Why helping the downtrodden around the world helps us all

The idea that you can wall build walls and create quarantines is as ridiculous as it is dangerous

Why helping the downtrodden around the world helps us allWhen we carefully examine fear, we can see that it’s mostly irrational. Legitimate fear is a good thing, however, because it pushes us to eliminate actual dangers to our well-being. During the Cold War, the threat of a nuclear Armageddon was very real. Many of us took up the task of changing global conditions by…

What purpose do hatred and vengeance serve?

Forgiveness isn’t easy. But forgiving others sets us free to live to our true potential

What purpose do hatred and vengeance serve?I admit I’m only beginning to understand the concept of forgiveness. But I do know it’s a common thread in the lives of the people who I most deeply admire. I can imagine Nelson Mandela sitting in his tiny prison cell, fighting an internal battle to keep from losing hope. Somehow he came to the…

Brain drain puts Venezuela at a further disadvantage

If 7% of the Venezuelan population has fled, that must include some of the best and brightest

Brain drain puts Venezuela at a further disadvantageWestern nations like Canada and the U.S. have watched the pressure-filled political situation in Venezuela with interest and concern. It’s a powder keg that seems ready to explode at any moment. And it may require our intervention. On one side is Venezeula’s presidential dictator, Nicolas Maduro. The former bus driver and trade unionist is a…

A ray of hope after a brutal week

A multicultural student haka in New Zealand radiates something positive in a world that seems all too sick

A ray of hope after a brutal weekWhen you write a weekly column in the relatively unrelated realms of culture and politics, you rely on independent stimuli for the idea that eventually becomes the piece. Frankly, the idea that becomes the column doesn’t often strike until just after the previous week’s work appears online each Sunday morning. Then, as if ordained by…

What CBC gets wrong about the crisis in Venezuela

The Maduro regime has inflicted massive human suffering. You wouldn't know that by watching the National

What CBC gets wrong about the crisis in VenezuelaIn the early 2000s, CBC faced charges of deep-seated left-wing bias. In recent years, it cleaned up its act and is rated centre-left by Media Bias/Fact Check, a website that rates accuracy and political bias in news media. Not unbiased but a big improvement from where it was. Yet, the CBC’s flagship National newscast recently…

Ireland’s greatest mythical hero

The story of Cuchulainn is one of heroism. But it has also become a cultural touchstone and a political rallying cry

Ireland’s greatest mythical heroWith St. Patrick’s Day almost upon us, it’s appropriate to write something with an Irish theme. And what better subject than the greatest hero of Ireland’s mythical past – Cuchulainn. As the word is derived from old Irish, a bit of phonetic assistance would help. The variation familiar from my childhood is “Coo Cullen.” It…

Venezuela’s descent into chaos was predictable

Taking wealth from one group and giving it to others just creates misery and strife

Venezuela’s descent into chaos was predictableNicolas Maduro was recently sworn in as president of Venezuela for a second six-year term. There are no signs things will improve in the strife-torn nation during this term. His first term was marked by hyperinflation, violent repression, flight of foreign investors, shutdown of businesses, bankruptcies, riots, food shortages, mass unemployment, widespread hunger, emigration of…

Approaching real problems with scientific problem-solving tools

Do we really think that the old legal-political-economic decision-making trifecta is up to the task of solving the world's problems?

Approaching real problems with scientific problem-solving toolsFew would argue with the proposition that how we think determines how we solve our problems. Just consider the past week. We’ve had what the mainstream media characterizes as a scandal in Ottawa. A strong member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, Jody Wilson-Raybould, has resigned and sought legal counsel on next moves from a…

The unrelenting (and ill-informed) push to rewrite history

No other global civilization has been as deliberate and inclusive about progress as modern western civilization

The unrelenting (and ill-informed) push to rewrite historyProgressive liberals of a certain frame of mind suggest that white people are guilty. They’re the systemic oppressors of indigenous cultures, minorities and people of colour. Modern western society also stands accused of abusing the environment and of being unrelentingly sexist, racist and elitist. Or is western civilization the crucible of progress, the liberator of…

The lessons we can all learn from the brave women of the Congo

True power doesn’t rest with the violent, it lies with those of integrity and courage

The lessons we can all learn from the brave women of the CongoCanadian Gen. Romeo Dallaire stated, “At its heart, the Rwandan story is the failure of humanity to heed a call for help from an endangered people.” It would be nice to believe that the world learned its lesson in Rwanda, where nearly one million people were slaughtered in roughly 90 days as the world stood…
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