Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Story of my life...

funny cat pictures & lolcats - 5 more minutes.

5 more minutes?

Louise Arbour lays the smack down

 TheStar.com | News | Canada's human rights stance questioned

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am a huge admirer of Ms. Arbour. Not only is she the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, but she has been a Canadian Supreme Court Justice and a Prosecutor at ICTY, and a law professor. So when she says Canada is falling down on the job, human-rights wise, I believe her (notwithstanding that I was already of the same opinion). On the other hand, will the government believe her? Doubtful. She'll get written off by the current administration as another bleeding-heart crackpot.


And OMG, this just occurred to me: Arbour should run for PM.

Security Certificate Redux


TheStar.com | Canada | Ottawa tackles terror laws

It looks like Canada is adopting the British system. I suppose its an improvement, if you ignore the whole "depriving people of their basic civil rights" thing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Something you never knew about swearing...


I guarantee it. Care of this Language Log post from 12 June 2004.


Money quote, from Matthew 5:12-22 (KJV):

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Or as UPenn Linguistics Prof Mark Liberman explains, the olde timmey prohibition against calling someone stupid (including classifying it as a "swear word", which always scandalized me as a child) has a scriptural basis. Liberman indicates that "Raca" is the equivalent of a good-for-nothing; so insulting someone's reputation might have social consequences, but insulting someone's intelligence would have spiritual consequences. Interesting, since my gut feeling is that it should be the other way around (assuming the Powers That Be care when you cuss, which I doubt...)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I love these far far far too much...

Which Office Character Are You?

You are Ryan. You are extremely smart and perceptive, and it irritates you to no end when inferior people try to tell you what to do. Sometimes, though, your critical eye makes you come off as aloof and bitter to others, and it may take awhile for people to get to know you.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

I get told on Constitutional amendment

If you follow The Court (link at right), you'll note (in the comments) that I recently forgot the exception to the Byzantine constitutional amendment procedures for amendments which only apply to one province. As another commenter pointed out, only the permission of the provincial parliament is needed for certain amendments, including the religious schools provision. I blogged about this recently as well. Oops? In my defence, it's been two years since I took constitutional law...no, nevermind, I'm just terrible.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bitch Ph.D. lays out the pro-choice POV

The always-interesting Bitch Ph.D. has laid out the POV of pro-choice advocates in clear concise language, and with the same "come ON people" attitude I approach the issue.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Dear Green Party: You have READ the Constitution, right?

UPDATE: see http://thinkingoutloudblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/i-get-told-on-constitutional-amendment.html

Feeling: ow my head
Hearing: my parents' CPU is loud

So I'm flipping through the EYE on the bus home, and I come across this:

The 2007 provincial election will forever be known as the one that put the government funding of faith-based schools in the spotlight. John Tory was smart to put this idea in the minds of the media and voters early on in his campaign – with so much debate around funding religious schools, there's less opportunity to reflect on the grave damage the previous conservative government under Mike Harris did to our schools. Our education system is still recovering from those dark days and, so far in this election, the question of how we should move forward hasn't received the attention it deserves.
And the Greens? On top of their plan to eliminate all funding for religious education in Ontario (Catholic schools included), they would also, among other
things, end standardized testing and increase environmental education.

Uhm, what? Don't get me wrong...I'd like to see that happen...but a little thing called the Constitution prevents it. According to the Constitution Act, 1867:

93. In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education, subject and according to the following Provisions:
(1) Nothing in any such Law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union:
(2) All the Powers, Privileges, and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec:
(3) Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queen's Subjects in relation to Education:
(4) In case any such Provincial Law as from Time to Time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section is not made, or in case any Decision of the Governor General in Council on any Appeal
under this Section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial Authority in that Behalf, then and in every such Case, and as far only as the Circumstances of each Case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial Laws for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section and of any Decision of the Governor General in Council under this Section.
And yes, GPO, the UN Human Rights body has criticised this, but then, it has never, ever, understood federalism. You should. YOU'RE CANADIAN!

Read more about the Green Party's well-meaning but bug-shit crazy education poicy here (it's a pdf): http://www.gpo.ca/sites/greenparty.on.ca/files/GPO%20on%20Education%202007.pdf

Thursday, October 04, 2007