September 20, 2006

Sept. 20, 2006: Various

Unions must practice what they preach -- "If Mr. Clancy really cared about democracy, he would offer basic democratic rights to union members, including the right to associate or not associate with unions, the right to a secret ballot vote, the right to choose to withhold dues designated for non-workplace related union spending, the right to choose to cross a picket line, and the right to freedom of speech for union members." , Susan Martinuk, National Post, September 20, 2006

NUPGE (National Union of Public and General Employees) president James Clancy and I have a history of sorts.

[....] A secret ballot vote is a given part of the democratic process. Yet unions still deny this .... misinformation and coercion and ensures that workers who would oppose a union are kept out of the loop about the union drive. Some employees don't even know ... there are no requirements for the union to inform all workers of a union drive or to hold an open, public debate when using card certification.

The truth is, unions are notoriously undemocratic in their practices. [....]

I always found that unions were so busy protecting dead wood that they were of little use to those who actually liked to work ... though I must say my experience is very limited. However, I don't like coercive unions, coercive governments, coercive language tzars (Yes, Dyane Adams, that's you and your coercive bureaucratic fiefdom.), nor anything else which forces its will upon the citizenry under the mistaken assumption that it knows best ... or that its ways are best and will work. It it just builds ill will. (If the shoe fits ... )

Memo to thug religious group practitioners: religious conversion is not conversion when it is forced.

Academe is particularly coercive about "right think" / "politically correct think" and assumes its "correct methods" are best. So much depends upon the individual student and what s/he responds to. Give students an instructor who knows something worth passing on and who wants to get it across, whether in universities or in grade schools. Get rid of the coercive nature of so many curriculum and methods practices. The alternative is for educators to mouth assent and subvert the system by doing what works in their classes. Finally, get rid of teacher assessments at universities which allow callow youth to decimate the reputations of those profs who try to get their students to work hard, learn and produce. I have seen too many students give glowing assessments of mediocre instructors who court them with A's; those same students hand devastating assessments to the best instructors who give out a range of marks. No-one ever complains about an A, unfortunately, and its worth has been severely devalued.

Traditional lectures sent to the back of the class -- But some worry universities losing the human touch, Sarah Schmidt, CanWest, September 20, 2006

Any student backlash against academia's fascination with all things online could come as a relief for many professors who loathe e-mail and online chat groups in favour of old-fashioned office hours and traditional class discussions. But it would also present a challenge to institutions that have invested time and money to meet the new generation on its terms. [a pity they hadn't invested in teaching students to read adequately or hired more staff in order to respond to human needs, perhaps even raised standards, instead]

The new 2006 Technology and Student Success Survey, commissioned by education publisher McGraw-Hill Ryerson, found that hybrid learning -- a combination of traditional lectures with online learning features -- is now the norm on campuses.

In 2003, 59% of faculty taught exclusively face to face. This year, that number has dropped to 31%, the national survey of Canadian universities shows. [....]

Online lectures have not the advantage of spur of the moment elaboration in response to student input, body language, humour, tone, the whole variety of what accompanies speech and enriches it.

(So my friend J reminds me. He writes that I sound vitriolic ... even on days when I am not ... I'm smiling, J, since you can't see me.)

UN speech ... Iran

Iran, U.S. clash at UN -- President blasts West for causing conflict unrest , Steven Edwards, CanWest, September 20, 2006

UNITED NATIONS - He mentioned the United States by name only once, but no one in the United Nations General Assembly had any doubts which country Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had on his mind as he spoke from the podium yesterday evening.

[....] "Some seek to rule the world relying on weapons and threats, while others live in perpetual insecurity and danger.

"Some occupy the homeland of others, thousands of kilometres away from their borders, interfere in their affairs and control their oil ... while others are bombarded daily in their own homes." [....]

Guess which country is blamed, along with the US?

The enduring fraud -- The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has been debunked countless times. Yet for the world's anti-Semites, the book's authenticity remains an article of faith, Daniel Greene, National Post, September 19, 2006

[....] It is a clip from a 29-part Syrian-produced television miniseries, Al-Shatat (The Diaspora), based largely on the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion. According to the series, a secret global Jewish government seeks to control the world. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports that the Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV service aired Al-Shatat in 2003.

Al-Shatat followed a 41-part Egyptian-produced television series, Knight Without a Horse, which also drew inspiration from the Protocols. The first episode aired in November 2002. Protests from the West included a condemnation of the series by the U.S. State Department.

What is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? And, why is this book, which was proven a fraud as early as 1920, still serving to spread hatred of Jews to this day?

[....] The Protocols is entirely a work of fiction. [....]

So, what accounts for the sustained popularity of this book among those with anti-semitic agendas?

The Protocols functions so effectively as a propaganda tool in large part because of the insidious seductiveness of conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories explain a complicated world in simple ways. "It's the Jews," has provided a simple, and often hateful, way to make sense of ever increasing complexity.

The Protocols was likely concocted by the Czarist secret police in Paris during the late 1890s. A version of the text appeared in a Russian newspaper in 1903, and [....]

Would it be politically incorrect to suggest that those who believe this are daft or stupid lack education and sophistication? No one tiny country could be as insidious as the Middle East countries would have us believe Israel is. Besides, we can compare countries' output ... Need I say more?

Michelle Malkin: Breeding terror in our prisons , September 19, 2006 07:55 AM

There's a new study saying the same old thing about our failure to stop the spread of jihad in the US prison system:

U.S. prisons are becoming major breeding grounds for Islamic terrorists, but state and local authorities are too cash-strapped to prevent or track recruiting, a new report concludes.

The report, to be released Tuesday, found there aren't enough legitimately trained Muslim religious leaders to counsel an estimated 9,000 U.S. prison inmates who want Islamic services. That allows Islamist extremists to target their vulnerable prison-mates with distorted versions of the Quran and other Muslim readings that urge radicalization and violence. [....]

Our refusal to profile jihadists and their sympathizers in prisons is suicidal. Maybe if the MSM had less of an obsession with Abu Ghraib and worried more about the poison being spread in our prisons here, Washington would be moved to do something about it.

Why should prisons be supplying imams for prisoners anyway, given what we know about imams, a number of whom preach radical Islam and terrorism? Let prisoners do without Islamic chaplains until such time as security can be assured that the imams are not creating more radicalized prisoners. They may have a right to religious services but there is no sense in being stupid about it. Robert Reid and Jose Padilla should have taught a lesson on this. Or is there no common sense when "rights" are involved?

The [inspector general's] report ... reported on the scandalous employment of Warith Deen Umar, former head Islamic chaplain of New York's state prison system, who also served as a federal U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) contractor.

The Journal quoted Umar saying at a public event, "Even Muslims who say they are against terrorism secretly admired and applaud [the 9/11 hijackers]." It also reported Umar stating he believed black inmates who converted to Islam in prison were logical recruits for committing future terrorist attacks against America. Both state and federal officials fired him in the wake of the article.

Well, do you think the prisons need imams? The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) needs a good old fashioned leader who states the obvious, sticks to his/her guns, and does not allow more prosletyzing by imams for "the peaceful ones".

Memory Lane -- found on the way to something else

Gift idea: Frost Hits the Rhubarb: December 19, 2004 The Cons and the Pros -- book by Willie Gibbs, the highly respected former head of the National Parole Board

The UN Global $$$ Grab

UN Law of Sea angle -- Feds, Nfld. in oil-cash dispute -- "A section of the UN law requires that up to 7% of oil revenues from areas beyond the limit be shared with developing countries." , Dec. 20, 2004, CP

[....] The dispute arose when Canada ratified the UN Law of the Sea Convention on Nov. 6, 2003. Among other things, the convention allows Canada to claim sovereignty over any parts of its continental shelf that lie beyond the current 200-nautical-mile limit. [....]

Read the fine print. Ah, after UNSCAM, what next? Which UN kleptocrats will get that money if Newfoundland and Labrador does not? [....]
Won't it be wonderful when all of us have another layer of grasping governance ... with their hands in your pockets ... the United Nations?

Diversion from J

When I was married 25 years, I took a look at my wife one day and said, "Honey, 25 years ago, we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10 inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25 year old blonde. Now, we have a nice house, nice car, big bed and plasma screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 50 year old woman. It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things."

My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 25 year old blonde, and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed. Aren't older women great? They really know how to solve a mid-life crisis.


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