June 21, 2006

June 21, 2006: Bud Talkinghorn: SCOC & Divorce -&- Open Minds

The Supremes' divorce judgement--Let the shrinks and shysters rejoice

I should have gone into the law. Its business has just received a steroid booster shot from the Supreme Court. Their decision to consider that "emotional distress caused by the spousal actions" should be figured into the financial payments, is a lawyer's windfall. This decision was based on the case of some woman who claimed she couldn't work again because she was emotionally crippled by her husband's infidelity. Pardon me if I see the hand of the radical feminists--often given legal funding by Liberal governments--behind this (Court Challenges Program?). Some element of this victimology cult must have been given intervenor status. I guess that God Trudeau's dictim that "the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation" has lost its luster. Just another of Beverly MacLaughlin's "writing into the Charter" personal revisions, I presume. The level of social engineering of this court has reached that of an unbelievable arrogance. Who the h*** decides the emotional distress of a divorce settlement? While there has been a huge push to get deadbeat dads to pay up, there has been no equivalent in the cases of vindictive wives disobeying court appointed child custody agreements.

This decision will be a boon to psychiatrists and lawyers, as divorce cases get reopened to extract more money from the "major" offender. Duelling shrinks on the stand. Can the CBC reality series be far behind? We have all had good friends dissolve their marriages and we have had the wisdom to realize we saw only the tip of their relationships. What we have learned is that there are, invariably, two sides to the divorce coin. Occasionally, you see the angel wings fall off your friends, usually fuelled by inordinate consumption of booze. Verbal battles so vicious, after which we would grant them an immediate divorce. These people were obviously star-crossed from day one. Blame their marriages on youthful glands. Once that divorce is over they should be able to move on. It's hard to get it totally right on the first try.

But no, we have to legally pick that marriage scab and entice people to bankrupt themselves in endless psychobabble court cases. And boy, if they were bitter before, it ain't nothing to how they are going to feel at the end of this ordeal. Maybe the whole thing is simply a pay-back to the little people in the Supremes' profession, who always step forward to defend any Supreme decision. We certainly know they will stand very united behind this one. It's "eureka!" time, baby.

© Bud Talkinghorn--Anyone out there taking any bets on which sex the courts will decide against?



Whatever happened to open minds in universities?

Year by year the temptation creeps over me to return my university degrees. Once the purpose of the university was to open callow youths to a myriad of ideas--often diametrically opposing ones. Make them battle it out intellectually. Of course. even then, the lefties were widely sprinkled across the faculties, and they were scourges to their conservative colleagues; however they never tried to shut down various speakers, who didn't spout Mao thought. Today's campuses are so filled with students who have bought into political correctness that free speech has been crippled. The Margaret Somerville episode at Ryerson was a classic example. Forget the gay rights clique's protests, it was the disgraceful statements from the university that truly disturbed. That the administration would openly question their choice for this honoury degree shows they have lost their original mission statement. Life is going to throw a lot of curve balls at these Ryerson students. They will leave this cocoon of leftist cant and enter the hardscrabble world of conflicting ideas. One serious terrorist attack in their city or country will disabuse them of their love for Muslim "insurgents". The radical feminists will have conniptions when they confront the business world. A world where a recent poll showed that women in business still generally prefer to work for a male boss. Then there will be the grad who tries to awaken the power of the proletariat. His disappointment that the $32 an hour "proles" don't rise up en mass to defeat their capitalist masters will be profound.

Youthful idealism is expected, but the universities should be challenging their comfortable socialist assumptions with strong doses of reality. The students should be taught that the causes of worldwide poverty cannot be reduced to a simplistic Marxist slogan. Half a century after the decolonialization, Africans cannot keep blaming the West for their absymal failures. The complexities of the world's problems don't get solved by rigid formulas or mindless slogans.

There are reasons why the universities are caving in to the students' embrace of victimology, and that is that today's students are not of a calibre sufficient to grapple with contradictions in ideologic debates. I warned university friends decades ago that the intellectual barbarians were massing at their ivied gates. At the time, they refused to believe it. Now they have to hide the fact that the gates have been thrown wide open. The school grade inflation that got these studemts through the gates had to be maintained on campus. Student essays which I've read and would have given a F to--plus a wallop of my "Stupifying rubblish" stamp--now get B+. Professors, who have high standards, soon find that poor student evaluations and declining enrollment in their courses--possibly even cancellation of said course. Also the university plays to the numbers game. The more bodies in their institutions, the larger the government grants. The government likes the situation also because they pretend to be educationally progressive, at the same time as keeping down youth employment figures. The result is that the universities are stuffed with kids who should be in another field, perhaps plumbers, pipefitters and soldiers. These are honurable and well-paying professions that this country needs--not endless political scientists and feminist theory graduates.

© Bud Talkinghorn

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