Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Whites only need apply?

Lashawn Barber has a wonderful article on the odiousness that is Affirmative Action. The liberal hand-wringers have foisted this mess on society without a thought for the total hypocrisy of it all.

Anytime you make allowances for another person, you do so because of a perceived deficiency in that person. Affirmative Action is simply about making allowances for deficiencies in people based on their skin colour. Oh, lip service is paid to the "poor environment" in which these people have been supposedly been forced to live, but it really comes down to the lowest common denominator: colour. As proof, when have you ever heard/seen an Affirmative Action program for poor, white trailer trash? Ms. Barber asks:

If “whites only” scholarships, policies, and programs are obviously wrong, why are “blacks only” scholarships, policies, and programs not wrong? What’s difference between the races justifies lowering standards for one and discriminating against the other?

As a Canadian...an outsider looking into American society with relative objectivity, I find Fred of Fred On Everything to have a clearer concept of what ails the US than any other writer.

In his article entitled Cultural Psychiatry Fred writes:

Further, the ghetto rules everywhere, seeps in, or threatens. Americans are not social climbers, but social descenders, rappelling deliberately into the grubby depths. On the radio one hears regularly such lyrical confections as “Muthahfucka, muthafucka, she a ho, shit.” Ah, but the chief rule of discourse today is that one must never offend the offensive. You must never suggest that they straighten up and mind their manners, mouth, grammar, and work ethic.

That's it right there. In a nutshell. Michael Richards tees off on some black hecklers and uses racial epitaphs and has to apologise profusely for it. Dr. Kamau Kambon, an ex-professor of African Studies at North Carolina State University (wow, a degree in that will certainly get you a wonderful job in the ditch digging or food services industries), called for the extermination of white people! But for the most part the press made "allowances" for the attitude of Kambon, and one can only assume it's because he is black.

But Affirmative Action has also impacted the earliest grades of school, not just the workforce and universities. Schools in the States have been dumbed down, part of the "No one Left Behind" program. In another article, Eighth Grade in Mexico, Fred writes about his girlfriend's daughter in Mexico, and how advanced their 8th grade program is there (in a land upon which regular Americans look down their noses). He contrasts that with the poor state of American schools:

The girls came home with misspelled handouts from affirmative-action science teachers, and they learned about Harriet Tubman and oppression. Of the sciences they learned very little. I knew bright kids who had trouble with the multiplication tables. Yes, there are schools and schools, some better than others, and advanced-placement and such. I do not suggest that Mexico has a great school system, because it doesn’t. Yet Natalia, in her particular school, is better off than she would be in Washington, heaven knows, or the Virginia suburbs. Ain’t that something?

Settings standards to the lowest common denominator and making allowances for a perceived deficiency in others is quite possibly the worst form of racism.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Minimum Wage for Inmates?

The Correctional Investigator of Canada, Howard Sapers, has tabled a report calling for a wage increase for inmates of Canadian prisons to minimum wage (from $6.70 in New Brunswick to a high of $8.50 in Nunavut) from the current $6.90 a day. This is the same ex-Liberal MLA who back in October stated that:

"The experience of Canadian aboriginal peoples and the justice system has been described as Canada's national disgrace. Alarmingly, this huge over-representation has grown in recent years."


In his report, he mentions that the number of aboriginals in prison climbed 22% between 1996 and 2004, while the general population dropped 12%. Aboriginals now account for 18.5% of federal inmates, but only 2.7% of the Canadian population. He called on the federal government to adopt more culturally sensitive programs and practices, including increasing the number serving time in minimum security prisons instead of maximum- or medium-security facilities.

In typical knee-jerk liberal fashion he totally overlooks the severity of the crimes committed that seemed to have warranted a medium to maximum facility. Beverley Jacobs, the president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, blamed aboriginal over-representation on poverty, poor education, unemployment, dismal living conditions, alcoholism and violence in aboriginal communities. Okay, but that still doesn't mean a lighter sentence for committing a crime.

Now Sapers wants to increase the inmates' pay because many "inmates have to pay out of their own pocket for additional treats [beyond the three meals a day and free medical and education] such as cigarettes, booze, and chocolate"! Oh, poor babies. Next they will be expected to stay in a small cell-like room with bars on the windows.

The Prisoners' Rights Committee (PRC) supported his statements ('natch). This is the organization that spewed out of the early 1970s Ligues des droits et libert├ęs in Quebec and got inmates the right to vote. Isn't that special.

Frankly, prisoners should do extremely hard time, with hard labour and little, to no, "leisure" time. Less emphasis should be placed on rehabilitation and preparing them for release back into society, and more scaring the shit out of them. They should be so frightened of prison life, so beaten down, that they would be too afraid to commit another crime.

If a major portion of the prison population come from backgrounds of abject poverty, then what, under the current system, is the real deterrent? Why not commit a crime that nets you better food and accommodations than you currently enjoy? Hell, if they raise inmates' salaries to minimum wage even better. This would mean a substantial increase in a living standard, and at a much quicker rate than they would normally experience in the outside world.

This is the kind of liberal, left-leaning sensibilities that swiftly gets a country into fiscal problems.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Internet Explorer 7 - they're kidding, right? IE7 Sucks!

Just downloaded and installed Microsoft's IE 7.0. In typical MS fashion, they decided that they had to rearrange things to "make it better", which of course it doesn't (take a look at the abortion that is Outlook 2003 if you want to see proof of that).

This is what IE used to look like:



Note the Menu bar nicely situated at the top of the screen, like 99.9% of all Windows -based applications. I could also, if I wanted to, unlock the Toolbars and move them around (Address Bar on top, etc.).

Recently, MS released IE 7.0 (ostensibly to compete with Firefox) and this is how it looks:



Hmmm. Where's the Menu Bar? Dunno. Oh, it's hidden (why? Again, I dunno). Notice that the Back and Forward buttons are at the top left...but all the other icons (like Home, Print, Refresh) are at the bottom right. How efficient is that? Rhetorical question: it isn't efficient at all. And, NO, I can't Unlock Toolbars and move everything around. What kind of qualification do they need to be programmers at MS? Just from a usability standpoint, they have screwed up. I uninstalled it almost immediately and thus cannot discuss performance, but from a GUI (Graphical User Interface) or Human Element perspective, they have royally screwed up.

Here is what Firefox 2.0 looks like (well, MY version, since it is totally customizable):



Clean, concise, buttons were I want 'em. How people can still use crap like IE, I have no idea.

IE 7 sucks.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Afghanistan

Big article in the Sun this week on the war in Afghanistan. Reporters in several Canadian cities,including Ottawa, alternately wore pro- and anti-war-in-Afghanistan signs to gauge public reaction. Most of the "experiments" were done in the downtown cores of these cities, which in itself is usually NOT indicative of the general population. Picture left-wing types in their hemp decorated communal housing projects, and you will get the idea. From that, you should be able to determine the reactions these experiments received.

However, the issue is many Canadians have no clue what Afghanistan is all about. These people would have protested Canadian action in Rwanda had we the foresight to prevent the near genocide that occurred there. Women in Afghanistan were treated more like chattel then human beings...they were essentially "owned" by men. Of course, the Canadian women (and men too, but women should have a certain concern for the plight of these victims, you would think) who are against our continued presence in the region think little beyond what fair trade coffee shop they will patronize that afternoon.

Frankly, I have gotten to the point that I believe democracy is a bust and a la Starship Troopers (the book, by Robert A. Heinlein, not the movie) only people who have sacrificed for their country can hold political office and/or vote. Quoting Wikipedia:

The overall theme of the book is that social responsibility requires individual sacrifice. Heinlein's Terran Federation is a limited democracy with aspects of a meritocracy based on willingness to sacrifice in the common interest. Suffrage belongs only to those willing to serve their society by two years of volunteer Federal Service (there is no draft before the Bug War) -- "the franchise is today limited to discharged veterans," (ch. XII), instead of anyone ("...who is 18 years old and has a body temperature near 37 °C.". There is an explicitly made contrast to the democracies of the 20th century, which according to the novel were flawed (and collapsed) because "people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted . . . and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears." Indeed, Dubois, one of Rico's teachers, criticizes as unrealistic the famous passage of the U.S. Declaration of Independence about "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."


There is a brilliant quote from the main character in the book, Rico:

Correct morals arise from knowing what man is—not what do-gooders and well-meaning old Aunt Nellies would like him to be.


That, in a nutshell, describes the anti-war protesters. Do-gooders who have no clue about the realities of the world...whether that is the world at large, or their own personal bubble of stupidity that encases them.