Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright

For 199 years, this beloved Christmas carol has resonated. More than 26,000 versions have been recorded and it enticed soldiers to lay down their arms

Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is brightSilent Night, which is probably the most famous Christmas carol of all, will be 199 years old this Christmas Eve. It was first performed at the parish church in the Austrian village of Oberndorf during midnight mass on Dec. 24, 1818. And, fittingly, the performers included the two men who’d written it. The words had…

How to bring peace to Palestine

If we want peace and a better future for Palestinians, we must hold Palestinian officials accountable for their anti-peace actions

How to bring peace to PalestineThe Canadian government is sending $25 million of taxpayers’ money to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which is uniquely dedicated to supporting Palestine refugees. But does Canada’s financial aid advance the cause of peace or impede it? Some observers say that UNRWA actively supports Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood movement dedicated to the destruction…

Let’s be honest: consumers are the main contributors to climate change

Governments are unwilling to curb consumption, the main driver of the economy. So it is up to each of us to become more thoughtful consumers

Let’s be honest: consumers are the main contributors to climate changeThe euphoria in Paris in 2015, when 196 countries agreed to address climate change, was palpable. It should have been bottled. Since then, despite the United Nation’s annual COPs (Conferences of the Parties) on climate change, very little progress has been made. After COP23 in Bonn, Germany, last month, disappointment, particularly among civil society groups,…

The fake news controversy isn’t really new

News reporting has always been susceptible to allegations of spin and slant, cherry-picking and calculation

The fake news controversy isn’t really newIt’s been a defining characteristic of 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump claims that all negative stories are fake news. The media indignantly responds by casting themselves as pursuers of nothing but the truth. They are, in their view, shining light in the darkness. Then, as with CNN and ABC News last week, the media egregiously…

Don’t bury globalization, resurrect it

Globalization takes the blame for the world’s many economic and social failures. In fact, it's the mechanism that can improve life for everyone

Don’t bury globalization, resurrect itEconomic globalization faces a clear and present danger. The grumblings about the adverse consequences of globalization, the despair about not sharing in its economic benefits, and the disaffection with the global political and social tensions it has created are real. The cacophony of voices raised in anger against globalization have been getting louder every year.…

The renewable energy movement ignores real world problems

The energy revolution has brought conventional utilities to the brink, only to discover that solar and wind power can’t be relied on

The renewable energy movement ignores real world problemsAustralia’s new National Energy Guarantee (NEG) has a sad, dangerous resemblance to Canadian policy. It’s a desperate attempt to make renewable energy projects viable when they’re not. The idea is to always have ‘dispatchable power’ – alternative sources – available to relieve brownouts and blackouts that result from an increasing dependency on renewable power. The…

Learning life’s lessons from the best – and worst – of leaders

What we learned from Winston Churchill and Pierre Trudeau won't be taught to our children by Donald Trump

Learning life’s lessons from the best – and worst – of leadersWinston Churchill was the first political leader I noticed. My school, St. George’s School for Boys, was staffed with many First and Second World War veterans, men and women who revered Churchill. He was constantly held up as the epitome of global politicians: erudite, opinionated, brave, loyal au mort, sportsmanlike, impeccably groomed and dressed for…

The American net neutrality shell game is a threat to unfettered access

Deregulating the rules that apply to the companies that provide the Internet’s infrastructure will allow them to monkey with it for their own gain

The American net neutrality shell game is a threat to unfettered accessThe chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an intelligent, articulate man who, in the name of liberty, appears determined to destroy freedom of access to an unbiased Internet in the United States and, inevitably, Canada. I met with Ajit Pai once or twice when he was an FCC commissioner and felt we shared…

Poland’s 20th century tragedy

Stuck between Germany and the Soviet Union didn't stop thousands of Poles from contributing to the war effort in the 1940s

Poland’s 20th century tragedyCanadians who grouse about living next door to the American elephant should consider the situation of Poland, particularly in the mid-20th century. With Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union on one side and Adolf Hitler’s Germany on the other, Poles must have occasionally wondered just what they had done to merit this unfortunate geography. English journalist Max Hastings…

Communism’s pernicious influence persists despite the best evidence

On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, some romantics still embrace the fallacies of communism and its sister socialism

Communism’s pernicious influence persists despite the best evidenceA number of Canadian newspapers recently noted the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The attention was misplaced and lacked perspective. In 1917, a small band of fierce, committed and violent extremists seized control of the Tsarist Russian Empire. They then created the much more oppressive and murderous Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. After the success…