A neo-Nazi taunts Jews in Nova Scotia, with government help

Notorious art thief John Mark Tillmann managed to get two levels of government to rename a waterway just to torment Jewish neighbours

A neo-Nazi taunts Jews in Nova Scotia, with government helpShould the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia name something after a neo-Nazi? It’s not a hypothetical question. Fall River, N.S., (pop. 11,526) is a community in Halifax’s regional municipality. By all accounts, it’s a lovely spot and the locals are nice. If you go hiking on a trail in the area, you may spot…

When an intellectual cozies up to dictators

Is it feasible to separate political views and private behaviour from artistic merit? George Bernard Shaw is a perfect case study

When an intellectual cozies up to dictatorsTo most Canadians, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) may be a quaint figure whose primary distinction is having a popular southern Ontario theatre festival named after him. However, he was a big wheel during the first half of the 20th century. A self-described “downstart,” Shaw was born into an impecunious Protestant Ascendancy family in Dublin, Ireland. Leaving…

Putting a muzzle on those you disagree with

Mark Kingwell is vexed by the failure of democracy to silence the speech of those he disagrees with

Putting a muzzle on those you disagree withMark Kingwell is what is commonly called an intellectual social critic. He has an impressive list of advanced degrees and has published books on difficult topics such as baseball, cocktails and democracy. He’s paid by the taxpayers of Ontario to teach philosophy to their university-going young people. But a recent article in the Globe and…

‘Be not afraid.’ Why the words of John Paul II still resonate

No force on earth is more powerful than a movement that embraces the truths of personal empowerment, forgiveness, courage, acceptance and love

‘Be not afraid.’ Why the words of John Paul II still resonateThere are many dark pages in the history of the 20th century, notably the tens of millions of deaths cased by Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Caught between the regimes of these cruel dictators was the Poland where Karol Wojtyla came of age. The leaders of Nazism and Soviet communism tried to convince people that they…

The failed fight against fascism

The bombing of Guernica was a flashpoint in the Spanish Civil War, which became a microcosm of worldwide political and ideological schisms for years to come

The failed fight against fascismOn April 26, 1937, German planes bombed the Basque town of Guernica, killing around 1,000 people. Undertaken as part of Germany’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, the bombing was intended to cause terror. But as sometimes happens, there was a boomerang effect. For significant sections of western opinion, the brutality of what happened in Guernica…