Why Is Big Science Pro-Death?

first_imgBig Science and Big Media support abortion and assisted suicide for no scientific reason.What Trump’s US Supreme Court pick means for women’s health (New Scientist). To understand this headline, one needs to understand that “women’s health” is not about pap smears or cold medicine. It’s code for abortion. So is “women’s healthcare.” So is “reproductive rights.” Now we can understand what reporter Christina Cauterucci is talking about. She makes it clear further down, anyway; the whole article is about abortion, scaring readers about mean old Republicans who might restrict it.Neil Gorsuch (pictured), US president Donald Trump’s nominee for the vacancy on the country’s Supreme Court, is a consistently conservative judge who would enter the court at a critical moment for reproductive rights.Though Gorsuch, a federal judge on the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, has never ruled on an abortion rights case, his record shows him to be hostile to women’s healthcare and willing to give broad leeway to institutions that want to discriminate against them….Anti-abortion advocates believe Trump and his pick will lead their fight to overturn the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, a strong, if imperfect, safeguard of abortion rights. A recent report from the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York found that 22 states would be likely to roll back abortion rights immediately if Roe were overturned.Abortions in US drop to lowest level since 1974 (Medical Xpress). This article pretends to be a balanced presentation about statistics. Why, then, does the first photo of “anti-abortion activists” show them lying on the ground in a “die-in,” their placards unreadable in the distance, but the second photo a picture of enthusiastic protestors with T-shirts and signs clearly reading, Protect Abortion Access, United for for Abortion Coverage, My Decision, and the like? Look carefully for bias, and you will see phrases about states “that protect abortion rights” spoken of favorably. In fact, abortion rights (loaded words) appears five times, but “pro-life” only once, in scare quotes. Elsewhere pro-lifers are described as “anti-abortion” or “anti-abortion rights” activists.Women’s access to birth control and abortion fading under Trump (New Scientist). This is another fearmongering article about mean old Republicans wanting to “discriminate” against women who just want the freedom to kill their babies. “Faced with the prospect of losing control of their reproductive rights,” one sentence begins. Doesn’t the unborn baby have any rights? Is not the right to life the first right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence? Half the unborn babies are females who, once aborted, have no reproductive rights at all. What’s this doing in “New Scientist” anyway? Where is the science? Where is the logic? This article goes far beyond journalism, too, by advocating resistance against Trump and his policies.Abortion rate halves if women have to go extra 100 miles (New Scientist). Despite what pro-lifers may think, this is not a celebration. It’s a lament. For instance, “because some healthcare providers were forced to stop offering abortions, some women could not get the services they were seeking,” Chelsea Whyte reports. Services? Since when is killing a human being a service? Try that logic on any other form of life-taking: because some gun stores were forced to stop selling guns, some hit men could not get the weapons they were seeking. Whatever does this have to do with science, anyway?Official abortion rate declined in Texas after law restricted access to clinics (Science Daily). This is another article pretending to share statistical information about causes and effects without bias, but the bias is there: the Texas law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges to hospitals presented “substantial evidence of negative effects on women’s access to care,” the article says. Care? What kind of logic calls killing a human being “care”? And why is this on “science daily”?More providers of safe abortion care can save thousands of women’s lives (Karolinska Institute). This has to be one of the most illogical headlines in recent memory. Abortion kills women in the womb: baby girls, that is, who will become women, along with baby boys. “Unsafe terminations claim tens of thousands of lives, particularly in the poorer parts of the world,” the press release says. So is the solution to kill even more? The death toll is the same or higher with abortion than without it. Why not tout the ideal solution? Improve prenatal care, so that mother and baby can live happily ever after.The Big Science culture of death doesn’t stop with abortion.Doctor-assisted suicide could save Canada up to $139 million each year, Alberta study suggests (National Post). Sharon Kirkey writes, “Doctor-assisted suicide could save Canada tens of millions of dollars annually by avoiding costly ‘end-of-life’ care, according to a provocative new analysis.” Medical ethics just had a heart attack. If society starts putting a price tag on human beings, watch out. The slippery slope has no bottom. No pressure, Grandpa, but you’re costing us a lot of money….Update 2/08/17: Nature published an article about the miracle of child development. Claire Ainsworth writes,Life starts with a puzzle. Out of sight in a mother’s womb, 3 billion letters of DNA code somehow turn into 3D bodies, all in the space of a mere 40 weeks. Fetuses form eyes, brains, hearts, fingers and toes — in processes that are meticulously coordinated in both time and space. Biologists have pieced together parts of this puzzle, but many gaps remain.Juxtapose that wonderful insight into something horrific: Planned Parenthood hosting pizza parties and giving out awards to center that increase their quota of abortions. Believe it or not, that’s what some ex-employees have revealed about what goes on at these death mills (source: Truth Revolt). And do you know the name of the worst serial killer in US history? It’s Kermit Gosnell, the abortionist who was imprisoned for the filthy conditions in his late-term abortion clinic. A book about this mass murderer is near the top hardback best seller, the publisher claims in a story on Breitbart News – yet the New York Times refuses to list the book in its best seller list.Update 2/09/17: Who could possibly be in favor of sex-selection abortions? The practice not only is profoundly anti-female, but has led to dangerous gender imbalances in China and India, where families often prefer males. Why, then, is Medical Xpress appalled at an Arkansas bill that would ban sex-selection abortions? The article favorably quotes an ACLU lawyer who says this: “Any law passed about an abortion performed pre-viability under the current law is unconstitutional. It doesn’t matter why. It doesn’t matter the method. There is very good potential for litigation because of this burden on women obtaining abortions that they want for whatever reason.” Such a statement borders on insanity, because it will certainly put a ‘burden on women’ in utero, a burden of death! Yet no pro-life rebuttals can be found in this article by Kelly P. Kissel. She writes of Republicans as obstacles out there who have an ‘”agenda” to restrict abortion.If Big Science cared about “science,” they would support the pro-life position. A fertilized egg has the full complement of human genes for a unique person, and given the chance, will carry out its embedded program all the way to birth and adulthood. The “product of conception” might be the next Beethoven or Einstein. What gives anyone the right to decide if it lives or dies? How dare they? What if someone had decided that for you when you were in the womb? We’ve previously recommended watching the testimony of Gianna Jessen who survived a saline abortion.We have to cringe at New Scientist’s mention of “Roe v. Wade, a strong, if imperfect, safeguard of abortion rights.” By common legal consensus, Roe v. Wade was a terrible decision, legally speaking. It invented a “right” out of thin air. The Constitution’s authors would be appalled. So now Trump wants to get an originalist justice on the Supreme Court, who will render decisions based on the plain meaning of the text as interpreted by the authors. Isn’t that a cause for celebration?The last article (above) about assisted suicide is very troubling. Years ago, Rod Serling produced a memorable episode for his series “The Twilight Zone” called “The Obsolete Man.” A dictator enjoyed making decisions about which citizens were useful to the regime, and which were obsolete. At one point, he determined a librarian was obsolete, and told him he would be terminated (YouTube). The librarian calmly read Scriptures as the timer counted down the time to the bomb that would kill him, as the dictator panicked at being found locked in with the victim (YouTube). Narrowly escaping, he recovered his composure until the Council decided he was obsolete for shaming the state with cowardice, whereupon he turned into a crybaby, calling out for mercy, blubbering “I’m not obsolete! I want to serve the State!” The council closes in on him, chanting, “obsolete! obsolete! obsolete!”  (See full episode on Vimeo.) Is this not what our culture does to generations of persons yet unborn?Recommended resource: On Evolution News and Views, Wesley J. Smith frequently writes about assisted suicide and other issues of medical ethics, anti-humanism, human exceptionalism and other topics of bioethics.(Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Peace clubs for safer schools

first_imgStudents working together at a peace camp. (Image: Jennifer Stern)Jennifer SternWhile a large number of South African schools are exemplary centres of learning, it’s a sad fact that far too many are underfunded and overcrowded places where little learning takes place, and levels of violence are far too high.For this reason, the Quaker Peace Centre (QPC) and Western Cape Education Department (WCED) have launched a number of initiatives to promote peace in the province’s schools.One of these is the Safer Schools Project, launched in early to help increase security at schools, restrict the access of people who are neither students nor staff to school premises, and facilitate conflict resolution training.But, that doesn’t solve the root of the problem, says Avril Knott-Craig of QPC.“You’ve got 62 children in a classroom, it’s 32º outside (and probably hotter inside), they’re bored, and their hormones are running rampant,” she says. “It’s a recipe for disaster.“When you’re bored, you make little spit-balls out of paper and shoot them at the teacher. You take the chewing gum out of your mouth and stick it in your neighbour’s hair, and they retaliate, and before you know it, it’s a free-for all and someone gets hurt.”In July 2008, 126 people, including teachers and students from 17 schools and representatives from the WCED, the QPC and the Safer Schools Project attended a two-day Peace Indaba in Cape Town in July 2008.The event, which was run as part of QPC’s Positive Discipline Project, was intended to workshop ideas on how to make schools in Cape Town safer and more conducive to learning – both of academic subjects and positive life skills.A large part of the problem, says to Knott-Craig, is that violence is an integral part of school culture.“While corporal punishment is technically illegal, teachers grew up in an environment where it was considered normal, and they have no other way of disciplining overcrowded and unruly classes.”Martin Struthmann, the manager of QPC, agrees. He describes the culture of violence he experienced as a teacher in a Mitchell’s Plain school in the 1980s.“The teachers spent the first few days of term making canes. Before the children arrived, they’d buy hosepipes, bamboo, sticky tape and stuff from the hardware store and make canes. It was part of the school culture.”One of the many educational reforms introduced by South Africa’s new democratic government after 1994 was outlawing corporal punishment.“Hitting children is against the law in terms of the Children’s Act, and the South African Schools Act,” Knott-Craig says.“Teachers can be dismissed for using corporal punishment. The National Education Department says they are going to implement it but they don’t. They can’t. The cane is the only way some teachers can discipline classes. Corporal punishment was outlawed and then nothing was put in its place.”And that’s what QPC’s Positive Discipline Programme is all about. Knott-Craig joined QPC when the Peace Education Programme wanted someone to write a manual on positive discipline for teachers. Shortly thereafter, the programme focus changed to concentrate mainly on positive discipline.“I’ve always been against corporal punishment,” Knott-Craig says. “I was never punished in this way as a child.  I taught in difficult schools in the eighties during the boycotts and all that. And I never used corporal punishment. It’s not necessary.  I’m not special, and if I can do it anyone can.”While not wanting to trivialise the problems inherent in many schools, Knott-Craig wanted to showcase the schools that were not dysfunctional.“The media was highlighting dysfunctional schools,” she says. “But the good schools needed to be acknowledged. There were lots of schools in the Graslow [Grassy Park and Lotus River] area doing great development work. There were many schools that could showcase good practice. Other schools could learn from them. Schools could share what was working.”Knott-Craig and an ex-colleague, Greg Vlotman, who is now the principal of Sid G Rule Primary School in Grassy Park, were the motivating force behind the idea. They received eager assistance from Glen van Harte, the District South curriculum manager of WCED.“His big thing was arts education,” Knott-Craig says of Van Harte. “He believed that arts education would reduce the violence in schools.”The key to discipline, she says, is curriculum design and delivery.“Where there is interesting work being done and [the students] are stimulated and challenged, there is no time to find mischief. If you can engage the learner you have a much greater chance of success.“So we need to look at the bigger picture. Curriculum, management, ethos, culture of the school – all these issues. It’s what schools decide they will or will not tolerate. “All the schools that were sharing the good practice didn’t have serious discipline problems,” she continues.“They had disbanded their discipline committees. The teachers were doing really creative peace education in the classroom. One teacher had built a Zen garden and, when the learners got angry, she’d tell them to go play in the Zen garden and think about why they’re angry, and calm down.”It’s certainly a new take on standing in the corner, and it’s probably more effective in the long run than a good clip on the ear.The next step in the initiative was peace camps for students, the brainchild of Geraldine Goldblatt, Central District curriculum adviser for the WCED.“Goldblatt said she wanted to run a non-violent camp for learners,” Knott-Craig says. “She’s done a huge amount of research into curriculum material that deals with the history of violence, and how we can use it to teach children about non-violence.Goldblatt was given the go-ahead by Mackie Kleinschmidt, the Central District curriculum manager, with the WCED funding the camps and the QPC providing free facilitation.The camp was held in Glencairn, with 60 students and 30 teachers from 11 schools attending. And it was not limited to so-called “problem” or “township” schools. Rhodes High School in Mowbray and Westerford, one of Cape Town’s top academic schools, also attended.Knott-Craig admits she had a secret agenda – she was hoping the camp would spread the idea of peace clubs.She had previously met Stan Jarvis, a teacher at Heideveld High School, which was situated deep in the Cape Flats. Jarvis had attended Knott-Craig’s positive discipline course, and had started a peace club at Heideveld.In May 2008, when xenophobic attacks rocked Cape Town’s townships, Heideveld High’s peace club members asked Jarvis to organise a workshop on xenophobia to understand the violence. So Knott-Craig, Struthmann and Caroline Rakodi, from the UK, joined Jarvis for a one-day workshop with the theme What makes us African?The answer that came out was, “The thing that makes us all African is the fact that we are all different.”“It’s our diversity that makes us all one,” says Knott-Craig, smiling.She didn’t have to do much work on her secret agenda. The students who attended the camp chatted to the Heideveld High peace club members, and decided they wanted peace clubs at their schools, too. So they started planning them then and there.“They have so much fun,” she says. “They do interesting things. They were attending the peace jams and meeting Nobel laureates.” Peace jams are events organised by Nobel peace laureates who travel the world for a year engaging young people on matters of peace building.“The teachers are so motivated. They involve them in so many things outside the curriculum. Through the British Council, they got linked up with Rivers of the World [an arts programme organised around rivers]. They select eight rivers, and one was the Liesbeek. Some of the peace club members went to London.”Soon after that the second indaba was held at Heideveld High, with many of the same players.One area in which Knott-Craig came up against some resistance in the planning phase of the camp and the indaba was the idea that teachers and students would participate on an equal footing. But she pushed for it.“I think they have something to offer and must be seen as part of the solution not the problem,” she says.“[The teachers] could not believe the profundity of what the learners had to say. They had good ideas – they challenged Glen [van Harte] and he took them seriously. It was right to have learners involved. Adults tend to speak for young people instead of letting them speak for themselves.  And,” she adds, smiling, “teachers are the worst.”While the Non-Violent Schools Campaign is a joint  project jointly of QPC and WCED, it is intended to be self-sustaining.“The peace clubs need to be sustained by the teachers and learners,” Knott-Craig says. “We will run programmes, for example, training in diversity, Alternatives to Violence Programmes and/or empowering workshops for young women. But they are their clubs. They have ownership of their clubs. QPC is just the engine that runs it in the background.“My dream actually is that eventually the camp, the indaba, the peace clubs are all run by the schools and we all become redundant. Once that’s happened I’ll feel that we’ve achieved something.“But ultimately, if change is going to come it’s going to come from the bottom up not the top down,” she says.  “I haven’t found the quick fix, but I am handing over to the learners. I believe in their idealism, and their ability to think outside of the box.”With a laugh she adds, “They haven’t even found the box.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesEducation in South Africa Tutu, De Klerk to children’s aid Education is the winner Learning through gaminglast_img read more

Literacy Charter promotes children’s right to read

first_imgNal’ibali, South Africa’s national reading-for enjoyment campaign, is pushing for children’s right to become literate citizens by distributing its Children’s Literacy Charter to hundreds of schools and libraries across Gauteng.The importance of reading has once again been highlighted by , the national- reading-for enjoyment campaign, when it introduced the Children’s Literacy Charter to many schools and libraries throughout South Africa on 31 October.On 31 October the organisation joined Gauteng’s education department and library service in ensuring 1 000 schools in the province that have libraries – full or partial libraries, or just classroom libraries – have a copy of the poster displaying the charter.The Children’s Literacy Charter outlines key experiences children need to help them learn to read and write.Launched in March 2014 ahead of World Book Day, the charter sets out 11 rights such as reading for pleasure, access to reading material, and encouragement to read. Over the months some 10 000 copies of the charter poster have been distributed at early education centres, schools, libraries, literacy organisations and Nal’ibali reading clubs across the country.Freely available in all 11 official South African languages as a poster or download, the charter serves as a guide for adult caregivers, their children’s first teachers, to do what they can to put the conditions and resources in place to ensure all children have equal access to their right to become fully literate citizens.Members of the public are encouraged to download a copy in any language from the Nal’ibali website.READING AND WRITING IN DAILY LIFEAll 11 rights have been developed out of sound evidence from research, input from the South African public, literacy organisations and experts – as well as from the children, reading club facilitators and volunteers who attend Nal’ibali’s network of more than 300 reading clubs in six provinces across the country.“All children deserve the opportunity to become fully literate citizens,” Righardt le Roux, Nal’ibali schools and public library coordinator, said at a handover event at Venterspost Primary School in Westonaria on Friday. “We need to ensure the conditions that allow children to use reading and writing meaningfully in their daily lives and for personal satisfaction are put in place. Thus, we have developed the charter as a guide to the essential literacy experiences children need to help adults achieve this.”He added that partnering with the Gauteng Library and Information Services and Education Department was an important step for Nal’ibali, allowing them to reach even more librarians, educators, adults and caregivers in their mission to grow a culture of reading for enjoyment in the country.Koekie Meyer, the director of libraries and archives in Gauteng, said: “We as library services are proud to partner with Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa and Nal’ibali – success at school depends strongly on literacy skills, and, only if a nation is literate, can it be truly an informed and democratic society.”EXAMPLES OF READING RIGHTSInspiration: Children of all ages need people to read to them in ways which inspire them to want to read for themselves. Family members at home, teachers in their classroom and librarians at local or school libraries should read aloud to children regularly,Access to material: Children need to easily be able to find a variety of reading and writing materials in their immediate environment. They need access to a large selection of story, and other books; whether these are owned, or borrowed from school and public libraries close enough to where they live. They also need to be surrounded by environmental print in languages they know and understand,Encouragement: Children deserve to have all their attempts at reading and writing celebrated by the adults in their lives and to be encouraged to continue to extend their use of written and oral language. On their journey to becoming literate, children will sometimes get things wrong and sometimes get them right. This, together with encouragement, is how we all learn.last_img read more

NBA and players’ union pushing for wearable tech on the court

first_imgInternet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#Motus#NBA#wearables center_img Ryan Matthew Pierson Related Posts Reports out of the tentative negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NBA and players union indicate that a wearables committee is set to be formed. This committee made up of NBA officials and representatives of the players will determine how and where wearable technology will be used to track and record player biometric data.This move is intended to reduce the number of injuries and overexertion issues that players experience throughout the season. Playing your best players throughout most of the game is a good idea on paper. After all, shouldn’t you put the players that score the most in the game?In practice, this doesn’t work out very well at all. As the season goes on, prolonged exertion and intense workloads take a toll on the players. Top names like LeBron James and Kyrie Irving end up sitting out key games to rest. If there was a way to track these player’s exertion levels, the coaches would be able to better manage the team’s time in the game in order to improve player longevity.What about long-term player health?Another important factor to consider is long-term player health. In a recent report in Undefeated, the Retired Players Association is discussing additional screening for retirees after a series of deaths involving young former professional players.As of right now, biometric trackers are banned in the NBA as part of its equipment regulations. However, this committee would enable players’ representatives to work out a new agreement to enable their use in the court.This data would provide a valuable insight to players, their trainers, and their medical team(s). This technology is already approved for Major League Baseball players. These teams use a system called Motus.Meanwhile, the NBA, NHL, and NFL continue to ban these devices during games… for now.last_img read more

NBA All-Stars Chris Webber, Jack Sikma, Paul Westphal among 13 Hall of Fame finalists

first_imgView comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Read Next Sikma, who helped Seattle to the 1979 NBA crown, averages 15.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game over 14 NBA seasons and is the only center to be the most accurate free throw shooter in a season, hitting 92.2 percent in 1987-88.Webber was a star at the prep and college levels, leading Michigan’s “Fab Five” to the US college “Final Four” in 1992 and 1993, then jumped into the NBA and averaged more than 20 points for nine consecutive seasons.Westphal helped Boston win the 1974 NBA title and averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 assists over 12 NBA seasons.In addition, the Hall of Fame announced it’s 2019 lifetime achievement awards would go to Del Harris, who has coached at all levels of the sport in a 50-year career, and Harry Glickman, who helped create the Portland Trail Blazers.Harris became the first foreign coach to guide the Chinese national men’s basketball team, where future NBA star Yao Ming was among his players.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations LATEST STORIES Eight players, four coaches and 28-year NBA referee Hugh Evans were among those advanced forward from screenings committees to the full selction committee. Finalists need 18 of 24 votes for election into the Hall of Fame.Inductees will be announced in early April with enshrinement September 5-7 in ceremonies at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesOther NBA finalists include five-time All-Stars Sidney Moncrief and Marques Johnson, four-time Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace and eight-time All-Defensive First Teamer Bobby Jones.Also on the list were two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch, all-time winningest high school coach Leta Andrews, top college coaches Eddie Sutton and Barbara Stevens and five-time Women’s NBA All-Star Theresa Thompson. Pelicans dump GM Dell Demps after Davis ‘dumpster fire’ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town FILE- In this Feb. 12, 2007, file photo, Detroit Pistons center Chris Webber (84) shoots in front of Los Angeles Clippers forward Tim Thomas (2) and guard Shaun Livingston (14) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich. Webber is among 13 finalists for enshrinement later this year into the Basketball Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, File)Seven-time NBA All-Star Jack Sikma and five-time NBA All-Stars Chris Webber and Paul Westphal were among 13 people named Friday as finalists for 2019 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.Candidates were announced as festivities began in Charlotte, North Carolina, ahead of Sunday’s 68th NBA All-Star Game.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga townlast_img read more