• stockland-main

    The imminent legalization of cannabis in Canada is prompting all kinds of anxiety. Will it make it even harder for teenagers’ brains to develop? Will stoned drivers slow traffic to a crawl? Will your plane’s pilot be higher than the aircraft? These may be the least of our worries. The bigger social menace of legal dope is that it will make more of us even dumber and more self-absorbed than we already are. Culturally speaking, writes Peter Stockland, the party’s about to get a lot duller.

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    If you want peace, prepare for war. That idea kept the Roman Empire going for 500 years. After a bumpy first 100 days, it might also keep Donald Trump’s presidency going. Nobody’s calling him “Putin’s stooge” anymore, since the U.S. responded to the horrific sarin gas attack on civilians by Russia’s Syrian ally with a hail of cruise missiles. Now Trump’s telling the “crazy fat kid” in North Korea to “behave” and rattling his sabre at Iran. After some time away, the world’s cop is apparently back on the beat, reports Nigel Hannaford.

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    Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak says she knows what really happened in Indian residential schools because she once double-dated with “an aboriginal fellow”. That’s the story most Canadians read or heard when Beyak clumsily questioned the orthodoxy of “cultural genocide”. A few years earlier, most Canadians read or heard that Chief Theresa Spence went on a hunger strike to protest the Harper government’s cruel neglect of her First Nation. It turns out there is quite a bit more to both stories, but that’s how news often gets made in Indian country, a place where emotion rules and truth goes to die. Jason Unrau explains.

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  • Calgary Flames fans celebrating before a playoff game.   * FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY

    You can tell it’s spring in Canada because in cities where the local NHL team has made the playoffs pick-up trucks are cruising the streets adorned with team flags attached to upside-down hockey sticks. With fan fever running high, it’s a good time for the NHL to abuse its customers by raising ticket prices, announcing it won’t participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics and, in the Calgary Flames’ case, threatening to move the team unless taxpayers pony up for a new arena. This is just another repugnant play for corporate welfare, writes Mark Milke, and the Flames deserve a major penalty for unbusinesslike conduct.

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  • Farrow

    For many thousands of years humans held a binary view of gender, mainly defined by the observable anatomical differences between males and females. But today, according to transgender activists and, increasingly, laws written for them, gender identity has nothing to do with physiology; it’s all in our heads. Western civilization has been slouching toward this revelation for a long time, writes theologian Douglas Farrow. We had to ditch God to get there, but “cracking the gender code” allows everyone to enter the kingdom of self-worship. Farrow won’t be going though. He has sworn off gender neutrality for Lent.

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    Most mainstream conservative commentators in Canada and the United States were hostile toward Donald Trump when he was running for the presidency, and still are. Almost alone among the right-wing commentariat, Conrad Black backed him early, and often, and still does. But contrarian is the way it’s always been with Black, writes Patrick Keeney in a review of a new collection of Black columns; he never fails to challenge, inform, entertain – and surprise.

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  • Patrick Keeney is as smartphone-enslaved as the rest of us, but he’s more worried about it than most. Not for himself, but for civil society and democracy. Keeney sees modern digital communications technologies as exacerbating many of the most pernicious social trends of our time: mistrust of elites, rejection of family and community, and “hyper-individualism”. The messages conveyed by new digital mediums are mostly post-modern and progressive, which is not how anyone would describe New England Patriots’ coach and Super Bowl champion Bill Belichick. So it gave Keeney hope when he heard Belichick growl: “I’m not on SnapFace.”

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  • All the fearmongering in the mainstream media about Brexit, Donald Trump, fake news, Islamophobia, climate change, and the imminent end of civilization isn’t really about any of those things. It’s actually the death rattle of the MSM. The digitization of the news media is breaking up the corporate and ideological cartels that have dominated journalism for decades, writes Ryan Rados. They are about to be supplanted by hordes of citizen journalists who will diversify and democratize the news via the Internet. None of them will get rich but really, who should you trust to tell you the truth, a million-dollar-a-year network news anchor or a gumshoe reporter earning fractions of a cent per click?

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