You can fight city hall

Caption: note new (white) sidewalk under lower window  You Can Fight City Hall (long read) Until recently, I’ve never had a particular fight with City Hall, or government in general. Yes, of course it is true that they frequently get things very wrong, they waste dreadful sums of money that is not theirs, they are often deaf to individual cries for help from citizens and customers. But, you know, so do Enron, and Exxon and Nortel and … the list goes on and on and on. Enough mud for pot and kettle all around, IMCO. But a year ago, I ran up against complete and utter failure of, first, competence, and then ethical behaviour at the municipal level that woke me up because it slapped my wife and I personally right in the face. With your patient forgiveness, I’ll tell you about it. 30 years ago we bought an old house in Kingston – a two-story semi-detached built in 1856 out of limestone – a familiar building material in Kingston. In Charleston or Savannah the p

March 27, 2018: Time Machines

March 27, 2018, and all is not well, but you know that already. Take care out there. It has been too long since my last post -- I have been fooling around with Facebook stuff, along with the PhD thing, and getting The King's Salt launched (a good time was had by all, at least until I began to sing Barrett's Privateers!). On my Facebook page I have posted a couple of interviews, one on CFRC that may yet have an interesting denouement, and one on CKWS-TV that brought in a couple of folks to buy me book! This month I am returning to boats I have known (Ratty was right). This is an old column that never saw the light of day, so worth showing it here for the first time, slightly updated. Time Machines Written on the occasion of a camping trip in Northern Ontario in 2005 © David More 2006 Holy liftin’ , the summer of 1963 was a great, hopeful time to be alive. I was thirteen, and I owned a neat, seven-transistor, red, plastic Sony AM radio. The gorg

February 16, 2018 And the gun drummers just keep on pounding

            Ah, guns. I have had my own love of guns to overcome. As Tabatha Southey put it recently in Macleans, it does seem to be an addiction, rather like smoking. And our American friends are riddled to the bones with the disease, big time. They cite the 2 nd Amendment. Now, I’m all in favour of supporting the 2 nd Amendment, in the most conservative sense – no progressive judges should be allowed to rule on this, only the strictest literalists -- they can all sport their own single-shot, flintlock ignition, black powder, smoothbore muskets till the cows come home. That’s what a well-ordered militia used to defend their supposedly God-given rights in the eighteenth century. Even the British Army, the very best in the world with a Brown Bess musket, couldn’t load and fire one in much less than 15 seconds. That’s four rounds a minute, not 400. Try taking out a school with one of those! Have at it, boys and girls!             I once owned a Lee-Enfield Mark IV ex-Canad

February 6 2018, Falcon Heavy: a great step forward for humankind

February 6, 2018 I don’t know if any of you folks were, or are, science fiction fans, but I once was. I gorged on such things in the '60s and '70s, then lost interest, except for occasionally rereading Larry Niven (Mount LookitThat) which many will no doubt snivel about, but which represented where I thought things were going.      Anyway, Elon Musk today brought humanity into the real Space Age with the Falcon Heavy. If you can, watch those two   boosters landing simultaneously – that is something never before seen and now he makes it seem routine. Unbelievably awesome.   We are on our way to space, as we should be, as we must do , IMCO, to give us time to evolve. Because putting the cork in the bottle and saying we must stay on the planet to solve our problems first seems just Quixotically ridiculous. Humans aren’t capable yet of solving all of our own problems. In our thousands of years of history we barely were capable of acknowledging women as people in

Flowers for Canuckistan -- and my parents

Flowers for Canuckistan, and my parents    Versions of this article were originally published in the Toronto Star and in the Kingston Whig-Standard.   I hated to see my 83-year-old mother with a shiner. She died years ago, after a thirty-five year fight with Parkinson's disease. When she went, she couldn't speak, walk, feed herself or go to the bathroom for herself, and she had been unable to do these things independently for several years. It was sometimes hard to tell what she was feeling, but in spite of it all, I know she kept her indomitable spirit. She had been a pioneer palliative care nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, and helped establish one of the first units of that sort in Canada. She knew exactly what dying meant. Years before, my parents, sister, wife and I had a night out at a well-known downtown restaurant with a family friend visiting from England. Mother was having trouble feeding herself and I began doing it for her. She c

So, here's a New Year's toast to #MeToo

So, here's a New Year's toast to #MeToo Awhile back, I was having this futile argument with a Trump supporter (my cousin, who ought to know better, but doesn’t, haha). He is a born-again Christian – I like the term Christianist – who loves Trumpworld because he thinks those judges whom the orange grotesquerie is appointing will, in the end, get around to rolling back Roe v. Wade and abolish that biblical abomination -- legal abortions.  To paraphrase my desert island artist, Leonard Cohen, "First we take Washington, then we take Ottawa." When I criticized the way capitalism treats its women and its workers, he brought up Rwanda. When I said I thought that was a pretty low bar to comparing Canada with on the world stage, he said he wasn’t comparing – no, no, not at all. Right. Of course not. So I stumbled across the video link below, this morning – perhaps a better comparator for judging progress in Canadian society than Rwanda! Iceland is

Goliath Is Not Sleeping

Goliath is not sleeping Well, loyal bloggsies, today is rant day against the Big Battalions. A few weeks ago, Boeing (tiny US corporation) charged a Canadian firm, Bombardier, with unfair competition and were awarded 300% tariffs (in an American court -- go figure) because Bombardier had accepted loan guarantees from Quebec and Canada, which Boeing considers to be unfair government support. What is even more chilling is that Boeing doesn't even build an airliner that competes with the C-Series Bombardier aircraft -- they tried to palm off some inferior Air Canada used Brazil-built Embraers on Delta, which they quite appropriately refused. Then Boeing, like the huge crybaby bully they are, went blubbering off to Trump's trade folks, and here we are.    Bombardier Let's take a quick look at this bizarre turn of events. Back in the 1930s, Boeing came out with a twin-engined airliner, pretty much the first of the xx7 line, called the Boeing 247 (photo immediately belo