From the WSJ, not about Wall Street

From the back page of the WSJ last week, buried under all the financial meltdown news, a thoughtful and evocative piece, if sad in the context, which has been reproduced in a few other places:

Wake up and smell the listeria

Finally, someone says it: the handling of the listeria outbreak has been abysmal. Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with the sluggish public health response of a less educated, far less blessed nation. 16 people have died during the outbreak, and not one of the public officials or government members responsiblecontinue reading

RX: Ikea

I’ve avoided posting anything from the Globe Facts and Arguments page until now, I think, but yesterday’s essay is just too dreary and sad to ignore. The author is a Globe copy editor who has taken a dream job — which, amazingly, given the generally subpar morale of the Globe newsroom, appears to be hercontinue reading

Bottle up and explode

As one among the 29% of Canadians who, really, couldn’t care less about the increase in prices at the pump, I read the Canwest story “Pent-up anger unites nation” feeling like I imagine separatists do when Canadian nationalists bemoan the possibly imminent departure of Quebec: According to a new poll by Ipsos Reid, carried outcontinue reading

From Great Unwind to Greater Depression?

While thoughts of deflation are rippling through the Anglosphere, the European Central Bank is still more concerned about rising prices, hiking interest rates again today. There are a couple of reasons this makes sense: one, the ECB’s only mission is to contain inflation, while the US Federal Reserve, the shadow of which hangs over allcontinue reading

The longest post in the last five minutes

Business reporters are constantly under pressure to quantify whatever they’re writing about. Unfortunately, there’s so little context associated with this that the reader is left with absolutely no idea as to whether the information is significant or not. Case in point: the dreaded “in XX period of time” construct. First example, from today’s Pricescontinue reading

Nothing but blue skies does he see

Rudyard Griffiths of the Dominion Institute, who has become a pundit-for-all-seasons, sees gloom ahead: While the fear of a recession seems like the last thing on the mind of the average Torontonian, I for one cannot figure out how the Ontario economy can avoid a prolonged economic turndown, and most likely a nasty one atcontinue reading