Was the Armistice of 1918 a triumph or tragedy? 

The 1918 Armistice was an enormous historical blunder that led to the greatest tragedy experienced in modern times

Was the Armistice of 1918 a triumph or tragedy? By Stanley Taube and Michael Taube for Troy Media This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, millions of people worldwide will commemorate the signing of the Armistice. Wreaths will be laid, church bells will ring far…

The unwelcome consequences of the collapse of empires

The demise of the German Hohenzollerns led to Hitler, while the collapse of the Austrian Habsburgs gave rise to malignant nationalism

The unwelcome consequences of the collapse of empires​November marks the political demise of two imperial dynasties, the German Hohenzollerns and the Austrian Habsburgs. Like the Russian Romanovs and the Turkish Ottomans, they were casualties of the First World War. The Romanovs were the first to go, upended by the war-induced 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Of course, the case can be made that what…

John A. Macdonald’s mistake

Tearing down statues and decrying historic decisions in no way takes the measure of a great man, or his flaws when it comes to the Indigenous

John A. Macdonald’s mistakeLooking for a bargain statue of Sir John A. Macdonald? Victoria city council has removed just such a statue from City Hall, where it has stood for as long as anyone can remember. The intent is to promote reconciliation with Indigenous people. This is but the latest of a series of attacks on Canadian historical…

Is today’s baseball player better than yesteryear’s?

They may well be, but the game certainly isn't as compelling or entertaining as it once was

Is today’s baseball player better than yesteryear’s?It’s a perennial baseball topic: Were the players from the past better or worse than today’s? It’s a fun topic, often debated in offices, in sports bars and on radio talk shows – especially come World Series time. There are points to be made on both sides of the question. We asked our followers for…

Tearing down statues, losing perspective on history’s heroes

John A. Macdonald and Louis Riel had serious flaws. So did Nellie McClung. But nothing is served by repudiating their good work

Tearing down statues, losing perspective on history’s heroesOne of Canada’s best known historic heroes has taken quite a shellacking lately. John A. Macdonald’s statue was removed from a place of prominence in Victoria by order of its city council, and there have been calls elsewhere for buildings that honour his memory to be renamed. Even the city that once gloried in the…

Rhodes cultural policy is a template for Canada

The Greeks believe that supporting the arts and culture is not a luxury but an investment in human progress

Rhodes cultural policy is a template for CanadaThroughout the ages, Greece has created a significant footprint and an inspiring legacy in the arts and culture. Hardly a day goes by when we don’t recognize the foundational endowments to the modern arts and culture made by ancient Greece. Renowned Greek philosophers, architects, sculptors, poets and playwrights have left their mark for future generations.…

Legend, reality and the Outlaw King

The full story of Robert the Bruce's ascendancy to the Scottish crown is more intricate and certainly less romantic

Legend, reality and the Outlaw KingReading about the forthcoming Outlaw King movie reminded me of a childhood story. The subject of both the movie and the story is Robert the Bruce (1274-1329), the famous Scottish king who routed the English at Bannockburn and paved the way for Scotland’s independence. The childhood story had a moral about the value of persistence…

The corrosion of social norms puts us all at risk

Insisting on righteous victory at any cost is the greasy slope to violence

The corrosion of social norms puts us all at riskOn the afternoon of May 22, 1856, Preston Brooks, a plantation owner and pro-slavery congressman from South Carolina, strode into the nearly deserted U.S. Senate chamber. There he accosted Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, who had been making a series of fiery abolitionist speeches. Brooks announced that Sumner had used insulting language toward his relative and…

The abysmal scorecard of socialist revolutions

Real communism has failed repeatedly to provide better living conditions. Why do countries like Venezuela persist?

The abysmal scorecard of socialist revolutionsNineteen years ago, ex-general Hugo Chavez came into power in Venezuela, vowing that a “Bolivarian revolution” based on communist principles would improve the lives of his people. Today, millions of Venezuelans are fleeing their homes looking for food, medicine or employment in neighbouring countries. Inflation is out of control. In a country with perhaps the…

Left-wing social justice warriors rewriting history

It is important that we understand history as it was, and not how some of us wish it would be

Left-wing social justice warriors rewriting historyThe philosopher George Santayana famously wrote in The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  This statement makes sense, especially in light of our society’s recent trials of history – and the accuracy of history being placed on trial. The first example involves Scott…

The man who shot Billy the Kid

Pat Garrett has been maligned for killing his "friend" in a "cowardly" way. Neither indictment is persuasive

The man who shot Billy the KidTo the extent he’s remembered at all, Pat Garrett (1850-1908) is known as the man who shot Billy the Kid. Reputation-wise, it’s been a mixed blessing. Although the shooting happened in Garrett’s capacity as a sheriff hunting down a convicted murderer, the fictionalizing of the Old West and the power of Hollywood storytelling often cast…

Discovering the Basque roots of the American dream

Why visiting small museums can expand your knowledge of the broader world

Discovering the Basque roots of the American dreamThe Untzi Museoa is a modest naval museum in San Sebastian, an important Basque community on the eastern verge of Spain’s northern coast. San Sabastian’s relationship with the sea goes back to the early 1200s, when its prominent Mount Urgull was first fortified to ward off French attacks on its diverse community of traders, merchant…

A Brexit perspective with 55-year-old roots

Charles de Gaulle's view of the English should help inform the conversation about whether the U.K. belongs in Europe

A Brexit perspective with 55-year-old rootsWatching the fraught state of Brexit negotiations brought Charles de Gaulle to mind. On Jan. 14, 1963, de Gaulle – in his capacity as president of France – publicly blocked Britain’s entry into what was then known as the common market. “England,” he said, “is an island, sea-going, bound up by its trade, its markets,…

Hubert Humphrey’s futile dash for Presidential power

Humphrey tried and tried again but, ambition notwithstanding, he was never meant for the job

Hubert Humphrey’s futile dash for Presidential powerOn Sept. 30, 1968, an American vice-president made a dash for political independence. Speaking in Salt Lake City, Hubert Humphrey began the process of trying to separate his floundering presidential campaign from the spectre of his boss, President Lyndon Johnson. Humphrey’s initiative was to call for a change in America’s prosecution of the Vietnam War.…

Waiting for enlightenment in fundamentalist Islamic law

Religious authorities still hold on to their power, insisting that completely outdated concepts must stay

Waiting for enlightenment in fundamentalist Islamic lawShariah law is based on the Qur’an and the Hadith, the collections of sayings attributed to Mohammed. Islamic fundamentalists believe that Shariah courts should decide virtually all disputes, based on that law. Such courts are a fixture in Islamic countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some fundamentalists even want to see them established in North…
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