Moscow roared… Washington listened

Much was made last week of the decision by U. S. President Barack Obama to mark the 70th anniversary of the Red Army’s invasion of Poland by announcing that the United States was scrapping the missile defence system it was deploying in Czech and Polish territory. But the anniversary – likely overlooked by the administration rather than chosen as a deliberate provocation to staunch allies – did usefully highlight a central question of European politics these last hundred years. Do the smaller nations of Europe somehow belong to the larger, imperial ones? Continue reading

Sitting down to supper together

It’s been a couple of years since I last wrote about “National Family Dinner Night.”  Tonight is the fifth annual occurrence of the venture launched by Mac Voisin, proprietor of M&M Meat Shops, to encourage families to sit down and have dinner together.  No TV, no cellphones, no text messaging, no BlackBerrys, no iPhones — just family dinner.  Food to eat and conversations to be had.  You don’t have to eat M&M products to have a family dinner, of course, but if you register your participation with M&M they make a contribution to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.  The family dinner promotion has contributed to the more than $18-million which M&M has raised for the charity. Continue reading

No good reason

Ontario’s former attorney-general was charged with criminal negligence causing death after a tragic and bizarre encounter with Darcy Allan Sheppard on Bloor Street Monday night.  Mr. Sheppard, a bike courier, apparently had an altercation with Michael Bryant, which somehow led to the latter driving down Bloor Street in the wrong lane with the former clinging to the car.  Mr. Sheppard apparently slammed into a mailbox and fell from the car, the rear wheels of which then ran over him. Within a few minutes, Mr. Sheppard was taken to the hospital without vital signs, soon to be declared dead, and Mr. Bryant was calling the police. Continue reading