To make Comments write directly to Jim at email@example.com
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.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: Elections, promises
Thursday September 21, 2022
Municipal elections are coming up. “Why don’t put your name in?” a friend asked the other day. “You’ve always got a lot to say.”
I hope he was kidding. Because politics already has too many people in love with the sound of their own voice.
Besides, if I got elected, I would have to attend meetings. I’ve missed four meetings in the last two weeks, unfortunately. I suspect that my forgetter is telling me that I don’t like meetings.
Perhaps I never did like them.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: tradition, Meettings, agendas
Professionalism, generally, means that you do your job without letting your personal preferences interfere.
So a lawyer sets aside her personal loathing of a long-term criminal to defend him, to the best of her ability.
An NHL hockey player plays his best, regardless of what city he’s traded to.
And a doctor treats a gang member or a sex worker without letting her own distaste for their lifestyles affect her diagnosis and treatment.
In the same way, I have always assumed, professional journalists should deliver the facts impartially, without letting their own political biases colour their reporting.
Tags: truth, Professional, journalist
Thursday September 15, 2022
I’m looking at a relic. No, not the bones of some ancient saint. Or a corpse, mummified in a peat bog or frozen in a glacier.
This relic is a blue-and-white porcelain teapot.
We gave it to my father’s second wife, Christina Fraser, for Christmas one year. Blue and white were Chris’s favourite colours. We found this teapot in Eaton’s, when Eaton’s still existed. She loved it.
Then she wanted to ship it home safely from Toronto to Vancouver. She didn’t trust her suitcase to protect it from Air Canada’s baggage handlers. So she took it back to Eaton’s, figuring they had the expertise.
“Sorry, we can’t do that,” she was told.
Tags: Teapot, Eatons, Baal Shem Tov
Sunday September 4, 2022
Grief. I thought I knew all about it. I even wrote a book about it., many years ago. A professional family counsellor praised it as, “the only book on grief written from a father’s point of view. All the rest have been written by mothers.”
But the events of the last week in Saskatchewan and in Balmoral have made me realize I was writing about MY private grief. Not about the kind of collective grief that people around the world, and in James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon particularly, are currently living through.
I made the mistake of treating grief as an individual experience. Indeed, in many ways, it is. You feel alone. Indeed, it seems to force you in on yourself.
Tags: James Smith Cree Nation, stabbings, Sandersons
By now, everyone must have seen the video of Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland being accosted in the lobby of a hotel in Grand Prairie, Alberta, on a visit to her home province; she was born in Peace River, north of Grand Prairie.
Freeland is quite short, even in high heels. One of her own Tweets gives her height as “5 feet 2 inches, on a good day.”
The man – identified by his own Internet postings as Elliott McDavid – towers over her. He’s almost a stereotype of an Alberta redneck -- burly, heavily bearded, dressed in a tattered undershirt.
Media coverage described him as a "right-wing extremist" and an "active organizer of convoy protests.”
Tags: harassment, Chrystia Freeland, Grand Prairie, redneck
Thursday August 25, 2022
Something got me thinking about the pop songs I listened to in my youth. Here’s one of them: “Sh-boom sh-boom… yallalala lallalalala, Hey nonny ding dong, a-lang a--lang a-lang, Boom ba-doh, ba-doo ba-doodle-ay…”
The quartet went on to include some real words, but they’ve faded from memory. Only the nonsense syllables remain.
Or Sammy Kaye and his orchestra, otherwise a fairly conservative group: “Chickery chick, cha-la, cha-la, Check-a-la romey in a bananika, Bollika, wollika, can't you see, Chickery chick is me?”
Tags: Silly songs, innocence
Sunday August 21, 2022
Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert wants the U.S. to have a “biblical citizenship” test. Was she serious? On video clips, she sounds as if it was just a casual aside.
Serious or not, it may be the stupidest idea that the U.S.’s Christian Right has come up with yet.
The first casualty would be Donald Trump. The 9th Commandment forbids lying; Trump broke it 30,573 times during his presidency!
Beyond that, though, what constitutes biblical literacy? Is it enough to know the Ten Commandments, a few choice quotations from Jesus, and the 23rd Psalm?
Or should biblical literacy mean that you can open the Bible to any page, any verse, and know how it relates to the book’s larger themes?
Tags: Bible, Boebert, citizenship, tests
Thursday August 18, 2022
I got a cat last week. Correction – last week a cat got me. Because no human owns a cat. Cats may have been the first wild creatures to co-habit with humans, but unlike dogs, they have never let humans dominate them.
My cat is only eight weeks old, but he already runs my household. Wrong again – HIS household! He determines when I shall wake up. By licking the end of my nose..
He has found his own private cave between my pillows, where he spends the night. Unless he decides to wake up long enough to walk across my head.
I expected him to play with my computer mouse – cat and mouse, you know. I didn’t expect him to take naps on my keyboard. Now I know how those computer nerds come up with weird passwords like 8[UEVrn#ds-ibJEtb&iSio&hf. They invite a kitten to pounce on their keyboards.
Tags: Dickie, kitten
Sunday August 7, 2022
You probably don’t have Monday August 15 circled on your calendar. Perhaps you should. It’s the 75th anniversary of the collapse of colonialism.
On August 15, 1947, India declared Independence.
I spent my first ten years in India. I remember standing on our hillside the summer before Independence, listening to waves of sound drifting across the forested slopes from the nearest town, as thousands chanted “Jai Hind! Jai Hind! Jai Hind!”
Loosely translated, “Victory to India!”
“What are they shouting for?” I asked my father. At ten, I was politically clueless.
“They want independence from Britain,” `he explained.
“Why?” I wondered. “Don’t they realize how good they’ve got it now?”
My father, wisely, said nothing.
Tags: India, independence, colonialism