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Monthly Archives: August 2012
Milton Friesen  |  August 31, 2012  |  Cities, Culture, Health, Networking

It is difficult to read the new Vancouver Foundation Report Connections and Engagement and not feel deeply moved by what it represents. After polling 275 charitable organizations and 100 community leaders, they identified loneliness as the most significant and worrisome social trend they are encountering. This was followed up by a market survey of 3,841 people in metro Vancouver. Here are the parts that I … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  August 30, 2012  |  Justice, Literature, Loves, Religion

I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” The greatest moment of American public life in … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  August 29, 2012  |  Culture, Death, Justice

Murders of every kind, but especially mass murders, rarely have their motives adequately explained. Poverty, abuse, religion, ideology . . . lawyers and pundits may try these “explanations,” but the irrationality of such acts mostly defy labels. In fact, these rootless dances with understanding may move us from away from truth. There is evil in the world. It does not just emerge from the circumstances … MORE »

Peter Menzies  |  August 27, 2012  |  Economy, Institutions, Politics

There is much to be said for the command of language and how it can translate into a language of command over the public square. Words such as “moderate,” which in their dictionary meaning imply a sense of temperance and conservatism, are now popularly used by people who have sought and continue to seek institutional change that in historical terms can only be considered radical … MORE »

Milton Friesen  |  August 24, 2012  |  Culture, Institutions

Memory bends and folds time. Ideas distant in time can be suddenly pertinent. In his 1972 book Technological Planning and Social Futures, Erich Jantsch explores very timely ideas indeed, valuable for 1972 but even more urgent today. I happened across Jantsch’s book a couple of months ago while on one of my habitual shelf reads at a local university. It was the title that caught … MORE »

Josh Reinders  |  August 23, 2012  |  Culture, Discipline, Games

This past weekend, hundreds of people descended upon Toronto for a unique event. Named “Tough Mudder“, the event is the adult’s extreme version of the obstacle courses you ran through as a child. From the Tough Mudder website: Hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. As the leading company in the … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  August 22, 2012  |  Fashion, Justice, Politics

The question underlying contemporary elections is how much a free citizenry is willing to the let the State boss them around. Well, all except Quebec elections. Here, the key query to be decided on September 4 is how much long-established native French-speaking Quebecers are willing to let the State boss other people around. As my Cardus colleague Brian Dijkema pointed out deliciously in his recent … MORE »

Peter Menzies  |  August 21, 2012  |  Culture, Religion

Of primary concern to theists and monarchists alike was the news last month that the Girl Guides of Australia have decided to doff their chapeaus and adorn themselves instead with the tin foil hats of 21st century thinking. The Aussie GGs will no longer “promise to do my best; to do my duty to God and the Queen.” Now, that may delight many in the … MORE »

Diane Weber Bederman  |  August 20, 2012  |  Religion

The London Olympics have come and gone, and left us with great opportunities to ponder. There was music for all generations, some speaking to multiple generations. The lyrics of John Lennon set me to musing about our post-religious culture. You say you want a revolution Well you know We do want to change the world You tell me that it’s evolution . . . We … MORE »

Milton Friesen  |  August 17, 2012  |  Cities, Institutions

In the modern era, we have treated the plenty of nature as limitless—the carrier pigeon, buffalo, cod, rainforests, oil, agricultural land, and oceans. In painful slow motion, the long dawn of our awakening may be taking place. In time? Certainly not in some cases. Could the same be true of our social landscapes? Are the “old” institutions, both formal and informal, being over-taxed, eroded, or … MORE »