Tag Archive

A briefing note for progressive thinkers on the celebrity bombast of the political right

Published on September 21, 2016 By johnastapleton

I’m often tempted to weigh in on the popular appeal of bombastic, right-wing celebrity politicians, yet I hesitate when smart commentators say exactly what I was thinking – people like the brilliant Rick Salutin of the Toronto Star, Marcus Gee in the Globe and Mail, or Charles Blow in the New York Times. They always […]

Hit over the head and blamed for falling? The curious case of Scarborough and the Toronto media

Published on June 26, 2016 By johnastapleton

When Canada first built its railways, forever remembered in the sepia photograph of the last spike, the idea was that railways spawn communities, commerce, and population growth. It was the undisputed economic model. It is precisely why, along with connecting communities, that both Canada and the United States built their railways in the first place. […]

There will be a 75th reunion of Canadian veterans in Holland in 2020

Published on May 2, 2016 By johnastapleton

On Sunday, March 19, 1961, my grandfather was one day away from death in the small town of St. Mary’s Ontario in his family home on the main street of town. He did not want to live on the terms on which he then understood his life. Robert A Stapleton was 84 years old. He had suffered […]

Life and Fun in 2016

Published on January 5, 2016 By johnastapleton

There are a lot of fun things to do in 2016: Here are my top four, highly idiosyncratic entries,  all from watching evening television on Netflix or CBC Praise Keith Richards – Rock Historian: Tune into Netflix and go to the music documentaries. It takes a while until you realize that Keith Richards is in almost […]

A reply to Martin Regg Cohn’s column: “Gambling on Horses hasn’t paid off”

Published on June 23, 2015 By johnastapleton

It’s hard to know if Toronto Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn is trying to use horse racing as a way to ‘spank’ the Provincial Liberal party. Maybe he is showcasing what he believes to be a “dying Liberal brand” through the Ontario government’s attempts to revive horse racing in Ontario. Regardless, Cohn’s column in the […]

We are the 61%

Published on April 22, 2015 By johnastapleton

In the May 2011 federal election, voter turnout was 61%. In the same election, all other parties except the winner received 61% of the vote. In other words, of the 61% of us who voted, 61% of us voted against the majority government that took power. Usually 61% runs the show; but not now. And […]

A funny thing happened on the way to the middle ages: Boethius and the ‘Identity of Indiscernibles’

Published on March 22, 2015 By johnastapleton

It takes a long time following retirement from the public service after which you realize that you can write about anything you want. I had always wanted to publish a limerick that I wrote with a friend (now deceased) over 40 years ago.  In this blog, I take another item off my intellectual bucket list. I […]

Twenty Eight Canadians

Published on December 22, 2014 By johnastapleton

Twenty eight Canadians returned to Italy to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Italian campaign that took place during World War II from July 1943 to April 1945. They ranged in age from their later eighties to their mid-nineties. They were in the minority of the living well enough to go. They were a remarkable […]

We are going! the 70th anniversary of the Italian Campaign

Published on November 20, 2014 By johnastapleton

Al Stapleton, 94, is visiting the fields of battle in World War II Italy this week as a member of Canada’s Official Delegation to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Italian campaign. He is our father. This is his third visit to Italy. The second time was ten years ago for the 60th anniversary. His first visit […]

Doing the BORF: The new world of vacationing Torontonians meeting Americans

Published on March 30, 2014 By johnastapleton

I recently went on a vacation cruise to the western Caribbean as the itinerary included Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Grand Cayman – four places I had never visited and wanted to experience. Truth in advertising: this was a luxury cruise with a high concentration of prosperous looking white people and a preponderance of Americans. But […]

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