Why authoritarian populists are destined to fail

A review of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Why authoritarian populists are destined to failMy son gave me Steven Pinker’s book Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress after he had heard him speak on a podcast about his 10th bestseller in 53 years of life as a public intellectual and Harvard professor of cognitive psychology. The gift is part of an ongoing effort to expand…

Humboldt Broncos tragedy shakes Kindersley

From far and wide, tributes, offers of help and money pour in after devastating accident

Humboldt Broncos tragedy shakes KindersleyKevin McBain of The Clarion In the blink of an eye. Friday, April 6 will be a day that won’t be soon forgotten in Saskatchewan. A tragic accident occurred between a semitrailer and a bus carrying members of the Humboldt Broncos headed to Nipawin for game five of their Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff series.…

Kicking the American politics addiction and steering homeward

We need to start thinking about Canada’s future rather than the orchestrated media-borne chaos to the south

Kicking the American politics addiction and steering homewardA good friend said the other day that he had almost completely turned off Canadian politics and that British Columbian politics had “all but disappeared.” He then noted, “Well maybe I am keeping up with the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion debate.” The bottom line is that American political blather, mostly about you know who, is…

Great White North? How about great Trump snub?

Trump doesn’t want to come to Canada, doesn’t need to come and will gain nothing by coming. Not that we should care

Great White North? How about great Trump snub?Canada often has a different perspective than the rest of the world when it comes to relations with the United States. We see and feel things that might pass unnoticed in other countries. Whether this is because of our one-sided perception that we enjoy a ‘special relationship’ with the U.S. (Americans largely reserve that phrase…

Painting a masterpiece: the art of dissent in search of truth

Freedom of expression in the arts is as fragile as freedom of the press, and it’s just as vital to human rights as freedom of thought

Painting a masterpiece: the art of dissent in search of truthUkrainian businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk said, “Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” Art has been a part of the human experience as long as there have been people. It’s served many purposes, from the practical to the philosophical. Great pieces of art offer an expression of beauty and human creativity.…

The dangerous rebirth of mercantilism

Donald Trump wants to make American great again. But his trade protectionism will hurt Americans and trade partners alike

The dangerous rebirth of mercantilismHow do you make a country great? We in the enlightened West generally agree that a liberal democracy with free markets works best. Look at the United States in the 20th century – the richest and most powerful country. Its political power and military might were eclipsed only by the high and rising standard of…

Vancouver stories that resonate far and wide

The coastal city is uniquely placed, by geography and patterns of global investment, to bear intelligent witness to international currents

Vancouver stories that resonate far and wideVancouver has a long history of welcoming new citizens, first at the end of steel or fresh off the boat. Five generations of Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, Filipinos and even Hawaiians have joined a broad European diaspora in building a port city on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh. All of these people…

The Cambridge Analytica furor is mostly bunk

The truth is that gathering and deploying information to influence people’s voting behaviour has long been a staple of politics

The Cambridge Analytica furor is mostly bunkIf you were an innocent in the world of politics, you might have been shocked by the Cambridge Analytica revelations. There are accusations of “harvesting the private information of millions of Facebook users” and then deploying it to “wage psychological warfare against American democracy.” But let’s be candid: At its core, the handwringing horror is…

Roseanne brings the blue-collar perspective back to TV

A grossly underrepresented sector of popular culture gets a loud, sarcastic but sympathetic voice

Roseanne brings the blue-collar perspective back to TVLater this month, Roseanne returns to ABC after a 20-year absence. In a nine-episode run starting on March 27, the trials and tribulations of the working-class Conner family of the fictional town of Lanford, Ill., will take centre stage once again. The Hollywood Reporter asks pointedly in a recent headline: “Is TV Ready for a…

Donald Trump vs Robert Mueller: chaos over order

What model best defines American society today? Robert Mueller’s exemplary service or Donald Trump’s life of disruption?

Donald Trump vs Robert Mueller: chaos over orderSelf-made versus Daddy’s boy. University of Virginia Law School versus Wharton School undergraduate economics degree. Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart as a marine captain in Vietnam versus five draft deferments for college and bone spurs. Public service versus entitled self-indulgence. Tight management of a professional work team versus constant leaks, fights and…
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