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Writer & Historian

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Musings

Three Tunes for the Times – A Musical Comment

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January 10, 2021
Three Tunes for the Times – A Musical Comment

Three songs that re-resonated for me through 2020 are part of  “Readers’ Choice,” an annual roundup of favourite songs posted at kuratedmusic.com. Kris Klaasen, my long-time music-listening companion, adviser and old friend, launched the site last year and has been using it to explore the broad reaches of the music world then sharing his findings....
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Farewell Ed Finn – An Appreciation

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December 29, 2020
Farewell Ed Finn – An Appreciation

My friend and former union colleague Ed Finn died on December 27, 2020, at 94. Those of us who knew him and worked with him, as well as the millions who read his prolific outpouring of thoughts and ideas, lament his passing. He was a truly principled man. He was honest, direct and candid....
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Life’s Little Pleasures – A Covid Comment

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November 3, 2020
Life’s Little Pleasures – A Covid Comment

In the midst of the Covid crisis and the Oregon wildfires came seven little kittens. Leola caught me enjoying one of life’s little pleasures in spite of Covid-19 looming everywhere. These little kittens, two of a litter of seven, were born as Oregon wildfires threatened some of our family members. We provided temporary refuge...
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Halloween Visitors – A Photo Memory

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November 2, 2020
Halloween Visitors – A Photo Memory

Halloween is usually a quiet affair in our suburban neighborhood. Last year we had a dozen kids. This year we had four, but two of them were Batman and Robin. It was great granddaughter Calliope and her mother Mickel. We were thrilled to see them in such great costumes. Here they are now.
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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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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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Codename P9 is official selection in New York

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April 8, 2019
Codename P9 is official selection in New York

Codename Project 9, my short documentary film on the role of the Trail, B.C., smelter in making the atomic bomb, was judged an “official selection” at the Dumbo Film Festival in Brooklyn, N.Y.  From dumbofilmfestival.com: “Dumbo Film Festival (DFF) is a yearly event structured in monthly contests. Every month, each of the categories will be awarded and...
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White Supremacy Rising – A Book Review

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February 5, 2019
White Supremacy Rising – A Book Review

White Supremacy Rising Eli Saslow, Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist (New York: Doubleday, 2018). I am only beginning to learn about the sadly enduring impact of slavery and the persistent influence of racism in the American political system. Rising Out of Hatred has helped me recognize the death...
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Books