Category Archives for "Articles"

December 14, 2016

” If you could find that service in the yellow pages, the government shouldn’t be involved.”

A former Finance Minister in Canada, the late Jim Flaherty, was once asked whether the government would be or should be providing a certain service.  His reply was clever.  He said that if you could find that service in the yellow pages, the government shouldn’t be involved.   It’s not appropriate to have footnotes in […]

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December 7, 2016

A Performance Appraisal

In my last job, I was trained in performance appraisals.  No one likes to be measured—not even height and weight.  I’m still mad at my parents because I’m just under 6 feet tall.  I wanted the taller gene. I was trained to act as if the performance appraisal were a contract, negotiated with a lawyer. […]

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November 30, 2016

Can’t Bank On Kindness

The great disaster scholar, the late Joe Scanlon told me that perform well and organizations perform poorly in crises.  Anyone who has been in big snow storms in Montreal has seen people and restaurants open their doors to cold people with a thick layer of snow on their heads. Anyone who has lived in the […]

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November 23, 2016

All’s Quiet in Saint John

As a young reporter in the CHSJ radio and TV newsroom in Saint John, New Brunswick, I was required to do “police checks” every night.  I’d call the Duty Sargent of the city police and the local detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police—RCMP.  I’d introduce myself.  I’d ask if there were any events I […]

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November 23, 2016

The Toronto Tragedy

Canada’s largest city has only two subway lines that bring people into downtown.  Few people get off and more people get on until the cars arrive downtown, jam packed.  Those are north-south lines.  There’s just one east-west line which brings people from both directions to transfer to the north-south lines and continue downtown.  Many a […]

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November 16, 2016

Yahoo! I’m Out To Dinner

“Kill the bum…” says the quintessential sports fan at a prize fight, football or hockey game.  “Are you blind?” yells another quintessential fan at an umpire or other official.  Fist bumps, loud yips of delight and almost as loud moans of disappointment fill arenas, basements, and living rooms in which TVs are tuned into the […]

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November 9, 2016

Darlin’ I’ll Be Home Soon

Good artists borrow and great artists steal they say.  We’ll I’m stealing from Jim Cobb who has written a shelf full of books on emergency preparedness. Start where you like.  I started with Countdown to Preparedness The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.  Oddly, there’s more clear and useful information in this little paperback […]

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November 2, 2016

A Tale of Two Cities

Funny about writing styles.  They either inform, entertain, or put up a barrier.  Some styles make a connection between reader and writer.  Others are bloodless. Three new and important books about cities may illustrate this point.  Once in a Great City A Detroit Story is by journalist David Maraniss.  Beyond Rust Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the […]

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October 21, 2016

Singing for Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

  Every now and then, when it gets late, and stories get more colourful, I ask if anyone wants to hear of the time I sang for Tony Bennett.  Few can resist.  I know you can’t, so read on.   Years ago I had a radio program at CBC Toronto, the Canadian public broadcaster.  My […]

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