Dented Blue Mercedes: Free Speech, When The “Debate” is You (and You’re Not Invited)

Shout: “Help, I’m being silenced!” There’s a duplicitous game of sleight-of-hand that is taking place in discussions about freedom of speech in academia and the public square. Here’s how it works: at first, a person fishes for controversy by saying several things that they know will offend people.  If this garners enough attention, then the ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: Spin, illustrated #nlpoli

Spin is a bit more than a mere biased interpretation or a clever reframing of an idea.  In other words, there’s more to it than saying the glass is half full rather than describing it as half empty. Spin is deliberately deceptive. On Wednesday,  the folks at Nalcor announced they had a new contract with ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Free speech, and the cruel shackles of empathy and mutual respect

In Canada, we tend to value freedom of speech very highly, and it’s often said that the best way to counter objectionable speech is with more speech. That’s the first thought that crosses my mind in the case of U of T professor Jordan Peterson, who declares in a series of YouTube videos that he ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: CNN lies, distorts, while its own polls tell the truth: Bernie won the debate

CNN’s own polls show Bernie Sanders won the Democratic presidential debate last night, Tuesday, October 13, 2015, hands down. When CNN polled, and asked “Who won the debate?” 83% of people said Bernie Sanders. 83%. Yet, CNN headlines are splashing the big, bold message, Hillary wins debate by landslide. Can the media be any more ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Conscience, Human Rights, and a Kentucky Clerk

So inevitably, a blog that’s all about religious freedom would need to comment on the ongoing troubles of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, and her stand against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  I didn’t want to rush on that right away, because I wanted to do so thoughtfully, and dig underneath the impulsiveness and spin ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Conscience, Human Rights, and a Kentucky Clerk

So inevitably, a blog that’s all about religious freedom would need to comment on the ongoing troubles of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, and her stand against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  I didn’t want to rush on that right away, because I wanted to do so thoughtfully, and dig underneath the impulsiveness and spin ...

Accidental Deliberations: On full information

Michael Harris’ latest is well worth a read in offering a guide to avoiding the worst consequences of election-year spin. But it’s worth noting that his most important advice is only presented as an afterthought: Final note on street-proofing your vote? Inform yourself. Look at what the people who want their power renewed have done with ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Danger and Delusion: From ISIS to Ebola

There are very real dangers in the world, but let’s not lose all perspective. Perspective is everything. Don’t believe the hype. It must be stated directly: the majority of people have wildly irrational, and frankly delusional modes of thinking when it comes to risk assessment. And of course, pre-formed, unreflective opinions, that is, prejudice and ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Sodom: Review of a Russian Anti-Gay Documentary

On Tuesday, October 28th, Peter LaBarbera re-entered Canada for an immigration hearing, then to speak at an anti-LGBT conference, and finally on Thursday to face charges for mischief (which stem from an arrest while distributing anti-LGBT leaflets at the University of Regina). LaBarbera (nicknamed “Porno Pete” by bloggers because of his penchant for filming pride ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: What is happening in Venezuela? It’s certainly not what the mainstream media is telling you

“Much of the reporting by the mass media gives the impression that Venezuela faces a national rebellion. The reality, says Miguel Tinker Salas, is that the protests have been restricted to mostly middle and upper middle class neighborhoods, not entire cities.”   – Truthout, What is happening in Venezuela?(Many, many thanks, to the honest journalism ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans kids, washrooms and the new harassment

On October 13th, a story appeared at the Christian Broadcasting Network about girls being harassed by a trans youth in the washroom of a Colorado-area school.  Soon afterward, the story was picked up by the Daily Mail, the Examiner, FOX News, and several webmedia outlets.  One even embellished it with a claim that the girls ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans kids, washrooms and the new harassment

On October 13th, a story appeared at the Christian Broadcasting Network about girls being harassed by a trans youth in the washroom of a Colorado-area school.  Soon afterward, the story was picked up by the Daily Mail, the Examiner, FOX News, and several webmedia outlets.  One even embellished it with a claim that the girls ...

The Canadian Progressive: Today Big Oil’s spin gets a much-needed reality check

TarSandsRealityCheck.com launches today (May 16, 2013) to reveal the gritty truth about the tar sands and counter misinformation spread by the oil industry By: Environmental Defence Canada | Press Release: Toronto/Washington/Brussels – Launching today in Canada, Europe and the United States, TarSandsRealityCheck.com presents up to date, accurate facts about Alberta’s tar sands to counter the high-level pro-oil sands lobbying ongoing in ...

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: Don’t be fooled by the spin on the Canada-China FIPA treaty

by Gus Van Harten| Troy Media There is a lot of spin about the Canada-China investment treaty (or FIPA). Canadians should not be fooled into the deal. They should insist on an independent review of the government’s claims, before the treaty is locked in for 31 years. Recently, National Post columnist Andrew Coyne analyzed the treaty and pronounced ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: MP’s trans predator fearmongering escalates.

On Friday, Sun News commentator Brian Lilley interviewed Rob Anders, the Member of Parliament who has drawn condemnation for conflating transsexual and transgender people with sexual predators in a petition he has been circulating on his website, and to at least one church in his riding. In “Children’s bathroom bill reaches Parliament Hill,” both doubled ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Hypocrisy on Free Speech and “Protecting Freedom.”

On June 6th (the same night that the trans human rights Bill C-279 advanced to committee) Conservative MP for Westlock – St. Paul, Brian Storseth’s Private Member’s Bill C-304, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act (protecting freedom), passed Third Reading in the House of Commons, and advanced to the Senate for ratification.  ...

somecanuckchick dot com: It’s the tar sands, stupid!

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; Act II, Scene ii, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare The Athabasca tar sands have always been, are now, and will always be known as… the Athabasca tar sands. Why? Because the tar sands’ consistency is actually similar ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence “indoctrinates:” the “No Pro Homo” education model. (Part 2)

This is part of a 3-part series on LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying education, centering around the Day of Silence, which encourages students to take a vow of silence for the day, to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.  It occurs on April 20th. Part 1: When even silence offends: on the 2012 push from the North ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence fails: On affirmation (part 3)

This is part of a 3-part series on LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying education, centering around the Day of Silence, which encourages students to take a vow of silence for the day, to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.  It occurs on April 20th. Part 1: When even silence offends: on the 2012 push from the North ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: When even silence offends. (Part 1)

This is part of a 3-part series on LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying education, centering around the Day of Silence, which encourages students to take a vow of silence for the day, to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.  It occurs on April 20th. Part 1: When even silence offends: on the 2012 push from the North ...

DeSmogBlog: Survey Says…Fracking IS Causing Earthquakes

oh-frack1.jpg A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says that the increased seismic activity taking place in certain areas of the United States is almost certainly the result of oil and gas drilling activities. The group has been studying dozens of earthquakes across America for the last 8 months and determined that the ...

DeSmogBlog: Tracking The Origins Of The "Blame Obama For Gas Prices" Talking Point

4+dollar+gas.jpg Since at least last summer, conservatives have been parroting the oil industry talking point that President Obama is somehow the one responsible for the spike in gasoline and oil prices. As we have pointed out, they base this on their assertion that the President has been “hostile” towards the dirty energy industry by prohibiting ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Harper Spends $90k of Our Money/Day to Spin Us on His Cuts

The Harper government is paying consultant Deloitte Inc. almost $90,000 a day for advice on how to manage the cuts. via Harper personally approved $22,000 tab for visiting bureaucrats – The Globe and Mail. I am flabbergasted to read this entire article about money Harper personally signed off on to wine and dine the global ...

CalgaryLiberal: Liberal Convention 2012: The Need For Open Primaries

In 2011 I was on the convention floor in Calgary, Alberta, advocating for the same change that is in front of the federal Liberals today (see constitution document here [PDF]). I spoke of openness, inclusion, the need for a new force in politics, and the empowerment that an open primary can deliver to the Alberta ...

DeSmogBlog: Bowing to Republican Pressure, EPA Eases Boiler Emission Standards, Threatening U.S. Economy and Health

boiler emissions.jpg   The U.S. EPA has bowed to pressure from Republican members of Congress and relaxed the proposed rules for boiler emissions. By allowing utility industry companies to make “upgrades” to existing boilers, rather than replacing them with lower-emission boilers, corporations will save an estimated $1.5 billion in their attempts to meet emission standards. The EPA ...