This week, a small mixed bag of fun and op/ed items That make me shake my head and wonder just what this world will be like when it gets really bad...
ITEM: First off, many of you have heard the story of the San Francisco middle school whose principal, one Lena Van Horn, has refused to release the results of student council elections. Rather than fan the flames by regurgitating what I heard, I dug into the story.
Fact: Van Horn was disturbed by the fact that a predominantly white student council was elected. Her quote describes the student body as "really, really diverse"- and I have to slap Todd Starnes on the hand for not going on in his storyline to explain that "really really diverse", besides being a grammatical fail for teachers, translates to 20% white and 80% "students of color". So does she have a reason to act? Maybe- but not like this.
Her solution is to keep a lid on the results, and calling a meeting of parents, administrators, and students to discuss "moving forward." Some people involved are saying she has created a "teachable moment"- but what is she teaching? As the one 7th grade candidate said, "The system wasn't rigged before the election- but it seems like it's kind of a little rigged now." This might be a great way to teach Hilary Clinton politics, but certainly not a way to help students build a healthy government.
If she had truly been taught to be a real leader at UC-Berkeley rather than a vindictive leftist, she might have tried this: Assign the student council the job of finding out why 80% of the student body couldn't generate 80% of the candidates; or why it was that those who did vote preferred the candidates they did. Have them look for ways to get the 80% more involved- after all, isn't that how our CURRENT President got elected? Make the teachable moment one that takes up with the hand dealt and says, "How do we improve this?" Having read more of the story, I think perhaps Todd showed his bias on his piece, BUT- the only lesson Van Horn is teaching THIS way, the Russian people learned in 1905.
ITEM- The Polar Park Zoo near Narvik, Norway (Where? Far enough north that the sun goes on vacation from late November to mid January) believes in making their enclosures as realistic as possible. And they may have succeeded too well, as a pair of hunters gunned down two of the park's moose (well, over there they call them elk) after their dogs managed to penetrate the enclosure.
“I reacted with disbelief, and the first few seconds afterwards were pretty unreal,” Heinz Strathmann, the chief executive of Polar Park zoo (said).
“I think this is very sad, and it’s not OK. We had five elks, now we have only three.”
The hunters themselves rang the zoo to inform them of what had happened, explaining that their elk hounds had managed to get inside the elks enclosure, and then given chase, preventing the hunters from realising that they were shooting into a zoo.
Arne Nysted, chairman of the wildlife tribunal in Troms County, said that there was no need to punish the men.
“This is a regrettable mistake made in connection with lawful hunting on the outside of the park,” he said. “It was a fatal error, but everyone understands that it was not done at all on purpose.”
However, the zoo intends to seek compensation. A quick search finds that London's The Guardian claims the zoo is saying that will run $3,500 each for two.
|Winner, most tasteless meme on this post|
ITEM: Now, let me go back to the more serious. On October 9th, for the third time in as many weeks, a Muslim man was killed in India. His crime? A bloodthirsty mob thought the 18-year-old truck driver was hauling slaughtered beef. Not content to be the world capital of raping infants and toddlers, the Land of the Sacred Cow is now targeting those of us that realize our ancestors do not say moo and give milk. The first case was a mob of 8 who broke into a Muslim home in the middle of the night to drag out a man they suspected of EATING beef. Excuse me, but if he's not a Hindu, WHY DO YOU CARE? Just assume he'll come back as a turd, and flush it. The second vic was lynched by a "radical group" because he allegedly smuggled cattle from one state to another. Then, yesterday a lawmaker was attacked with ink for serving beef at a party. "They reportedly shouted, "India will not tolerate any disrespect to cows." " Kinda puts you in mind of a Planned Parenthood administrator at a PETA rally, don't it?
And the kid that died? Hauling coal, which looks a lot like slaughtered beef.
ITEM: A headline on news aggregator Newser tells us, "Facebook will let you know if Kim Jong Un hacks your page."
Chances are slim that North Korea's operatives are trying to hack a peek into your Facebook photos, but if they were, the site would let you know ASAP, Ars Technica reports. "Starting today, we will notify you if we believe your account has been targeted or compromised by an attacker suspected of working on behalf of a nation-state," the social network posted Friday, explaining that even though it works diligently to keep possibly compromised accounts safe, it's decided to add the extra warning if it suspects a hack attack could be a "more advanced and dangerous" government-sponsored one.
I know I'll sleep better now.
ITEM: If you need any more reason to want the UN the hell out of the United States:
A paper from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been withdrawn after pressure from at least one country.
The document, which was leaked, recommends that UN members consider "decriminalising drug and possession for personal consumption".
It argued "arrest and incarceration are disproportionate measures".
The document was drawn up by Dr Monica Beg, chief of the HIV/AIDs section of the UNODC in Vienna. It was prepared for an international harm reduction conference currently being held in Kuala Lumpur.
The UN is quickly backpedalling, explaining that Dr Beg is a "middle ranking official" offering her "professional opinion."
And where do you acquire such an opinion? "A medical doctor and public health specialist by training, also completed a NIDA research fellowship and a Hubert Humphrey fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University focusing on HIV program evaluation, public policy, leadership and drug dependence management."
I would like to think HHH is turning over in his grave, but who knows? He was a figure from my childhood, when I knew nothing and could still root for guys like Humphrey and Edmund Muskie.