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bigotry trumps freedom of expression August 31, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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If I walked into an airport wearing a shirt that said “We Will Not Be Silent” I doubt there would be much of a stir. It would probably appear a lot less threatening than wearing an anarchist “A” or a picture of Lenin on my shirt. But what if the shirt said “We Will Not Be Silent” in Arabic and the person wearing the shirt was of Iraqi descent?

Mr. Raed Jaffar, an architect, passed security at JFK but upon waiting for his flight he was confronted by two men wanting his ID and boarding pass. The two men then told him that he had to remove his shirt that said “We Will Not Be Silent” (in both Arabic and English) because several other passengers were “concerned” about the Arabic script. (more…)

the power of nightmares August 30, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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bbc.jpg
The BBC put out a three part series back in January of 2005 (recently updated) concerning the rise of neo-conservatism in America and Islamic extremists in the middle east and Afghanistan. Although I do not necessarily agree with point of view presented in every respect, the film itself is a powerful portrayal of the times we live in. Check it out: (more…)

doth shalt not steal August 30, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in philosophy, politics.
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What do we teach our children about stealing? Exodus 20:15 famously quips, “Doth shalt not steal”. Pretty vague if you ask me. Maybe not so vague three thousand years ago but in our “democratic capitalist” system, “stealing” is a relative term. Relative to the colour of persons skin and to the time of the crime. The eighth commandment, as quoted above, definitely has some give, just as some of the other commandments in the Bible (for the ancient Hebrews as well as the current fundamentalist Christians that hold them to be the most holy of laws). We all know that the sixth commandment is “do not murder” and the ninth is “do not give false testimony”, yet murder (via war) was acceptable to the nation of Israel (not to mention God) and false testimony was relative to the situation (Joshua 2:4). So back to stealing. (more…)

universities boycott, “macleans” gets defensive August 29, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in academia, media.
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August 14, 2006

Dear Mr. Keller:
We regret to advise you that our universities will not be participating in the 2006 Maclean’s questionnaire.
We share Maclean’s goal of providing good information for students and their families who are researching post-secondary education. We also compliment you on your editorial coverage of the post-secondary sector. Many of the articles in Maclean’s have contributed to the national discussion about post-secondary education, and have helped to frame students’ choices. Our concern relates specifically to Maclean’s attempts to generate a global ranking of Canadian universities. (more…)

why i love “shaun of the dead” August 28, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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I loathe zombie flicks. Sorry Romero fans. I just can not sit through the monotony of some protagonist(s) using a vast assortment of weapons to maim and decapitate as many hominid (and/or canine) undead. Some call Shaun of the Dead a “coming-of-age” story. The problem I have with that is because I associate “coming-of-age” stories with child, teenagers, or even young adults, such as myself. Sure, the 29-year-old protagonist of the story in this case does have a job that most teenagers hold while in school (which Shaun is brutally reminded of by the acne-prone staff). Whatever Director Edgar Wright had in mind for his movie, what I got out of it was more of a social commentary than a “coming-of-age” story. (more…)

chomsky answers our questions August 27, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in philosophy, politics.
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How did you feel about the lack of a swift UN intervention in the recent Lebanon crisis? ROBIN, INVERNESS

The first requirement was an immediate cease-fire. That was blocked by Washington, presumably to allow maximal destruction by the invasion – the US-Israeli invasion, according to the (accurate) perception of 90 per cent of Lebanese. That call should have been accompanied by a demand for withdrawal of the invading army and reparations, unthinkable given the distribution of power. The resolution that was passed is deeply flawed, a separate matter. (more…)

out of hell August 27, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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Yesterday I wrote about the lot of journalists and peacekeepers in the middle east right now focusing on the two Fox News journalists. Today the prisoners were released by the obscure group, Holy Jihad Brigades. However, it is interesting to note the amount of skepticism surrounding the news article in the above link (read the comments). Of course “The Globe and Mail” is Canadian but the astounding amount of contempt for anything coming from Fox News has to be a wake-up call. I increasingly question every piece of news that I read (I do not usually watch the news) for not only its journalistic integrity but even for its validity. It seems that more and more people are doing the same.

my political compass August 27, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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reporting from hell August 26, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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Some people really have a passion for there job. To be reporting in the middle east right now takes a little more than passion. A little while back I wrote about Alexandra Avakian who was able to get into the Hezbollah itself as a reporter for National Geographic. Not all reporters in the area are so lucky. Recently in the news are the demands of the “Holy Jihad Brigades”. They were previously unheard of, but since their capture of two Fox News journalists on August 14th, the Holy Jihad Brigades have found their 15 minutes of infamy. These sort of attacks on journalists are that of sheer cowardice, even if it is Fox News. The group holding the two journalists, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, have demanded the release of all Muslim prisoners of the United States. These guys are either very stupid or, just very stupid. (more…)

israel under investigation August 23, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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Is it impossible to accuse both sides of an armed conflict as war crimes? Lets hope so. Amnesty International has recently accused Israel of committing war crimes in their defensive measures against the Hezbollah in Lebanon. (more…)

nietzsche within lavey’s satanism August 22, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in academia, philosophy, religion.
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Upon reading the works of Anton Szander LaVey it is readily apparent that the moral code presented is against the norm of society. However, less than hundred years before LaVey’s, “The Satanic Bible”, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote an abundant amount of texts that presented an extremely similar moral outlook on life. Some would say that the similarities are too close. LaVeyen Satanism has even been accused of “ripping off” Nietzsche’s philosophy. However, there is a fine line between being influenced by the work of a past philosopher and hijacking him. This article will attempt to find that line. (more…)

jains celebrate paryushana August 21, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in religion.
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Followers of the Jain Dharma (Jainism) are celebrating their most important holy day today, Paryushana. Unlike Christianity or other religions, their most important holy day does not concern the birth or death of their founder. (more…)

stockwell day supports vague “terror list” August 21, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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In my last post I targeted some Hollywood’s heavyweights and their limited knowledge of the situation in the Middle East. (more…)

hollywood a-list supports israel’s war August 20, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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  • Nicole Kidman, high-school dropout
  • Michael Douglas, B.A. (Univ of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Dennis Hopper, high-school diploma
  • Sylvester Stallone, high-school dropout
  • Bruce Willis, high-school diploma
  • Danny De Vito, high-school diploma
  • James Woods, high-school diploma (dropped out of M.I.T.)
  • Don Johnson, B.A. (Univ of Kansas)
  • Kelly Preston, high-school diploma
  • Patricia Heaton, B.A. (Ohio State) in Theatre
  • William Hurt, B.A. (Tufts) – awarded honouary doctorate in Fine Arts by Tufts in 2005
  • Ridley Scott, B.A. (Royal College of Art in London) in Film Arts

Alright, that is a pretty prestigous list, isn’t it? (more…)

are men programmed to cheat? August 19, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in philosophy, reflections, science.
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I was going to post something today about the problems in our education system. I figured, however, that it would come off as somewhat passive-aggressive since I am really just bitter with some of my grades and sick of hearing about “females doing better than males” in schools when our grading system is completely useless and the education system itself is irrelevant. (more…)