Archive for March, 2007

Canada’s unofficial languages

Friday, March 30th, 2007

I was fortunate that my father gave me an interesting book on Canadian political journalism for Christmas, Charles Lynch’s autobiography “You Can’t Print That”. Lynch, a veteran journalist and former parliamentary press gallery president, was a fixture in Ottawa until the early 1990’s. He died in 1994. Lynch’s varied career – from WWII and foreign [...]

Local Specialities

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

When some young thing in the service industry addressed me for the first time in my life as “sir”, I admit suffering a narcissistic Boomer-ish episode of feeling old before my time. That’s a long time ago now, and since then I’ve found that the opposite is far more annoying: Sitting down with Mrs. K. in what we each take [...]

Crisis, what crisis?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

It’s gratifying to see that, despite the best efforts of some, there is still a debate about climate change going on. The U.S. Congress had a real point-counterpoint going on when they invited Al Gore AND Czech president Václav Klaus to testify before them. Klaus, who proves half the axiom that all Czech politicians must [...]

A mighty wind

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

“This (windmill) design is the end of a long revolution.” – CBC “science journalist” Bob McDonald on The National   Mr. McDonald was trying to explain to Peter Mansbridge how designers had arrived at the big, three-bladed variety of windmill, which is purportedly a great advance on previous designs. He must have gotten (e)motionally involved [...]

400 legs good, 200 legs bad

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

“100 DEAD COWS” blared the headline across the front page of last Thursday’s Ottawa Sun. Apparently a fire had destroyed part of a farm in the region, leading to the untimely demise of scores of dairy cattle. A sad thing. Earlier last week the Vancouver Sun reported a strange interlude in the grim Pickton murder [...]

Lessons in war for U.S., Canada

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

From the editorial pages of the Calgary Herald, March 20, 2007: The U.S. plan to pacify Baghdad is in its initial weeks — the last of the extra brigades won’t arrive until summer. It’s too soon to know whether the surge (or “escalation”) will work, although some presume to pronounce it a failure already. But [...]

An antidote that’s more than an anecdote

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

In this current article in Reason Online, author and evident optimist Indur Goklany provides a well-argued antidote to the Gaia-is-sick-mankind-is-a-cancer crowd and, come to think of it, to the entire anti-globalization left: The proximate cause of improvements in well-being is a “cycle of progress” composed of the mutually reinforcing forces of economic development and technological [...]

Hope amid the carnage

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I don’t claim credentials as a foreign affairs guru, but I couldn’t help noticing several recent threads in Iraq that seemed to form an intriguing pattern – one downplayed or ignored by the mainstream news media, of course. Readers will be familiar with the general background: The U.S. five-brigade “surge” of extra troops into Baghdad [...]

Traffic calm, readers not

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

As mentioned by Mr.K. in a previous entry, our lapse into the Byzantine world of traffic and urban planning has sparked a great interest among readers. It’s our pleasure to excerpt and e-mail sent by Bob Hooper, with his observations of traffic in two Canadian cities: Every intersection (in a 50-year-old residential neighbourhood) we went [...]

Destination: Dolomites

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

To read a pdf of my profile of skier Paul Bailey’s experiences touring with John Hogg in the Italian Dolomites, originally published in the March 2007 Financial Post magazine, please click here.