Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Monday, November 23, 2015

A yoga instructor who says her free class at the University of Ottawa was cancelled because of concerns over cultural appropriation believes the student union's issues are misplaced. Jen Scharf said she's been teaching a free yoga class for the university's Centre for Students with Disabilities, which is run by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, for the last seven years. When she checked back in with the centre in September, she said she was told by them the class wouldn't be happening because some students and volunteers were uncomfortable with the "cultural issues" involved.

According to investigators, a Russian mariner who drank half a liter of rum before work crashed a 7,000 ton, 423 foot cargo ship at full speed into the cost of Scotland last winter.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A new image has surfaced online of the bomb, hidden in a soda can, that ISIS claims was responsible for downing a Russian airliner over Egypt late last month, killing more than 200 people. The image, included in the latest issues of an ISIS magazine, shows a soda can and what explosives experts told ABC News are a blasting cap and an electric initiator. The ISIS magazine said the image showed "the IED [improvised explosive device] used to bring down the Russian airliner."

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Anonymous hackers collective is preparing to unleash waves of cyberattacks on Islamic State following the attacks in Paris last week that killed 129 people, it said in a video posted online. "These attacks cannot remain unpunished," said a man in a Guy Fawkes mask, speaking in French. "We are going to launch the biggest operation ever against you. Expect many cyberattacks. War has been declared. Get ready," the man said, without giving details of what the attacks would involve. "We don't forgive and we don't forget."

Friday, November 13, 2015

Planes were grounded at a Paris airport last weekend, after a comedy of errors emanating from software underpinned by the ancient operating system, Windows 3.1.


HARRIS-PERRY:HARRIS-PERRY: "I want us to be super careful when we use the language "hard worker." I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work really looks like. But in the context of relative privilege, when you talk about work-life balance, the moms who don't have health care aren't called hard workers. We call them failures. We call them people who are sucking off the system."

To me, it sounds as though Melissa is displaying images of slavery or drudgery in her office to remind herself of what hard work really and truly looks like. That's a bit like hanging images of rape and ------- to better illustrate the true nature of human sexuality. Whatever her logic might be, it's difficult to respond without first pointing out a few things that most people will find screamingly obvious. So let's do that.

First of all, slavery is not "hard work;" it's forced labor. There's a big difference. Likewise, slaves are not workers; they are by definition, property. They have no freedom, no hope, and no rights. Yes, they work hard, obviously. But there can be no "work ethic" among slaves, because the slave has no choice in the matter.
Workers on the other hand, have free will. They are free to work as hard as they wish. Or not. The choice is theirs. And their decision to work hard, or not, is not a function of compliance or coercion; it's a reflection of character and ambition.

This business of conflating hard work with forced labor not only minimizes the importance of a decent work ethic, it diminishes the unspeakable horror of slavery. Unfortunately, people do this all the time. We routinely describe bosses as "slave-drivers," and paychecks as "slave's wages." Melissa though, has come at it from the other side. She's suggesting that because certain "hard workers" are not as prosperous as other "hard workers," - like the people on her office wall - we should all be "super-careful" about overly-praising hard work.

I suspect this is because Melissa believes - as do many others - that success today is mostly a function of what she calls, "relative privilege." This is fancy talk for the simple fact that life is unfair, and some people are born with more advantages than others. It's also a fine way to prepare the unsuspecting viewer for the extraordinary suggestion that slavery is proof-positive that hard work doesn't pay off.

Obviously, I don't see the world the same way as Melissa, but we do have something in common. Like her, I keep a picture on my office wall.

That's me, squatting next to the most disappointing toilet I've ever encountered, preparing to clean it out with a garden trowel. I keep it there to remind me of what happens when you need a plumber but can't find one.

It's also a nice reminder that a good plumber these days has a hell of a lot more job security than the average news anchor. (With respect.)


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