Monday, September 10, 2007

Ted Byfield Saves The World From Education, Again

Once more, Ted "Socialists hiding in my truss" Byfield has turned his unique journalistic, um, gifts to the subject of public education, which is apparently the main reason why all Canadians live today under the oppressive boot of Liberal Humanism.

This week Ted is onto the threat of publicly-funded Islamic schools, just like in New York where Khalil Gibran International Academy threatens to teach Muslim kids such subversive Arab (sorry... A-rab)killing skills as algebra and astronomy.

A brief synopsis of Canadian educational history: Canada became independent in 1867, not through revolution but through paperwork. Part of the deal was support for public schools, with an option preserved for specifically Catholic schools. You know... Catholic schools, the ones where Frank Zappa immortalized the female students. You can find them in lots of places, not just Canada. There's a bit of a debate going on in Ontario, where there's an election campaign, involving the financing of Islamic schools, just like they do Catholic schools.

I've fished out the tastiest peanuts from Ted's latest column... put on a bib:

"The most telling argument against Tory's proposal -- that this would mean publicly subsidizing Muslim schools where wild-eyed imams could urge young males to donate their lives to Allah by blowing up buildings and murdering their fellow Canadians -- could not, alas, be invoked. How bigoted this would sound. How intolerant, how insensitive, how illiberal -- even if true.

So if you can't call attention to the Muslim peril, even if there is one, then what peril can you call attention to?

Obviously, to the Christian peril, even if there isn't."

Just like CNN, Ted hasn't quite grasped the notion that public schools have a curriculum that is generally steered by a public school board. Again: public. So if blowing yourself up is taught in an Islamic public school, the same subject can be taught anywhere else. Likewise, if some of those Liberal dupes on the board decide that teaching Pipe Bomb 101 is against the public interest, it won't be replacing Chemistry class any time soon.

So I suppose if there is not a "Muslim peril" it's fair that newspapers don't make a fuss about it. But Ted's proclamation that neither exists, therefore he'll complain about the Muslim portion, is unusually fair-mined for our Mr. Byfield.

I'm pretty sure I saw sabretooth-tiger tracks in my yard last night, so I'm going to sit by the window with my shotgun. You never know... they could have really been velociraptor tracks... and we all know from recent events what a menace dinosaurs can be.

Another thing Ted's right about: worrying about non-existent threats is a waste of time. Worrying about them and then making up another one to justify it, though... that's a hobby. Except most hobbies don't waste as much newsprint as Ted's does.

I myself went to a public school... but many of my dates came from Catholic school. Whether it was the inherent logical paradoxes of orthodox Catholicism that made those girls skeptical of what they were told about chastity, or whether teen hormones trump doctrine, or whether is was just those little plaid skirts making me try harder, is beyond me.

The point here is that those students at that school didn't really turn out any different than I did. As a matter of fact, it's been my experience that raising a child in a doctrine-intensive environment is as much a recipe for turning them against those principles as it is for making them into little dogma-bots. It seems that God implanted everyone with at least a little capacity for independent thought, and some tiny fragment of irony.

Everyone, that is, except you Ted. Of course, I doubt that your kind of blinkered, reactive hostility to new ideas was what God had in mind when he shoved your ancestors out of the trees, a couple of million years back.

"I have learned silence from the talkative,
tolerance from the intolerant
and kindness from the unkind.
I should not be ungrateful to those teachers."

-Khalil Gibran

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