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Monthly Archives: June 2012
Brian Dijkema  |  June 29, 2012  |  Culture, Labour, Legacy

I read an excellent commencement address by Daniel Mendlesohn this week in which he describes a conversation he had with his grandparents about his plans to study classics in university. His grandparents asked: What good it will do you, Greek and Latin? They are dead, the Greeks, the Romans—all dead, for a thousand years they are dead! A thousand years! I have been to Greece, … MORE »

Robert Joustra  |  June 28, 2012  |  Economy, Foreign Policy, Politics

Canada is nervous about depending on America. No surprise there, we live in a time when America is nervous about depending on America, so why shouldn’t its foreign allies feel the same? The United States doesn’t do itself any favours, mind you, when—as two Canadians in Foreign Affairs put it this week— “Obama jilts Canada.” But jiltings and hurt feelings aside, the resurrection of Canada’s … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  June 27, 2012  |  Culture

Nadine Schweigert has attracted considerable attention of late for her March wedding, to herself. I had never contemplated this as an option and so did not realize how behind the times I was. An hour of Googling the phenomena shows that the past decade has seen a string of self-marriages. I suspect the newscasters description of this as a “new trend” is hyperbole, but it … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  June 26, 2012  |  Arts, Culture, Religion

My son and I recently spent a Saturday afternoon together in Ottawa taking in the Van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada. Completely uncharacteristically (okay, maybe not completely uncharacteristic), we emerged from the gallery locked in a vigorous debate. It was touched off when I said how much I dislike plaques, signage, headphone audio commentary or similar distractions at an exhibit such as … MORE »

This past Friday night, hundreds of young men with natural talent and physical prowess descended upon the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA, hoping and praying they would hear their names announced by a National Hockey League team in the 2012 NHL draft. For all intents and purposes, these athletes are exceptional, they are special. While the majority of the 211 players drafted will not … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  June 22, 2012  |  Culture, Education, Religion, Vocation

This blog is the substance of the graduation address given at Oxford Reformed Christian School last evening. Wellesley High School English teacher David McCullough Jr. made headlines with his graduation speech a few weeks back. Contrary to the “go-get-all-that-is-yours” message which often characterizes these talks, McCullough challenged the entitlement complex. You’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. … You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and … MORE »

Peter Stockland’s excellent blog this week reminds us that “we are called to engage in the political life of our country not to win but to witness. We are called as witnesses of Christ in whatever worldly glory or madness plays itself out before us.” But what does it mean to be a witness of Christ? Where do we look for evidence of this kind … MORE »

John Sikkema  |  June 20, 2012  |  Health, Justice, Politics

“You’re obviously talking about limiting, if not outlawing, abortion, are you not?” was the first question Don Martin, host of the CTV’s PowerPlay, asked M.P. Stephen Woodworth on the show in January, shortly after Woodworth had written about the need to give legal recognition to the unborn, specifically in the Criminal Code, and shortly before the introduction of Woodworth’s Motion 312. Many have written the … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  June 19, 2012  |  Death, Health, Politics

No surprise I was in an outraged funk this past weekend over the B.C. Supreme Court’s decision striking down federal laws against medically delivered suicide. The judgment was, of course, morally horrifying, intellectually fraudulent, and politically destructive of Canadians as a self-governing people. Its transformation of our much vaunted public health care system into an instrument for delivering suicide should chill the blood of all … MORE »

Peter Menzies  |  June 18, 2012  |  Economy, Politics

Over coffee the other day with a former colleague, he emphasized that his politics were conservative, but progressive. I pointed out that, really, that was hard to argue with. After all, we’re all in favor of progress, aren’t we, and the debate needs to be around what ideas actually constitute progress. He sought, however, to clarify. “To be clearer,” he said, “I’m a fiscal conservative … MORE »