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 Author Thread: What have those pesky Tories done now?
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 20 (view)
 
What have those pesky Tories done now?
Posted: 6/12/2007 7:05:52 AM
^^^^ The less literate people are the less likely they are to (be able to) delve deeply into issues. The more literate people are the more likely they are to (be able to) critically analyze arguments and delve deeply into them.

The simplistic phrase "We did not violate the Atlantic Accord" is easy to accept as an argument if the counter-argument "The Atlantic Accord was violated" is a harder to understand because it is more nuanced and complex. The massive problem of "intensity targets" is hard to understand if you have poorer (math and written) literacy skills, whereas the argument "Why should we reduce CO2 if China doesn't?" has a surface simplicity.

What am I arguing? Perhaps lower literacy skills lead to a more blind acceptance of elements of the Conservative platform. Apparently the government in India deliberately kept literacy levels low for a long time because a low-literate public is easier to politically manipulate (I read a study on this once a decade or so ago). Maybe cutting literacy programs isn't mean-spiritedness (as has been suggested in many places) but is rather a long-term plan for electoral gain.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 2 (view)
 
why do people avoid people with disabilities??
Posted: 6/8/2007 8:49:58 PM
Sure is rich with irony that 43 people have viewed this particular posting but no-one has responded.

And I'm sure it happens with more than just dating. I can only comment on the non-dating stuff.....I think people are uncomfortable with what they don't know and don't know how to relate to the day-to-day of someone in a chair.....and a lot of our everyday casual sort of communication is kinda premised on relating to those day-to-day things. I also think that many are afraid that they'll say something that is taken negatively altho' they don't mean it that way at all. Or worse, that they'll actually think something negative and have to confront something about themselves that they would much rather avoid. In my view, none of these is sufficient as a reason for not getting to know someone.

If nothing else, you should be commended for being straight-forward with things in your life that others might find difficult.....if only more of us could be that way.

My two cents. Best of luck.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 11 (view)
 
CIBC Overtime Lawsuit
Posted: 6/6/2007 12:54:32 PM
Apparently the bank were being TOLD to come in early for meetings, and being TOLD to stay later to do other work. And then the hours weren't being approved by supervisors (across long periods of time and countless banks....so clearly some kind of policy).

If you *choose* to stay later to wrap things up to do a good job then that's a choice. OTOH, if the time in the paid work hours are insufficient to do a good job (in other words, you're not slacking, on or POF, aren't taking long lunches) or meet employer expectations then, in a by-the-hour position, that's the employers problem (setting goals higher than time is available to complete them) and they should be paying you for that extra time.

It'd be different if you owned the company, or part of the company, but if you don't....then any company "expecting" you to put in any time over and beyond what you are paid for is exploitative.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 55 (view)
 
Should marijuanna be legal if your over 19
Posted: 5/29/2007 1:07:14 PM
your link to http://www.cannabisculture.com/news/driving also reveals that the site misquotes the research.

For instance it quoted one study as saying that pot had no major effects, but the same paper also concluded that

"one can easily imagine situations where the influence of marijuana smoking might have an exceedingly dangerous effect; i.e., emergency situations which put high demands on the driver's information processing capacity, prolonged monotonous driving, and after THC has been taken with other drugs, especially alcohol"

and

"THC in single inhaled doses up to 300 mcg /kg has significant...dose-related impairing effects on driving performance. "

The same study noted that blood (plasma) tests do not detect THC when it is still affecting cognition etc (because it has crossd the blood-brain barrier INTO the brain). In other words, the tests that determine cannabis users in driving accidents UNDERESTIMATE the recent use of pot....and most studies cited on that page used only plasma THC levels to determine drug usage.

"It appears not possible to conclude anything about a driver's impairment on the basis of his / her plasma concentrations of THC and THC-COOH determined in a single sample."

And those come from an article used to argue that pot smokers make safer drivers!!! Gawd only knows that driving in a straight line isn't important. Makes you wonder what critical articles would say.

I only noted that one because I'd actually read that study before and knew its findings had been misrepresented.

Another foreign study used to claim that pot doesn't result in accidents actually concluded that 3% of traffic accidents were caused by drug users (who weren't drinking) and that cannabis significantly affected reaction time even in regular users.

Other studies cited at that page included a discussion of differences where there was no statistical significance. Okay, I don't expect non-academics to know this....if there is no statistical difference then there IS no difference in effect....it doesn't matter if the means are different, they're different due to chance only. So, just to be clear, no statistical difference means there is NO difference no matter what differences there might "appear" to be. [This issue crops up all the time.]

So, overall, I don't find how your web link has cited the findings of academic studies because it has clearly misrepresented what was actually found by the researchers (possibly caused by looking at & quoting newspaper articles reporting on the research paper rather than by looking at the actual research paper itself), at least in the few examples I checked.

Of course, the best way to tell the effect of pot would be self-identifying to insurance companies whether you use pot or not....then insurance companies could do the stats. And maybe it's not that pot causes accidents, maybe it's that people who smoke pot have general characterisitics that make them more likely to be in accidents irrespective of the effects of the pot. I did have to self-identify my drug useage when I got automobile insurance. How did the rest of the posters here answer that question? I mean, if you're convinced that there's a lower risk why wouldn't you answer "yes", you'd get a lower rate wouldn't you?

Anyhow, alcohol is clearly more frequently part of car accidents because a greater number of drivers are using it, pot is found less frequently because it's used by a lower proportion of driver's....that doesn't mean that pot isn't a factor in accidents. Doing both is clearly much worse (and hey, I didn't know that before)....synergistic is the word. Impaired driving IS impaired driving.....going SLOWER than everyone else (and earlier example of yours Leafs) is still dangerous.

Oh, and we have met before Leafs. Those POF socials are indeed interesting things.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 53 (view)
 
Should marijuanna be legal if your over 19
Posted: 5/29/2007 8:38:22 AM
Ah, so you're maintaining that a drug that is detectable in your system isn't affecting your behaviour? Or your reaction time? Interesting perspective. What you mean is that it's detectable long after the affects that YOU recognize are worn off. That doesn't mean it's not affecting you. (see below)

"Studies show that approximately 6 to 11 percent of fatal accident victims test positive for THC. In many of these cases, alcohol is detected as well.
In a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a moderate dose of marijuana alone was shown to impair driving performance; however, the effects of even a low dose of marijuana combined with alcohol were markedly greater than for either drug alone. Driving indices measured included reaction time, visual search frequency (driver checking side streets), and the ability to perceive and/or respond to changes in the relative velocity of other vehicles."

http://www.nida.nih.gov/ResearchReports/Marijuana/Marijuana3.html

What does "recently" mean.....well within 24 hours of smoking one or two joints there are effects that relate to driving safely....

"results suggest that marijuana can adversely affect complex human performance up to 24 hours after smoking."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=1965045

And that's WITHOUT alcohol being involved (see first note re: synergistic effects).

Of course, perhaps experienced users such as yourself don't experience this....let's see.....

"data demonstrate that acute marijuana smoking produced minimal effects on complex cognitive task performance in experienced marijuana users."

Wow. That IS good news. EXCEPT...

"marijuana significantly increased the number of premature responses and the time participants required to complete several tasks."

Huh, response TIME on tasks is increased....one of those things critical to driving (anything) safely. Well that sure explains a disproportionately high accident rate.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=11682259

Finally, this was interesting, and pertains to your comment above....

"Marijuana users react much more slowly to driving hazards yet perceive that they are reacting much more quickly. On the stopwatch, they are slower. In their minds, they are faster. "

Yup, personal perceptions are contradicted by external measurement.

Feel free to argue all you like. Research data trumps personal experience....because personal experience (or, rather, how your brain interprets it) is affected by the treatment itself.

Frankly, and I'm with CW on this, anything that gets absorbed into and persists (for 30+ days) in the fat material surrounding your neurons (in other words, THC & it's metabolites are lipophilic) in your brain....something that has impact on cognition in some manner...is something to stay away from. Alcohol, and most drugs (legal or otherwise), don't persist for that period of time at all...and they don't persist in that manner (in the insulation material of your neurons).

So, I suspect if it ever gets legalized it'll be with the caveat that if it is detectable in your system then you'll be charged with impairment if you are driving (which would also negate your automobile insurance, as happens in some jurisdictions now anyways).....so, have a joint, then don't drive for a month. Wow.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 52 (view)
 
Should marijuanna be legal if your over 19
Posted: 5/29/2007 4:51:35 AM
^^^^well, I live in a neighbourhood where two teens up the street b&e'd several houses to steal stuff to sell to buy pot. In fact, aren't the majority of small property crimes drug related?? I'm pretty sure that's the case. And drug testing shows that a significant proportion of those in car accidents have been smoking up recently (in proportion to its use in the general population)....of course that's not causal.....maybe tokers are on average just worse drivers :)

My point, and I do have one, is that if you folks ever want to convince the gov't to legalize pot you'll all have to argue for it a lot better than you have here.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 20 (view)
 
Should marijuanna be legal if your over 19
Posted: 5/23/2007 8:07:48 AM
Troll? I post here all the time. I read the forums in NS & NB every day. And I joined POF way before you did. In heaven's name just how am I a troll?

Nope, it wasn't intended as an insult to you at all Leafs (or anyone else here for that matter), not even slightly. It was more a comment to those who justify their use by saying "smoking pot is normal, everybody I know smokes weed." That's a lousy rationalization and I was sticking a pin in it. [If I'd wanted to insult anyone I would have changed the emphasis and typed "most ADULTS don't smoke pot".....but I had no interest in conveying an insult with what I wrote....sorry if you took one.]

You could sit beside me at a party and indulge and it wouldn't faze me in the slightest....nor would you hear a negative remark from me (I don't give a rats arse if you do or don't smoke up frankly...I wouldn't even think anything negatively about it).

As for "generalizing"....that's how we all live our lives (think of it as a form of risk assessment). If seven out of ten cops arrested you for having weed, wouldn't that make you nervous and careful around ALL cops, even if three out of ten would give you a pass? Generalizing from experience is how humans function (see "Women, Fire and Dangerous Things" by Lakoff for a too long and detailed discussion of this)....and the comments in my profile aren't about "judging" or "criticizing", they're about what risks I'll accept (and not) in dating.....if I miss the greatest match in the world because she happens to be a pot smoker, well tfb as far as I'm concerned, I'm clearly willing to live with that.

Hope that clears things up.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 19 (view)
 
Should marijuanna be legal if your over 19
Posted: 5/23/2007 7:13:43 AM
i) CW posts all the time....this is hardly the first time he's contributed to the forums.

ii) I doubt CW's views on drugs will affect his dating success....read my profile and my stance on drugs and realize that such a perspective sure hasn't affected mine. My profile is WAY clearer than his.

iii) Why is my profile so abundantly clear??....because half a dozen years or so ago I realized that out of all the relationships I'd had, the really f**ked up ones had been with people who were "occasional" (or more) drug/pot users (and up until that point I hadn't cared a whoot). Why might that be? I suspect it's a psychological thing....if you CHOOSE to break that societal law, then you have a greater propensity to break other laws/rules because you have an established philosophy towards laws in general. Go ahead and call bullshit on that one if you want....and then go and look up the correlation between illegal drug use and propensity to break other laws [I'm not arguing it's a "gateway" drug....I think that's BS. It's about the orientation towards rules and laws that drives the correlation.]

iv) And here's a "fact" a lot of you keep ignoring....MOST adults don't smoke pot. Ever. Most engineers, most architects, most doctors, most dentists, most academics, most pilots, most air traffic controllers, most teachers, most university students, etc etc etc. Don't believe me? Go look it up. Most adults gave it up after their teen years, and a whole whack never smoked up in the first place. Ever wonder why so many professionals stay away? Maybe has something to do with the longevity of THC metabolites in the fatty tissues of your brain (you know, the insulating stuff around neurons that make up your brain...that thing you think with....30 days those metabolites hang around...metabolites of alcohol usually last in the bloodstream less than 24h).

v) If "most of your friends" smoke up, even occasionally, that says something more about your circle of friends than it does about "most" adults. Most in my circles do not.

Oh, and for the record, I think pot use should be de-criminalized....heck, I think it should be legalized and taxed and sold in the corner store to those over 19 who want it. Or in the liquor store. But I don't care whether it is or not. If you do care, you should do something active about it.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 15 (view)
 
You know what halifax is missing ?
Posted: 4/10/2007 5:17:25 PM
^^^^Um, just to be abundantly clear....I wasn't criticising NSWiseacre or suggesting he was incorrect in what he was describing, I was belittling the idea that bars would exclude an identifiable "wrong" clientele on the basis that post was implying. I am personally quite critical of such exclusionary practices explicit or implicit in the policy of any business or any other institution. Period.

OT: And IMHO an R&B club would be a good addition to the music scene in the city.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 12 (view)
 
You know what halifax is missing ?
Posted: 4/10/2007 11:01:45 AM
^^^^^ "wrong" clientele??? Oh NO, not my PARENTS!!!! NNNNOOOOoooooooooooooo............... I just refuse to party with old people.

[I thought this an appropriate reply to someone whose user id is NSWiseacre. LOL.]
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 1 (view)
 
What is your most frequent thought when looking at profiles??
Posted: 4/9/2007 10:17:54 PM
I'll click on a profile, because of an interesting username or pic, do a quick scan of the profile, and then think, "Maaaaaannnn, too bad you smoke."

And then I'll go somewhere else.

Happens all the time on here.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 20 (view)
 
Personality Search!!!
Posted: 4/6/2007 1:10:14 PM
For the record, and to be completely and totally clear, I wasn't complaining about georgieporgie63 and itbpg not showing up when I searched ESTJ. But Jade not showing up was a completely different issue.....
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 15 (view)
 
Personality Search!!!
Posted: 4/6/2007 6:22:32 AM
I'm wondering if the search engine is flakey. I just searched for ESTJ and Jade didn't show up in the search....and by the parameters I set she should have. Maybe the search tool needs some tweaking.

So, the message is, don't give up.

"Life's Natural Administrator"...I'm having trouble figuring out if that means "organized" or "bossy". Insights anyone?
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 59 (view)
 
Shampoo
Posted: 4/1/2007 3:02:12 PM
I'm more of a Kim Mitchell fan myself.

Not that he really needs shampoo any more.

 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 13 (view)
 
Gay animals/pets?
Posted: 3/31/2007 1:34:14 PM
I'm perhaps about to demonstrate that one can be aware of too many resources or at least have too many books on one's shelves.....if you're really interested in the topic there's a cow-choking book (740 pages) called "Biological Exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity" by Bruce Bagemihl (1999) that discussed the issue in depth with a gazillion examples. In short, he argues that countless animal species have multiple shades of sexual orientation, and that there are arguably even some reasons from an adaptability perspective (which essentially drives evolution) for this. He discusses in length what historical underpinnings the reverse view has and how it developed over time. Hope that's helpful.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 2 (view)
 
Top 5 reasons to live in Halifax...
Posted: 3/29/2007 5:19:31 AM
[in no particular order]
1) The live music scene
2) The Granite Brewery (the best pub in Canada, with the best Pecan pie ANYWHERE)
3) The waterfront (ya, it's touristy, but it's nice to walk along & watch people)
4) Cheap flights to England, Europe & Cuba
5) The wide variety of restaurants (for a city its size)
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 59 (view)
 
Why is there a dbl standard for men compared to women
Posted: 3/24/2007 12:31:59 PM
I've had great relationships with women I've slept with on the first date, I've ended up having lousy relationships with women I've courted for months. Anyone who uses that criteria to judge someone's character and relationship potential is on the wrong track if you ask me.

Of course, "slept with" in my 40's now means something completely different....



 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 13 (view)
 
Bush's plan for Iraq
Posted: 3/24/2007 12:26:37 PM

and the person that dropped it is responcible


Ah, well, the history of that region would well suggest that the British and Americans are responsible for the mess there in Iraq (and I'm talking going back decades)....and so it's rather fitting they're in such a quagmire trying to straighten it out. Although since "Iraq" has never actually been a "country" as most of us would understand it, because it's boundaries really are just a fake imposed over half a century ago, straightening it out is probably not possible.

Yup, as nasty as a hornet's nest might be, things aren't improved by pushing a stick into it. Not that the American's learned a damn thing....they're now mouthing "regime change" being a necessity for Iran as well. A dog has usually only got to get quills in it's snout once to never go near a porcupine again. Hmmm, let's see....puppies learn, birds learn, earthworms learn, flatworms learn, amoeba learn....man, you've gotta go to bacteria and viruses to find organisms that can't learn to respond differently to a stimulus.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if the world is a strainer and you want to stop the flow, stop trying to just act like a plug. Acting as if the world is full of nails just because you only know how to use a hammer isn't necessarily a wise thing. [now, did I twist THAT metaphor enough?? ]
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 11 (view)
 
Bush's plan for Iraq
Posted: 3/23/2007 7:24:53 PM
^^^^ Well, "length" of life might have been shorter in aboriginal communities 600 years ago or so, but there's arguments to be made for quality of life being higher much of the time. I'd highly recommend this article (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200203/mann) if you can find it at the public library.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 3 (view)
 
future shop
Posted: 3/16/2007 4:43:41 PM

This is another beef I have with Futureshop.

You get attacked by pushy sales staff every 2 minutes.


All you have to do is look like a biker thug and they'll leave you alone and NEVER offer any help (even if you want it).

Uh, not that I know from experience or anything....I just, ummmm, "heard".

OT: My experiences with them with computers are also poor....exceptionally long repair times over and over and over and over and over (fix it properly the FIRST time you idiots). My advice is to only buy stuff @ FS on massive markdown.......that's the only way you'll get your money's worth in the long run.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 15 (view)
 
No more Commonwealth Games :(
Posted: 3/10/2007 8:41:26 AM
I'm new-ish to the city....isn't Shannon Park land that was housing for the military originally? If so, shouldn't they be responsible for at least demolishing what's there?

Also, I've read that some expectations of the type/size/quality of the venues were re-specified by the CG's (at an international level) AFTER Halifax won the bidding rights in Canada....and that these considerably raised the cost of the venues. If true, then that's where the responsibility lies, not with our bid committee, province or city administration. Changing the rules after the process has started unsuprisingly caused a financial headache....and I'm not embarrassed for them having pulled out, I'm proud of them for looking after our interests after the international committee tried to extort more from the taxpayers of HRM & NS.

On a related note, the CFL is a business, one that makes lots of people wealthy. If they want to put a franchise here, they should pay for a stadium and rent it out. If that's not cost effective/viable then that tells us something. Stadiums are usually a net loss to the economy....I'm from Ontario originally and taxpayers in that province paid hundreds of millions of dollars for the Skydome (or whatever it's called now)....over half a billion as I recall (and that was a decade ago when a half a billion was worth more than it is now.... )....not money that has been recouped to the economy. We shouldn't pretent that such efforts "generate" income....all of those sports salaries are "collected" from locals but go to pay players who often don't live or stay in the same area....so it's a net loss to the local economy. How much "extra" money will a stadium in Halifax bring into Nova Scotia? "Extra" money is money that wouldn't be in the province otherwise. If it's not from the "outside" of the province, then it's just redistributing money IN the province, and so doesn't offer a financial benefit because that's LESS money that those individuals have to pay for other things IN our province. Most economic/academic analyses of the so-called financial benefits of those taxpayer supported endeavours such as sports stadiums find that most taxpayers don't benefit at all relative to what the costs of them are.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 9 (view)
 
No more Commonwealth Games :(
Posted: 3/9/2007 1:39:25 PM
Apparently the Scottish government is footing 80% of the bill in the Glasgow bid. And THAT bid is $3.7b and they already have several of the facilities that are needed. Funny how "ours" was going to cost less than half of that even though we needed all of the facilities built. The history of these things is that the cost WAY more than the bid is. The Olympic bid for London was awarded at a cost of $5b and they've already spent $22b. Most recent venues have cost at least twice as much as the bid. An economic analysis showed that a bid of ~$1.5b for "our" games would cost each taxpayer in HRM $4k. If it went over the bid cost, the policy of the Commonwealth Games is that the host city absorbs any extra cost. That means if the typical minimal "inflation" of costs occured, that each taxpayer in HRM would be paying $8k. The economic benefits are not all that great overall, except for increased spending by the government. If the sports facilities are so critical to the region, then government should be providing them anyways. An article in the Chronicle Herald provides interesting numbers on the costs associated with the games...http://www.herald.ns.ca/Search/562534.html
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 13 (view)
 
Lack of essential services due to staff shortages
Posted: 3/7/2007 8:18:31 AM
^^^^ In general across Canada, teacher salaries have lost 25-30% of purchasing power against the economy in the last 25 years. [It's probably a lot worse in Alberta since the economy there has boomed so much] And student loans are much higher. If there's a shortage of quality teachers, salary might be one reason. [This is in contrast with nurses and doctors salaries, and police salaries, which have increased purchasing power relative to the economy in the same time period in most of Canada. I bet provincial politician salaries have also improved relative to the economy (they used to be paid the same as teachers)....ironic in some ways.]
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Lack of essential services due to staff shortages
Posted: 3/7/2007 7:25:31 AM
In most provinces the government regulates how many teachers are admitted into Faculties of Education. If there are shortages then they are often self-imposed.

My understanding is that the limit to the # of admitted doctors is something heavily influenced by the local College of Physicians in consultation with the government.

Here's an idea for doctors.....charge the FULL cost of their program to the candidates, then offer forgiveable government loans based on a "set" salary AND working for the province for a period of time at a "reasonable" salary. AND give preferential acceptance to the program to those who are willing to work IN the province under those forgiveable loan conditions. Say...."We'll pay you $150k/year for 7 years AND forgive your loan if you work as a doctor in the part of the province that we need you". Oh, and set a needed # doctors/population size and enforce that around the province....**I** don't get to work where I want to, MOST people don't. MANY professionals have to work where the jobs are, why should doctors be any different?? No one *has* to be a doctor....if you don't like those conditions, go to school & work somewhere else. There's NO evidence that a doctor candidate entering with an 87% average is a better doctor than one with an 80% average....and some evidence to the contrary.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 40 (view)
 
Would you recognize a fellow PoF'er?
Posted: 3/6/2007 1:04:54 PM
Yup. It was funny....I'm standing at a bus stop and a female POF'er drives by. My first thought was...."Hey that's xxxxxxxx....and her car looks like her....it's red with straight edges everywhere....and she's a redhead with straight hair....what a funny coincidence." But I bet it's not a coincidence, I bet it's a fashion statement.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 23 (view)
 
aboriginal racism....still happening today?
Posted: 3/1/2007 3:23:08 PM

they way the black people are treated in USA, is just the way the natives are treated here!


I have lived in the rural American South, and I have lived all across Canada in both rural and urban communities. That statement is unmitigated bullsh*t. First Nations people in Canada are in no way treated or spoken about even vaguely as negatively as African-Americans are in the United States in _comparable_ communities and social settings. I heard more negative commentary about African-Americans in one WEEK in the rural US than I've heard in my entire adult life about First Nation's individuals in Canada....and I was hanging out with a university educated crowd in the US and in Canada my comparison group is that community AND blue collar workers, alcoholics, truckers, the military, farmers, fishermen, construction workers, etc etc. To my mind, in no way shape or form are the two groups comparable in how they are talked about and/or treated. I am obviously sorry you are treated negatively, at least one could infer that from your statement, and I by no means have any interest in diminishing that, but I have never noted even vague comparability across the two countries.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 2 (view)
 
Travelling to NS in April or May for a week.
Posted: 3/1/2007 3:07:04 AM
Hostels or hotels? There's a hostel in Fredericton that's inexpensive in the off season (), and there's one in Halifax on Barrington too. I've stayed at the latter countless times....it's a pretty good hostel....and is on the edge of downtown a short walk from all the great bars with live music in Hfx. [And F'ton is ~13h from Kingston] There's a hostel in northern NB too....and a lot of hostels have "private" rooms for families for just a bit more.

FREDERICTON INTERNATIONAL HOSTEL
Rosary hall, 621 Churchhill Row
Fredericton, NB E3B 1M3
(506) 450-4417 BHC $16-$20

AUBERGE C'MON INN MONCTON HOSTEL
47 Fleet Street
Moncton, NB E1C 1S1
(506) 854-8155 BHC $24

Halifax Heritage Hostel
1253 Barrington Street, Halifax
www.hostellingintl.ns.ca
Telephone +1 (902) 422-3863
Fax +1 (902) 422-3863
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 25 (view)
 
Is NASA worth the price ???
Posted: 2/28/2007 10:23:20 AM
^^^ I'm not sure either of us needs courses in remedial reading....perhaps your writing was ambiguous. Although I will admit that you turned a pretty phrase a few time in the above post, so perhaps it was the indexical nature of language influencing our interpretation of your writing in that previous comment. Yet, and I *am* clearly struggling with this, the concept of "perpetuate" does imply that one thinks that such a "socialist welfare state" already exists....and the context further implies in the US. However, I will admit that your sterling rebuttal does leave me on the fence as to where the misunderstanding may have arisen. Maybe reading your post with a Texan accent would help me understand it more accurately (a trick literacy researchers says can help considerably). Nope, still not there. Of course, given that Texans say "Dubb-Yah" rather than "double-ewe" (the way most of the rest of the english speaking world pronounces it), it's possible my attempt to read the passage with a Texan accent is misplaced somewhat. The issue as to where the misunderstanding arose will have to remain a mystery.

If you haven't looked at SV's profile, you might notice that she's kinda far from the "Lib troll" label, being from the most right-wing part of Canada (whoops, apparently she's removed that reference.....sorry) and, according to her posts, is considered pretty right-wing herself IN that province. My own politics are a lot less uni-polar politically than you apparently suspect. Of course, my experience with Americans, particularly from your neck of the woods, is that ANY social programs whatsoever are considered "socialist", and any policy that isn't far-right is considered "left".

In case you hadn't noticed, I did address the OP's post earlier. My comment was about your post. Which, as far as I can tell, is a valid use of posting on my part. Your own comments re: Canada are also, not surprisingly, reasonably incorrect....I am aware that the two countries I mentioned are essentially Theocratic dictatorships (compared to which the US might appear 'socialist'), whereas you, apparently, know little about us. That's hardly surprising. Canada is much closer to the American model re: social spending and support than are many if not most of the European and Scandanavian countries....Canada barely qualifies as "socialist" in the sense that the term means so it's no longer a very good example of a 'socialist' country at all (if it was, we wouldn't have a $51B surplus in our employment insurance system that was being used to buy military hardware). And it's hardly on a trajectory towards that, if anything the reverse. I am glad you're so proud of your positioning as a country that is usually amongst the worst of most Western nations when it comes to education, health care, unemployment, quality of life, drug use, racist attitudes, premature deathrates of children, teen pregnancy, crime rates, learning disorder rates, and most other indicators of "health" and "quality of life" you'd care to mention. You might find it interesting that major corporations in the US are now arguing for a goverment "socialized medicine" system very much like ours because NOT having that is making your companies uncompetitive internationally because of what they have to spend on health care. Of course, with your current policy direction you won't have any companies of note IN the U.S. anyways, so perhaps that will become less of an issue in the long run. Of course, you won't have jobs for people either. Finally, you'll notice that your influx of immigrants doesn't come from other Western nations....there's a reason for that....it's countries beneath yours socioeconomically whose citizens most want to immigrate to the US, not from above you. That's why comparatively there's darned few Canadians, Germans, French, British etc moving to the US. Of course, your rather stellar crime rate is a bit of a disincentive too.

We'll just have to agree to disagree I guess. You'll happily stay in Texas (and I'm personally grateful for that), and I'll happily stay in Canada. You'll probably be happy to know that no amount of money could get me to move to where you live (and, you'll be surprised to know, quite substantial offers have been made for me to move to a US institution). Cheers.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 17 (view)
 
Is NASA worth the price ???
Posted: 2/27/2007 12:59:22 PM

that accomplishes nothing but perpetuate the socialist welfare state


The US is a social welfare state?



Compared to what other country? Sudan? Iran? Antarctica? [ya, I know the last is a continent]

THAT is, bar none, the silliest claim I've read this year.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 4 (view)
 
Is NASA worth the price ???
Posted: 2/26/2007 7:05:40 PM
If y'all don't know this......

NASA exists to provide an infrastructure for your military.

The "excitement" of space travel is used to "sell" the public so that they support the money going to NASA. And then the military can use what NASA has as an infrastructure (physical and research wise) for military purposes.

In other words, NASA funds are essentially to hide funding research that is used to benefit the military. It's about the military. NASA is funded by the government to support your military.

NASA is heavily promoted to teachers, and considerable amounts of astronomy are put into your curriculum, as a way of implicitly persuading the public to support the money going to NASA. To support your military.

So, mostly you should look at the NASA budget as part of your military budget. Because that's what it is.

Wow, you guys sure spend a lot of money on your military.

But you're right tho', probably better than spending it on health care, your schools, social security, orphans benefits, literacy programs, alternative energy research, sex education, workplace training, health education..........
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 53 (view)
 
Compulsory Voting
Posted: 2/26/2007 5:01:36 PM
In part, I think declining voter participation in the US comes from a tendency to have a very strong allegiance to only one party.

In the US a vote not getting "out" is what swings many elections. If you're Republican and you don't like the things your party is doing, you don't vote Democrat, you just don't vote. If you're Democrat and you don't like some of the things they're doing, you just don't vote...it's not like you vote Republican. The groups that vote one way and then the other are pretty small in numbers in the U.S. Of course, an extension of that is that you may just stop voting....and I think that's what happens.

In Canada I believe the vote-switching group is much larger because party allegiances are much less strong here (with exceptions of places like Alberta where I'd bet the vote-switching group is quite tiny....but that's not surprising because it's the part of Canada that's philosophically most like the US), and having three parties kind of helps as well. If we ever drop to two parties nationally some of the same issues as in the US will emerge I bet.


those who are knowledgeable about ....political issues will vote


Riiggghhhht. And your evidence for that is? An incredible number of voters don't know anything substantive about the issues they vote on.

I'm actually a proponent of a "minimal knowledge base" test for vote participation. If you don't know a basic number of "facts" about the topical issues of the day, you can't vote. Feel free to pick up the brochure or MP3 file discussing the issues in advance of the election, and study them.....but a knowledge test should be a requirement. A participatory democracy should require *knowledgable* participation, not a voter choice based on the suasion of personality or attack ads....or on whether you'd like to have a beer with them or not (Gore/Bush votes broke down on who would like to have a beer with them....a lot of voters thought GW would be fun to have a beer with, but that Gore would want to talk about things and so would spoil the beer....that's what we want, presidential choice based on who is least knowledgeable but the most fun. Duh. well, look what you got as a consequence.).
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 60 (view)
 
Canada backout of Kyoto
Posted: 2/25/2007 4:09:25 PM
^^^I agree MS, how do we have them consider themselves to be part of a solution to a problem that they can see a positive outcome to?? A government that keeps saying "we can't do it, we can't do it...and any commitment we made internationally can just go and take a leap" (i..e, acting like "quitters") is providing a VERY poor model for kids in all sorts of ways (and don't get me going on how government members behave during question period). It does make one want to cry. Modeling 'sucking it up' and getting on with a dirty and difficult task would be a much better model eh?
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 57 (view)
 
Canada backout of Kyoto
Posted: 2/25/2007 2:37:12 PM

way to atone for a nation's sins should be by, say, investing in the environment,


Well, doesn't Kyoto account for this tho'? We could develop carbon offset approaches HERE and invest in that.

On the east coast, apparently pulp & paper mills are now burning scrap to generate electricity (they just used to burn it before), are providing their own electrical energy by doing so, and are now selling extra carbon credits on an exchange (in Chicago I think). And that's without any government intervention because now they're making money from the enterprise. Wilson's (an oil and gas distributor) provides a biofuel for home heating (that's what I use actually...to heat most of my house to 60F), and a consortium of farmer's in New Brunswick are starting a small biofuel refinery to process oil seed that they're growing.....they'll use the fuel to power their tractors for maintaining their other crops (and to heat their home) and then sell the excess....they expect to be turning a small profit on their investment within five years (which means their farming becomes carbon neutral....except for the petrochemical fertilizer maybe). In my view, THESE are the types of enterprises that government should be investing in now....not subsidizing the oil industry with tax breaks (so they can produce oil faster) or with research for carbon sequestration etc. REQUIRE the oil and gas industry to invest in those things (they *are* after all below the industry average) and then invest those government funds in other projects that are NOT currently profitable. "Investing" goverment monies, in all the way it is done, in a tremendously profitable enterprise, makes no sense at all.

Want some "productive" ideas that involve industry/people in different ways???

1) As an incentive to individuals....right now electricity is paid for on a linear scale. (In other words, if you use four times as much you pay four times as much). You could encourage efficiency by setting a "baseline" consumption rate for individuals, and then use Canada census figures to establish # of residents in a home and scale electricity cost rates on an exponential scale relative to that baseline consumption (based on electrical heating).[Ontario tried to have a system of having higher rates at different times of day to encourage people to shift laundry etc to cheaper times.....the Conservative gov't got rid of the system...but it made sense because hydro-electricity production in Ontario is "unused" in non-peak times, but is subsidized by coal-fired production in peak times....getting rid of a diffrential cost system was stupid]

2) Put a surtax on incandescent bulbs, and subsidize fluorescent bulbs. Didn't Australia just move to ban incandescent bulbs? Provide tax incentives for development of LED lighting technology (NOT to oil and gas companies that are turning major profits)....and then have a rebate program for them when they are commerically viable (all of these link to #1 of course).

3) Use the Income Tax filing data to establish an "average" employee distance from work to home for each company. Then provide a tax break for each year that drops by 1%, and a tax penalty for each year it rises by 1%. Right now cities like Toronto are major producers of GHG because employers pay salaries that require employees to live far away from where they work (because that's what they can afford). Provide an incentive for companies to locate where employees want to/can live.

4) Have carbon offset credits available in Canada that count for meeting our Kyoto obligations. Encourage SUV owners to pay for carbon offset credits for their vehicles (I do for mine, but mine is pretty efficient anyways....mine cost $80/yr)....heck, have a government bumper/window sticker that says "I paid for offset carbon credits - 2007"....and have it issued each year when they have.

5) Require companies to purchase carbon-offset credits for flights. (it adds about $30 each way for flying across Canada)...if they want to claim the flights as an expense they have to demonstrate that they've offset their flying contributions (according to the Brits, travelling short haul creates: 63.9kg by plane, 36.6kg by car, 5.2kg by train, and 4.3 kg by bus (per passenger)).

6) In the 70's government buildings and schools had lights that only stayed on when people were in the room. Why aren't such technologies in place now? Require companies to have reduced lighting when no regular workforce is present.

7) Subsidize thermostats that automate temperature being turned down in a house a few degrees in the daytime during the week. Require their use in all government buildings [I work in a government building that is heated to such a high temperature that I have to have a window open all the time beside my desk.....my office thermostat is always "off" and I still can't stand the temperature).

8) In many European cities you cannot have delivery trucks in the main core in daylight hours...they can only deliver in the late evenings or very early morning. Delivery trucks spend an incredible amount of time idling in the jammed traffic in downtown cores. And when they're delivering (such as on Yonge Street in Toronto), they constantly slow car traffic as well and contribute to GHG production.

I couldn't agree with you more that investing in the environment HERE is a better choice than THERE (wherever there might be). But it's not just "investment"....there's regulatory things that can be done reasonably simply as well. I keep *hearing* that we can't meet our Kyoto obligations, but I'm not seeing action taken on things we COULD be doing. Heck, I read recently that it would increase the cost of my electricity something like 40% for Nova Scotia Hydro to meet Kyoto. Really? Well, let's see....I pay $60/month for hydro, half of that is various delivery "fees" and not the cost of electricity, so $30 + 40% would be, um, $42. Heck, I'll pay that without even blinking. Considering all my other expenses in life, a 100% increase in electricity costs aren't a huge burden. You should hear the hue and cry over that tho'. Sheesh. Heck....start charging that now to PAY for the darned changes in advance.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 55 (view)
 
Canada backout of Kyoto
Posted: 2/25/2007 1:20:38 PM
^^^Ya. Stricter requirements (1.3X) & can't trade emission credits.

I also found this nugget....

"In COP-7 at Marrakech, member countries failed to come to an agreement on whether the consequences for non-compliance should be legally binding. Countries deferred the decision on the legal issue until the first meeting of Kyoto parties following the treaty's entry into force."

Does this mean that if the other countries decide at that meeting that there will be legally binding consequences that Canada can be held to that, even if we vote against it, because we are signatories??
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 53 (view)
 
Global Warming, Its a little long, but you will finally learn the truth.
Posted: 2/25/2007 12:48:09 PM
To participate meaningfully, one must distinguish between fact and fiction - in addition to understanding the underlying political agendas.


Indeed. I encourage you to follow your own advice. I have no "political" agenda, nor do most climate scientists. In fact, the ones I know really really wish that their data suggested something other than what it does.

Your statement that there is "substantial doubt" that Global Warming is due to the contribution of gases from the activities of humans is incorrect.

90% of IPCC scientists (you know, that big panel of international experts who released the big report on climate change a few weeks ago.....not the editor of a magazine or a former meteorologist from Oregon or any of the others frequently quoted) strongly agree with the statement that the currently observed global warming is "most likely" to be the result of human contributions.

That's a remarkable level of agreement. There are few statements in science that you could get that degree of agreement on in that large a group of scientists.

AND, it does not mean that the other 10% thought it was "most unlikely" either. There are also the options of "likely" or "slightly unlikely". In other words, most of the international experts [i.e., those people who get asked to big international meetings because their peers say they're the best ones to contact] on global warming DO think it is human contribution.

Most of your above arguments/quotes are specious at best....an excuse not to do anything, not evidence not to do anything.

I'll say to you what I say to any others that don't think we should do anything.....I strongly encourage you to invest all of you earnings in Bangladesh, or in beachfront property on Long Island, or in cropland in India, or in the American midwest for that matter. Lock it in for a good 100 years would you?

I've already hashed out a lot of the issues you bring up in the forum found at.... http://forums.plentyoffish.com/datingPosts6566644.aspx#6575833 ....I'm not going to spend my time re-doing it here.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 51 (view)
 
Canada backout of Kyoto
Posted: 2/25/2007 12:23:11 PM
As far as Kyoto goes.....

We ratified it. It's internationally ratified. I don't think we can just "back out" of it....it's signed into law both nationally and internationally. [if there are lawyers here I'd love to hear their spin on it]

From what I've read....we can either try to meet Kyoto **OR** we ARE going to pay to buy carbon credits. If we don't, there's locked-in international trade penalties.

If this is the case, then the "I hate Kyoto and we shouldn't have signed" and the "We can't meet Kyoto" crowd had better suck it up because we're going to be held internationally accountable no matter what.

My further understanding is that NOT meeting Kyoto targets, and buying credits to compensate (which we'll have to do) then gives us a 1.3X penalty for our later commitments.....so sucking it up now and doing it (or getting close to it, which most think will be sufficient and get us cut some slack internationally) will be MUCH less painful than having to meet FURTHER targets WITH a penalty in the long run.

Oh, and anyone that is interested in purchasing your own carbon offset credits (like, if you drive a big SUV or fly to Toronto on vacation ) ....you can 'pay' to offset the carbon dioxide generated by your driving (http://www.cooldrivepass.com∞) or flying (http://www.offsetters.ca∞).
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 50 (view)
 
Canada backout of Kyoto
Posted: 2/25/2007 12:11:12 PM
Well, briefly....

1) Part of it comes from the G&M announcing federal government spending on the environment a few weeks ago....and one of the big federal initiatives (when you read the details of what they were funding) was funding research on carbon sequestration technology......I commented to a friend at the time that it was an interesting way of funneling money to Alberta (because that is where such sequestration is most likely to happen in Canada)......not that other research on this already hadn't been ongoing such as at UofC or UofA (sorry, I can't remember the details). I don't have a G&M subscription so don't have access to articles more than a week old....sorry.

2) & 3) When the Liberals closed down their tar sands research support in Grande Prarie in '81 the town became a ghost town. It went from an incredibly bustling community with large townhouse subdivisions and a city bus service to empty subdivisions and no bus service. My Dad was a property manager for a huge townhouse subdivision and the place was closed down and he lost his job. This probably aligned somewhat with the NEP being created....but I'm sure it's in the history textbooks in Alberta somewhere about the way in which . But like I said, Albertans are often blithely unaware of investment by taxpayers from all of Canada in the economic infrastructure they now are so fortunate to have. [however, as I alluded to above, if the taxpayer hadn't been paying to develop and exploit those resources, there's no way they would just be sitting there now.....nor would the tar sands sit there in perpetuity if they went unexploited now (which is the threat of the oil companies if they don't get the subsidies they currently get...those subsidies are worth more than a billion a year BTW, somewhat reducing the contribution to the government coffers you mentioned earlier).

However, tar sands research being funded by the government goes back much farther than the 70's & 80's..... for instance..."By the end of the First World War the Honorary Advisory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research had established itself as the principal federal government office in the field of western natural resource development. By late 1916 the Council assumed the responsibliity to fund and direct tars sands research." [from http://archive1.lse.ualberta.ca/FindingAids/KClark/kclark.html ...which details more government investment as well, both directly and indirectly] This article [http://www.expressnews.ualberta.ca/newsreleases.cfm?id=1293] details how government/universities provided $1M of support to a "chair" of Oil Sands research at U of A (note that this is for one person's research). [so, two examples for you anyways] Yup, Syncrude put in $2.5M (over 3 years), but MY point is that the Canadian taxpayer is funding research on 'getting oil' when the oil & gas industry itself is only spending on R&D 10% of the industry average. Why should the research be subsidized by taxpayers at ALL?? And PARTICULARLY those from all of Canada. Heck, those of us on the east coast don't use Alberta oil at ALL. Oil/gas is a heavily desired product. It's not going to just sit in the ground w/o anyone wanting it....or rather, it'll sit there until the market value makes it commercially feasible to exploit it.

BTW: Carbon sequestration technologies are being developed in the US too (to deal with coal....part of the clean coal technology initiative down there....and that research costs the taxpayers $2B/yr....I remember hearing that your province invests substantially in that research too, something Ralphie was bragging about in a CBC interview before he retired).
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 46 (view)
 
Canada backout of Kyoto
Posted: 2/25/2007 11:20:33 AM

whereas we know how to drill for oil.


Do we?

You are of course aware that the carbon sequestration technology that research is now being done on (being considerably paid for/subsidized by the taxpayer also), coincidentally allows the removal of a considerable amount of oil that is currently un-obtainable using current technologies. In other words, the taxpayer is paying to do research on how to 'drill for oil'. Yup, that sure sounds like something that should be in the R&D budget for oil & gas companies.

In addition, my understanding is that the research on extraction of oil from tar sands was paid for/subsidized, in the main, by Canadian taxpayers as well....of course you're young, so you may not remember those monies being spent in the late 70's and early 80's [not to mention the 'alternative history' promulgated in Alberta that you all did it on your own without any support from the rest of the Canadian taxpayers....part of that "rugged individual" perspective modeled on the American ethos]....my parents lived in Grande Prairie at the time tho', so I'm well aware of what happened when the federal government decided to STOP spending taxpayer monies on R&D on oil extraction from the tar sands. Geez, you'd almost think that if the taxpayer didn't spend money on research for oil & gas exploration and extraction then it would just sit there in the ground. Of *course* not....the oil & gas sector is playing us in a muggs game to exploit the non-renewable resource as quickly as possible. Since they want the profits "fast" instead of "long", they should completely pay for their obligations under Kyoto.

Apart from that, companies are also held accountable in many jurisdictions on the "total lifetime impact" of their products and do research to reduce packaging, reduce toxins from decomposition when the life cycle is complete, etc. In other words, R&D money goes into many aspects of a product, not just developing it in the first place.....requiring oil & gas companies to spend R&D money on reducing GHG emissions is completely consistent with monies spent by other companies on their research.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 44 (view)
 
Canada backout of Kyoto
Posted: 2/25/2007 10:50:06 AM
^^^Further to the first argument....[i just found this]

The report last year from the Natioanl Advisory Panel on Sustainable Energy and Technology reported that....the overall Canadian industrial average for R&D was 3.5% of corporate revenues. For the energy sector, the figure was 0.75%, for oil and gas 0.36%.

Geez, so the oil & gas sector spend almost nothing on R&D, but we support their research with our tax dollars?? Sounds to me like imposing emission caps that they're required to meet without the billions of dollars in subsidies from taxpayers isn't all that unreasonable after all. Why shouldn't they be spending the industry average on R&D....or in other words 10 times as much as they do spend?

So, YA they should be hit with a surtax....since they're clearly not even meeting the investments of their OWN peer group. Why should taxpayers pay for the research? Don't forget now, they're setting RECORD profits. And the oil & gas industry has MASSIVELY campaigned against meeting Kyoto targets since they were signed.....as has Alberta overall....so if they can't be met NOW it's because you've been fighting it all along.

And, note that I also argue that INDIVIDUALS should take PERSONAL responsibility for what THEY do....that THAT is a necessary part of addressing the issue. Do YOU? It is NOT just about industry doing it's bit.

@WryOne....when you use phrases like "ad hominem" a lot of us have to go and look them up....try and be accessible to everyone here eh?
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 42 (view)
 
Canada backout of Kyoto
Posted: 2/25/2007 8:54:08 AM
^^^A recent analysis from a Canadian think-tank reported that the Kyoto reductions could be funded by the oil production business in Alberta (to have them meet their end of the commitments) by a surtax of between 60 cents and a dollar a barrel. Sounds reasonable to me. The oil companies are the ones with record profits AND the oil DOES after all belong to the taxpayers....why should all of us pay personal taxes for THEM benefitting when they've argued for lower corporate taxes. So slap a per barrel surtax on oil production so that they at least fund their own greenhouse gas reduction (instead of the taxpayer funding the research and implementation of it).

As for the "Kyoto can't be reached" crowd....every single person I know that rants that lives in a big house with the thermostat set in the mid-70's (and uses air conditioning in the summertime), drives a big car/SUV with lousy mileage, and flys all over the place on vacation all the time...heck, they don't even use energy efficient light bulbs (and THEY'RE the ones that could most afford them). Yup, ranting that "Kyoto can't be reached" is about most of them avoiding their PERSONAL responsibilities......in other words, they're often selfish and self-centered elitists.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 16 (view)
 
post length
Posted: 2/25/2007 8:17:42 AM

No one should be judging someone's ability to do a job by something as innocent as a comment about having a short attention span.


Why not?

I choose an accountant based on how well they can do math, my tax preparer based on how well s/he knows tax law, my mechanic based on how well he can use tools [I actually have a male mechanic, hence the use of "he"], etc.

Teaching is an *intellectual* profession....one that requires persistence and focus (in other words, characteristics antithetical to a "short attention span"). Big surprise that if there is a contrast between what someone's professed profession needs and what they state their personal characteristics are that someone makes a comment.....especially if the contradiction feeds an unwarranted public stereotype.

Ask any parent to make this choice as a teacher for their child......

A) a teacher with a long attention span and ability to focus.

B) a teacher with a short attention span and an inability to focus.

If even 10% chose "B" I'd be shocked.

Your profile and the choices you make there, what you write there, and what you write in the forums, represent who you are....and what you write there reflects on you and your career and others around you in all sorts of ways....including on your employer if you happen to mention them -- which someone describing themselves as a 'teacher' is certainly doing.

If someone here identified their profile as "tax preparer" and said in a profile they had terrible memory for details and could never focus, if I walked into a tax office and saw them I'd turn around and walk out. I've actually hired people based on their profiles (& forum contributions) on POF to do work for me...and have others on a "to hire" list if other work shows up. Equally, I've NOT contacted others for work based on what they've written in forums & in their profiles over time.

OT: So, I wonder how many people read a "longer" submission if it's formatted properly? I've noticed that using short paragraphs helps readability, as does a "quote" every now and then. Perhaps improved formatting would lead to greater readability. As far as "profiles" go, if a profile is short I usually don't bother reading it....if someone can't write anything interesting or informative about themselves that really tells me something. I happily read longer profiles.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 7 (view)
 
post length
Posted: 2/24/2007 3:01:05 PM

I see nothing in Kayne's post that would allow someone with a healthy attitude to leap to that conclusion.


How about.....


my attention span, much like the attention span of my students, isn’t that long.


He made a general statement, not one focusing on posts alone.

There are LOTS of negative stereotypes about teachers, and someone identifying themselves as a teacher and then feeding into that is completely counterproductive.


I also feel an urge to work even harder as a teacher to fight that nasty stereotype.


Maybe that *is* something to bear in mind after all. I once pointed out to someone on here who had a profile identifying themselves as a teacher that perhaps having "prefer not to say" beside "drugs" wasn't a very good idea.

gm

p.s.


I do not give my posts in these forums the same weight as I give things professionally.


I don't believe it for a second P....you always put lots of thought and critical analysis into your posts.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 49 (view)
 
Is Hugo Chavez Insane Or A Reformer?
Posted: 2/23/2007 5:48:12 AM

chasing away foreign investment in a country that desperately needs it


Geeez, all that oil and he needs foreign investment too?

American government interests hate Chavez because he pushes OPEC to decrease production quotas, to strictly enforce them, and as a consequence drive UP the price of oil. The US tries to push OPEC to do the reverse. They have opposite interests because one is an oil exporter and one is an oil importer....and the latter does not like not being able to control the former (as was happening before Chavez).
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 21 (view)
 
Kids in the UK and the US rank at the bottom
Posted: 2/22/2007 5:45:26 AM

The USA also has more third world immigrants taxing our public school system than any of these countries


Not entirely true. According to wikipedia Canada has the highest immigration rate per capita in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Canada#_note-CIP)...so maybe the "most" in a raw numbers sense, but not on a per capita basis, and of course you have a larger per capita economy than most of those other countries as well....you just focus your spending IN that economy on something other than social issues.

And as far as I can recall, several other countries have a higher rate of immigration diversity than the United States does. In fact, The Netherlands has a higher rate than the US ("There are more residents born outside the country than in the US (9 % vs. 8 %). from: http://www.humanitariannet.deusto.es/publica/PUBLICACIONES_PDF/03%20Ethnic%20Diversity.pdf)...and a great number of them are from quite poor countries.

So it's not really "a simple cause and effect relationship."

What probably accounts for the U.S's low ranking is the massive amount of funding you pump into your military and the considerably poor social support network you have relative to most OECD countries. Until the US actually comes to grip with the fact that it has the most regressive social policies in the Western world, including some of the poorest funding of public schools (relative to the economy), then it's unlikely to change any of the child poverty statistics in this study. Face it, as a culture you're quite happy having an exploited underclass with third world medical treatment and education.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 36 (view)
 
Is Hugo Chavez Insane Or A Reformer?
Posted: 2/21/2007 11:14:15 AM

he's a reformer looking to make the lives of Venezuelan's better.


Not just Venezuelans, but also those from other S. American and N. American countries.....

From Wikipedia:


In 2005, President Chávez initiated a program to provide cheaper heating fuel for poor people in several areas of the United States. The program was expanded in September 2006 to include four of New York City's five boroughs, earmarking 25 million gallons of fuel for low-income New York residents this year at 40% off the wholesale market price. That quantity provides sufficient fuel to heat 70,000 apartments, covering 200,000 New Yorkers, for the entire winter. It has also been reported that Chavez is sending heating oil to poor, remote villages in Alaska.


Venezuelan heating oil is the main heating oil used in the North-Eastern United States.

In other words, Americans are major financial supporters of his government. If they *really* disagree with his politics I guess they could stop buying heating oil from him and pay higher prices from someone else.

Funny that oil companies in Canada don't do the same....after all, it is "our" oil and not the companies....they only extract and process it with out permission. Hmmm, guess our government has never suggested that approach. Maybe they should.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 18 (view)
 
Kids in the UK and the US rank at the bottom
Posted: 2/21/2007 5:05:34 AM
Reports such as this are biased by the manner in which the statistics are compiled, and then compiled again. (For the following I'm referring to Figure 1.1 of the report available for free at http://www.unicef.org/media/files/ChildPovertyReport.pdf)

For instance, take the measure of "Percentage of children in households with equivalent income less than 50% of the median".

Two major points.

a) There are now substantial rural versus urban cost-of-living differences in Canada. Considering the size of the population in urban areas, they bias the median upwards. Rural populations often make less money, but have a higher standard of living because their housing (for instance) is substantially less expensive than in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver or Edmonton. However, "median" income is set by those very urban areas. As a consequence, rural kids with a quite good standard of living wrt housing, neighbourhood etc are placed into the "less than 50% category".

b) On this scale Canada is in a cluster of countries that are very close together. We're at around 13.5%, Australia is at around 12%. Not a hope that this is a statistically significant difference. And I wouldn't say that it is really substantively different. And Australia is 11th on this scale and Canada is 15th. Arguably, we're tied for 11th. Except, Countries 2 - 4 are almost identical (so tied for 2nd) and 5 - 8 are also identical, so also tied. Ah, so if you "compile" across those that are "tied" you don't get Canada as being 15th, or even tied for 11th, you get that Canada is tied for 6th. Holy cow. That's quite a change. And it dramatically affects how the "overall" ranking works out because it is based on averaging the rankings on each scale. This kind of thing factors into every ranking scale that is used. Of course, it's EASIER and less confrontational to just talk about the relative ranking, because it avoids squabbles over WHICH countries should be clustered into a "tie" and exactly what IS a substantive difference. But that doesn't make it the right thing to do.

And just how meaningful are the individual scales? I couldn't help but notice that in the Czech Republic only 2% of 15 year olds reported that there were less than 10 books in their home, whereas in the Netherlands it was 13%. The NETHERLANDS? Okay, on the face of it I find that really really hard to believe. Who the heck were they sampling in the Netherlands (a country with a 99% literacy rate....amongst the highest in the OECD)???? Either (a) the statistic is wrong or (b) they have an immense number of magazines and very very well equipped schools and public libraries. I'd actually bet on both. But it DOES rank 2nd LAST as a consequence....even tho' the literacy rate their of 15 year olds is 99%.

So, in other words, I find research such as this to be pretty useless for making comparisons. You can use the scales to compare a particular country on a year to year basis to find how things are changing, and what industrialized country would NOT want to be improving on a year to year basis, but overall cross-country comparisons with this sort of thing are not very useful.

Remember....things ALWAYS end up in a "ranking". You can always "rank" things. The question to ask is if the ranking tool is a significant measure. The answer is usually, on comparisons across jurisdictions, "no"....because all countries could be almost perfect on every measure and you could STILL get a ranking.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 26 (view)
 
Eastern Separatism
Posted: 2/16/2007 5:54:55 AM
^^^^Thanks for bringing that up Jon. I had forgotten to mention that the military infrastructure of an Atlantic/Quebec federation would be quite good too....navy, land and air all being sufficiently covered I think. Don't forget, Quebec has a good aerospace industry too. Just what is it that you think we are "co-dependent" on the *west* for? They don't manufacture anything, we can raise pigs & cows out here (and an overwhelming majority of milk/cheese production is done in Quebec), we don't get Western oil/gas anyways (and as the poster above noted, we pay taxes to clean up their oil production mess because of how inefficient they are), so I'm really curious as to what you think the co-dependency issues are. We do purchase some manufactured goods from Ontario, but the majority of our manufactured goods don't come from Canada.....in fact their industry was built on the backs of sacrifices made by Atlantic Canadians (as detailed earlier)....and federal government policy implicitly encourages the creation of manufacturing industries in Ontario (remember, it was the feds -- against the wishes of the locals -- that tore up much of the rail infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.....so whereas trains used to run to the Digby area, companies now there cannot export goods using trains because the Conservatives, wanting to promote the trucking industry (which, uh, has dramatically higher Greenhouse Gas production relative to trains), had the rail beds torn up and bulldozed...feel free to check this out yourself...of course, being in Riverview you're probably not really aware of that as Moncton kept its railbeds).
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 11 (view)
 
What were you in your past life?
Posted: 2/15/2007 7:23:11 PM
Diagnosis:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I do not know how you feel about it, but you were male in your last earthly incarnation.
You were born somewhere around territory of modern Ontario approximately on 975.
Your profession was entertainer, musician, poet, temple-dancer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your brief psychological profile in that past life:
You always liked to travel, to investigate, could have been detective or spy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lesson, that your last past life brought to present:
You should develop self-love and ability to implant hope into hearts of people. Ambition -- is not everything. True wealth is buried in your soul.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now you remember?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

geez....that's my PAST life???
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 16 (view)
 
Compulsory Voting
Posted: 2/14/2007 7:01:45 PM

The people who don't vote are the people who aren't involved, don't care... feel they have better things to do.


Certainly an assumption that many make. However, just what does one do if they don't like *any* of the parties? Hold their nose and vote? How is that "democratic"? In fact, I know lots of very well informed people who don't vote because they can't find any party that represents their interests....they're hardly apathetic at all. There are lots of reasons people don't vote, apathy is only one of the reasons....and perhaps asking just why they're apathetic about voting is an important thing to do.
 gerrymac
Joined: 4/28/2005
Msg: 9 (view)
 
Compulsory Voting
Posted: 2/14/2007 10:14:56 AM
Rather than "Mandatory Voting", which I do agree has some allure, I think it would be easier to require a "none-of-the-above" box on each ballot.

When that box kept winning, which I believe it would in SO many ridings, then politicians would be forced to reframe their arguments and policies until they COULD attract voters.

I bet having THAT option would dramatically increase voter turnout.
 
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