Archive for December, 2010

Stupid me

Friday, December 31st, 2010

“Day 6″ – Name of CBC Radio One Program. On this December 31st I may as well ask myself what century I’m in, let alone what year. Those of odd inclinations, or Canadians in remote rural compounds, you may have CBC Radio One on Saturday morning. When I heard about the show named above I [...]

Vapid public square

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

‘Tis the season for fights over religion. Or so it seems. Whether it’s using the apparently inflammatory term “Merry Christmas”, bells ringing at Sally Ann collection boxes, or provocative atheist ad campaigns. It was the latter that kicked off a flurry of pieces in the National Post and on their blog(s).  For readers who didn’t [...]

Unplanned language

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

“Yates said the police raids were pre-planned and involved ‘several forces’.” – British police spokesman quoted in a CTV on-line story about recent anti-terror arrests. In the relentless struggle to create more jargon, in this case trying to one-up mere planning, one arrives at “pre”-planning. That would be planning done BEFORE the regular ahead-of-time planning? [...]

The Great Unknown

Monday, December 20th, 2010

To read an illustrated pdf of my story in the December 2010 issue of Ski Canada magazine, on the wonderful off-piste skiing in Serfaus, Austria (which included only my second-ever participation in a first descent of an unskied mountain face), please click here.

Protest etiquette?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Call it Gen-X revenge syndrome or simply displaced sibling aggression. Growing up in the 1960′s you saw a lot of violent protests on TV – anti-war, anti-nuke, race-riots, whatever. Inevitably, the long-haired marchers would clash with police and they’d knock some heads. Not that I – even in my mind’s eye – saw my siblings [...]

One, or two gamuts?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

“You certainly cover all the gamuts.” – Bruce Kenyon, AM 770 CHQR  morning man, to a startled guest. Anyone who gets up and starts speaking into a microphone at 6 AM is clearly asking for trouble – and perhaps a pass when it comes to Stupidisms. However, Mr. Kenyon is normally so feisty and glib [...]

“Off” again

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

” … the Liberals lost the GTA seat of Vaughan to the Conservatives and won Winnipeg North off the NDP” – Toronto Star columnist, Chantal Hébert This space has typically gone easy on non-native English speakers, and this will be no exception. However Ms. Hébert is a long-time national opinion writer, and this deserves comment, [...]

Ethical oil

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

I had the pleasure to hear Ezra Levant speak yesterday morning at a breakfast sponsored by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. He was promoting his new book, Ethical Oil, a defence of Canada’s oil sands. I’ve known Ezra for (can it be?) 20 years and he is today as skilled a polemicist as he [...]

The Case for Restraint

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

My “Open Range” column from the December 2010 issue of Alberta Venture magazine Three cheers to Stephen Harper for steering Canada away from a U.S.-style spending calamity American voters showed their disenchantment with President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in last month’s Congressional mid-term elections, and a bigsource of their fury was the colossal [...]

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