Comment

Louis 16 and Paris ’15

Jan. 21 marks the anniversary of one of the most important days in human history. The liberty that we enjoy on a daily basis made its transition from an idea to a reality on this day 223 years ago. It was the culmination of political, philosophical, physical, and mental turmoil resulting in an act by men and women who believed in the foundation of democracy. On Jan. 21, 1793, King Louis XVI was executed by guillotine. His head rolled no differently than the ones before it.

As we embark upon another year we can remember 2015 by celebrating our accomplishments, mourning our losses, and learning from our mistakes. To do so is intrinsic to our nature and integral to forming our motivations for the year to come. I thought it only fitting that my first piece written for the Manitoban be one of reflection. There are many events that have defined 2015, but for me there were no events more divisive or permanent than the terrorist attacks in France.


The systemic issues behind Drumpf’s following

By now Donald Trump has made himself well-known for his rampantly racist and controversial political platform and the questionable comments he has made on his path towards seeking a presidential nomination. Notable examples include his plan to build a wall along the Mexico-United States border to keep Mexicans from entering the U.S. illegally, his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., and his plan to end gun-free zones at schools, amongst others.

Although the idea of these policies actually being implanted likely seems laughable to the majority of Canadians, within the U.S. there is sizable minority of voters who openly and strongly support them and who would like to see Trump become the next US president.


Brian Bowman: leader by default

Brian Bowman is 14 months into a job that he put himself forward as best candidate for. He was elected based not on demonstrated service to our city, but based on the kind of service he promised for the future. Simply put, Bowman was elected because he convinced the majority of voters that he was a leader.

The city does not need a mayor to continue functioning – it has a bloated bureaucracy and self-satisfied council for that. The streets will be cleared, the potholes filled, without any notable input from the mayors’ office. The mayor must be expected to do more than sign the paperwork by which the snow-clearers and pothole-fillers are paid. The mayor should be expected to provide leadership.


The need for a mandatory course in indigenous studies

Quite a bit of discussion has been happening about the prospect of introducing a mandatory indigenous studies course into university curriculums across Canada – including at the University of Manitoba.

Pressure to make an indigenous studies course mandatory stems from the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. In this report, there are calls to action for Canada to implement in order to “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.”


Tainted toilets

As a first-year student, university has been a place full of new experiences – some good and some bad. Although I am a mere University 1 student, I am not afraid to speak out about an issue I have with the University of Manitoba. The issue I have is one not often discussed in today’s world; nevertheless it is one that must be discussed.

I’m talking about automatic flushing toilets. Certainly created by Satan himself, a number two on one of these is worse than a post-exam hangover. As a human being, when I need to relieve myself, I go to the bathroom. And when I need to poop, I choose the nearest bathroom, simply out of convenience and sometimes, quite frankly, urgency.


More on the STEM gender gap

In early November, I wrote an editorial about the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The article was met with polarizing opinions concerning what I had written: some people really agreed with me and some people did not.

I think the only thing I really regret about that editorial is the last statement I made, which comes off as flippant and shouldn’t have been included. However, I do not back away from my initial statement about gender-focused initiatives.


LettersToTheEditor

Re: Military recruiters should be welcomed, not scorned on campus

Ethan Cabel’s Dec. 2 article in the Manitoban about events surrounding military recruitment on the U of W campus is wildly inaccurate and serves only to fan the flames of anger and hysteria with misinformation. His article has invaded the U of W; it’s time for our defence.

To make things immediately clear, people are saying the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) did a lot of things they didn’t. No, no one is banning the military. No, no one hates your cousin who’s in the army. Let’s talk about what really happened.



The lack of meaning in Christmas

What do yoga and Christmas have in common? Both are ancient, both are deeply spiritual, and both have been swallowed by the gaping wound that exists in place of our collective soul. Our consumer culture has rendered the most beautiful fruits of human endeavour, living spiritual traditions, into experiences engaged in for personal pleasure.

Things that were the epitome of the sacred – the mastery of the body by the soul, the celebration of the mercy of the divine – are profaned, and not innocently so. To innocently profane yoga would be to do it unmindfully. To innocently profane Christmas would be to ignore it. But instead, both these have been defiled by consumerism: emptied of their original meanings, they have been re-filled with the most disgusting aspect of our culture.


Solidarity with what?

The recent downing of a Russian Su-24 jet by Turkish forces over Syria is the first time a NATO member has destroyed a Russian aircraft since the 1950s. Given the complex, fractious conflict that is the Syrian civil war, such a move could have proved catastrophic. This is especially true considering the authoritarian and uncompromising nature of both Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Erdoğan, neither of whom is keen to appear weak.