What Elvis Costello got right in Oliver’s Army

Neocolonialism and huge military budgets are prevalent. So is the myth that militarism means order

What Elvis Costello got right in Oliver’s ArmyIn our age of cancel culture, it seems odd to see an artist cancelling himself. New-wave icon Elvis Costello recently asked radio stations not to play one of the most popular original hits of his storied career, Oliver’s Army. He added that he will no longer perform the song publicly. The song contains the n-word,…

In defence of Bishop Desmond Tutu

Was Tutu an anti-Semite and bigot, as some claim?

In defence of Bishop Desmond TutuOn Dec. 26, the world said goodbye to Bishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner and tireless advocate for human rights. He’s best known for his non-violent struggle against and triumph over apartheid, the white-only, racist system of government in South Africa that oppressed Tutu and his countrymen for decades. Lifelong activist Ralph…

No one in the world is safe until everyone is safe

COVID doesn’t care if you’re a capitalist or a socialist

No one in the world is safe until everyone is safeAs I sat recovering from the side effects of my third COVID-19 vaccine, certain things didn’t add up. First of all, I know a number of good, intelligent people who are choosing not to get vaccinated. Of course, there are some very unkind individuals among them who harass our health-care workers and people in the…

Building the root system for personal success

Live with integrity and gratitude, work hard, be kind to others and focus on your potential

Building the root system for personal successThe Chinese bamboo tree shows little or no apparent signs of growth for four years. Then suddenly, it can grow as much as 25 metres in weeks. That’s a powerful metaphor for the growth of successful people. Over those apparently-dormant four years, the tree actually is growing; we just can’t see it. It’s developing an…

How ordinary people can survive the worst of capitalism

We’re the 99 per cent and the one per cent is powerless without our co-operation

How ordinary people can survive the worst of capitalismAs we move into a new year, we see many problems in the world and much that needs to change. We often forget, however, that the most significant force for good looks back at us each time we gaze into the mirror. We live in a capitalist society, and capitalism has brought us many good…

In search of the perfect Christmas? Good luck

How to avoid a Clark Griswold meltdown and having a SWAT team invade our home

In search of the perfect Christmas? Good luckNational Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has become a holiday season staple in many homes. The film, released in 1989, portrays the misadventures of the Griswold family as the main character Clark tries to create the perfect family Christmas. While the film is genuinely funny, there’s something more profound that appeals to us. Perhaps it’s the fact…

Why Santa Claus matters, regardless of your faith

If we share peace and goodwill with others, we find them growing within us

Why Santa Claus matters, regardless of your faithThough it’s technically the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ for Christians, many traditions merge to form what we call Christmas. Some traditions are indeed Christian but others aren’t. Some date from eras before Jesus was born and some are more recent. One of the most endearing today is that of Santa Claus, the…

O Tannenbaum symbolizes the entire celebration of Christmas

The Christmas tree is a universal symbol that delivers a message of endurance and light during the dark winter months

The traditional German song O Tannenbaum is often translated as O Christmas Tree. This translation is only partly accurate, however. The English version is quite different from the German: the essence of the German song is far more universal. One of the beauties of learning languages is discovering what words and poetry mean to those…

Exploiting workers is a dark and lonely path to wealth

Many powerful people have become rich by exploiting workers

Exploiting workers is a dark and lonely path to wealthMany people seem to have forgotten a basic principle of life. Broadcaster and writer Earl Nightingale called it “the law of mutual exchange.” He explained further: “We’ve got to be of service before we can expect money.” Many powerful people over the last several centuries have acted as though this principle didn’t apply to them.…

Barbados shakes off the chains of centuries of brutal oppression

Wealth can’t make what’s wrong right. It can’t make the truth disappear, and it can’t stop great people

Barbados shakes off the chains of centuries of brutal oppressionIn his classic book Man’s Search for Meaning, psychiatrist Viktor Frankl discusses the internal character that allowed people to survive the Holocaust. He speaks of an “inner greatness,” where despite the horrendous circumstance, one can choose their attitude, their own way. This is the ultimate human freedom. We recently saw this inner greatness displayed by…
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