The number one reason people give for being overly critical of themselves is motivation. According to Dr. Kristen Neff, Associate Professor in Human Development and Culture, many of us believe that if we are too kind to ourselves, we will be self-indulgent and lazy. But is this true? The research on the matter, says Dr. Neff, shows the exact opposite.
It’s easy to get discouraged thinking about Montreal if you focus on things like potholes and corruption, but it’s really a great place. At 8pm this Saturday, November 30 at Café Matina, 272 Bernard West, my good friend Mike Rud will remind us of some of the reasons why with the official launch of his new CD, Notes on Montreal. Inspired by some of the literature set in the city, these songs simultaneously celebrate and are an example of the richness Montreal and Montrealers have to offer.
George Carlin famously could not understand the logic behind outlawing prostitution. “Why should it be illegal,” he asked, “to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away?” Funny, I have the exact same question about kidneys, which can be donated but not sold. Granted, legislators don’t need a reason to legislate—it’s just what they do—but why do those of us who are legislated upon tolerate these kinds of restrictions?
The nation breathes a sigh of relief as rogue dentist Tung Sheng Wu is now safely behind bars. Wu, who practised dentistry from a home office in Burnaby, British Columbia, is responsible for the deaths of… What’s that? No one? I see. No, no, my mistake. I guess I just assumed, from the tenor of the media coverage, that he had probably killed at least a few of his patients. Okay, let me start over.
As conspiracy theories go, the idea that some group of people behind the scenes hatched a nefarious plan to assassinate the US President 50 years ago today is not as far-fetched as they get. It seems less implausible than the idea that that the moon landing was faked on a Hollywood soundstage, for instance, or that the destruction of the World Trade Center was an inside job, or that we are all being poisoned by chemtrails. But does that mean we should believe it?
Cigarettes are bad for you, but some people enjoy smoking them, and we are all free to make this trade-off between health and pleasure. We are also free to enjoy nicotine-free electronic cigarettes, which basically deliver flavoured water vapour to your lungs, undoubtedly a healthier alternative to tobacco smoke. But add nicotine to that e-cigarette, and all of a sudden you have a product that Health Canada has decided cannot be sold in Canada. What gives?
Property is pretty straightforward, right? If you own a car, you can drive it; you can decide who else gets to drive it and when; you can sell it or give it away, or even destroy it if you like. And importantly, if someone steals it, you lose the ability to do any of these things. But intellectual property is quite different. It can be copied and used by others without depriving you of your ability to use it, although this may interfere with your ability to make money from it. Copying without permission therefore has to be prohibited. Or does it?
Bill 14, which would have tightened Quebec’s restrictive language laws, is officially dead, kind of, at least for the time being, until and unless the province’s voters give the ruling Parti Québécois a majority government. Limits on who can attend English schools will not be extended to the junior college (CEGEP) level, and thousands of small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will not be forced to operate in French, as larger businesses that did not flee the province years ago are required to do.
Chinese Communist Party bigwigs had a big meeting last week in Beijing. After all was said and done, they promised to allow the free market to play a greater role and to give farmers more property rights over their land. They said they would liberalize interest rates, currency convertibility, and overseas investment. They are going to abolish “re-education through labour” camps, which currently hold tens of thousands of inmates. And yes, they’re going to relax the country’s draconian one-child policy.
Golden Rice is a genetically engineered variety of rice that is rich in beta-carotene, a pre-cursor to vitamin A found in carrots and sweet potatoes, among other vegetables. In my latest Québécois Libre article, "What Does Greenpeace Have Against Golden Rice?" I took a look at some of the reasons the NGO gives for opposing this life-saving invention. I tried to give Greenpeace a fair hearing, but I found its arguments completely unconvincing.
Who Writes This
Bradley Doucet is a Montreal writer and the English Editor of Le Québécois Libre.
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