Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

To make Comments write directly to Jim at jimt@quixotic.ca

 

25

Nov

2022

Double whammy bodes badly

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday November 20, 2022 

 

Two news stories juxtaposed themselves this past week.

            In the first story, the eight-billionth human was born somewhere on Wednesday, according to an estimate by the United Nations.

            Maybe not precisely on Wednesday. It might have happened on Tuesday. Or Thursday. But one of the 385,000 babies born during those three days was the eight-billionth member of the human race.

            Just 12 years ago, there were only seven billion of us. A century ago, only two billion.

            We have, in other words, grown like mould.

            That famous “hockey stick” graph of greenhouse gases is duplicated, almost exactly, by the growth of human populations.

            Yet we get all upset about one statistic  and avoid the other.


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25

Nov

2022

Doing what’s right is always worth it

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday November 17, 2022

 

IMy email friend and fellow blogger Jim Henderschedt listed a number of things going wrong: “The seemingly daily news of war, lies, assault weapons, muck raking, genocide, racial enmity, mass shootings, homelessness -- the list goes on and on...”

            What do you do when your world seems to be coming apart at the seams? When your dreams turn into nightmares? When old friends topple like bowling pins, and your investments sink like autumn leaves?

            It’s tempting to go back to bed and pull the covers up over your head. Or perhaps to curl up on the floor in a fetal position.


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25

Nov

2022

Mid-term elections all about Trump

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday November 13, 2022 

 

Final results in the U.S. mid-term elections may not be in for some weeks. But the political pundits are having a field day finding things to analyse. 

            I dare suggest that some of them have read the election wrong. This election was not about abortion rights. Or about immigration, racial discrimination, or inflation. 

            It was not even – despite Joe Biden’s and Barrack Obama’s impassioned last-minute pleas – about the survival of democracy. 

            It was about one thing -- Donald Trump.

 

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12

Nov

2022

Racism isn’t only in other countries

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday November 6, 2022 

 

I’d better say this tight up front – I have never experienced prejudice against me because I am white. I suspect that no “person of colour” can say the same.

            I have travelled widely. I have spent time in, by my last count, 66 different countries. In many of those, the local population had darker skin than mine. I have never been told, “Hey, whitey, go to the back of the line.” Or, “This is where WE eat; what are you doing here?”

            And if anyone has called me derogatory names, they did it in their own language, and I didn’t know.

            You may protest that you have no prejudice against brown- or black-skinned people. You may really believe that. But you cannot know it. Only the person experiencing prejudice knows it.

 

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Categories: Sharp Edges

Tags: racism, Prejudice

12

Nov

2022

Climate change killing famed sockeye run

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday October 23, 2022 

 

Such a miracle is the salmon!

            Of the 4,000 or so eggs that a female sockeye deposits in the Adams River, B.C.’s most famous salmon run, only two will survive long enough to start a new generation.

           There’s a salmon run every year. Every fourth year, though, is the biggest run.

            A week ago, I drove up to the Adams River to see what was supposed to be a banner year, a dominant year. 

            I’ve been there before for a dominant year. So many salmon were packed together, each one seeking the best grovel for spawning, that I felt I could walk across the river on their backs. 

            Not this year. 

 

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18

Oct

2022

Watching corporate executives squirm

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday October 16, 2022 

 

It was painful, watching Andrea Skinner, the interim chair of Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors, as the Parliamentary Committee on Canadian Heritage grilled her mercilessly about charges that Hockey Canada had covered up a gang rape.

            Skinner squirmed like a worm impaled on a hook as she tried to defend the indefensible.

            I don’t need to go into the details. In broad terms, as everyone now knows, Hockey Canada paid out $8.9 million as hush money for 21 sexual assault accusations since 1989. 


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18

Oct

2022

I rather Jesus be wrong than Trump right

Author: Jim Taylor

unday October 9, 2022 

 

Could Jesus have been wrong? This is not a hypothetical question. It bears strongly on how we can – or should, or might – respond to a variety of current controversies. 

            Could Jesus be wrong? The mind boggles. Christian faith worldwide is founded on the conviction that Jesus must have been right, regardless. 

            Now, there are certainly things that Jesus said and did that stretch our credulity. Walking on water, for example. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work. But we rationalize away that experimental failure, by arguing either that it’s a skill limited to the divine, or that it proves our lack of faith. 

            But then there are those troublesome parables. 


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18

Oct

2022

The apology that changed Canadian history

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday October 2, 2022

 

Friday September 30 was Orange Shirt Day, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

            Forty years ago, such an event would have been unthinkable. 

            And then, in March 1985, a woman named Alberta Billie did the unthinkable. She told a meeting of the United Church of Canada’s Executive that the church should apologize for its role in running “Indian” residential schools. 

            A little more than a year later, on August 15, 1986, the church’s moderator, the Rev. Bob Smith, led the church in Canada’s first-ever apology to Canada’s indigenous peoples. 


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18

Oct

2022

The promises no one made

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday September 18, 2022

 

Municipal elections are held every four years in B.C. The next election is coming up fast – October 15. 

            On the political spectrum, municipal elections are the poor cousins, the runt of electoral litters. You don’t think so? Consider at the emotions they arouse. Federal politicians get hated. Provincial politicians, ridiculed. Municipal politicians? Mostly a shrug. 

            Especially, in a rural municipality sandwiched halfway between two much larger cities. 

            I attended an all-candidates’ meeting for the District of Lake Country. Out of curiosity, mainly. 

            To their credit, no one attacked any other candidate. 


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28

Sep

2022

All the promises no one made

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday September 18, 2022

 

Municipal elections are held every four years in B.C. The next election is coming up fast – October 15. 

            On the political spectrum, municipal elections are the poor cousins, the runt of electoral litters. You don’t think so? Consider at the emotions they arouse. Federal politicians get hated. Provincial politicians, ridiculed. Municipal politicians? Mostly a shrug. 

            Especially, in a rural municipality sandwiched halfway between two much larger cities. 

            I attended an all-candidates’ meeting for the District of Lake Country. Out of curiosity, mainly. I already know who I’ll vote for. 

            I didn’t go as a journalist. I went to see how the candidates treated each other.


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