Manitoba medical student expelled over 'pro-gun and pro-life' Facebook posts wins court ruling

(nationalpost.com)

A Manitoba medical student who was expelled after failing to satisfactorily apologize for his controversial views on guns and abortion has been granted a new adjudication of his expulsion. […] Rafael Zaki, a Coptic Orthodox student at the University of Manitoba who was supposed to graduate in 2022, posted three items on his Facebook page in February 2019. He was expelled in August 2019.

Expelled for posts on Facebook? This seems a bit excessive.

One year later, after losing two appeals within the university system, Zaki asked Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench to review the decision made by the University Discipline Committee. Zaki said he was expelled “for holding conscientious and religious beliefs that abortion is harmful.” […] The university, meanwhile, said that it must ensure professional behaviour and attitudes in order for its students to become doctors, and that Zaki was expelled for failing to reach that standard “even after numerous attempts … to assist (him) in remediating his conduct.”

That sounds … awful. "Numerous attempts"? The student wants to become a doctor. A doctor generally wants "to do no harm". Just because people at a university may disagree with the student's position does not mean that the student should be ejected from the school. University is a place to explore and challenge ideas, not run away from them.

Ken Champagne, the provincial judge in the case, found that there was a perception of bias and the university discipline system had failed to consider Zaki’s Charter rights to freedom of expression. […] “The decision is quashed,” Champagne wrote, calling it “incorrect and unreasonable.”

Glad the provincial judge can see through the absurdity.

Zaki’s posts received 18 anonymous complaints to the university and he was brought in for meetings with top faculty members. Zaki agreed he had written the posts and that they were unprofessional. He then made five attempts to write an apology letter regarding the posts, none of which were deemed satisfactory.

Five attempts? Why were these unsatisfactory?

“Your fifth apology lacked sincerity, as no evidence of any personal exploration or self-examination of any of your attitudes was provided,” the 2019 expulsion decision states, according to court documents. “Further, you continued to apologize for the impact your article had on readers, suggesting it was their fault for being offended.”

So … taking this to the next logical step, if nobody is allowed to say something that might offend people, we are all limited to "Hello" and "Yes, thank you". All other language can be deemed offensive depending on the repeatability of the recipient. What an absurd notion.

After Zaki sent his second apology letter, Ripstein sent him a letter saying it was “not clear to us that you have had any change of your opinion on sensitive topics,” and that the belief of the Progress Committee — responsible for student evaluation within the college — was that Zaki should be expelled. Three more times, Zaki sent in apology drafts.

“It is hardly surprising that they were all deemed insufficient, as the Progress Committee had already concluded Mr. Zaki should be dismissed,” the judge wrote.

Yeah … that's the Canadian "education" system for you. Guilty until proven dead.

The judge also found that the university discipline system failed to consider Zaki’s Charter rights to freedom of expression. […] “He would not and could not change his deeply held pro-life religious beliefs,” Champagne wrote in his decision.

I fail to see why this belief is so egregious that a person can be expelled. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree, freedom of religion and expression are — for the moment — still a part of the Canadian charter. Why is it so hard for people to agree to disagree anymore? Why must everything be black and white? Oh, sorry … truth and fake.

The walls that abound around thought will do nobody any good. Canada is moving very quickly into the arms of a very destructive ideology and there doesn't seem to be very many people who are standing up to say "This is absurd. Stop."

I sincerely hope that more people do stand up to the ideologues who have held the education system hostage for 50+ years and move the country back towards accepting people for who they are … regardless of whether they are "right" or "wrong" on various topics.

Taylor Owen: China's dystopian digital future threatens us all

(nationalpost.com)

The recent political and economic history of China’s high-tech industry is important to understand because it is also a story about the direction the world is going — toward a society of increased surveillance, social control and centralized industrial power. China is a canary in the coal mine of where our own technology is headed. The dystopia of the Chinese surveillance state should serve as a wake-up call for democratic reforms.

Indeed …

Advices for MYSQL optimization with heavy tables

(stackoverflow.com)

We have a cryptocurrency platform made with PHP (Laravel) and MYSQL, we had some MYSQL problems on last months because of our big tables (1million+ rows). Seems that MYSQL can't work with so many rows (if I have a "SELECT * LIMIT 10" with 10 users at the same time the MYSQL never respond any request).

Sounds like a table without indexes …

We fixed those problems by splitting those rows in two tables, one that is like a "backup" and one that is constantly used (with just some rows).

Umm … seriously? That’s unnecessary …

But for now we're facing a problem because our main table "Users" is being heavy (300,000 rows) and I don't think we can split this table, also don't think this is the best way to work.

300K is not “heavy”. It’s a tiny table compared to what MySQL can handle …

This is our first project and we do not have much knowledge on database technology, can you please give us some advice on how to solve this kind of problem? Should we migrate to other database like Postgree?

PostgreSQL can be misconfigured and misused just like MySQL. This doesn’t sound like a problem with the engine.

Our server is a aws 96core 185GB ram and it never hit 100% usage.

Oh … my … goodness. That’s … immense.

Why is it that crypto people have scads of cash to blow and little brains to solve problems with?

H.G. Wells' "World Brain" is now here—what have we learned since?

(arstechnica.com)

Between November 1936 and November 1937, H.G. Wells gave a series of lectures in Great Britain, France, and the US about the world's impending problems and how to solve them. The lectures were first published under the title World Brain in 1938, and they are sweeping in scope. […]

MIT Press has just issued a compendium of these lectures, along with related material Wells presented as magazine articles and radio addresses.

That’s about all one needs to read from the piece. The rest of it gets stupid pretty quick.

Review: Framework's lightweight modular laptop is a winner

(arstechnica.com)

To our surprise and delight, we feel that Framework made good on all of its promises—the Framework laptop is priced similarly to a Dell XPS 13, at nearly identical thickness, width, and weight. The modular bays operate well and strike us as likely to continue performing well over many years of use, and we've literally never seen an easier-to-repair laptop.

This would be a great next machine if a Japanese keyboard is available 🤐

Rex Murphy: Desecration of 48 churches is a national tragedy, yet government seems to care little about Christians

(nationalpost.com)

What I find rather inexplicable is that while our federal government is rightly attending to acts of discrimination targeting Jewish and Muslim worshippers, there is, as far as can be determined, no scheduled summit dealing with the current wave of destructive hostility directed at Christian worshippers.

This is something rather more than puzzling given that in a very concentrated period of about two weeks, Canada has seen a total of 48 incidents perpetrated against Christian churches, ranging from vandalism (paint on church doors, ugly graffiti) to their total destruction by fire. […] When there are nearly 50 Christian churches from coast to coast suffering everything from vandalism to full destruction, it is a huge national event that calls for extraordinary responses from both government and police forces. This is nothing less than a sustained, violent and hateful rampage targeting a particular faith. It is a bigotry of fire, not words.

With no aspersions whatsoever on the two faith summits dealing with prejudice against the Jewish and Muslim faiths, I suggest there is justification for a third one on the current wave of attacks against Christian churches, and how to deal with the affronts to their parishioners.

Amen.

The current crop of politicians in Canada’s federal government should all be fired and barred from running for public office ever again. It’s not just this issue that they’ve handled poorly, but just about everything since Justin Trudeau assumed power.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will need spectators, IOC says

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

The Beijing Winter Olympics, which start in less than 200 days, will need spectators to be successful, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday, the day the Tokyo Games kicked off amid empty stands due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We would like to have the international community there," said Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., who heads the IOC's coordination commission, overseeing preparations for the Beijing Games.

"We need very successful Games next year in Beijing. We really need that success for the sake of everybody … for keeping that light of hope really bright and open."

I am willing to endure another 250 days of this COVID crap if it bankrupts the IOC and ends the stupid Olympics once and for all.

Matt Gurney: Sorry Neil Young, Canada needs fighter jets and suggesting we don't is absurd

(nationalpost.com)

After first reading a letter signed by 100 prominent Canadians — David Suzuki, Neil Young, Elizabeth May, etc. — urging the federal government to skip spending tens of billions on fighter jets, I confess to a somewhat petty instinct: I wanted to mock it. And there’s certainly some stuff in there worthy of a bit of fun-poking. There’s a part where they note that fighter jets are “largely useless in responding to natural disasters, providing international humanitarian relief or in peacekeeping operations” and that they also won’t “protect us from a pandemic or the climate and other ecological crises.” Never send these signatories out to buy you a hammer. They’ll refuse on the grounds that hammers make terrible ice-cream scoops. […]

I don’t blame the signatories for their sticker shock. It’s a punch in the gut for sure. If anything, it’s worse than they know. (Don’t tell Mr. Young that our submarines are also running out of service life.) Unfortunately, as these signatories have started to realize and the rest of Canada will figure out shortly, we squandered an entire generation of unprecedented peace and prosperity, so convinced it would last forever that we never bothered getting even core national competencies right, as we’ve seen during this long era of COVID. Reality, alas, has intruded upon our pleasant national daydreams. And it’s going to cost us a fortune to get caught up in a damned hurry with where we are to have been all along.

Yep. Canada is quite good at forfeiting the responsibilities of the future for some pleasant words today.

Biden's Afghan blunder

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

Afghanistan is on the brink of catastrophe and it is U.S. President Joe Biden’s fault. By overruling America’s top generals and ordering the hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops, Biden opened the way for Taliban terrorists to capture more than a quarter of Afghanistan’s districts.

Now, the Taliban is pushing toward Kabul and the United States is looking weaker than ever. […] In a sign of what is to come, U.S. forces quietly slipped out of the base overnight after shutting off the electricity. The resulting security lapse allowed looters to scavenge the facilities before Afghan troops arrived and gained control.

[…] Biden’s approach entails effectively admitting that a terrorist militia has defeated the world’s most powerful military, and then handing Afghanistan back to that militia. This undercuts global trust in the U.S., jeopardizes Afghan and regional security and threatens to trigger a resurgence of terror worldwide.

Yeah … once again, this will not end well. The US — or China — will be called in to police the area after the next series of completely preventable terrorist attacks …

Tokyo to host Olympics under fresh state of emergency

(www.japantimes.co.jp)

The government plans to declare a fresh COVID-19 state of emergency for Tokyo, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. […] The state of emergency will be in place through Aug. 22, the sources said, adding that the government also plans to extend the emergency for Okinawa Prefecture until Aug. 22. […] The quasi-emergency for Osaka, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures is set to remain in place until the same date.

No surprise there.

The decision to put the capital under the state of emergency will have a dramatic effect on the Tokyo Olympics, set to kick off July 23, likely forcing the government and organizers’ hands to ban spectators from the event.

They should just throw in the towel. The vast majority of people who chose to answer many of the recent polls regarding the stupid Olympics have said the games need to be cancelled and forgotten about. All this event will accomplish is to make the Winter Olympics in China next year look like a bloody sensation compared to Tokyo’s ghost town.

I hope Paris and Los Angeles are paying close attention and reconsidering their host status …