Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Pakistan Blasphemy Laws

Posted: January 1, 2011 in Atheism, News, Politics, Religion
Tags: ,

Pakistan currently has a set of laws dealing with the area known as blasphemy. To put it bluntly, you can be executed for saying negative things about religious beliefs. Such laws really are an affront to rational thinking and open debate; to protect such notions with what amounts to state sponsored death threats is truly barbaric. It would be akin to having someone executed for saying they think whale hunting is a good thing; it does not matter if they are right or wrong, they have every right in the world to voice their opinion.

In good news, Pakistan is looking to relax the blasphemy laws a little though the Government denies any plans to remove the death penalty component. That has still angered a few people and it resulted in everyone’s favourite peaceful activity; riots (because everyone knows the best way to get your point across is to go destroy stuff in the street. Great thinking).

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The United States of America has the questionable honour of possessing one of the worst educational systems in the developed world.  One of the worst aspects of this system is the policy known as ‘No Child Left Behind’.  At the core of NCLB is the idea that if a school does not perform up to standards then funding to it is reduced.  This, even to the most dense of people, should set off all manner of alarm bells in peoples heads.

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educationI have commented before how the previous Australian Federal Government had little to no clue about how to run an effective education sector (here, here, here, here and here).  Sadly it would seem that the current Federal Government is just as bad, trying to introduce measures which are, to say the least, expressly counter productive to the desired goals.  Julia Gillard has come out and said that schools will be compared to each other and the results published for the public to see.  Why is this a bad idea? Why will it only cause problems?  Read on!

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censorship-smallFor those who may have missed it, the Australia Federal Government are currently trying to introduce mandatory internet filters to the entire country.  Ignoring the technical side of things, which in themselves are ludicrous, the ethical and democratic arguments certainly bury the idea for any sort of rationally thinking person.

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This fruitcake, ironically, has no nuts in it

James Bidgood is a member of parliament for the Australian Federal Government and over the past couple of days, it has been shown that he grip on reality may be tenous at best.  The first scandal he has been involved in involved him taking a photo of a protester about to set himself on fire and sold it to the media.  Now that by itself might be a minor story about expectations of Politician’s behaviour but far from real actual news of any real note.  But it now seems that Bidgood is no stranger to odd behaviour as reported by The Australian, where Bidgood is on record as stating that the World’s current financial troubles are the direct work of the Judeo-Christian God.  That’s right, Yahweh has entered the stock market game and he’s pissed!

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eb_oxford_23_23Earlier I had noted about (here and here) a rather odd Australian Senate Inquiry about supposed bias in Australian Universities, which claimed they were part of (for lack of a better term) a conspiracy to further left wing agendas.  That Senate Inquiry has now dismissed itself and stated that the whole things was pretty much a waste of everyone’s time.  This is hardly a surprising turn, as anyone involved with Australian Education could tell you.

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This image has a lot of wasted space. Like the VIT itself.

There is a government created organisation in the area of the world where I live called the Victorian Institute of Teaching.  This entire entry is merely an exercise in pointing out how entirely unnecessary and generally useless the group is, serving no useful service and instead only acting as a waste of resources for actual teachers.  So what does the V.I.T. do and what does its existence mean for teaching professionals?

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