February 14th, 2010

hat lasso

violence for violence sake

I knew what Battle In Seattle was about. I usually get why protesters protest, even when I disagree. And especially when I do agree. But I don't get yesterday's anarchism protest against the Vancouver Olympics

While the Olympics are political in nature, as Munich 1972, Moscow 1980, and LosAngelas 1984 made quite clear. But a kidnapping, assassination, or boycott is usually directed directly against one country that is seen to offend. The protest here was against the entirety of the games itself.

And I totally get that an Olympics has and gets infinitely more attention then a G-7, G-8, G-20, Bilderburg, NATO, etc meeting. But it would seem to me that an Olympic protest has inverse relevance. The Olympic committee is not making global policy decisions or economy, arms, agriculture or anything that matters.

There are a bunch of valid criticisms of VANOC. Maybe the VANOC shouldn't have torn down 1,100 units of welfare housing (even though they didn't meet fire, health and safety codes). Maybe they ruined the natural environment. Maybe native lands should have been given more compensation/ recognition then they have received.

Protest organizer Ms. Westergard-Thorpe informs that one of the protesters' goals is to “disrupt VANOC's image control.” With a billion people tuning into the games this disruption is certainly embarrassing. But why? To what end?

I can grasp their self-justification of vandalism being non-violent... er, that people themselves are not meant to be physically harmed. Still spray painting cars, smashing windows, and throwing stuff can hurt people, even if unintentionally. More so then say... hosting a sit-in demonstration, hunger strike, or letter writing campaign. The re-routing of the torch relay was controled gracefully by Olympic organizers and police.

Still I don't get the message. Violence for violence sake? Attention seeking whores do not earn respect, or tanish the IOC's image. They only degrade their own image. the ideas conveyed publicly in the paper don't justify the measures taken Cheer for a Rawanda upset if you want. I'll even join you on this. But please, use some common sense.

Separating education from government

This site has the following announcement:
Welcome . . .

to the Alliance for the Separation of School & State!

The brightest future for education begins here.

We believe parents, and not the state, should be in charge of their children's education. That control may take many forms and levels of involvement, but the state will never be part of the picture.

If this seems like an impossible idea, consider that 8 million children already learn free of state control. We're not starting from scratch here. The snowball of educational independence is already rolling.

I'm all in favor of keeping politics out of the education process. I'm also in favor of keeping religious fundamentalists out of the public school system. If I had a child, I'd want her to attend a public school that is safe where she doesn't have to worry about some flat-earther putting her pig tails in the ink well or burning her homework assignments.

Are you in favor of keeping school children safe from the children of religious zealots?

BTW, the founder is pictured with a Chitrali hat, a piece of garb favored by Afghan Islamists.