Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?

Special interest groups demanding a say in casting choices flies in the face of diversity and freedom of expression

Is intolerance doing permanent damage to artistic integrity?Visiting the Globe Theatre in London, England, is an unforgettable experience. When viewing the modest grounds and realizing that the ‘groundlings’ – the people in the cheap seats – were sometimes privileged to see original Shakespeare plays, it brings home the long and important history of the performing arts. On our tour of the theatre,…

Support for multiculturalism declining in Sweden

The influx of immigrants into Sweden in 2015 is threatening the country's vaunted beliefs in multiculturalism, immigration and political conformity

Support for multiculturalism declining in SwedenAs the final votes are counted in Sweden’s general election, the rifts in this famously conformist society are getting deeper. Sweden may be the western world’s most self-consciously liberal state, but significant cracks are appearing in the foundation. To get a sense of the trend, look at the trajectory of the gradually-building support for the…

John McCain’s legacy of public service and sacrifice

In the selfish era of Donald Trump, McCain’s life offered a shining example of how to serve with distinction

John McCain’s legacy of public service and sacrificeIt’s hard for Canadian citizens to take the full measure of an American politician like John McCain, whose route to public service glory began in the combat of the Vietnam War. Our country doesn’t particularly valourize the military and those who serve, unless perhaps they do peacekeeping missions with the United Nations overseas. McCain’s career…

The double standard behind #MeToo allegations

Patrick Brown lost his job. Justin Trudeau appears to have emerged unscathed. It's all a question of political support

The double standard behind #MeToo allegationsAs a result of the #MeToo movement, past sexual transgressions are haunting high-profile men. How many is anyone’s guess but the list is probably long. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the latest casualty. I’m quite sure Trudeau will survive the allegation, but perhaps it’s worthwhile to ask why some politicians who are confronted with allegations…

Your silence is more dangerous than any idea

If you have an opinion, speak it out loud. Form a circle to discuss or promote it. Tell the politicians who represent you

Your silence is more dangerous than any ideaYou have opinions. I know you do. You have opinions about immigration, gun crime, people who let their cats run loose, and the prospect of a return of Major League Baseball to Montreal. You have deep thoughts about the Indigenous, levels of taxation, transsexuality and the state of the roads in your town. And I…

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common good

Beware the arrogance of the new age. Attempting to cleanse history is a fool’s or, worse, a tyrant’s errand

Whitewashing history fails to serve the common goodIn the interest of righting a genuine and grave historic wrong – the suffering of our Indigenous peoples – the historical hubris of our present Canadian age is distorting history yet again. Enter the City of Victoria and Sir John A. Macdonald. In removing his statue from in front of Victoria City Hall, the denizens…

An old white man awakes to his privilege – and its power for good

I’ve become much more prone to analyze daily social situations on the grounds of age, ethnicity and gender

An old white man awakes to his privilege – and its power for goodBeing older (I’m 67 and increasingly told this is old), white and male is being pointed out more and more these days. In less than glowing terms. While Donald Trump is arguably the global archetype of the boomer personae I’m describing, the phrase “old white man” is getting more deliberate usage in different parts of…

Jordan Peterson and the debilitating cult of genius

Like it or not, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson is a cultural sensation. Over the past year and a half, Peterson has gained notoriety through his open hostility toward trans rights and feminism, as well as his characterization of universities as tools for indoctrinating students into what he terms “neo-Marxism.”  He has throngs of…

Jordan Peterson and the debilitating cult of genius

A thriving intellectual culture requires that we stop our adoration of the masculine genius and start valuing all academic labour

Jordan Peterson and the debilitating cult of geniusLike it or not, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson is a cultural sensation. Over the past year and a half, Peterson has gained notoriety through his open hostility toward trans rights and feminism, as well as his characterization of universities as tools for indoctrinating students into what he terms “neo-Marxism.”  He has throngs of…

How the philosophy of personalism brings us together

Personalism embraces the goodness in every one of us. It encourages us to become our best selves, and it requires love and respect for everyone

How the philosophy of personalism brings us togetherIt’s fascinating how certain ideas can unite all people, yet we can be so unaware of their presence. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Personalism posits ultimate reality and value in personhood – human as well as (at least for most personalists) divine. It emphasizes the significance, uniqueness and inviolability of the person, as…

Conform or else: the Trudeau government’s dictat on free speech

Is it overreach for governments to expect people to bow to official policy in all things? After all, we elected them to lead us

Conform or else: the Trudeau government’s dictat on free speechThe federal government has initiated a new ideological vetting of applicants for its summer job program for students. The organizations nominating students for summer grants, and the students and their parents, must declare that they conform to government of Canada policy. An unusual number of students have been rejected by the government. Considerable adverse comment…

The hollow gestures of an overreaching government

The Trudeau government’s aspirations to mandate equality, diversity and inclusion must be open for discussion, not just blindly accepted

The hollow gestures of an overreaching governmentI seem to have a penchant for seeking out protests – not necessarily to participate but to observe, to soak in the screams, the worn-out chants, the always amusing soundbite slogans. This particular demonstration, while not well attended, took place in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. The “anti-capitalist” rally and march in support…

Marx was wrong: communism did not lead to a better society

The stronger the application of communist ideologies and practices, the worse the outcomes

Marx was wrong: communism did not lead to a better societyMany in the world were sadly compelled recently to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. He was indeed a major figure in shaping history but definitely not for the good. Marx, along with his patron, Friedrich Engels, created the political-economic philosophy (perhaps a religion) commonly called communism. Its essential tenet is…

What do environmentalists have against the world’s poor?

They’re only preventing oil and gas products from getting to economies that need them the most

What do environmentalists have against the world’s poor?The last few years have not been good for pipeline projects in Canada. The Keystone XL pipeline continues to be plagued by delays, TransCanada made big news by axing the Energy East pipeline and Kinder Morgan has cut spending on the critical Trans Mountain expansion project to protect its shareholders. After each pipeline setback, oil…

Why people are becoming fed up with smug liberals   

It’s possible to favour conservative ideas without being depicted as bigoted, racist, intolerant, elitist and out-of-touch with reality

Why people are becoming fed up with smug liberals   There’s long been a sense (or, in some camps, understanding) that the progressive movement suffers from continual bouts of smugness. Liberals have often dismissed this criticism as something akin to conservative kvetching. Nevertheless, they were forced to look in the proverbial mirror once more in, of all places, one of America’s foremost liberal publications. Gerard…
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