Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Xmas, Belgium

Is it snowing in Belgium? Are you planning your Xams dinner? I send my best wishes from 'down under,' where Xmas is a time for the beach and swimming. Yes, it's all a bit upside down here. Just once in my life, I'd love to have a white Xmas. Peace and love to you all.
Neil Coleman

Does the NRA really represent what is best for the USA?

The USA stands out as a nation that has almost one gun for every person. It has a murder rate from the use of guns that way numbers any other nation, even some of the almost ‘non-government’ nations in the Third World. Of course the fact that many Americans can afford them partly explains that.

The sight of a NRA spokesperson calling for guns to be in every classroom just shows how whacko these gun-loving idiots have become. How many teachers would or could go along with that? The very making of the statement indicates just how sick the USA has become.

There is an historical underpinning to the gun ownership issue in the USA, ably supported by the media in all its forms. Some would say the culture of violence as an entertainment form just exacerbates the whole issue. Add that to the ‘lonely young men,’ who lack all connection to the real world and you have a ticking bomb. The combination of mental illness and weapons availability will have ramifications over and over again. There is also another ‘as yet not reported’ nasty lurking out there.

Do you not wonder that some sort of competition is going on here? Are these ‘sad individuals’ involved in some sort of, ‘I can beat that number of killings and be famous?’ Conspiracy territory, maybe? ----but give it a bit of brain time.

So far the spokespersons for the NRA are doing little to make a coherent case for ownership of the more extreme type of guns. Each time they open their mouths, one is left wondering just where the USA is heading. Do they really want a nation that is armed to the teeth, to battle all manner of perceived threats? Just as another nation is about to have a debate about the violence towards women, the USA needs to take stock of its history and ask themselves if ‘new thinking’ needs to emerge. If India can embark on its most necessary debate, I am sure that the USA can and must do the same about their love affair with guns.

Charter Schools---now Treasury has doubts!

Today, the Herald reported that Treasury has doubts that Charter Schools will improve student performance. What a revelation from this highly influential body! Let’s once again cut to the point: Charter schools are simply going to happen for only one real reason; the agreement that National has with the Act party in order to get their support. Any other reason on the part of the Government is based on spurious reports that have been rejected by most academics.

What would treasury know about what is considered effective teaching? Their job is to advise the Government on financial matters, not academic achievement, so when they make a statement like that reported in the Herald, one has to wonder at the level of support the Government has for its ‘soon to be failed policies.’

Maybe we are in for yet another U-turn from this flip flop Government, but I bet it will be under the hegemony of yet another Minister of Education.