The secret of America’s enduring power

“A common view is that the power and influence of the United States is in decline,” wrote York University political science Professor Thomas Klassen in the Toronto Star Aug. 26. “The Chinese economy will soon – possibly as early as next year – surpass the size of America’s. The withdrawal of all soldiers from Afghanistan, also next year, shows the increasingly limited scope of America’s military might. Russia’s decision to harbour whistleblower Edward Snowden suggests that the United States has little ability to dictate its will. Yet America will continue to dominate the world stage for many decades, if not centuries, because it has a unique advantage that has little to do with its economy or military prowess.” Read full story.

Crap detection and the higher ed news
“Howard Rheingold, the longtime Internet commentator and UC Berkeley lecturer, uses the term ‘crap detection’ to describe the process of determining whether online information is credible or not,” wrote York University PhD candidate Melonie Fullick in University Affairs Aug. 23.  “What Rheingold calls ‘crap detection’ is also known as information literacy, and in my case it was acquired partly through a degree in communication studies with an emphasis on analyzing mainstream media coverage.” Read full story.

Labour Day event has been staged for 90 years
This year’s Homecoming at Buxton features, as always, a cornucopia of activities that are unique, varied, exciting and creative. In fact, the activities mirror many of the people who plan and take part in the weekend, reported the Chatham Daily News Aug. 23. Friday kicks off the four-day weekend celebrations and it is a day dedicated to history featuring well-known historians, researchers and speakers who bring to life a US/Canadian History & Genealogy Conference sponsored by the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University. Read full story.

The Canadian crisis
For Toronto-based immigration lawyer Ravi Jain, August is traditionally a busy month with university and college semesters just around the corner and many of his clients coming from India, which is the second-largest source country for students heading to Canadian universities, next only to China, reported the Indian Express Aug. 25. This year, however, the situation has not been to Jain’s liking, thanks to a long-running strike called by Canada’s foreign service officers that has severely affected processing of visas in India and other countries. His clients, who have obtained admission to popular institutions such as York University, George Brown College and Seneca College are stranded in India with no prospect of getting to Canada before the beginning of the first term in early September. Read full story.