Content Notice: Victim blaming, trans-antagonism, reclamation of t-word slur
Perhaps it was good fortune that I caught a bug and started drowning in my lungs. I recognized earlier this week that I was very tense from working back-to-back for such a protracted period of time and even though I earmarked some time this weekend to . . . → Read More: Against the Grain: Vocabulary’s got nothin’ to do with it
I’m not sure how to say this without being blasted, but I’ll try: I might understand a little piece affecting Rachal Dolezal decision to present as black rather than be a white ally.
I just have one story. It was about ten years ago. I had just finished reading The History of Mary Prince: . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Being an Ally
Professor Edward Schlosser wrote an interesting piece in Vox about, in part, the power his students have to call the shots these days. I can attest that it’s at best, defeating, and at worst, absolutely terrifying.
First of all, to clarify, my students are typically a delight, but the current system is fostering . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: Upset Them at Your Peril
I saw Chris Hedges speak again at the Tommy Douglas Institute / Community Worker Program followed by smaller discussion groups. I was so pleased that he doesn’t have a set speech for each book launch and that I was treated to an entirely different set of stories than the week previous.
Here’s just . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Privilege
This week wasn’t the first time I talked to my class about the FHRITP phenomenon. But the fact that one guy lost his job and another was fined $400 has changed the conversation. A discussion about the sexual aggressive street harassment typically elicits a “but it’s just a joke” response in some of my . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: It’s Just a Joke
I wrote a tiny blurb about this over a month ago. This one is much longer and leans heavily on solid arguments from many critics – letting their words speak for themselves. The issue has become serious enough to warrant a lengthy rebuttal.
THE DANGERS OF SIMPLISTIC, BIGOTED IDEOLOGY:
My concern with the . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: The Religious Extremism of New Atheists
Scott Long wrote an excellent article separating the act of supporting free speech from the act of supporting the words and images created by Charlie Hebdo. But I disagree with this one bit:
“Words don’t kill…”
As I said in a comment there, too many young people have lost lives as a direct . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Words and Virtue
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall
I’m not so sure I agree with Ms. Hall’s famously misattributed line. People say some truly cruel things, and I’m not convinced we should have a right to be publicly malicious. As . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Restricting Free Speech
A while back, Mound suggested I read Collapse by Jared Diamond, and I finally got to it. It’s a fascinating read particularly for anyone interested in ancient civilizations. Diamond explores what caused the destruction of various civilizations over the past couple millennia. What interested me, of course, is his final few chapters that clarify . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: Diamond’s Collapse
The twin-cities, Kitchener and Waterloo, have both decided to put a rainbow flag inside city hall for the duration of the Olympics rather than fly one outside the building.
From The Record:
[Coun. Frank] Etherington [who proposed the motion] was critical of the city’s flag solution.
“My argument was (putting the flag . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Flag Waving
The Pew Research Center recently published a study of religious persecution over the period 2007-12 and the results aren’t pretty. Of 198 countries and territories included in the study, 29 per cent had high or very high government restrictions on religion and 33 per cent had high or very high social hostilities involving religion. Egypt . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Religious persecution on the rise
The following is reported in today’s Vancouver Sun about Quebec’s impending purity values charter:
The Quebec government has released plans for a “values charter” that would impose unique-in-North America restrictions on religious clothing for employees at all government institutions starting with schools, hospitals and courts.
If adopted by the legislature, the plan would apply to . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Quebec’s Purity Values Charter
The notorious autism hate letter that targeted an Ontario family and their autistic child has sparked horror and outrage around the world. As the father of a 17 year old son with severe autistic disorder, profound developmental delays and tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures I recoiled when I heard the news of this hateful act . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: 2 Harmful Acts: Autism Hate Letter And CHEO Removing Autistic Child With GDD From Early Intervention Program
The Telegram editorial last Friday offered a few comments on some recent examples of nasty words tossed at people not from one place or another.
One was a letter that turned up in the Calgary Sun complaining about all the Newfs in western Canada. Another was the number of people telling local political gadfly Brad . . . → Read More: The Sir Robert Bond Papers: On bigotry and prejudice #nlpoli
Oh, how the (self) righteous do suffer:
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A man was sexually assaulted by four women in Toronto, and the story is make the facebook rounds. I hate to say “of course,” but of course people think it’s hilarious. Here are some choice comments directly copied and pasted without names – but these were all written by men (or, I suppose, people . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: When Men are Raped
I was reviewing for a test on theories of discrimination and hate crimes in Canada with grade 12 students, and one review question was, “When was sexual orientation added to the list of identifiable groups in the hate propaganda legislation in Canada?”
And the answers I got started in the 60s – 1968, 1969… . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Hate Crimes and Sexual Orientation
Hindus have termed Canadian government billboards in Hungary targeting Roma (Gypsy) asylum-seekers as highly inappropriate and blatant racism. by The Canadian Progressive reporters on Jan. 30, 2013 Hindus have termed Canadian government billboards in Hungary targeting Roma (Gypsy) asylum-seekers as highly inappropriate and blatant racism. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: In Hungary, Racist Harper Government Billboards Targeting Roma Ethnic People
Lips Karaoke Calgary, on 10th St SW made the news by putting up a sign which translates as: "Diaoyu Island belongs to China. Japanese are not welcome." I’ve been there a couple of times. What they probably don’t realize is that the average Calgarian won’t want to go there if they are displaying this kind of hostility to their fellow Canadians. It’s really a bad business move. The thing . . . → Read More: Five of Five: Karaoke Nationalism
Yesterday I wrote a post about the Hamilton parent suing the school board for its refusal to notify him when a range of topics objectionable to his beliefs was being covered in the classrooom. His intention was to withdraw his children each time topics such as marriage, environmentalism, evolution, gay people were mentioned, . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: When Parents Get The Upper Hand in Education
That’s what the 18-year-old Canadian pop star has told Rolling Stone magazine. The trouble is: our over-produced, over-exposed, man-made spoiled brat claims to have Aboriginal roots.
But you know who’s to blame for Bieber’s ignorance? Girls. That’s right. Rolling Stone believes Bieber is “ready to be a grown-up superstar, if only those millions of screaming . . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: WTF? Justin Bieber says Aboriginal peoples get free gas in Canada
A couple of years ago, a friend swore to me that the CNN’s Anderson Cooper was gay. And that it was a matter of time before he came out. I argued that Cooper would be gay only after he’d publicly confirmed that he was gay. The essence of the conversation is that my friend I . . . → Read More: CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Anderson Cooper: “The Fact Is, I’m Gay”