• politics

    Independant Media and the Canadian Budget

    Today on Facebook I noticed a story about how the Trudeau government is creating “newspapers and websites deemed reliable.” That makes it sound like the government’s creating a serious official list of which papers are trustworthy or not. Except that isn’t what is really happening. The article in question was by the Post Millennial and it had little information but a link to an article by Blacklocks Reporter blog.  So I go to that and read that, and they’re talking about how the Federal Budget Bill C-97 has some funding for journalism. This is good. Local newspapers are losing out on advertisements as everyone advertises online and they lose out…

  • activism,  meaning of life,  religion

    Remembering we all have work to do

    I’ve been reading a book called Liberating Jonah: Forming an Ethics of Reconciliation. The book has a lot less about Jonah than I had hoped, but it has lots about reconciliation, which is good too. The starting argument of the book is that the miracle in the story of Jonah is not so much the storm or the fish but that Jonah was called to go to the Assyrians in the first place. Assyrians were the evil ones, the murdering empire bent on oppressing everyone. Yet the Bible says that God called on them to repent and would forgive even them. The bulk of the book is an argument for…

  • politics

    Coded language of the Yellow Vest Mission Statement

    I wrote the following specifically for a conversation in a Facebook group, but I suspect that conversation might be deleted and I thought I’d like to share these thoughts here: The Yellow Vest mission statement there and the conversation here has gotten me thinking about coded language. When do words have different extra meanings? I’m thinking about things like when someone talks about “the sanctity of marriage” in American media, they’re probably talking about promoting certain types of marriages and not others. They don’t have to come right out and say that. I’m trying to think of other examples of coded messaging. The Yellow Vests ends up using coded messages.…

  • meaning of life,  religion

    Reading Ancient Sumerian Poetry

    I’m reading little bits from four thousand year old poems about Inanna, a Sumerian goddess, as translated by Betty De Shong Meador. Here are a few small samples.   She shifts a god’s curse a blight reversed out of nothing shapes what has never been her sharp wit splits the door where cleverness resides and there reveals what lives inside   ….   to smooth the traveler’s road to clear a path for the weak are yours Inanna   to straighten the footpath to make firm the cleft place are yours Inanna   to destroy     to build to lift up    to put down are yours Inanna     ….  …

  • accepting criticism,  parenting

    Disciplining an Anxious Child

    I want to talk about anxious children. Or maybe highly gifted children with a deep sense of injustice. Or maybe highly gifted and anxious children. Children who flip out easily, and struggle to keep things together. Imagine a child, whom we’ll call Joe. Numerous times a day, Joe starts to respond to something. Maybe Joe’s picked up on a note of frustration in someone else’s voice and thinks the other is angry. Maybe Joe is struggling to do something and worried he won’t be able to. Maybe Joe has noticed something unfair in the world, but knows no one else will want to pause things and try to sort out…

  • history,  politics

    Reflections on reading a book about Richard the Lionheart

    Whenever I read a book, I try to spend a bit of time reflecting on it. I try to choose the most important details of it to retell to myself, so I remember them. I try to think of what I’ve learned from it. Today I’m reflecting on the book Richard I by John Gillingham. I’m thinking about the huge role political relationships and personal negotiations played at the time of Richard. When he went on the crusades, Richard the Lionheart left his different castles and estates in the hands of individuals who had to have the strength to defend them. If he chose the wrong people he would have…

  • homeschooling

    Making the switch to homeschooling – again

    You wouldn’t think that pulling a child out of school to homeschool would be hard for me. After all, I’ve done it before, multiple times. I was homeschooled for six years as a teenager. My oldest has only ever been to school for a month and my second oldest for only a year. My daughter came home in the middle of the year her grade-one year.  She returned to school in grade two of her own free will. In the summer before grade three she’d like to homeschool again, and we pushed her back into school because we had seen the fun she had the year before. She’s really not…

  • how do we know what we know is true,  politics

    Today’s Personal Epistemological Crisis

    Today I’m having my own little epistemological crisis. My inspiration for these thoughts are a New York Times article talking about a theory on the recent pipe bombs sent to Democrats.  The New York Times reported on this theory: The bombs, this theory went, were not actually part of a plot to harm Democrats, but were a “false flag” operation concocted by leftists in order to paint conservatives as violent radicals ahead of the elections next month. The inability of people to accept the possibility that maybe, just maybe, their own political party includes some violent radicals is amazing. It boggles my mind that others can believe that somehow this…

  • This picture shows a Minecraft village built in the style of Catal Hoyuk
    history,  homeschooling,  politics,  religion

    Searching for Justice and Equality in Ancient Times

    One of the classes I’m teaching these days is a secular Bible study class. I treat the Bible like a work of literature. We discuss the different historical periods and the theologies within the Bible, but I’m not trying to convert them. I use the textbooks I had from university to help me, but simplifying stuff for children. I’m having wonderful fun with the class. Then on a different day of the week I teach an ancient history class that is looking more at other ancient cultures of the Middle East. So from this study of ancient times, what fascinates me is the frequency in which the different texts and…

  • bullying,  depression

    Learning to Have Boundaries

    “Take the high ground. Be nice about things…” “Recognize she’s just having a bad day…” “Recognize he just has poor social skills…” “Remember they’re just jealous and insecure, and that’s why they act that way…” These were all things I was taught. In fact, my dad using one of these phrases again just today in a discussion about how to handle a situation. My son jumped into the conversation. “No, that’s how you end up messed up and hating yourself…” My son had a point. See all the good advice about loving others, assuming that they have the best intentions and caring for them can end up really leaving a…