Category : Uncategorized

Cultural Appropriation

A year ago, in my community of Farm Point, there was a controversy when a couple of European descent arrived at a community Hallowe’en Party dressed as Indians. I use the word ‘Indians’ to describe the costumes as more appropriate to old Hollywood films. Although I was not there, I was told that many people

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Should Our Courts ‘Make’ Laws?

  The Prime Minister has recommended (to the Governor General) the appointment of Malcolm Rowe to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Judge Rowe had been serving on the Newfoundland Court of Appeal when he applied to the position.   In his application, Judge Rowe writes that “Supreme Court judges ordinarily make law, rather than simply

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Canadian Values?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leadership Candidate Kellie Leitch have vastly different views on Canadian values. Mr. Trudeau believes “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada”. Ms. Leitch argues “I don’t think it’s intolerant to believe in a set of values that we expect everyone to share here and include those people

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Facebook Click Bait

Facebook is already full of advertisements, both in the news feed and on the right of the page.  Over and above this, there is Facebook click bait, tempting headings which take you to a site where you are bombarded with more advertising, and get cookies, tracking software and possibly adware installed without your agreement.  The

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Let’s make a list of of Trumpeters

Conrad Black: This is how democracy is supposed to work “He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list; And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed.” (The Mikado)   The Financial Post quotes Conrad Black as saying “Either Trump or Clinton would make a capable

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Dylan’s Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize for literature has provoked howls of outrage: most entertaining!   It could be noted that the Nobel Committees don’t have a great record in some areas.  The peace prize has been won by Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama; with all respect to both gentlemen, their contribution to world peace was questionable. 

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A Provisional Glossary of Trump’s Fantastical Misstatements

A while ago I wrote some thoughts on bullshit, available here: http://blog.davidbeattie.ca.s175791.gridserver.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=20&action=edit   But candidate Trump has shown such an extraordinary talent for misstatement, that special consideration is justified.  Surely there is scope for a scholarly paper on the varieties of Trump’s fantastical statements. Just a few examples: # Trump lies, when he knows what

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Trump’s Double-Down Defenses

Two quotes to start: political flacks attempting to minimize Trump’s latest sexual comments “We’re electing a leader of the free world,” Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN. “We’re not electing a Sunday school teacher.” “This doesn’t surprise anyone. This is him,” said one Republican strategist aligned with Trump. “You lose elections when you

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On Referenda

There is some debate whether a referendum is a good or bad instrument for making public policy choices in a democracy. The question came into sharper focus following the Brexit referendum. The debate has direct relevance in Canada as we consider whether a referendum is required on reform of our electoral system. Let us begin

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Rails to Trails: Letter in the Lowdown June 22

The views of those opposing the rails to trails project were expressed most bluntly in the letter from Chandra Gibbs. According to her, rails to trails means “slapping a public path through the private backyards of Chelsea”. Such a characterization is perverse and venal. In the first place, the public path already exists as municipal

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