Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Police And Prejudice - Part 1

I recall as a young child being at school mixing with people of the same ethnicity. Sometimes if they got annoyed over something, I was told that I wasn't welcome in this country and to go home where I came from. I was informed that immigrants took jobs off locals. We are talking small children here.

I mentioned it to my mum because it happened quite often. She said that they had learned it from their parents as they wouldn't know about the job market. Unemployment was very low at the time anyway I found out later. In other words, it was really dislike of immigrants with differences such as accents. They learned this prejudice at home listening to their parents.

There are prejudiced people in every society and ethnic group. Some seem to feel certain races are more prejudiced than others but there is no genetic predisposition to prejudice that I know of. It is a learned thing, and humans seem to be easily influenced by it once taught to feel that way. Some countries have a culture of prejudice more than others.

In America if a black person is shot by a white officer, it IS racism. Recently in Ferguson, Missouri this is what happened. Eyewitnesses saw Michael Brown running away and being repeatedly shot in the back. Apparently he had stolen cigars and then walked down the road blocking traffic. This drew the policeman's attention to him. At some point a struggle ensued as the youth tried to wrestle the gun off the officer. The policeman sustained a broken eye socket and all the bullets he discharged went in to the front of the assailant, not his back as these eyewitnesses claimed.

Michael was 190cm and more than 130 kilograms, so the officer had a problem as the actions of Michael would indicate substance use as well. It seems he was a policeman doing his job and was put in an impossible position. I am not endorsing the use of firearms. Armed police are a sign of a violent society.

A poll taken showed 43% of black Americans would not say the killing was unjustified. The unrest and looting without any true facts of the case was disgraceful and opportunistic. Innocent shop keepers bearing the brunt of it all. Overwhelmingly black Americans are honest, hardworking people. A minority use such events to air grievances about their dissatisfaction with life. I feel sorry for the officer and his family. Of course the family of the victim too. However, the negative assumptions going around against police and white ones especially shows deep seated prejudice. I wouldn't want to live in America, the land with a culture of prejudice.

Nice to see some tried to stop the mindless and disgraceful looting

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Parrot Came to Visit....

..but one of them isn't a parrot at all.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Silence Is Golden...For Some

A few years ago I took a plane flight across the Tasman Sea. The young lady who sat next to me never acknowledged me or made eye contact at any stage of the journey. At the end of the flight, we all stood up and took our bags out of the storage compartments above. However, there seemed to be some delay and we all stood waiting by our seats, unable to move into the aisle. There was a bit of talking between people travelling together but it was overall quite subdued.

The young lady next to me still uttered no word. She was not particularly attractive and young enough to be my daughter so no reason to think anything if I said anything to her. So I decided to test her stoicism, and made a comment about the long wait. Her eyes flashed at me and she had a look of offence that I would dare say anything to a stranger, even one who had shared a three hour flight with and now a small footwell space between seats. She said nothing and turned her back on me.

I looked around and there were all these people standing patiently, saying nothing. Looks on faces indicated impatience, but resigned acceptance. Most of all, they wanted silence. Fellow humans, who would never see each other again once having disembarked. Nothing to be lost in being civil, even making a comment to lighten the occasion.

The problem sorted, the travelers started filing out. Some courteously letting others go first, others just looking straight ahead. A short pause in life to observe human reaction in a confined space. There was no need to interact with someone you were forced to spend a journey with, so they didn't. I view that as a shame. It is the way things are.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Must Watch About Technology

I walk down the road and around town, and I see this so often. Wires hanging out of ears, no eye contact. People glued to small screens. People without a life....

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Silent Wind In Church

Bill and Mary were enjoying the Chapel service but about half way through the sermon, Mary let her mind wander. Inadvertently she let out some wind. Concerned of the unpleasant consequence, Mary took a pen and paper out of her purse, and wrote a note and handed it to Bill.

The note said:" I just let out some silent wind, what do you think I should do?"

Bill scribbled back: "Put a new battery in your hearing aid."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dead Crow Finding

Researchers for the Ministry of Transport found over 200 dead crows near greater Manchester recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was definitely not Avian Flu. 

The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts. However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the bird's beaks and claws. By analysing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with lorries, while only 2% with a car. 

Ministry of Transport then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills. He very quickly concluded the cause: when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. They discovered that while all the lookout crows could call "Cah", not a single one could call "Lorry."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Religious Horse

A man went to purchase a horse from a religious man. The reason why that was important was how the horse was trained. Before the man left with his horse, he was told that the only way the horse would run was by calling 'holy smoke' and it would not stop unless it heard 'hell's bells'. The seller did warn the new owner the horse was a challenge to ride.

The man took it home and couldn't wait to give his new mount a ride. He called out "Holy smoke" and the horse bolted. It ran so fast the man struggled to control it, despite being a very capable rider. Up ahead loomed a sheer cliff and the horse charged toward it. With all that was going on, he forgot what to say to stop it.

As the precipice drew close, the new owner frantically racked his brain for the essential phrase. Just when it seemed too late, he recalled it and shouted "Hell's bells". The horse screeched to a halt, and the wayward steed's front hoofs came to rest right on the edge of the cliff. The man leaned forward, then fell back in the saddle with fright. He sat slumped, and in a relieved tone muttered "Holy smoke".

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Dwarf's Medical Problem

A female dwarf goes to a doctor complaining of an embarrassing itch in the groin area. The doctor looks her up and down, picks her up and stands her on his desk. He lifts up her skirt and puts his head under. A little perplexed, the lady dwarf hears "snip, snip, snip, snip." The doctor emerges from under her skirt.

"How's that?" he says

"Well, it's a lot better actually, but..... it's still there."

Undaunted, he dives back under her skirt. "Snip, snip, snip, snip." Out he comes again. 'How's that?' he asks again more confident.

"That's wonderful! What did you do?"

"I trimmed the top of your Ugg boots."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Goat Visits

Our neighbours allow their goat to go wandering, and Toby (his name) duly obliges. He found our place and the grass seemed to his liking. We don't mind that but we are concerned that his taste may move on to the flowers and vegetables. So we took him home and his owners seemed not too concerned about his wandering. If he eats anything more than grass, he certainly will get on our goat.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Learning To Play Fair

At one point during a game, the coach called one of his 9-year-old baseball players aside and asked, "Do you understand what cooperation is, what a team is?"

The little boy nodded in the affirmative.

"Do you understand that what matters is whether we win or lose together as a team?"

The little boy replieded "Yes".

"So," the coach continued, "I'm sure you know, when an out is called, you shouldn't argue, curse, attack the umpire, or call him bad names. Do you understand all that?"

The little boy nodded again.

He continued, "And when I take you out of the game so another boy gets a chance to play too, it's not good sportsmanship to call your coach a dumb ass or something similar is it?"

The little boy shook his head.

"Good", said the coach. "Now go over there and explain all that to your grandmother!"