The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Mean Tweets #nlpoli

In the United States,  a late-night television program created a regular feature that has celebrities read the comments made about them on Twitter. The comments are – to borrow the words of Constable Joe Smyth – “rude, inappropriate, [and] hateful”. He was speaking about comments aimed at politicians but his description of many Twitter comments.Americans ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Gender Pronouns and Peterson’s Case

This is a difficult thing for me to figure out, and I’m not sure I’m quite firm on anything yet, but I’ve been completely fascinated by the discussions around Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto prof who refuses to use individually-determined gender pronouns, so I’ll try to narrow down what I actually think based on ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Social Control in Universities

Chris Hedges has concerns with Trump’s impact on intellectuals: Trump and his Christian fascist minions, sooner than most of us expect, will seek to shut down the small spaces left for free expression. Dissent will become difficult and sometimes dangerous. … The Trump administration will hand our Christian jihadists a platform to champion a repugnant ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Retaliation

Both Hedges and Reich are writing about Trump’s frightening behaviour. It’s not just the weird tweets, but the follow-up from him and from supporters.  Reich discusses Chuck Jones’ experience: “I’m getting threats and everything else from some of his supporters.” And he talks about Trump’s tweet proposing cancelling a fictitious Boeing order, which resulted in a ...

Environmental Law Alert Blog: A new law is needed to protect citizens’ voices through the charities they support

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 Canadian law and policy restricts the involvement of charities in public debate and public policy development – activities labeled by the Canada Revenue Agency as “political activities”. Limiting charities’ involvement in public debate and public policy development silences the voices of Canadians who rely on the charities they support to advance ...

Dead Wild Roses: The Wriggly Can of Worms – Professor Jordan Peterson, Free Speech, and the Regressive Left

There is a controversy in Canada going on with with regards to the issue of free speech, Bill C-16, and the refusal of a Professor at the U of T to use the alternate pronouns people choose for themselves.  This is the video that started it all (1h). Three viewing options depending on your time ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Being Useful: a Necessary Shift in Radicalism

“Oh, what can we do in a case like that? Nothing to do but sit on your hat, or your toothbrush, or your grandmother, or anything else that’s useless.“ Those are the butchered words of a Burl Ives song I sang as a kid until my sister corrected me. The last word is actually helpless, not useless. ...

centre of the universe: The Drama …Club

Did I ever tell you about my short-lived career as an actual “ad-man”? *wavy remembery lines* Way back in the once-upon-a-time, there was a drama club. And that drama club was trying to recruit new members. I went to a high school where there was a pretty clear divide between the band-drama kids and the…

The Canadian Progressive: For-Profit AT&T Spying Program is Worse Than Snowden Revelations

Telecommunications giant AT&T’s spying on Americans for profit on behalf of law enforcement agencies is “more terrifying than the illegal NSA surveillance programs that Edward Snowden exposed,” says rights group Fight for the Future. The post For-Profit AT&T Spying Program is Worse Than Snowden Revelations appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dented Blue Mercedes: Free speech, and the cruel shackles of empathy and mutual respect

In Canada, we tend to value freedom of speech very highly, and it’s often said that the best way to counter objectionable speech is with more speech. That’s the first thought that crosses my mind in the case of U of T professor Jordan Peterson, who declares in a series of YouTube videos that he ...

The Canadian Progressive: WTF? Yahoo spied on email customers for U.S. government

Yahoo secretly scanned all of its customer’s incoming emails in response to directives from the NSA and FBI. “This is a clear sign that people can trust neither their government nor their service providers to respect their privacy.” The post WTF? Yahoo spied on email customers for U.S. government appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Politics: Media scolding about ‘political correctness’ is baloney; hats off to MRU student who spoke out against Trump cap

PHOTOS: “Make America Hate Again.” (Jake May, MLive.com) Below: U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Canadian politicians Kellie Leitch and Jason Kenney. They’re not the only ones, unfortunately. Can anyone in Alberta’s mainstream media seriously claim to have been surprised by the vile stream of threats, abuse and harassment unleashed on a Mount Royal University ...

centre of the universe: Freedom’s Just Another Word

Over the past couple of weeks, you’ve been either lauding or vilifying this guy who plays sportsball in the US because he opted to sit out the national anthem in protest of racism, race-based violence, and inequity. You got *really mad* at him, and said he shouldn’t be allowed to play anymore. You said he…

Politics and its Discontents: We Should All Be Outraged

My father lived to be almost 91 years of age. Should I enjoy such a long life, there are many things that I hope not to lose along the way. Near the top of the list is my capacity for outrage. This morning brought confirmation that at least for the time being, it is alive ...

Politics and its Discontents: UPDATE: We Should All Be Outraged

My father lived to be almost 91 years of age. Should I enjoy such a long life, there are many things that I hope not to lose along the way. Near the top of the list is my capacity for outrage. This morning brought confirmation that at least for the time being, it is alive ...

Politics and its Discontents: Free Speech Is Fine

…. except when it is used to criticize Israel, as Mississauga, Ont. teacher Nadia Shoufani is learning. She addressed a downtown Toronto rally on 2 July, marking al-Quds Day, an annual event held around the world to support Palestinian rights and to protest Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. “Silence in situations of oppression and ...

The Canadian Progressive: The Curious Disappearance of Stephen Harper’s Climate Change Speech

Stephen Harper’s important 2007 speech, in which he stated that climate change was “perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today” while visiting Germany, is missing from the official website of the Prime Minister of Canada. The post The Curious Disappearance of Stephen Harper’s Climate Change Speech appeared first on The Canadian ...

The Canadian Progressive: CRA revokes registration of charity that acted as a “receipting agent” for tax shelter arrangement

In December, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revoked the registration of a Canadian charity that acted as a “receipting agent” for a tax shelter arrangement. Le Refuge des Rescapés, a charity based in Saint-Nicéphore, Quebec, “improperly issued receipts totalling over $2 million.” The post CRA revokes registration of charity that acted as a “receipting agent” ...

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau: CRA must allow charities to do their work “free from political harassment”

In his recent Ministerial Mandate Letter to Diane Lebouthillier, the Minister of National Revenue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) must allow charities to do their work free from political harassment. The post Trudeau: CRA must allow charities to do their work “free from political harassment” appeared first on The Canadian ...

The Canadian Progressive: Stephen Harper’s weird “thank you” letter to same public servants he terrorized

Stephen Harper has penned an I’m-a-nice-guy letter to the same federal public servants he terrorized, dictatorship-style, during his nine years in power. The post Stephen Harper’s weird “thank you” letter to same public servants he terrorized appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Ontario defends freedom of expression, passes anti-SLAPP legislation

Ontario has passed a law to counter Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs), lawsuits often used by deep-pocketed businesses to silence debate on public issues. The post Ontario defends freedom of expression, passes anti-SLAPP legislation appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

A Puff of Absurdity: The Lives of Others

I have this poster on the wall of my classroom: It’s important to know. It’s necessary to understand how things work. And then it’s vital to act rightly in the face of the truth. That’s the message in The Lives of Others, a gripping film with one of the best final three words since Ironman. ...

The Canadian Progressive: Margaret Atwood leads artists’ rebellion against Harper’s Bill C-51

Celebrated author Margaret Atwood is leading a group of 200 notable Canadian writers and artists demanding an immediate repeal of Bill C-51, Stephen Harper’s “secret police” legislation. C­51, the artists argue, “directly attacks the creative arts and free expression in this country.” The post Margaret Atwood leads artists’ rebellion against Harper’s Bill C-51 appeared first ...

The Canadian Progressive: All this Quebec candidate would ask for? A “cellphone, a penis and lots of chips”

All Bloc Québécois candidate VirJiny Provost would want in the event that she was the sole survivor of a catastrophic nuclear attack is a “cellphone, a penis and lots of chips.” The post All this Quebec candidate would ask for? A “cellphone, a penis and lots of chips” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Branko Milanovic answers Harry Frankfurt’s attempt to treat inequality as merely an issue of absolute deprivation by reminding us how needs are inherently social: “[Under necessities] I understand not only the commodities that are indispensable for the support of life, but whatever the custom of the country renders ...