THE HELPLESS ROMANTIC: Cogs of the Big Red Machine

I agreed to stand as a delegate to attend the Liberal leadership conference, so I found myself in church last Sunday. The service was well under way and so was the delegate selection meeting. Delegates get to pick the next Liberal leader and possibly the next Prime Minister of Canada.

THE HELPLESS ROMANTIC: Advice for a pope

O Pope Benny XVI! Was it some relic of your former university professorships that demanded you use full quotations when citing sources? Did you also offer footnotes or a nice handout about how Manuel II was on the verge of losing his empire to Muslims when he said Muhammad brought only evil? I read most of your speech, and I agree with you about God not being pleased by blood-it’s tough for any major religion to disagree with that and not look like some killer cult-but it’s easy to skirt the issue when they can home in on your insults towards their religion’s founder.

THE HELPLESS ROMANTIC: Dispatch from the Orient

This column comes to you from Shanghai because I’m still on vacation. I am embedded deep in the pearl-encrusted, dragon-swarming mists of the Far East. Of course, while old Western beliefs about the yellow horde no longer hold, new peculiarities have taken their place.

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