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February 17th, 2012:

LOL!

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It DOES look a bit like the Robot!!! Freaky!

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Friday miscellany…

…#tellviceverything edition!

My son and I were hit by a stomach bug the other night so we spent the day yesterday comfortably at home. It afforded me the opportunity to follow a Twitter hashtag called #tellviceverything. This was aimed at Justice Minister Vic Toews, who has been trumpeting the virtues of Bill C 30… which will effectively give the police broad authorities to track everything that Canadians do digitally – without judicial oversight.

I wrote about this the other day, if your memory if failing (like mine!).

Anyways… some clever dude thought of this tag in order for Canadians to tell Mr. Toews about intimate details about themselves… sorta saving Vic the trouble of doing it himself. And it was also taking the high road. Instead of tweeting details about Toews, users created the #TellVicEverything hashtag to share the banal details of their lives.. Here were some of my favourites:

@ToewsVic I admit it, I shot JR on Dallas. #TellVicEverything

Cats are both soft AND sharp! @ToewsVic #TellVicEverything

Dear @ToewsVic: I think I am allergic to dairy products. But I love cheese. What can I do? #TellVicEverything
RT @markcritch: Tony Clement has a small decorative gazebo inside his bigger gazebo. #TellVicEverything
…and my own:
@ToewsVic Chicken and dumplings. Should I use or omit the cornmeal for the dumplings? #TellVicEverything
Well… this isn’t going to dent the Con armour much as long as they couch everything as being “what’s best for the children”. Hmmm… where have I heard something that before…

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”- Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler

Ralph Manheim translation, Page 403 of the 1943 version. source: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Mein_Kampf

Note – now before anyone gets all huffy about me comparing the Cons to the Nazis – I am not. I am simply pointing out that previous shady regimes have used the “protecting the children” justification in the past. I’m sure Castro and Che said something similar… OK?

As well, this is completely separate from the personal attcks of Toews and his family. As much as I cannot stand the guy, I DO NOT condone these types of attacks! Politics is rough and tumble but keep one’s personal life out of the mix! We are NOT the USA!

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Woo-hoo! Pro ball is coming back to O-Town! I hope it is a Jays affiliate! If so, then you can sign me up for season tickets!!!

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Whoa. It looks like the Alberta PCs may not be a big of a shoo-in as in past elections. The über right-wing Wildrose Party has some traction.

Ah. Alberta. Canada’s answer to Texas.

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Gotta love 22 Minutes…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2fXWslhzx8I

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My eldest is an AC Milan fan, and I am of course a Gooner.

She thought this was funny to send to me after the debacle at the San Siro the other day…

I’ll have my revenge… oh yes I shall!

Sigh.

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Finally, and maybe most importantly – at least to me – is the SC decision that mandatory religion courses do not harm the religious freedoms of parents and their children. Harper’s stacking of the Court with conservatives is paying some dividends.

So much for that division between church and state.

I am an Atheist, but a tolerant one. I believe that the superstitious beliefs of some over the eons have done more harm than good but believe in the “live and let live” doctrine. You go ahead and believe what you wish, but leave me to do the same.

This pokes a whole in that.

The contentious program, known as the Ethics and Religious Culture program, was made mandatory in Quebec schools in May, 2008.

Its stated purpose was to expose children to a range of cultures, creeds and religious traditions such as Judaism, aboriginal spirituality and other religious traditions. The goals of the program specified that an emphasis would be placed on the historical significance of French culture and the role Catholic and Protestant Christian traditions.

The parents behind the constitutional challenge, a Catholic couple who reside in Drummondville, Que., argued that the program was at odds with guarantees in the provincial Education Act.

They alleged that the program could expose their two children to harm and disruption, “caused by forced, premature contact” with beliefs that are incompatible with those held by the parents. They said that the program could also have an adverse effect on the religious beliefs the children were being taught in their home.

What if the OCDSB suddenly decided that all those in Grade 4 were required to take a course on religion? After this case, that would be totally valid.

I seldom side with catholics on anything concerning education policy, but parents do have the right to control what belief systems their kids are exposed to. And Atheism is very much a system of beliefs just like catholicism – a system that I do not want compromised as long as they are children.

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Another “can someone explain to me?”

This time, why did 8 OCDSB Trustees vote against instructing staff to clarify what is meant by religious accommodation?

Religious Practice in Schools

“MOTION A” FAILED ON A VOTE OF 8-4

A. THAT staff be directed to prepare a report for the May 2012 Strategic Planning and Priorities Committee meeting detailing policy and procedure(s) currently in place which addresses the subject of religious services within schools, during school hours and ensure all schools adhere to applicable law; – THIS FAILED

I don’t get it. It was a simple request. No implications. Or are the 8 Trustees politically sensitive to what such a report might contain?

Trustee Fitzgerald – the sponsor of the motion – writes in today’s Citizen:

When we allow a minister, rabbi or imam into our schools to conduct religious services during the school day, we bring in the thin edge of a wedge. Other religions rightfully ask to hold religious services in our secular schools and this is precisely what happened at Toronto’s Valley Park Middle School. We may also find it increasingly difficult to say no to future requests for religious-based schools housed under the public board’s umbrella. If and when this comes to pass, say goodbye to the greatness of our secular public schools as parents flock to ensure that their children’s religious training is met during the school day.

I am sad that a fairly simple report could not be produced. I suppose I should say goodbye to the institution of the non-religious public school. Perhaps this is premature, but I would be far from alone in mourning its demise.

It is bad enough that we have a completely separate school system in this province existing side by side with the secular system.
A study. That’s all that was asked. A study.
I guess I’m just not smart enough to understand the subtleties of School Board politics.

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