Down the hall in the English Department, we have an otherwise highly respected colleague who believes, and I quote, that “Any criticism of the State of Israel is anti-Semitism.” I take this to mean that if the Israelis decided to empty the Gaza Strip the way the Nazis emptied the Warsaw Ghetto, she would have … Continue reading THE PLIGHT OF THE ANTI-SEMITIC SEMITE
Should there be a statute of limitations? For some crimes, yes, for others no, and we can argue about which is which. But should there be a statute of limitations on purely moral accountability for saying and doing stupid things? No doubt US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh cracked some no-longer-acceptable jokes back when he … Continue reading BLACKFACE
Unless you’re some kind of natural law theorist – in which case there’s no talking to you – let it be granted that all rights are contingent on the material conditions recommending them to us. And at that, they’re negotiated. So, for example, in Canada in 2019 women do indeed have the right to control … Continue reading GENDER IDENTITY – WHO GETS TO SAY?
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
At the risk of sounding racist … oh what the hell, I can just play my J-card – ex-Tory MP Bernard Valcourt was dead right to object to the MMIWG enquiry calling the murder of indigenous women “the Canadian genocide”. We’re all entitled to use words any way we like, provided we’re clear about our … Continue reading IN DEFENSE OF BERNARD VALCOURT
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
The internet is a treasure-trove of “Look for one thing, find another!”, often giving rise to “Who knew there even was such a thing?” Case in point, the other day I stumbled across a slough of articles in defense of bestiality. The one argument that struck me as particularly compelling was this: Most people think … Continue reading IN DEFENSE OF BESTIALITY
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