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Comment: Re:All establishments act in their own interest (Score 1) 79 79

A small, ineffective, mostly powerless part

What? The NDP is the official opposition! And not doing all that badly in the polls! Tom Mulcair has pledged to bring in proportional representation if elected, if you want something that "actually represents Canadians".

I'm not affiliated with the NDP in any way (I've voted for them once out of about five elections), but Mulcair has impressed me.

Comment: Re:Troubling (Score 4, Insightful) 79 79

Tom Mulcair was on the CBC yesterday, and I have to say (as a non-committed voter who has voted NDP, Green, Liberal and --in a sad episode of my youth-- some Family somethingorother anti-abortion party) that I like the things he says and the way he says them. No hype, no theatrics, just intelligent arguments and thoughtful principals.

With Harper, we will get a precipitous slide into government by the rich, for the rich; with Trudeau, a gentler slope but the same trajectory. I truly believe that Mulcair will try to roll back some of the encroachments on individual rights and liberty, and actually start us headed towards environmental responsibility.

Is it possible that Mulcair will fall victim to the same hubris and vested interests as other politicians? Of course. But why not start out with at least a little hope for positive change?

Comment: Re:Call me old-fashioned .. but you took out the l (Score 1) 1032 1032

I was in a very similar position. Went to school at the University of Waterloo 1981-87 (took one year off in the middle), co-op engineering. My parents helped pay until I started work terms, then I paid my own way. I even ended up with money in the bank when I graduated. Tuition was, I think, about $800/semester or $2,300 in 2015 dollars, about 1/3 of what it is now.

Of course, my lifestyle fitted my income. I was below the poverty line (I earned about $9,000/year, I think, and that covered living and education expenses). No car, very little partying, fast food about once a week, ate at home the rest of the time. No girlfriend, either. Partly because I was a shy nerd in engineering, and partly because I couldn't afford to do a lot of social things to meet girls.

I got into the habit of comparing the money I had to the things I wanted, and being brutally careful about living beyond my means. That continues to this day. The only loan I've ever taken was the mortgage on my house.

Comment: Re:My best manager (Score 1) 146 146

I think it was someone at Google who described the two types of managers:

  • 1) Shit funnels take the shit that is coming down from above, and channel it onto their underlings
  • 2) Shit umbrellas protect those under them from the shit that is raining down from on high.

Fortunately, my manager is a shit umbrella.

Comment: Re:Demonizing for fun and profit (Score 1) 408 408

Bad analogy. If you truly believe that a baby is a living human being before it is born then the intentional destruction of that life is murder, just like if you killed the baby after it was born. Accept the first premise, and the second logically follows.

Comment: Re:Good luck with that. (Score 1) 408 408

Yes, GST is certainly charged for anything you bring in over your duty-free allowance ($200 or so, depending upon how long you were outside Canada).

And cars have different restrictions. You have to be the owner of a car in the U.S. for a certain length of time before importing it to Canada (and perform certain modifications, like making sure that the headlights automatically go on when the car is running).

Comment: Re:Who keeps posting this garbage? (Score 1) 613 613

A society that "beats down" people who are accused but not convicted of being "pervs" (keeping in mind that if you yourself have a sex life, you are likely doing things that would have been considered perverted 50+ years ago) is on its way to savagery. The rule of law, imperfect though it may be, has allowed us to emerge from feudalism.

Comment: Re:Who keeps posting this garbage? (Score 1) 613 613

That Reddit thread was thousands and thousands of women writing about their own experiences. I mentioned how the person closest to me immediately confirmed that this was her experience too.

Do something for me, would you? Ask five women who are close to you if they agree, and come back and tell us how they responded. If their first experience of being viewed sexually was positive and empowering, then good because we need to hear more stories like that to balance the negative ones.

But so far all you are just doing is denying that the problem exists and demanding incontrovertible proof in lieu of participating in a constructive dialogue.

Comment: Re:Who keeps posting this garbage? (Score 1) 613 613

In some ways we all live in fucked-up societies. In the U.S. they lock up millions of people, often for minor offenses, and execute many of them. You only have to go as far as the history of residential schools for natives in Canada to see how many lives were destroyed, even in the "enlightened" 20th century. Europe had a couple of little wars you might have heard of, there are still millions of people in slavery around the world, and we may have permanently fucked ourselves by boosting global temperatures and CO2 levels.

The point is not who we can blame, but what we should do. Becoming aware of a problem is the first step towards solving it.

Comment: Re:Who keeps posting this garbage? (Score 1) 613 613

Not at all. I myself am a middle-aged man in STEM (chemical engineering degree, working as a software developer) and I neither harass nor rape people.

Rather, I was saying that often the problems that many women face are invisible to men, and before concluding that there is a problem, the OP could ask women he knows and trusts if they have faced harassment or worse.

There are a couple of posts from women who say that they have not had to deal with harassment and assault, and it makes me very happy to think that it's not a universal -- maybe not even a majority -- experience.

Comment: Re: Who keeps posting this garbage? (Score 1) 613 613

I was responding more to his (I assume) aggressive stance that there was no problem with sexism. I pointed out that, in society at large, many people also don't see serious issues that women (or, in this case, mostly 12-year-old girls) face. Yet even though they don't see the issues, those issues are very real for a lot of people.

The AC was not trying to engage in a debate, but to shut down anyone who raises the issue. Just go back and look at the language.

Comment: Re:Who keeps posting this garbage? (Score 5, Insightful) 613 613

I would have thought the same too, not long ago. I don't think I've ever seen a woman being cat-called or made to feel uncomfortable by men simply because she's a woman. After all, I live in decent parts of Ontario.

Then a thread on Reddit asked women when they became aware that they were being seen/treated sexually. Most of them were 10-14 years old, and they were being verbally and physically harassed by much older men (sometimes 4-5 times older). Someone compiled the women's ages.

I asked my SO about it. She also grew up in a quiet, relatively safe Ontario town. She confirmed that the same thing happened to her starting around age 12. When she was working in a market, around age 15, middle-aged men would wait until she was walking with big trays of food (and therefore couldn't protect herself) and grope her breasts and ass. This was common, and none of the other people around would say or do anything to help.

So just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not happening. It usually happens specifically when the girls have no one around to stand up for them. Talk to some of the women around you, and get their stories. Maybe things have changed, but I thought they had already changed in the '70s and '80s and I was wrong.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"

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