TED talks: Hans Rosling show the best stats you’ve ever seen

Defending Freedom of Speech

OK – this is tough for me to admit:  I actually agree with something the McGuinty government’s policy on something!

Whenever this happens, I check my position – again and again…and I did so here.  Still, it is inevitable that even a government as misguided as McGuity’s will, eventually, get something right!

So, what is this singular policy of the McGuinty regime that I support?

It is their curriculum on sexual education, of course.

By the time they are 5 or 6 years of age, each and every child should be fully aware of the scientific facts surrounding reproduction – as well as of the effects sex hormones have on brain development, including all forms of atypical hormonal effects.

Why?

Because shortly after this age, a third phase of sex-hormone-driven brain differentiation will take place.  This third phase (the first take place in utero, the second shortly after birth) is, perhaps, the most nuanced in that it will greatly emphasize the gradations that demonstrate the continuity – rather than discreetness – in the gender ‘category’.

In other words, the more science we know, the less able are we to define what is ‘male’ versus what is ‘female’.

The old ‘X’ and ‘Y’ chromosome convention simply fails, especially when we have ‘XX’ individuals with external presentations as ‘male’ and ‘XY’ individuals with external presentations as ‘female’.  And don’t even get me started on ‘XXY’ individuals, who can present as either male or female – and who are fully capable of reproducing as such.  Then there are ‘XXXY’ males, who are typically unusually prone to cruelty and violence.

In addition to these many variations along the line between male and female, there are numerous hormonal effects that have nothing to do with the genetic makeup but with maternal health during pregnancy, which will also affect the hormone-caused brain differentiation:  the variations here are numerous – and all are shown to become more prominent (and more consciously comprehended by the individuals affected) in this age-group.

Of course, this does not account for more typically male/female ‘reasoning’ associated with non-hormonal effects, but, say, things like Aspergers’ syndrome and other perfectly naturals states of being!  Those effects, too, become acutely felt at this stage of development.

In other words, I think it is essential that, at the latest by grade 1, sex education must inform children that ‘male’ and ‘female’ are cultural constructs of convenience, which nobody really properly fits in – and that this is natural and normal.  (I would add to this that we should all boycott all events, cultural or sports, that continue to differentiate against individuals based on this artificial and unnecessary group construct – but, then again, I have a deeper sense of fairness than most people!  After all, a person’s a person, no matter where they fall in the ‘sexual differentiation’ continuum…)

Having explained my position, it will, perhaps, be clear just how abhorrent and irrational I find the advertisement that Sun media is running – and which has got a lot of people up in arms – for the right and the wrong reasons.

What I find even more abhorrent is the tactics employed by some opponents of this ad in order to intimidate and silence those who made the ad, approved the ad and aired the ad!!!

Having said this, here is a link to Brian Lilley talking about – and showing – the ad in question!

Nothing is more essential in a society than preserving the freedom of speech.  I find this speech particularly foolish and destructive – but, I will fight to the death for the people who made the ad and paid for it to be aired to be able to do freely speak their foolish minds!!!

To do anything less would be standing by and not stopping evil – and we know where that leads!

The ends never justify the means.  To the contrary:  the means define the ends!

If we permit evil methods to pervail, even when they are employed to oppose an evil, destructuve message, we have already lost the war!

H/T:  BCF

BC Supreme Court rules against polygamy

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has upheld the law which forbids polygamy.  This is an important ruling – and one which is bound to end up before the Supreme Court of Canada.

It is also an issue I am deeply conflicted on:  just where does the line lie between individual choice and State interference lie?

This article by Lorne Gunther in the National Post captures much of my own thinking on the subject:

“On an intellectual level, polygamy amongst men and women who have reached the age of consent should be no one else’s business but the participants’.”

“The cold, hard fact is that in the real world, non child-abusing polygamists are pretty much non-existent. Non-wife-abusing polygamists are rare, too.”

While I might disagree with some minor points Mr. Gunther makes, these are tangential to the subject of his article, the body of which reflects my own opinions quite accurately.

Let’s hope that now that we have confirmation of the validity of anti-polygamy laws, these laws will be applied to all members of our society equally!

 

City of Toronto ‘multifaith’ prayer room

BlazingCatFur got a tip:

‘The cab driver was mortified to see that prayer room, it is in no way shape or form inclusive or respectful of others, in fact it’s downright threatening to those who suffered at the hands of Muslims in their countries of origin.’

Living up to the challenge and went to investigate:

Head over to his site and check it out.

Of course, I maintain that prayer – under all circumstances – is demonstrably immoral and offensive and that not a penny of any taxpayer money must be permitted to go to anything even remotely related to religion(s).  No publicly funded prayer rooms, no publicly funded preachers and no praying in public.  That would avoid this all mess!

In somewhat related news, here is some advice from Mark Vandermaas over at VoiceOfCanada:

‘Our Western countries have become divided states, one part for the radicals and one for the majority of citizenry — and, by virtue of our free and fair society, they are both afforded the same rights.’

And, I know this is a few days old, but:  check out women’s rights under Sharia! (And, yes, this is precisely why we must not have a law banning the burka:  the moment the state is given the right to legislate how we dress, we are giving up our right and ability to protest against this.)

Feeling Dehydrated? Don’t say that drinking water may be beneficial – in the EU, you could go to jail for that…

OK – the idiotcracy that is the EU has been my pet peeve for a long time now.

Having been born in what is now the EU, I ‘get an earful’ about how things went from ‘optimistically enthusiastic’ to ‘pre-WWI-Austrian-bureaucracy-induced-paralysis’ (my great-grand-father lived to almost 100 years of age and he used to tell us, kids, the stories – plus I read ‘The Castle’).

This, however, takes the cake!

According to the EU, after a ‘multi-year-study’ by 21 ‘scientists’, ‘there is no evidence that drinking water may prevent dehydration!?!?!

Whom the {insert expletive of choice} are they using as ‘scientists’?  The IPCC quacks?

Oh, and if you make a claim to the contrary, you just might face a 2-year jail term

The EU has systematically stripped away the ability of citizens within the EU zone to affect the laws.  The EU bureaucrats have methodically and systematically replaced democratic processes and constitutional civil rights guarantees with bureaucrat-designed-and-implemented rules which, once drafted by the bureaucrats, even the elected members of the EU Parliament are unable to prevent from being enacted:  the best they can hope for is to delay the implementation for a few months!

This is yet another glimpse of the disconnect with reality among the ruling bureaucrats and the actual physical world.

Abolish the EU now, IF you still can!!!

And all of us living in North America:  we need to increase our vigilance against the NA zone (which would mirror the EU zone), which can be glimpsed in acts such as SOPA….

When reason and the scientific method are thrown out the window are thrown out the window in favour of some ideological ideals (be they religious or secular – it does not matter at this level), it signal the type of corruption which sounds the death-knoll for society and ushers in an era of oppression of individuals in the name of these ideological ideals.

It’s happened before.

It has started again.

Let’s not let it come to fruition!

A little bit of humorous poetry: Tim Minchin’s ‘Storm’

xkcd: ‘inside job’ was an inside job

 

Me too!

Conspiracy ‘theorists’ can be extremely entertaining.  I like to play with them.

P.S.  The word ‘theory’ in ‘conspiracy theory’ should always be in quotation marks:  let’s face it, a bunch of rantings do not a theory make!