The problem is that, by monochromatically portraying Fidel Castro simply as a brutal dictator -- full stop -- the western media has had to do pretzel-twists to explain away the reality of why so many people in Cuba, Latin America and, indeed, much of the developing world do see him as an heroic, larger than life figure, whose passing is a cause for sadness while his legacy is reason for celebration.
Unlike the iron fist of communism, capitalism's incidents of harm (recall the mugging in Central Park) result not from government oppression but from the nature of freedom itself. Misguided newspaper columns notwithstanding, in theory, practice and historical record, between capitalism and communism, there's no comparison.
What worries me most in all this is the growing sense that the public, and the politicians who represent the public, have ever less capability to do anything about it. Between the influence of big money over politics and the desire to remain economically competitive with countries that provide few social services, there is little room to bring balance back to our extreme economy.
Two words: Apocalypse Preparedness. It's on the minds of the citizens of the Western World and is stimulating this Leftist-Libertarianism. Simply put, when the world goes to shit and it's every person for themselves, those with a cold-storage full of preserves and an equipped workshop that can repair radios and shotguns will be more likely to survive.
What's going on with Prague fashion? Half the year hidden away in winter coats, the other half enduring jeers from their western neighbors for pairing sandals with socks. Now, however, the Czech Republic boasts one of the biggest-booming economies of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, consumerism is on the up-and-up (and up), and Prague shopping centres crop up like mushrooms after a rain.
Canada's intellectual and political elite have a dilemma: how do they deal with Dr. Norman Bethune's legacy? On the one hand they desperately want to praise Bethune for his so-called "humanitarian" and innovative efforts as a surgeon, but on the other hand there's that nasty little historical fact concerning the good doctor's sordid political beliefs, i.e. he had a crush on Joseph Stalin.
This week, sixty-two years ago, was the start of the Korean War. It was a chance for Canadians who were too young for World War II to experience what others had endured in wartime; it was an adventure. The mixture of veterans and rookies proved to be a more effective force than many expected, and Canadians who were there now recognize how worthwhile their contribution was.
I saw two young men wearing red t-shirts with the letters "CCCP" emblazoned in yellow across their chests. They thought it was cool. The scope of the Soviet regime's atrocities should be widely known among both young and old. The fact that it is not widely known is a sad indictment of our educational systems.
The Soviet Union once sought to intimidate, undermine, influence, subvert, exploit, deceive, penetrate, and dominate every country it had dealings with -- friendly or otherwise. It was paranoid and paralyzed by its dependence on the secret police. But today, the best course of action with Russia is to leave the damn country alone.
Has David Suzuki ever bothered to talk to anyone who lived in a country that abandoned capitalism? Has he ever heard the story of a refugee from the Soviet Union? There are plenty of them around in Canada. But Suzuki, like most Canadian writers and broadcasters, just aren't interested in their stories.
OTTAWA - Newly declassified records show the RCMP began spying on pioneering politician Tommy Douglas as early as 1936 — three years sooner than pre...