Thursday, December 09, 2010


For the bits we forgot this week.

Why are the police needed to protect a right one assumed we already had?

“I never expected that anyone would try and shut me down, and chant ‘racist’ at the stage where I was expected to be,” she said. “I think the university was much better prepared this time and it was much better test of their commitment to freedom of expression.” 

I suspect soon there will be armed guards for when one wants a pack of fudgey cookies made in a factory that also processes peanuts. How sad that a respected journalist has to be protected from thugs. Some people just don't like what others have to say.

In another place where one does not have the right to free expression (no, I don't mean Carleton), the population outcome is grim:

The demographic graph of a normal country has a pyramid or bell shape. But that of North Korea reportedly has an abnormal gourd-shaped curve. The narrow part in the middle of the curve accounts for the key age group between 20 and 34 of the economically active population in the North. It is believed that is because many of those born in the 1990s in the midst of economic difficulties and food shortages died of malnutrition or diseases when they grow up.

This was revealed on Monday by Hwang Na-mi, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, in the outcome of her analysis of a 2008 census report the North's Central Statistics Bureau submitted to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The North's demographic graph shows that the "population between 20 and 34 years of age remarkably dwindled compared to teens or those in their 40s," she said.

Lee Ae-ran, a professor of food, nutrition and cuisine at Kyungin Women's College, said,  "As economic problems worsened in the 1990s, many young North Koreans avoided marriage and childbirth and illegal abortions were rampant. Especially in the late 90s, many children and youths starved to death in urban areas, as well as in rural regions." She is the first female North Korean defector to obtain a doctoral degree in the South.  

South Korea isn't looking any better:

A persistently low birthrate and labor productivity emerge as Korea's weaknesses in a national competitiveness report released by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance on Wednesday. Korea's aggregate birthrate was 1.19 as of 2008, which put the country in 30th place in the OECD. The average OECD birthrate was 1.71.

Korea's labor productivity was barely over half that of advanced countries. As of 2009, the labor productivity rate was US$25.1 per hour, ranking 28th among 30 OECD countries surveyed. The OECD average was $43.5 per hour, and only Mexico and Poland did worse than Korea.

Frequent strikes and other labor market risks drag Korea's national competitiveness down. From 2006 to 2008, 17.2 working days were lost for every 1,000 people in Korea due to strikes, placing the country in 23rd place among 27 OECD countries surveyed. The average was 8.44 days, which means Korean workers downed tools for more than twice as many days as their counterparts abroad.

Other problems in Korea were the high costs of starting up new businesses and laying off workers. It took 14.7 percent of per-capita gross national income to start a business in Korea, 25th in the OECD. As of 2009, an employer had to pay 91 weeks' worth of pay to lay off a worker, 28th among 30 member countries, with only Turkey and Poland behind.

Arrogant jackanapes dares attack a chick with a gun (or) Sarah Palin vs. Aaron Sorkin: A Night in the Octagon Cage:

I eat meat, chicken and fish, have shoes and furniture made of leather, and PETA is not ever going to put me on the cover of their brochure and for these reasons Palin thinks it's hypocritical of me to find what she did heart-stoppingly disgusting. 

I think everything Sorkin has ever written is heart-stoppingly disgusting. Whatever one may think of hunting, let us be clear that this is not about hunting or what is hunted (though it usually is) but who hunts. I have a bigger question- who cares? I can't believe the lengths people will go to "defend a principle". If you believe that rot, I have a bridge you might be interested in. People slag others in spite of the principle, not for it. I would never accuse leftists of being principled.

Related: America the Exceptional

While some vainly defend the tribal practice of polygamy, others point out the dearth of men and the abuse such a practice engenders  (no pun intended).

As of this writing, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani might be freed. I've batted about the issue of human rights abuses in Iran with those who prefer softer, more Western targets of criticism vitriol. I'm sure they'll be pleased to know that neither Canada, the US, nor the Catholic Church will stone this woman to death. They'll have to find another avenue of pig crap criticism.

Remember when laws were sensible and meant to protect society at large?

The Canadian bill seeking to enshrine protections for ‘transsexuals’, which has been dubbed a ‘bathroom bill’ by pro-family leaders due to the fact that it would allow men who say they are women to use women’s washrooms, passed report stage in the House of Commons around 3:30 this afternoon in a vote of 143-131.

Remember this guy?

President George W. Bush was subjected to one of the most vicious smear campaigns in history, based on the false assertion that he lied about Saddam Hussein pursuing weapons of mass destruction as a justification for the Iraq War. WikiLeaks documents released in October once again confirm (AT had the story in December, 2009) that Iraq did indeed possess  yellowcake uranium, despite the lies of Joseph Wilson, husband of CIA desk jockey Valerie Palme.  


And finally, decorate your home this Christmas season the right way.

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