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RFT Ep 256 – What Good is the News Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on June 17, 2014

Download the episode here! 


Truth about Canada

Free trade - 5

Mel Hurtig is probably not a name most of us know and yet we should. Mel made good money in the 80 by selling some books. He took that windfall and was the driving force behind the Canadian Encyclopedia…the only encyclopedia made by Canadians.

Mel is a fervent nationalist and has talked for years about the erosion of both Canadian identity as well as Canadian sovereignty.

In 2008 he wrote the book “The Truth About Canada”, which is about how Canada has changed, very much for the worse, in the last twenty years. As a result of these profound (often hidden) changes, we are no longer the people we think we are.

From the book…To take one example, the Canadian media usually leaves us with the impression that Canadians are really heavily taxed. Yes, compared to the U.S.A., the usual point of comparison. No, compared to other countries with our standard of living, other OECD countries, for example; there we come in 23rd on the high-tax scale.

How do we rank in the world in voter turnout? Try 109th. Number of physicians per 100,000 population? Try 54th. Our rank in reducing pollution? 126th out of 146 countries.

Mel states that he wrote the book because we can’t do anything to fix the direction we’re drifting in unless we recognize it — and recognize The Truth About Canada.

Now this book was published in 2008 as I said but I came across an interview he did on TVO and he makes some predictions about Canada…now, 8 years on, it is surprising how these predictions fared.

Further Reading:

What Good is the News


I have a question for you…does the News Do Us Any Good? Alain de Botton

Given the current events in Ukraine, the way that news is reported (on all sides, sometimes opposing and sometimes oversimplified) is both interesting and unsettling.

Well Alain De Botton takes a philosopher’s approach to the general issue of the consumerisation of the news – making a plea for the media to treat us all more as grownups, and for us as consumers to be more objective and challenging.

Great advice – but is it ever possible?

Alain de Botton asks: “What is it that we’re really looking for when we watch or read the news – and is it doing us any good?”

Over the last decade the amount of information available to us has exploded. Stories, reports, updates and media of all sorts come at us from every angle, every day.

And yet we still have a significant relationship with “The News” – seeking it out, and investing it with an importance and authority in our lives, despite the fact that it often leaves us feeling confused and powerless.

Listen as de Botton turns his philosophical lens on The News, to examines the peculiar position it holds in our lives – and offers counsel on the precautions we should take before venturing anywhere near it and the “noise” it generates.

Further Reading:

I bet you’re a mutant

lactose intol cow50

How many of you have gone out and spent too much money to watch X-Men: days of future past?
I bet a number of you wish you were mutants with special powers…well it may surprise you that many of you ARE mutants and that power may have help your kind rule the world.

Further Reading:



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