Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Rules of Combat"

Making my way through my news feed on FaceBook (trying to put off at least half of what I should be doing), I came across a blog post by xbradtc concerning the second fatal accident at ATAC in the past few months (the first, of course, being Lex).

It was an interesting overview of just what that company does and why it's work is so  important. And a reminder that bad things sometimes do happen to good people. And good companies. Just because.

Having read that, I hopped around the blog a bit and landed on "Rules of Combat". Too numerous to count (okay, there's actually 126 - with many more in the Comments), they're also too good and too funny not to share.

Here are a few of my personal favourites:
1. Friendly fire – isn’t.

2. Recoilless rifles – aren’t.

3. Suppressive fires – won’t.

21. The important things are always simple.

22. The simple are always hard.

23. The easy way is always mined.

24. Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.

25. Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you.

26. If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone.

27. When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too.

28. Incoming fire has the right of way.

31. If the enemy is within range, so are you.

32. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

41. When both sides are convinced they’re about to lose, they’re both right.

44. Fortify your front; you’ll get your rear shot up.

52. Sniper’s motto: reach out and touch someone.

53. Killing for peace is like screwing for virginity.

56. It’s not the one with your name on it; it’s the one addressed “to whom it may concern”     you’ve got to think about.

67. One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.

71. The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.

72. The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon’s operator.

76. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

89. The bursting radius of a hand grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range.

96. If your flank march is going well, the enemy expects you to outflank him.

97. Density of fire increases proportionally to the curiousness of the target.

98. Odd objects attract fire – never lurk behind one.

99. Odd objects attract fire. You are odd.

105. Whenever you drop your equipment in a fire-fight, your ammo and grenades always fall the farthest away, and your canteen always lands at your feet.
112. What gets you promoted from one rank gets you killed in the next rank.

116. If you need an officer in a hurry take a nap.

119. If at first you don’t succeed, then bomb disposal probably isn’t for you.

120. Any ship can be a minesweeper . . . once.

121. Whenever you lose contact with the enemy, look behind you.

122. If you find yourself in front of your platoon they know something you don’t.

125. When accused, admit nothing, deny everything, and file counter-accusations
Now go read the rest.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Legal Edumucation

It looks like the South Shore Regional School Board finally got themselves some.

This story has received so much play over the past week that I seriously considered not wasting my life time with it, but ... really, I couldn't resist.

Not when I've waxed poetic (or not) so many times before on exactly this sort of thing. (Ah, the good old days ... the fun we would have had with this at Lex's. But I digress.)

"Whazzup now?", you ask.

Let me see ... how to explain this?

Oh, I don't know. What say we just cut right to the stupidity?
The dispute arose after Grade 12 student William Swinimer was suspended from his school in Chester Basin for continuing to wear a shirt with the slogan, ``Life is wasted without Jesus.''

He says on his Facebook site that he did it to stand up for the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.

Pynch-Worthylake says Swinimer and his pastor have agreed to take part in the debate that will look at how to ensure students' rights are not violated, while protecting other students from criticism.

She says it's not clear what the school will do if Swinimer wears the shirt when he returns to classes Monday.

Pynch-Worthylake said the school tried working out a solution with Swinimer before suspending him.

However, the 19-year-old says the school’s disciplinary action infringes on his right to freedom of religious expression.
“I do a lot of witnessing in school,” he said. “People talk to me and they ask me about my religion and I tell them.”

That has got him sent to the principal’s office in the past, Swinimer said.

“They say that it’s hate speech and that it hurts people’s feelings, but I don’t hate anybody.”
However, Pynch-Worthylake said the t-shirt's wording offends some people at the school because it tells them their beliefs are wrong.
“So let's recap, shall we?

A 19-year-old teen likes to take wear his favourite blankie T-shirt to school. Which just happens to read "Life is Wasted Without Jesus".  Apparently this T shirt makes at least some of the staff and students very, very unhappy. So unhappy that he is repeatedly asked not to wear said shirt. And when he doesn't heed these requests, he is given in-school suspensions. Repeated in-school suspensions.  Until this last 5-day out-of-school suspension given last week.

At which time he is warned, in no uncertain terms, that if he wears the T-shirt to school again, he will could be suspended for the rest of the year. The kid is in Grade 12. Hence, a suspension for the rest of the year means he would fail to graduate this year.

Want to hear the school board's reasoning in this regard?
If it said My Life is Wasted Without Jesus, that would be fine” because it expresses a personal belief, she said.

But the T-shirt he wore went further by telling non-Christians their lives are wasted, she said.

The school has asked Swinimer to replace it with a shirt that communicates his Christian faith without violating others’ beliefs, but he has refused, Pynch-Worthylake said.
Uh huh.

So it's okay to wear a shirt that says "My Life is Wasted Without Jesus"  but because the kid's shirt dares to state that "Life is Wasted Without Jesus", that might make someone else feel bad. And that's not just a problem.

Nope. It's A. Problem.

This whole thing is ridiculous in my mind but what really got me going on the subject was a news story last week stating that the Board intended to consult with a "human rights expert" on this issue.  I can only assume that they found someone with half a clue about human rights law, which is the reason they now say the kid can wear the T-shirt to school.

Really? Without a rest-of-the-year suspension?

Sure. With a little bit of back-tracking, of course.
“For us, it never really was about the one shirt,” Pynch-Worthylake said Friday.
Right. Gotchya.

Now, I realize that this kid might well have some other issues (around proselytizing witnessing to his peers). And I can fully understand how that might cause some problems at the school. But I think the Board was pretty clear in just about every news story - they wanted the shirt gone, it was wearing the shirt that got him suspended and would result in a further, harsher suspension.

So tell me, about that human rights edumucation. Just what will it take to get this simple concept through people's heads?

Listen carefully, class, I do not want to have to say this again.

And, yes, there will be an exam.
  1. Although there is a right not to discriminated against (on certain enumerated grounds), there is no right not to offended.
  2. And, as I've said before "... rude and insensitive remarks do not constitute discrimination. They are simply rude and insensitive remarks. Period. Full stop."
I know, I know. My snarkinesss is showing, Just a wee bit. My apologies but it's been a bit of a long life.

But seriously, people, should you doubt what we face .... yes, I do realize it's the "media", but please, I do expect somewhat better in Canada. The CTV Atlantic News ran a poll* the other day asking what people thought about this issue. 

The three choices looked something like this.
  • It's okay. Everyone has the right to wear whatever they want to school. It's free speech.
  • Religious messages are okay in school as long as they don't discriminate against another religion.
  • No religious messages at all should be allowed at school.
Anybody see a problem with these choices?

The closest one that worked for me, personally, was No. 2. But that implied stated that a religious message could "discriminate" against another religion. And, frankly, I can't see how that could work. At any rate, it certainly didn't apply in this case.

Oh well, it's nice to see that at least some people in our Province are imbued with the least common sense of all. Which, by the way, would include a national atheists’ organization, the Atlantic Jewish Council, the Islamic Association of Nova Scotia and a provincial opposition leader.


* For anyone truly worried about the state of "free speech" in Nova Scotia, you should be happy to know that close to 75% of the respondents to that CTV poll picked either No. 1 or 2, above. And the majority picked No. 1.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Today's the day. It's here. It. Has. Arrived. Most definitely.

I think.

Yeah, I may have been somewhat ambivalent with the concept (let alone overwhelmed in the part of my life that requires the actual "doing") of applying for guardianship of the Blue Jay.

Don't get me wrong. I know I have to do it.

My own ... ambivalence (and I'm really not sure what that is all about - ambivalence from She Who Preaches the Need to Seriously Consider and Decide How to Manage the Legal Relationship with Your Adult Child?) aside, it needs to be done.

Sooner. Rather than later.

And yet, somehow, She Who Created a Legal Guardianship Kit So Families with Absolutely No Legal Experience, Background or Training At All Can Apply for Guardianship Without Incurring the Cost of a Lawyer has managed NOT to do anything (and let's be clear here, I mean ANYTHING) about it in the past five weeks since the Blue Jay turned 19.

But having one big at-the-last-minute-total-surprise project off my plate (or as far off the plate as I can possibly make it go - after a presentation to the Camp's Board of Directors last evening I refuse to think about it any more right now ... uh uh, nope, you can't make me) and having an entire week before being scheduled to make a presentation (that I am totally unprepared for, by the way) to the Student Services Co-ordinators from around the Province ... I mean, really, what excuse could I possibly have for not starting the paperwork today?

Other than the fact that I desperately need to market my new business more ("more" as in so I have some actual work because I don't have any at the moment) after having worked the last day for my 12+ year client last week? But, hey, let's not get sidetracked here.

Right. Exactly. That's what I thought. No excuse. None.

But first, first I really need a cup of coffee. Then I will check my email again. Because you never know, there might just be something important there. And maybe Facebook, too, because ... you know ... it's Facebook.  'Nuff said.

But then, then I am going to be all over it. Like flies on honey. Like a rug on the floor. Like, like ... wow, I'm tired and those are so bad it's a true blessing for all of us that I can't think of any more.

But you get the point, right?

Cuz I'm going to do this. I am. Honest.

* Okay, sure, it's entirely possible that I could just be valiantly trying to convince myself here. But, then again, it is my blog. And I can cry if I want to. Right?

PS I am seriously considering adding a new label to the blog. How does "Pathetic" sound?