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  • Originally published 02/14/2014

    The Origin of 'Liberalism'

    When Adam Smith and a group of fellow Scots first used the word in a political sense, it meant something very different than it does today.

  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    What’s in a name? How [Canadian] civic holidays get theirs

    The August civic holiday is a mess.Most provinces celebrate the first Monday in August as a holiday, whether mandatory or optional for employers, but the names are all over the map. It’s Natal Day in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, British Columbia Day in British Columbia and Heritage Day in Alberta....But let’s not be naive. Getting a statutory holiday named after you is not easy, and keeping it is even harder.Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, but Canada’s official recognition of her birthday falls in late May on a day named after her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Victoria Day retained that name in Canada after the queen’s death in 1901, even as the rest of the Commonwealth went with Empire Day. Similarly, Beatrix of the Netherlands, who abdicated earlier this year, was born on Jan. 31, but her holiday was held on April 30, the birth date of former queen Juliana....

  • Originally published 05/28/2013

    How We Name Our Wars Matters

    Clockwise from top: Buffalo Soldiers in the Spanish American War; a Soviet officer in World War II; Canadian troops in World War I, and dead Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com For well over a decade now the United States has been “a nation at war.” Does that war have a name?

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