Windsor bookstore’s highly successful venture into publishing

Biblioasis has recently released two new books, one on baseball, the other on the origins of Covid

Windsor bookstore’s highly successful venture into publishingWhen I worked for the Windsor Star as an editorial writer and columnist, one of the stores I regularly frequented was Biblioasis. The independent bookstore was located in the city’s downtown core on Ouellette Avenue. It had an impressive selection of fiction and non-fiction titles for all ages and interests. I bought a few books…

Comedy is a powerful force in exposing what is wrong

The next and most difficult step is to find positive solutions and build a better world

Comedy is a powerful force in exposing what is wrongComedy is like any art form; some of it is brilliant, and some of it is dehumanizing. What we consider funny reflects the culture of the time and can also reveal our deepest thoughts. Laughter is central to being human and therefore warrants a serious discussion. American comedian Sarah Silverman said, “Comedy puts light onto…

The assassination of Sir Henry Wilson Ireland’s Sarajevo?

Regardless of the British reaction to Wilson’s death, the Irish civil war was likely to happen

The assassination of Sir Henry Wilson Ireland’s Sarajevo?Michael Collins was the most dynamic figure in the events leading to the establishment of the Irish Free State. And he was killed in an ensuing civil war ambush on August 22, 1922. Just two months earlier, Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson had been assassinated in London. Allegedly, Collins ordered the hit. Irish journalist Ronan…

Richard Nixon’s California embarrassment

How did a man with one of the highest profiles in American politics flop so badly in 1962?

Richard Nixon’s California embarrassmentIncluding his two campaigns for vice-president, Richard Nixon ran for office nine times and lost twice. One of these losses was the razor-thin defeat to John F. Kennedy in 1960’s presidential contest. The other was his ill-advised California gubernatorial effort two years later. California was Nixon’s home state and he’d always done well there, even…

The legend of King Arthur is a gift that keeps on giving

Although it may be a fabrication, the story has powerful resonance

The legend of King Arthur is a gift that keeps on givingKing Arthur is back in the news, thanks to an archeological dig in Herefordshire, England. The dig site in question is Arthur’s Stone, a Neolithic-era burial chamber that’s somewhere in the vicinity of 4,000 years old. It’s technically a dolmen with a capstone resting on nine uprights. And with an estimated weight of around 25…

What path should the Conservatives take?

The battle between Convoy Conservatives and Club Conservatives has led to a ‘new divide’ between people and elites

What path should the Conservatives take?The Conservative Party of Canada’s leadership race is heading into the home stretch. Once the dust settles after the ballots are counted on Sept. 10, the new leader must focus on defeating Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and deciding the right path for Conservatives to take. Tasha Kheiriddin, a lawyer, columnist and principal at Navigator…

The past is a foreign country. Just ask Keith Richards

The changes in attitudes over the past half-century are little short of astounding

The past is a foreign country. Just ask Keith RichardsIt was 55 years ago this summer that English journalist William Rees-Mogg penned a widely read editorial for London’s Sunday Times. Borrowing from the 18th-century poet Alexander Pope, Rees-Mogg’s piece was titled Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel? In it, Rees-Mogg took issue with the severity of the legal treatment meted out in consequence…

Hollywood icons and the Second World War

Some Hollywood legends actually participated in the reality of war, rather than merely on celluloid

Hollywood icons and the Second World WarIf you’re like me, the most vivid combat images you have of the Second World War come from Hollywood movies. Whether it was John Wayne on Iwo Jima or Errol Flynn in Burma, heroism was very much the order of the day. And Americans were invariably at the centre of the action. Naturally, the historical…

Remembering the great comics of yesteryear

When it comes to favourite humour comics, my list is exhaustive. Each strip was a work of art

Remembering the great comics of yesteryearWhen people think of their favourite comic strips, they typically list the ones they remember reading as a child – or, in some cases, still read today. My preference has always been for the comics of yesteryear. The early political cartoons of William Hogarth (A Rake’s Progress, 1732-34) and Francis Barlow (A True Narrative of…

Canada’s Fenian years featured some interesting personalities

A plotter, a spy with an overactive libido and a three-time attempted invader all called themselves Fenians

Canada’s Fenian years featured some interesting personalitiesHistorian David A. Wilson’s new book is Canadian Spy Story: Irish Revolutionaries and the Secret Police. It recounts a mid-19th-century episode where Irish revolutionaries – known as Fenians – tried to use Canada as a pawn in their struggle for Irish independence. Last week’s column looked at the Fenian attempts to invade Canada and hold…

Patrick Watson was a true giant of Canadian broadcasting

A brilliant mind with a critical eye. Intelligent, engaging, curious, humorous and innovative

Patrick Watson was a true giant of Canadian broadcastingOn Monday, a true giant of Canadian broadcasting left us. Patrick Watson passed away at age 92. Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s The Agenda, circulated the sad news. “A broadcasting legend has died. … His Witness to Yesterday in which he interviewed figures from our history got me hooked both on journalism and history,” he…

Theatre grad works to break down institutional barriers from within

Deneh’Cho Thompson found that traditional systems hindered his progress. So he set out to change them

Theatre grad works to break down institutional barriers from withinDeneh’Cho Thompson confesses to a mild rebellious streak in his youth. As a high school student in Calgary, he fell short of completing his diploma for “myriad reasons,” he says. Though he enjoyed many subjects and excelled in some, drama was the subject that most held his interest. Thompson eventually enrolled in a theatre program…

Some ‘Christians’ deserve our anger and contempt

But filtering our anger through our spirituality becomes a powerful force for good

Some ‘Christians’ deserve our anger and contemptAnger can be a powerful force for good. It can also be extremely destructive, both to ourselves and the world around us. The key is to understand the anger within and to direct it in a way that will bring about positive change. Anger comes from a place of fear. We know deep inside that…

Fenians used Canada as an Irish revolutionary pawn

There were five failed armed Fenian incursions into Canada between 1866 and 1871

Fenians used Canada as an Irish revolutionary pawnUniversity of Toronto historian David A. Wilson has an interesting new book called Canadian Spy Story: Irish Revolutionaries and the Secret Police. It’s a detailed examination of a mid-19th-century episode that had the potential to turn Canadian history upside down. And Wilson makes a credible case that the danger wasn’t entirely farfetched. Following the conclusion…

Hereditary empires and the struggle with modernity

Hereditary dynasties could not survive the industrial revolution. Well, except for one

Hereditary empires and the struggle with modernityLast week’s column drew from British historian Dominic Lieven’s current book about emperors and empires. Called In the Shadow of the Gods, it’s an exploration of the characteristics that contributed to dynastic success or failure. Lieven’s penultimate chapter deals with the challenges modernity posed to hereditary dynasties. As the environment changed rapidly, the crowns adorning…
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