China is driving the rise of omniscient machines

Are we prepared for a world full of machines, governing everything in steely alignment with the technocrats’ goals?

China is driving the rise of omniscient machinesThe Terminator movies were prediction, not fiction. The proof abounds in China, recently dubbed by CBC as the world’s first digital dictatorship. China has interfaced wireless technology with surveillance cameras and facial recognition software to form Sky Net. And fifth-generation mobile phones, or 5G, are coming to Canada. That means Chinese technology and its usage…

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…

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…

Aung San Suu Kyi’s loss of Canadian citizenship should be applauded

Canada is making a powerful statement about her role in denying citizenship to others in her own country

Aung San Suu Kyi’s loss of Canadian citizenship should be applaudedThe House of Commons recently voted unanimously to call the killings, persecution, rape, abuse, destruction of homes and forced displacement of Rohingya from Myanmar as genocide. More than 900,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 2017. Now, the House has voted unanimously to revoke Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary Canadian citizenship, which she received in 2007.…

Stalin’s Moscow show trials a blind spot for western intellectuals

The eagerness of western intellectuals to justify the Moscow show trials of the late '30s was what was truly frightening about them

Stalin’s Moscow show trials a blind spot for western intellectualsThe infamous Moscow show trials ended 80 years ago this month. Based on fabricated charges of treason, Josef Stalin systematically eliminated virtually all of the remaining Old Bolsheviks, clearing away potential rivals and consolidating his power in the Soviet Union. The first trial began in August 1936, the second in January 1937 and the third…

Where the rule of law weakens, freedom wanes

Freedom and democracy are not stand-alone structures. For stability, they require institutional infrastructure, in particular, the rule of law and tolerance

Where the rule of law weakens, freedom wanesFor the first time in decades, basic human freedom is under attack globally. Journalists and opposition leaders are killed in Russia. China’s Communist Party stifles dissent on the mainland while threatening the rule of law in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands are arrested in Turkey on dubious grounds after a failed coup. Venezuela descends into…

When an intellectual cozies up to dictators

Is it feasible to separate political views and private behaviour from artistic merit? George Bernard Shaw is a perfect case study

When an intellectual cozies up to dictatorsTo most Canadians, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) may be a quaint figure whose primary distinction is having a popular southern Ontario theatre festival named after him. However, he was a big wheel during the first half of the 20th century. A self-described “downstart,” Shaw was born into an impecunious Protestant Ascendancy family in Dublin, Ireland. Leaving…

The moral roadblock at the end of ethical shortcuts

The world is full of stories of people who have done the impossible, and it always begins with a goal. But is it a worthy goal and are the methods ethical?

The moral roadblock at the end of ethical shortcuts“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal,” author and radio personality Earl Nightingale tells us. The truth is that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. We really can achieve what we visualize and believe. The world is full of stories of people and groups who have done the impossible, and it…