China sets debt traps, threatens militarily and seduces

We must be on guard as China carves a disturbing global role that goes well beyond trade malfeasance

China sets debt traps, threatens militarily and seducesAs China and the United States escalate their trade talks (or trade war), China is carving a disturbing global role that goes well beyond trade malfeasance. China has emerged as an old threat revived, the authoritarian seducer. The latest Human Freedom Index, published by Canada’s Fraser Institute, the U.S. Cato Institute and Germany’s Friedrich Naumann…

The silencing of a vital conservative voice

The closure of the Weekly Standard puts an end to an independent and influential U.S. vehicle for conservative thought

The silencing of a vital conservative voiceOne of America’s finest conservative publications, The Weekly Standard, is no more. That’s not a line I ever thought I would have to string together, but it’s true. Last Friday, MediaDC, a subsidiary of Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group, announced that the opinion magazine would cease operations. Created in 1995 by William Kristol and Fred…

Canada’s free ride on U.S. drug development may end soon

A shift in U.S. drug pricing could cut pharmaceutical profits, meaning less money for research and development

Canada’s free ride on U.S. drug development may end soonBy Steven Globerman and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute In October, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump outlined a plan that, if implemented, would substantially lower the amount the U.S. government will pay drug-makers for certain pharmaceuticals covered by its Medicare plan. Though limited in scope, Trump’s changes are a clear step toward controlling…

The political fragility of George H.W. Bush

The late U.S. president had an authenticity problem that would never quite go away

The political fragility of George H.W. BushMy first awareness of George H.W. Bush dates to the 1970 U.S. midterm elections. He was running for a Senate seat in Texas but – in an era when memories of the Civil War still made statewide office a steep climb for Republicans – he was decisively beaten by Democrat Lloyd Bentsen. Bush died on…

It’s USMCA, not CUSMA or T-MEC

The U.S., Canada and Mexico signed the same trade document, but each country is calling it something different

It’s USMCA, not CUSMA or T-MECIt took a couple of years, but the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was finally signed on Nov. 30. Or was it? Let’s go back a few steps. All three leaders – U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto (who was on his last day on the…

Don’t bet the farm on Trump being dumped in 2020

History says midterms don't necessarily point to a change. And who the Democrats nominate to run will have a big say

Don’t bet the farm on Trump being dumped in 2020If you detest Donald Trump, the recent U.S. midterms probably put a spring in your step. Watching the Democrats decisively win the House of Representatives seemed like an omen for two years hence. And perhaps it is. Maybe 2020 will consummate the electoral cycle by evicting Trump from the White House and consigning his presidency…

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compass

From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King to Donald Trump, America offers examples – good and bad – of the power of language

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compassLanguage is a powerful tool for shaping a society's values. The manner in which a leader uses language can reset the moral compass of a nation. And it can influence, for better or worse, the behaviour of its citizenry. While public discourse in Canada isn’t perfect, it’s reasonably civil. Canadian politicians, though sometimes outspoken and critical…

We have power – if we’re willing to wield it

The corporate world controls politics only if voters allow it. Let's make educated choices at the ballot box

We have power – if we’re willing to wield itWatching corporate-sponsored mainstream news can be confusing and frustrating. I have great difficulty sitting through report after report about Russia tampering in U.S. elections. Why is this news? What did they stand to gain? Haven’t the Americans been tampering in elections in other countries for generations? Though millions accept the nonsensical issues that dominate the…

The corrosion of social norms puts us all at risk

Insisting on righteous victory at any cost is the greasy slope to violence

The corrosion of social norms puts us all at riskOn the afternoon of May 22, 1856, Preston Brooks, a plantation owner and pro-slavery congressman from South Carolina, strode into the nearly deserted U.S. Senate chamber. There he accosted Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, who had been making a series of fiery abolitionist speeches. Brooks announced that Sumner had used insulting language toward his relative and…

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evil

It’s far too easy to look at others as the problem with the world. It’s much harder to see our own commonality as humans

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evilWhen we read the newspaper or watch our news feeds, we learn about people doing horrendous things to each other. If we allowed ourselves, we could become inundated with evidence of our inherent inhumanity. It then becomes very easy to conclude that evil people walk among us and that something drastic needs to be done…

The man who shot Billy the Kid

Pat Garrett has been maligned for killing his "friend" in a "cowardly" way. Neither indictment is persuasive

The man who shot Billy the KidTo the extent he’s remembered at all, Pat Garrett (1850-1908) is known as the man who shot Billy the Kid. Reputation-wise, it’s been a mixed blessing. Although the shooting happened in Garrett’s capacity as a sheriff hunting down a convicted murderer, the fictionalizing of the Old West and the power of Hollywood storytelling often cast…

Discovering the Basque roots of the American dream

Why visiting small museums can expand your knowledge of the broader world

Discovering the Basque roots of the American dreamThe Untzi Museoa is a modest naval museum in San Sebastian, an important Basque community on the eastern verge of Spain’s northern coast. San Sabastian’s relationship with the sea goes back to the early 1200s, when its prominent Mount Urgull was first fortified to ward off French attacks on its diverse community of traders, merchant…

Fear and loathing in the realm of Donald Trump

In the Trump world, money is the key metric and the truth is relative. Can the midterm elections change anything?

Fear and loathing in the realm of Donald TrumpNow that I’ve read A Higher Loyalty (James Comey, 2018), War on Peace (Ronan Farrow, 2018), Fire and Fury (Michael Wolff, 2018) and Fear (Bob Woodward, 2018), I feel like I really know the ultimate protagonist. The portrayals of U.S. President Donald Trump are remarkably consistent. He is: vain, compulsively in-the-moment, intellectually lazy, a misogynist…

Hubert Humphrey’s futile dash for Presidential power

Humphrey tried and tried again but, ambition notwithstanding, he was never meant for the job

Hubert Humphrey’s futile dash for Presidential powerOn Sept. 30, 1968, an American vice-president made a dash for political independence. Speaking in Salt Lake City, Hubert Humphrey began the process of trying to separate his floundering presidential campaign from the spectre of his boss, President Lyndon Johnson. Humphrey’s initiative was to call for a change in America’s prosecution of the Vietnam War.…

John McCain stayed true to his beliefs to the end

No shows: Trump or Palin; but plenty of others on all sides of the political spectrum at senator's funeral

John McCain stayed true to his beliefs to the endMany people were saddened by John McCain’s death on Aug. 25 after a year-long battle with brain cancer. The 81-year-old military hero and former Republican presidential candidate honourably served Arizona both in the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-1987) and in the Senate (1987-2018). McCain was generally onside with fiscal and social conservative ideas. Nevertheless, he…
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