The Plague-Ground – I am a Marxist Liberal Activist

There are certain life-changing events you can get a heads-up on: graduation, marriage, kids, divorce, bankruptcy, and very often, even death. But others just sneak up on you, and ……pow! Not only is your life different from that minute…

The Plague-Ground – Old Age

Last week I visited my two half-brothers. Both have dementia and live in long-term care, one in the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing in Toronto (he served in Korea), and the other in a retirement home north of Kingston. One is 89 and the other 86.…

The Plague-Ground – A different question about going back to school.

In America, this decision spills over from the deeply personal to the openly political. In Canada, our choice is disconnected from how we voted in the last election. Thank Heavens. Still, virtually every family of Canada’s 5.5 million elementary and secondary school students is gnawing over how and when to send their kids back to school -- as are Canada’s 15,500  schools over how and when to take them and teach them without turning their classroom into a COVID petri dish. These are all urgent questions because they’re life-and-death ones.

The Plague-Ground – How to shrink Trump’s base

The battle is joined. The Democratic and Republican tickets are now complete. On November 3rd, Americans will go to the polls and...no, hold on, odds are that only slightly more than half of eligible Americans will vote for their new President. But…

The Plague-Ground – Two voices, not in the wilderness, crying.

This past week, two Canadian writers penned breathtaking pieces that insist you stop, read, think, set them aside, then read again in a couple of days, as I did, because they are, if not life-changing, then at least soul-searching. The subject…

The Plague-Ground – The best show in town. In any town.

Actually, Immersive Van Gogh is the only show in Toronto, and is one of the handful of live events in the entire world – beyond one-night stands at hollowed-out or plant-filled concert halls. How it survived when virtually every other arts…

The Plague-Ground – Where will you be when the vaccine arrives?

If you’re in Canada, you could join the 37 million of us near the back of the line. An article this week in the McGill Medical Journal tells a troubling tale: “75 million syringes but nothing to put in them: what is Canada’s plan for…

The Plague-Ground – When does a donor tour become a junket?

There are endless tentacles to the WE-Trudeau-Morneau inquiry. One that remains curiously unprobed is this: Should donors to international charities pay their travel expenses or should the charity pay them? The obvious answer is, the donor…

The Plague-Ground – Are blind auditions deaf and dumb?

Black Lives Matter has spawned many ideas to attack racism. One of the oddest is to do away with blind auditions, which professional orchestras have used for 50 years in order to eliminate sexism. Back in the early 1970s, the top five orchestras…

The Plague-Ground – Is the cavalry coming?

The fate-of-humankind question isn’t “When will a vaccine arrive?” It’s also: “Who will take the vaccine?” Two things happened last week to help us answer both. Last Tuesday, the heads of five Big Pharma companies offered…