Archive for August, 2008

Business reporters who like business? Who ever heard of such a thing!

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Naïve outsiders – most normal humans – could be forgiven for imagining that, just as political journalists typically are fascinated with politics, travel writers enjoy going places and those who pen tales of skiing are thrilled at being in the mountains during winter, business writers actually are interested in – and maybe even like – [...]

Radio One … encore

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

“… Denis Coderre, minister ummm Member of Parliament for the area …” – CBC Radio One news announcer Things move slowly in government and apparently that includes Canada’s national broadcaster. The Harper government can certainly no longer be called “Canada’s new government” as they are soon to become the third longest minority government in Canadian [...]

Modern ethical dilemmas

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

The complexity of modern life leaves many of at a loss when confronting some social situations. It was heartening therefore when CBC Radio One recently devoted an afternoon call-in show to one of these problems. The weighty problem they chose was … wait for it … the “complicated ethics of plastics”. Yeah, plastics. Some readers [...]

In Praise of Grassroots Ingenuity

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

My Open Range column from the August 2008 issue of Alberta Venture magazine: How an Alberta farmer-inventor aims to break chemical fertilizer dependency and slash greenhouse-gas emissions at the same time In the field of opportunity it’s plowing time again – Neil Young Almost since the first plot of sod was turned on the Prairies, [...]

Orderly transfers? Sure

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Almost all of us benefit from modern time saving devices – washing machines, dishwashers, you name it. I’m happy to report one more. Even though it’s fairly old technology it saves me a lot of time every day. It’s the Globe and Mail, Canada’s (self-proclaimed) national newspaper. On the average day it takes me just [...]

Radio One delivers

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

“… the message was delivered by a Taliban spokesperson…” The World at Six, CBC Radio One We should all by now be used to the neutering of language in most public discourse (e.g. “chairperson”, “Mr. Chair”, firefighter, etc.). What makes the usage above a collossal boner is the fact that, if you could ever be certain [...]

Forget St. Lambert

Monday, August 18th, 2008

With little more than outtakes from the parliamentary Ethics Committee (or, if I were content editor at CBC, the so-called Ethics Committee) and a bit of inter-leader sparring to sustain them, political pundits have had a few stabs at pre-reading the electoral tea leaves for the upcoming federal by-elections. The overall theme has been to [...]

Reds not dead

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Every once in a while a newspaper headline will highlight developments in a court case long since past, especially if there’s even the faintest hint that the convicted might have been innocent. These stories are particularly poignant if the person was executed. So it was that the case of the Rosenbergs, America’s notorious atom spies [...]

Gas prices call for counter-cyclical moves – not conformity

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

My “Letter from Calgary” column from the August 2008 issue of the Investment Executive newspaper: The other day my investment adviser sent along a hilarious though grimly apt graph from a Trimark presentation showing the emotional cycle of investors as they ride – and bungle – the investment cycle. Feelings like “thrill” and “excitement” accompany [...]

Yeah, and there’s also a flaw in the ointment

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

“Unacceptably high headline inflation has heightened the FOMC’s concerns about inflation, but continuing strains in the financial markets and evidence of spreading economic softness will force the FOMC to toe a fine line between the two risks,” David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities, wrote in a note to clients Monday. No exclamation needed.