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Rex Murphy on human rights

Rex Murphy wasn’t the first pundit to misunderstand rights, and human rights. But he is paradigmatic. He has a thing for human rights and mentions them often.

Petrostatehood is not a zero or one

Some time ago Nikiforuk published an article at Foreign Policy declaring Canada a petrostate. It caused a big splash and became a talking point in the culture wars that make up Canadian politics. Stephen Saideman called it hyperbole. And Andrew Leech called it short on evidence…

People died for this right

I’ve heard countless pious prescriptions to do such and such, because “people fought and died for this right.” There are many versions of this cliché. They are all clichés. And they are all terribly lazy…

Why Catholics hate: a primer

The official Catholic doctrine is that homosexual conduct, including non-sexual, romantic behaviour, is immoral. The Catholic church writes and defends this view. The Catholic church preaches this to their members. And the Catholic church teaches this to students…

About “See the veil for what it is”

It is likely that any article written by a white male journalist that starts with a title like “See the veil for what it is” would raise my hackles. So when I saw the article today I had a bit of a reflexive response: here’s another white guy, with little demonstrated understanding of women’s issues, feminism, or Islam, about to tell us what the veil really is.

Charles McVety, President of the Institute of Canadian Values, demonstrates textbook homophobia

I was listening to As It Happens on my way downtown on Wednesday, and overheard an interview with Charles McVety. I recommend listening to the interview. It’s about ten minutes. It’s worth a listen.

Derek Abma and National Post misrepresent views of Elliot Diringer

On November 30th, Derek Abma wrote an article for the National Post, claiming that the journal Nature, and one of it’s authors, Elliot Diringer, was recommending that we let the Kyoto accord die. While the article gets many small facts and half truths right, Abma manages to misrepresent the essential argument by Diringer. But that’s […]

Fracking, colonization and the Peace Country

Went to a public forum last night to hear about fracking in Northeastern BC. I thought I already knew how bad hydraulic fracturing and shale gas extraction are. But there is nothing quite like having graphs and maps enriched by honest, heartfelt stories, told by real breathing humans…

Scott Stinson’s defense of John Crosbie’s racist joke

I don’t make a habit of reading the National Post. It’s what Conservative Party members read. But I did see an article from Friday, November 4. It was on page three. I was immediately struck by the overt racism and decided to try to engage the author, Scott Stinson, by Twitter…

Democracy is not zero or one

Democracy is not a single style of governance. Democracy is not simply about having elections. Democracies come in many colours and fashions. Democracy is a matter of degree and dimension…

‘Normal’, ‘special’, and the art of marginalization

I have a warm fuzzy place in my heart for the engineers and other technical specialists with a penchant for math and a lack of understanding of social nuance, connotation or tone. Heck, in many contexts, I’m the ignorant cis white guy that doesn’t understand the impact that my language choices have on others. But I […]

the Calgary Stampede’s growing public relations challenge

AMERICAN HUMANE monitored the animal action. No animals were harmed.

National Post on global warming climate destabilization

The National Post has a decidedly denialist narrative. Do a search for “National Post climate change” and you get a series of articles on the brave scientists “bucking the conventional wisdom.” Or, if you prefer the second choice, you get a series of article tagged “climate change” by Peter Foster, Lorne Gunter and Rex Murphy: […]

Questions for Michael Shermer

I’ve been a big fan of Skeptic Magazine for many years. And I am a big fan of science. My thesis was about, in part, science and the philosophy of science. I have some science training and I have some understanding for the way various institutions of science operate.1 I say all of this because […]

Bahrain, Formula One, and Avaaz

Nice animation and a bit of news about the good work that Avaaz is doing…

Globe & Mail, the Conservatives, and the right wing

Today’s argument takes the form of reductio ad absurdum. Premise 1: Canada’s newspaper of record would only endorse a centrist political party. Premise 2: The Globe & Mail is Canada’s newspaper of record…

Britain is voting on First Past the Post

Well hell. The situation today bites. First Past the Post bites. Folks think so in Britain too.

Stephen Harper: election 41

Yes, this poster is inspired by the commissioned work of Shepard Fairey. It’s a reflection of my hopes and interests this election. By all means, if you’re interested, download, share, copy and reprint this work. The original photo that it’s based on is by Reimy Steinegger. For another poster in a similar vein, check out Bob Preston.

Rex Murphy

There was a time when Rex Murphy spoke difficult truths and challenged powerful institutions. There was a time when Rex Murphy was a journalist that I might listen to. But no more…

Stephen Harper is an evil astronaut

These guys are doing a frickin’ awesome job. Sharp videos. Clear soundbites. Attitude. Nice kitten. Good work.

Harper’s Conservatives on coalitions

Harper’s Conservatives, and the business media that share their interest, have been very negative about national coalitions. My understanding is that half of Canadians favour them. That’s many more Canadians than favour the Conservatives. And Harper has been somewhat duplicitous about his own interest in them…

More on strategic voting

It’s time for Liberals and NDP’ers to vote strategically on behalf of Elizabeth May. The Greens, the NDP and the Liberals have been splitting the progressive vote in the Sidney Saanich Gulf Islands riding for many elections. The result has been the continual re-election of Conservative Gary Lunn. :(

Election 41

We are always in the difficult position of balancing our principles and values with the constraints and parameters of the situation we find ourselves in; if you can’t tell, I’m a strategic voter.