The Plague-Ground – You’re at a movie in a packed theatre. You smell smoke.

You see flames flicker up from an empty seat in front of you. You’re tempted to stand up and yell “Fire!” But you don’t because that may cause a stampede and trample people. In fact, isn’t that why it’s against the law to yell “Fire!”…

The Plague-Ground – More Money Than Brains

But oh, what very big brains they have. Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci are the scientists whose company, BioNTech, is partnering with Pfizer to produce the vaccine that is 90% effective against a virus that’s already killed a million of…

The Plague-Ground – When is a good time to die?

Remember that guy who said years ago he wanted to die at 75 because he was 75? And that we should all think about doing the same at 75 because, as he wrote in The Atlantic in 2014, “… doubtless, death is a loss…but living too long is also…

The Plague-Ground – In our Whole Foods, the poppies blow….

Only a few countries use poppies to remember their servicemen and women killed in conflict. The Royal British Legion started this tradition 1921 and today Canada, Australia and New Zealand and parts of the United States continue it. This…

The Plague-Ground – Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Seventy million Americans voted for Donald Trump. As Wade Davis noted, that’s “4 million more than did so in 2016, inspired, one can only assume, by his personal and political record over the past four years.” Many Canadians, myself…

The Plague-Ground – Morning in America

In 1984, Ronald Reagan unleashed one of the most devastating commercials in American campaign history. It helped him swamp Democrat Walter Mondale in a landslide, 525 electoral votes to 13. That ad, like that very age 36 years ago, is touchingly…

The Plague-Ground – Let’s Kill All the Lawyers

While the play Shakespeare wrote that line for (Henry VI, Part 2) is hardly ever performed, the sentiment is not only enduring, it’s growing in Shakespeare’s not so green and pleasant land. Back on September 3rd, Britain’s Home Secretary…

The Plague-Ground – Survival of the friendliest

Now is the weekend of our discontent. Cases are spiking, leaves are falling, the wind is up, the market’s down – and organizing coffee is like planning an assault on Everest. By Monday, our mornings will start darker and by Tuesday, America…

The Plague-Ground – Are We Digitally Dominant or Submissive?

The e-mails sent to Democrats last week, seemingly from the Proud Boys, but really from Iran, made up in clarity for what they lacked in subtlety. “You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your party affiliation…

The Plague-Ground – The Binge Club

Last night, I turned away from the Trump-Biden debate, not because it was another train-wreck, but because it wasn’t. My appetite for viewing curated chaos is now so refined that, not seeing any, I quickly left, the future of America be…

The Plague-Ground – The right to bully voters is under threat

The First Amendment lets Americans say pretty much anything to anyone, anywhere. The Second Amendment lets them keep and bear arms. So can they turn up at polling stations on November 3rd, armed and belligerent and, in the words of their…

The Plague-Ground – The Unmasking

Finally, someone not only fact-shamed Donald Trump in real-time, she wiped the smile off his face. Until yesterday, I’d never heard of Savannah Guthrie, the host of last night’s Town Hall on NBC. Today, she’s my hero. She did what no…

The Plague-Ground – More immigrants; more restaurants.

Two years ago, the New York Times food editor Sam Sifton spoke at the University of Toronto about the rise of Syrian cuisine in Canada. He apologized for his President’s nasty immigration policies and their inhumane consequences, and said…

The Plague-Ground – A Bad Night for White Rage

“Trump … puts a kilo of pure uncut white supremacy on the table, and he has his minions just snort it up and it empowers them.” “It makes them feel strong. It makes them feel invincible, while everything around them is being destroyed.…

The Plague-Ground – When you’re the lead dog, the view always changes.

In 2014 when the Rogers’ family gave $150 million to create the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, part of that went to discover how AI can prevent and treat heart failure. Last year when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman gave $100…

The Plague-Ground – NOT THE BEST CANADIAN IMMIGRANT. NOR THE BEST AMERICAN ONE, EITHER.

"Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups?" asked Chris Wallace. "Proud Boys?" replied Donald Trump...."Stand back and stand by." That was the defining moment from a Presidential debate that CNN's Dana…

The Plague-Ground – Two Places to Spend Your Winter

Were you like us last month in thinking you could head someplace warm in January or February for even a week’s relief from winter? Are you like us now thinking that’s not going to happen? Forget Florida and Arizona. In fact, forget…

The Plague-Ground – Death Has Less Dominion

Two years ago, four adult children from four different families we know well, killed themselves. This was in addition to the two who died from accidental drug overdoses. Naturally, I believed that the suicide rate must be rising. I was…