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Showing posts from November, 2017

Can Science and Religion be partners in human exploration?

Three reasons why the BC government must stop Site C

from Andrew Weaver:

The social and environmental impacts will be devastating.

Because of the massive scale of other resource development in northeast BC, including mining, logging and oil and gas development, the Peace River Valley is one of the few remaining places in the region where Indigenous peoples can still practice their cultures and traditions. Flooding the Peace River Valley will have a devastating impact on First Nations hunting, fishing and the gathering of berries and plant medicines. These are activities that are central to Indigenous identity and which continue to play a crucial role in the health and sustenance of Dunne-Zaa and Cree families in northeast BC. The government-appointed environmental impact assessment concluded that the impacts would be severe, permanent and irreversible. This is in addition to the destruction of grave and numerous cultural sites dating back hundreds and thousands of years, as well as the loss of small farms that have been maintained for gen…

Advent Calendar 2017

I am working on this year's advent calendar, starting December 1st, like last year's but with new readings and inspirations. Some posts from last year will be used again, but mostly I will be scouring the universe for new ideas and quotes.

Students of Machiavelli have had more air time than they deserve, and December is a good month to get re-acquainted with our hopes and support for humanity. 

It has been my experience that most people like to help others, love to give gifts and find it painful to witness others in distress. Thank you for being one of them.

Humanity, Wealth and Social Justice

In 2017, 112 were killed and 531 wounded in mass shootings in America, according to a chart published by Mother Jones and Times Magazine. (Deadliest Mass Shooting US History). The chart covers 35 years and in 1982 only 8 were killed and 3 wounded.

Why is it important to record this? Probably because the NRA and US Government refuse to ban guns no matter how many news headlines make us feel unsafe. And the proliferation of social media where anyone with a connection to internet can broadcast their favourite theories - like this one, needs some facts for the balance.

Also because numbers seem to have authority over general perceptions.

But what does it mean for the future of our species? 

We are not about to become extinct - there are 7.6 billion of us on this planet. I can imagine (unkindly) some folks in their well funded think tanks congratulating the murderers for killing off some of the population without them having to pay for it. The victims of mass killing are usually poor and unkn…

Remembrance Day

Is it a lie to think young boys sent to the front lines were willing to sacrifice their un-lived lives to win something they didn’t plan?
Was it assumed for them? Barked out by the pecking order with the rules. No options once you joined the army.
You were a prop for the gun and you couldn’t even choose where or when to shit.
You who just learned how to shave started out honourable and found comradery among the others who feared the white feather from the village wives.
If being a man means living up to others’ expectations with your young scrubbed face your limbs looking for love your mind questioning the fraction of a unit you have become for some other purpose never revealed to you - does it mean you proved it?
I want you to know even though it’s too late that I love you, and
your virgin heart.

Becoming Unstoppable - the story

"They set up think tanks, sponsored and captured academic departments, brought journalists and editors into their meetings, and managed to insert advisers into key political departments. They knew that, when Keynesian social democracy was broadly accepted by parties across the political spectrum, that they had no chance of immediate success. But they were patient. Across the course of 30 years, they built their networks, refined their arguments, and brought more and more people into their orbit. They knew that when an economic or political crisis came along, they would be ready to go. As Milton Friedman remarked, “when the time came that you had to change … there was an alternative ready there to be picked up”. George Monbiot.

"They" in the paragraph above were the architects of neoliberalism - rich influential families and corporations who sought to dominate the world. Perhaps they were afraid that our high standards of living, our science and our education would make…

Pornography and Power

When I went to Secondary school in the UK, there was an incident  that remains vivid in my mind.  A popular boy in our class rummaged through the bag of a girl and found a sanitary napkin. He hoisted it up as a prize and tossed to another boy who tossed it to another.  It went around the classroom like this for a minute or two.  The girl who owned it was red with embarrassment. It was as though she was to blame for this.  She desperately tried to reach it, to snatch it from the laughing boys making sport of her menstrual cycle.

This event symbolizes so much about the values of patriarchy - values that have taken fifty years for me to understand.

The first is to blame the victim.  At the time it was clear to me that the embarrassment was not hers to own - it was the boys who shamefully took something from her and threw it around.

In a society where males win medals for killing more children than women can give birth to, life is merely a resource. Giving birth, menstruating, rape, assault,…