Tuesday, February 01, 2011

February 1st, 2011 (AD)

Just to make sure we're not in Sumeria.

It's February. It's not just the shortest month of the year, or the month in which Groundhog Day, Seolnal or Saint Valentine's Day takes place. It's also Sarah Palin Month.

A month of pure Palin. Hot dogs, potato sack races, balloons for the kids, marshmallow roasts... will not take place. I will bring her up a lot, though.

The latest from Egypt- Mubarak won't run again for presidency:

Speaking on state television on Tuesday, Mr. Mubarak announced that he would not be running again in September's upcoming elections and would work in the last months of his term to allow the transfer of power. In the statement he also said he would begin the process of constitutional reforms. He said the main priority was the stability of the nation to allow the transfer of power.

Mubarak has been the dictatorial leader of Egypt for almost thirty years. Arrests, persecutions and the might of the army have been the reality of the Egyptian political scene even before him. So, too, has the rise in Islamofascism. Since the start of the protests- fueled by unemployment and poverty- in late January, the worry has been who will helm Egypt. Mubarak is no longer wanted but if he is replaced by  the Muslim Brotherhood, the relative stability Egypt has had with its neighbour, Israel, will disappear. There is no winning here because there are no alternatives for Egyptians. One dictator or another. Democracy will not emerge from the vacuum has it has done (though slightly uneasily) in former Soviet bloc nations. There simply has been no development of it in a country still in the trappings of totalitarianism and theocratic fascism. Mubarak may see the writing on the wall but his replacements will wipe it off. The electorate may not know any better.

In other news, Obama backs the Muslim Brotherhood. He also agreed to meet with Iran without any pre-conditions.

In less insane parts of the world, Canadians prefer a Conservative minority over a coalition government:

 Canadians would prefer a Conservative minority in power over a coalition government if the Tories can’t win a majority in the next election, a new poll suggests.

Fifty-five per cent of Canadians say they’d rather see a Conservative minority at the country’s helm while only 45 per cent said they would support a government run by Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP leader Jack Layton, findings from a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted exclusively for Postmedia News and Global News revealed Monday.

Why should socialist Jack Layton or American Michael Ignatieff be trusted over a party that's done a better job than either of Layton's or Ignatieff's parties? No one said you had to like the PM; you just had to admire his handiwork.

I'm glad schools aren't focused on teaching but brow-beating six-year olds:

A couple in Laval, Que. has sparked a fierce debate over how far schools should go to teach children about environmental responsibility after their six-year-old son was shut out of a kindergarten draw to win a stuffed animal because he had an environmentally unfriendly sandwich bag in his lunchbox.

Marc-André Lanciault said he hadn’t heard of the school’s draw or any environmental policy until his wife, Isabel Théorêt, was making their son Félix a sandwich and he begged them not to put it in a plastic bag.
“He said, ‘No mommy, you can’t do that. Not a Ziploc,’ ” Mr. Lanciault said.

Through tears, the boy told his parents that the school had held a draw to win a stuffed teddy bear and only children who didn’t have any plastic sandwich bags could enter. The family normally uses Tupperware, but it was all in the dishwasher, and so they had packed their son’s ham sandwich in a plastic bag. 

When Mr. Lanciault questioned his son’s teacher, she confirmed the school had staged the draw at a lunchtime daycare and that any student with a plastic sandwich bag was excluded. “You know Mr. Lanciault, it’s not very good for the environment,” the teacher told him. “We have to take care of the our planet and the bags do not decompose well.”

Mr. Lanciault said he objects to the fact that a school would penalize a kindergartner for his parents’ choice to use non-recyclable lunch containers and that his son hadn’t learned any valuable environmental lessons, except to fear plastic bags.

“If we want to teach people about the environment, I can understand that,” he said. “But surely there’s a better way than to penalize kids. The goal wasn’t achieved anyway. At the end of the day my son doesn’t know why he shouldn’t use a Ziploc bag. It’s not only the bag, it’s the whole idea that we’re being brainwashed from everywhere. They told us Ziploc bags are bad, so we’ve stopped thinking about it and just started applying the rule.”

Now that the boy has had his will broken over a questionable environmental policy, can he enter the draw?

And now, Han Solo in candy carbonite.

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