Facts…

first_img…vs interpretationsThings were proceeding so blithely after the “scientific revolution”, the chattering class of Europe declared their era the “Age of Enlightenment”! In capitals! But there came a fella Nietzsche, who upended it all with his mordant perspective on the received wisdom. (“Nee-chee”, like the sewing machine!) One of his pithy pronouncements was “there are no facts, only interpretations”.This view’s even more radical than the new Trump Epistemological Doctrine on “alternative facts”. With the latter, both the speaker and the audience accept there are, in fact, something ontologically grounded, called “facts”. What Nietzsche asserted and all his post-modern followers assert is there are no such “facts” out there to be “discovered”, independently of our interpretations!Now, if you think your Eyewitness must’ve inhaled some good old “Jamaican Gold” to be carrying on like this, he didn’t. He’s just trying to offer a possible explanation for the “explanations” being offered for the firings of some high-placed officials in the State apparatus. It all started when Justice Kennard was given 36 hours’ notice to clear his desk as Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA). The Minister to whom he reported – Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan – said, even though his performance was exemplary, he was let go by Prezzie on account of his “age”.Now Prezzie’s finally confirmed this assertion. And this is where the matter of “facts and interpretations” arise. It is, after all, a fact that Justice Kennard is nearing 80 – but who gets to “interpret” this fact to make him too “old” and incapable of performing his job that he should, therefore, be sent out to pasture? As your Eyewitness said before, Prezzie has the power to appoint the Chair to the PCA – but nowhere in the act does it extend that power to fire the man. There is – we’re told – the niceties of the “rule of law” to be complied with, no?On what grounds has Prezzie, therefore, determined that Kennard is in his dotage? Prezzie echoed the subject Minister Ramjattan that Kennard was performing ably in his job, so it can’t be a matter of “competency”. Prezzie intimated he’s about to issue a directive on this issue of age limits on the job. But isn’t this putting the cart before the horse? And is this a role for him, or the legislature? And then, in our newfound Republican awareness, maybe it ought to be the subject for a referendum?And why wouldn’t Prezzie say whether the new rule would apply to 80-year-old Hamilton Green “O.R.”.Is it, to paraphrase Humpty Dumpty, a word is whatever Prezzie wants to interpret it as??!!…on GECOMLike Bobby Brown, Prezzie’s also asserted some “prerogatives”. Here, to interpret the Constitution on who chairs GECOM. Prezzie seems to feel the person ought to not only be “sober as a judge” but to’ve actually been a judge.But your Eyewitness thinks events have highlighted the need for some new skills. Ironically on the same day the departing Chair penned a rather sweet letter to his staff echoing Juliet’s “parting is such sweet sorrow” line, came a reminder that some in the same staff might’ve connived to swindle hundreds of millions from the Elections’ watchdog.No one can even hint the outgoing Chair was involved with those shenanigans. Not only is it clear the judge-like fella wasn’t one to suffer fools (gladly or otherwise!), it’s a cert someone who felt the sting of his acerbic tongue in this small, ego-riven country would’ve long spilled the beans on him, if he’d dipped his hand into any till. So maybe the GECOM chair should be an accountant who’s fit to be a judge.Chris Ram, anyone?…on Education ReformThe Minister has named a Task Force, and tasked it with convening a Working Group, to work to form a Focus Committee, which will focus on launching an Action Quorum to report back to him.By 2020??last_img read more

London-Fanshawe: Lindsay Mathyssen delivers a next-generation NDP win

first_imgWinning London-Fanshawe became a family affair, Monday.Lindsay Mathyssen of the NDP was elected in the riding that her mother Irene Mathyssen held for 13 years, making it a next-generation political win.Lindsay Mathyssen was asked about her mom’s legacy. “They are large shoes . I know I have a great deal of work to do but I meant it when I said it’s showing people that respect and dignity and making sure we are there for them,” she said.She has worked for MPs and watched her mother and her team. “That’s what I intend to fulfill. People here, they need help and we’re going to be there no matter what.”London-Fanshawe was one of the more interesting, and hotly contested, races in the city and region, before Mathyssen pulled away from Liberal Mohamed Hammoud and Conservative Michael van Holst.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.The Mathyssen baton has been passed from mother to daughter… pic.twitter.com/xiYFOCrItG— Jane Sims (@JaneatLFPress) October 22, 2019London-Fanshawe NDP riding association president Hadleigh McAlister was beaming about the result, crediting the Mathyssen family legacy for the win.“Knowing the Mathyssens, they understand what resonates with London-Fanshawe voters,” he said, and that’s “caring for their constituents.”Lindsay Mathyssen represents the next generation of politicians and “is aware of what millennials want,” McAlister said.Hammoud was defeated by a wide margin, despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – whose Liberal government was re-elected with a minority – making a campaign stop in the riding Oct. 15 to speak about jobs and the economy.One of the issues in this riding has been Canada’s $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia serviced by defence contractor General Dynamics Land System Canada on Oxford Street in London.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh vowed to scrap the contract, which critics have blasted over Saudi human rights abuses. The Liberals, who tried to win back the seat they lost in 2006, inherited the contract from Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and put it under review. The jobs of hundreds of workers in London rely on the deal, the largest industrial deal in the city’s history.The riding has had its share of stories this election campaign, with city councillor van Holst taking a leave from his city political job to run for the Conservative party, and Hammoud being acclaimed to the nomination amid party controversy.A proud mom watches her daughter…. #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/VfcQKyDDYo— Jane Sims (@JaneatLFPress) October 22, 2019Former London MPP Khalil Ramal was blocked from the nomination, triggering a mass resignation of its riding association brass. Ramal was a two-term former MPP under Premier Dalton McGuinty. Ramal said in August he signed more than 3,500 new party members, but the party blocked his candidacy in favour of Hammoud.Ramal ran for the federal Liberals in the same riding in 2015, but lost.Van Holst finished third.The win is a turnaround for Mathyssen, who in 2015 lost her bid to represent London North Centre, losing the NDP nod to German Gutierrez to run against incumbent Tory Susan Truppe. The riding was won by Liberal Peter Fragiskatos.Mathyssen has worked as a staffer on Parliament Hill.Former Liberal MP Sheila Copps from Hamilton also waded into the London-Fanshawe contest election night, with the Hamilton politician tweeting, “NDP plans to cancel military contract. How is that working for the workers in London?”Hammoud retweeted it, adding “The Liberal government is the only one that will safeguard jobs for the community of London-Fanshawe, all the other parties have vowed to scrap the General Dynamics contract. This is why I am working hard to win for the community and to protect jobs.”THE RESULTS(237 of 237 polls reporting)Lindsay Mathyssen, NDP 22,450Mohamed Hammoud, Liberal 14,679Michael van Holst, Conservative 13,636Tom Cull, Green 2,750Bela Kosoian, People’s Party 1,121Stephen Campbell, independent 297last_img read more

Good Samaritan and LP Hold Alleged Carjacker

first_imgIn New Jersey, a Massachusetts man who authorities say knocked an 83-year-old woman to the ground and tried to steal her car in the Sam’s Club parking lot has been charged with carjacking, Freehold Township police said.Maxim Kuropatkin, 24, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was arrested Monday about 11 a.m. after he crashed the car into a tree and Good Samaritans and Walmart loss prevention officers held him until police arrived, Detective Lt. Scot Hall said Tuesday.Hall said Kuropatkin first tried to take items from a 52-year-old Freehold Township woman in the Sam’s Club parking lot, but that woman got in her car and started honking her horn, drawing the attention of several other patrons in the lot and scaring Kuropatkin off.- Sponsor – He then approached the 83-year-old Freehold Township resident, who was getting out of her car in the same area. He demanded her keys and knocked her to the ground, then took off in her car, Hall said. But Kuropatkin didn’t get far, Hall said; he lost control and hit a tree.Several Good Samaritans witnessed the incident and crash and followed Kuropatkin as he got out and ran into the adjacent Walmart store, where he was detained until Freehold Township officers arrived and arrested him without further incident, Hall said… Freehold Patch Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Heart-hugging device could help keep the beat

first_imgHeart failure affects millions of people worldwide, but treatment options are limited: If patients in advanced stages of the disease can’t get transplants, doctors can implant devices that help the heart pump blood. But those devices put patients at risk for infection and clotting, thanks to valves and pumps that come into direct contact with blood. Now, scientists have created a soft, robotic sheath that may someday help struggling hearts keep beating without that danger (see video above). Made from material that resembles the outer layers of heart tissue, the sheath encases the heart and helps it pump by applying alternating pressure and suction. Building on similar research designs moving through preclinical development, this version uses an array of actuators that function as artificial muscles to squeeze and twist simultaneously. Signals from a pacemaker wire tells the sheath when and how to move, directing it to mimic the weakened heart’s natural rhythm. In pigs whose failing hearts beat at only 47% of control levels, the devices restored heart function to 97%, the researchers report today in Science Translational Medicine. The sheath is still far from human use—safety testing and other tweaks will require a lot more work—but scientists say the study lays the foundation for squeezing more out of heart treatment in the future.last_img read more

We have plans for each Australian player, says Ajinkya Rahane

first_imgBatsman Ajinkya Rahane on Monday said the India team has plans in place for each of the Australian players in their upcoming four-Test series starting February 23 in Pune.Rahane said the hosts would look to play attacking cricket. (Steve Smith’s men weakest Australian side to tour India, says Harbhajan Singh)India and Australia have been involved in many verbal duels in the past and this time too the visiting skipper Steve Smith has made it clear that his team won’t shy away from sledging the Indians, even as his deputy David Warner has indicated that they will not sledge the in-form India captain Virat Kohli.”We don’t know if they will sledge or not. We have some plans against each of them, I can’t discuss that here, skill wise or sledging wise, there is definitely a plan. We know that Australian players play mind games. Our aim would be to dominate them in every aspect,” Rahane said. (Tendulkar vs Australia or Kohli-Australia: Which rivalry is more fun?)”We will look to play positive cricket, attacking cricket not only against the spinners but all the bowlers. Practice game and the Test match is completely different, so we have to read the condition well and play according to the situation, that would be the key,” he added.Rahane said India would look to focus on own strengths instead of losing sleep over the combinations of the opponent during the Test series.”They are coming to India and will be expecting a turning track. So yes three fast bowlers and five spinners is their combination but for us it will be important to play to our potential and not focus on their bowling attack, strategies. It is important for each team member to back our own game. (R Ashwin will be ready for me but I have my game plan: David Warner to India Today)advertisement”It will be a different wicket. We have to wait and watch. Once the first day is over, we will have an idea about how it will behave the five days,” he said.On a question about switching between different formats of the game, Rahane said: “Whatever format you play, you want to give your best for your team whether it is T20, Test or ODI. But if you are playing two or three formats it is all about how you adjust mentally. It is all about mental adjustments rather than technical adjustment.” (Australia will lose 0-3 if they play well vs India: Harbhajan Singh)Making a comeback after recovering from a finger injury, Rahane justified the faith shown in his abilities by the team management with a 133-ball 82 in the first innings against Bangladesh in the one-off Test.Asked about the innings, Rahane said: “That innings was very important for me. I was really excited about that Test match, coming back after two months and importantly I got 82, good to spend time in the middle. But it is important to start afresh here.”Australia, we all know, is a very good, experienced team. So it will be important to play to our potential, back ourselves in the middle. As a team we are playing really well and it is important to take one game at a time.” (Virat Kohli not Australia’s only threat: 4 other concerns for Steve Smith’s men)Rahane also thanked Kohli for picking him ahead of Karun Nair, who scored an unbeaten 303 against England in his third Test.”Injuries are part and parcel of the game, you don’t have control over injuries. It was really good to see Karun get 300 runs for the country and in the end we all are representing India and I would like to thank the team management and the captain for backing me in the match against Bangladesh. I am really confident at the moment playing against Australia.”For all of us it is important to play one game at a time and momentum will be the key. If we play well in the first game, we will have to carry that momentum forward,” added the 28-year-old.last_img read more