Chris Schafer: NDP’s Drunk Driving Bill sets dangerous precedent

General warrants, anyone?

This does not even address the problems inherent in breathalyzer tests.

  • the sample cannot be kept, and therefore cannot be independently analyzed by a person in their own defense, should they seek to do so
  • every time a breath sample with alcohol in it is analyzed by the breathalyzer, some amount of the alcohol will adhere to the sensors:  thus, after a large umber of samples, the instrument will give higher readings (this is a known problem and something the manufacturers inform their customers about:  in order to get accurate readings, the instruments need to be taken apart, cleaned and re-calibrated regularly…yet this seldom occurs in reality)
  • refusing to take a roadside breathalyzer test is accepted in court as admission of intoxication!!!

In other words, if we refuse to submit to a test with an instrument we know is likely to give an artificially high reading and against which there is no defense (as the analyzed sample cannot be retained for more accurate re-testing), we are automatically deemed guilty.

Please, don’t get me wrong:  I do not advocate drunk driving.  As a matter of fact, I will not drive after having had any alcohol – and will abstain from drinking alcohol if I expect to be driving.  Even if I were well under the legal limit, if I were to get into an accident and harmed someone, knowing my reflexes might have been impaired by my irresponsible consumption of alcohol, I would have a hard time living with myself.  So, I always drive sober!

In other words, the inaccurate readings of the breathalysers are not likely to ever affect me in the least and I truly ‘have nothing to hide’ – as the video stresses!  It is not about ‘hiding something’ – it is about the principle involved!!!

How can so many of our ‘best and brightest’ be so dense?

Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 40)

Thunderf00t at his best:


Happy ‘Black Friday’!

If you don’t live in North America and do not illuminate yourself with contemporary philosophical commentary, you may be unfamiliar with the most important cultural institution that Black Friday has become.

Some people may scoff at is as an expression of rampant consumerism, but others take it deadly seriously.  No, not as deadly seriously as some Danish Cartoons, but, for a populace as complacent as the current US citizens have become, it seems to rate somewhere above voting, yet still below ‘getting your free Obama phone‘!

But, do not hang your head down in shame:  Black Friday is not a sign of decadence or moral decay – though, it certainly looks it on the surface.  To the contrary – it is a very, very good sign!  (And, no, this is not a praise of Austrian economics, though, I am considering starting an online petition to deify von Mises.    No, this is something much, much deeper!)

In our society – and, here, I speak about us ‘Westerners’ in general and us Western-urban-dwellers in particular – we are getting more and more out of touch with our natural roots.  We have become so disconnected that our kids think that meat comes from a store shelf, when one needs money, it magically self-generates in an ATM machine and, (and this brought my father-in-law to tears of laughter when he over-heard it), while traveling and staying in a hotel, at least one kid asked:  “Dad, where are we – in the real world?”

Some of us have begun to wonder whether the infantilization of the adult citizens, which is so defining of our era of the rise of the unsustainably large civil servant class, has done irreparable damage to the psyche of most of the Western citizenry.  This would be a bad sign because, if one looks back in history, the larger and more entitled the civil servant class becomes, the closer the end of that civilization is.  If the damage were so deep as to be beyond repair…

Which is precisely why Black Friday gives me such a hope for our society!

Please, indulge me in a tangential anecdote:  recently, I have lost an aunt-in-law.  We only got close in the last few years of her life, but, she was a true warrior!

Her husband (who had predeceased her by only a few years) was a most dashing General of the Canadian Army with movie-star looks and charisma by the bushel – and was one of my favourite in-laws.  His ‘breaking-ice’ joke was:

Q:  When does a General obey a Major’s every command?

A:  When he is married to her!!!

And, indeed, my auntie was a true warrior!  She may have been a General’s wife, and they may have received invitations to fancy parties addressed to ‘General and Mrs. …’, but, because of her competence and the resulting high profile in the Canadian military, they also got a lot of invitations to fancy parties addressed to ‘Major and Mr. …’!  Being in charge of the food supply for all the UN Peacekeepers in Egypt during the Suez crisis was just one of her many, many accomplishments.

Due to their military duties, this wonderful couple never had kids – they sacrificed all, including their own procreation, to protect all of us.  So, when she passed, we – the nieces and nephews – had to do our part in helping to close out their estate.  It was not till then that I discovered the true depth and breadth of my auntie’s love of hunting for ‘deals’!

It was not about acquiring the actual stuff – once she received it, she would, as often as not, never even open the box or take stuff out of its packaging.  It was all about the hunt:  hunting for the highest quality stuff at the bestest possible deal!

This was no passive consumerism:  if you had mentioned to her some obscure little region of Earth, no matter how remote or unknown, she would always know of the particular ‘stuff’ that could be bought there – and only there and nowhere else on Earth!!!  Not only would she know what was available there, she would also know its health benefits, its particular cultural significance and its current market value, so you would know when you were getting a good deal on in!

And, at one time or another, she had probably bought some…

Once she had acquired it, she had no interest in the object itself, frequently donating large amounts of very high quality ‘stuff’ to charities.  I know, because after she fell ill, I often served as her driver…

Her interest was in ‘The Hunt’!

In  way, it reminded me of my great-grand-mother, who had lived through both WWI and WWII, and, who would compulsively save ‘everything’ – including empty boxes from sugar cubes which she would flatten and cram behind her credenza:  saving them ‘for the next war’…

It was a different expression of the same instinct:  my auntie was the hunter while my great grand-ma was the gatherer!

And, this is the same thing that triggers the Black Friday mania!

In my never-humble-opinion, the Black Friday phenomenon awakens our primal instincts as ‘hunter/gatherers’ on  a deep, subconscious level.  Pre -‘culture’, pre-snobbery, pre-nature-isolation.  But very, very human.

It proves to me that, regardless of the veneer we present to the world, somewhere, deep down inside, we still have the human survival instincts and they rule us more than we are willing to admit…perhaps even more than we are aware of.

In other words, this craziness we call Black Friday proves to me that however dormant or masked, our truly human instincts are still there, intact, lurking just beneath the surface.  That, given the chance, these instincts will surface and permit humanity to survive whatever cultural upheaval is coming in the next few centuries.

It proves to me that we, Westerners, however out of touch we may think we are with our origins, are still true to our humanity!  That, though our culture may soon be crushed beneath the entitlements of the civil servant class and conquered by the colonial ambitions of a particular religious minority, our progeny shall not perish with our culture!

Our survival strategies may be warped, but, deep inside, they do survive!

And that gives me great hope for our future!!!


Why Are Bad Words Bad?

This is actually quite interesting:

Banning Doorknobs, Frat Parties, and “God Bless America” Signs?! Nanny of the Month (’13-11)

Vancouver’s door knob ban gets ‘honourable mention’ in this month’s Reason TV’s Nanny of the Month!

FOX NEWS: Security, Trust and ObamaCare

OK, this story is interesting, or I would not have blogged it.

But, it is rather obvious:  Obamacare was clearly going to be an epic disaster from the get-go.  Governments do not give good ‘customer service’ because they can force us to submit to their wishes by the use of force – on which they have given themselves a monopoly (and, to ensure they keep it, they keep trying to disarm and infantilize us in oh so many ways)…

And, of course, there are many voices saying that it was designed to fail in the first place.  Sorry, that is another rant.

However, I did find something very interesting on this video.  Specifically, it is the speech of Dr. Frederick Chang from Southern Methodist University, at about the 3:28 marker.  Not ‘speech by’, not what he says, but how he speaks.

Please, indulge me and give it a listen:

Is this not the voice of ‘Anonymous’?!?!?

CCF oral submissions in Bernard at the Supreme Court of Canada

Having fun with First World Anarchists

If you are not familiar with what First World Anarchist (FWA) are, I suggest a quick trip to reddit or imgur.

Fair warning:  if you click on the above links, you may suffer pain from laughter and lost hours…

In a nutshell (no pun intended), FWA is a person who is so fed up with  our over-micro-managing overlords and their persistent petty rules that if, say, they see a line with a ‘DO NOT CROSS’ sign, they’ll photograph themselves crossing it and post it on the internet to share with all the other FWAs.  It’s kind of like a mild oppositional disorder with a sense of humour.

I actually find the growth of the FWA movement to be a good thing:  finally, people are beginning to rebel our over-regulation….but, this is supposed to be a light-hearted post and I should not ruin it by philosophising or preaching!!!

Yes, I live in a household with two very enthusiastic FWAs:  one is a teenager and the other is an engineer, so that explains that.  But, I digress…

The idea of these photos FWAs share is to break a petty or irrational or annoying rulewith attitude.

Open the package on the opposite side of where it says to!

Use the champagne glass for red wine!

Post a picture of that tree with attitude!

Put the sock marked ‘L’ on the right foot!

This kid right here!

So, you can understand my dilemma when I came across this picture:  do I post it to r/firstworldanarchist or would that be a bad idea….


Aspergers, reading faces and cultural differences regarding ‘smiling’

One of the questions get asked most often when I reveal I am an Aspie is when/how did I get diagnosed with Aspergers’, as I am of a generation when this was not a commonly known about thing.  As a matter of fact, growing up on the other side of the Iron Curtain, I am pretty sure this was not recognized as a physical thing.

Completely irrelevant factoid:  From a very early early age, I used to suffer from crippling migraines.  My mom took me to specialists and they told her that unofficially, these are migraines, but that because ‘migraine headaches’ have been ruled by the Communist Party to be ‘something capitalist rich ladies with nothing better to do make up to be interesting’, so they are no longer permitted to diagnose or treat this condition.  So,  I highly doubt ‘Aspergers’ Syndrome’ was something that anyone was willing to even mention…

To answer that question, I explain that my older was always an atypical learner.  For example, when he was 4 years old and I was pregnant with his brother, as per the advice of the parenting books and with my obstetrician’s permission, I brought him to one of the pre-natal ‘well-baby’ checkups.  When the obstetrician walked in, he pointed to the big poster on the exam-room’s wall and asked my son:

“Do you know what this is?”

My 4-year-old looked him seriously in the eyes and replied:

“That is the female reproductive system.  Would you like me to explain it to you?”

As a matter of fact, when he was just about 18 months old, we took him to the Science and Tech museum – he loved trains.  He would go into the room displaying train engines and, whether anyone was listening or not, would point to parts of the steam engine and explain, in detail, how the machines worked (using half-baby, half scientific language).  He was mobbed by a large group of camera-wielding Japanese tourists, who were convinced he was part of the museum exhibit…

Yes, he is a genius:  after all, he IS your humble blogger’s son!!!

(Explanation: from selecting a mate to timing the pregnancy to choosing rearing techniques, I had optimized primarily for intelligence, so the proven fact that my sons have both scored in the ‘genius’ range ought not be a surprise.  The fact that they are not emotionally damaged beyond repair is just a lucky bonus!!!)

What I am trying to establish is that he was both a smart kid and an atypical learner.  So, it took until grade 2 that he hit the metaphorical wall – until then, he could use his intelligence to hide the depth of his difficulties.  But, by grade 2, his cognitive skills were so high, and his ability to express them in writing so low, because here, in Canada (unlike where I grew up where it’s half-and-half written and oral testing), marks are awarded ONLY for written testing and that just kills young Aspies’ spirit.   He turned out to be above the 99.98% range of his peers in cognition, but below the 40% range of his peers in ability to express it in writing…  So, the gulf between what he knew and what he could produce in school was so huge that he began to fall into a deep depression.

Thus, when he was in grade 2, we sought help.  Luckily, there was a very well respected psychologist who had office hours once a week at my son’s school and we sought her help.  Frightened by his depression at such a young age, we got the ‘deluxe’ package of evaluation.  (This was not an indulgence, we just did not want to take any risks with 50% of our retirement plan.)

So, he went for many hours of tests.

And, so did we – the family.

Each one of us, parents, went for a 3-hour evaluation and then we had an ‘all 4 family members interacting’ evaluation session.

I don’t know what went on in the other sessions, but when it came to my evaluation, they gave me a series of totally messed-up tests.  Like – 150 ‘facial expressions’ where I had to say what the person in question was ‘feeling’!  Like – who CARES what they were feeling – that’s involuntary and thus irrational and thus, obviously, irrelevant.  I’m only interested in what people are thinking because I respect other people enough to presume them to reign in their in their irrationality and show me the respect of acting logically and rationally!!!

Isn’t that obvious?!?!?!?

After all, I do this for them – and I have been told that reciprocity is the cornerstone of civilization!  So, why would they not reciprocate and do this for me?


Ok, ok, I did not do so well on that test.  To my credit, I did get 7 right…

But, having studied Konrad Lorenz’s books at great length during my teens, I did much better on the body-language one:  I got almost 25% on that one!!!

Aside:  I have worked on this really, really hard for many years since that fateful day, taking internet classes, and am now at a little over 40% on the facial expressions one!  And, I totally get like 45% on the body-language one!  I don’t mean to be boastful, but… I’m close to 50% on the ‘real-woman/she-man’ ones!!!

Needless to say, the psychologist identified (much less pejorative than ‘diagnosed’) both me and my hubby as Aspies….though, my hubby is way closer to neurotypical than I am – so I always take his lead when it comes to all that ‘human interaction’ nonsense.  After all, men are so much better at this touchy-feely-relationship stuff!  Sometimes I feel so sorry for those poor, poor, emotional creatures…  But, I digress…

It may seem like I am changing topics here, but, please, do bear with me…  Are you familiar with the atheist argument that once all the theists come to an agreement about what is the precise definition of ‘deity’, come talk to us, but, until then, please work to get a functional definition before you try to get us to ‘believe’ in this?

Well – here is the ‘facial equivalent’ thereof for us, Aspies!!!  (Yes, the link is coming – just a little more ranting….)

I recall that when Ivan Lendl first came to play tennis in North America, reporters kept asking him why he does not smile – and he replied that nobody had given him a reason to smile – and this was touted as weird in the press and all….but as he became more integrated into North American society, he learned to smile whenever there was an audience.

Keep this in mind, please – especially with respect to the atheist argument about getting an agreed-upon definition of ‘god’ before asking us to believe in one…

SOOO much was explained to me when I came upon THIS blog entry:

‘In Russia, it is not common to smile at strangers. When you smile at a stranger in Russia, you may get the question “Have we met?” in return, because Russians normally smile only to people they know. Also, this is not common to smile when dealing with more serious issues. You wouldn’t see many smiling faces in business meetings, because business is serious, and by smiling, you show that you either don’t take it seriously or you distrust your partners’ words. Russian shop assistants are trained to smile, because smiling while serving people is unnatural for Russians. “I’m taking you seriously, you are important to me, so I don’t smile” is the natural Russian approach to a smile. ‘

It is a short post and chock-full of useful data, so I recommend reading it.

But, what it demonstrates is that facial expressions are culture-dependant and NOT in any way universal.

So, I urge you, neurotypicals:  Please, first come to an agreement what do particular facial expressions express AMONGST YOURSELVES and only THEN come and demand that we, Aspies, try to decode that crazy mumbo-jumbo!!!

‘Electronic Tattoo 110’ – a microphone tattoo for your throat

In the world of technology:

‘The patent is called ‘Coupling an electronic skin tattoo to a mobile communication device’ and was originally filed in May last year.

Throughout the patent, Motorola calls the device ‘electronic tattoo 110’ and said it would ‘comprise audio circuitry that enables reception of acoustic signals from a person’s throat’.

Put simply, the tattoo’s built-in microphone could pick up the sounds made by a person’s voice by reading vibrations and fluctuations of muscle or tissue from their voicebox.

It continues that the tattoo would either contain a battery that ‘may or may not be rechargeable’, or alternatively, could be powered by an NFC or Bluetooth charging device.’

Read the rest here.