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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Wrong within normal parameters
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It's not the word's inaccuracy in some particular case that makes it sexist (every sexist slur out there is "descriptive" when applied to the right person). It's the pernicious, and discussion-ending, suggestion that the real explanation for a person's bad behavior isn't his choices, it's his gender.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:28 pm 
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Or, more accurately, how he relates to the other gender. Unconsciously and by default, usually - most guys I've seen called on that sort of behavior have the grace to at least act embarrassed. My favorite was when one of engineers decided to explain standard virology practices to our virologist. I was in the room when it happened so while her eyebrows shot to her hairline I smirked and asked, "Hey, virologist, what do you think of that?" and the engineer turned a rather interesting shade of pink.

This was the same guy who decided to set the agenda for a meeting I called, BTW. He knew I had one. He just wanted to high-jack it for some reason. Maybe he didn't want the developer of the product to teach him how it worked?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:15 pm 
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To get back on topic here, the province of Quebec had 2 referendums re. whether they should separate from the rest of Canada. Both times, the 'no' side won, but by a small margin.

I can't help but wonder what would have happened if the 'yes' vote had carried the day.

I didn't hear any rumblings from Ottawa about making sanctions against Quebec. If this had happened, though, I supposed the new independent government might have imposed taxes and tariffs on goods crossing the border. There was also some talk of a passport being needed to enter Quebec.

From my POV, it was likely a good thing for the province that the 'no' voters won. Quebec has had trouble attracting business from outside since it imposed its 'French only' language legislation in 1974.

I found their business practices very much behind the times when I was settling my birth mom's estate. It took more than 2 months to set up an estate account so I could access my mother's money, and pay the utility, maintenance and tax bills for her property, as well as my own travel expenses. The ongoing headaches her bank, the Laurentian Bank, is causing me just have me shaking my head in disbelief.

The closest Laurentian bank branch is in Ottawa. When I first set up the account, I was not allowed to do online banking, because it was an estate account. They have since changed that rule, but in order to transfer money from that bank to my own bank, I have to mail the head office a cheque, then wait for them to process it. Once it has cleared, then I can go ahead and set the account up to do online transfers.

I told my cousin, who used to work for TD bank, about this last week and he couldn't believe it.

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
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Last edited by Sunsilver on Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Dave_LF wrote:
It's not the word's inaccuracy in some particular case that makes it sexist (every sexist slur out there is "descriptive" when applied to the right person). It's the pernicious, and discussion-ending, suggestion that the real explanation for a person's bad behavior isn't his choices, it's his gender.


Well, yes, that's exactly what "mansplaining" means and why it is a sexist term. It is surprising that sexist terms are tolerated like that.

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-- Samuel Adams


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:51 am 
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Sunsilver wrote:
To get back on topic here, the province of Quebec had 2 referendums re. whether they should separate from the rest of Canada. Both times, the 'no' side won, but by a small margin.

I can't help but wonder what would have happened if the 'yes' vote had carried the day.

I didn't hear any rumblings from Ottawa about making sanctions against Quebec if this had happened, though I supposed the new independent government might have imposed taxes and tariffs on goods crossing the border. There was also some talk of a passport being needed to enter Quebec.

From my POV, it was likely a good thing for the province that the 'no' voters won. Quebec has had trouble attracting business from outside since it imposed its 'French only' language legislation in 1974.

I found their business practices very much behind the times when I was settling my birth mom's estate. It took more than 2 months to set up an estate account so I could access my mother's money, and pay the utility, maintenance and tax bills for her property, as well as my own travel expenses. The ongoing headaches her bank, the Laurentian Bank, is causing me just have me shaking my head in disbelief.

The closest Laurentian bank branch is in Ottawa. When I first set up the account, I was not allowed to do online banking, because it was an estate account. They have since changed that rule, but in order to transfer money from that bank to my own bank, I have to mail the head office a cheque, then wait for them to process it. Once it has cleared, then I can go ahead and set the account up to do online transfers.

I told my cousin, who used to work for TD bank, about this last week and he couldn't believe it.


Personally, I think the Quebec separatist idea is utter madness (or totalement fou). Quebec is able to maintain its unique French-Canadian identity because of Canada's bilingualism and the economic clout of the confederation as a whole. It is worth labeling your products in French to sell them to thirty-five million Canadians, less so to five or six million Quebecois. If Quebec seceded, Canada would almost certainly drop national bilingualism, and the Quebecois would rapidly find themselves needing to adapt to doing business with the three hundred million English speakers in North America in English. They would also be without the oil and minerals of northern and western Canada and Ontario's industry. The current arrangement gives Quebec the best of both worlds - economic integration with cultural independence.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:36 pm 
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I agree, Túrin! You would likely still be able to get French classes in schools - I mean, everyone should learn at least one foreign language in this day and age! - but I'm sure the official policy of bilingualism would be dropped.

The government seems to have pulled back on it a lot anyway, since Quebec adopted its 'French only' policy. The only place I see bilingual signs is in Ottawa, and on the military base here near Alliston. It's pretty much token bilingualism, though if you had to deal with the federal government, they are required to help you in French, if that's what you request.

I occasionally found it difficult to get service in English in Quebec, and often, the person's grasp of English left something to be desired. The worst thing was dealing with the hospital. Many of the doctors spoke French only, and when I FINALLY was able to talk to a doctor who spoke English, I got a COMPLETELY different picture of my mother's health.

I often took my mom's bilingual friend along to help translate, but since she didn't have a medical background, she didn't know what questions to ask, and also didn't know how to translate complicated medical terms into English.

The branch of the Laurentian Bank I had to deal with (Maniwaki) had ONE employee that was fluent in English! :roll: I can get by in French if I have to, but my hearing makes understanding it very difficult, especially since the Quebec accent is very different from what I was taught in school (Parisien French).

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:06 am 
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Things are heating up in Catalonia, so much so that it is actually starting to break through to the English language press.

Spanish police raid Catalan government to halt banned referendum
or
Catalonia: Spanish invaders abduct secessionist politicians

Quote:
Spanish police raided Catalan government offices and arrested officials on Wednesday to halt a banned referendum on independence, an action the regional president said meant Madrid had effectively taken over his administration. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the regional government offices in the center of Barcelona’s tourist district, waving the red-and-yellow Catalan flag and chanting 'Occupying forces out' and 'Where is Europe?' … A dozen high-ranking local officials were arrested, La Vanguardia newspaper said. The police confirmed they were carrying out raids connected with the banned referendum, but did not give details.


Boats of Spanish military police blocked by Catalan ports as unrest grows
or
Catalonia: Spanish invaders face resistance at ports

Quote:
Spain’s deployment of boatloads of military police to Catalonia to prevent its independence referendum hit obstacles yesterday as dockers in two ports announced a boycott and a third denied them mooring. More than 4000 members of Spain’s Guardia Civil are being dispatched to Catalonia amid concerns over divided loyalties in the autonomous community’s own police force, the Mossos d’ Esquadra. They are to be accommodated on four cruise ships — two in the port of Barcelona, one in Tarragona and another in Palamos. … The Assembly of Stevedores of the Port of Barcelona announced that workers would not provide any services to boats carrying security forces, a decision it said was taken 'in defence of civil rights.' Dock workers in Tarragona quickly followed suit. The Catalan government meanwhile denied permission to dock in Palamos — which, unlike Barcelona and Tarragona, falls under regional rather than national control.


How far is each side willing to go? Would Catalonia actually take up arms for independence? Would Spain actually take up arms to prevent secession?

We should know a lot more on October 1st, the day of the vote. If it happens, or even if it doesn't, it is a milestone.

And where does this fit on the scale of "good secession" or "bad secession"?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:53 pm 
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I can't believe I missed this one.

Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum, 2017

Shia dominated Iraq government, mostly known for mistreating Sunnis, is of course opposed. Also opposed is Iran and Turkey, worried about the reaction of their own Kurdish population. And the US isn't really in favor of it because the US tried to rebuild Iraq after breaking Iraq.

But in spite of all that, the Kurds have rather overwhelmingly voted to secede.

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-- Samuel Adams


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:34 am 
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It’s certainly getting much less attention than it should. I have to admit I’ve become wary of supporting or opposing different political movements in the Middle East. It looks like a free Kurdistan might be a more liberal, democratic and pluralistic state than its neighbours, but that could be wishful thinking. Still, if it is, I’d be willing to back it.

The obvious complexity is that Turkey, the country with the strongest opposition to Kurdish independence, is a NATO Ally. But in my view, Erdogan has picked his side through his rhetoric and domestic policies, and it isn’t ours.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:05 am 
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Turkey is a complicated question. Does being on our side mean that they're prepared to fight our enemies with us, for their own reasons, or that they share our ideas about a democratic society? And what are those ideas these days, anyway?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:41 pm 
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The Catalonians voted in spite of fierce resistance by Spanish police. The high turnout and high percentage of votes to secede leave little doubt as to the intentions of Catalonia. The police resistance leaves little doubt as to the intentions of Spain.

Long time enemies Iraq and Iran have held joint military exercises just outside Kurdish territory.

As I wrote before, the larger national entity rarely recognizes any form of secession.

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"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:08 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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I'll repeat what I said earlier - not much to say but I find this fascinating.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:05 am 
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Well it's happened. Catalonia has declared independence and Spain has declared Catalonia's parliament dissolved. Unless one of them backs down this will mean war.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:40 pm 
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I mostly get Brexit updates from following J. K. Rowling, but what's the deal with the Irish border?

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:32 am 
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of Vinyamar
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Here's how I understand it.

Basically, if the UK exits the EU, and hasn't negotiated trade agreements, then they would have to reinstate a hard border in the North. While that would ordinarily be just a pain in the neck (with over 300 border crossings), its much more serious in the North of Ireland. The open border is intrinsically linked to the Good Friday Agreement and the Power Sharing Executive. Simply put, the Republic of Ireland now has a say in the North. UK Citizens from the North are entitled to Irish passports if they wish them. Dual citizenship is the norm. In essence, much of the population of the six counties are dual citizens of Ireland and the UK. How can they be both in the EU and out of it at the same time.

So yesterday, it looked as if they had reached a solution. The North of Ireland would be set up so that all trade agreements mirrored those in the EU, thus ensuring that there would be no need for a land border with the Republic. However, the de facto upshot of that is to create a border at the Irish sea between the North and the Mainland UK. The Democratic Unionist Party had a fit, which normally wouldn't mean much because they are essentially an extremist group. However, due to Sinn Féin pulling out of the Power Sharing Executive (Long story) and Theresa May needing the DUP for a majority due to a disastrous election (Longer Story), the DUP now have the ability to bring down the government if they are unhappy.

And its not like this wasn't flagged as the obvious result of Brexit, but the campaigners chose to ignore it. Its a total Fustercluck.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:15 am 
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Thank you, that was a very clear explanation of something very complicated.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:08 pm 
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Yes. My goodness. I would have had trouble believing that level of short-sightedness from a government, except for the new reality here as well.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:44 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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Some more detail:

http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/the-dup ... 5-Dec2017/

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