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Monthly Archives: March 2013
James K.A. Smith  |  March 28, 2013  |  Discipline, Elites, Pontificating

Irony alert: herewith a blog post worrying about the idle chatter of the blogosphere. Whenever “ordinary” people (what, in the United States, we refer to as “real Americans”) want to dismiss the incessant pontifications of journalists, columnists, and so-called public intellectuals, they can avail themselves of that biting epithet: “the chattering class.” The chattering classes are those educated elites who dominate public discourse, commanding op-ed … MORE »

It seems, in principle, a healthy refocusing of our social architecture. Those who know more about foreign aid and development than I do should debate the details regarding the dissolution of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). But the idea of structuring government involvement in foreign aid so that it coheres with foreign policy and … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  March 26, 2013  |  Death, Games, Legacy, Loves

Reading the sports news this morning, I had a sudden vision of my late, great friend John Gradon scrinching as if he had just shanked a drive off the first tee. Word that Tiger Woods is back on top as the number one golfer in the world would definitely have made John scrinch his face as only he could when something unexpected and unacceptable and, … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  March 25, 2013  |  Industrial Relations, Institutions, Labour

One of the points of collective bargaining—indeed the key point of collective bargaining—is that it is intended to replace the patchwork of individual employment contracts in a workplace with one contract, negotiated by the union, on behalf of all employees. The premise behind this is that individual employees, left on their own, resemble nothing so much as this. Individual contracts, goes the narrative, are the … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  March 22, 2013  |  Culture, Economy, Innovation, Labour, Markets

Charlie Brown always thinks he’s going to kick the ball, but Charlie Brown always ends up falling on his back. He’s never really out of the game, and he’s always keen to try again—but each time he falls. I was reminded of poor Chuck when I read the Conference Board of Canada’s recent brief on the state of unions in Canada. If you take a … MORE »

“Where are my children?” is a question every parent has asked. “Not in church,” is a likely answer. What if Jesus wasn’t kidding when he asked, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith upon the earth?” Too often we’ve taken this statement as a kind of hyperbolic warning. What if it is a serious possibility? Historically, religious nones—the sociological term used for … MORE »

“Cardus is hosting an event with Conrad Black?” “Cardus is hosting an event with Mark Carney?” “Yes,” we are delighted to answer our interlocutors. Many Cardus followers last week received invitations to two forthcoming events in the Hill Family Lecture series (, and many responded—some eager, some apprehensive. We look forward to both events advancing Cardus’s mission of renewing social architecture. The tagline for Cardus’s … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  March 19, 2013  |  Arts, Culture, Death, Journalism, Legacy, Media

Long before “The Hockey Song” propelled him to Canadian earworm status, I was an apostle of Stompin’ Tom Connors and a fierce advocate of the late, great Prince Edward Islander’s elevation to poet laureate. In my files I have a letter from Stompin’ Tom himself for a piece I wrote in the Calgary Herald arguing strenuously that the “Connorian oeuvre” should be properly recognized as … MORE »

I have very little love for Hugo Chavez, and even less love for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s embattled president. But, death is an awful thing, even if the departed is a machismo thug whose policies hollowed out a country’s social infrastructure, dismantled its democratic systems, and left its poor with little long-term stability or resources. Death is death, and grief is grief, even if the life … MORE »

The City of Calgary’s Municipal Planning Commission unanimously passed a series of amendments to the Calgary Centre City Plan on Thursday, clearing the way for the recognition of the role institutions of faith play in the development of the urban aesthetic. The changes, which emerged out of a series of consultations and research spearheaded by Cardus will, according to the city staff report, “enhance the … MORE »