About Ann Coulter and the University of Ottawa

25 03 2010

The media is blowing this up right now and everyone is leaving out bit of information as per usual.

Let’s get some things straight:

Ann Coulter, Right-wing American Pundint, was invited by the Conservative students group at the University of Ottawa to speak publicly.

The Provost of the university sent Ann an email warning her about free speech laws in Canada, which differ from those in the U.S.

On the day of the speech, large crowds filled the lobby outside of the small room in which Ann was supposed to speak. The police said that they would not be able to ensure her safety because of the size of the crowds. The decision was left to Ann and her body guards whether or not to follow through with the talk.

The University of Ottawa did not cancel Ann’s speech.

Ann’s body guard cancelled the speech.

Was it right to shout down Ann and prevent her speech from happening? Not really, though, protesters have the same rights to yell what they want as Ann has to say what she wants.

Ann Coulter seems to me to be a highly paid actor. She says things that she knows will seriously upset people because it gets her attention and therefore, it gets her money. This aside though, she should still be allowed to speak. By disallowing this, protesters at the University of Ottawa have given themselves a bad name. We saw the same things happen to a number of protesters in Copenhagen in December. Lets not paint them all with the same brush though. Ann Coulter does not represent the majority of the right. Loud and rambuncious protestors do not represent the majority of the left.

Thanks to the Ottawa Citizen for writing an in depth article explaining this issue. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Organizers+university+cancelled+Coulter/2721580/story.html

No thanks to the Toronto Star for skimming and skewing. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/785037–coulter-s-right-to-free-speech-defended





Bisphenol A; It’s Everywhere

23 02 2010

Now here is something I find quite troubling. The Washington Post has run a 2 page article not on the hazards of Bisphenol A, but the incredible difficulty in removing it from our goods. This chemical is proving more and more dangerous as it is tested year after year. It has been officially banned from use in baby bottles in Canada due to its high risk nature for babies.

One very prominent area of use for this product is in the plastic coating that lines the interior of tin food cans. The scary problem though, is that this chemical has been incredibly ingrained into our manufacturing processeses over the past 60 years. As companies try to reduce and/or eliminate BPA from their food  they are having trouble even locating the source of BPA. Additionally, they are having trouble finding a suitable replacement.

How do we get to a point that we use a dangerous chemical to such large extents that we can’t even find out where it is coming from anymore? It certainly doesn’t help that manufacturers have the right to NOT disclose to their clients whether they use BPA in their products.

Just one more reason for purchasing fresh foods rather than processed food in a can.

Original article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/22/AR2010022204830.html?nav=rss_email/components 





South China Tigers in Danger of Extinction

10 02 2010

This is pretty wide spread news already I know, but might as well publish it here too. The Wildlife Conservation Society has recently estimated that there may be only 50 South China Tigers left in the wild. The tiger population in general is diminishing worldwide with an estimated 3500 of the large cats left (This from Treehugger). National Geographic puts that number as low as 2500. Habitat destruction and fragmentation is the main cause of this disappearance. That is, development either entirely replaces, or cuts large swaths through the habitat of the tigers thereby displacing them or disrupting their hunting environment making it difficult or impossible for them to effectively cath and eat prey. Poaching is also a major problem with much of the demand coming from the makers of traditional chinese medicines that use tiger parts as main ingredients.

I’m not often one to write about endangered species because generally, I think people know what is giong on, they just pretend to be too far removed and careless to do anything about it. But on the issue of tigers specifically, it would truly be a shame, not just ecologically, to lose one of the most beautiful creatures on earth.





Westbury Phone Booth Library

30 11 2009
Phone Booth Library from: Treehugger, 2009

Treehugger posted this little gem today on their website about a town in the UK called Westbury-sub-Mendip, which was about to lose its last remaining classic red telephone booth. So what do the citizens do to save this historic (be it very small) structure? They turn it into a book exchange. The concept is a simple as it comes. You bring a book that you’ve read and exchange it for one you haven’t yet read. The honesty system applies. This fantastic idea both reuses the old booth, but also encourages the reuse of books. Nothing wasted here.

From: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/11/phone-box-becomes-library.php





A Quote…

27 06 2009

“We cannot simply be against our current world, we must be for a better future.”