Friday, April 30, 2010

IRONY is TOO small a Word

For this.

Because they've got to be joking, right?
Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."

Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.
After all, these guys are just shining examples of enlightenment when it comes to issues of gender equality and the advancement of women, right? They're like, what ... leaders in the field?
Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," said the respected cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi.
Earthquakes? You've gotta be kidding.

I be thinking that the only 'earthquakes' that might be caused by women "who do not dress modestly" would most likely be found under the clerics' robes. Not in the earth's crust.

Perhaps it's so rare that they just can't tell the difference?

Then again, what do I know? After all, I'm just another piece of male property, right?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What I'm NOT Writing About

What I have not been writing about ... but would like to be blogging about. So many things. Seemed like a good idea for a post. At the time.

I wrote a lot about tasers and the controversy surrounding them back in late 2007 - early 2008. Maybe I overshot because I seemed to get burned out on the subject. Even though the issue remains highly relevant and still in the news.

I see my arch-nemesis [okay maybe that's a little unfair - after they all only one of my many nemeses] have published yet another report ranking high schools in the Province.

Uh huh. Begs the question, of course, of what factors they are using to rank said schools.

And makes me wonder why I me we ... the disability community ... doesn't try a similar study. We could rank high schools (and middle schools and elementary schools) on how well they educate and include students with special needs in the Province.

Uh huh. 'Nuff said there.

I see that whole "freedom of speech on the internets" issue is still alive and well ... at least in Nova Scotia. I wrote on it before. The saga continues. I have stuff to say about that. Too bad I have neither the time nor the energy.

Just like I haven't managed to comment on the fact that we continue to offer help to Haiti. Which no doubt would have been part of that follow up post I always planned to write.

Oh yeah, one more thing - got a quick glimpse of a headline in that goofball journalistic wanna-be of a magazine, Canada Free Press (how dare they name #$@!! after my country?!) telling all the world that Earth Day is Nakid Communism!!!.

But hey, don't trust me, we have proof!

Proof, I tell ya!

After all "It is no accident that April 22, Earth Day, is also the birth date of Vladimir Lenin, an acolyte of Karl Marx, the lunatic who invented communism as an alternative to capitalism".

Yeah, whatever. Happy Earth Day, idiots dudes.

So yeah. Anyway.

Like I said, it seemed like a good idea at the time. This post, that is.

A quick way to cover ... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... five of the many topics I would like to be blogging about at the moment. Or in the past little while. But now. Now it looks kind of depressing. Sigh...

Oh well, we do what we can.

Catch ya later. I will be back. For real. Some day.

That's a promise.

Right now, I'm sure there's some place I'm suppose to be. Something I'm suppose to be doing?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Good Day

I had a good day today, I did.

Went into the city early this morning to give a presentation on the issue of guardianship. I mentioned previously about working on a putting together a guardianship kit for parents interested in obtaining guardianship of their adult children with disabilities.

I'm pleased to say that the kit is almost complete. Almost ready for public consumption. Almost.

Too bad it's *almost* considering I no doubt could have sold a few today. Probably quite a few by the sound of it.

I was asked by HACL to give a presentation on guardianship. The room wasn't all that big so they capped registration at 45. And the room was full.

Took along a friend who had obtained guardianship of her son last year. With my help. Took along another friend who had also obtained guardianship of her son last year through Legal Aid. Met up with two other parents at the seminar who had obtained guardianship of their children yesterday. With my help. Yeah, I think I see a pattern developing here.

It was great to have the other parents there as they could speak first hand to my contention that this could be done without hiring a lawyer. Provided you had the right kind of help.

The session went well - I really enjoy doing this kind of thing.

The room was very appreciative; I repeatedly fielded the question of when exactly the kit would be done.

In fact, one of the parents who came up to speak to me at the end told me he thought I should leave now. So I could finish the kit. I told him I would kind of like to have lunch first. He was amenable to that but really wanted to know when it would be done. Two weeks? he asked. No, not two weeks. When then? Clearly getting that the man was not going to give it up, I told him one month. He seemed happy with that and went on his way.

Proceeded to lunch with my two friends. Not being in any hurry to get home, we took the ferry across the harbour and enjoyed a leisurely lunch with a nice view of the water.

It was a little bit like the The Three Musketeers Ride Again - once upon a time, many, many, many years ago, the three of us had formed a cross-disability parent support group locally. Interest waxed and waned (although we definitely did have some fun along the way) but the three of us were the core group, the Three Musketeers.

Moseyed back home, joined the family for supper.

And then headed out to the movies with one of my friends. Sent the kids to see The Last Song; my friend and I went to The Bounty Hunter.

The movie was a nice distraction, far from an outstanding movie but I've been having really bad luck with movies lately so ... yeah, this one was a nice end to a good day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So You Think English is Easy?!

You think English is easy?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this .

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.' It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ?

Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends.

And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.

We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning.

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

A drain must be opened UP because it is blocked UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP !

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.

It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP .

When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP...When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so........it is time to shut UP!

H/T to Tera

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Budget 2010

So our relatively newly minted NDP government brought down its first budget this past Tuesday.

And I tried to figure it out. I really did.

Wednesday at lunch time I saw down with the paper. And read. And read.

And ultimately decided that she is probably right. Or, more accurately, I think I agree with her end result but not necessarily her reasoning.

The HST goes back up from 13% to 15%.

And yet I find it hard to get too upset about that, given that was it feels like it was 15% forever and it doesn't seem all that long ago that it slowly made its way down to 13% over the last few months.
[Yeah, sorry about that music. My bad.]

I still think of it at 15% now anyway ...

So, yeah, what she said.
ADMIT IT: You don’t even know how much HST is anyway.

You keep forgetting whether it’s 13 per cent, which is the current rate, or 15 per cent, which is what it’ll hit July 1, thanks to a two percentage point bump announced Tuesday as part of the NDP budget.

Yeah, yeah, you think about HST constantly. Because every time you pay for something there’s this amorphous little blob of money added to the total. But you don’t have a sweet clue whether you’re paying an extra 39 cents or an extra 45 cents on a $3 pair of socks.

Hold on. Do we even pay HST on socks?
Taxes up. That's not so good.

But wait - there is a rebate for "low income" earners.

And new point-of-sale rebates on diapers, children's clothing, children's footwear, and feminine hygiene products. Okay. TMI there, perhaps.

But I think it's good that we're finally removing the provincial sales tax from kids' clothing and such.. I just wish my children still qualified as kids, you know? No more diaper purchases here (thank goodness!).

And then there's something about provincial income tax going down.
The poverty reduction credit of $200 per year will go to about 15,000 people with total annual income of $12,000 or less. It’s available to individuals or couples with no children whose main source of income is welfare.

And about 18,000 seniors who receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement will no longer pay provincial income tax.
And up.
People at the other end of the income scale — those making more than $150,000 — will see a new marginal tax rate of 21 per cent. The increase is expected to generate $59 million for provincial coffers this year.

The current top rate is 17.5 per cent on taxable income of more than $93,000. The 17.5 per cent bracket will now apply to incomes from $93,001 to $150,000.
Both at the same time, apparently.
But higher-income earners will also get a tax break. The province is eliminating the high-income surtax for people making about $83,000 or more, a move that will save 30,000 Nova Scotians about $27 million.

The surtax saving will range from $56 for people making up to $90,000, to $849 for those in the $125,000 to $150,000 range.
Depending on who you are.

So. See why I'm confused?

But the more I ponder it, the more I think the NDP would have been panned no matter what they did.

After all, they are characterized as tax and spenders, right?

Tax the rich. Tax the middle class. Tax the corporations out of business. While letting program spending run rampant.

So if they followed that scenario, they would have been panned as being "true to form". (Never mind the little technicality that we've never had a NDP government in Nova Scotia so I am not quite sure how there can actually be any "form". To be "true" to.)

In fact, if they increased taxes (anywhere, at all) they would be in trouble.

But if they didn't do something about that ever-growing debt and deficit they would be "fiscally irresponsible".

So what's a poor government (cough, hack, choke) to do?

Why, a little bit of everything, of course. Cue the music ...



Increase the tax. While you simultaneously decrease the tax. Stick it to business. But make sure you give them some tax breaks at the same time.

And yet, at the end of the day, when I think about the US and the size of their budget deficit ... well, it was all spend, spend, spend and stimulus time, wasn't it?

After all, it's all good fun until someone gets an eye poked out ...

Which leaves me thinking that, maybe, in the grand scheme of things, just maybe we are doing will be okay.

But I'm not really sure. I'm much too confused.