Monthly Archives: April 2010

Belgium Votes To Decide Female Dress

The Belgian legislature has decided to join the ranks of Iran and Saudi Arabia by deciding how Muslim women should or should not dress while in public. Buy a vote of 136 to zero the Belgian parliament voted to ban the wearing of the burqa or niqab in public. Denis Durcame, an MP, boasted, “we’re the first country to spring the lock that has made a good number of women slaves.” The Belgian action is expected to shortly be followed by nations like France or Austria. This is the first example in modern European history in which government decides teh dress of women. According to the law, use of the niqab or burqa is forbidden in the street, sports buildings public gardens, and buildings “meant for use or to provide services to the public.”

I assume there is a rational reason to prevent the use of these garments in parks, but it at this moment it escapes me. Perhaps, the law is designed to prevent animals from being upset at the sight of women whose faces are hidden. As I recall in my youth there were nuns who wandered the streets in garments that prevented their legs from being shown. How about a law forbidding any garment which does not reveal legs?

Feng Zhenghu, The Man Who Will Disappear, But Won’t

Feng Zhenghu is a man who simply will not disappear from the China scene and will not keep his mouth shut. Shanghai’s most famous dissident announced last week that he wanted to launch a manifesto on human rights. His “Shanghai EXpo Of Unjust Cases” was a critique of the city’s legal system which denies individuals their right to a fair trial as well as the right to speech. Within hours, police were knocking on his door, confiscating his computers and gave him an interrogation that lasted for hours. He recently wrote a document urging freedom of speech on the Internet which is the last thing Chinese authorities will allow.

Mr. Zhenghu was told in no uncertain terms that if he continued to speak out, “you will disappear.” Most probably he will disappear in a physical sense, but the ideas he fights for will eventually triumph in China. In the end, brutality and dictatorship will disappear.

Frankie Boyle Has A Right To Be A Schmuck!

Frankie Boyle is a comedian and the field of comedy allows anyone who pursues this terrain to comment on anything regarding life on planet Earth. Mr. Boyle has views on the Palestine-Israel conflict which, as in all humor, carry an aspect of the truth, but also convey erroneous information. He claimed that after studying Israeli army manuals he learned sixteen ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. He then offered an analogy, “If you can imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well… that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.” It is an interesting comment, but, for the life of me, I do not see it as humorous.

Boyle claims that Israel is a “a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people.” That is not only not funny, but lacks any basis in reality. In the Congo, an entire people face destruction, in Myanmar, the people face destruction, in Israel, there are terrible things done to Palestinians, but there is no evidence of a people facing “destruction.”

Mr. Boyle has an inalienable right to say what he dams well wants.

Outsourcing Student Work-What’s Next To Outsource?

We outsource making shirts to Asian societies, we outsource computer needs, we outsource information requests, so what is wrong with outsourcing commenting on student work in college courses? Dr.Chanru Rajan has created a company which will examine student work submitted to a professor and make appropriate comments so neither the professor or his Teaching Assistants haas to undergo the boring experience of wading through student work and learning how students think. After all, the important thing about giving a test is the grade, not gaining insight into how one’s lecture is being perceived by students. As the good doctor notes, “I like to half-jokingly point out that a mother is outsourcing childcare to a daycare provider.” His company charges $12 per student assignment.

As a teacher for the last 54 years who has read at least 80,000 papers, I find this simply the latest episode in the anti-intellectual behavior of college professors. An exam is an opportunity to carefully examine the thinking process of students. I can not grasp how someone who has not been in my class can evaluate work.

I have given this serious thought. How about outsourcing work in Congress to people in Myanmar, after all they don’t know squat about our health care needs but at $12 per Congressmen each bill, we can save money and, who knows, get a better response.

UN Promotes Illicit Sex Says Mrs. Ahamdinejad

Every so often one wonders whether President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is either crafty or stupid. His wife told a gathering of Iranian Muslim women “thinkers” that western nations were exploiting “the United Nations structure to promote illicit affairs.” She went on to claim “Westerners pursue their improper schemes under the name of development and (alleviating) social discrimination. Iran has refused to join the convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Conservative clerics believe the idea of women equality violates Sharia-based law. Iranian women who have fought to equal rights often wind up in jail for daring to speak their minds.

In 2009, one out of seven marriages in Iran ends in divorce while in Tehran the figure is one out of four. Me thinks that Iran might look in the mirror before claiming the UN fosters illicit affairs.

Send In National Guard To Chicago?

Members of the National Guard have been serving overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of Bush decisions about war and peace. Some are now on their fourth deployment in zones of danger, but some Illinois legislators want to bring them back home so they can experience a fifth deployment in the wilds of Chicago. Rep. John Fritchey and his buddy, Lashawn Ford urged the governor of Illinois to send in the National Guard after a week in which seven were killed and 18 wounded on the streets of the windy city. Of course, there are those who want the National Guard in Arizona to spend time checking papers of people who look “Mexican” in order to sort out the legal from illegal. What next, send in the National Guard to keep things quiet at a rock concert?

Our wonderful young men and women who serve in the National Guard are tired. How about providing cities like Chicago with sufficient resources to create an environment that encourages young men to engage in productive work?

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

We offer observations on the human condition from a twenty year old mind trapped in a 79 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT,

Some babies resist mom and dad, a clue to the future?

The Oklahoma legislature wants pregnant women to undergo an ultra sound while listening to a lecture against abortion. I propose shoving something up the asses of members of the legislature while they listen to an historian discuss the US Constitution.

An Army colonel refused deployment orders to Iraq until the president of the United States produced his birth certificate proving he is American born. Some day I will get to live on a planet with intelligent life forms.

Dad holds the baby, mom leads the child. A family in movement.

Every time I purchase a lottery ticket I am convinced I will win. Each week I feel cheated by God. What exactly does he have against nice Jewish boys from the Bronx?

There is a sense of peace on a cloudy day as the storm drifts in from the west.

Baseball allows me to dwell in the land of statistics.

Dad sits with daughter, mom with grandma with granddaughter.

I am not a man whose hands work with dirt. I am city born.

I have to repeatedly remind myself that paraonoia is the most common theme in American history.

The sound of joy is all too often–silence.

A baby with a smiling face talked to me without speaking.

Three police cars with flashing lights, a car pulled over. Another mystery in my life.

I never recall today what I wrote yesterday.

Single people seeking to make out should wander with a dog or baby.

The Diabetes people called again. How did I get on this list is the question.

UK Blasted Over Failure To End Child Abuse

After 53 years of teaching in areas such as Harlem to small towns in California I have never once felt the need to employ physical assault on a child in order to perform my duties as a teacher. The closest I came to using physical strength was when some students assaulted me while I was trying to get a boy who was drunk to the nurse’s office. The Council of Europe has reprimanded the United Kingdom for failing to implement a ban on any use of corporal punishment within schools. England has passed several laws which restrict the use of corporal punishment, but it refuses to complete the task. Most probably, there are still those in leadership positions who believe “some” physical force should be used. It is one thing to defend oneself or other teachers and utilize force, but there simply are no reasons to use physical violence.

The vast majority of classroom management issues can be resolved through common sense and preventive measures. If one knows the children in a class there is simply no reason to assault them using the argument, “this may hurt, but I’m only doing it for your sake.”

Tiger Woods, Stay Out Of France!!

A Muslim butcher in Nantes, France may lose his French citizenship after it was revealed he had sided with his niqab clad wife who was halted by police while driving because they said her vision was impaired. The wife responded that motorcycle helmets provide even less vision, but they are OK with the police, The episode led to checks on the background of Brice Hebbadj and he was charged with being married to more than one wife and having 12 children. However, the romantic butcher insisted he was not married to several women, but he did have several mistresses and “and as far as I know it is not forbidden to have mistresses in France or forbidden in Islam. If you lose your French citizenship for having mistresses, then a lot of Frenchmen would have been stripped of their citizenship.”

I guess Tiger Woods is going to avoid golf in France, who knows, maybe they will strip him of his golf titles because he had mistresses. I can think of several governors and a few presidents who had a mistress or two, but I guess they can remain Americans because in this country, a mistress is simply evidence that you do not need viagra.

Utah Firing Squad Will Execute Prisoner!

Ronnie Lee Gardner is a murderer who killed a lawyer twenty five years ago and has been sitting in Death Row since his conviction in a court of law. The years have passed, the appeals have passed, the man sits and thinks and reflects in his cell. After he entered prison, the state of Utah passed a law which banned the execution of prisoners by means of a firing squad. It is now 2010, not 1986, and the time has come to carry out the court’s decision of death. The last prisoner to die this way in Utah was John Taylor in 1996 who chose the firing squad instead of lethal injection because he wanted to “make a statement that Utah was sanctioning murder.”

Mr. Gardner is the last person who was in prison awaiting death before the ban on firing squads. One day he will be taken out, placed against a wall and be shot by five police officers who volunteered for this duty. We believe Mr. Taylor was right, this is murder.