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…

The Plague-Ground – Let Me Count The Ways

You’re a wealthy donor to a great cause. You are deeply committed to it and have given money persistently over the years to support it. You are asked to go on a Donor Tour to Africa or Central America where you get to see first-hand how your…

The Plague-Ground – Empathy — With Guns

Back in the 1980s, violence against women was so awful that the São Paulo police force set up women’s police stations in areas where the abuse, assault and death were worst. These single-gender outposts soon spread from Brazil to Argentina,…

The Plague-Ground – New Thoughts on Bad Cops

Rooting out rogue police officers in Canada can be harder than jailing drug lords. There’s the culture of ‘never-ask-never tell’. Plus the fact that it’s near impossible to find out which officers have been disciplined, demoted or…

The Plague-Ground – Justin Not-So-True Though

I won’t write about the loucheness of Justin Trudeau, his need to feather his mother’s nest, his whac--a-mole conflicts of interest; nor the conflicts of his Minister of Finance and Chief of Staff; nor forcing his officials to be economical…

The Plague-Ground – A Tale of Two Women in One City

Lead a blameless life and communicate only via carrier pigeon. That feels like the only way to avoid the people who are toppling reputations these days and cancelling free speech in the name of defending it. This happened to two Toronto…

The Plague-Ground – I’m a far-left Fascist. Are you?

Last Friday at Mt. Rushmore, Donald Trump demonized the large majority of his fellow Americans:  “In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.” So I asked…

The Plague-Ground – Summer cleaning

My laptop is groaning with articles, videos, and the wave of “stuph” that lands every day from friends who say: “Must see this!” And I nearly always do. But like you, I’ve had to become a curator of their taste. I’ve learned to…

The Plague-Ground – Are airplanes our next long-term care residences?

Last week a passenger on a WestJet flight from Toronto to Halifax tested positive for COVID-19 after it landed. This prompted the Nova Scotia Health Authority to warn everyone on the flight to get tested, and especially those in Rows 16 to 21,…

The Plague-Ground – Yearning to breathe free

It’s Christmas. The vaccine is working, as are most of us. Much is calm. Much is bright. Mainly because Joe Biden won the Presidency a month ago and Donald Trump agreed to go quietly, wrapped in blanket immunity for himself and his…

The Plague-Ground – We need a new Best Friend Forever.

Last week Russia celebrated its biggest public holiday, Victory Day, with tanks, missile launchers, and bluster from President Putin. It’s usually held on May 9th, but was derailed by the pandemic. Nonetheless, Putin insisted it happen…

The Plague-Ground – The herd has moved.

You can scratch and claw and fight and hope and despair, and for years nothing changes. Then one day, everything changes. We are living one of those days now. Malcolm Gladwell called it The Tipping Point, “the moment of critical mass,…

The Plague-Ground – Yanqui Stay Home

This week, the European Union will ban Americans from traveling there. Why? Because America is the worst country on earth in stopping COVID-19 – and is only getting worse. When Europe opens its borders on Wednesday, the citizens of 11…