October 23, 2003 at 10:37 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

File this under “I’m getting crabby as the evening wears on”:
Study finds that good looking profs get better student evaluations than bow-wow looking ones do. Doh. Once again empirical sociology proves beyond a doubt that life is totally predictable. I suggest handing out bags of balloons and pots of paint with every evaluation form given to students. That way they can spontaneously decide whether to do anything creative by way of evaluation….

Of course herein we also have a possible answer to the question, why do we appear to be living in an age of narcissism? Because it pays.

American After the Terror update

October 23, 2003 at 9:18 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on American After the Terror update

A while back I mentioned the dispute in Germany over Ted Honderich’s book, After the Terror. Now there’s an American response by Richard Wolin, Are Suicide Bombings Morally Defensible? in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Good read; this is the conclusion:

Was Honderich’s endorsement of Palestinian suicide bombing anti-Semitic? Technically, no. Yet it could easily be construed in that way. For, in addition to being a (disputable) military gambit, suicide bombings constitute a highly freighted act of political symbolism. They deliver an unambiguous message: All Jews —

Tricks and treats

October 22, 2003 at 9:53 pm | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

Since we’re getting close to Hallowe’en, here’s my favourite emblem. It represents a credo to journey by — one more step and you’re over the cliff, but man, what a ride!

“The Fool: Complete freedom and trust, new journey, lack of fear, wonder, adventure. Perfect love casts out fear.”

Well, that’s my little “occult” moment for the month. Like I said, it’s nearly Hallowe’en!

Tutelage & fanaticism

October 22, 2003 at 8:33 pm | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

Thanks to Frank Paynter for pointing to Christopher Hitchins’s piece, Mommie Dearest, wherein Hitchins elaborates on the scandal of Mother Teresa’s beatification. Note that MT called abortion “the greatest destroyer of peace,” which is an obviously fanatic and anti-human/ anti-woman statement, worthy of scrutiny and criticism by itself but especially now in the wake of the US ban on so-called “partial birth” abortions. An excerpt from Hitchins’s article:

MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility? [More… ]

Indeed. Read the article, it’s good. See Wendy Koslow, too, on this topic, and a follow-up she posted the same day.
PS: the logo (Greek letter psi upside down) says “knowledge protects”. It’s from an Austrian site, Critical Information about Psychotherapy.

Lie: it’s a plan

October 21, 2003 at 9:11 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

Today my daughter announced finding the credo George Bush lives by. It’s reprinted in her socials studies textbook, Michael Cranny’s Pathways; Civilizations Through Time, p.223:

So it follows that a prudent ruler cannot, and should not, honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage…. If all men were good, this precept [rule] would not be good; but because men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to them…. One must know how to be a great liar and deceiver.

– Nicolo Machiavelli, b.1469, as per his treatise, The Prince.

Referrer cleavage, school for scandal?

October 20, 2003 at 8:39 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on Referrer cleavage, school for scandal?

How do referrers work? This is my referrer page, and I often check it now, if only to marvel at how often someone googling “toe cleavage” lands on my blog. It’s never “big toe,” or “George Bataille.” No, just cleavage. (Huhn, ass cleavage, more like…) Just looking at it now, I see that someone reached my blog from two yahoo mail sites:

 ” title=”http://us.f204.mail.yahoo.com/ym/BlockSender?&MessRet=1&YY=52597
” target=”_blank”>http://us.f204.mail.yahoo.com/ym/BlockSe…

Visiting these sites tells me nothing, but I’m intrigued. Who’s blocking what sender? Is someone gossiping on yahoo mail lists? Is it local, someone I know? A friend? The local homeschoolers list, whose members I haven’t bothered to meet in person (maybe the Christians have finally decided I’m the antichrist)? A fluke? Fascinating possibilities for considering the dimensions of gossip, though. Referrers: a spy in the house of blog.

Keep your eyes on the skies

October 20, 2003 at 8:04 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on Keep your eyes on the skies

Friends, build your arks. After a record drought this summer, we’re now deluged with 100-year-record-breaking rains. It began on Thursday, continuing into Friday. Victoria logged 91 millimetres (just over 3 1/2 inches) before Thursday was done; Lower Mainland areas were much more badly inundated by the next day (up to 150 mm). On the weekend, the rains obligingly stopped, and coming back from a walk I cursed my boots and jacket, happy to change into sandals & t-shirt as soon as I got the chance. Today it’s nearly as warm, except it’s once again a curtain-wall of water out there. The reservoirs are filling up (good). Roads are washing out and people are evacuating (not good).

Remember when shower heads didn’t have those lo-flow controls on them? Remember the sound? Not that harsh, aerated sound of a modern head, but the full, soft sound of plentiful unforced water falling fast yet leisurely: there’s plenty where this came from, they seemed to say. And it keeps coming and coming. Some people are thinking about how to use water well, but everyone else is just looking for blue skies.

Susan Sontag’s speech online

October 19, 2003 at 11:21 am | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

wood’s lot links, via The Literary Saloon, to The Guardian which yesterday published Susan Sontag’s acceptance speech for the peace prize of the German Book Trade, delivered at the Frankfurt Book Fair last week. [See my entry from October 12, too, for additional damning perspectives on Daniel Coats (not that he needs them, but he probably deserves them…)].

Sontag’s speech is amazing. The American press appears to be revealing its profound complicity with unfreedom and censorship by not reporting and debating her words.

BC branded, and other follies

October 19, 2003 at 10:49 am | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

Dawn Paley of the sparklin weblog has put a succinct article she recently wrote online, outlining the BC Liberals’ agenda and its effects. Although I live in a city and almost never venture into the wild, I found these facts the most telling:

Believe BC, a high budget advertising campaign initiated by the BC Liberals to brand BC, highlights the splendor of natural beauty in British Columbia. Simultaneously, changes to the functioning of BC parks means that BC is now the only jurisdiction in North America, save Mississippi, without interpretive services in parks. All services have been removed from 45 provincial parks and those that continue to have services now have those services contracted out to private companies.

The BC Liberals have withdrawn support from the avalanche warning system, making Canada the only country in the world that promotes mountain tourism without publically funding an avalanche warning program. Environmental regulations have also been scrapped as the Forest Practices Code was eliminated in favour of industrial self-policing, fish farms that have popped up all along the coast are operating on the same modicum of industry self policing, and offshore drilling is being re-explored as a possibility for economic development in BC. Gordon Campell has publically denounced Canada’s commitment to ratify Kyoto. [More…]

To me, this illustrates how retardataire Liberal policies actually are. The mentality is to rely on exploiting the land and its natural resources in the most primitive way imaginable: namely, through using them up. Presumably, this will phenomenally enrich a limited, relatively small, group of people who may or may not actually live here. Somehow their wealth is then supposed to trickle down to others? I doubt it. Those with wealth will invest it in international companies that, beholden to their anonymous shareholders, will feel obliged to outsource skilled manufacturing as well as IT jobs to …China and India. Excellent trickle down strategy, that.

PS: Dawn starts her article by noting that the Liberals were elected in 2001, claiming 77 out of 79 seats in the Legislature, despite the fact that many people voted against them. I’m not sure exactly how this works here, but BC has a flawed “winner takes all” system of elections. That is, those who vote against a party effectively get no representation at all. As far as I can tell, this accounts for some of the wild swings in politics here: somewhat leftwing NDP one year, Socreds another, neo-Libs next, etc. There was a drive to change the system, but it didn’t get enough signatures. Maybe next time.

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