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The reality of Bill C32

Posted by on 25 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: Education, tech

Much has been said about Canada’s proposed bill C-32, except for one thing:

The digital lock provisions aren’t for stopping or slowing piracy, they are to force consumers to pay multiple times for the same thing.

They don’t want you to be able to rip a CD you already own onto an MP3 player. They want you pay again for the digital version.

Your kid dropped your MP3 player into the toilet? Too bad those digital files are now locked to your drowned player, you’ll have to pay for those songs again.

Today’s copyright law gives us the right to do many things. Bill C-32 is intended to remove those rights and force us to pay more money. Please contact your nearest non-Conservative MP and tell them they should not support the digital lock provisions of bill C-32.

The real reason why women don’t stick with breastfeeding

Posted by on 16 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: Education, Reviews

There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that breast milk is better than formula, yet many women don’t stick with it long enough.  After fathering 2 children myself, I’ve found out why.

Breastfeeding isn’t easy.  It’s very draining to women to have to continually be attached to their child.  A bottle takes significantly less time to feed.  You can be done in 10 minutes versus 30 or 40 on the breast.  Bottle feeding is also easy because everything you need to know about it is printed right there on the can.  With breastfeeding, help doesn’t come so easily.

The formula industry may have millions of dollars in marketing money to push their cause, but the breastfeeding advocates are able to use their positions in the health care industry to promote their side.  Unfortunately, they are taking their positions for granted.  Rather than build a supportive environment for new mothers, they use lies, misinformation and bullying to promote their cause.

The lies begin at the initial “howto” classes.  This class is taught by a “professional” who spends more time telling you how the formula industry is there to take your money than how to actually breastfeed.  They also tell you how magical breastmilk is as the mother gets feedback from the baby as to what nutrients it’s short on and the breast will then take that feedback and add those nutrients in.  Unless you believe in telepathic communication, you’ll know this to be false.  Once I heard that, they began to lose a lot of credibility and I wasn’t sure that I could trust what they were saying.

Of course, they don’t tell you everything at that class either.  They intentionally leave out a few key points so that breastfeeding won’t sound too bad.  They don’t tell you about the milk fever, and they don’t tell you that breast milk doesn’t contain vitamin D.  In fact, the lack of vitamin D is a serious problem as it is the main cause of jaundice in babies.  Our first child had really bad jaundice.  The billibed wasn’t available for us to use so the only advice they gave was to put him in the sun for a while.  This is rather difficult to do in February.  It wasn’t until we ran into a pediatrician and asked him about the jaundice that we were told about the vitamin D.  I’m not sure whether they misinformed us out of ignorance or malice.  Maybe the “lactation consultant” isn’t qualified enough to handle jaundice issues (despite the fact she’s supposed to be a nurse). Maybe she didn’t want breastfeeding to lose its magical wonder of suiting 100% of the baby’s needs.

So how else do they keep women breastfeeding? They bully and intimidate them.  Rather than trying to be supportive and objectively answer questions, they put women down if they ask about topping up with a bottle or using a soother.  This creates an atmosphere of fear between the mother and the lactation consultant which makes the mother reluctant to reach out for help.

Many of the other nurses in the ward don’t support what the lactation consultants are doing.  They believe that it is important for the mother to feel well rested and will actually respect the mothers wishes to not be woken up (well, most of them, we had a bad experience with a lactivist nurse ignoring instructions for child #2). They understand that there is more to raising a child then having it eat a single way.  They understand that the mother’s mental health is also important, otherwise we’d have more mothers drown their babies in the bathtub.

Until the pro-breast-feeding people stop creating a wall between them and new mothers, people won’t try to get the proper help that they need.  It’s just easier to switch to a bottle if you’re having problems.

So how did babies in the past survive without formula?  They didn’t.  Many of them died.  If you look at infant mortality rates over time, you’ll see a steady decrease.  Of course, you can’t credit formula for much of this, but the deaths caused by malnourishment have significantly decreased.  Couples used to have 10 kids and hope that 5 of them would make it out of infancy.  Now most of them survive so we don’t need to have too many spares.

5 Quick Solutions to the Early French Immersion ‘problems’

Posted by on 26 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: Education

5 problems and solutions about EFI

Problem: EFI classes don’t have special education kids or kids with behavioral problems. This creates an unfair advantage to EFI kids who don’t have to deal with unruly classes.

Lamrock’s solution will reduce the number of special children from 4.3 to 3.4 per class. His idea is that dilution is the solution to pollution. This still won’t actually do anything to help the special education kids. Nor will it change the problems associated with Ritalin.

Solution: Address problems with integration. Instead of having special classes for special students, parents have sued school districts because they were unable to accept that their precious little snowflakes were “different”. This caused them to be put into regular classrooms where they no longer have an opportunity to receive an education that’s tailored to them. Instead of treating the special education students as pollution, put the proper resources in place to ensure they have the proper support. There’s no reason they can’t go into EFI as well as long as they have the proper support.

Problem: EFI causes “streaming”

Solution: So do a lot of other things, but they aren’t cancelling those. They still offer level 1 classes in high school, and even LFI “segregates” students. If streaming was so bad they’d get rid of it everywhere.

Problem: Not every student continues on with EFI if they are having problems. They transfer into the English program with the “dumb” students.

Solution: Now that students can’t fail, ensure they get the same resources in EFI as in the English program. When I went through EFI in the 1980s, some kids repeated the year, yet stayed in EFI. They just need to ensure that newer methods for dealing with slower students get adapted universally.

Problem: EFI isn’t universally available in all schools, it isn’t available in poor, rural areas.

This isn’t caused by EFI, it is caused by education levels of the parents. Poorer people typically tend to not value education as highly as more wealthy people. People in rural areas also tend to have more labour intensive jobs where having an education isn’t as important. This causes EFI to only be available in urban and suburban areas.

Solution: This is a tough one that may not ever get solved. It doesn’t just impact EFI, it affects the entire education system. It is also a major cause of the rural/urban divide. Bussing students to a different school will help, but it isn’t alwys ideal, especially if the next nearest school is many kms away.

Problem: EFI isn’t always followed through at the high school level.

Solution: It all depends on your definition of EFI. In High school, all you get is 1 course / semester that’s available in French. The problem is that students need to be prepared for post secondary school. Universities require certain grade 11 and 12 courses to be passed before you can enroll. If you stop EFI at grade 10, then test at the end of grade 10, you’ll have a higher success rate. Keep the same courses open in grades 11 and 12 for refresher courses for students who don’t need the history classes for University.

All facts and figures came from articles linked to the Save Early French Immersion in Canada’s “Bilingual” Province Facebook Group