Category Archives: Current Events

Essays on topical issues in the news, from around the world, by Wayne K. Spear

The Long Tsilhqot’in Journey to Aboriginal Title


THE WEBSITE of the Xeni Gwet’in (pronounced Honey Gwi-deen) reads like a manifesto:

In a world full of travel promises, some kept others not, the Xeni Gwet’in people offer none. The Xeni prefer to simply share their home with respectful travelers—those who follow their hearts, live their passion and still have the capacity to be awestruck by mountain peaks reflecting on sparkling alpine lakes and by magnificent creatures at home in a pristine wilderness. This is a place of freedom and of contentment—a place to be shared with friends, new and old.

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We Simply Can’t Explain Mass Murderers


HOW MANY INDIVIDUALS commit themselves to the business of random mass killing? It’s a small number, only a fraction of one percent of the human family. So why do we look for an explanation of the extraordinary in ordinary things, like video games or Hollywood or even Aspergers? There are millions of people who would be murderers if the cause were something as relatively commonplace as these. To reach in this way, into the bag of easy prejudices forever at one’s feet, is to go for the scoring of a cheap ideological point.

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How the Cold War Became the Climate Warming War

THE PROPOSITION THAT human activities are drawing the Earth to its climate-derived apocalypse was already an old idea when I first encountered it thirty years ago. Long before the topic of global warming was cornered by Al Gore, two acquaintances of mine – Brian J. Walsh and J. Richard Middleton – in 1984 published a book entitled The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian World View. Their Toronto-based publisher, IVP, describes this now three-decades-old book as follows:

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Ottawa’s policy vacuum undermines its oil sands rhetoric

OIL: it’s an imposing and multi-faceted topic, into whose orbit come geopolitical intrigue, war and empire building. Oil fuels our modern industrial comforts and conveniences, as well as our controversies. In many parts of the petroleum-rich world — Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Nigeria —  it has engendered violence and state corruption. A blessing of mixed character, oil production and its inevitable politics have arrived on a massive scale to Canada, most of it in the form of bitumen. Civil war and autocracy are unlikely in this democratic, rule-of-law nation, but don’t expect a smooth journey. There are battles ahead, and the evidence suggests Canada is ill-prepared both for its scope and scale.

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Russia’s War with the West is Not Over

Vladimir Putin

WHEN IN THE final days of his anti-climactic election campaign Vladimir Putin sought the blessing of the Theotokos of Tikhvin, he confirmed symbolically an attachment both to the Russian Orthodox Church and the czarist tradition. Add to the pious optics of this gesture the state dominated, and eastern Europe dominating, megacorporation Gazprom as well as the country’s informal ‘silovik’ network of former security operatives—embedded into the country’s banking, commercial, media, and energy sectors—and one would have in a single photo-op a complete representation of the current Russian state.

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