Friday, April 23, 2021
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Paul Albers

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Living history

Next year will be the 10th anniversary of “9/11.” Mass planners note: It will fall on a Sunday. There is a considerable accumulation of musical and liturgical material for any Votive Mass to be...

Resisting a voracious state

In France, the legal retirement age is 60. President Sarkozy, who like every other European leader is desperate to balance the books, proposes to raise this to 62. Hence the scene, as strikers work...

The company owns your time, not your soul

Labour Day is rolling around again—our nice, Protestant, North American Labour Day, that is months away from “May Day,” and has nothing to do with it—and we must all switch from heat-stroke mode, back...

Denial, lies and peace-making

There are two ways to sin: by commission, and by omission. And there are two ways to lie. The more brazen may tell big whoppers, or tell more efficient, subtle ones. But for the...

Goodbye Iraq

The war in Iraq is now over. All American combat operations are suspended. The troops are going home. Hooray. The Iraqi prime minister has addressed the Iraqi people. The U.S. president has addressed the...

In defence of name calling

Sticks and stones, according to a proverb I was taught as a child, will break my bones. But, it continued, names will never hurt me. This is not the only proverb I imbibed, nor even...

Radical temptations

The problem with a problem that isn’t going away—that is going to get worse before it doesn’t get better—is that it won’t go away. Tautology seems as good a place to start as any, in...

The show down under

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, decidedly not a conservative newspaper, “Australia is now established as the political canary in the American electoral coal mine.” This is a reasonably astute observation. Just as political trends...

In praise of moral caution

A delicious question was asked in the Ottawa Citizen, this last week, and answered by Margaret Somerville, the McGill ethicist. It was, “What is the most dangerous idea in the world today?” Her answer—that...

A life of literature

It is not entirely surprising when someone dies, at the age of 90, unless, like Frank Kermode, he was still at the height of his powers. The famous literary critic had just written a...

Head over heart

Do I feel sorry for the latest batch of seaborne refugees to land in Canada? The question is irrelevant, but the answer is yes. Sane people do not board a ship sailing to an unknowable...

The timeless allure of books

There is an ancient prayer, to the Virgin Mary: “To you we fly for shelter and protection, mother of God. You alone are chaste and blessed; do not disregard our prayers in this hour...

Bushehr blues

Surprise, surprise: the Russians will fuel the Iranian nuclear reactor which they have built at Bushehr, next Saturday, and it will begin the months-long process of firing up. This despite pleas from the West...

Dangerous dawdling

Canada has her exit strategy from Afghanistan: come next year, we are just going to walk. Minor Europeans (they are all minor, even when aggregated, in contemporary military terms) find no serious difficulty in...

Everyday transcendence

Is anything sacred? We can eliminate most of the discussion that would usually follow that question, these days, by noting what it did not ask. The question was not, “Is anything still sacred today?” That...

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