In the past, whenever I read news about any conservative leader, party or government — small-c conservative, including the Canadian federal and provincial Conservative parties, the American Repugnicans, and the British Tories — I always have to ask myself, “Can they get any more corrupt than this?” Then I ask, “Can they be any more dishonest?” And then “Can they be any more batshit crazy?” And every time I look further, they surprise me by scraping the metaphorical barrel deeper, … click below for more!
American Talibangelists recently took a giant step towards creating Gilead in the USA when the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos were due the same legal protection as real children (although children there have less protection because Repugnicans care little about actual children than embryos). It extended the the legal definition of a human life to start at conception.* This 131-page ruling includes 41 references to god, flipping the bird to even lip service to the separation of state … click below for more!
Yes, I get the reason some people might have been outraged that a white guy (Johnny Depp) played an indigenous person in the 2013 movie version of The Lone Ranger. It seemed, at least from the outside at the time — before watching it — to reinforce stereotypes and denigrate native Indians. Cultural appropriation and all that. What was Disney thinking? Facepalm! Whitewashing! But wait… Time magazine had a review with the title, Johnny Depp as Tonto: Is The Lone … click below for more!
Throughout his career, Marcus Tullius Cicero fought tyranny, stood up to dictators and bullies, defended the Republic, and paid for his principled stand with his life. He put himself in harm’s way frequently by openly challenging and even suing the elites, the rich, and the powerful who were controlling — or trying to control — Rome and its empire for their own personal benefit and enrichment. I wonder what he would do if he were alive today, facing the same … click below for more!
You might think, while reading Henry VI Part 2, that Shakespeare was writing about recent events, the writer merely masking them in archaic historical dress. Okay, even if you have read some of the Bard’s plays, the three Henry VI plays probably aren’t among the ones you read in university or high school. They can be a slog to read in part because they were among his earliest, and the story meanders a lot. But bear with me. They were … click below for more!
One of my favourite movies in my collection — seen three times already on DVD or Blu-ray but likely to be seen more — is the 2017 satire, The Death of Stalin, directed by Armando Iannucci. Wikipedia describes it as depicting: “…the internal social and political power struggle among the members of Council of Ministers following the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1953.” That’s a bit vague; it doesn’t include the antics, the scheming, the occasional slapstick moment, … click below for more!
Hey there, conservatives (especially you conservative males!), let’s talk about the Barbie movie. Yes, I know nothing makes you want to take your AR-15 to the local Toys ‘R Us for a well-deserved shoot-up than a film about a girl’s toy (please don’t do it!). I mean, how dare anyone make a movie without guns, car chases, explosions, bullet storms, babes in skimpy outfits, and a beefy male action hero like Jason Statham or Daniel Craig to deal mayhem and … click below for more!
How shall we be governed? Philosophers have debated that issue since Plato and the question is more important today than ever, given the rise of right-wing extremism everywhere, especially in liberal democracies where there is an ongoing, concerted effort by several current political parties and non-government organizations (NGOs) like the IDU to subvert or overthrow Western democracies and replace them with authoritarian dictatorships; American Repugnicans and Canadian CONservatives among them*. Let’s look at the history, first. It was Niccolo Machiavelli … click below for more!
Thirty nine per cent. That was the risible turnout of voters for the local municipal election here in Collingwood. Significantly fewer than half of our eligible voters made the effort to participate in our democracy, even though they could vote in person or on the internet for three weeks. It was never easier to cast a ballot, never been more convenient, never took less time, yet 61% of local voters chose not to. Why? That’s a question that keeps me … click below for more!
Back in late 2020, local media was singing the praises of a new company called Trebor RX at 395 Raglan Street in Collingwood. Its entrepreneurial owner, George Irwin, promised great things for the new plant and its innovative products, including creating up to 100 new jobs.* The idea sprouted in spring, 2020, when Irwin got the idea to start making masks in Collingwood, and when offered masks by a colleague, he got an order for 40,000 from the Collingwood General … click below for more!
Anyone running for office should consider reading How to Win an Election, by Quintus Tullius Cicero, translated by Philip Freeman. It’s a short, small book subtitled An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians (Princeton University Press, 2012). It contains both the Latin and the English translation of Quintus’ letter to his more famous brother, the orator Marcus Cicero. Quintus penned it in 64 BCE when Marcus decided to run for the position of Consul, the highest office in the Roman Republic. … click below for more!
Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) was not an optimist about human behaviour. Writing more than a century after Niccolo Machiavelli, the English political philosopher argued in his masterwork, Leviathan (1651), that the quest for power was the main motivation for humans. And that our quest to acquire more would never cease until we were dead. He wrote: …in the first place, I put for a general inclination of all mankind a perpetual and restless desire of Power after power, that ceaseth only … click below for more!
I recently came across this piece by Marcus Tullius Cicero (one of my favourite classical authors) on the Sententiae Antiquae website (a good source of classical Latin and Greek translations), taken from Cicero’s oration Pro Murena (35-36). Lucius Licinius Murena was elected as his election as consul in 62 BCE but was subsequently accused of bribery. He was defended by Cicero, who recorded his speech for posterity. Here’s what Cicero said about elections in general: What strait or what channel … click below for more!
The Talibangelists (aka the Christofascists) like those on the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) or in the anti-abortion movement like to pretend they base their decisions, their politics, their morality, their education, their lives on their bible. But as we’ve seen so many times; they don’t like to follow everything in their bible. Christofascists only quote very selective passages that confirm their existing beliefs and can be used to promote their totalitarian ideology. There are too many inconvenient biblical … click below for more!