War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength
George Orwell, 1984
Lord, what fools these mortals be
I remember when we were kids, we took more than just a little delight in hurling insults at those we didn’t like. Sometimes, it was a precursor to a fight but most of the time it was more an exercise in expressing the superiority of ‘our side’.
Much of the time it was pretty mundane, if hurtful, insults that bordered on bullying. If you were overweight, you could expect to be called fatty, porky or fatso at some point by someone or some group who cared less about your feelings than they did about striving to get others to like them. Sometimes, it could get quite colourful and when it did, we referred to it as ‘Doin’ the dozens’; a more formal, almost ritualized even good-natured at times approach to seeing who could come up with insults that topped the other guys (or at least, we thought they did).
Some of the more imaginative among us came up with such notable phrases as: Continue reading
We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely wide variety of topics; this is how we stay objective.
Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Back in the good old days before revolution became popular, there were traditionally three estates or powers in government: the nobility, the clergy and everybody else – commonly referred to as the common folk or commons. Three guesses as to which two held most of the power and which other estate ultimately was led to discover the joy of revolution. As the story goes, Edmund Burke identified a Fourth Estate in an address to the British Parliament back in the mid 1700s – the news media although back then they thought of them simply as newspapers.
Journalism – a profession whose business it is to explain to others what it personally does not understand. –Lord Northcliffe Continue reading
It’s only a few weeks to Christmas and preparations are well under way to celebrate the season. Homes are being decorated inside and out, stores are full of on sale gift suggestions, Christmas trees are being put up and at our place, the infamous Santa Claus collection is starting to occupy every available space in the house.
Even the dogs are required to wear Santa hats (Maggie is merciless at Christmas and we aren’t even there yet). There are twelve days of Christmas – or Christmastide as it used to be called – and they don’t start until Christmas Day.
I don’t mind even though it’s not the way my family practiced Christmas when I was a child. It’s become a tradition now though and the dogs wear their Santa hats with bemusement. I told them it could be worse, Maggie could have dressed them up as two of the wise men.
Traditions are wonderful things. They provide a foundation upon which we build our lives. They provide continuity from one year to the next and can be more than a little reassuring and satisfying but traditions change and evolve. Continue reading
There was a pro-life demonstration on Parliament Hill yesterday which drew the usual accompanying pro-abortion counter-demonstration. Sometimes I believe that the two groups are actually joined at the hip and are like opposite sides of the same coin. One couldn’t exist without the other.
It was all the usual stuff but one thing I will say about the pro-abortion side is that some of its members really know how to spice it up a bit. A couple of the demonstrators decided that the best way to stand up for what they see as women’s rights was to go topless and use their breasts to make their point.
I don’t mind admitting that I’m happy to encourage women on both sides of the issue to feel at liberty to promote the cause with bared breasts. I’m very egalitarian that way – or is it shallow?
The bared breasts were only a momentary distraction for me – I had forgotten my glasses so everything was kind of fuzzy. What really caught my attention was the message one of them was delivering.
“Stay out of my vagina!” Continue reading
Somebody asked me recently why I am so angry about the Harper government’s handling of the Ukraine crisis. It was a good question and deserves an answer so – here it is.
I find it not only hypocritical but patently offensive for Stephen Harper to posture internationally as the defender of democratic rights in Ukraine while he tramples them here in Canada. It’s really that simple.
Harper argues before the world that Russia and Crimea have violated Ukrainian law which is correct although, everything that has happened in Ukraine since the impeachment of the duly elected government is unconstitutional. That, however, is an argument for another time. More to the point, considering his own track record here at home, Stephen Harper is hardly the one to be leading the charge to defend law and civil rights anywhere let alone in Ukraine. Continue reading
“If you disrespect anybody, that you run in to “How in the world do you think, anybody’s s’posed to respect you? ”
The Staple Singers
Pretty much every day I see posts and tweets from people that attack other people in the most crude and vicious manner and most of those people they have never met and know nothing about. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop the mob from their verbal assaults. It’s everywhere these days. We no longer debate issues on their merits, we simply demean each other with verbal attacks and countless ridiculous graphics that point out the stupidity of liberals or conservatives or Muslims or gays or Christians or gun advocates or gun control supporters or – you get the picture. The list is endless. Continue reading