Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today (weekend edition)

Grace Ann, a Christian, to rewrite Harry Potter series as “Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles”

This is murky territory. Does writing this qualify as persecution, and give further cause to such lunacy? I don’t know. I put it to you. Grace Ann goes by the handle proudhousewife. She is a Christian. And she is taking up the mantle of rewriting the Harry Potter series, stripping its pages of references to wizardry and magic and replacing them with “good ol’ Christian prayer.” She’s already 8,000 words in and the title is Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles. I repeat, and from what I know, such exposure may be giving Grace Ann fuel. Some Christians like persecution, and will manufacture it if it’s in short supply. They like to fight. Ann writes: “Do you want your little ones to read books; and they want to read the Harry Potter Books[sic]; but you do not want them to turn into witches? Well-this is the story for you!” Remember when Marilyn Manson was evil? Remember when Satanism was a thing people feared? Doesn’t this smack of Christian McCarthyism? Here’s an excerpt:

 “What is a Christian?” Harry queried innocently; and scuffed his shoe on the shaggy, yellow carpet which had not been vacuumed in quite some time.

“Christians are people who want to be good,” Hagrid explained wisely; and crouched down so he was on eye level with Harry. “We want to go to heaven after we die. Do you know what heaven is, Harry?”

Harry shook his head; and his big eyes were wide and curious.

“Heaven is a beautiful place where we can be with God.”

Aunt Petunia smacked her hands over Harry’s young ears; and her voice was sickly sweet when she said, “Thank you very much for your concern, sir, but he does not need your religion, he has science and socialism and birthdays. Haven’t you heard of Evolution? I have a very good textbook on Evolution that I could give you on it if you would like to learn things.”

Hagrid laughed wisely. “Evolution is a fairytale. You don’t really believe that, do you?”

“Yes, I do!” Aunt Petunia screeched.

“Well then prove it!”

Aunt Petunia could only stare at him; and her big mouth hung open dumbly. Here she thought she was so educated; and always demanded that Christians prove what they believed in; but she couldn’t even prove her own religion. It was then that Harry knew who the smart one here was!

And then the story gets even worse. Death and Taxes sardonically summons Kevin Sorbo to join Ann. And we agree. It seems perfect for him. But here’s a conversation between Harry and Draco on gender roles:

“Please, ignore this fool,” Draco drawled smugly. “Luna here thinks she can have a career even though she’s a woman; and women are stupid.”

Harry gaped at this horrible person. What a mean thing to say!

“Women shouldn’t not have careers because women are stupid!” Harry shouted indignantly. “Women are not stupid at all! Women should not have careers because women are nurturing and loving and their gifts serve them best in the home!” [SourceDeath and Taxes]

Man caught with 51 turtles down his pants

Canadian man Kai Xu attempted to enter his home country at the Windsor, Ont., border crossing with 51 live turtles stuffed into his pants. He was caught. He was coming from Detroit, and recently disclosed court documents named him as a potential member of an alleged reptile smuggling ring. “During the secondary inspection, Xu was found to have 51 live turtles tapped (sic) to his person,” said special agent with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kenneth Adams. “Specifically, Xu had 41 turtles tapped (sic) to his legs and 10 hidden between his legs.” Xu’s pants turtles ranged in variety and in market price, with some reportedly having an $800 value in whatever market contraband reptiles sell at. [Source: National Post]

Forks to turn 25

The forks beneath the Forks, a timeless, powerful subsurface convergence of unknown quantity situated beneath the intersection of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers is much older than the bread and circuses built on its grounds. This is the Forks of Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg. And not the Forks of this brief. The Forks as we know it, a site full of entertainment and now the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, turns 25 on Oct. 4. And our very own CBC has dug up some interesting facts about the site. The site has a rich history as a meeting place and market place for First Nations, and it is often referred to as the birthplace of Winnipeg.


  • Number of acres: 56
  • Number of yearly visitors: 4 million
  • Height of The Forks Market tower: 6 storeys or 60 feet
  • Canopy and skating rink opened: 1990
  • Marina, harbour, and lighthouse opened in 1991.
  • Oodena Celebration Circle opened in 1993 but was fully completed in 2004. The aim was to create a spiritual heart among the commercial and recreational developments. Its name come from the Ojibwa word meaning “heart of the city.”
  • The Johnston Terminal building, originally built between 1928 and 1930, opens as a market in 1993.
  • Manitoba Children’s Museum (in a building first constructed in 1889) opened: 1994
  • Manitoba Theatre For Young People opened: 1999
  • Skateboard Plaza opened: 2006
  • Canadian Museum for Human Rights opened: 2014 [Source: CBC]

Fourth night of airstrikes against ISIS 

Last night marked the fourth consecutive day of U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, the latest destroying four tanks and damaging another. And, according to reports, oil areas were also targeted overnight in what would be the U.S.’s second attack on production facilities that allegedly provide ISIS with an operations budget of up $2-million per day.  According to the Pentagon, it has also carried out seven attacks on ISIS strongholds in Iraq. The Danish government is joining the fight, sending seven F-16 fighter jets to help the cause in Iraq. And the U.K. is set to vote on the issue of aid to anti-ISIS operations Friday. The militant group controls much of the northeastern Syria, and has recently spilled into areas in Iraq. The group has beheaded numerous Western hostages, and recently a plot to attack New York and Paris was uncovered.  [Source: BBC and CBC] 

EU leaders to meet with Harper over free trade deal: more beef, seafood, and pork heading overseas 

Two of the EU’s top leaders will be meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Friday. It’s a celebration, in part. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy are meeting with Harper to mark the end of free trade talks between Canada and the EU, and to chat about concerns over how the discontent European countries Romania and Bulgaria could still stop the deal. According to the deal, Canada wants to sell the EU’s 500-million people more of its seafood, beef, and pork. It’s reported that Syria and Iraq will come up in these talks, as well. [Source: CBC]


Toban Dyck writes this, and hopes to write something else soon, as well. Follow his antics at @tobandyck 

For more, follow @spectatortrib on Twitter. And find us on Instagram, too: @spectatortribune.