Mortifying, Indeed

I'm all for discipline and self-sacrifice, but self-flagellation as a means of doing pennance for sins and mis-deeds seems a little extreme to me. Unless the God that this undoubtedly pious man believed in and worshipped has got a bit of sadist in Him. (CBC)

Hot off the presses

It's been a bad year for newspapers in general across the United States, but the power of the printed word still has a lot of power. In New Orleans, that city's daily newspaper sold every copy on Monday, (nola.com) thanks to a football game that, in NOLA, meant more (Sports Illustrated) than just a football game (nola.com).

My head says bet on the Colts one week from Sunday: my heart's with the Saints.

Students At The First Nations University Of Canada Are Maaad

And they should be. (Leader-Post)

There's a reason prairie dog's been railing against the problems at First Nations University for years. Yeah, sometimes we've written in a tone that's a little, erm, disrespectful (says the dude who coined "FNUC'D"). But that's our schtick and people like it.

The larger point is: this college is so important to First Nations people in Saskatchewan and Canada. It's something that ought to be a source of pride. But when it's run by dorks who appear to regard it as their own expense account and ticket to undeserved personal prestige it harms everybody. It hurts the quality of the education students can receive because a lot of great professors won't take a job at a school the Canadian Association of University Teachers has under censure--and with all the bad news coming out of FNUniv, what prof would touch it with a 10-foot pole? It hurts the good staff who work there now, who must wonder if their jobs at FNUniv are a blight on their resumes. It hurts the FSIN's reputation--this is a school that used to have strong international connections until it fired the people who built relationships with aboriginal communities in other countries.

It even hurts the dorks themselves, who risk building for themselves a legacy of shame. How will they be thought of in 10 years? Do they want to be despised and pitied? Do they want to be remembered as the failed leaders who destroyed a great school?

Worst of all, the crap at FNUniv emboldens racist asshats who think this proves First Nations people can't govern themselves.

I said it yesterday and I'll say it today: if the school doesn't have a structure in place by the end of the current term, it needs its funding frozen and the fall 2010 session cancelled. Implementing all the recommendations of the All Chief's Task Force is a good place to start. Suspending Charles Pratt and Al Ducharme is essential, too.

But I fear we've reached the point where a year with the lights off is probably the wake-up call that's needed.

Too many people have been fired, quit, banged their heads against the wall here. Like a badly-healed wound, FNUniv might need to be broken and reset.

At least the bones are strong.

Sorry FNUniv. Prairie dog is rooting for you.

Six in the Morning

1. GLACIERS MELT AT HISTORIC RATES: An IPCC scientist may have exaggerated the rate at which the the Himalayan glacier is melting, but that's only one glacier. Seems all the rest of them are shrinking much too quickly. (Guardian)

2. IRAQ WAR ILLEGAL: The UK's top government lawyer says the war against Iraq was illegal. Well, duh. Next thing, they'll be telling us it was started over oil. (Guardian)

3. NO VEILS IN FRANCE: A French parliamentary report is calling for a ban on veils in public spaces. (Globe and Mail)

4. MMMMMM! PETA PIE: You know, it's been a long while since I've heard about a good pie-ing. Not sure if the fisheries minister would be my first choice to get a pastry face blast. But hey, a Conservative with pie in the face! Works for me. (Globe and Mail)

5. BAD IDEAS OF THE DAY: Last week, I heard they were planning to remake Mannequin. Now, word on the street is Weekend At Bernie's is about to get the reboot treatment. WHY, GOD? WHY? (Moviehole)

6. GIN + EARL GREY? REALLY? Blending tea and gin? Madness? Or mad genius? (Guardian)

Pick of the Day: James Gordon

So, I'm going to cheat a bit. My pick-of-the-day isn't actually happening today. But I need to clear some room for an uber-awesome Motley Crue post I have planned for Thursday so I'm going to do it up now. Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Club, Grassroots Regina is presenting Canadian singer/song-writer James Gordon ($10 at the door).

A 30-year veteran on the music scene, Gordon helped found the legendary folk trio Tamarack. During this solo tour, Gordon will be promoting his most recent album My Stars, Your Eyes. A multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano, banjo, penny whistle), Gordon's repertoire of songs explore a range of issues related to Canadian history, identity, social justice and the environment.

Here's a 2009 video for his song called "How". (YouTube)