“Everything in Canada is terrible”

Jessica (“Decca”) Mitford writes from Toronto, 1941: I don’t like Canada at all, it seems to me like an awful copy of America, & the people are horrid. They are anti English and anti American but vastly inferior to both…. There are several English refugees here & I really feel sorry for them (tho notcontinue reading

Calling the bottom, Day 1

It’s actually about day 180, since the calls for the bottom of the market started as soon as things got choppy in August. But I’m re-setting the clock and calling this day of 600-point TSX tumbles Day One: January 21, 2008: “I think we may be into panic selling here and I don’t know ifcontinue reading


I was thinking of getting a new computer before Christmas, but my union sent out a prepare-for-battle memo warning us to postpone major purchases, which on reflection seemed like a good idea. Now that I know that I’m getting paid next Thursday, and not by the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers at the union office,  thatcontinue reading

On the “noxious” fruits of Canada’s hate speech laws

That’s what American legal, political and media commentator Glenn Greenwald [you may have to click through an ad] calls them anyway. No “American exceptionalism” chauvinist (closer to the opposite at least at the current time), he does think America has it right — and Canada wrong — on free speech. I’m curious if anyone hascontinue reading

Ian McEwan

Quite a fine interview with Ian McEwan in TNR linked below (hat tip to aldaily).  I liked this quote, which neatly summarizes his spirit of  sceptical humanism: “One passes the usual milestones in life: You have children, you find that whether you like it or not, you have a huge investment in the human project somehow succeeding.continue reading

The mean streets of Halton region

Police shoot man in Oakville park at two-thirty in the morning, Oakviller expresses disbelief that real life takes place in her Legoland-like hometown: The woman, who asked not to be named, said she usually takes her 2-and 3-year-old boys for walks in that forest. She said her family moved to the neighbourhood because it wascontinue reading

Shout out Up

Been meaning to post this for a while… One of the projects I set for my recent vacation in England was to rewatch, with Kelly and my mother, the 7 Up documentaries, up through the most recent one, 49 Up, from 2005.  We didn’t get all the way through, so I left the set withcontinue reading


While I’m still on my Hamilton kick (‘It’s 905!’/’But so authentic!’), I’m embarrassed to say that I missed this entirely: MEC’s planned Burlington store, which I’m sure there’s a good business case for, is supposed to be a model of environmental design … “Sustainability is a driving force at MEC, and the Burlington store willcontinue reading

Me and Misha

Over time, the spam filter on my e-mail account has become smarter, shielding me from random Biblical quotes and letters from the many bankers of the victims of that 2000 Concorde crash. So I was pleased to see that the filter is so sensitive that it knew to let in an e-mail plea for helpcontinue reading