Conrad Black and the Order of Canada – Be careful what you wish for……

I wrote the following short essay in October 2012 during one of the many media dustups concerning Conrad Black and his Order of Canada. Now he is out. This was the wrong thing to do. In October 2012, I thought the main problem was that other more sympathetic Order holders would get booted out.  The main problem now is that many who should be invested in the Order will not be.  Only time will prove me right or wrong but I really worry that the disinvestiture of Lord Black will be the bellwether that changes the criteria for the Order and for all the wrong reasons.  I realize that this post will not win me many friends.... but read on and see what you think:   After following the debate…
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Too big to jail and no penalty for ‘moneycide’: our economy after the Great Vaporization

When governments reflate an economy after a financial crisis, a market crash and a recession, we are supposed to get higher inflation and the values of reflated currencies are supposed to go down. Interest rates are supposed to go up. This is what many economists continue to tell us. But none of this is happening – we are into the fifth year and still waiting. What’s happening? I am going to try to provide a different answer to this question since economists don’t seem to be doing too good a job. They don’t seem to want to talk about money getting killed even though it is the missing piece of the puzzle. I don’t know why economists won’t talk about it but since I am not an economist, I am…
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Mandela

His message was simple It gave us comfort And we understood As we welled up with pride That all of God’s children Steadfast in allegiance to truth Would make the decision In our concern for ourselves and others Safe from favouritism, self-interest, or preference in judgment That we would be free
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Really fast drivers, three Senators, Toronto’s mayor and the emergence of ‘Melford’

In my original blog (http://openpolicyontario.com/when-zero-tolerance-prevails-very-fast-drivers-three-senators-and-torontos-mayor/), I said that Mr. Ford could win the Toronto election next October if he did just one thing: acknowledge that he is now in a world of zero tolerance and he is being judged according to standards by which everyone else is not judged. He must say that he understands the enforcement regimen that is now in place, agree with it, and pull up his socks according to its standards. The reason for this is that his case is now very public (enormously so) and that late and begrudged admission to evidence has made (and will make) his story even more public. And as it appears that there is more evidence to come out, his persona will become even more public and better defined as…
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Teaching what I want to teach because I like what I like…..another last word on David Gilmour

At bottom, David Gilmour conflates personal interest with public policy and tries to make the case that the arena in which he practices the former should be indistinguishable from the latter. The private and public in his case become one.  (More about that later!) OK - all of us have private interests that are ultimately legitimate for any of us to indulge if they don't hurt others: football, beer, ballet, origami, the Ballet Russe, poutine and/or crepe suzette. No matter. It's on your own time with your own friends... on your own nickel.  We are bored with your choices but thank God you did not invite us! Yet once I say in a public forum that I accept pay from a public institution with public funding to indulge my private…
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Seventieth anniversary of Operation Husky: July 10, 1943 – July 10, 2013 – A lifetime of reflections on the Italian Campaign

In 1975, after finishing the first year of a doctoral program I would fail to complete, I visited friends in Groningen, Holland, in the first week of May. I had only the vaguest idea that I had happened upon an important 30th anniversary. I had arrived in the days leading up to VE-Day (Victory in Europe Day). My father had served in Italy in the Second World War. He had shipped out of Livorno to Marseille in early 1945 to join the reunification of the Canadian forces in Holland in the early spring of that year. Like so many fathers and sons in the mid-1970s, we had not talked all that much about the war. Remembrance Day ceremonies were in decline. It did not seem that important. I trudged out…
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Government is often more efficient than the private sector … So why do we still hate government?

Anyone living in Toronto with access to a car and phone can replicate the experience that I had recently. I drove downtown and parked on the street in one of those spaces that you need to get a parking voucher for the time you expect to stay.  While I was feeding the machine, a parking enforcement officer was stretching his neck to look for a voucher in my car. I yelled and hooted: “I’m paying now… don’t ticket me!” He backed off and waved. I attended a lunch but miscalculated the time I would require.  The mistake cost me $30. The ticket was time-stamped 8 minutes after the expiry of my voucher. Later that day, I phoned to make a variation in one Air Canada airline ticket while a second…
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Funeral Blues Toronto 2011

Funeral Blues Toronto 2011   Turn out all the lights, cut off support to the wading pools. Prevent the library from opening with free subway newspapers Silence the advocates and with muffled drum Bring out the Budget, let the mourners come. Let citizens circle warning the watershed Shouting the message “Our City is dead” Put Ferris wheels round malled harbours of monorails Let workmen downsize as safety fails. Gaze to our North, the South, our East and West, Our working week and our Sunday rest Our noon, Our midnight, our talk, our song; We thought our town would last forever, we were wrong. The Star is not wanted now; throw out every one, Pack up the Globe, the Post and dismantle the Sun. Tear away the commons and gather the…
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