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Monthly Archive: November 2011

Nov 30 2011

Vox populi, pox dei

Which, in my pidgin Latin, translates into “the voice of the people is the pox of god”. One of the weird, seemingly counterintuitive things about Canada is that despite having no official segregation of church and state in our Charter, religion is more or less absent from the larger issues our government deals with. We …

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Nov 29 2011

This is kind of cool

It has become a nearly incessant complaint to bemoan the disillusionment and lack of participation of young people in politics. It is certainly a statistical reality that voter turnout is at an all-time low. Aside from a small number of people who are involved in the skeptic movement, most of my friends are relatively apathetic …

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Nov 29 2011

To deceive and project

I spotted a pretty clever tweet a few weeks ago that went something like: “Police are beating you for slight or nonexistent legal transgressions? Wow… shocking!” – Black people. The joke being, of course, that the kind of ham-fisted tactics that police are turning against peaceful protesters have been leveled against black people, particularly young …

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Nov 28 2011

History debunks myths about Occupy

One of the things that has struck me most about the opposition to the Occupy movement is the ease with which people approach repeating the trite truisms about the occupiers. No matter how many professionals stand up in support of the protest, everyone reaches for the “unemployed bums” canard. Regardless of the number of specific …

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Nov 28 2011

I won’t “agree to disagree”

Last Sunday my friend “Sharon” came over to play some music. She is, in addition to being an excellent singer, a law student who is about to complete her studies. Resultantly, I enjoy her company because she is exceptionally witty, enjoys discussing things in depth, and knows her way around the finer points of a …

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Nov 25 2011

Movie Friday: Eddie Izzard – Religion, Science and Atheism

Comedy is a marvelous thing. It has the unique ability to rob things of their power, particularly when that power is based on fear. By pointing out the bizarre aspects of things that frighten us, they are reduced to the level of mundane and even silly. There is perhaps nobody with a greater talent for …

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Nov 24 2011

Thoughts on the state of the occupation – update

So I’ll confess I sounded a bit maudlin on Monday when looking at how things were shaping up for the Occupy Vancouver movement. I don’t know that my mood has changed much since then, but I have some new insights. As some of you know, the city was granted an unjunction to remove all persons …

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Nov 24 2011

What do Vancouverites have to complain about?

Figure 3

I don’t have the freedom, courage, or fortitude to actually sleep in a tent in the middle of downtown Vancouver. I don’t want to lose my job, and I’m a pretty big wimp when it comes to organized protest. That’s why I consider myself lucky that there are others out there who are willing to …

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Nov 23 2011

Happy about this too, but for an entirely different reason

Somewhere along the line, being a liberal meant abandoning assertiveness. Liberal became synonymous with indecisive and weak. Part of that association, I’m sure, comes from the fact that liberals recognize that complex problems seldom have easy answers, and that the truth requires complex weighing of ideas that are often contradictory. That being said, liberals have …

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Nov 23 2011

A disturbing turn

I’m a bit shaken by this. After the Vancouver hockey riots (which weren’t about hockey, but whatever), I posted a video of a busker I saw downtown. He was really good, and encapsulated the mood of people working to rebuild the city after massive and unnecessary destruction. A commenter has just brought the following to …

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