Ukrainian blues

The combination of ethnically-linked identities and related grievances can have very nasty consequences

Ukrainian bluesTORONTO, ON, Mar 5, 2014/ Troy Media/ - Stratfor’s George Friedman has written the best thing I’ve seen on the developing situation in Ukraine. I liked it because it put its finger on something that had nagged at me. Like most of us, my instinctive reaction was – and is – to identify with the…

The inequality debate takes a turn

A new study shows just how hard it is to prove there even is any

The inequality debate takes a turnTORONTO, ON, Jan 29, 2014/ Troy Media/ - If you’ve been following the inequality debate over the past several years, you’ll be aware of a new meme that’s crept into the discussion. Not only is income inequality undesirable in and of itself, but it also has detrimental effects on future generations. The hot piece of…

Beware of experts who aren’t

There are valid reasons to be sceptical of “case closed” arguments that claim to speak from expert authority

Beware of experts who aren’tTORONTO, ON, Jan 22, 2014/ Troy Media/ - Several related things caught my eye over this past weekend, none of which provided much comfort on the subject of taking cues from our betters. Alas, it would seem that we still have to think for ourselves. In The Wall Street Journal, Joseph Epstein reminisced about the…

Downton Abbey and history’s echo

The soap’s first black character was inspired by jazz singer Leslie Hutchinson, who had an affair with Lady Edwina Mountbatten

Downton Abbey and history’s echoTORONTO, ON, Jan 15, 2014/ Troy Media/ - North American devotees of Downton Abbey will soon get a peek at a forgotten slice of British social history. As the series’ fourth season unfolds, viewers will be introduced to its first black character – a jazz singer called Jack Ross. Apparently, the portrayal is inspired by…

Looking back at Canada’s great flag debate

While the new flag was highly popular, whether Canadian independence strictly required it is a different question

Looking back at Canada’s great flag debateTORONTO, ON, Jan 9, 2014/ Troy Media/ - Between Christmas and New Year, John Matheson died. He’d lived a long and eventful life, eventually passing at the age of 96. But although his resume included such distinctions as Second World War brain injury survivor, lawyer, and Liberal MP, the most noted was his key role…

The most suicidal campaign in US presidential history

50 years ago Barry Goldwater ran for President. The results weren’t pretty

The most suicidal campaign in US presidential historyTORONTO, ON, Jan 2, 2014/ Troy Media/ - Fifty years ago, on January 3, 1964, Barry Goldwater formally launched the most suicidal political campaign in American presidential history. Running as the voice of authentic conservatism, he wound up carrying just six states and 39 per cent of the popular vote. First elected to the senate…

JFK and the truth about the Cuban Missile Crisis

JFK and the truth about the Cuban Missile CrisisFebruary 4, 2013 TORONTO, ON, Feb. 4, 2013/ Troy Media/ - 'We're eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked.' That was American secretary of state Dean Rusk's famously pungent description of 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis. It was also an encapsulation of what became the conventional narrative: John F. Kennedy staring down…

When historical myth collides with reality

When historical myth collides with realityJanuary 27, 2013 TORONTO, ON, Jan. 27, 2013/ Troy Media/ - Dead since 1485, Richard III was back in the news recently, courtesy of the potential discovery of his earthly remains under a parking lot in Leicester, England. Although conventional history has it that Richard was a murdering tyrant, he's not without his defenders. In…

The curious case of Richard Nixon

The curious case of Richard NixonJanuary 20, 2013 TORONTO, ON, Jan. 20, 2013/ Troy Media/ - The January 9 centenary of Richard Nixon's birth passed without significant attention. Although it's almost 40 years since he resigned in disgrace, Nixon is still very much a pariah. It's a curious case. When he won the White House in 1968, Nixon inherited a…

Cherry picking and puffery in political reporting

Cherry picking and puffery in political reportingJanuary 14, 2013 TORONTO, ON, Jan. 14, 2013/ Troy Media/ - The National Post carried a peculiar story the other week, courtesy of a report by-lined to Greg Giroux of Bloomberg News. Or perhaps artfully constructed would be a better descriptor. The headline was a real eye-catcher: 'Obama's popular vote tally best in 50 years.'…
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