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Topics - BCseawalker

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Feminist News / Selling sexism and sexual violence in retail industry
« on: July 01, 2009, 04:15:26 PM »
Originally posted in this thread...

From Pam Spaulding's blog, Burger King ad shoves 7-incher in her face so she can have it their way.

There's a BK near me. I very rarely treat myself but when I do, it's usually with a BK veggie burger. Won't be doing that anymore.

Am terrible at blogging issues like this; the rage fogs up my brain. Am hoping some one or more BnR bloggers might lead the charge.

Banter / Language assistance required
« on: June 25, 2009, 01:02:40 PM »
Need your language expertise....

When writing something like this: "Respondents were to give the first answer which came to their minds," is the plural 'minds' correct? Or should it be singular?

Have always been flummoxed by that and am not sure why. When people speak they tend to match the nouns' number.

Sappho's Salon / Florida woman sues for visitation rights
« on: February 08, 2009, 01:24:44 PM »
Gay woman fights over hospital visitation rights in Miami court

As her partner of 17 years slipped into a coma, Janice Langbehn pleaded with doctors and anyone who would listen to let her into the woman's hospital room.

Eight anguishing hours passed before Langbehn would be allowed into Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. By then, she could only say her final farewell as a priest performed the last rites on 39-year-old Lisa Marie Pond.

Feminist News / Feministas, to the Charge!
« on: September 25, 2008, 05:58:58 PM »
Harper's Tories aim to erode women's rights 'by stealth': coalition
Bump up the good comments and add your own.

Federal Election / Canadian Federal Election Coverage
« on: September 06, 2008, 09:02:45 PM »
For those amongst us who get election fever, here's a CPAC announcement:
Join us all day Sunday for a special kick off to CPAC’s Vote 2008 election coverage. Beginning at 7 am ET / 4 am PT, Peter Van Dusen will be LIVE in studio with guests and Holly Doan will be on location at Rideau Hall for the official election call. See reaction from the party leaders and hear the views from strategists and pundits.
Can't say enough about the quality of coverage CPAC gave of the election last time around.

Author, Author! / Kick Ass Blogger Award
« on: August 20, 2008, 02:05:32 PM »
I got word that Challenging the Commonplace has received a Kick Ass Blog Award nomination. Thanks to the person who chose us!

Must confess, however, that I don't understand what's it about or its purpose. Clearly, the intention of the originator of the award, mammadawg, is for the thing to go viral. But doesn't that then end up making the "award" meaningless?

And what's the point of going back to MD's site to sign "Mr Linky"? This whole thing comes across to me as a single site's campaign to increase revenue for a pay-per-click advertising scheme.

Maybe I'm missing something - not hard, given my relative neophyte blogger status. Does anyone here know who MD is?

USA / Texas school district to let teachers carry guns
« on: August 15, 2008, 03:04:25 PM »
That's right. Here's the story.

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas school district will let teachers bring guns to class this fall, the district's superintendent said on Friday, in what experts said appeared to be a first in the United States.

The board of the small rural Harrold Independent School District unanimously approved the plan and parents have not objected, said the district's superintendent, David Thweatt.

School experts backed Thweatt's claim that Harrold, a system of about 110 students 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth, may be the first to let teachers bring guns to the classroom.

Thweatt said it is a matter of safety.

"We have a lock-down situation, we have cameras, but the question we had to answer is, 'What if somebody gets in? What are we going to do?" he said. "It's just common sense."

Just got the letter. WISE book on their "Recommended" list for the new Grade 12 Social Justice course.

Can't believe it. Don't know if this will mean ORDERS, but being Recommended would suggest that.

USA / US military videogame used to recruit children
« on: July 26, 2008, 01:42:25 PM »
This is disgusting.

US Military Recruits Children: “America’s Army” Videogame Violates International Law

In May of 2002, the United States Army invaded E3, the annual video game convention held in Los Angeles. At the city’s Convention Center, young game enthusiasts mixed with camouflaged soldiers, Humvees and a small tank parked near the entrance. Thundering helicopter sound effects drew the curious to the Army’s interactive display, where a giant video screen flashed the words “Empower yourself. Defend America … You will be a soldier.”(1)The Army was unveiling its latest recruitment tool, the “America’s Army” video game, free to download online or pick up at a recruiting station, and now available for purchase on the Xbox, PlayStation, cell phones and Gameboy game consoles. Since its release, the “game” has gone on to attain enormous popularity with over 30,000 players everyday, more than nine million registered users, and version 3.0 set for launch in September. “America’s Army” simulates the Army experience, immersing players in basic training before they can go on to play specialized combat roles. Most of the gameplay takes place in cyberspace where virtual Mideast cities, hospitals and oil rigs serve as backdrops for players to obliterate each other. As a “first person shooter,” the game allows players to “see what a soldier sees” in real combat situations - peek around corners, take fine aim, chose weapons that replicate those actually used by the US Army.

For the game’s commercial developers, realism is one its strongest selling points. Console version programmers were shipped to military training facilities in Wyoming, where they ran boot camp obstacle courses, fired weapons at the shooting range and got whisked around on helicopters. Back at hip, safe San Francisco Bay Area game companies, Army weapons specialists worked with developers to ensure aim, fire, sound and reload functions for all of the game’s weapons were as close to the real thing as possible. The Army also ensured that players learn real weapons skills such as breath control and the reload time for a M4 carbine. And in order to edge closer to the Army’s goal of “realism” and “authenticity,” several of the game’s missions are based on actual combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the training simulators and firing ranges are modeled on the real life versions at Ft. Benning, Ft. Lewis and Ft. Polk. In a 2005 press release, Ubisoft, the multimillion-dollar publisher of the console version of the game, wrote that “America’s Army” is the “deepest and most realistic military game ever to hit consoles,” hoping that it gave players a “realistic, action-packed, military experience.”
Long article, well worth reading.

Health / Rising food prices forcing tough choices
« on: July 16, 2008, 06:42:55 PM »
Rising Food Prices Forcing Tough Choices

Am hoping others will respond to the blog post with examples of how their diet has had to adjust.

The consequences of higher prices will be, at least in North America (and contrary to popular opinion), increasing obesity. Because cheap food is not only less nutritious, it's fattening.

Europe / Wanna smoke pot? Go to Italy. Become a Rastafarian
« on: July 11, 2008, 08:58:43 PM »
Yup, 'tis so.
Rastafarians have always regarded Ethiopia as the promised land, but Italy could rank a close second after its Supreme Court ruled that smoking or possessing cannabis is not a criminal offence but a religious act when the person doing it is a Rastafarian.
Almost makes one wish atheism were classed as a religion. We'd get charitable status for starters and maybe, just maybe, Canada would follow Italy.

On second thought, NO to the first suggestion. YES to the second: we should get charitable status because religion is a philosophy of life or worldview, as is atheism. And NO, Canada won't emulate Italy, not in Harper country. (Canada should go farther, but that's another topic.)

Europe / French citizenship denied for 'radical' Islamic wife
« on: July 11, 2008, 08:45:49 PM »
A French court has refused citizenship to a Moroccan woman, ruling that her practice of Islam is too "radical" and she is too submissive to be compatible with basic French values.

The Conseil d'Etat, France's highest court, said her religious practices were "incompatible with essential values of the French community, particularly the principle of equality of the sexes". Until now, the court had rejected only Muslim applicants deemed sympathetic to fundamentalist groups.

The 32-year-old Moroccan woman, named as Faiza M, lives with her French husband and their three children, all born in France. The family practise Salafism, which involves a strict interpretation of Islamic dress-codes and personal status law...

Emmanuelle Prada-Bordenave, the government commissioner who delivered the ruling, said Mme M had presented herself for interviews with immigration officials "attired from head to toe in the clothing of women from the Arabian peninsula, with a veil covering her hair, forehead and chin and a piece of cloth over her face. Her eyes could only be seen through a small slit. She lives virtually as a recluse, disconnected from French society. She has no concept of laïcité ... nor the right to vote. She lives in total subservience to the men in her family."
Full article

Feminist News / Intersectionalism vs Unity
« on: July 11, 2008, 01:31:22 PM »
Interesting read: Think 70s Feminists are Out of Touch? Not so fast.

It seems that a lot of people have problems with white women, from our presumptive presidential nominees to feminists who are engaging in increasingly uncomfortable infighting over the implications of sexism vs. racism that emerged this year. There is a great post-primary feminist divide at the moment, and it has raised crucial questions about feminism and its origins, and why feminists and women in general remain so divided. Some of our traditional feminists like Gloria Steinem and Linda Hirshman have come under fire for sounding absolutist as they decry the rampant sexism of the campaign and express frustration over intersectionalism -- a brand of feminism that often buries gender issues in its efforts to highlight other forms of oppression.

In defense of Steinem, Hirshman and our so-called "bourgeois" members of the old feminist guard, I think their sense of urgency has less to do with this campaign and more to do with deep disappointment that the ol' "divide and conquer" thinking among women is so firmly in place. Sexism is still far behind the curve in beating the oppression game, and the feminist establishment is very worried. It is sending out calls for women to focus and adopt what I like to call "unity feminism."

These older white feminists are quickly written off as out of touch and even racist by intersectionalist feminists who say that women have a wide variety of problems to worry about, such as class, race and economics, and feminism must adopt many facets and causes to improve women's lives. Women of color have responded more specifically by saying that, frankly, they feel white women don't experience a fraction of the pain and suffering that women of color go through and it's difficult for them to relate. The overall sentiment is, "Hey, you privileged feminists, you don't get it. Move out of the way with your old-fashioned white feminism." As a reformed intersectionalist feminist, I say, not so fast...

Feminist News / California Gender Discrimination Suit
« on: July 10, 2008, 01:58:44 PM »
It's a win for the bright side. How often can that be said?

The first jury gave Lindy Vivas, the women's volleyball coach, $5.85 million. Diane Milutinovich, the associate athletic director, settled out of court for $3.5 million. And the third case ended with a head-spinning $19 million jury verdict for Stacy Johnson-Klein, the women's basketball coach.

All three women had complained about gender equity in the sports department at Fresno State University, situated in California's verdant Central Valley. All three lost their jobs. All three then sued for some combination of sex discrimination, retaliation and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

There have been many victories under Title IX -- the 1972 legislation that commanded federally funded educational institutions not to sex-discriminate in any area, including sports -- but the three cases that rocked Fresno State University's sports department last year stand out for their enormity...

USA / Old USSR rebirthing - in the good 'old U S of A
« on: July 09, 2008, 03:19:57 PM »
Not quite on topic, but rather than starting a new thread...

I've blogged on a story today about creeping Soviet-style spy or KGB tactics which involve recruiting members of the general population.

Old USSR rebirthing - in the good 'old U S of A

A new class of everyday spies, from paramedics to utility workers, are being recruited to be "terrorism liason officers." They are entrusted with hunting for "suspicious activity," and then they report their findings, which end up in secret government databases.

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