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Writer & Historian

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Slanted Right – Media Analysis

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January 12, 2021
Slanted Right – Media Analysis

The mainstream news media gets blamed for a lot of things. Some of it is deserved, some not. The problem in today’s multiple viewing platform world is that right-wing propaganda slips silently into what you might assume is an accurate, unbiased source of information. Take one example: Sharyl Attkisson’s Full Measure.
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Three Bad Bills Revisited – A Book Review

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January 10, 2021

Gary Steeves, Tranquility Lost: The Occupation of  Tranquille & the Battle for Community Care in BC (Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing, 2020), 226 pages, $24.95 (paper). Being on a picket line, protesting in the street or participating in an occupation are all moments that create life-long comradeship. One event proves the point better than many. It is...
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Co-Pay Conundrum – A Social Commentary

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December 22, 2020
Co-Pay Conundrum – A Social Commentary

The insurance vultures are everywhere. A month before Christmas 2020, I paid several hundred dollars in “co-pays” for medical services. Canadians, I realize that “co-pay” is a foreign term to you, but for millions of Americans it is part of everyday life, death and possible bankruptcy. To be fair, insurers usually pay the lion’s...
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All Grandfathers are Created Equal – A Book Review

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December 21, 2020
All Grandfathers are Created Equal – A Book Review

Ian Haysom, Grandfathered: Dispatches from the Trenches of Modern Grandparenthood (Victoria: Heritage House Publishing, 2020), 200 pages, $22.95 (paper). I skipped the grandfather stage of life and went straight to great grandfathering, but that didn’t mean I missed the charms of grandparenting so humourously described in Ian Haysom’s memoir, Grandfathered. Most of all, I have not missed...
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Seeing Past the Mushroom Cloud – A Book Review

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December 1, 2020
Seeing Past the Mushroom Cloud – A Book Review

John O’Brian, The Bomb in the Wilderness: Photography and the Nuclear Era in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020), 244 pages, 124 illustrations, $32.95 (paper). Years ago on a visit to China, an old man taught me that I needed to look more deeply into the water below if I wanted to see the fish. Now John...
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You Forgot Canada – A Commentary

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November 26, 2020
You Forgot Canada – A Commentary

The last straw came following the 2020 Emmys. When a Canadian TV comedy called Schitt’s Creek swept the annual American TV awards, the PBS NewsHour didn’t even mention it. They covered the awards, but only the American winners were named. Okay, before you tuck into your private corner to ask what a Canadian has to complain...
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The American Thanksgiving Myth – A History Correction

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November 25, 2020

As Americans get set to celebrate a Covid Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, USA Today has offered some hard truths about this very American holiday. It is not what some of us assumed and it is not a happy history. Here’s the news article. 
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Early Kootenay Doukhobors -– A Historical Note

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October 22, 2020
Early Kootenay Doukhobors -– A Historical Note

New evidence has surfaced of the early migration of Doukobors to the Kootenays at Rossland, B.C. Kootenay historian Greg Nesteroff and Saskatchewan Doukhobor scholar Jon Kalmakoff (www.doukhobor.org) to offer a detailed account of the migration. It was previously thought that the sect came to B.C. in 1908-1909. Rcent research on the Rossland Evening World, Western...
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Western Canada’s First Labour Daily – A RadioLabour Interview

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October 17, 2020
Western Canada’s First Labour Daily – A RadioLabour Interview

The Rossland Evening World in British Columbia was the first daily labour newspaper in Western Canada and possibly the whole country. Labour historian Ron Verzuh discusses the World and the lessons it has for modern labour journalism.  Duration: 8’04”.  Posted: October 16, 2020. Also available at rabble.ca/podcasts. Read the interview text here: Hear the interview...
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Radishes and Gooseberries – A Book Review

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October 7, 2020
Radishes and Gooseberries – A Book Review

Scott P. Stephen, Masters and Servants: The Hudson’s Bay Company and Its North American Workforce, 1668-1786(Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2019), 440 pages, $44.99 (paper). “Radishes and Gooseberries!” Our high school social studies teacher would drill the names into us so we would better remember them for next week’s quiz. Who were they and who...
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