Thursday, September 11, 2014

If you think men should help decide if a woman gets an abortion, just shut up | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free |

If you think men should help decide if a woman gets an abortion, just shut up | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free |

I agree completely. Men should not be able to say no to a woman's decision to abort. That decision should be always and completely the woman's choice. I hesitate to use the old phrase 'between a woman and her doctor' because that implies that the doctor might be able to do other than provide the facts and ensure the procedure is handled in a professional manner.

On the other hand: If a single woman decides to proceed with a pregnancy, I don't think she should automatically be entitled to financial support from the sperm-supplier.  Yes, he should be careful not to spill his seed if he doesn't want children. But she also needs to be responsible for her own actions. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BBC News - Publisher defends 'creepy' Roald Dahl book cover

BBC News - Publisher defends 'creepy' Roald Dahl book cover

New cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

A very made up young girl, blonde hair, long curls, pink ribbon and feathery boa.

The publisher says the image is 'not intended to represent either' of the two female children characters in the book.

Well then, WTF? If it's not supposed to represent a character in the book, what is it's purpose.  Shouldn't a cover in some way reflect the actual story its covering?

But Penguin said it stressed "the light and the dark aspects" of Dahl's work.

"This design is in recognition of the book's extraordinary
cultural impact and is one of the few children's books to be featured in
the Penguin Modern Classics list.

"This new image for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory looks
at the children at the centre of the story, and highlights the way Roald
Dahl's writing manages to embrace both the light and the dark aspects
of life," said a statement from Penguin

Please make up your mind, Penguin.  The image looks at the children at the centre of the story, but it's not meant to be a picture of any specific child from the story? What does that mean?

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Our electronic world

We had a brownout yesterday, followed by a complete blackout.
Got the freezer and frig unplugged, computer turned off. Later flipped the breaker for the kitchen range line.
And then waited, hoping that power would be restored before the frig and freezer contents were ruined.
Not sure what caused the problem. It had been very warm and muggy all day. Heat index was over 100 [which is warm for this area]. Wind had been picking up, with severe thunderstorms predicted for later that evening.
I went to brother's house to sit and knit with his wife, 'cause it was too dark to do it at home.  the electric company said that power should be restored by 8:30PM, so at 8:25, I headed back home.
No power. Oh well, called the power company again, new estimated repair time of 10:30. So I gathered up  flashlights and cell phone and went to bed.
The power was back!  Hurrah. Plug in the frig, plug in the freezer. Ice cubes still frozen in both, so OK there. My desk top radio lost it's settings. Volume at -0-, no time, no station settings. But that's no big deal.
The kitchen range is another story. When I flipped the breaker, the 'clock' panel started flashing. It's called the 'clock' panel, but it's really the brains of the range. E1 -F1- it says, over and over.
The burners work, but no oven function.  Oh well. The clock had already been slightly damaged. There'd been a previous brownout 2 or 3 years ago. Lost the time display function, but the rest of it still worked.  This time, the brain is gone.
Oh well. Off to the appliance store this morning, to compare cost of replacing the brain vs. replacing the stove.

To fix the old stove:  $525, with only a 30 day warranty on the new control panel
New stove: $785, delivered, with 1 year warranty on electrical components. Can add 2 years coverage for $75.
Old stove purchased in spring of 2003.
So guess who's getting a new stove?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The new school paradigm

Clipped from an article on New Orleans school systems, post-Katrina:

In each classroom I see hand-drawn posters that illustrate the preferred position for a KIPP “scholar”: back straight, hands folded, feet on floor, mouth closed, eyes constantly on the speaker. Call-and-response, and immediate obedience, are emphasized.

“We’re learning a new vocabulary word,” says a fourth-grade teacher.
“Say ‘integration,’” she says.
The students shout, “INTEGRATION!”
“Say ‘integration.’”
“Integration is the opposite of segregation. I love how I have all eyes following me.”

Johnson and I visit a phys ed class taught by a burly former high school football coach.
“One, two, three, eyes on me!” The tiny children reply: “One, two, eyes on you!” One boy silently winks at me.

This sounds to me more like a formula for training little soldiers than scholars.
Or training children to take the test, to improve the scores, to keep the charter money rolling in.

The whole article is here:

[if the link doesn’t work, it might be dropping the trailing ? from the link]

also of note: 
no teachers unions. 

 Right now in New Orleans, there are virtually no teachers unions. Hundreds of teachers have alternative certifications, including many from Teach for America. Donors have poured in millions of dollars — and a lot of outside influence. There is a huge emphasis on data and testing, along with roiling controversies over special education, discipline and English-language learners. And a state-level political fight over the Common Core.

Who needs unions when you have KIPP and SHINE?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Nascar star Tony Stewart 'emotional' but ready to return to the track | Sport |

Nascar star Tony Stewart 'emotional' but ready to return to the track | Sport |

New rule proposal: any person who kills another participant while engaged in a competitive sports competition is forever banned from participating in that sport.  Because either they're not very good at the sport,  or they are too aggressive and careless of the lives of others, so will be a danger to the other participants. And if they were just really unlucky, well then, it might still make the remaining players of the game a little more aware of the dangers of the game.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Latin American women face forced sterilization | News | Harvard School of Public Health

Latin American women face forced sterilization | News | Harvard School of Public Health

I can not agree with the premise of this article. And I grow increasingly tired of hearing about yet another 'right' someone is supposed to have, without equal discussion of the responsibility that should go with that 'right'.

How many of these women being pressured to accept sterilization are paying the full cost of their medical treatment for HIV, rather than receiving assistance with that care? How many would be able to guarantee that they would remain healthy enough to care for another child? And that they would have the financial means to do so, rather than depending on someone else to pay the bills? And what if they're one of the unlucky ones for which the preventive treatments don't work. What right do they have to commit their child to a life time of medical treatment?

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Tammy Theatrical Teaser

Tammy Theatrical Teaser

Badtux says that it's women,  not men, that pressure women to conform to the beauty image.

I say, the evidence is not conclusive.

Take the advertising for Melissa McCarthy's new movie "Tammy".

Look at the movie poster. Watch the trailer.

Why does the Tammy in the poster not look anything like the Tammy in the trailer.

Look at the photo shop job done. Co written by McCarthy and her husband. But produced by a typical Hollywood company.