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Writer & Historian

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Musings

Making America Hate Again – A Commentary

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April 17, 2017
Making America Hate Again – A Commentary

The other day someone read me an internet post that said eight of the sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justices had rejected President Donald J. Trump’s nominee to fill the position vacated by Antonin Scalia, the long-running conservative on the court. I got excited. Did the judges really put the kibosh on Justice Neil Gorsuch,...
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“The World Should Shiver” with Anger – A Commentary

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April 16, 2017
“The World Should Shiver” with Anger – A Commentary

It took less than two months in office for Donald J. Trump to haul out the Tomahawk cruise missiles and start bombing Syria. Just days later, Fox News was boasting that the president had dropped the “biggest non-nuclear bomb in history” on Afghanistan. That must be some sort of record. It’s not surprising given that Trump...
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Hail a Canadian Labour Hero – A Book Review

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April 5, 2017
Hail a Canadian Labour Hero – A Book Review

Jon Bartlett and Rika Reubsaat, Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932-33 Miners’ Strike (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2016), 126 pp., $19 paper. Arthur “Slim” Evans has long been a notable figure in Canadian labour history, most often associated with the famed On-to-Ottawa Trek that he led in 1935 in an effort to improve conditions in the...
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Hell’s History – A Book Review

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March 2, 2017

With this short book, Tom Sandborn, labour reporter for the tyee.ca, and the United Steelworkers have reminded us of how deadly slow and ineffective workplace safety laws still are in spite of a law passed after the Westray disaster. RV #97 Getting away with murder  
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Farewell, Bob White – An Appreciation

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February 24, 2017
Farewell, Bob White – An Appreciation

Bob White, who died of undisclosed causes on February 19, 2017, was one of my heroes and I’ll miss him, as will many working people all over Canada. I wasn’t close friend, more an admirer from afar. As a communications representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees CUPE, I was often awed by...
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Resisting Trump 2 – Living in America Series

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February 19, 2017
Resisting Trump 2 – Living in America Series

As the Trump administration continues to create a brand new political swamp in Washington, D.C., filled with billionaire alligators, the nation further divides into two camps. There are those who believe the one-month-old president is making America great again and those who watch in disbelief as he spits venomous tweets at the democratic traditions that are seen by...
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Resisting Trump 1 – Living in America Series

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February 4, 2017
Resisting Trump 1 – Living in America Series

Tim Barker, “Terms of Engagement,” Harper’s Magazine, February 2017, 28-29, offers some thoughtful remarks in his contribution to a cover story called  “A Resister’s Guide – Let the Counterattack Begin.” Ten other writers complete the section on how to resist the Trump excesses. The following quote applies to our current celebration of Black History Month:...
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Local Theatre Spoofs Hitchcock

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January 29, 2017
Local Theatre Spoofs Hitchcock

The other night I was reminded of how precious local theatre is when I saw a production of The 39 Steps in Eugene, Oregon. The play is a spoof on filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock’s films using The 39 Steps, his 1935 spy thriller, to provide continuity to a script that alludes to, and even reenacts...
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On Surviving Trump – Living in America Series

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January 26, 2017
On Surviving Trump – Living in America Series

“To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.” That’s one of 20 pieces of advice from Timothy Snyder,...
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Fake News and Where its Coming From

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January 12, 2017
Fake News and Where its Coming From

Glenn Greenwald, an investigative journalist and co-founder of The Intercept, an online political newsletter, has provided an excellent analysis of all the nonsense being circulated by the U.S. intelligence community. Here are the last three paragraphs of his latest commentary. “All of the claims about Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and ties to Trump should be fully...
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Books

Radical Rag by Ron Verzuh Underground Times by Ron Verzuh Selling Labour Down Under by Ron Verzuh Changing Images by Ron Verzuh Feasting With Love by Ron Verzuh Tea Leaves by Ron Verzuh Remembering Salt by Ron Verzuh