Category: Politics

2020, Politics, Psychology, Society

70 Million Americans Voted to Re-Elect a Con Man to the Presidency

In August of 2016, before his election to President, I wondered whether or not Donald Trump was the Greatest Con Man of All Time. (The GOAT-Con? The Con-GOAT? The GCMOAT?) A year and a half later, still mystified by his support, I wondered how people continue to trust him, as he burns one after the …

Economics, Politics, Society

International Tax Compliance

The biggest problem the world faces should go without saying: climate change. Human behaviour is changing the climate to the extent that it will be harder for people to inhabit certain parts of the world, and that will cause all sorts of other problems. But that problem is long-term, no matter how immediate it seems …

2020, Philosophy, Politics, Society

The Problem of Subjectivity

Throughout most of human history, we haven’t done a good job of understanding objective reality. Learning about objective reality has been a slow, difficult process, with many setbacks, but which has rapidly accelerated in the last few centuries, especially the last one. If you compare the growth of scientific knowledge about the universe versus the …

Economics, Politics, Society

UBI Now

COVID-19 is causing all sorts of economic problems. Rather, reactions to COVID-19 are causing all sorts of problems. Behaviour that is good for reducing the spread of this virus is bad for the economy. Nobody is quite sure what to do or how to moderate the inevitable recession. Our government has a plan, this plan …

Economics, Politics, Psychology, Society

Status Rewards for Paying Taxes

As I have written elsewhere, I feel like tax avoidance/evasion is the second biggest problem humanity faces right now. The rich move most of their money out of the societies they earned that money in, and it sits in off-shore bank accounts, benefiting the account holder far more than it benefits the society where it …

Politics, Psychology

Incremental Socialism is a Conspiracy Theory

I was having a conversation with a conservative on Reddit a while ago. The conservative I was primarily engaged with shared many of my views (to an extent) when it came to the nature of reality, something I was not expecting. I had posted those views because I thought fundamental disagreements of the nature of …

Philosophy, Politics, Society

What is the Point of Government?

The question “What is the point of government?” likely strikes you either as an obvious question or an absurd and pointless question, depending upon your philosophical beliefs. I assume either you think it’s a question always worth asking or a question never worth asking. Count me in the former camp. I believe asking “what is …

2018, Politics, Society

Ontario and the Notwithstanding Clause

There are many things to like about Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a more inclusive bill of rights than, say, the American one. But there’s always been a crucial flaw, the “Notwithstanding Clause.” This clause grants any provincial government the right to override the Charter in a specific instance for a specific period of …

Books, Movies, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Society, Theatre, TV

In Praise of Cultural Appropriation

This article is about the accusation of “cultural appropriation” being thrown around at works of art. I may not be entitled to write this.

Politics, Society

Graham Greene and McCarthyism

In 1952 the British Catholic novelist Graham Greene attempted to visit the United States to meet with his American publisher, among other things. Greene had visited the US multiple times before and had even put a play on in Boston (an adaptation of his The Heart of the Matter, it was a disaster). He applied …

2017, Personal, Politics, Society

Fascism is Alive and Well in the United States of America

I must admit that I have been somewhat of a “Trump optimist” these last few months. I believed in his obvious, demonstrable incompetence at just about everything he does – except branding and self-promotion, obviously. (He’s been abetted in this incompetence by untold numbers of people if you’re wondering why someone who is generally incompetent …

2016, Politics, Society

Well that was Stupid

Regardless of how you feel about last night’s US general election, why did that take 18 months? Why does it take 18 months to make a decision about who should be president? 18 months! This is not normal. No other democracy in the world takes this long to pick its head of state. None. This …

2016, Politics, Psychology, Society

Is Trump the Greatest Con Man in American History?

Sorry for the clickbaity headline. What I really mean to ask is “Is Donald Trump trying to become the Greatest American Con Man of All Time?” because only if he wins the Presidential election will he achieve this feat.

2011, Movies, Politics, Society

Better This World (2011, Kelly Duane, Katie Galloway)

This is an important film that is really, really worth your time. What starts off seemingly as a portrait of some well-intentioned youths that got into some bad shit – and feels, perhaps, like an apology for such behaviour – soon reveals itself to be the story of something so much worse. Though it’s weird …

Politics, Society

An Open Letter to His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston

Your Excellency, I don’t need to tell you that as the Queen’s representative in Canada you are essentially our Head of State. Regardless of the massive changes that have occurred since the position of Governor General was created, you remain in a position of actual authority even if the weight of the office has diminished …

Politics, Society

Abolish the Canadian Senate?

A lot of people are calling for the abolition of the Canadian Senate lately (spring of 2015), and these calls will increase if the chamber dose what everyone expects, and passes C-51 this week; C-51 being the anti-terrorism legislation that basically every legal expert in the country is opposed to. At the same time, the …

2015, Politics, Society

My Message to Senator Yonah Martin

Dear Ms. Martin, I would like to express my deep disappointment with you and your fellow Senators regarding Bill C-51, a bill that is unconstitutional – and will be found so, I have no doubt. The idea of the Senate is that is a place to reevaluate government legislation. Ostensibly this duty should be above …

2015, Politics, Society

It’s not just C-51 that’s the problem, it’s the System

I haven’t posted anything original in this space since February, in part because I am writing a new book, but in part because I have been a little depressed about the seeming inevitably of the government passing the worst piece of Federal legislation I have seen in my lifetime. (If you don’t know what C-51 …

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

The belief in Justice is probably the breeding ground for injustice

I have long identified myself as an atheist – even though I’m an agnostic – in religion, an existentialist in philosophy and “anti-apocalyptic” or “anti-ideological” person in politics (i.e. a pragmatist). I have long struggled with this last definition, not because I don’t know what I am – I know exactly what I am, politically …

Politics, Society

Please, everyone, just calm down

Please, everyone, let’s just calm down a little. Let’s try to have a sense of perspective. Let’s try to think about the big picture. I know that’s very difficult when someone you never met dies, but let’s try to be bigger than knee-jerk reactions this one time.

Politics, Psychology, Society

Proposal for Improved Voter Turnout

The Proposal A number of years ago, a friend of mine proposed an interesting idea for promoting voter turnout in Canada during one of our writer’s group meetings: turn voting into a lottery. The idea is relatively simple: each ballot cast is also a ticket for Canada’s largest lottery. Every voter is only allowed one …

2013, Politics, Religion, Society

Timing is Everything

When the RCMP announced they arrested two suspected train bombers the other day, many people questioned the timing. They claimed they had been following them for a year, and yet there was no immediate danger to public safety. Announced in the week following the Boston Marathon bombing, many suspected the RCMP were either just trying …

Politics, Science, Society

The Conservative Party of Canada is now officially the Party of Willful Ignorance.

Last week, the Government of Canada voted against “Science.” Quite literally, it turns out. Here is the text of the motion the Conservatives voted down: That, in the opinion of the House, a) public science, basic research, and the free and open exchange of scientific information are essential to evidence-based policy-making; b) federal government scientists must …

Politics, Society

Treason is what you make it

I am a regular viewer of the Amazing Race, the only “reality” show I can handle which isn’t cooking-related. I am aware that the show is not exactly what it seems, as I am aware that it is edited and that the crew manipulate the results. I don’t care. I enjoy the “race” aspect of …

Journalism, Politics

Journalism and Democracy

We are at a time when journalism – or at least the potential to perform journalism – has become democratized in ways previously never thought possible. There are more “journalists” and outlets supposedly performing “journalism” than ever existed in history before. There are more people and outlets posing as journalistic. There is more coverage of …