Disinformation, misinformation are the new energy battlegrounds

But what happens when disinformation campaigns run headlong into reality?

Disinformation, misinformation are the new energy battlegroundsI’m not a fan of making predictions because there are usually way too many variables at play. Trying to guess the price of oil leaves me speechless despite the pathetically large number of hours I spend trying to understand the market. Yet, given the way 2022 is unfolding, I offer the following predictions as more…

Why don’t Canadian broadcasters love the beautiful game?

Being a true football fan in Canada has been a pretty lonely existence

Why don’t Canadian broadcasters love the beautiful game?Thirty-six years ago last week, the Calgary Flames scored one of their most famous triumphs – a 3-2 Game 7 playoff victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers. Back then I was sports editor of the Calgary Sun, and that playoff run to the finals (Calgary lost to Montreal in five games) consumed…

Don’t count on government to police the internet

Instead of embracing its liberating capabilities, the government is opting for woke conformity

Don’t count on government to police the internetWho should police the internet? The big tech platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – or is this a role for government? Our right to free expression on the internet is being challenged by both the tech platforms and governments that want to control not only activities that are already illegal, but any news…

From evil to relativism and back again

'Evil' is back in rhetorical style, at least on a selective basis. Actual evil, of course, never went away

From evil to relativism and back againEvil was a very real concept when I was a child. Orthodox Catholic opinion in the Ireland I grew up in believed evil was personified by the devil. And the devil wasn’t just a metaphor but a real live entity. My grandmother’s house in rural County Cork had a religiously-themed image hanging on one of…

Plenty of blame in a world of strife

How is the Russian invasion of Ukraine different from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq?

Plenty of blame in a world of strifeAmerican writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Fiction reveals the truth that reality obscures.” I admit I’ve never been a great fan of fiction; I prefer writing that spells out the author’s perspective on what’s actually happening in the world. But there are times when nothing speaks the truth more effectively than a great…

Positive self talk an excellent way to raise your spirit

A positive substitute to negativity and pessimism

Positive self talk an excellent way to raise your spirit“I should stop watching the news.” My husband and I utter this phrase several times a week and have been doing so since late March 2020. Sure, we’re curious what the weather is doing, but the daily bombardment of headlines designed to alarm and provoke us has become something to be avoided. Each headline seems…

How each of us can stand up to megalomaniacs like Putin

Manipulative fantasy crises and villains fail to gain traction when met with healthy public skepticism

How each of us can stand up to megalomaniacs like PutinThe world has been shocked by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in neighbouring Ukraine and we all watch in horror as millions of people are made to suffer. What lessons does this situation reveal about our humanity? We’re capable of responding to people in need with empathy. The media coverage of the Ukraine crisis has…

CBC needs to ensure balanced coverage of Coastal GasLink dispute

Has seen fit to fund and air a documentary by a self-described American anarchist

CBC needs to ensure balanced coverage of Coastal GasLink disputeWith national division and polarity in Canada increasing, more than ever Canadian media needs to take a fair and balanced approach to current events. Here’s your chance to help the CBC do its job. The CBC, for some reason, has seen fit to help fund and air a documentary by a self-described anarchist from the…

Mainstream media has lost our trust in the age of COVID-19

Major news outlets have opted to focus on our more primal emotions to keep us tuned into their programs

Mainstream media has lost our trust in the age of COVID-19Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, tells us, “Trust is the glue of life. … It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Yet trust seems to be in short supply today. Many people don’t trust the mainstream media, the government, large corporations or the medical profession. Their trust is…

Systemic racism is embedded in our economy

We pass laws for unjust taxes, reward unscrupulous businesses and hold money back from our children

Systemic racism is embedded in our economyIn a 2016 interview, CBC journalist Peter Mansbridge confronted children’s advocate Dr. Cindy Blackstock with this statement regarding public funding for Indigenous programs: “Billions of dollars have been spent in trying to come to grips with the situation that so many Indigenous Canadians face. And of those billions, it’s on the record that some of…

Why respectful debate makes society better

Many of us have become very defensive about expressing our views

Why respectful debate makes society betterA 2018 episode of Channel 4 News from the United Kingdom has become rather infamous. Canadian psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson is interviewed by Cathy Newman about his book 12 Rules of Life, feminism and gender identity. Peterson has become very popular among those on the extreme right of the political spectrum. He has also…

The hidebound habits of the journalistic mind

'Reporting' today is simply a note-perfect parrot-squawk of State-approved storylines

The hidebound habits of the journalistic mindAn editor-in-chief infamous for, shall we say, whimsy once decreed no opening sentence of any news story could exceed 21 words. The impromptu commandment unleashed a newsroom tizzy equivalent to what might have erupted if an exotic dancer had walked in bearing a burlap bag full of ferrets and released them during her performance. The…

Believe it or not! First-rate journalists still exists in Canada

In the midst of institutional confusion and ineptness, individual journalists are still holding the powerful to account

Believe it or not! First-rate journalists still exists in CanadaHonesty demands acknowledgement. In recent weeks I’ve written sharp criticism of journalistic performance on a variety of issues. It’s true that at the institutional level, corporate providers of the ceaseless information that floods our waking hours too often resemble a pooch begging for table scraps while running in ever diminishing circles going yip-yip-yip. It would…

Lazy journalism becoming a mouthpiece for the State’s narrative

There is a growing comfort in institutional journalism to follow rather than question

Lazy journalism becoming a mouthpiece for the State’s narrativeWarning lights should always flash before our eyes whenever journalists mix raw numbers and percolating percentages in the same paragraph. Numbers clearly state actuality. Percentages are the ups and downs of context. Regardless of the axiom attributed to Stalin that one death is a tragedy and a million is a statistic, if two people die,…

Cheap talk and unsubstantiated claims hamper reconciliation

Vacuous electoral promises and virtue-signalling schemes won’t deliver the outcomes Indigenous Canadians need

Cheap talk and unsubstantiated claims hamper reconciliationCanada has consistently failed to make progress commensurate with the many lofty pronouncements and expectations on the Indigenous file. It’s a national shame that most Indigenous Canadians on reservations live far below acceptable socio-economic standards. Money isn’t the problem. By 2022, the federal budget allocations to Indigenous will have doubled since 2016 to nearly $25…
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