Archive for August, 2010

The Idiot Filter Skims The Gene Pool Once Again

Another senseless, avoidable tragedy

I’m sorry, I know I sound callous, heartless and critical but sometimes the stupidity of some people just astounds me. Here we have six teenagers drowning in front of their families in Louisiana, USA. None of them could swim. None of their family can swim. Yet they not only go for a BBQ next to a river, but they wade in the thing! This is a stretch of water that has 6m drop offs!

Why can’t they swim? Why can’t any of them swim? Why did they go and not for the first time, to the river when none of them can swim? It is a tragedy, no doubt but what is truly tragic is that these people are either so dumb, so ignorant or so complacent that they just didn’t think, did they?

Every country in the world has their share of dumb citizens. These ones come from the most technologically advanced country on the planet, the USA. How can anyone there, especially those living close to rivers or oceans, reach High School and not be able to swim? My kids are all learning at the moment. The eldest can already swim but I don’t want her left out and she is improving. The others range in age from 2 to just turned 7 so high time they learned. The baby will learn next year. Surely the ability to swim is a basic life skill (BLS)?

BLS’s include swimming, self defence, driving, riding, sailing, managing money, personal well-being, first aid and leadership. Every human being should know how to swim, drive a car or ride a motorbike, ride a horse, sail a small boat, give first aid and look after their finances and health. As well they need to know about managing themselves (self-disicpline) and other people.

Personal well being includes being able to cook, sew, iron, launder and dress appropriately for the weather and the situation. Common sense skills that sadly few kids are properly taught. Perhaps their parents simply expect they will acquire the skills they need ‘along the way’. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. My kids will because I teach them what they need to know to enjoy their lives.

As for the sad victims of that drowning tragedy, as harsh as it sounds, I put it down to the Idiot Filter, skimming the top of the Gene Pool. Sometimes we have to shock people into doing what is right for their own good so if anyone reading this takes offense, I’ll wear that. So long as you take notice and make sure, before you cast your first stone at me, your house is in order and at the very least your loved ones can swim.

Burqa On Trial 1

Phot Courtesy International Society for Human Rights

In Perth a Judge is deciding whether to allow a Muslim woman to appear as a witness in a fraud case while wearing the full face covering burqa (burka, niqab etc). I don’t see what the problem is. The answer should be an unequivocal ‘NO!’

If she wants a Driver’s License or a passport, she needs to show her face. That is the law and you can see the notices to that affect on the Post Office wall and at the RTA. If we were to enter a bank wearing a full face motorcycle helmet, a balaclava or a clown mask, we would be breaking the law and even if there for legal reasons, they would refuse to serve you. Why not a woman wearing a burqa? Someone in that garb has already tried that stunt so there is precedence. It (armed robbery by burqa wearing crim) has happened here, it is not just something that might happen one day.

In our system of courts, laws and justice (never make the mistake of confusing one for the other) the accused has the right to see their accuser and that includes witnesses against them. If they did not have that right then, like often happens in many other countries and especially those that insist on wearing the burqa, anyone could accuse anyone of anything. And when it comes to women, they all too often do, as you can read in a recent post.

In Pakistan for example, to prove she was raped a woman has to produce four male witnesses, otherwise she is considered the guilty party and punished accordingly and barbarically. Common sense would beg the question what were four grown men doing witnessing such a heinous crime and not doing anything to prevent it? It is ludicrous but it is their law, their way and I respect their right to live under such laws. In their country. But in ours, they should and must live under ours or leave.

I know I risk sounding like one of the torch and pitchfork brigade but I am adamant. I do not travel to certain countries because I do not like or agree with their culture and way of living. Is that a crime? I’m not about to roll out the old ‘many of my friends are Muslim/Gay/Left Handed’ line because I don’t have any Muslim friends and very few of my acquaintances are Muslim. The only reason for this is that I don’t choose my friends or acquaintances based on their religion, ethnicity or orientation and like most humans I tend to gravitate towards my own kind, don’t they?  I don’t vilify or incite racial hatred of these people or agitate for them to overthrow their governments or discard their way of life. But in this country I will take a stand for the culture we have. A culture that has more than enough to offer to attract them here in the first place.

We are a migrant nation and we have plenty of room for more. I welcome my fellow migrants but with two proviso’s. One, join the queue and come here legally. Two, respect our laws and culture and adapt and assimilate, don’t try and force us to change to accommodate you.

That is precisely what must happen in that Perth court room on Friday when the hearing is scheduled to go ahead. The woman must either uncover her face or refuse to take the stand and the prosecution must proceed with her sworn testimony as her only evidence. If the court rejects it without her testimony then so be it, but then prosecute her for Contempt. What do you think about wearing the burqa? Please, no racial vilification, just reasoned argument.

Stiletto Heels 1 Eyes 0

A UK woman has kicked her boyfriend in the eye while wearing high heel shoes. The 3 inch heel penetrated the eye and went into the brain causing serious injury. She was drunk at the time and in the back of a Taxi. Arguing with her boyfriend who was in the front, he turned to say more and she kicked him in the eye. End of argument.

The stiletto heel is a deadly weapon. According to Jack Greens’ 2003 book ‘The Physics Fact Book’, a stiletto heel exerts the same force as an elephant standing on one foot! The shod foot is also considered by many judges to be a deadly weapon though usually by weight of footwear clubbing someone to death. This piercing injury is particularly nasty as it went through his left eye (I presume that is now useless) and into his brain. Frightening.

Years ago I assisted a police officer who was being assaulted by a woman with a stiletto heeled shoe while everyone else on my bus just gawped. I guess they didn’t realise how dangerous the attack was for the poor copper. I have also seen blokes put the boot in after their victim has fallen and it is brutal and sickening to watch. More so when for whatever reason you are powerless to intervene.

Make no mistake the foot and the shoe have claimed more than their fair share of victims. Recent data from the UK showed that most deaths by violence were caused by the victim copping a good kicking from one or more attackers. This tells me that going to the ground and trying to cover up is not a viable tactic. Far better to retain your upright stance and if down, get back on your feet as soon as you can.

When I was a teenager in the 1970s Kung Fu had just taken off but it was still considered cowardly to kick during a schoolyard scrap. That old school thinking is no longer valid and probably never was of much use outside the schoolyard at any time in history. Today, more than ever, you need to be alert and aware. And if you are going to have a few drinks, try and pick a partner who handles their booze at least as well as you do, preferably better.

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