Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mid-Week Post

Stuff in the news....

Support for the NDP is rising and for the Liberals it is falling:

This doesn't surprise one:

Michael Chan, one of Premier Kathleen Wynne's cabinet ministers, is under investigation by CSIS, who suspect he is being influenced by the communist government of the People's Republic of China.

British Columbia is the latest province to make aboriginal history and culture mandatory in schools:

Changing that is one of the many recommendations to come from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report released earlier this month, and British Columbia says it will introduce a new K-12 curriculum this fall that includes the history and legacy of residential schools.

But education is a provincial jurisdiction and across the country, there’s a wide range when it comes to aboriginal history in classrooms.

“In some provinces, they’re doing really well. Others, they’re failing miserably,” says Carlie Chase, executive director of the Legacy of Hope Foundation, an aboriginal charity that aims to get indigenous history into Canadian classrooms.

In B.C., the new curriculum will include history, culture and First Nations perspectives across subject areas and grade levels.

For example, kindergarten student will learn about aboriginal uses of plants and animals while Grade 5 students will learn about indigenous concepts of environmental stewardship, says education ministry spokesman Scott Sutherland.

I think that is a tremendous idea.

Here are some cultural and historical facts that I'm sure would be of great use to students:

- many aboriginal tribes employed the use of slavery whether from other tribes or runaway black American slaves. In fact, the Slavey tribe got its name from such an institution.

-prior to the arrival of horses from Europe, dogs or aboriginal women carried or pulled belongings across the Prairies.

- the Iroquois either killed or dispersed the Huron (or Wendat) tribe.

- there is evidence to suggest that the Thule Inuit killed Viking settlers. This was after killing off the Dorset Inuit.

- despite the tragic spread of diseases like smallpox which were unknown to the New World prior to the arrival of the Europeans, indigenous plants used by aboriginal tribes had no effect on stopping them. Perhaps if everyone had an understanding of how diseases spread and had vaccinations, things would have been quite different.

Teaching history, warts and all, is a fantastic plan, especially when one segregates things along socio-cultural lines so that everyone can feel bad and not a part of a greater nation-state that should- ostensibly- ignore the circumstances of one's birth and include one in a greater fraternity.

But that would just be nutty!

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission: keeping the Victimhood Industry alive!

Home-schooling in Canada on the rise.

Considering the puppy-mills that are Canadian schools, who can blame parents?

I'm sure this has nothing to do with Islamism:

U.S. authorities have accused a New York City college student of plotting to set off a pressure cooker bomb in the city in support of the militant group Islamic State, according to court documents made public on Tuesday.

Munther Omar Saleh, 20, was arrested early on Saturday morning after he and another man got out of their car and ran toward a surveillance vehicle that had been tracking their movements, according to documents filed in federal court in Brooklyn.

A defense lawyer for Saleh could not be identified on Tuesday. The other man, who was also arrested, was not named in the court documents and could not immediately be identified.

U.S. authorities have charged a number of so-called “lone wolf” plotters in recent months who have apparently been inspired by Islamic State, and authorities have said they are pursuing similar cases in all 50 states.

A Chinese millionaire loses her fortune adopting children:

A woman who made millions out of coal mining investments is now hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt after she spent her fortune adopting 75 orphans.

Li Lijuan has spent the past 19 years using the money she made from her investments in the 1980s to house the abandoned children.

The former garment business owner from Wu’an County, China, adopted her first orphan in 1994 and went on to adopt dozens more who either lost their parents or were abandoned because of illness or disabilities.

The 46-year-old lost her entire life savings when the coal mine she invested in shut down and she was no longer able to meet the costs of her large family.

She is now some £200,000 in debt – but it hasn’t stopped her raising her adopted children. Lijuan has taken to selling her properties as well as other valuables she possessed.

While volunteers have stepped forward give Lijuan’s foster children new homes, strict adoption laws in China mean the former millionaire has no choice but to refuse their offers.

All of her foster children are registered under her name and were never formally declared orphans, meaning they cannot be adopted by other families under strict Chinese laws.

Lijuan also receives donations from charities, but the cost of raising her children, many of whom require extensive operations for disabilities and other birth defects, far outweighs the money she receives.

This used to be called "grandparents looking after grandchildren":

A nursing home in Seattle has come up with a way to care for the growing-up, and the growing-old, while simultaneously bridging the gap between generations.  

More than 400 elderly citizens call Mount St. Vincent their home. But what makes this nursing home unique is that it doubles as a preschool. 

Every day, the elders and the children join together and engage in activities that range from dancing to storytelling to arts and crafts - or just to eat lunch.
(Insert own lamentation on declining birthrate and expanding elderly population here)

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