Saturday, November 18, 2006

NP and G&M: Same Story, Report Different Facts?

I'm quite confused. I understand that when a story breaks some details can be fuzzy. But how can two stories about the same thing be different in fundamental facts?

The National Post article, which I read first:

This article states that the boy's name is Lance Ribbonleg and that the boy was related to the previous child who was attacked. This Globe and Mail article, on the other hand, says different things:

Here it makes it seem the boy was unrelated to the child and cites, the boy's name, Lance Ribbon Lake.

Apparently the journalists spoke with the great-aunt, but it may not be that one of them has a hearing problem but that one of these journalists is sloppy and didn't ask for the spelling of the name.

The second mistake is that the Globe and Mail article makes it seem that the family is not related to the first incident, while the National Post article makes it seem they are.

Are they? Or are they not? Which is it? It can't be both! It seems that the great-aunt adopted a child which would make her the boy's cousin. Why then, do both papers make it seem like different things?

Aside from all misrepresentation of fact, I am outraged! The G&M article states that it was less than a block. If this is a constant problem, why the hell are five year olds walking home alone? I don't care if it's half a block! First of all, a five year old should not be walking home alone at night, I don't care if it's on a suburban street or in the country. Second, if someone in that community died for the same reason and both the great-aunt and the RCMP officer said that stray packs of dogs are a "chronic" problem in this area. WHY ISN'T SOMETHING BEING DONE ABOUT IT? Where is the leadership of these people? This has happened before!!

Third, check out how the other five year girl died seven years ago (just around the same time):

Cecilia Sandra Alook, 5, no relation to Isabel Alook, died on Nov. 27, 1999, after as many as five dogs attacked her while she was walking to school and stopped to play with a puppy in Garden River, a 300-person reserve that belongs to Little Red River Cree Nation. It was a Saturday, but the little girl, a foster child living with relatives, had forgotten there were no classes.

Where the hell are the parents? As a sociology student, of course I've "learned" that there are social relations that impact of this, and that I shouldn't "judge" because other families have different upbringing and circumstances as I do, and that I "shouldn't" cast my upbringing as the "standard" or "proper" way.

But it comes to a point where there is negligence. Yes they are Aboriginal, yes they are on a reserve. So is that supposed to be an excuse? They are a troubled people?

I really do not think it's too much to ask, to not have a five year old walking alone outside.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers

Over this Remembrance Day weekend I wanted to go see the film, Flags of Our Fathers. I was very disappointed to learn it was no longer playing in Peterborough. 'No worries', I thought to myself. My boyfriend lives near Belleville, we'll go see it there. To my dismay, it wasn't playing there either. It only came out on the 20th of October. Which means it lasted not even three weeks? This doesn't make any sense. I was very disappointed that it's only playing in ten cities in Ontario. Unfortunately because I don't live in London, Ottawa or near the GTA, I won't see it, and I'm not about to drive an hour to see it either. I looked at downloading it but I actualy wanted to give my money to see this one. The online versions seem to be poor quality and that how I ruined Pirates of the Carribean in my first year. Hopefully it will come out on DVD soon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Stem Cell Myths

I've been sorta of out of the loop the past couple weeks drowning in school work. So this may be old news, but I really enjoyed this informative post from Vek about Myths regarding stem cell reasearch.

I haven't really paid attention to this debate, because, after dropping science courses after grade 10, I don't really know enough about it, and obviously take what the media/academics about it with a grain of salt. We got talking about stem cells in my Risk Sociology class and no one really knows a lot about it. So I thought this was a very informative post. Check it out!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Military Life, Soldiers and Poppies

As you've probably noticed if you're a regular reader of my blog, I have a fair interest in the military. Having Canadian Forces members on both sides of my family, and being an army cadet myself several years ago, I have an appreciation and curious interest in the military.

I know what a PMQ is, I've eaten an IMP, I've been in several Remembrance Day parades and I've volunteered at a Veteran's hospital. I've slept it a hoochie, made a latrine and found a love for bag pipes. I walk in step with other people, I know how to use a map and compass (even calculate declination). I've done rifle drill with a C7, and a 22 and I've shot both as well. I've shone boots, riden in a CF-130 to Germany and eaten in the Yukon Galley. I've been to "Mudford", "Boredom" and "Pet". Hell, I was born in Trenton and conceived in Lahr. In between all of this I was also a bartender for the Officers' Mess and so I have served Ocdts to Generals and veterans as well. I can still tell you the beer of choice of the COs of all three regiments in London.

I've decided that wearing my poppy for about 10 days in November is not enough. Last year I wanted to wear my poppy all year round. But those darn things kept falling of my back pack. So I used a small Canadian pin, to hold it in. Nope, lost that one too. So this year I've super glued the pin to its backing on my back pack and hope that I can make it last.

All of this about thoughts were conjured after reading an excellent piece from Celestial Junk about soldiers today in reference to all the flack about Kerry's comment last week. (In case you've been living under a rock, or had piles of assignments/midterms/work/family and didn't hear: What was the remark? "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Those who perish while on missions are volunteers who have chosen their profession. Even though they are someone’s children and parents and lovers, they are adults as well. They have overcome the many hurdles put in their path by the military itself, as it seeks to weed out those who are not intellectually and physically capable in playing a part in the post-modern military. They are where they want to be, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a deep love for the Western way of life.

Read the rest here

Lest We Forget

Friday, November 03, 2006

Crazy Commies: "Make Affluence History"

I'm all for support worthy causing. Making poverty history is one of them. Making Affluence History is not.

I actually couldn't believe my ears when I heard this workshopannounced in one of my classes today. You've got to be kidding me. Equality doesn't exist. You can't lower the common denominator to just make everyone equal. I have the right to improve my quality of life. Of course the left-wing have the blame the rich for all the world's problems. But the argument is the same. They say you are born in poverty and have to work your entire life trying to get out. But at the same time, wealth in our nations is not rag to riches stories, you're born into your class. Thus, if you're born in an affluent family, is it your fault? No, but you're at blame for all's wrong with the world. And somehow it is also you're responsibility to fix them? Causes of poverty aren't because the rich/right-wing cut social programs. Good things come from having a good with stable families. Not one-parent or fatherless families. Now, I'm no Dr. Phil, but substance abuse/domestic abuse doesn't often happen in grounded two-parent families, but rather, in families, where one partner does not have the self-esteem and ability to escape a dangerous or unhealthy situation.

Everyone at least once in their life was wished they had more money. It's the goal/objective that strives you to work hard. If you work harder, longer, more effectively, you can give X to your family, or you can not have to stress over money. For example, If work hard to a get a graduate scholarship, I can buy a car next year. If I get search for a great, well paying job, I will be able to put a down payment on a house in the next 5-7 years.

As Charles Adler said in his rant back during the election time (if you haven't already heard it, you MUST listen it)

Now, don't get me wrong, I am all for living within your means. Especially with the excessive debt our western nations because we're all living on credit or on loans. But you have no right to tell me what I can/should do with my money. If want to buy a cottage, or a boat, or a big screen TV because I want to, I should be able to. That's why we live in a free country.

I should start a workshop at Trent: "Make Communism History"

Political Affiliation: Nature or Nurture

I thought this headline was rather interesting. I don't know if I believe it, but anyway, have a read:

Conservative or liberal? It may be in the genes

LINCOLN, Neb. — Politics may not be in the blood, but it could be in the genes.

That's the theory a team of political scientists and geneticists is trying to prove with extensive studies of twins, genes and brain scans.

“I perfectly understand that some people are skeptical,” said John R. Hibbing, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who is involved in the research.

The idea goes back more than 2000 years, said John Alford, associate professor of political science at Rice University, who is working with Hibbing.
Genetic researchers are trying to prove that social attitudes can be inherited, and have discovered strong correlations between the two.

So far, the political connection has relied on studies by Lindon Eaves, professor of human genetics and psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University. About 8,000 sets of identical and fraternal twins answered a series of questions on topics such as school prayer, nuclear power, women's liberation and the death penalty.

Identical twins, who share their entire genetic code, answered more similarly than fraternal twins, who are no more similar than non-twin siblings.

If you assume that both identical and fraternal twins share an environment, then the disparity between the results must be genetic, Mr. Hibbing and colleagues conclude.

Some scientists, however, are not ready to embrace the theory.

“The very idea that something like a political ideology could be heritable is incoherent,” said Evan Charney, assistant professor of public policy and political science at Duke University. “It doesn't make any sense, and it's historically inaccurate.”

Any similarities found in twins' political beliefs can be attributed to environment, not genetics, Mr. Charney said.

Mr. Charney's paper “Genes and Ideologies,” written to argue many of Mr. Hibbing and Mr. Alford's claims, is being considered for publication by the Review of Politics, Mr. Charney said. He recently presented the work to the American Political Science Association.

“I have not proved that environment has caused this, but neither have they proved that genes have caused this,” Mr. Charney said.

And environment, he said, is a far more plausible explanation.

Mr. Hibbing agrees his research isn't definitive.

“No specific (genes) have been connected to political traits,” Mr. Hibbing said. “That is our group's main goal.”

But social scientists typically dismiss genetic influence, and that's a mistake, he said.

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

WACKY WEDNESDAYS: Bush and Blair are the Master Puppeteers

In this week's installment of professor rants my professor makes a strong accusation.

Ed. Note: This isn't verbatim, but I took point form notes of the rant:

Bush and Blair decided it was time they had to scare us again, so they made up this liquid on the plane to scare everyone again. There was no terror alert. That's the story they gave and we all believed it (well most of us). You know, we're not really smart. Because there are no two liquids on this earth that, when put together, in such small quantity as in a carry-on bag could create an explosion. This is the stuff of fantasy. Yet people bought into it.

Man if anyone wants to donate a digital tape recorder I can tape our lectures this stuff. It's absolute madness the rubbish that comes out of his mouth. Too bad this class is over in December, it's just so humourous!

I'm not making this up. I'm not allowed to make things up.

Bob Barker: The Time is Right

It's a sad day in television history. I thought he would be doing the show until he passed away. Bob Barker has announced that he is retiring :-( What in the world am I going to do when I'm home sick?

LOS ANGELES — Bob Barker is heading toward his last showcase, his final “Come on down.” The silver-haired daytime-TV icon is retiring in June, he told The Associated Press Tuesday.

“I will be 83 years old on December 12,” he said, “and I've decided to retire while I'm still young.”

He'll hang up his microphone after 35 years as the host of The Price Is Right and 50 years overall in television.
But when it comes to saying his final TV goodbye, Barker said he'll do it the same way he does each day on Price: “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”