Fighting Words

Publication YearIssue Date 
  Fighting Words
May 28, 2009
  Young workers feeling the recessionís wrathPDF files may take a moment to load

Since the economy started its downward spiral late last summer, we of the insulated student population haven't had need for the same apprehension as the rest of society. We have no life savings to lose, no homes to be repossessed by the bank and job security is more likely to be a security job. Sure, Harvard lost $8 billion of its endowment and faculties, as well as banks, are constantly preparing to merge, but through all that the ivory tower- brown and overrun with geese in our case- is still standing.


April 16, 2009
  Exploring the imperative behind Earth DayPDF files may take a moment to load

Earth Day falls just over a week after Easter weekend and provides a nice shift in perspective from all the supernaturalism to something, well, more natural. Holidays are meant to evoke reflection, so let's take stock of the Earth and ask: what is so good about the Earth anyway? Why should we devote so much to its protection?


April 09, 2009
  A cautionary tale of clubbing cowsPDF files may take a moment to load

Every year, as the weather turns nice and the pack ice breaks up, the seal hunt begins. Questions arise over the ethics of killing seals in such large numbers a practice that occurs not for the feeding of northern communities (though some does go to that), but to clothe the wealthy around the world. In a bid to limit the seal hunt, the European Union has threatened to ban all seal products, like Belgium did in 2007.


April 02, 2009
  Alberta minister amends human rightsPDF files may take a moment to load

Human rights law in Alberta may be getting a much-needed revision in the near future. The announcement came last Friday from Lindsay Blackett, Alberta's Minister of Culture, who is seeking to change laws that are badly in need of amendment. Chief among them is making the freedom to choose sexual orientation a human right; a decision that will only be outdone by the allowance of gay marriage. The criticisms voiced by opponents are unfounded and little besides bigotry supports their cause.


March 19, 2009
  Alberta's foster child system under firePDF files may take a moment to load

Since a 15-month-old boy from a foster home in southern Alberta was hospitalized earlier this month, questions have been raised regarding the conditions foster children face. RCMP are investigating the circumstances that led to the injury; no comments have been made regarding criminal charges. The foster program in Alberta did not receive much attention before this incident and the state in which it is run is certainly in need of review.


March 12, 2009
  Finding fault with the unionPDF files may take a moment to load

If the Students' Union was a driver, it would be the type that just got its licence, and was put behind the wheel of a $17 million car equipped with a strong radar detector, so that no matter how reckless it became, little would be done to stop it. It just reached the age where it can go buy alcohol and few rules of the road exist. At some point down the road, things got out of control.


February 26, 2009
  Why the worst offence means poor defencePDF files may take a moment to load

Johann Hari wrote an article in The Independent three weeks ago, evaluating the right to criticize religion. Islamic countries are demanding that the definition be changed for the United Nations Rapporteur on Human Rights, so that offence to religions can be stifled. The Cairo Declaration seeks to enforce shariah law, whereby critiques of Islam will not be tolerated. Offended Muslims violently rioted for a week after The Statesman, a Kolkata-based newspaper, reprinted Hari's article.


February 12, 2009
  Darwin part deuxPDF files may take a moment to load

Last week I finished by pointing out the difference between a scientific truth and a political (social, cultural) ought. Many people, including some well-known scientists, have confused this issue. Science is not in the business of telling us how we should live; rather, it describes the world and defines the implications of philosophical ideas. Darwinian theory is frequently attacked on mistaken grounds, so it is important to look at the effects of the misunderstandings and why they are wrong.


February 05, 2009
  What Darwin didPDF files may take a moment to load

In a two-part special for the bicentenary of Darwin's birth Feb. 12, I'll be addressing how the theory of evolution by natural selection changed the world and how those that reject it hinder humanity.



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