Six In The Morning: Pppbbbbllllllththth

6-in-the-morning1 STORM WATCH Nasty winter weather plans its attack. Boo! 

2 SPY FOR YOURSELF CBC has released a leaked secret document about U.S. and Canadian spying at the 2010 G20 and G10 meetings in Toronto.

3 MORE ON THAT PALLISTER “INFIDEL ATHEISTS” CLIP Aidan wrote about it yesterday and today, the Winnipeg Free Press has a news story. I’m guessing the Manitoba Tory leader was attempting a joke. Incidentally, the video was shot by the legendary Natalie Pollock, who was essentially a proto-YouTube star in the 1980s and exemplifies the strangeness of Winnipeg indie culture. Here’s the full clip, which includes bonus comments about tobogganing.

4 SYRIA’S CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY United Nations human rights commissioner Navi Pillay asks the UN Security Council to have the International Criminal Court look at Syria.

5 GET READY FOR NON-UNIONIZED ROBOTS THAT WORK FOR FREE Amazon wants to deliver merch via drones.


MYTHBUSTERS WERE HERE Adam Savage and Jaime Hyneman brought their Behind The Myths tour to Regina last night and they humiliated audience volunteers with high speed cameras. This clip is from their Saskatoon show–I’ll add the Regina clips when they go up.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

7 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: Pppbbbbllllllththth”

  1. (5) I got someone else’s phone bill in my mail today. If drones don’t do that — and if they deliver my magazines on time, without endless urging from me — I’d give them a try. What I really want, though, is the little robot that cleans eavestroughs.

  2. Hi. 1) The winter is 20 days away, tis just autumn weather still.

    5) somebody human, I think; still has to operate the drones, but that job will be gone in 5 years.

    7) please don’t let them reproplicate!

  3. As an “infidel atheist” myself, I wasn’t too concerned about Brian Pallister’s initial comment. It really struck me as a genuine — if tone-deaf and slightly ignorant — attempt to be inclusive in his holiday greetings. Based on his response to the Winnipeg Free Press, however, it seems clear that Mr. Pallister refuses to believe that “infidel” is an inherently offensive, inflammatory term. He is wrong.

    At risk of being misconstrued, I intend to argue the offensiveness of the term “infidel” through comparison with the n-word. Before I start, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am in no way suggesting that “infidel” is nearly as offensive as the n-word (or the f-word, or the r-word, or any other word best not spoken aloud in polite company). I am arguing that they are similar in type, not in degree.

    Mr. Pallister defends his use of “infidel” by pointing out that it literally means “one without faith” (from the Latin), which is an accurate description of atheists. This defense overemphasizes the etymology and denotation of the word, without considering its connotation of historical usage. The etymology of the n-word is from the Spanish word for “black”. As such, its denotation is simply “black-skinned person”: a somewhat accurate, non-inherently offensive description.* The reason the term has become so reviled is because of its historical usage and association with racist activities (slavery, segregation, disenfranchisement, etc.). It is a word that has been used to dehumanize black people — to treat them as “other”, different, not normal, not part of the group.

    Historically, the term “infidel” has been used almost exclusively by the religious to identify enemies of the faith. It was never used as a simple, judgment-free descriptor. The Crusades and the Inquisition were just two of the many attacks by Christians on “infidels” (who included Muslims, Jews, and pagans at the time); while the Muslim world is (rightly) criticized for continued jihads and fatwas against “infidels”, the Christian world has historically treated “infidels” just as harshly.

    As a word that’s been used to dehumanize non-Christians — to treat them as “other”, the enemy, not worthy of life — and as a word strongly associated with mass murders and attempted genocides (even to this day), “infidel” should join the list of words considered unacceptable in polite company (especially when used by a self-professed Christian against non-Christians).

    I may be an atheist, but I get along with religious people. Some of my favorite people (including my parents) are religious. We may not agree about the fundamental truths of the universe, but we tend to agree on the vast majority of issues. I consider myself an ally of religious people in general. When you call me a word effectively synonymous with “enemy”, it makes it much harder for me to see you as my ally.

    Some advice to Mr. Pallister: admit you made an honest mistake, apologize, and move on. Don’t defend or justify your mistake, don’t apologize “if people took offense” (they did, you know they did, and phrasing it that way looks like you’re apologizing for their offense instead of your mistake), don’t regret your mistake because the evil NDP “torqued” into political hay. Nobody respects the kind of bullshit non-apology you gave to the Winnipeg Free Press. We respect people who honestly do their best, recognize that they make mistakes, apologize when they make mistakes, and learn from the mistakes they’ve made.

    *This was long-winded enough already without getting into the accuracy of “black” or “white” as skin-color descriptors, or the symbolism of “white” and “black” in Western culture. I also left aside the shades of negativity inherent in “infidelity” due to the multiple meanings of the word “faith”. Finally, I leave it to the reader to investigate how the word “infidel” is used in the Bible (2 Corinthians 6:15 KJV, 1 Timothy 5:8 KJV) and decide for herself whether it is used as a neutral descriptor as implied by Mr. Pallister.

  4. Hi. after a 2 hour session/coversation, with a decent telephone Pole,, The woman at the other end, decided to investigate her own,
    almost forced to be another robot” since birth,. she had good reason.

  5. Well put, Brad. Perhaps because of the baggage that has accrued around the term “infidel”, the Jerusalem Bible uses “unbeliever”. In 2 Cor. 6:15, Paul equates unbelievers with the lawless and advocates separation from them (this is echoed in the Qu’ran centuries later) but in 1 Tim. 5:8, he declares that deadbeats who don’t take care of their families are thereby denying the faith and are therefore worse than unbelievers, because piety begins at home (1 Tim. 5:4). Not neutral description, but not calls for death and destruction either.

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