Archive | Rick Salutin

Should Obama’s birthday be postponed?

Should Obama’s birthday be postponed?

By Rick Salutin

Maybe they should have postponed Barack Obama’s 50th birthday party on Thursday until he shows signs of growing up a bit. He first looked callow, like a kid not quite up to it, in his BP oil spill speech a year ago. Continue Reading

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Canadian journalism and the mote in our own eye

Canadian journalism and the mote in our own eye

By Rick Salutin

Can we declare a moratorium on Canadian Schadenfreude over Rupert Murdoch and his British tabs? They deserve what they’re getting and more. But it tends to conceal the mote in our own eye. Continue Reading

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Jethro Gibbs stoops to conquer

Jethro Gibbs stoops to conquer

By Rick Salutin

Every time I hear Jethro Gibbs mutter, “Just doin’ my job,” it warms me. It’s so different from other American voices we hear. Gibbs is the boss of the investigative team on NCIS, a TV crime drama in a military setting. He’s the anti-Jack Bauer. Bauer, on 24, was always saving his country. Gibbs just does his job. In other words, he is an American pragmatist. Continue Reading

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ROB FORD AND THE LOSS OF HOPE

ROB FORD AND THE LOSS OF HOPE

By Rick Salutin

In his awesome book, India After Gandhi, Ramachandra Guha says, “The world over, modern democratic politics has been marked by two rather opposed rhetorical styles. The first appeals to hope, to popular aspirations for economic prosperity and social peace. The second appeals to fear … about being worsted or swamped by one’s historic enemies.” That’s about as good as generalizations get, except to add that the phases tend to succeed each other. They don’t just coexist. It’s the failure or shortfall of hope that leads to fear. Continue Reading

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STEPHEN HARPER – THE LAST STRAUSSIAN?

STEPHEN HARPER – THE LAST STRAUSSIAN?

By Rick Salutin 

I’m talking political philosophy here, not Viennese waltzes. People keep asking why Stephen Harper acts as he does, it looks so buttheaded. He seems to muck up his own prospects: firing decent people, lashing out, raising the partisan rhetoric, proroguing Parliament haughtily, binging on military toys, mauling the census – he’s a bright boy, it’s hard to figure. Continue Reading

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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR THE NEXT ECONOMICS IDOL

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR THE NEXT ECONOMICS IDOL

Does the economy exist for people or do people exist for the economy?

By Rick Salutin 

“So there’s really no new model for how to run this economy, and nobody’s even, I think, thinking about that question, much less an answer.”-Doug Henwood, of Left Business Observer, on The Real News Network Continue Reading

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WHAT HAPPENED AT JAILAPALOOZA?

WHAT HAPPENED AT JAILAPALOOZA?

The real result of the G20 ‘symbolic’ violence was to convince many that the Harper security outlays were well spent and perhaps prep the ground for the rise of Rob Ford in Toronto’s mayoral race

By Rick Salutin 

This week’s mass processing inside (and outside) a Toronto courthouse helped clarify June’s Jailapalooza festival during the G20, the largest mass arrest in our history. Of 1,100 detained, all but 227 had the charges dropped or were never charged. Most had no links to burning police cars or battered bank machines. They were picked up while protesting peacefully or looking on. Continue Reading

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ROB FORD AND DINING OF TRUTH

ROB FORD AND DINING OF TRUTH

By Rick Salutin 

Americans gripped by immigration and ethnicity issues should glance for perspective at the large print on the base of the Statue of Liberty: Give me your tired, your poor … Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me … Canadians with similar anxieties about immigrants and refugees – categories that were often historically identical – should think about Samuel de Champlain, who founded our country in the early 1600s. Continue Reading

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FOCUS ON THE CENSUS SHOWS CANADIANS WON’T TAKE HARPER’S BAIT

FOCUS ON THE CENSUS SHOWS CANADIANS WON’T TAKE HARPER’S BAIT

By Rick Salutin 

Mario Laguë, Michael Ignatieff’s communications director, died Thursday in a motorcycle accident on his way to work. I hadn’t heard of him till this week, when a memo he wrote to MPs made its way into the press. I found it prescient on our current politics and especially this summer’s surprising focus on the census. It was about “not taking the bait.” Continue Reading

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CONRAD’S ETERNAL BOYISHNESS

CONRAD’S ETERNAL BOYISHNESS

By Rick Salutin 

Black’s Bad Boy: My stab at what got Conrad Black through a prison stretch isn’t his arrogance or sense of rectitude. It’s his not-so-inner child, an eternal boyishness. You hear it in the piece he wrote last weekend for the National Post. It has a sense of adventure with an improbably happy ending; it could have come out of the Boy’s Own Annual, which I can picture him reading, absorbing the Dickensian stylistics. (He’s always been a Victorian figure, which helps explain his choice of British lordship over Canadian citizenship.) Continue Reading

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