Babel-on-the-Bay: Exorcising the errata of ego.

There can be no excuse for slovenly writing. There is that rude awakening when your e-mails include comments on your careless errors. Some days you get more than others. One reader was particularly incensed the other day over my rude and inaccurate remarks in discussing the United Kingdom and Brexit. While I admit the mea ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: En Marche Macron!

Did you know that French President Emmanuel Macron’s political party has only existed for a little more than a year? More than 66 per cent of French voters gave 39-year old Macron their support in the run-off election against right-wing candidate Marine La Pen. The party is reported to be fielding a full slate of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Concern for the United(?) Kingdom.

The mood in the United Kingdom today is concerning. It is the sort of sad mood caused by a relative that might need mental health assistance. You are despairing of just how you can help. We can hardly lay blame. Is it Prime Minister Elizabeth May’s fault? We knew she was in trouble when she ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trump’s travels as ‘The Ugly American.’

U.S. President Donald Trump has been out of the country this week. Life in Washington has been more peaceful. While Congress is despairing, trying to make sense of his budget, they have sent Trump to the Middle East and Europe on a pilgrimage to find his true religion and meaning. What Trump is really doing ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Why progressive elites are losing.

The disappointment progressives have felt with the New Democratic Party over the last couple decades has been something we have argued about but maybe not understood as well as we should. Maybe Robin V. Sears of the NDP put his finger on it the other day when complaining in print about the ease with which ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When the Pope meets the Antichrist.

The arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump in Rome needs a Cecil B. DeMille style Hollywood epic production. It would have trumpets and bass drums, rolling black clouds in the sky, flashes of lightening. We would see a Donald Trump dressed in black, towering over the gargoyles of Hell in his retinue. He would be ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the politics of vitriol.

The emerging right-wing politics of Europe is spreading like a disease. First we had the self destructive BREXIT from the United Kingdom and now the threatening right in key countries such as France and Germany and even a smaller and usually cooperative Netherlands. Europe still has a way to go though to match the craziness ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Mother of all Bombs: No oversight required?

During his presidential campaign, President Trump promised to bomb the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) brigands in the Middle East back to the Middle Ages. He now seems to have given America’s generals carte blanche to do that. The only problem is that the ISIL fanatics involved in Afghanistan are already living ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: You think Trump got it right in Syria?

There were pictures in North American papers the other day of Trump and his key advisers in a small room at his Florida resort. The captions explained that they were being briefed on options in Syria. The question that has to be asked: Is a strike against one airfield any kind of solution? Does the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Airing the rants of the Right.

Canadians are too politically correct to accept a politician such as right-wing Geert Wilders who has been running in the Netherlands for that country’s parliamentary elections yesterday. At one point the pollsters were suggesting that the right-wing anti-Islam, anti-EU politician’s Freedom Party could get as much as 20 per cent of the popular vote. And ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Does President Trump have an agenda?

It is hard to get your mind around this one. There was an opinion piece in a major Canadian newspaper by a political science professor who posited that President Donald Trump and his henchman Steve Bannon have a plan to split the world with Vladimir Putin. You would have a hard time imagining this plot. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: One man’s tweak.

Maybe we can just tweak this situation while discussing the twits who Twitter. And why does Donald Trump’s White House menagerie remind us of that awful daytime TV serial, The Young and the Restless? Quickly though, before the next episode in this ongoing saga, did you cotton on to Donald Trump’s strategy with Prime Minister ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: May comes; May goes.

Did you see that lovely picture of British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump holding hands outside the West Wing? It was all the lady came to Washington to get. And it was all she wanted. You really do not think anything substantive was agreed to, did you? It was entirely a public ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Butt out Ms. Fonda.

While it is so very nice of actor Jane Fonda to lend her celebrity concern to the rape of the environment for tar sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canadians should certainly say ‘Thank you.’ It all helps, but celebrity endorsements and support can come across as self-serving and really do not carry much credibility. Celebrities ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Roman God Janus is smiling.

Looking both back and forward is a trick of a God such as Janus. Humans find it easiest to look ahead as we enter a new year. We have already written off the year behind us as a bad dream. And we have much excitement to look forward to in 2017. In North America, the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Sending cannon fodder to Latvia.

In 1941 Canada came to the aid of the British Empire and sent troops to Hong Kong. The Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers were supposed to be a deterrent to war. Of the 1975 Canadians who tried to help defend Hong Kong, quite a few less came home after War II from ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Trump – Thatcher triangle.

Trump finally did it. He lost it all over a mosquito. It was enough to make you wonder if the mosquito was real or imagined. And it was an example of the root cause of our society’s problems. Out of a 70-minute speech, social media lit up with 15-seconds of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Amigos, meet the elephant.

The so-called Three Amigos met in Ottawa this week. It was nothing more than a public relations exercise. Nothing substantive could be resolved. The American, Canadian and Mexican leaders simply tried to ignore the problems their countries face. They certainly did not want to talk about the elephant in the room; Donald Trump. With Barack ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Scotland the brave will carry on.

You have to admit that there might just be more smarts in Scotland and Northern Ireland than in the rest of the United Kingdom. With a 62 per cent vote to remain with the European Union, Scotland is unlikely to go the route of Brexit. And if the only way to remain is to separate ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is there life after Brexit?

While Babel-0n-the-Bay was urged to produce a morning line on the Brexit vote, the decision was made that it was far too close to forecast. And it was. Along with the disappointment of the morning after, the in-box contained a 1900-word diatribe on our ‘pompous’ Brexit commentary. Never has 400 or so words of comment ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: BREXIT is not a breakfast cereal.

It is supposedly friendlier to call it “Brexit” than it is to refer to it as telling the European Union to “Get stuffed.” Yet it is amazing how the polyglot peoples living on those beautiful isles have been squabbling on and off since the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Most recently our Scots cousins had ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tried and found wanting.

If there was a God, would He not be looking down on us today in dismay. Would He be pleased with the state we are in? Would He be pleased with the way we are destroying this beautiful world? Can He be pleased with how casually we kill ourselves and each other? Is it a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Vote Reform Primer: Proportional.

The following is an up-dated version of the discussion on proportional voting in the Democracy Papers of 2007. This is the second of the series. There is no denying that proportional voting in its many variations is the most common voting system in the world. This works very well in countries with many languages or ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When controlling media, look like you’re not.

The other day Lisa LaFlamme of CTV News was actually gushing when she said she was reporting from Northern Iraq. She was flattered and delighted to be reporting from just down the road from where the dreaded Daesh, or ISIL or ISIS, or pretenders at being an Islamic State are holed up in the Iraq ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: No honours for Elizabeth at 90.

If the Brits really get lucky, Queen Elizabeth might outlive her son Charles. It seems that the British monarchy is holding up better than the country’s membership in the European Union. Mind you if that green little island gets cut adrift from Europe, there is no telling what will happen. One of the worst-case scenarios ...