Articles

Wednesday July 12, 2017, The Globe and Mail

It appears we can become accustomed to anything, provided it’s repeated often enough. What may have appalled us last year, or the year before, eventually loses its edge and is rendered normal. Think of the way highway speeding ratchets up as drivers accelerate to maintain the faster flow of traffic.

Something similar happens with language. Words accelerate. Without thoughtful restraint, they are like speeding cars, prone to accident. [more]

Monday, May 8, 2017, The Globe and Mail

A heavy sigh of relief could be heard in Brussels and across most Western capitals on Sunday after Emmanuel Macron won France’s second round of voting. Had his opponent Marine Le Pen become France’s next president, the beleaguered European Union might have taken a fatal nosedive into oblivion, further disrupting the international order.

So there’s a reprieve, but possibly just that. Mr. Macron faces formidable challenges, and a failure to meet the high bar he has set for himself could have far-reaching consequences. He’s a man of clear talent and mind-boggling ambition. But for now he’s a one-man show. And without a strong party structure, and without winning a majority in the June parliamentary elections, his bold promises may prove elusive. [more]

Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, The Globe and Mail
‘Be prepared, that’s the Boy Scouts’ marching song …” That’s how singer Tom Lehrer began one of his satirical ditties in a more innocent time. Mr. Lehrer’s borderline naughtiness appealed to the adolescents of my generation; now, as the world teeters on the edge of transition, his Boy Scout advice is even more pertinent.

No one can predict what Donald Trump will set in motion once in office. Will he disrupt Canadian trade and our basic economy? Will he wall off Mexico? Will he create a registry of Muslims? Will he reintroduce torture? [more]

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, The Globe and Mail

Words matter. That’s how the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum responded after a curious meeting in Washington last week.

“The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words,” the museum said in a statement Monday after a white supremacist conference was held days earlier, just a few blocks from the museum. [more]

Wednesday November 9, 2016, The Globe and Mail

Is Canada back? That’s what the government of Justin Trudeau has been telling us. If so, an opportunity to demonstrate this claim has just landed in its lap.

Canada practically created the International Criminal Court – and the court is in trouble. The ICC is the world’s first permanent independent tribunal with a mandate to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It is also a judicial institution operating in a tsunami of international politics. [more]