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A Puff of Absurdity: On Appropriation

I’m teaching First Nations in Canada this semester, and it’s a bit of a challenge for me. I spent 7 years in school studying philosophy and social sciences – all from a western European point of view, so I feel confident teaching those subjects from t… . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Appropriation

A Puff of Absurdity: On Guilt and Responsibility

I grew up in a family with a strong work ethic. You couldn’t read the comics until you finished the world news first. Sitting to do anything other than read something educational or literary wasn’t acceptable. We were made to feel guilty for every minute we wasted.

Since childhood, I’ve tried to counteract this . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Guilt and Responsibility

A Puff of Absurdity: Upset Them at Your Peril

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

A Puff of Absurdity: On Words and Virtue

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

Christy's Houseful of Chaos » politics: mainly thoughts about freedom

After a couple more days of chaos and business, I have time again to sit and think. Hurray!

I think back to Sunday, and taking my children to church. I remember how my most high strung child ended up sitting between a woman he barely knows and me, and how it wasn’t until I moved . . . → Read More: Christy’s Houseful of Chaos » politics: mainly thoughts about freedom

A Puff of Absurdity: Paternity Rights in Rape Cases

It’s an interesting moral dilemma to have a judge decide a child has access to a father when the only contact the mother and father had was a sexual assault producing this child.  This isn’t entirely the story here.  In this article, it could be a case of statutory rape.  It’s possible there was . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: Paternity Rights in Rape Cases

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict: How Does an Aggressor Successfully Argue Self Defence

After my initial shock at hearing the verdict and my attempt to rationalize it I have further reflected on the verdict. Perhaps it all comes down to the difference between Canadian and Floridian/American attitudes to vigilantism. I consider myself to… . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict: How Does an Aggressor Successfully Argue Self Defence

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict: How Does an Aggressor Successfully Argue Self Defence

After my initial shock at hearing the verdict and my attempt to rationalize it I have further reflected on the verdict.

Perhaps it all comes down to the difference between Canadian and Floridian/American attitudes to vigilantism.

I consider myself to be a reasonable man and my interpretation of self defence does not allow for an . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict: How Does an Aggressor Successfully Argue Self Defence

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict and The British Justice System

The not guilty verdicts in the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Travyon Martin may be a result of the British criminal justice system (that is shared by both Canada and the United States) and it’s most important principle that it is better that the guilty go free than the innocent be convicted. One of the earliest expressionless of this principle was Blackstone’s formulation: "It is . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict and The British Justice System

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict and The British Justice System

The not guilty verdicts in the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Travyon Martin may be a result of the British criminal justice system (that is shared by both Canada and the United States) and it’s most important principle that it is better that the guilty go free than the innocent be convicted.

One . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: The George Zimmerman Verdict and The British Justice System

A Puff of Absurdity: Blogger Rights and Responsibilities

I think of myself as a C-list blogger.  Sometimes I wander into B-list territory, but I’m largely unseen by the masses.  If I make it into the double digits on a post, it’s pretty exciting.  I have two posts that made it into triple digits here – largely, I think, because they’ve caused disagreement . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: Blogger Rights and Responsibilities

A Puff of Absurdity: Animal Testing: What’s wrong with education this time?

Okay it’s really about our kids.  But this post was inspired, in part, by this cartoon gaining swift popularity:

There’s a burgeoning rebellion against the way we teach.  I’m all for rebellion, but we have to figure out if we really want to overhaul the entire system or just tweak it a . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: Animal Testing: What’s wrong with education this time?

A Puff of Absurdity: Enviro-Optimists vs Doom-Mongers: Another Wentian False Dichotomy

Margaret Wente, in her latest discourse, thinks the reason the environment’s being ignored is because of all the pessimists making us too depressed about it all.  She splits all environmentalists into two camps:

“But the biggest divide is really between the purists and the pragmatists, the pessimists and the optimists – between the . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: Enviro-Optimists vs Doom-Mongers: Another Wentian False Dichotomy

A Puff of Absurdity: On Our Rape Culture: Rehtaeh Parsons’ Unfortunate Legacy

And another one gone – a victim of assault and revenge porn enacted and filmed by a bunch of teenaged boys who had more power than they might have ever imagined:  they could kill from a distance.  As Elizabeth Renzetti says of these double-barrel assaults, they are, “not just an act of violence but . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Our Rape Culture: Rehtaeh Parsons’ Unfortunate Legacy

Things Are Good: Consumers Care About Social Responsibility

I recall early in the last decade that companies didn’t respond to calls for corporate social responsibility because consumers didn’t care. That seems to have changed, which is a very good thing. Since then, corporations have had to accommodate the growing concerns of people and have even gone so far to create new brands that . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Consumers Care About Social Responsibility

A Puff of Absurdity: A Crisis of Environmentalist Faith

A couple of sentences from Matthew Altman (from “The Green Onion“) have been weighing on me for days:

Ironically, environmentalism itself can become a means of advancing our own selfish interests, as when we barely adjust our lifestyles in order to feel a disproportionately strong sense of smugness….If a well-intentioned environmentalism does nothing . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: A Crisis of Environmentalist Faith

A Puff of Absurdity: On Being a Mean Mum (and Defining Bullying)

“He cut Charlie’s ear, and he’s driving him nuts!  Water won’t hurt him; it will just remind him to stay off our porch.”

“You know what you just cut, mom?  The line that connects us.  You are not my mother anymore in three…two….one.  That’s it.  We’re over.”

My eight-year-old is mortified that I . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On Being a Mean Mum (and Defining Bullying)

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Fatal Weakness of the United States Constitution Bill of Rights

Americans love their Constitution and beloved Bill of Rights. However it has one fatal weakness in that it’s provisions are unrestricted without the requirement that such rights as freedom of assembly and speech and the right to bear arms be exercised … . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Fatal Weakness of the United States Constitution Bill of Rights

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Fatal Weakness of the United States Constitution Bill of Rights

Americans love their Constitution and beloved Bill of Rights. However it has one fatal weakness in that it’s provisions are unrestricted without the requirement that such rights as freedom of assembly and speech and the right to bear arms be exercised responsibly. This leads to the inability to restrict hate speech including the desecration of . . . → Read More: THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Fatal Weakness of the United States Constitution Bill of Rights

Dead Wild Roses: Boom! – Rights of Women – Justice Ginsburg

Filed under: Ethics, Feminism Tagged: Feminism, Responsibility, Rights of Women

The Scott Ross: Conservatives Can’t Avoid Social Responsibility

There is no stronger conservative principle than personal responsibility, however this Conservative government has shown that when people are only responsible to themselves, social well-being suffers, eventually including the well-being of Conservatives.

This apparent contradiction is obvious in that though Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, they also claim the largest government deficits in Canadian history . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: Conservatives Can’t Avoid Social Responsibility

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Little Cindi Cyborg

The best part about the Little Cindi Cyborg doll was that it was a great way to teach kids responsibility. Not only was each Little Cindi Cyborg semi-sentient, she was outfitted with a hyper-plasma retainer and an ocular implant that … Continue reading →

. . . → Read More: mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Little Cindi Cyborg

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Should My Daughter Be Her Brother’s Keeper?

When my daughter Natalie was about three, her favourite game was ‘hospital’.  This involved her lying in bed with toilet paper wrapped around her leg, making a cast.  The whole imobilized limb was then strung up with a skipping rope over a hook on ceiling creating a makeshift ‘traction’ device.  To top it off, she . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Should My Daughter Be Her Brother’s Keeper?

The Scott Ross: NDP & the Decline of Labour

The NDP is certainly not asking whether it should abandon organized labour, but maybe organized labour should ask whether it abandon the NDP.

What does it say about the New Democratic Party when it is the only political organization of unions, for unions and organized labour over the last thirty years has only lost power . . . → Read More: The Scott Ross: NDP & the Decline of Labour