16
Oct 19

splintersWhen “hanging chad” popped up in the headlines in November of 2000 I assumed, at first, that a hardened criminal named Chad was about to be strung up for murder or some other heinous crime.

But the chad in question wasn’t a convict; it was an innocent circle of paper meant to be punched from ballot cards by Floridians voting in the 2000 presidential election.  Sun-baked citizens encountered some difficulty popping those bits of paper free, however: thousands of chads were left “hanging”.

Seniors were to blame, I’ll bet.  Retirees make up a higher percentage of Florida’s population than in any other state.  Imagine Mildred and Ernest, frail and bent, vision dimmed by cataracts, ballots clutched in arthritic, trembling hands, vainly stabbing at the paper circles. Read the rest of this entry »

4
Oct 19

Birds of a Feather

I’ve taken to watching TED Talks, lately, in my little home exercise room, to stave off the boredom of staving off the middle-aged bulge.

I ran out of interesting things to watch on Netflix long ago.  I talk intermittently and bravely of canceling it, since it’s no longer of any use to me, but there’s zero chance of that happening.  My kids won’t let me.  I’m the boss at my house, but my children make all the decisions.  I’m all hat and no cattle; or, to put it in political terms that non-redneck Canadians will understand, I am to patriarchy what Justin Trudeau is to feminism – we’re both faking it. Read the rest of this entry »

6
Sep 19

35428699 - ballot box with national flag on background - canadaThe uninspiring personality of Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer has inspired buckets of unflattering commentary from Canada’s chattering classes, all the attention rendering his invisibility, well, visible.

Scheer’s rumpled blandness and over-sized awkwardness stand in sharp contrast to the swash-buckling, wavy-haired, rock-star figure cut by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the man he hopes to replace at the helm of the country next month.

Scheer’s seeming inability to properly stand up for himself and to articulate a coherent and positive vision for Canada has given the Liberal smear machine carte blanche to paint him, not only as boring and ungainly, but – far worse - as intolerant, misogynistic, hateful, and an imminent threat to Canadian values.

It’s a caricature as false as it is despicable; but it’s one that nevertheless is gaining purchase with the Canadian electorate, if the latest polls indicating steady revival of Liberal fortunes are accurate. Read the rest of this entry »