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Writer & Historian

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Flying Union High – A Book Review

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September 19, 2020
Flying Union High – A Book Review

Christine Hayvice, Arrivals and Departures (Toronto: Unifor Local 2002, 2020), 489 pages, $35 (paper). I love flying and I’ve done my share of it. Now I’m grounded like most of the world, thanks to Covid, so reading a title like this had me longing for a chance to hop on a plane again. Alas, despite its...
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Consp acy Theory – A Soc al Commentary

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August 8, 2020
Consp acy Theory – A Soc al Commentary

No confirmation as yet. No certainty that someone, some offshore invader of my privacy, has paid me a midnight digital visit recently. But I have no doubt that he/she/they/it was/were here. How do I know? Sounds like I’ve turned to conspiracy theories to explain human behaviour, doesn’t it? All I know is that my...
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Winning $7K – A Social Commentary

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August 1, 2020
Winning $7K – A Social Commentary

I’m pretty sure I just won $7,000 a week for the rest of my life. Don’t believe me. Envious of my good fortune? Well, Deborah Holland, executive vice-president of Publishers Clearing House says right here that I “could definitely become the winning number.” I can’t see how I can lose. If Deb says I’m...
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My Covid-19 Heroine – An Appreciation

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May 15, 2020
My Covid-19 Heroine – An Appreciation

“At long last , we have finally made a truly game-changing scientific breakthrough in preventing the spread of COVID-19. We have found a disease-control tool that, when used properly, can reduced transmission by somewhere between 50% and 85%. The tool is cheap and remarkably low-tech. You can even make one at home.” From “The...
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Drop Your Guns, Pardner – A Comment

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March 5, 2020
Drop Your Guns, Pardner – A Comment

I don’t know what it is that attracts the National Rifle Association to me. The closest I ever came to owning a gun was as a young boy when I had a second-hand BB gun that usually didn’t work. So why, decades later, has the NRA decided to target me as a potential member?...
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Golden City Yarns – A Book Review

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February 28, 2020
Golden City Yarns – A Book Review

Ron Shearer, Chicanery, Civility & Celebrations: Tales of Early Rossland (Rossland: Rossland Heritage Commission, 2019), 170 pages, $24.95 (paper). Kootenay history buffs have long savoured the storytelling talents of Ron Shearer, a retired UBC economics professor turned amateur historian. Now, in a randomly presented selection of stories, he takes us back to the mining...
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Follow the Black Cat – A Book Review

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February 26, 2020
Follow the Black Cat – A Book Review

Graphic History Collective, Direct Action Gets the Goods: A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2019), large format, 60 pages, $14.95 (soft cover).             I just barely squeaked through my high school history class. I liked it, but I wasn’t good at memorizing dates and I had questions about...
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Stop subsidizing private health care insurance – A Comment

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December 17, 2019
Stop subsidizing private health care insurance – A Comment

Recently, a friend blasted the skeptics who have been poo-pooing Medicare for All as proposed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. His argument pours cold water on the halfway measures that other candidates like Peter Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are promoting. Here’s his succinct and compelling reason why. “Medicare for All...
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Portugal and Basque Spain – Four Travel Essays

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December 17, 2019
Portugal and Basque Spain – Four Travel Essays

In September and October 2019, I travelled with family members to Lisbon and Porto in Portugal and to the Spanish and French Basque Country in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula. These four essays are my attempt to capture some aspects of the cultures we observed.
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Revisiting the 1950s Red Scare – A Book Review and Interview

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October 18, 2019
Revisiting the 1950s Red Scare – A Book Review and Interview

Raymond Caballero, McCarthyism vs. Clinton Jencks (Norman, OK, University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), 320 pages, $29.95 (paper). Just when books about the history of Communist trade unions seem to have waned, Portland historian Raymond Caballero brings to life the horrors of the Second Red Scare in the 1950s through an account of the trials and tribulations...
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Books