Monday, July 28, 2008

Sentence Fragments Are Not Names

Haven't been.... I am starting to resemble a broken record when I say "Haven't been around for a while," so I decided to scratch that intro. I will just cut to the article I am wrote:

"Fish and Chips" and "Number 16 Bus Shelter," what would you call these? sentence fragments? Things? Objects? If you guessed any of those answers you would be dead wrong, because they are names for children chosen by parents! I'll let that sink in... ... ... Yes, that's right, the names of children.

In a recent Yahoo news story, the use of absurd and ridiculous names for children has angered a New Zealand judge to take action. Judge Rob Murfitt, of family court in New Zealand, renamed a young girl who had been given the name Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii (No word of a lie, that was her real name). She has been renamed, but the court is keeping her new name confidential to protect her privacy.

The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name. It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily.

Personally, I do not understand what could be going through the minds of the parents who agreed to name their child this-I-won't-even-repeat-it-because-it's-so-ridiculous name. Some people just do not seem to have the sense to raise children. I believe that these two parents fall into this category. I cannot understand how they would think that this name would be a suitable name to give to someone. Were they high on drugs? People like this do not deserve to have children.

No parent in their right mind would cause greater burden to be placed on their own children by giving bullies and such an easy target. On the other hand, I also would like to know if Talula, and the other children, had their names registered on birth certificates. If they did, I think it should be illegal to name someone in such a way. I am all for open expression, but in the case of a child's name, since they have no say about what they are called, the parents should show some restraint in 'expression.'

Some of the names in the Yahoo story and just plain pitiful. 'Sex Fruit,' is an actual name given to a child. If a parent could not comprehend that this name would provide a hard life for their child, then they do not deserve to have a child. If they debated between "David, Peter, and all the other names in the English language" and thought Sex Fruit was the most fitting, then they should have a psychiatric evaluation. Even Gweneth Paltrow's daughter's name, Apple, is a more fitting name than 'Sex Fruit!'

If people are looking for fame and fortune, or looking to get on the Jerry Springer show, at the expense of their child, they really need to re-evaluate their priorities. If they actually thought, at the time, that the name 'Talula does the hula in Hawaii' or 'Fish and Chips,' were proper names then they need a straight jacket. There are too many people out there that find ways to belittle people that have absolutely nothing wrong with them. By giving them a clear target such as a 'unusual' name, the child's life would most likely result in ridicule. In the case of Talula, her lawyer stated:

The girl had been so embarrassed at the name that she had never told her closest
friends what it was. She told people to call her "K" instead

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

19th Century British India = 21st Century American Imperialism?

The recent news concerning Iran, the United States, and Israel is rather alarming. There is talk of an actual war brewing in the Middle East. Iran has been pressured to discontinue nuclear development which it says is for nuclear power plants. The United States on the other hand asserts that Iran is using its scientists to develop nuclear weapons. Within the midst of all this, Iran has 'supposedly' said that it wishes to wipe Israel off the map. With Israel, the wild card country, there is no telling what might happen.

Although I would like to believe that all nations involved in this dispute could come to some agreement, it does not seem like this will happen. With Israel's strike-first-ask-questions-after attitude, and the United States wishes to destroy 'terrorism' around the world, war seems to be on the periphery.

What I find most interesting, being a history major, are the parallels between 19th Century British Imperialist policy and the United States foreign policy at present. I was recently learning about Lord Dalhousie, who was the Governor of India working for the Honorable East India Company (EIC) in the mid-1800s. While he was in power, there were many rulers of smaller states within India which Dalhousie saw as corrupt. He wanted to annex these states, and place them under the governance of the East India Company. The only problem was the EIC had signed agreements with these rulers that the Company would not infringe on their sovereignty. Now Dalhousie had to find a loophole in the agreement that could justify invaded the previously mentioned states.

What Dalhousie schemed was to take over states if, for example the Maharaja of certain state did not leave an heir after he died. Dalhousie would take this window of opportunity and invade the state while the government was in disarray. For example, in the state of Jhansi, the Maharajah was older, but before he died he had adopted a son and married a young woman Laxmibai. When he died he left her in power until his son became of age. Dalhousie saw this as an opportunity and invaded saying he rejected the rule of the widowed wife.

Although this may seem like a history lesson, there is a point to be made. Do you see anything common between the policy of Dalhousie and President Bush's policies in fighting terror? The common element is that both used any excuse they could to invade and (officially or unofficially) annex a state. Dalhouse went on to annex another state called Awadh, while Bush has unofficially annexed Afghanistan and Iraq. Under false pretenses Dalhousie invaded the states of India and took control, while Bush has accomplished similar goals under the guise of the 'war on terror.'

My concern is that if a war is started with Iran, will it be because Iran strikes first? Or because Bush deems it necessary under the axiom of Iran's nuclear weapons program. Only time will tell. Although the cartoon depicted above is from 1898, it mirrors the world that, I think, Bush would like to see (with Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, etc. etc. placed under the watchful eye of the Bald Eagle as well).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Q: Why Haven't I Been Posting Articles; A: Fatal Error

Hi all,

You may have noticed that I haven't posted anything in a while. Well, recently I was bogged down with work which hampered my ability to take time to write a 'good' article. When I was actually NOT knee deep in paper, I switched my computer on to view a news site and then I saw the most horrible color... BLUE! That's right, I saw the 'The Blue Screen Of Death' for a split second, and then my computer reset itself and wouldn't start Windows XP.

I had never had any problems prior to this with my laptop (aside from the occassional overheating). Now it is gone away from a week or two, and with it my dissertation research!! Soooo.. sadly, I have to do my research all over again, and now I (once again) have limited time to write articles. I have already went over my allotted timelimit in writing this post. Wish me luck folks, I am going to need it during this trying time. I feel as if I have lost a piece of myself (and i think it's the good half : )


I had to publish the post before I got a chance to post the video I wanted yesterday... so without further adue, I give you one of my favourite songs (I know this may make me seem like a nerd) The Spanish Flea! It is the greatest combination of easy listening and music that can make you smile, if not laugh out loud. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Obscured Point of View: Being Enveloped in Party Politics

In the highly charged world of party politics tempers flare, and people seem to give into conspiracy theories a little too easily. Although I can understand that when an individual places a party/person on a pedestal they do not want to admit that they are 'flawed.' When a person chooses a political party they follow it almost religiously. Once they throw themselves totally behind a party they have trouble seeing anything outside that system.

For instance, Warner Todd Huston, of the NewsBusters wrote an article recently dealing with the shutting down of anti-Obama sites on Blogger. He states:

Yes, it sure seems that Google has begun to go through its many thousands of blogs to lock out the owners of anti-Obama blogs so that the noObama message is effectively squelched.

This is a blaring statement. So, apparently Google is turning into Fox News? I have a hard time believing that. Let's see what evidence he uses for his accusations. Well the only evidence he gives is a letter from Google to a blogger informing him that his site was going to be reviewed because of being identified as potential spam. Aside from that, he only lists the blogs which have been frozen/shutdown.

From this weak base, he also draws conclusions. He states that it is a big conspiracy concocted by Google to eliminate Obama opposition from the blogging world. He argues:

It turns out that there is an interesting pattern where it concerns the blogs that Google's Blogspot team have summarily locked down on their service. They all belong to the Just Say No Deal coalition, a group of blogs that are standing against the Obama campaign. It seems the largest portion of these blogs are Hillary supporting blogs, too.

Are these the only anti-Obama blogs on Blogger? I have a feeling that there are more blogs out there that are against Obama than just the ones that are a part of the Just Say No Deal coalition. The icing-on-the-cake comes in an update that he posts later. It states:

I have been hesitant to post this update because I cannot find a link to prove the claim, but it is starting to look like this Blogspot shut down of anti-Obama sites occurred because of a concerted effort by Obama supporters.

What they did was go to the Blogspot addresses found on the site of the NoObama coalition called Just Say No Deal and constantly hit the "mark as spam" link so that Google's Blogger would be flooded with spam warnings. This caused Google/Blogger to freeze the sites marked.

Apparently, this campaign merely took advantage of Google/Blogger's flawed system of finding spam blogs. So, it looks like what we have here is an Obama dirty trick to shut down political opposition. Looks like Obmatons aren't much for that whole democracy thing, eh?

So, I am confused. First he states that Google is this big bad entity which is seeking out anti-Obama blogs and destroying them. Now he states that his first suspicion was, well, slightly wrong. Now he argues that 'Obama supporters' flooded Google with spam warnings concerning the blogs in question. For me, that turns the whole article on its head. It is no longer Google that is in the wrong, but some Obama supporters that decided to abuse Google's spam identification system.

The most ludicrous argument he makes is towards the end of his update. Instead of dropping the conspiracy theory, he blames the Obama campaign for the shutdown. He calls it an 'Obama dirty trick' and states that the 'Obamatons aren't much for that whole democracy thing, eh?' Well, that is a blanket statement if I ever did see one. I can almost (I would say 98%) for sure say that the Obama campaign had nothing to do with this incident. It was probably just a group of teenagers (but I do not know for sure). Concerning this incident, you cannot say that all supporters of Obama are against democracy because of the action of a few!

This is a prime example of what happens when people become so enthralled in their political beliefs they are willing to connect the dots in any manner that suits their goals. If they want to portray Obama in a bad light, they will find a way. If they want to portray McCain in a bad light, they will find a way. People need to take a step out from underneath their blanket-of-beliefs and be able to see the situation for what it most likely is. An objective perspective is needed in all incidences (although I know it is hard to do so when the temper is running hot, or anger boils to the surface). In this situation it seems most likely that it is an isolated event. Just a group of people that abused Google's system. It is not a Corporate conspiracy to undermine the Just Say No Deal coalition. It is not a Barack Obama supported attack on anti-Obama sites. There is no conspiracy here if you just look at the facts.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bitter Sweet Canada Day for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians

Today is a happy and bright celebration for most Canadians, but for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians it comes as bitter-sweet. Although July 1st signifies the day when Canada was born it is also a day when many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians lost their lives.

On July 1, 1916, 801 members of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment fought in
that battle and only 68 answered the roll call the next morning.
This was a horrible tragedy for the then dominon of the British Empire and is remembered every Canada Day. So not only is it a day when Newfoundlanders and Labradorians raise their heads high in admiration of their country, but they also lower their heads in respect of the fallen soldiers who died on this day.