Countries of the World

100th anniversary of Easter 1916 Rebellion in Ireland .. one view from Toronto, Canada

Mar 27th, 2016 | By | Category: Countries of the World

In the 1930s the local historian (and private school Latin teacher) Percy Robinson – author of the still invaluable Toronto during the French Regime, 1615—1793 – called Toronto, Ontario, Canada (all North American indigenous words) “the citadel of British sentiment in America.” On a somewhat earlier and more extreme, possibly even exaggerated variation on the […]



Is there a case for Grace of Monaco as what George Orwell might have called a good bad movie ??

Jul 12th, 2015 | By | Category: Countries of the World

A few days ago my TV viewing partner and I caught up with the more or less new Grace of Monaco movie (aka Princess Grace on some listings), which in our part of the world apparently debuted on cable at the end of May this year. It’s directed by Olivier Dahan (from France) with a […]



Down and out in London, Paris, La Rochelle, and the Basque country in Bilbao : notes on Western Europe today

Oct 12th, 2014 | By | Category: Countries of the World

What if you had already figured out that our earlier post here (“At the Berkeley Square-Bilbao Conference – our staff hard at work in Western Europe, last half of September”) was really just about another sordid case of that early 21st century mass middle-class tourism scourge known as the cruise? Taken by three remarkable senior […]



Does centenary of First World War bring prophesies of World War III?

Jul 24th, 2014 | By | Category: Countries of the World

[UPDATED JULY 27, 28]. Maybe it’s just the summer heat going to my head (tho it hasn’t been all that hot where I am). But lately I’ve been thinking about how we are now just over a week away from the 100th birthday of The Guns of August that started the First World War. On […]



Mon pays c’est l’hiver.. notes on Ukraine Crisis from frozen city on Lake Iroquois

Mar 2nd, 2014 | By | Category: Countries of the World

It was warmer here yesterday, but now the cold and even some snow have returned. This past week, when records for low temperatures were broken in some places nearby, I  took a certain solace from “Man found ‘frozen solid’ on Highway 401 transported to hospital.” It reminded me of a sentence composed 45 years ago […]



Election in Land of Oz : “If you want to know who to vote for, I’m the guy with the not bad looking daughters . .”

Sep 6th, 2013 | By | Category: Countries of the World

[UPDATED SEPTEMBER 8]. In some more ideal world Canada would take more of an interest in Australia, and vice-versa. The two places have a lot in common. They are both natural resource-dominated economies in geographically vast territories with modest but increasingly diverse populations. And they are both former self-governing dominions of the now declined and […]



Istanbul Revisited 2013

Jun 17th, 2013 | By | Category: Countries of the World

As I start to write here in northern North America, the headlines from the old heartland of the Ottoman empire far away, between the Mediterranean and Black seas, are not encouraging. (See : “Police lock down Taksim, PM shows off in Istanbul” ; “Turkish PM says it was his ‘duty’ to oust protestors occupying Istanbul […]



Where will the new German hegemony in Europe lead this time?

Jun 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Countries of the World

A week or so after our Toronto head office re-opened, almost all the individual notes on our two-weeks-plus   Western Europe conference circuit, in a poignant time of change, have been handed in.  We now ought to be able to synthesize some broad overview of our collective findings. For better or worse,  “random impressions” is  almost […]



Toward European unity 20?? .. what are the politics of fixing the economy?

Sep 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Countries of the World

It is not entirely clear that Europe ought to get most of the blame for the latest bout of international financial neurosis – all too reflected in such other places as the Toronto Stock Exchange this past week. But the once mighty continent is certainly playing that role in the eyes of the concerned global […]



Ancient destruction of Atlantis and tragic disaster in Japan today

Mar 14th, 2011 | By | Category: Countries of the World

It is altogether an accident that the “the unfolding tragedy in Japan” is happening alongside reports on yet another theory about the “great civilization destroyed by floodwaters following a massive undersea earthquake,” as described in Plato’s 2400-year-old story of the lost world of Atlantis (which purports to recount events that took place 9000 years earlier […]