Articles by year


2021 2020 2019 Older

  • National Post Even secular Quebec needs to water its cultural roots Wednesday January 29th, 2020
    On April 15 last year, a fire broke out in Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral. Thousands of Parisians turned out to watch the threatening flames in stunned sorrow. Most onlookers were not religious, for France is a fiercely secular nation. But their anguished expressions told us they saw more than the possible loss of a beautiful old building. Notre Dame represents a huge chunk of France&rsq...
  • National Post Will 2020 will be the year of reason in the cancel-culture wars? Thursday January 23rd, 2020
    In the hard news business, it is well understood that “if it bleeds, it leads.” In cultural news, the same principle applies. Not a day goes by that we don’t see a story of a panel discussion in jeopardy or cancelled, a controversial film withdrawn, or an academic on the “incorrect” side of a cultural debate de-platformed. One could be forgiven for assuming that cancel culture reigns supreme...
  • National Post Why won’t the Liberal government make its Gender Based Analysis public? Thursday January 16th, 2020
    Our prime minister is a proud feminist, a zealous champion in the protection of women’s rights. With that objective in mind, Justin Trudeau decreed early in his tenure that all new policies by his government would thenceforth include a Gender Based Analysis (GBA) to assess their impact on women.Bill C-16, informally known as the “Transgender Rights Bill,” was proposed in th...
  • National Post According to data, it’s the males of our society who are in crisis Wednesday January 8th, 2020
    In her 1998 address to a First Ladies Conference in El Salvador, Hillary Clinton observed: “Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat. … Women are often left with the responsibility, alone, of raising the children.”If pressed, Hillary might have admitted that it is preferable to suffer bereavement than...
  • National Post The shocking ‘obedience’ experiment that shook the world Thursday January 2nd, 2020
    Herb Winer, who was my fellow synagogue congregant, friend and mentor in my middle years, died a few weeks ago in New Haven, Conn., at the ripe old age of 98.In a 2000 Granta Magazine article in which he featured, writer (and psychoanalyst) Ian Parker correctly described Herb as a “likeable, deadpan, Jack Lemmony sort of man.” Herb’s dry wit, gentle demeanour and high intel...
  • National Post Netflix’s ‘Marriage Story’ a grim look at men during divorce Thursday December 19th, 2019
    The new film Marriage Story is creating buzz, mostly positive. I caught it on Netflix the other night. It bothered me. Be warned, spoilers ahead.Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) are actors. Nicole has put her Hollywood career on hold to support Charlie in his ambitions as a playwright-director in New York, as well as to provide stability for their little boy, Henry. It i...
  • National Post A victory lap for democracy after Jeremy Corbyn’s humiliating defeat Friday December 13th, 2019
    Boris Johnson’s Conservatives racked up a stunning victory in the U.K. elections, with numbers so decisive – 368 of 650 seats – we will hear no more rumblings about a “second referendum” on Brexit. You can love Boris or hate him, or struggle with mixed feelings (as I confess I do), but he now has a mandate to get Brexit done.But I have no mixed feelings about th...
  • National Post May Corbyn end up where he belongs — in the dustbin of history Tuesday December 10th, 2019
    Just a few days before the U.K. election, Boris Johnson’s poll numbers are thankfully stabilizing at a 10-point lead. The word “thankfully” has nothing to do with my opinion on Johnson or Brexit, everything to do with revulsion for Jeremy Corbyn, a politician with a Jewish problem so entrenched that he couldn’t bring himself, when asked (thrice) on national television...
  • National Post Exploring why some societies thrive after trauma while others suffer Tuesday December 3rd, 2019
    We all know when we have been victimized as individuals, and so do witnesses. The pain may or may not heal; the injustice may or may not be redressed. It gets murkier when groups claim permanent victimhood arising from pain and injustice inflicted in the past on dead victims by dead victimizers.An obsession with past victimhood can prevent a focus on the present at the expense of the future....
  • National Post Liberal democracy is struggling. Can conservative democracy thrive? Wednesday November 27th, 2019
    The historian Arnold Toynbee warned that “civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” He said they begin to disintegrate when they abandon moral law and yield to their impulses, which in turn brings about a state of passivity, a sense that there is no point in resisting incoming waves of foreigners driven by confidence and purpose.Since Toynbee, other writers, notably James B...
  • National Post Douglas Murray is a writer who says what the rest of us would like to Tuesday November 19th, 2019
    London-based public intellectual Douglas Murray is in Montreal this week to promote his new book. I was afforded the luxury of a rambling conversation over coffee with him about The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity.A “clubbable conservative,” as one reviewer accurately describes him, Murray hit his intellectual stride early, publishing his first book at 18, which attr...
  • National Post Free speech in Canada: It was bad five years ago. Do you think it’s gotten better since? Wednesday November 13th, 2019
    Is free speech under attack, on Canadian campuses and in society at large? The National Post has a new documentary exploring this very issue. In the coming weeks, a series of essays in these pages will explore that same issue. Today, Barbara Kay examines “cancel culture” on Canadian campuses. To view the documentary, please go to NationalPost.com/freespeech.What is behind cancel culture on c...
  • National Post Supplanting literary classics with native literature is a disservice to students Tuesday November 5th, 2019
    Some years ago, the late, great writer George Jonas asked me about my intellectual influences. Who did I remember as especially formative? Oh, George Orwell, of course. I read Animal Farm in my mid-teens, 1984 a little later, and most of his other writings over the course of my salad years. It would be hard to overstate his effect on my understanding of concepts like “freedom,” &...
  • National Post Dems need to go beyond Twitter if they don’t want four more years of ‘crazy’ Tuesday October 29th, 2019
    Bill Maher was at the top of his game the other night, delivering a trenchant riff premised on advice to candidates for the Democratic nomination. “This should be easy,” he said. “Just be less crazy than Donald Trump.”To waves of laughter, Maher mocked the prominence of marginal issues in candidate platforms, such as giving prisoners the right to vote (Bernie Sanders)...
  • National Post How feminist Meghan Murphy fell victim to progressives’ double standards Thursday October 24th, 2019
    If Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen were with us today, he might consider radical feminist Meghan Murphy, who holds dissident views on transgenderism, a fitting dramatic protagonist. For to any objective spectator of our call-out culture, Murphy carries the aura of a designated “enemy of the people.”A great hue and cry surrounds Murphy’s participation as a panel member dis...
  • National Post Stop the conspiracy theories about Canadian Catholics in government Tuesday October 15th, 2019
    Pundits Michael Coren of Ontario and Richard Martineau of Quebec don’t normally coincide polemically. But they have lately converged on one issue.Both have elected to gin up fears that Andrew Scheer’s campaign promise not to introduce an abortion law might, in the (unlikely) event of a CPC majority, yield to his fervent pro-life convictions. And both have justified their scaremon...
  • National Post If you can only love a pit bull, you’re not a dog lover Thursday October 10th, 2019
    The Toronto Star reports that the Ford government is “considering all options,” including repeal, regarding Ontario’s 2005 Dog Owners’ Liability Act and breed specific legislation, commonly understood as the pit bull ban. This dismays, but does not surprise me. Dangerous-dog legislation comes hard, and repeal often comes easy.Repeal comes easy, paradoxically, because breed specif...
  • National Post Prince Harry needs to keep calm and carry on Tuesday October 1st, 2019
    In conversation with a student at a multi-faith reception during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s 10-day South Africa tour, Prince Harry reportedly confessed to being so “overwhelmed” by the world’s problems that he sometimes struggles to get out of bed in the morning. He is particularly afflicted by eco-anxiety.Harry’s climate-change alarm is honestly come by f...
  • National Post Concordia’s Liberal Arts College finds it’s not immune to cancel culture Wednesday September 25th, 2019
    Liberal Arts College is a tiny college housed in an old greystone nestled within Montreal’s bustling downtown Concordia University campus. I’ve praised LAC in the past as an alternative for students seeking a traditional education in the humanities, featuring what used to be a standard core curriculum in the Western canon. The program offers a journey through the Great Books, beg...
  • National Post What are dogs for? To be waited upon by their humans, of course Tuesday September 10th, 2019
    It startled me to learn last week that Christie Blatchford’s beloved English bull terrier, Obie, had died at a ripe old age. Seems but a few years ago she informed readers of his acquisition as a pup.Christie says Obie was “my one,” made for her, as she was for him. It’s tough to lose a cherished companion but, given our hugely disparate life spans, dog lovers must ac...
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