Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mid-Week Post

You're mentioned in the third paragraph.

What's in the news?

Just like Daddy. Keep it classy.

Abolish teachers' unions:

A major wing of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) is calling on the union to ensure teachers at Catholic schools who are in homosexual relationships are eligible for hiring and promotion despite their dissent to the Church’s prohibition of homosexual relations.  The Toronto OECTA group is also calling for the union to formally endorse gay-straight clubs. 

On November 24th, OECTA’s Toronto Secondary Unit (TSU) passed resolutions to make these two proposals at the controversial union’s annual general meeting in March.

The votes come at the same time as OECTA has openly celebrated its partnership with homosexual lobby group Egale in a statement praising a new bill by Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals cracking down on homosexual bullying.

This has nothing to do with bullying. This has nothing to do with job security. This has to with a special-interest group scratching the back of a corrupt teachers' union. And this is what I have to say about misrepresentation (re-posted):

In a nutshell, no organisation should be so powerful that it is accountable to no one, as teachers' unions clearly are. Either abolish them or declaw them so that they cannot make blanket declarations or take funds from teachers in order to support pet causes. Secondly, any teacher working in the Catholic school system should be a practising Catholic, not a nominal one. How dare someone lie to the faces of students and their parents in saying they adhere to the Faith when they do not and THEN take a salary for it. That's lying and theft. Thirdly, a school is for learning, not for special-interest groups to use students as social or political experiments. If kids don't know how to spell, do basic math or read a map but can sputter out some tired old leftist tirade, we have a problem. The teachers should be doing their jobs without the arrogance, presumption and interference of what was described in the article above.

In Belgium, a gunman killed a cleaning lady and four people while they were Christmas shopping.

Watch as a white liberal feminist professor defends the Islamic misogynist practice of making women wear burqas while a Muslim decries such a horrid practice.

What is being defended isn't religion or culture but the right of a backward belief to flourish in the face of Western values. Tell this professor to wear a potato sack over her head under penalty of dismissal and see how strongly she believes in the burqa then.

Apartheid is alright when some people do it.

Political correctness isn't about doing what is right, fair or even pragmatic. It is about deciding who on the totem pole of humanity we can offend the most or the least. In a just world, the removal of people from census rolls because they do not meet the sufficient requirement for racial purity would be decried.

From the horse:

“The tribe has historically had the ability to remove people. Tolerance is a European thing brought to the country. We never tolerated things. We turned our back on people.”

Who is the bigot and oppressor now?

Did you know....?

When does learning begin? As I explain in the talk I gave at TED, learning starts much earlier than many of us would have imagined: in the womb....

What it all adds up to is this: much of what a pregnant woman encounters in her daily life — the air she breathes, the food and drink she consumes, the chemicals she’s exposed to, even the emotions she feels — are shared in some fashion with her fetus.

They make up a mix of influences as individual and idiosyncratic as the woman herself. The fetus treats these maternal contributions as information, as what I like to call biological postcards from the world outside.

By attending to such messages, the fetus learns the answers to questions critical to its survival: Will it be born into a world of abundance, or scarcity? Will it be safe and protected, or will it face constant dangers and threats? Will it live a long, fruitful life, or a short, harried one?

The pregnant woman’s diet and stress level, in particular, provide important clues to prevailing conditions, a finger lifted to the wind. The resulting tuning and tweaking of the fetus’s brain and other organs are part of what give humans their enormous flexibility, their ability to thrive in environments as varied as the snow-swept tundra in Siberia and the golden-grassed savanna in Africa.

The recognition that learning actually begins before birth leads us to a striking new conception of the fetus, the pregnant woman and the relationship between them.

The fetus, we now know, is not an inert blob, but an active and dynamic creature, responding and adapting as it readies itself for life in the particular world it will soon enter. The pregnant woman is neither a passive incubator nor a source of always-imminent harm to her fetus, but a powerful and often positive influence on her child even before it’s born. And pregnancy is not a nine-month wait for the big event of birth, but a crucial period unto itself — “a staging period for well-being and disease in later life,” as one scientist puts it.

This crucial period has become a promising new target for prevention, raising hopes of conquering public health scourges like obesity and heart disease by intervening before birth. By “teaching” fetuses the appropriate lessons while they’re still in utero, we could potentially end vicious cycles of poverty, infirmity and illness and initiate virtuous cycles of health, strength and stability.

Utterly fascinating. I hope certain parties are paying attention to this.

If this took place in Attawapiskat, you could milk it for all it's worth.

Children were found beaten and neglected at an Islamic monastery. Why aren't we cutting off Pakistan today?

What a pathetic low-life:

After a lengthy and withering cross-examination during which he was accused of conspiring with his family to fabricate alibis, a surviving son of a couple accused of killing three of their daughters finished his court testimony by asking for a hug.

The son of the Montreal couple, who are accused along with their other son of committing so-called honour killings, testified this week for the defence at the Shafia family murder trial and was subject to more than a full day of cross-examination.

Crown attorney Gerard Laarhuis suggested that the son, who can't be named due to a court order, has lied to and manipulated authority figures in the past and may not have been telling the truth on the stand, saying his memory seems to be selectively improving to recall only details that help his parents and brother.

Tooba Yahya, 42, and her husband Mohammad Shafia, 58, are charged alongside their eldest son, Hamed, 20, with four counts of first-degree murder. They have each pleaded not guilty.

They're accused of killing Shafia sisters, Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, Shafia's other wife in a polygamous marriage, over family honour.

At the end of the surviving son's third day on the stand, defence lawyer Peter Kemp, who called the him to testify, re-examined him Wednesday morning. Though much was suggested by Laarhuis, it was the son who raised a suggestion that he was involved in the actual deaths.

"You've been cross-examined quite extensively by Mr. Laarhuis with respect to a conspiracy or an agreement to fabricate evidence or make up evidence ... to help your parents and your brother," Kemp said. "What do you have to say about that?"

"That we helped in the murders, is that right?" the son said. He and the rest of his family maintain the deaths were an accident, a late-night joy ride turned tragic.

Moments later, after the judge told him he could step down, the son turned to Judge Robert Maranger and asked if he could have permission to hug his parents goodbye.

Laarhuis referenced ongoing discussions about the matter, and said, "Now's not the time," causing the mother to burst into tears in the prisoner's box.

Because after helping  your family kill and cover up the murder of your female relatives, you need a hug.

(Muchas gracias)

And now, six things wrong with "Voyager":

Really though, the show’s inconsistent cast of characters is a side effect of a much larger problem, and it’s this: They never really knew what to do with their premise. It’s actually a really good premise, one which could have revitalized the entire Star Trek universe by standing it on its head. A by the numbers Starfleet vessel is stranded so far away from home it’ll take them seventy years to get back. They don’t have any resources, they don’t know where they are, and when half their crew is killed they’re forced to replace them with bunch of rebellious, borderline space-pirates and make them their bunkmates. How does Voyager respond to this predicament? They decide to pretend they’re still in Starfleet and keep doing everything by the book. 

Oh and those rebel marauders the Maquis? By episode two they’re virtually indistinguishable from every other Starfleet officer on the ship. They put on the uniform, follow the rules, and aside from the occasional plotline involving the holodeck, the differences between them and the actual Starfleet crew are almost never mentioned again. The really frustrating thing about Voyager is that they used a show about a stranded ship in desperate circumstances to tell stories that could have been told on almost any old episode of Star Trek. Rather than being a staple of the stories they chose to tell, the Voyager crew’s predicament is more like a sidebar that the show’s writers stop to revisit whenever they don’t seem to have anything better to do.

Oh snap!

But so right.

"Voyager" should have been darker and grittier, qualities that made "Year of Hell" and "Equinox" such good episodes. If one is trapped in the butt-end of space with very few resources, a virtual bull's eye pasted on one's back and a rag-tag bunch of casual terrorists among the crew, things shouldn't be so rosy, pristine and cut-and-dried. Instead of slogging around by the skin of one's teeth, there was the melodrama, the insufferable moral relativism of a benign fascist organisation and a ship that never appeared to be damaged or wanting in supplies it couldn't obtain easily.

The premise was good but somewhere in the Delta Quadrant, it lost it's way.

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