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Paranoia

Ah… les Habs…

Stay classy, Quebec nationalists, stay classy…

Maybe they should worry more about winning a few hockey games.

Geoff Molson, owner of the Montreal Canadiens, released a statement Monday afternoon saying that the ability to speak French is important to coaching the Montreal Canadiens.

“Although our main priority remains to win hockey games and to keep improving as a team, it is obvious that the ability for the head coach to express himself in both French and English will be a very important factor in the selection of the permanent head coach,” said Molson in the statement.

He also said that the head coach position will be “revaluated” at the end of the season.

Molson’s statement comes after criticism from Quebecers who say the new interim head coach, Randy Cunneyworth, is a poor choice for the job because he doesn’t speak French.

 

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Yeah – you just TRY to touch my kids…

Thanks to Warren Kinsella for posting this on his site.

As a father, he, um, takes a bit of issue with complete strangers touching his kids in what would ordinarily be a very inappropriate manner. He says:

I am a big, big Obama fan, as regular lurkers will know. But I think these new Transportation Security Administration rules – wherein they are permitted to paw your privates, in effect – are insane. And Obama is insane for letting them happen.

I don’t give a rat’s ass what the Fourth Amendment says. If some bureaucrat touches my kids, I’m drifting him

So yeah, travellers can go through one of those body scan machines (If they are available in the airport from which they are departing. I have no idea if these things are in each and every American airport.) – which I personally don’t have a big problem with – better than personal contact. But then, I read this:

According to information the T.S.A. has shared or published, the airport pat-downs are supposed to be conducted by officers the same sex as the traveler, and passengers can request a private screening and have a traveling companion present during the search. Agents are not permitted to look inside passengers’ underwear or reach inside a skirt, and children 12 and younger are supposed to receive a modified pat-down.

Even passengers who submit to the new body scanners may be subject to a pat-down if the machine detects an anomaly. In other cases, passengers may be randomly selected for a physical search.

Number one, more of a reason than ever to delay visits to the US of A until some measure of sanity has returned to that paranoid nation. Number two, if I do go to the States and if anyone touches my kids, well, I’d pull a “Warren”. And yes, there will be a scene.

Big deal that under-12s get a modified pat-down. Yeah, right. Just try.

Hmmm… just realising that even writing this will put me on some sort of “watch” list.

Too bad.

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Security – how far is too far?

There is a lot of hubbub about the new security measures that have been put into place in the wake of the attempted bombing of the Detroit-bound flight on Christmas day. Passengers bound for American destinations are being subjected to a lot more scrutiny at the point of departure – especially if you are unlucky to be travelling on a passport from one of 14 countries that the U.S. deems to be a threat.

Though I don’t really understand why poor old Cuba is on the list – and I thought Obama would have a different approach to Canada’s fave sun-spot!

But I digress.

Here’s the thing – the Americans have every right to set the rules with regard to flights that are over their airspace or that land in one of their ports of entry. It’s called “sov-er-eign-ty”. Yes, the full body searches are invasive and in 99.999999% of cases, completely unfounded and unnecessary. Yes, they are engaging in racial profiling, which most Canadians find objectionable. Yes, they are delaying the travel plans of millions – some with kids, with mobility problems, etc. And yes, I do think they are being overly paranoid.

So, here’s a thought for those who are offended by the American actions.

DON’T TRAVEL TO THE U.S.!

It’s a crazy notion but it just might work!

I mean, I know that some Canadians need to travel there for work purposes. I know that there are hundreds of thousands of folks on this side of the border who have family in the States who they would like to see now and then. Yeah, yeah – I get all that and you know what? You’ll have to put up with the new measures no matter how much you bitch, holler and scream.

But most Canucks CHOOSE to go to the U.S. for purely recreational purposes. They want the sun of Florida, the craziness of NYC or the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon. So you either choose to forgo all of this OR you resign to being subjected to the new security crap. Very simple.

I rarely go to the States. The last time I was over the border was about 7 years ago when my wife and I went camping in upstate NY. And I don’t have a driving need to go there anytime soon. On one hand, I can count the number of places in America that I would like to visit (Grand Canyon, New Orleans, San Francisco, NYC and Boston) but I wouldn’t feel deprived if on my death bed, I hadn’t gotten around to any of those places. I would much rather see the Pyramids, cruise the Greek islands, go to the Arctic, visit Peru… and the list goes on.

So, the bottom line, kids – you don’t have to like what they are doing down in da South der. But they have every right to do as they wish. And if you can’t accept that, then stay in Canada or travel to somewhere else.

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H1N1 colonies – why not?

So I hear that an old busybody in Victoria got her knickers in a twist about being on the same bus as someone who dared to cough in this H1N1-sensitive world. The old busybody makes a fuss about it to the driver and the driver politely (1) asks the coughing lady to leave the bus. The sick one was quite rational about this – I’m not so sure I would have been.

“I get the concern,” said Jenn Chapman, 41, a human resources worker. “There needs to be some precaution, there needs to be some education. But there needs to be way less hype.”

Chapman said on Thursday she was riding a bus and coughing into her sleeve, as directed by public health officials — even though her doctor has assured her she doesn’t have H1N1 swine flu.

An elderly woman sitting some distance away told Chapman she shouldn’t be riding public transit with a cough. The woman then approached the driver and demanded he take action.

The driver, although clearly uncomfortable, asked Chapman if she was close enough to her destination to leave the bus. Since she was only two stops away, she got off to keep the peace.

“What are you going to do? I was brought up to respect my elders,” said Chapman. “She wasn’t rational at that point.” (my note – I respect my elders no more than I respect anyone else – they have to earn it.. it is not something that is automatically endowed upon them! OK. That’s my rant about seniors…)

Clearly an intelligent person, that Ms. Chapman. She realised that she was fighting a losing battle against an irrational bitty.

Which brings me to my point: all of this hype is completely over the top.

In the past two weeks, I have counted 11 people wearing face masks on the bus or at a station. When someone coughs, at least 2 or 3 heads to turn to see if the guilty party was anywhere in close proximity.

It-is-the-FLU, people! So you say: “but this is a different strain of the flu” More deadly than others!”

Not true… this is from a Health Canada site:

Q2. I understand Canada has experienced deaths related to the H1N1 virus. Does this mean the virus has grown in strength?

There is no evidence to suggest that the virus has become stronger.

It is important to realize that different strains of influenza result in about 2,000 to 8,000 Canadian deaths a year. We must take all influenza – not just the current strain – seriously, and take measures to protect ourselves.

So. Use some common sense and stay home when you are sick. Like I am doing today, for example. I’m pretty sure that all I have is a bad cold with my usual bronchial issues… but I don’t want to spread it to my co-workers and they certainly don’t want to hear me coughing and sniffing!

But I don’t have Ebola, Bubonic Plague, Cholera,TB or even Cat Scratch Fever! I’m pretty sure of that!

But we do not need to isolate ourselves or be isolated by others if we have some symptoms that may be similar to those with the flu – any flu! If that is encouraged, then we might as well go the full Monty and set up little communities of Swine flu infected folks. We could call them colonies. Pigger colonies. Flu flats.

Hmm… wasn’t there another disease where those infected where left to themselves on the outskirts of town…

Anyhow – chill folks. This happens every year.

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1. The driver actually was quite nice about this. Wow. Take note, OC Transpo operators!!

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Damned socialists! They’re everywhere!

Yet another glaring example of right-wing paranoia is rearing it’s many-eyed head in the States. No death panels this time, though. Rather, President Obama is being accused by the wacko right of trying to “indoctrinate” America’s kids as part of some sort of socialist plot to take over the country. Or all of the IHOP franchises in the Greater Milwaukee area. Or something el se. I dunno. The goals ain’t clear.

This socialist speech exhorts America’s kids to engage in the following repulsive and seditious activities:

  1. Study hard.
  2. Don’t let failures define you.
  3. Pay attention to your teachers.
  4. Don’t quit on yourself.

Brrrr…. shadows of Lenin, Castro and Trudeau are looming! Of course, only loony-tunes are spouting off against the speech – like this moron from Texas, for instance.

“I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement,” one father in Texas told the press, as if the elected leader of the free world were part of a secret Bolshevik cabal.

OK. Well, obviously this guy is just out of one of those places where padded rooms and happy pills are the norm, right? Shurely he doesn’t speak for the GOP? Right?

I am appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” declared the Republican Party chairman in Florida, Jim Greer, calling Mr. Obama’s planned broadcast from a school in Virginia an attempt at “indoctrination” that made a sneaky end-run around American parents to reach their children, and thus represented an “invasive abuse of power”.

Oh.

Since when is it an issue for a person who is respected by many in his country and indeed around the globe to try to inspire young people? Would the Republicans and their minions prefer the President to tell students to do the following?:

  1. Slack off.
  2. Your failures are who you are.
  3. Treat your teachers like crap.
  4. When the going gets hard, give up.

Of course not.

But, just like the ridiculous images of “death panels” that the wacko right have been throwing around, this self-righteous indignation is designed to widen the schism in American society. That between liberals and conservative, black and white, rich and poor and urban and rural.

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Totally unneccesary invasion of privacy!

I  need everyone who reads this to check out this blog entry by XUP.

I saw an article about this in the Globe the other day and the first thought to cross my mind was “why”?

Why is this technology needed?

I can see the YouTube vids now! EVERYTHING eventually ends up on YouTube! These pics, at the very least, will provide some jollies to more than a few security agents!

“Hey, Ralph, check out the kaboo-boos on this one, ain’t she a treat to the eyes?”
“Sure thing Herman, but ya should seen the bod on this chick that flew to Paris last week!”

Seriously, we have to question this hare-brained idea, and now. What is the impetus for this? Has there been a recent incident where a would-be terrorist has tried to sneak verboten items in his or her body cavities? Where is the “thing” that the CBSA (Can. Border Services Agency) can point to and say: “see – THIS is why we have to do this!”

I’d start a fb group decrying this but as I am a frequent flier, I fear I would be put on someone’s “list”.

Can you tell that I’m really pissed off about this?

Write your MP. Your MPP. Your Mom. Your psychic healer.

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OK – now everyone just take a BIG BREATH! And take off your masks!

This is good. It’s refreshing to see that some folks aren’t jumping out of their skins about the flu!

Thanks to Knitting is my boyfriend for this.

27k391…and thanks to Mal Pingu for the image

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Tiny tots are terrorized – apparently

There was a piece in this Globe and Mail article about anxiety disorders being surprisingly common among children. The piece goes on to describe little Cody who has this unnatural fear that is described in the following way:

“In the waiting room at the anxiety clinic at Montreal Children’s Hospital, Cory cheerfully draws, hums and skips like any other preschooler.

But when he is led into an observation room and spots 10 strangers – a team of doctors, medical students and therapists here to assess him – he squeezes his eyes shut and ducks behind his mother, pressing his face into her back.”

I don’t know about you, but even my middle-aged fear would kick in if I was in the same situation! I mean, what do you expect?! A team of 10 strangers in white lab coats? THIS is unnatural anxiety?

It seems like the poor kid was assessed for autism because his 10-year-old half-brother, Connor, has the genetic cognitive disorder. After autism was ruled out, two other experts suggested he had selective mutism, an anxiety disorder in which children refuse to speak in social situations.

Selective mutism? Aren’t ALL kids selectively mute? And especially in new situations? But happily, the conclusion that has been reached is that the kid may have separation anxiety disorder along with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The telling few sentences are the following:

“Ms. Mercier, a researcher at a medical company, says the label doesn’t matter as long as treatment comes with it.

“For me, it’s like, label him with something so we can help him,” she said.”

So. Let me get this straight. The parents are freaked that this 4 year old is shy in social situations and especially when surrounded by a large group of strangers in white coats and who are likely using words that the kid doesn’t even understand. And all of this is coming about because the well-meaning parents say they “just want Cory to feel good about himself in public. They want him to be able to order pizza, join a swim team or dial 911 if he’s in trouble.”

Order pizza? My four year old can’t order pizza either! Nor can my teenager! But hey, as long as the experts can label them – it’s all good because then we know what medication and or other therapy the kid should be subjected to.

Man, I, along with most of the kids I knew growing up should have been on meds at a very young age! I’m sure an expert – be they a psychologist or a teacher – would have labelled me as rebellious, out of touch with reality as I daydreamed quite a bit – and obviously as an obsessive/compulsive due to my pencil chewing habit!

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