living in one of the most diverse areas of the country, this would bring a much needed focus of inclusion, with the recent announcement of funding from the federal government for programs in bridging cultural gaps in Abbotsford and the 41st annual Mennonite Central Committee Relief Sale and Festival assisting communities around the globe.

These months often highlight some of our proudest moments of the calendar. Bravo.

The Abbotsford-Mission Times is also offering the Building an Inclusive, Diverse Community essay contest this month. There will be two categories: For youth, participants must 16 years of age or younger. The adult category is open to everyone over 16 years.

All essays must be 300 words or less and e-mailed to me at the address below or dropped at the Abbotsford-Mission Times office (30887 Peardonville Rd., Abbotsford) before Oct. 8. Include your name, category and contact information.

The question is: How do we create an opportunity for different cultures to work together towards a harmonized, inclusive, multicultural community?

September and October are definitely unique months before we head into Christmas rush. Sure, the weather is changing, but our cultural mosaic is shining through.

Speaking with community minded people on both sides of the river these months are often crucial in preparations for upcoming events.

For example, South Asians next month around the globe will be lighting their candles and popping firecrackers marking Diwali.

So if your horoscope is Capricorn/Aquarius, don't worry. Good fortune is right around the corner.

Here are just a few diversity functions for September/October:

- There will be a international potluck supper on Sept. 28 at Christian Life Community Church from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 35131 Straiton Rd., Abbotsford. From 7p.m to 8:30 p.m. come and hear Korean keynote speaker Teresa Seo of Abbotsford, who will speak on the continuing series, "Discovering our Neighbors."

- Oct. 1-3 the Mission World Community Film Festival will be hosting their annual event at Heritage Park Centre. This year's theme is "Communities in Action." People will be uniting their efforts to defend the lands and waters that we must protect for our own survival and for the survival of all living beings.

This will be a weekend dedicated to taking action for environmental, social, and global justice.

- And, of course, don't forget to celebrate Diwali at various locations throughout Abbotsford in October.

Mission will be hosting its annual Diwali celebration on Nov. 5 at the Clarke Foundation Theatre from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

- Ken Herar is a columnist for the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him with your general questions, or cultural diversity essay submissions at: kenherar@gmail.com.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Participating in the Mission Tennis Club Tourney..

Tennis anyone?

The Times September 10, 2010

The growing Mission Tennis Club hosted its annual Labor Day weekend tourney for members and Mission residents. Having played nine matches in two short days, I was physically exhausted like a marathon runner at the end of his journey.

My muscles haven't seen this kind of action all year.

This three-day weekend brings many special childhood meanings. Looking through my aging scrapbook, this was the first tennis tournament my parents put me in as a skinny 15- year-old junior high school student.

My father Tok and older brother Daljit set the pace in the earlier years before people took me seriously.

I recall packing my tennis bags wearing my tight Jimmy Connors shorts and shirt just trying to fit in.

My personal interest grew watching my uncles, father and brother bring beautiful tennis hardware and displaying it throughout our home. I wanted my name engraved in stone, too. Well, it didn't happen overnight.

My father gave me my first opportunity in 1983 to play doubles with my older brother.

The pressure was on and he wasn't the easiest partner to be on the same side with. He and I would win the double titles for several years until the late 80s when my younger brother Harry and I teamed up and won it for a few years consecutively.

I also had the fortunate opportunity of teaming up with my father Tok and won it for a few years back-to-back in the early 90s.

When I entered this year's event, I decided this was going to be my last year participating, having played almost 20 times.

There is no reason why. Now I would rather watch and support local tennis initiatives from the sidelines and mentor players.

Having organized local tourneys for 15 years and raised money with tennis pros in 1992 for upgrading the courts, I was given every opportunity to make a difference on and off the court.

Here are just a few of the former local Mission tennis legends that deserve Wimbledon Centre Court praise: the late Art Wood, Peter Brand, John Young, Phil Paul, Fay Holt, Shelia Walker, Roy Tremblay, the late Billy Gill and Jack Ziefflie.

Having won this year's men's single event for the 17th time against Brandon Wood, whom I have been coaching, it's nice to exit on high spirits.

Speaking with club president Mark Gervais, who has been running the organization since 1985, he said: "I've had people contact me from all over the world to play with the club during their stay in Canada. We are currently pushing for better courts and lights at the park. It would extend our evening playing time two to three hours. The District of Mission has always been co-operative in assisting our club."

Also, don't forget to get your entries in for the Building an Inclusive, Diverse Community essay contest before Oct.1.

The question is: How do we create an opportunity for different cultures to work together towards a harmonized, inclusive, multicultural community?

- Ken Herar is a columnist for the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him at: kenherar@gmail.com.