Geocaching (Gezundheit)

Had dinner last night with a soldier friend who’s being shipped out to Afghanistan this summer. Maybe I can get her to send us dispatches from the field while she’s there?

She clued me in to this new online activity called “geo-caching.” It involves using a GPS device to find hidden items around various cities in the world. If only I weren’t addicted to TV, I might get off my arse and try it.

So I just can’t help continuing to point out the hypocrisy of the reactionary right. (Yes, the reactionary left can be hypocritcal, too, but since the blogosphere is already full of right-wing blogs dedicated to attacking “liberals” at every turn, I will leave that to them.) The Danish cartoon crisis is a strong case in point. (The Danish editors and their supporters continue to claim they are actually defending free speech, rather than simply Muslim-baiting.)

Well, there’s this children’s book called Three Wishes Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak by Deb Ellis.

It seems that the Canadian Jewish Congress is trying to restrict access to this book, and the Boards of Education of York, Essex and Toronto have already buckled under their pressure. Why? Because, the book “features Palestinian children speaking positively about suicide bombings against Israelis.”

Now, I can certainly see how this might be an upsetting topic. But how does it serve society’s educational goals to prevent children from learning the true thoughts of other children? The motivations here have nothing to do with concern for the welfare of the children. Rather, this is a political move meant to minimize the importance of the mindset of Palestinians in relation to their perceived injustices perpetrated by the Israelis. Now this is a genuine case of freedom of speech being curtailed. The CJC’s actions are not violent or riotous, but are duplicitous and bureaucratic and ultimately, I believe, more damaging than any riot could be.

The Canadian Writers’ Union is holding a session to discuss this development on Monday, March 20th, at 3:30pm at the Lilian H. Smith Library (239 College Street in Toronto).

Here are some random links: