THE ADVANTAGES OF PRETENDING-TO-BELIEVE OVER BELIEVING

I find it amazing how many people in western Libya, who supported Gaddafi when it looked like he was going to able to hold Tripoli, will have having not supported him when it became clear that he wasn’t. (I also find it amazing that tense-grammar in English is rich enough that I could have expressed … Continue reading THE ADVANTAGES OF PRETENDING-TO-BELIEVE OVER BELIEVING

TRAVIS PATRON AND BERNIE FARBER

The application of Travis Patron’s newly minted Canadian National Party for tax-deductibility status, and the opposition to that status from Bernie Farber’s Canadian Anti-Hate Network, is the perfect test-case for just how far the rest of us are prepared to go in our tolerance of intolerance. But that said, that’s not what I find most … Continue reading TRAVIS PATRON AND BERNIE FARBER

SHOOTING ITSELF IN THE FOOT

The #MeToo movement may be having its intended - and perfectly laudable - effect of discouraging some bad male behaviour. But it may also be having a less-than-laudatory autonomous effect, that of cutting women off from perfectly innocent and otherwise invaluable one-on-one interactions. For example, a gubernatorial candidate in Mississippi has recently announced – and … Continue reading SHOOTING ITSELF IN THE FOOT

THE RHETORICIAN AND THE PHILOSOPHER

A Janus word is one that means one thing but also its opposite. Example: sanction. There are word-pairs that sound like they mean the opposite but don’t, like flammable and inflammable. And then there are word-pairs that sound like they mean the same thing but mean the opposite. Example: disgruntled and gruntled. Who’d have thought … Continue reading THE RHETORICIAN AND THE PHILOSOPHER

THE BDS MOVEMENT AND THE SHUNNER’S DILEMMA

Since I’m old enough to remember the Peloponnesian Wars, I can certainly remember that it wasn’t Canadians refusing to buy South African wine that brought an end to Apartheid. It was that Apartheid was no longer sustainable on its own terms. I suspect the same is true today with the hope that the Boycott-Divest-Sanction (BDS) … Continue reading THE BDS MOVEMENT AND THE SHUNNER’S DILEMMA

WOMEN AND GENDER STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE

Not unlike the Indigenous Studies Department, Women and Gender Studies at the University of Lethbridge makes no bones about its commitment to social justice. But on its website it also promises that its students “will develop critical thinking skills”. By this I take it to mean the skill required to critique patriarchy. Fair enough. But … Continue reading WOMEN AND GENDER STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE