• 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…

  • 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.…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • politics

    Terrorist Activities Sanctions Act – or how to pick a fight with Trudeau and put Ontario health care at risk?

    All citizens and permanent residents in Canada are entitled to health care, as set out by the Canada Health Care Act. Now the Conservative Provincial government in Ontario wants to pick a fight with Trudeau by having a bill tabled that would strip such rights away from the least desirable people – returning terrorists. In case people don’t realize this doesn’t really have to do with terrorists but rather with party politics and a hatred of Trudeau, the bill’s sponsor is quoted in all the media as saying: “Since the Federal Government doesn’t seem to take this seriously, I felt obligated to take action and send a message that there…

  • politics

    Thoughts on Terri-Lynne McClintic being transfered to a healing lodge

    There is a fair amount in the news these days about human trafficking, and how it doesn’t always look like someone being grabbed on the street and handcuffed. Most of the time there is grooming involved, where vulnerable women get seduced by older men and then pressured into bad actions. I can’t help thinking about the descriptions of trafficking and grooming when I read the stories right now about Terri-Lynne McClintic. Terri-Lynn McClintic helped kidnap and murder a child. She’s in the news right now because she is being transferred to a healing lodge. People are upset that someone who helped torture and murder a child is being moved into…

  • politics

    A Slap in the Face

    Brett Kavanaugh was right in saying that the whole investigation into him is a national disgrace. He’s wrong about why it is a national disgrace. It is a national disgrace that they didn’t abandon him long ago and find someone else. Surely there are other judges with similar political views they could have pushed instead. Surely there are other possibilities that don’t involve pushing a serial abuser onto the Supreme Court. This feels like a slap in the face of all women. People say “why didn’t she report earlier?” and then they demonstrate what happens when women report. Women get disbelieved. Their concerns get minimized. People say “oh, it was nothing”…

  • history,  politics,  religion,  the ethical life

    Nellie McClung and the challenge of history

    Up until a few weeks ago, if I was asked my impression of Nellie McClung I probably would have said “oh, she was that suffragette, right? The one people say was racist and supported eugenics?” I started reading about Nellie McClung this past few weeks. I’ll still a newcomer to McClung’s story and I’ve already read bits that do suggest the darker parts of her beliefs. But what has amazed me is realizing how beautiful some of her thoughts and ideas were too. She wrote novels that promoted the idea that we are all called to serve community, love one another and by doing so to change the world. She…

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

    more reflections on free speech

    I’m still slowly reading a big book about 17th century arguments for and against religious tolerance. It is called John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture by John Marshall. I’m really not used to being stuck in the middle of one book for this long, but it seems like the kids are still always talking to me or climbing on me, and this book requires some concentration to be able to follow it. The book is worth reading though. I’m enjoying learning about the different arguments. I’m enjoying reflecting on it in light of questions about free speech. Arguments for toleration often exist in response to specific arguments against toleration.…