Rick Salutin

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Rick Salutin is a Canadian novelist, playwright and critic. He is a strong advocate of left wing causes and writes a regular column in the Globe and Mail.
Columnists

Can the NDP and Liberals differentiate themselves enough to beat Harper?

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The NDP's Olivia Chow took the plunge in a particularly irritating way this week when she announced she's running against Liberal MP Adam Vaughn in a downtown Toronto riding. It felt like a bad omen for an election that hasn't even begun and will drone on for over twice as long as usual.

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A dangerous manipulation: The Cosby Show and its Huxtable persona

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Gloria Allred, the Hollywood lawyer for some of Bill Cosby's sexual assault victims, told a press conference that he isn't Dr. Huxtable, as if it would've been OK if he was. I'm afraid I differ. Huxtable, who Cosby played on the hugely successful Cosby Show from 1984-92, was also a manipulative fraud and imposter.

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Columnists

Progress is a slippery notion in politics and history

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Keeping score can be exhausting and confusing. On Thursday morning, we had more golds but the U.S. had more medals. So who's on first? And if you assign points metallically, who's winning then? But I didn't mean the Pan Ams when I started this paragraph, I meant politics and history. Take the past week.

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Columnists

Are the Liberals and NDP the same, but just don't know it?

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Liberals and NDP are the same but don't know it

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Columnists

The inhuman economics of the Greece-EU catastrophe

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Let me recount a recent car breakdown melodrama with relevance, I hope, to the Greece-EU catastrophe and other economic nightmares.

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Columnists

Early Canadians shed light on barbaric cultural practices in the present

Photo: Yousuf Karsh/Library and Archives Canada/Wikimedia Commons

Consider this a pre-Canada Day column on pre-Canadians and what became of them. One effect of solemn national origin days is often to obscure any downsides that might've existed then or since. On the U.S.'s first Independence Day, only about a third of colonists were supportive. At Confederation, P.E.I. opted out and support elsewhere was shaky. A stark example is Palestine-Israel. On the Israeli side it's Independence Day; among Palestinians, Catastrophe Day.

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Rachel Dolezal and the complexities of identity

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Race doesn't exist but it does. The strongest argument against Rachel Dolezal's African-American claims isn't that they're false. Everyone agrees race is a social construct. It's that for most African-Americans, race isn't a lifestyle choice; and it trivializes their often hideous experiences to treat it that way. Yet it's also an identity that people can willingly embrace, after the fact as it were, which can enrich or embitter (or even kill, as in Charleston last week). So there's an element of choice, even in extreme situations.

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Chalk one up for democracy: U.S. wins victory over TPP trade deal

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A teenager who knows me too well says I'm obsessed with endlessly refighting the battle against free trade. That rings pathetically true. And now who wins a small victory over the ancient foe? Them. The U.S.! History is cruel.

It happened last week. President Barack Obama backed the latest in free trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- or TPP. The august Senate backed him. But the House of Representatives, the elected body nearest the people, voted No. It took a savvy, impassioned, grassroots campaign to make that happen and even so, it's not over. Pro-free traders are already attempting a TPP resuscitation. Victories over free trade should be celebrated swiftly. But what explains even that hiccup?

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Separating Evan Solomon's conduct from CBC culture is hard to do

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I can imagine Evan Solomon preparing a pitch to the dragons on CBC's beloved Dragons' Den -- beloved by CBC itself. "I traffic in people of great power. That's my world," he says, repeating a line from a recent profile. Then he continues: I leverage these relationships -- make connections -- to orchestrate deals and I take a percentage. No labour or startup costs and the returns are huge. As you guys say, Greed is good. The dragons raise a few doubts over his public role and this biz on the side but they like it. They're in.

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On strike! Breathing new life into established labour models

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Is there any reason to think strikes and the unions which call them will ever reacquire the aura of romance and moral legitimacy they once had? They come and go without glamour. Ontario just experienced another batch of teachers' strikes which were unpopular and duly legislated back. But it could be otherwise.

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