Word games: What our federal government’s Israel-Palestine policies say about its democratic values

In his 2013 address to the National Jewish Fund, Prime Minister Harper vocally embraced Israel as “a light of freedom and democracy in what is otherwise a region of darkness,” insulting outright all other nations in the Middle East. When asked about settlements during his visit to Israel earlier this year, Harper refused to “single out the state of Israel” by offering any criticism, and was again quick to paint the region with the same orientalist brush, alluding to forces of terrorism and darkness.

Continue reading

De-funding is the new book burning

Science is supposed to be the objective arbitrator between ideological extremes in our democracy.

Some people readily consume information at face value. Others regard anything disseminated from what may appear to be an authority figure with such a high degree of skepticism (contempt, even) that they trust nothing.

The best bridge between these two camps is science — quantifiable or qualifiable facts.

Continue reading