September 28, 2005

Random Noise presents: Random Noise from the not so distant past.

My original intention was to write several different items. However, the topics are old news. For me they represent topics/ideas that I should have written about when they first popped into my jumbled mind. In the real media world they would probably be considered ancient. But alas, I thought I should at least throw them out there for (mainly my own) amusement. The Unfortunate Side of the New NHL As I impatiently wait for the return of the NHL, excited by the rule changes and the new look, I can't help feel some sadness with a particular outcome. While the league sports a new salary-cap, which was implemented in the wrong way no matter how overdue, the after affect is that teams have to become younger, or at least cheaper. In the process the league has unintentionally (I assume) the retirement of some of the league's greatest players who were still making impacts. Among the list of players to prematurely retire are Vincent Damphousse, Scott Stevens, Al MacInnis and Mark Messier. These are players that were still having an impact on the game. While they were not tearing up the ice like they once were, they at least were still out-performing some younger, cheaper players that have plagued the league since Bettman brought in the massive expansion. What is most unfortunate is that these players didn't get to end their careers on their own terms. The respect these players earned through their accomplishments, accolades and leadership should have afforded them the right to go out with a bang, but with the lockout and the new economic system, these players, especially the couple that are certainly hockey legends, are just gone from the scene. This is truly disappointing and unfortunate. Crowded ERs: How about a dual system? The crazy idea that popped into my head was that we should create an idiot-proof system that essentially dictates who can and cannot go to the ER. to do this you have to set up a dual-system. On one hand, hospitals would keep their ERs for critical patients. People who are have heart attacks, strokes, missing limbs, small rodents climbing through their digestive track, etc. would have access to ERs at hospitals. These are the people ERs were built for and it would be returned to them. On the other hand, non-critical patients would have to go to the '2nd-class' ER. These would be based in close proximity to hospitals and would cater to those who have minor injuries. Those that have small cuts needing stitches, minor breaks, gas, cough due to cold, etc. would attend this facility and be seen by their own understaffed team of specialists. The best way to figure out which facility they need to attend would be decided by a quick phone call to Tele-Health Ontario. This would give it the traffic it needs to make it justifiable to keep it running The idiot-proof part comes in the form of kicker. While this next part may betray my leftist sensibilities, it could be useful as well. If a non-critical patient were to check themselves into the real ER and wait for days to be seen, but is eventually seen, then they would get a fee... no, a fine. It would have to be an amount great enough to make people think twice before going to the critical ER with a non-critical injury, but not so high that people have to sell their limbs in the event that they do. Whatever money is collected would then either be put right back into the budget of the hospital where the patient checked themselves into or it would just generally fund the dual system. Reconsidering Separate Schools (x2) After some reflection about my post concerning the separate black school in Toronto it occurred to me that another solution that should be considered is an alternative stream within current secondary schools as opposed to separate schools. This is not an original idea. My former high school had special Aboriginal-based programming. While this was not a stream that students had to specifically sign-up for to achieve their diplomas, it was programming outside of the norm and was setup with a specific goal. What the Toronto District School Board could do is develop a stream based on the current curriculum with a few changes for those students wishing to take part. Teachers could get specializations, something they essentially have to do now, in areas such as black-based social studies and humanities, so that they could effectively deliver such education to those students that need and want it. Students could then opt into this stream and would have to meet special requirements to graduate. The goal would be to stem the disenfranchisement of black youth in the school system without 'segregating' them. In addition to this I would also set up the same system for religious education in the public system. There is no need to have a separate Catholic system within public education. It is not only a waste of resources and public money but also discriminatory. Why should the government fund through public dollars a system that is closed off to the majority of students in the system and does not allow for non-Catholics teachers to work in. I realize that the Catholic boards are not supposed to disallow non-Catholics to attend or work within their system. But let's be honest, they do just that. And how can we continue to justify allowing a publically funded Catholic system but turn down proposals for other religious groups? What the Catholic system amounts to is a publically funded private system. It would be more effective and less discriminatory if the system was shut down and given streams within the mainstream system. one final partisan shot before I go... Tom DeLay is finally facing the full circle of karma. He has been indicted for conspiracy to launder money, or something to that effect. The comment he gave when questioned about the charges, "This act is the product of a co-ordinated, premeditated campaign of political retribution, the all-too-predictable result... led by a partisan fanatic." It's funny that the statement he chose to give bascially describes his own political career and the indictable incident he was (supposedly) involved in.

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Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)

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