Friday, 22 October 2010

"women make up 65 per cent of the six million public sector workers....In local government.....75 per cent of the workforce is female"
   This article says women will probably bear 70% of the cuts, which sounds pretty fair to me.   Indeed, to be considered really fair, even more women should go, to restore the gender balance to something more representative of our society.
   There should also be an investigation into whether institutional sexism created this imbalance in the first place, along with an affirmative action programme to correct it.
Judge Rules Teachers Do Not Get First Amendment Rights When It Comes To Curriculum

Judge Rules Teachers Do Not Get First Amendment Rights When It Comes To Curriculum

Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 07:18:20 in Education

The headline mis-interprets the decision: the teacher exercised her first amendments rights (and from the story, it sounds like this was done in a confrontational - perhaps even obnoxious - way) and the school board exercised their right not to renew her contract. 
All rights have responsibilities attached and all actions have consequences.
Prince Harry's Kidnapping Depicted In UK Documentary (VIDEO)

Prince Harry's Kidnapping Depicted In UK Documentary (VIDEO)

Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 07:10:47 in World

A fictional hypothetical being marketed as a "documentary"? 
Sure this isn't Fox News?
 on Dr Kelly post-mortem files to be released 

  • Oh don't try to confuse us with facts, our minds are already made up: we have decided that this was a conspiracy and no amount of truth will ever convince us otherwise.
  • Under fire for obeying the law?
    The congress people who wrote these laws might be a legitimate target, but it seems churlish in the extreme to criticise a company for doing what each of us would do: use every deduction the tax law allows.

    • Only partly thanks to Mr Osbourne, Johann. 
      Mostly thanks to the government and people of Britain who, for the previous 12 years, simply thought they could keep on spending more than they made without the bank manager ever twigging.
    • Yeah Mark, we're wimps. We should be out in the streets damaging property and hurting other people, like the French, or wiping out more of Britain's wealth with a general strike like the Spanish. I know this might lose our nose, but it certainly would spite our face, wouldn't it?
Public Employees Union Spends Huge to Save Dems
Given the millions contributed by corporations, including those bailed out by the taxpayer, , this seems a reasonable response by the unions: in the free marketplace if ideas, let the biggest spenders win.

NPR Under Fire After Canning Juan Williams

Mr Williams was fired because he did not understand the difference between opinion and fact. 

Not sure he will be comfortable at Fox, who understand the difference but prefer opinion.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

  • Criticism as a crime. I like it.
    If this succeeds, perhaps movie and play producers can sue for compensation when a bad review hurts ticket sales, restaurants can sue if being panned reduces their number of diners

Religious Gays Tell Teens 'It Gets Better'

Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 06:01:12 in Religion

Religion asks "what is right?", and, hence, is quintessentially human: responsible for more evil and hate, more good and love, than any other set of beliefs.

Politics asks "what gets me the most votes" and, hence, is more relativistic. It changes with the zeitgeist and is amenable to argument on the upside and to mob rule on the down

Science asks "what happens if?" and, hence, has a much less damaging position on homosexuality and people's reactions thereto. Seems a morally superior approach.

The Perfect Storm That Threatens American Democracy

Commented Oct 19, 2010 at 05:45:00 in Politics

The perfect storm against democracy is exacerbated by the attack ad.
The definition of pure evil: people who will deliberately damage their own society (by spreading fear and mistrust) for personal gain (winning an election).
I have changed from "vote against all incumbents" to "vote against anyone who has approved an attack ad."

Monday, 18 October 2010

  • That would be good; we could then set an individual age limit on when others have to pay for someone's IVF treatments. Delaying childbearing beyond natural fertility makes it a lifestyle choice, not a disease or handicap, and there is no ethical argument to support my paying for someone else's lifestyle choice.
  • We're getting the same money but demand is rising, therefore we are being cut - this is the kind of whacked-out logic that bankers used to get us into the financial crisis. Some folks, including the authors of this piece, seem to think we can keep on paying more and more for more and more services from the NHS, but they do not say where the money is supposed to come from. Either you and I - regardless of our income level - pay more taxes than we do today or we take the money from our children by growing the deficit.