Scotland Referendum

Despite the nationalists insisting on a simple majority and extending the franchise to 16 year old kids, they were beaten.

Sanity prevails and ideology and the politics of ethnic supremacy and populist cheap tricks fails.

Salmond and his familiar Sturgeon should resign and do something useful with their lives. We don’t need more division and hatred, we need to ensure that the UK is run for the people not the 1%.

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Unrealistic expectations in grading – a problem in Western Gaming and Education

Angry Jim takes the intellectually stunted behind the woodshed for a slap. (STRONG LANGUAGE ALERT)

And the rabid loons who berate the reviewers have a lot in common with the modern, western students in tertiary education. Here is the grading system for the University of Alberta and here is how those grades are arrived at from the mark given to any assignment.

  • 58% – 69% illustrates a satisfactory performance. Here is where most students should expect to find themselves when being graded. This is the peak on the distribution curve that denotes the average mark.
  • 70% – 81% is for good work – there should be more occurrences in this range if you submit better than average work. Certain students with no life or an aptitude for the topic can expect to find that they receive quite a few grades in this zone.
  • 82% and above are excellent – excellent means just that; it must be stunning work. there should not be many of these unless everyone is a genius and to expect an excellent grade for every assignment is totally unreasonable.

But do schools, Colleges and Universities grade according to their own guidelines? Nope they don’t and that is where we fail the students. They are so used to getting 80% for average work that they have no idea what excellence is. Don’t believe me? Then be honest and grade your next assignment honestly. But if you do be prepared for tears, shouting, calls from parents, a summons to the departmental chair’s office and some rum feedback on the anonymous forms at the end of the course.

Students, like gamer fanboys, should be aware that good actually is good and that satisfactory means that you exhibited enough of a grasp of the subject matter to be passed as satisfactory. Nobody, and I mean nobody can reasonably expect to be graded as excellent in everything they do. At best a great student should expect a grade that is excellent occasionally in their academic training. Straight A students should not exist, ever.

But that’s just a little too much reality for most students and most faculty at every layer of education.

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The Scottish Referendum on independence – when did the left become obsessed with nationalism and basing a country’s borders on ethnicity rather than civil values?

I wasn’t going to write anything on this but the current trend amongst progressives/leftists to push the politics of patriotism and nationalism has caused me to rethink that position.

I always thought that progressives valued people as people and not because they thought that birthplace was the foundation for drawing boundaries and instituting governments and government policy. I thought internationalism and inclusion were progressive values and an appeal to blood and soil were the tools of the oppressors of the ordinary person. Race politics is abhorrent, but not in the case of Scotland it seems; this is an exception to that rule.

In their hurry to poke an Imperial Power (even though that ended a long time back) in the eye and in order emancipate a romantic version of what they think the Scots are, a lot of left leaning Canadians are embracing ethnicity and nationalism and claiming that this is somehow progressive.

In doing so they may be trying to create a socialist utopia in Scotland for its 4 million or so inhabitants, but they will definitely be consigning 45 million or so people in the rest of the UK to rule by a right wing government for the foreseeable future. Togetherness seems to be forgotten by these leftists in this case, solidarity be damned in fact. Most of these progressives pushing this ethnicity based effort are pro trades union, but have failed to apply the principles of solidarity and internationalism that they would espouse with their union caps on to the situation in the UK. Why?

Well I’m buggered if I know. Maybe it’s the desire to see the break up of the UK, maybe it’s a desire to create a socialist Utopia for a fleeting moment, maybe it’s out of some misty eyed romantic vision of what Scotland should be. But I can tell you that they are quite prepared to use the people of Scotland as a means to their ends what ever they are. Most of these progressive cheerleaders would abhor the statements of the likes of the UKIP and their reasons for wanting “independence” from Europe, but don’t see the double standard they are applying when it comes to Scotland.

If some of these cheerleaders for a step into the unknown were to pledge to go and live in Scotland and live the life that they are willing upon those people, I’d have more time for them. But they won’t; they’ll just cheer them on and when it goes pear-shaped, and it fucking will, watch as they decry the politics of division that they excused now, tear apart that lovely place.

I’m absolutely stunned that people who claim to be progressive have chosen to support a nationalist party that has no idea what it wants to do or how to do it, except that it wants a Scotland for the Scots. Sounds too much like another rallying cry “Nur fur Deutsche.” That’s the trouble with nationalist politics it’s inherently evil and it saddens me that progressives (whom I generally admire) appear to have forgotten this.

Tip Dawg and Simon

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Guilty until proven Innocent – Minerva, Joe Oliver, the far right and their cowardly fear of everyone and everything.

In the recent past when Joe Oliver was doing the Oil Industry’s bidding on the public dime he made a very (in)famous statement.

Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade.

This was quickly followed up by blutser from the utterly disgraced and disgraceful Vic Toews.

On Thursday, Mr. Toews released a statement on the government’s strategy, which will target not only known terrorist groups but “vulnerable individuals” who could be drawn into politically inspired violence.

At first I thought is was a cheap ploy to try and get people to back off and to generally chill any contrary voices to the initiatives that the Harper Government was pushing for its friends. The fact that Toews, Oliver et al were all worried about foreign sponsorship of their opponents is risible, as foreign sponsorship supports most of their friends in right wing think tanks and organised religion. Foreign cash can’t be the problem otherwise the Fraser Institute, evangelical christians etc would also be declared terrorists before the fact too.

Today the Guardian published a story on Minerva and the statements that were released contained some very familiar stuff:

Price reported that the HTS training scenarios “adapted COIN [counterinsurgency] for Afghanistan/Iraq” to domestic situations “in the USA where the local population was seen from the military perspective as threatening the established balance of power and influence, and challenging law and order.

One war-game, said Price, involved environmental activists protesting pollution from a coal-fired plant near Missouri, some of whom were members of the well-known environmental NGO Sierra Club. Participants were tasked to “identify those who were ‘problem-solvers’ and those who were ‘problem-causers,’ and the rest of the population whom would be the target of the information operations to move their Center of Gravity toward that set of viewpoints and values which was the ‘desired end-state’ of the military’s strategy

Then there was another project whose aim was:

In every context we find many individuals who share the demographic, family, cultural, and/or socioeconomic background of those who decided to engage in terrorism, and yet refrained themselves from taking up armed militancy, even though they were sympathetic to the end goals of armed groups. The field of terrorism studies has not, until recently, attempted to look at this control group. This project is not about terrorists, but about supporters of political violence.

Looks familiar hey?

And did you notice what they did there?

Sympathy for goals turned into being supportive of terrorists. The fact that the US Military thinks one might display sympathy for the goals and yet be unwilling to commit terrorist acts are in fact indicative of support for terrorist acts is scary and in fact provides some background as to why our current government speaks the way it does.

Now Oliver’s, Toews, and the other’s statement start to make sense. they’ve been reading security briefings based on US military sponsored pseudoscience and misinterpretation.

Modern Western governments no longer govern for their people, they govern on behalf of a powerful minority of its people and the organisations they run and they are so scared of those they disenfranchise, that rather than be honest they label the majority as terrorists and then look for the evidence to support this assertion. Failing the finding of any evidence they commission junk science and employ a massive PR effort to shine that turd.

This is “The Men Who Stare at Goats” all over again, but this time with added levels of paranoia. Governments like Harper’s know that they have let down the majority of Canadians and have every right to be frightened of their response. so they label the rest of us as bogeymen and push buttons to keep us misinformed, divided and frightened. It appears we are all terrorists now-a-days. Maybe rather than being solely “The Men Who Stare at Goats” it has bit of the Stalin purge mentality mixed in? I guess we’ll only find this out when the show trials begin.

 

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Hang on I thought “guns don’t kill people?”

Another tragic victim of an irresponsible gun owner dies over the weekend in Florida. The family has my heartfelt condolences, this is truly a shocking event as it would have come out of the blue.

That said I must admit to being mystified when I read this in the report:

The gun accidentally fired and shot Katherine Hoover in the head, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

What? The gun did it? All on its lonesome?

The weapon was loaded. The weapon was in a condition whereby it could be fired. The weapon was discharged because as Newton’s First Law reminds us

Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed

Or to put it another way, that gun didn’t kill anyone, the person holding that gun killed the poor young pregnant woman. Responsible gun owners should demand that this irresponsible gun owner never be allowed to own a gun again and the Sheriff’s department should stop covering for someone who was negligent and in all probability committed manslaughter through their use of weasel words.

(h/t Inverse Square Blog)

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Indian Reporter shows why IDF bombardment in the aftermath of a rocket launch by Hamas will only ever kill civilians.

An Indian reporter amazingly managed to capture a Hamas rocket launching crew set up and fire a rocket into Israel.

These terrorists committed a war crime and there is no doubt about that. They are pieces of crap who deliberately target civilians in random acts of terror and I personally hope they leave this life as soon as possible.

There is however something that the IDF should learn from this amazing piece of empirical evidence and that is – Any retaliation that they direct back to the launch site stands no chance of harming the terrorists; even if it immediately follows the launch.

The terrorists are no longer in the immediate area, but non-combatants are. So now that this fact has been made public, the IDF should remember that fact when acting in the future. If they don’t, then they cannot plead ignorance when non-combatants are killed as collateral damage.

These non-combatants are not human shields because the rocket and the terrorists do not need shielding, they are patsies who have been set up for the fall. The IDF, who now know this, will be guilty of a war crime themselves if they fire back because they are knowingly firing at an area with no combatants in it, only non-combatants.

Maybe the release of the video and the intelligence it brings will mean a reduction in the number of non-combatants being killed.

We can always hope.

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Scott Reid – “Conservative with Libertarian leanings” picks the speck of dust out of other’s eyes while ignoring the beam in his teams eyes.

Firstly in this day and age how can one actually believe the oxymoronic phrase “Conservative with Libertarian leanings.” If you are a member of the Harper trained seal show then you are far from leaning towards Libertarianism.

Reid apparently is a trifle distressed that the RCMP entered homes to check if folk were trapped by rising flood waters in High river and securing large quantities of unsafely stored firearms as they discovered them. He is determined to represent his constituent and protect their rights. Only they weren’t his constituents and he was safely back in the Ottawa Valley at the time that the RCMP were boating through rising flood waters to ensure everyone in High River was safe.

Reid thinks they should have used used “thermal imaging technology” and “not enter the buildings concerned.” But like most MPs who have no experience of this kind of thing he is clueless about that on which he seeks popular acclaim. If the more common thermal imaging cameras could see through house walls then suspects wouldn’t disappear when they entered a building on all those cop-chase shows. Glass and shiny objects are tough on it too. Now if they had TI equipment that could go through walls, what do you think the chances are that there would be some of that “as of yet” hypothetical equipment in the High River RCMP detachment for immediate deployment? Should they have waited in the face of rising waters?

But Reid’s ignorance in this arena is not what this post is about; rather it is focused more on his “Libertarian” credentials. Given the amount of spying that his Party wish to do on Canadians illustrated most recently by the instructions from the Government Operations Centre, I would suggest that Reid is nothing more than than a “statist in Libertarian clothing.” (h/t Dawg for the phrase.)

Scott if you really are interested in keeping people as free from state intrusion as possible, then maybe rather than focusing on a conspiracy theory initiated by gun nuts, who insecurely stored their arms and ammunition and were covered by the RCMP instead of charged; you should be more worried about these statement from your own party.

The Government Operations Centre needs to be prepared to respond to any potential event to ensure confidence in government and continuity of federal services,” James said. “Canadians expect nothing less.”

“Peaceful protests can suddenly turn violent, just as law-abiding citizens can suddenly create a crime.”

So if all demonstrators and demos need to be spied upon because they can “suddenly turn violent,” does the last part of that sentence mean that there are plans for all law-abiding citizens to be spied upon because we could suddenly “create[sic] a crime?” Because that looks like that is is what the CPoC spokesperson is claiming.

If this isn’t more important to you than grandstanding by taking pot-shots at people trying to do the right thing in dangerous circumstances, then you are the furthest thing from a Libertarian that there is.

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