There are many people in western nations who are against providing refuge for the millions of displaced people primarily citing fears for our safety. These fears are being spread largely byright wing politicians and media, even those who from refugee or immigrant families. These are not exclusively right wing opinions as many on the left are also against allowing the resettlement of Syrian refugees. To be completely fair the right wing Cato Institute does not believe the refugees pose any realistic security threat, and that refusing refugees many actually increase the risk.
There is one clear lesson from the limited academic literature on this issue: Allowing the current UNHCR refugee camp situation to grow and fester for years can only produce more radicalization and terrorism. A more expansive refugee policy with adequate security checks that resettles large numbers in safe countries can drain the swamp of potential future terrorists and decrease that risk.
What very few have noted is that we in the west have been a major force in creating these refugees from Syria and from much of the rest of the world as well. Thus we bear a moral responsibility to provide assistance to those displaced through our own actions. Continue reading
The Virgin Mary sure gets around. Interestingly enough it seems to be an exclusively Roman Catholic phenomenon; she doesn’t appear to Protestants, and certainly not to non-Christians. Continue reading
I am getting tired of re-reading the same comments and lies about the Paris attacks and the refugees who have been forced to leave their lives in Syria. They are people who have had their lives destroyed and are trying to survive by moving to countries that do not share their long history or culture. No one wants to leave their home and Damascus, the capital of Syria, is considered one of the oldest continuously populated cities in the world, a history measured in as many thousands of years, predating European settlement of the Americas by a factor of 10. Continue reading
I haven’t seen my chin in 40 years (this year is the anniversary of the beard). I always thought that the reason I grew the facial hair was because I hated shaving. I mean it was fun for the first few times when I was 16, but by the time I turned 18, it was twice a day every day.
That got old real quick
Over the years, I have trimmed the edges and worn it sometimes longer and sometimes shorter, but never since has a razor touched my cheeks or my chin. It turns out I was wrong about why I avoid shaving. Apparently, the reason for the beard is because I am a hostile sexist with overt masculinity and dominance. Continue reading
I’m not at all up on all the worldwide pop singers, and I’d never heard of Will Young who won the inaugural 2002 season of the UK’s Pop Idol.
He’s just released a new song, “Brave Man” that was directed by Fox Fisher, a prominent trans activist and starring transgendered Finn. It’s an amazing portrayal of the honesty and bravery it takes to be true to yourself. Continue reading
The situation in Syria has developed into the worst refugee crisis in recent memory, with approximately ½ of the population displaced from their homes. Out of a total population of 23 million in 2014, there are now over 4,000,000 who have fled the country and over 7.5 million within the country. There have also been approximately 250,000 killed in the conflict. Continue reading
It’s just amazes me the number of Canadians who accept the racism and misogyny and general nastyness of the CPC’s campaign.
Marg Delahunty Warrior Princess certainly has no use for it.
The Big Lebowski is one of the greatest cult movies of all time, with fans worldwide. It even inspired a bar in Prague, Czech Republic, where you pay what you want for your drink. Of course, the most popular is their White Russian. Apparently it’s closed now, so I was very fortunate to experience the place when in the city a few years ago.
One of the most quoted lines from the movie is Walter’s (John Goodman) repetitive line to Donny (Steve Buscemi) “Shut the fuck up Donny”; a line that Salon Magazine has decided fits perfectly with the words of Donald Trump.
if only we had a “Shut the Fuck Steve” for Canadians.
I’m very critical of most religious beliefs, especially when those beliefs cause or allow physical or emotional harm to come to others. However, here are two examples of Sikhs who saved lives by focusing on helping others rather than the paraphernalia associated with their religion.
The first from May of this year :
Mr Singh, 22, was at home when he heard car wheels screeching, and then a commotion, and ran outside to investigate. “I saw a child down on the ground and a lady was holding him. His head was bleeding, so I unveiled my turban and put it under his head.”
The child was taken to hospital and survived.
I have a fairly simplistic way of looking at some things.
I am a biologist and I have a reasonable understanding of how evolution and natural selection work. My expertise is 20 years out of date, but I have some grasp on what has been discovered since; enough to argue the facts with creationists. On the other hand, I’m not up on how deep time dating works, but I accept that the Earth is billions of years old and that’s how evolution can happen.
I am not a physicist, but I accept the ideas of scientists who accept that, despite what we experience, the Earth is approximately spherical and rotates on its axis, the Moon orbits our planet, and we all circle the sun along with some of the sparkly sky dots. Everything out there is much larger and further away than we can possibly imagine.
I also accept the atomic and quantum theories that explain existence at microscopic levels that are far beyond even most powerful microscopes.
Do I understand these things? No I do not. Nor do most of the people in the world. However, very few doubt the veracity of these theories. We leave the deep understanding to those who have expertise in these fields, even if there are a few naysayers to all theories.