The German election earthquake

The AfD has its share of political troglodytes but they are not Nazis

The German election earthquakeBy all accounts, Germany’s elections on Sunday turned out exactly as expected. Angela Merkel cruised to an easy victory. Her fourth term puts her on track to be the longest serving chancellor in the post-Second World War period and second only to Otto von Bismarck as Germany’s longest serving leader. Beneath the surface, however, the…

For the sake of our kids, Calgary must end the anti-fluoride folly

Poor dental health in childhood becomes a lifelong burden, with consequences for those who can least afford dental care

For the sake of our kids, Calgary must end the anti-fluoride follyIf I could convince Calgarians to vote on one issue in the upcoming municipal elections, it wouldn’t be the one that’s in the headlines – whether to subsidize the Flames’ billionaire owners in their quest for a new arena. Instead, it would be to punish those idiotic councillors who voted in 2011 to remove fluoride…

Canadians need a civics education refresher

Americans are woefully ignorant of basic government functions; Canadians aren't far behind

Canadians need a civics education refresherCivics education hasn’t been a top priority in most Canadian schools for years. While that’s hardly front page news, the bigger concern is that we understand very little about what our nation is and the foundations upon which it was built. The evidence? In December 2008, Dominion Institute/Ipsos Reid conducted a survey of 1,070 Canadians. The…

When sports and politics collide on the social field of play

In fractious times, like today, we need everyone – including athletes – to speak out when they see injustice and inequality

When sports and politics collide on the social field of playSports and politics have intersected in nasty fashion, thanks to U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump withdrew his invitation to the star of the National Basketball Association's Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry. He tweeted that Curry was no longer welcome at the White House to celebrate the team winning the NBA championship because Curry was hesitant about…

Should the U.S. withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal?

Arguments that Iran has already violated the agreement and that the U.S. should pull out and immediately reinstate sanctions have consequences

Should the U.S. withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal?During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump described the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, as “the stupidest deal of all time” and vowed that if he became president he would “rip it up.” Now, as president, Trump’s posturing suggests he’s ready to do just that. The deal…

Hanging up on cellphones in classrooms

Check your phones and your fidget spinners at the door – and crack open a good old-fashioned book

Hanging up on cellphones in classroomsAs we launched another school year, I was thinking that my Dad (a former high school science teacher) wouldn’t have fared too well in today’s era of cellphones, iPods and fidget spinners. How, among all of these accepted distractions, does a teacher catch and keep the attention of his students? My husband, a retired professor,…

The personal quest for knowledge should never end

Curiosity is the one human attribute that should always be indulged and stimulated

The personal quest for knowledge should never endNow that the kids are settled in school, it’s time to think of the rest of us. The calendar tells us that January is the start of a new year but it’s really fall that offers the best chance for a fresh start. That’s especially true when it comes to education. For anyone who considered…

How to build a strong self-image

Your self-image plays a major part in how you live your life. It determines the quality of your life and, often, how successful you will be

How to build a strong self-imageYour self-image plays a major part in how you live your life. It determines the quality of your life and, often, how successful you will be. It also sets the tone, rhythm and meter for all your relationships, both personal and professional. According to psychotherapists, a strong self-image can be the foundation for achieving a…

Democratic angst and independence turmoil

In Hillary Clinton’s mind, it’s everyone else’s fault. So she’ll continue to hog centre stage and suck up the political oxygen

Democratic angst and independence turmoilTwo topics jump out from the current news. One is the continuing Democratic Party angst over the 2016 U.S. election. The other is the recurrent propensity for independence movements to stir things up. On the Democratic front, Hillary Clinton’s promotion of her new book What Happened is Exhibit A. There’s nothing wrong with authors promoting…

Facing up to tragedy and injustice is the first step to healing

What if your children were taken to a place far away where they would cry themselves to sleep every night?

Facing up to tragedy and injustice is the first step to healing“I am only one, but I am still one,” Helen Keller said. “I cannot do everything, but I can still do something.” In 2008, the government of Canada created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the residential school system in Canada and to give recommendations for moving forward as a nation. The commission’s findings,…

Taming the irrational beast called anger

When strong negative emotions kidnap the thinking brain, we become scarcely more coherent than a wild animal

Taming the irrational beast called angerYou may have seen a video recently of a man punching a fellow pedestrian who he felt took his photo without authorization. Once the video was released, the man came forward and apologized for what he called his uncharacteristic behaviour. Whether it’s a result of stress, the state of the economy or a variety of…

Toppling the misperceptions about home-schooling

Home-schooling successes show that parents and kids can be far more responsible for decisions about their education than imagined

Toppling the misperceptions about home-schoolingBy Deani Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus Back-to-school means different things for many of Canada’s five million school-age children. For an increasing share of students in almost every province, it means something other than attending a neighbourhood public school. Home-schooling, while still small in overall uptake – Manitoba has the highest share at 1.5…

Your bills will go up – but don’t assume an insidious CRTC plot

The debate over internet, cable and mobile rates is far more complex than the Twitter universe reflects

Your bills will go up – but don’t assume an insidious CRTC plotAll the average citizen knows about their cable, mobile and Internet bills is that – like taxes – they always  go up. For those who care why this happens, a brief Twitter tour of #crtc will introduce you to the debates surrounding the inexhaustible and often catty haggling over how your cable, cellphone and Internet…

Vegas, baby … a guide to poolside parties and clubs

You can go to Vegas to gamble, see expensive shows or to shop like crazy. Or you can go to party on the cheap, like we did

Vegas, baby … a guide to poolside parties and clubsLas Vegas in the summer isn’t a bad gamble, despite the heat and even if you don't gamble. My girlfriend, a friend and I recently spent four summer days in Vegas. The first thing you notice is the wall of dry oppressive heat. “Stepping outside is like checking the turkey in the oven,” someone joked.…

The Accidental Farmwife Tribe is worldwide

I’m inspired by the farmwives (real or accidental) who have managed to produce something unique and special from their property’s bounty

The Accidental Farmwife Tribe is worldwideDuring this season of outdoor farmers markets, county fairs and trade shows, I meet a lot of people. Some are readers of the column who want to meet me because they’ve been reading my about my life in my Farmwife blog and columns. Others are accidental farmwives themselves and stop by to compare notes and…
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