• Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley has little hope of winning the next provincial election unless voters buy her counterintuitive argument that her government’s onerous carbon taxes and emission regulations are creating a more sustainable petroleum industry. It’s a very hard sell amid collapsing capital investment, rising public deficits and debt, high unemployment, and empty Calgary office towers. To prove her point, Notley desperately needs the Kinder Morgan oilsands pipeline expansion to proceed. But it’s opposed by her old comrade John Horgan, now Premier of British Columbia’s minority NDP-Green coalition government. It is between this rock and hard place, writes Paul Stanway, that Notley is likely to be entombed.

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  • This year’s defeat of populist-nationalist parties in elections in France and Holland, and their apparent political setbacks elsewhere, has been hailed as evidence that the recent surge of far right movements has ended. But the things that fuelled it – terrorism, refugee migration, working class anxieties – haven’t gone away. And in Donald Trump’s America, many countries in Europe, and even parts of Canada, populist-nationalism remains a potent and growing political force, especially among young people. It would be a mistake to dismiss it, writes Patrick Speck.

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  • German-American anthropologist Franz Boas demonstrated over a century ago that nurture matters much more than nature in determining who we are. Thanks in large part to that idea racism was discredited for a long time. Now it’s fashionable again, including in, of all places, our university anthropology departments. McGill University anthropologist Philip Carl Salzman explains.

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  • Aboriginal grievance and entitlement stories made a lot of news in Canada in June. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renamed National Aboriginal Day as National Indigenous Peoples Day. He also renamed his office to erase its historic link to Hector Langevin, an architect of the residential schools system. And he gave the old American embassy in Ottawa to native groups. Still aboriginal activists weren’t satisfied. So they badgered an apology out of Governor General David Johnston for calling First Nations peoples immigrants. Which left Ettore Fiorani and Paul Bunner wondering, where on or off earth do these insatiably aggrieved activists come from?

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  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, according to the proverb. But what does all play and no work do to us? Thanks to the rapid acceleration of automation and artificial intelligence, we may be about to find out on a humanity-sized scale. With a guaranteed income and no job, and machines that can do anything we can do, only better, what will we do all day? Will it make us more creative and philanthropic, or more hedonistic and self-destructive? Ben Woodfinden weighs the odds.

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  • Donald Trump didn’t invent the post-truth phenomenon, he’s just a symptom of it. The current epidemic of truthlessness was conceived in post-modernism, gestated in our legal and academic institutions, and hatched in our own brains. Former Stephen Harper speechwriter Nigel Hannaford recently examined these hard truths in a presentation to students at Royal Roads University.

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  • Donald Trump opened his first international tour as U.S. President with a speech in Saudi Arabia announcing that America is no longer in the business of arbitrating and enforcing liberal values around the world. Autocratic nationalist strongmen from Moscow to Istanbul to Beijing took note, and all hell broke loose in the Middle East. Henry Gray reports.

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  • In 1972 Lou Reed offended conservatives with his hit Walk on the Wild Side, an admiring ode to his transgendered friend Holly, who left Miami as a he and became a she on the way to New York. In 2017 the song has offended progressives as a transphobic example of cultural appropriation. Madison McSweeney explains what a long, strange trip it’s been from conservative censorship to progressive censorship.

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