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Writer & Historian

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The Crushing Time in Fiji – A short story

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February 23, 2011
The Crushing Time in Fiji – A short story

Harminder crouched near a fence well away from the Parliament buildings compound where he assumed the hostages were being held. He lit a cigarette and wished he hadn’t drunk so much kava earlier in the day. Not that it had made him sleepy; he was used to the dish-watery unofficial national drink. But...
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The all-powerful Mr. B. – A memoir

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February 23, 2011
The all-powerful Mr. B. – A memoir

We grew up hearing stories, true and apocryphal, about the larger-than-life CM&S (Cominco) Company president Selwyn G. Blaylock. One of those stories had to do with the world-famous Trail Smoke Eaters and a particular game that almost didn’t get played. But first some remembrances of Mr. Blaylock. Dad would recall the time that one...
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Dirty Dishes and Other Stories

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February 22, 2011
Dirty Dishes and Other Stories

The stories you will read here are my attempt to share some of the bad times and the good times with workers both young and old. They are stories of disappointment and discouragement, but there are also fun stories, stories that play with work situations and invent things that might have happened or perhaps...
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Wobbly free speech trek celebrated

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February 21, 2011
Wobbly free speech trek celebrated

Trade unionists and social activists celebrated the 100th anniversary of a uniquely local moment in United States labour history on Feb. 16, 2011, in the quiet little university city of Eugene, OR.
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Dogtooth

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February 20, 2011
Dogtooth

The movies have always been interested in exploring family life and this is even truer with television, but Oscar nominee Dogtooth takes that exploration several steps beyond the normal examination of familial foibles and everyday crises.
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Nothing is for free, not even nothing

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February 16, 2011

A big American magazine recently offered me a year’s subscription for free. How ‘bout that! In these tight times, it’s hard to imagine that anything is free. Well, guess what? It isn’t.
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The Social Network

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February 15, 2011
The Social Network

There wasn’t a single character that I liked in The Social Network, a film about the making of Facebook. Now, maybe I wasn’t supposed to like anyone. But it saddened me to see young people portrayed as greedy, status-seeking, sex-crazed, dope- and booze-addled bimbos and wannabe billionaires.
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Radical Cheek

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February 15, 2011
Radical Cheek

In the early 1980s, I initiated a discussion about starting a new national alternative magazine to be called Goodwin’s after the British Columbia labour martyr and socialist trade union leader, Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin.
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Power opera

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February 14, 2011
Power opera

It isn’t really opera unless someone dies, said a friend the other night at the end of a Vancouver performance of Mozart’s last opera, La Clemenza di Tito. Well, no one died although we came close and I came away wondering about the child prodigy’s politics.
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Consumer Humour

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February 13, 2011
Consumer Humour

Starting in April 1966 I began writing a monthly column for Canadian Consumer magazine. The column ran until October 1987. That spring I had been hired as national communications director for the Consumers’ Association of Canada. It was an august title but provided no staff and the salary was modest. The column was...
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Books