Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" ... and, untendered plane contracts

Two thoughts today.

1) HT to Crystal Ocean:  I've heard of appealing to "The Base" (which, ironically, is also one of the rougher translations of Al Qaeda).   But if these numbers from Angus Reid about what people think about evolution in Canada, the US and the UK are correct then our education system -- or at least the one they have "out west" -- is going to hell in a hand basket as it has in the states, and it has major ramifications for the central government's research funding councils and what could happen if election trends continue the way they are; unless we insist that reason will guide our faith and not the other way around.   And more importantly, that reasonable people lead our country.

In other words, the "base" being appealed to is that which wants to so manipulate our education system that it leads long-term to desired voting results rather than the free reasoned choice it ought to be.

Last time I checked the Bible, it said "'Come now, and let us reason together' saith the LORD" (Isaiah 1:18).   It does not say "“Faith is not a product of reason … Believers are not to be led by logic. We are not to be led by logic. We are not even to be led by good sense.”  That, by the way, is Kenneth Copeland.

For the record, I think evolution is the most plausible explanation for God's creation.   Intelligent design, as it's whitewashed called nowadays, is anything but intelligent.

What is really surprising is that support for the theory of evolution is highest in those parts of Great Britain that are generally among also the most religious -- anything outside of London and in Scotland and Wales.   But even London (58%) rated higher than Alberta (51%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (50%).   Can't tell from the poll if Northern Ireland was surveyed but I would suspect that this is something that Catholics and Protestants would agree with also.   But that's also still better than the States, where just 47% nationwide think evolution is the correct explanation.

Great Britain ... they actually get it more than we or the Americans do.   Hmm.

2)  The Liberals are trying to get the Defence Committee reconvened to get the government to explain how the pending purchase of the next generation of fighter jets -- 65 Lockheed Martin F-35s -- got untendered.

Our fleet of F-5s (or as we classify them, CF-116s) and F-18s are in woeful need of replacement and we need to start the process ASAP.    But one of the principles of a huge purchase of this nature ($9 billion up front, plus another $7 billion for maintenance over the anticipated lifetime of the planes) is that there should a tendering process.   We just don't "design build" unless it's a toll road (which is a provincial jurisdiction in any case).

As now MP and former Capt. Marc Garneau (Canadian Navy -- Ret'd) has pointed out, we just spent $2.6 billion to refurbish the F-18s to keep them airworthy until 2017.    Was that just a make work project to get the Conservatives votes; or to "un tin hat" it, was it value for money?

Given the world we live in nowadays where terrorists can strike any time and anywhere, we just can't slap things together, building a deep sea port here and doing bit work contracts there.    If we have an integrated forces (with army, air force and navy under a unified command) we need all the pieces working together.   We also need to make sure that if we have to make foreign purchases that we don't get skunked over -- no matter who's in the corner office in the Centre Block.

For my part, I personally continue to support a concept proposed by Jean Charest way back in 1997 when he ran under the PC banner:   a "rapid reaction force" of 10-15,000 of our best men and women from all three branches, knowledgeable in each other's capabilities, with the best equipment and able to move out on 48 hours notice without any foul-ups.    And of course, backed up by the very best equipment -- following a proper sourcing process rather than feeding the friends that bite you (and that's not a misprint).

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there;
I think the difference is not in the religion, but the sect. The Catholic church doesn't take issue with evolution. I have seen clips of priests saying that it works just fine in the non-literal world of the bible. The Anglican church doesn't take issue with evolution. That is the terrain of the born-again christian, or fundamentalists, or pentacostals.... the newer, american-born sects.

Interestingly, there is no educational requirement whatever of the parent to home-school their child in Manitoba.