แจกโบนัสทดลองเล่นฟรี_แจกรางวัลฟรีสปิน_พาเล่นบาคาร่า pantip_อัพเลเวลเกมยิงปลา_รีวิวเกมสสล็อต https://www.google.com//5c0 Canadian politics Mon, 26 Nov 2018 06:59:25 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.1 Grey Cup 2018 : red and black will triumph, whoever wins in Canadian regulation time https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/11/grey-cup-2018-red-and-black-will-triumph-whoever-wins-in-canadian-regulation-time/ /5c0/2018/11/grey-cup-2018-red-and-black-will-triumph-whoever-wins-in-canadian-regulation-time/#comments Sat, 24 Nov 2018 22:35:23 +0000 Dominic Berry /5c0/?p=22593

In fact Rihanna is a fellow Commonwealth citizen of Barbados. But who knows? If she ever did get together forever with Drake, she might even go to a Grey Cup game 〞 as long as it wasn*t in Doug Ford*s Ontario.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2018. GANATSEKWYAGON,ON. Both Donald Trump in the neighbouring USA today, and his wily colleague Doug Ford right here in the new Old Ontario, have become so appalling lately that I have sought refuge in thoughts about the 2018 Grey Cup 〞 annual championship of the Canadian Football League, held for the 106th time in Edmonton, Alberta this Sunday, November 25, 2018.

There are some respects in which the 106th Grey Cup? 〞 with the Calgary Stampeders (western champions) vs. the Ottawa Redblacks (eastern champions) 〞 will mimic certain current political grievances in the true north, strong and free, from the Atlantic to the Arctic to the Pacific oceans. The Calgary demonstrators who recently greeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from Ottawa (including those holding especially appalling signs about his mother) are just one case in point.

As noted, however, I*m focusing my thoughts on the big game this Sunday in an effort to avoid appalling politics. So, to get my TV-watching partner*s key question out of the way first, the Stampeders (※the class of the CFL once again this season§) are ※4-point favourites on the Grey Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com

Ricky Ray, Toronto Argonauts QB, in 2017 Grey Cup game on snowy day in Ottawa.

At the same time, the ※Stampeders have advanced to the Grey Cup on five occasions over the past decade, but have come up short in three of those championship bids including a stunning 39每33 loss to the Redblacks … two years ago at BMO Field in Toronto.§

(And then there is last year*s magnificent Canadian game in the snow at Ottawa, when my own home team, the historically fabled Toronto Argonauts, unexpectedly beat the Stampeders 27每24. As if in some just compensation, the Argos have come up with the worst record in all of the CFL this year! But, further back historically, it is somewhat intriguing that in the 56th Grey Cup, almost exactly 50 years ago, on November 30, 1968, the old Ottawa Rough Riders defeated the Calgary Stampeders 24每21 at the old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.)

Part of the Stampeders* Grey Cup struggles may involve their ※touchdown horse Quick Six.§ Back home at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Quick Six (and his rider Chelsea Drake) celebrate every Stampeder touchdown by racing along the sidelines with the team flag. Yet, as explained by Global News : ※In the past two years, the horse hasn*t been allowed at the Grey Cup game.§ (For safety reasons. And this has been true at other such games in faraway places.)

The Calgary Stampeders ※Outriders§ cheerleaders in action.

This year (as also explained by Global News) the ※touchdown horse won*t run the length of Edmonton*s Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday.§ But 〞 perhaps because it isn*t all that far to travel as well 〞 Quick Six and Chelsea Drake will ※still be allowed to celebrate touchdowns with the players in the end zone, according to the Stamps.§ Who knows? This could also improve the Stamps* odds of actually winning the Grey Cup in 2018.

(As evidence of just how old I seem to have become in my own age of recurrent senior moments, I seem to similarly remember suitably lubricated Calgary Stampeder fans in cowboy hats bringing a horse into the lobby of the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, in what must have been the early 1960s. I can also remember when it was still not unusual to see horses pulling milkwagons and breadwagons in Toronto in the 1950s. As the historian Ramsay Cook long ago observed, the 19th century did not really end in Canada until 1950.)

Ottawa RedBlacks* QB Henry Burris is awarded MVP after leading his team to victory over heavily favoured Calgary Stampeders in Grey Cup 2016.

I can say that I have been to Edmonton a few times myself, and I like the place a lot. It is a serious city further north than any other metropolis of more than a million people in North America 〞 and home of ※the Yardbird Suite … Alberta’s jazz hub … 60 years strong, volunteer run, and a Downbeat Great Jazz Venue

This 106th Grey Cup will mark the fifth time Edmonton has hosted the game. It typically draws what counts as a large crowd in Canadian football. The average attendance for its four earlier games is 61,590. As just one comparison familiar to the likes of me, the average attendance for the last four Grey Cup games hosted by Toronto is only 46,180.

Some will just say that this just shows Toronto is the CFL city least interested in Canadian football. I am not a serious Toronto football fan, at all. But I do know people who are, and who feel only an NFL team could keep their interest up 〞 in a city that already has the Maple Leafs in the NHL, the Raptors in the NBA, and the Blue Jays in MLB.

Shania Twain arrives by dog sled for 2017 Grey Cup half-time show. The 2018 show will feature the Grammy-winning artist from Brampton, Ontario, Alessia Cara.

Perhaps influenced by such serious fans around me, I have long seen the Canadian Football League as something of a whimsical phenomenon. Note, eg, that the team colours of both this year*s Grey Cup rivals are red and black. And then there is the name Ottawa ※Redblacks§ itself. It is, I suppose, slightly better than the old name of Ottawa Roughriders, whose colours were red and black 〞 from the days when two of the nine CFL teams were called Roughriders (Ottawa and Saskatchewan). But really … what kind of name is ※Redblacks§? It*s like calling the fabled Toronto Argonauts 〞 who apparently actually hold ※the title of the oldest sports franchise in North America§ 〞? the Doubleblues.

In my old age I have nonetheless come to the point where I am looking? forward to watching the Grey Cup from Edmonton on my TV in beautiful, downtown Ganatsekwyagon, Ontario tomorrow night. The stupidest thing the CFL tried in its recent history was expanding into the United States in the first half of the 1990s. But current CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie gave a good press conference the other day, about more realistically reaching out to such places as Mexico and France? 〞 and (most crucially, I think) finally getting a team in Halifax. (Which I later heard on TV has now wisely decided on the name Atlantic Schooners. They already have 5,000 season-ticket subscribers, and only need a suitable stadium.)

There will always be many crazy things about the CFL. But as even Rihana from Barbados has apparently concluded lately : ※Clinton made me want to be faithful ; Bush made me want to be smarter ; Obama made me want to be better ; Trump makes me want to be Canadian§!

POSTSCRIPT : Congrats to the Stamps on their 27-16 win over the Redblacks.? They happily beat their Grey Cup jinx of the most recent past.

The height of the game on our TV at any rate was a “record 97-yard punt-return touchdown on a slippery Commonwealth Stadium turf” by Calgary’s Terry Williams.? Game MVP was Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.

Not everyone here north of the lakes really got into the game. Adam Radwanski at the Globe and Mail tweeted : “After two classic Grey Cups I guess we were due for a bit of a comedown. At some point the league*s dominant team had to dominate.”

My TV watching partner here on the north shore of Lake Ontario, on the other hand, worked in Banff as a student. She was cheering for the Stamps and their mascot Quick Six, and went to bed happy.

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Happy 100 First World War Armistice .. a view from the northern woods .. https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/11/happy-100-first-world-war-armistice-a-view-from-the-northern-woods/ /5c0/2018/11/happy-100-first-world-war-armistice-a-view-from-the-northern-woods/#comments Sun, 11 Nov 2018 07:45:04 +0000 Citizen X /5c0/?p=22573

※Le mar谷chal Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929) lors de la signature de l'Armistice dans un wagon du train d'谷tat-major appel谷 le "wagon de l'Armistice", dans la clairi豕re de Rethondes, en for那t de Compiegne. ? P豕lerin§

The site administration staff have told me that I*ve already contributed at least one (as we say in Canada) Remembrance Day piece back in the past (※O valiant [Toronto] hearts who to your glory came .. your memory hallowed in the land you loved,§ on November 11, 2013).

They*ve pointed out as well a still earlier related piece by my esteemed colleague L. Frank Bunting (※Afghanistan agony haunts November 11, 2010§).

This November 11, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the First World War (aka at the time the Great War) 〞 ※dans le wagon-salon du mar谷chal Foch, 角 Rethondes dans la for那t de Compi豕gne.§

And 〞 Bunting being otherwise occupied at his almost winterized wilderness retreat in the Kawarthas (or is it Haliburton?) 〞 I have been asked by the managing editor here to share some further thoughts on the present-day meaning of the end of the First World War. (Or ※First German War§ as the old-school English historian George Clark called it, in his masterful 1971 summary English History : A Survey.)

※Aboriginal soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) along with elders, ca. 1916-17.§

I want to start with a few background notes. The Veterans Affairs Canada website, eg, has a helpful synopsis : ※The armistice of November 11, 1918, brought relief to the whole world … Sixty-five million men from 30 nations were involved in§ the war ; ※at least ten million men were killed; twenty-nine million more were wounded, captured or missing.§

Starting in the summer of 1914, the war ※was also a landmark in Canadian national development … Canada entered the war as a colony, a mere extension of Britain overseas.§ At the end, for a place ※of eight million people Canada’s war effort was remarkable. Over 650,000 Canadian men and women served in uniform … with more than 66,000 giving their lives and over 172,000 more being wounded … It was this …that won for Canada a separate signature on the Peace Treaty.§

This Peace Treaty was not signed until June 28, 1919. The Armistice signed on November 11, 1918 just marked the end of fighting. It would take another six months to negotiate a formal treaty of peace among all participants.

Our best guess is that this is the band of Canada*s No. 2 Construction Battalion, which ※sailed from Halifax Harbour to England, and then to France, where they served with the Canadian Forestry Corps during the First World War.§

It took some time to negotiate even the November 11 Armistice. The process began when the German government sent a message to US President Woodrow Wilson early in October 1918, proposing negotiations for peace on the basis of his ※Fourteen Points

The Americans had only joined the war, however, in April 1917. The supreme commander of ※the Allies§ fighting Germany and its allies was the Marshal of France, Ferdinand Foch. And the November 11 Armistice was (as noted above in Canada*s other official language) finally signed in a railway car ※given to Ferdinand Foch for military use by the manufacturer, Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits

Foch*s railway car was parked near a station at Rethondes, in the forest around the nearby larger urban centre of Compi豕gne in northeastern France. For the Allies the November 11 Armistice document was signed by Supreme Commander Foch and the British First Sea Lord Admiral Rossyln Wemyss, representing Allied naval forces. Four men signed for Germany 〞? Matthias Erzberger,? representing the German government, and envoys from the German foreign ministry,? army, and navy.

Canadians 〞 more exactly Montreal*s Black Watch regiment 〞 marching through Mons, warmly received by liberated Belgians, November 11, 1918.

No Canadians (or Americans for that matter) actually signed the 1918 Armistice. But there is a serious Canadian wrinkle on November 11. After some deliberation I have decided my own best source here is A.J.P. Taylor*s English History, 1914每1945.

Taylor notes that when the 1918 Armistice came into force, at 11 AM GMT on November 11, ※German troops§ were still for the most part ※everywhere on foreign soil.§ Yet, happily enough, ※Canadian forces entered Mons [in German-occupied Belgium] about an hour before the armistice and thus, appropriately, ended the war where the &old contemptibles* had begun it§ (at the Battle of Mons between British and German forces, on August 23, 1914).

In his 1983 volume of memoirs entitled A Personal History, A.J.P. Taylor noted that when he was commissioned to write English History, 1914每1945, as part of the Oxford History of England, he had to make certain decisions : ※I was not interested in writing the history of the English upper classes which is what English history usually amounts to. Maybe the English people had no history until fairly recently. In the twentieth century they had, and that is what my book is about. I was glad when [critic and reviewer] Max Beloff described it as Populist history.§

※A time for rejoicing: Armistice Day celebrated on November 11, 1918, in London ( Getty Images ).§

At a now considerably later time when ※populism§ has become a much-abused term, too often used to describe a right-wing political pathology that real (and left-wing) populists like the late A.J.P. Taylor would find abhorrent, it seems appropriate to end my own reflections here with Taylor*s account of what happened (in his country at any rate!) right after the 1918 Armistice was signed. (As a mark, whatever else, of just what ※Populist history§ can involve.)

I quote the late great man*s entire and admirably lean paragraph at the bottom of p. 113 and top of p. 114 in the 1970 paperback update of the 1965 first publication of English History, 1914每1945 :

In the fighting-lines there was bewildered relief when the guns ceased to fire. There was no fraternization and little rejoicing. In England people were less restrained. Work ceased in shops and offices, as news of the armistice spread. Crowds surged through the streets, often led by airmen and Dominion troops on leave. Omnibuses were seized, and people in strange garments caroused on the open upper deck. A bonfire heaped against the plinth of Nelson*s column in Trafalgar Square has left its mark to this day. Total strangers copulated in doorways and on the pavements. They were asserting the triumph of life over death. The celebrations ran on with increasing wildness for three days, when the police finally intervened and restored order.§

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November 6, 2018 in USA .. not exactly a night to remember for the rest of our lives? https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/11/november-6-2018-in-usa-not-exactly-a-night-to-remember-for-the-rest-of-our-lives/ /5c0/2018/11/november-6-2018-in-usa-not-exactly-a-night-to-remember-for-the-rest-of-our-lives/#comments Wed, 07 Nov 2018 09:45:34 +0000 Counterweights Editors /5c0/?p=22550

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York becomes youngest woman elected to Congress.

6:20 PM ET : Nothing too striking in the earliest 2018 US Midterms vote, as best as we can tell, on Twitter and/or TV. But it*s a relief that the evening has finally begun, as Rachel Maddow has recently observed.

12:15 AM : We agreed to wait somewhat longer before making any brief comments. Until after the popcorn runs out in the office board room with the big TV.

2:40 AM : So … early but soon faded prospects that Democrats might take both the Governor race and a Senate seat in Florida and a Senate seat in Texas set too high initial expectations at our election-watching party. The ultimate results were more sobering.

In the end the smart-money predictions beforehand were borne out. As summarized by the New York Times : ※ทํางานคาสิโน pantipDemocrats Capture Control of House; G.O.P. Holds Senate

A best progressive spin on how it all looked on the early morning of November 7 also appeared on the Times* digital front page, under the headline ※Unusually High Turnout Illustrates Intensity of Trump Backlash.§

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer has become the new governor of Michigan.

The spin went on : ※Democrats harnessed voter fury to win control of the House and capture pivotal governorships, delivering a forceful rebuke of President Trump … An array of diverse candidates 〞 many of them women, first-time contenders or both 〞 ended the Republican Party*s eight-year grip on the chamber … But in an indication that the country*s political and cultural divisions may only be deepening, the Democratic gains did not extend to the Senate.§

The exact but still to be finalized numbers reported by the Times as of 4 AM showed the Democrats gaining 26 seats in the House, while the Republicans gained two seats in the Senate, and the Democrats gained seven new state Governors.

We finally agreed here on a number of quotations from eminent persons on Twitter, as summaries of our own initial reactions.

Two largely negative comments to start with. First from Susan Delacourt at the Toronto Star : ※I’m going to go right out there and predict that these midterms did the sum total of nothing to fix polarization in the United States and may have made it worse.§

Democrat Sharice Davids in Kansas becomes first Native American woman elected to Congress, ※with New Mexico*s Deb Haaland expected to pull off a similar victory.§

Second from the anti-Trump former Republican commentator Bill Kristol : ※I assume the election will embolden Trump. His political strategy of focusing on Senate victories in red states will have worked. He’ll have no incentive not to continue demagoguing immigration. He’ll be tempted to fire Cabinet members and others he regards as not true loyalists.§

We*ll end with a number of more positive comments, by various hands and from various directions. First here from Van Jones at CNN : ※It*s a rainbow wave … with the Democrats taking control of the House, the new Democratic party is &younger, browner, cooler*.§

Next from Daniel Dale at the Toronto Star : ※Democrats have won the Senate and governor races in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the states that narrowly put Trump over the top in 2016.§

Then from John Dean, of Watergate fame long ago : ※MIDTERMS: A few close races that are heartbreaking. It is obvious the Trump con is not working for the overwhelming majority of American voters. Democrats controlling the House means we have a real check on our autocratic president. Trump is the big looser of the 2018 midterms.§

Democrat Gavin Newsom, celebrating here with family, has been elected California's next governor 〞 ※in a win for the resistance against Trump.§

Then from Doug Saunders at the Globe and Mail in Canada : ※It looks like close to 60 per cent of Americans voted for Democrats tonight. It’s a majority centre-left populace, as it was in 2016.? Just that the electoral system, outside the House, is based not on demography but on geography.§

Finally, from the excellent Ezra Klein, founder of the news website, Vox : ※Trump’s political rise was so stunning that the media is scared to say about him what we would say about any other president polling this badly, and who lost the House, amidst this economy … He’s failing politically. He’s an anchor on his party.§

3:45 AM : In our view there is indeed a civil cold war going on in the USA today. We believe that the growing demographic majority represented by President Obama and the Democrats is bound to win over President Trump and his Republicans in the very end. (Just like the North finally won the shooting Civil War over the South in the 1860s.)

Meanwhile, the long journey to the 2020 US presidential election has now begun. And there are no doubt many further struggles ahead for the great cause of human progress and Democracy in America. Again …? from the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli …

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On the 2018 Toronto election … ※it could be worse§ seems the best you can say? https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/10/on-the-2018-toronto-election-%e2%80%9cit-could-be-worse%e2%80%9d-seems-the-best-you-can-say/ /5c0/2018/10/on-the-2018-toronto-election-%e2%80%9cit-could-be-worse%e2%80%9d-seems-the-best-you-can-say/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2018 02:18:58 +0000 Randall White /5c0/?p=22511

Councillor Ana Bail?o, who grew up ※in the rich cultural diversity of the Davenport area,§ and studied at West Toronto Collegiate and the University of Toronto, appeared as deputy mayor at John Tory*s first press conference of his second term as Mayor of Toronto. A city councillor since 2010 Ms Bail?o also won more than 83% of the 2018 vote in the new Ward 9 : Davenport.

The day itself was an entire week ago now, but no matter …

The drama of the 2018 municipal election in Canada*s current largest city was all before election day.

The somewhat Trumpian Doug Ford, new premier of Canada*s most populous province of Ontario (and failed Toronto mayoral candidate in 2014), finally managed to reduce the size of city council from 44 to 25 members, in the middle of the campaign!

His quest may have had its moments 〞 notwithstanding an ultimately unnecessary appeal to the fabled ※notwithstanding clause§ in Canada*s Constitution Act, 1982.

In the end, however, it just set the stage for a traditionally boring municipal election 〞 nicely summarized in Denise Balkissoon*s Globe and Mail report, ※Meet the new Toronto Council, same as the old Toronto Council

(And in the Toronto Star see Edward Keenan*s ※Toronto*s new council has as many &Michaels* as visible minorities.§)

To start with, reducing the size of council seems to have strengthened the local political system*s longstanding bias towards incumbents 〞 those who have already served on council, and whose names are well enough known among the traditional minority of the electorate who vote.

Michael Thompson from Scarborough cuts Canadian flag cake at citizenship ceremony in Toronto, February 19, 2014. A longtime conservative councillor (since 2003), he returned as both one of the four ※people of colour§ and one of the four Michaels on the slimmed down 25-member Toronto City Council of 2018.

After the 2018 election in Toronto there are only ※four new faces on a 25-member council.§ For further intelligence see ※Rookies on Toronto city council could hold balance of power§ in the Toronto Star, by Jennifer Pagliaro, David Rider, and Samantha Beattie.

The same Star piece also notes? : ※Looking at previous vote records and past allegiances on council, it appears there are 10 very reliable votes for [now re-elected Mayor John] Tory, including his own, and seven stalwart progressives. The rest are somewhere in the middle …§

A bare majority on the new 25-member council (plus one mayor = 26) is 14. Graphic material at the end of the Pagliaro-Rider-Beattie report in the Toronto Star notes that, strictly speaking there are now 20 ※incumbents§ and five ※new councillors.§

(Shelley Carroll in ※Ward 17 〞 Don Valley North§ 〞 resigned her earlier council seat to run unsuccessfully in this past June*s Ontario provincial election. So she technically qualifies as a ※new councillor.§ But : ※Prior to her provincial bid, she represented the former Ward 33 on city council? [Don Valley East] for 15 years.§)

The same Star graphic material divides the new 25-member council ideologically into 12 ※right councillors§, nine ※left councillors§, and four ※unknown§.

As a further sign of just how much the present is trapped in the past, the ※unknown§ on this reading are the otherwise designated ※new councillors§ above, less Shelley Carroll.

Re-elected Mayor John Tory and family watch winning returns on election night 2018.

(And even here the four ※new faces§ 〞 as still further above 〞 include Mike Colle. He is a former member of the Ontario provincial parliament at Queen*s Park, and before that a municipal politician in the old local federalist days of Metro Toronto. He has now successfully run to replace his retiring son Josh Colle, on the current amalgamated City of Toronto council. )

I have four further quick notes to add on all this : (1)? Voter turnout in 2018 and 2014 … a tale of two quite different city elections ; (2) When will the ※new very diverse Toronto in the inner suburbs§ show up on city council? ; (3) NOW magazine and Jennifer Keesmaat as a winner anyway ;? (4) Finally getting John Tory*s ancestry right … he*s not really descended from the early 19th century Family Compact or even the mid 19th century Tory Toronto Charles Dickens found so ※appalling§ … but the mayor*s great grandfather (it seems) did welcome Winston Churchill to Toronto in 1929, not long before the historic great stock market crash in New York.

Those who may want to pursue these matters still further can click on ※Read the rest of this page§ and/or scroll below!

(1)? Voter turnout in 2018 and 2014

Satirical election sign from 2014 campaign 〞 ※Anyone*s better than Rob Ford§. (And the anyone turned out to be John Tory!)

Some more detailed official election results from the City of Toronto are still ※coming soon.§ In round numbers, however, initial unofficial results put 2018 voter turnout at about 41% of the registered electorate.

This is down a lot from the 60% of 2014 or even the 51% of 2010 . But it is also close to the 43%? city-wide voter turnout average across all three Toronto municipal elections of 2003, 2006 and 2010. (And close enough as well to the 43% average voter turnout for all municipal elections across Ontario in 2014.)

The 2014 Toronto election focussed on an unusually competitive mayoralty race, in the immediate wake of former Mayor Rob Ford*s troubled administration. The 60% municipal turnout that year was higher than in the 2014 Ontario provincial election (51%) 〞 or even the most recent Ontario election of this past June (58%).

The 2010 Toronto election also involved an unusually competitive mayoralty race that the rising right-wing populist Rob Ford finally won, to much surprise. (A kind of local prelude to Donald Trump in the USA of 2016, and Doug Ford in Ontario in 2018.) In 2018 the city has apparently reverted to earlier less dramatic local norms.

Olivia Chow with her stepson, Toronto councillor Mike Layton, summer 2012. Another stalwart progressive, the son of the late former federal New Democratic leader Jack Layton was also easily re-elected in 2018 for Ward 11 每 University-Rosedale, with just shy of 70% of the total riding vote.

In 2014 John Tory was the former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader who managed to defeat both the more aggressively right-wing populist heir of Rob Ford, elder brother Doug Ford, and the more aggressively left-wing progressive (and widow of former federal NDP leader Jack Layton), Olivia Chow.

The 2014 election was a referendum on the future of the Ford Nation in Toronto city politics. John Tory proved the more moderate guy who could slay the dragon, with 40.3% of the city-wide vote (compared to 33.7% for Doug Ford and 23.2% for Ms Chow).

In 2018 all the opinion polls beforehand had shown the (somewhat) more moderate dragonslayer of 2014 would easily win again 〞 and he did, with 63.5%? of the city-wide vote (compared to? 23.6% for his nearest challenger, former chief city planner Jennifer Keesmaat).

Whatever else, the tradition of boring elections in Toronto municipal politics (and subsequent boring city governments 〞 remember eg the long and maybe happy age of Mayor Art Eggleton, 1980每1991) has apparently returned in 2018.

Some will? say this is a good thing. Others will not.

In either case life will go on, in some kind of orderly manner. And that probably is what the majority of the 41% who voted in 2018 would like to see … more or less (and again maybe??).

(2) When will the ※new very diverse Toronto in the inner suburbs§ show up on city council?

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam introduces a motion during debate on Ontario Government's legislation to reduce the size of Toronto City Council, on Thursday September 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young. She returned to the reduced Council as the member for Ward 13 每 Toronto Centre on October 22.

Both Denise Balkissoon and Edward Keenan (see above) have expressed reasonable concerns about how even though ※51 per cent of Torontonians identify as visible minorities§ as of the 2016 census, there were only ※four people of colour elected to the new city council§ in 2018.

Moreover, the ※15 per cent of council represented by visible minorities these four councillors make up actually sets a record high§ in Toronto municipal elections.

One side of all this is that democratic city politics has traditionally been about, say, 30 years behind the evolving urban society it ought to ultimately reflect.

In his now ancient study Urban Political Systems : A Functional Analysis of Metro Toronto the political scientist Harold Kaplan noted long ago that the ※Metro political elite§ of the early 1960s, eg, ※represented less the Toronto of 1962 than the Toronto of 1932 〞 a tightly integrated, socially homogeneous, middle-class community, dedicated to the Crown and Empire, the Conservative Party, the Toronto Telegram, the Anglican Church, temperance, and Sunday blue laws … Under-represented … were Catholics, Italians, and eastern Europeans …§

The Toronto political elite elected to the 2018 city council might similarly be said to better represent the local urban scene of 1988, when ※visible minorities§ and ※people of colour§ were still not in even a bare demographic majority 〞 but ※Catholics, Italians, and eastern Europeans§ were starting to stroll the local corridors of political power at last.

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Michael Thompson toast the 50th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica, Tuesday April 12, 2011 in Toronto.

When will the new Toronto that now embraces the wider global village of East Asia, South Asia, and Africa (north and south) as well as Europe beyond the United Kingdom 〞 and that is increasingly lodged in the old ※inner suburbs§ of Etobicoke, East York, and Scarborough 〞? move beyond the narrow world of Denzil Minnan-Wong, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam, and newcomer Cynthia Lai?

Shawn Micallef has already offered an early look at the struggles of the new very diverse Toronto now putting down deep roots in the old inner suburbs to build political muscles commensurate with its new demographic strength, in his lively 2016 study, Frontier City : Toronto on the Verge if Greatness. (I don*t personally believe Toronto is on the verge of greatness exactly, whatever that may mean nowadays, but Mr. Micallef has nonetheless written an interesting book!)

What the 2018 election has shown is that these struggles are still some distance from any major political fruition. (And reducing the size of city council from 44 to 25 members has almost certainly lengthened the time before any such fruition finally arrives in any full-blown form?)

(3) NOW magazine and Jennifer Keesmaat as a winner anyway

Jennifer Keesmaat on the campaign trail, Toronto Labour Day Parade 2018.

Ever since longtime editor and publisher Alice Klein announced that Toronto’s NOW Magazine will no longer carry sex ads in the back of its hard-copy printed edition (as of this past September 6), it has somehow seemed to me a more politically credible publication.

In some similar (if not exactly accurate) spirit, I was especially impressed by Enzo DiMatteo*s helpful report on the results of the October 22, 2018 municipal election this October 23.

(At the same time, Mr DiMatteo has apparently been working at NOW since ※the early 90s§ and?first became a news editor there on September 11, 2001. Almost certainly the disappearance of sex ads from the print edition has just been playing tricks on my mind. NOW*s political coverage has probably been better than I*ve customarily thought for some time??)

In any case I was impressed by (or if you prefer ※agreed with§) a number of? ?Enzo DiMatteo*s particular views on the 2018 Toronto election results (if of course not by everything he wrote in ※Toronto Election 2018: Winners and losers … John Tory wins big 〞 too bad we can’t say the same for local democracy or council diversity.§) Eg :

* ※The numbers say [mayoral candidate Jennifer] Keesmaat was soundly defeated, as she captured only 23 per cent of the vote. But … the die was cast for Tory the moment Ford … decided to cut council in half without moving the deadline for mayoral candidates to register. Keesmaat nevertheless threw herself into the fight at the 11th-hour in an attempt to bring some measure of accountability to the race. She was the city’s best chance at keeping Ford in check.§ (And like the Mike Harris who was soundly defeated in his first election as Ontario PC leader, Ms Keesmaat may well have a much larger political future ahead.)

Eritrean-Canadian human rights lawyer Saron Gebresellassi ※finished well behind, but encouraged many who feel disenfranchised to vote for the first time.§ And she ※arrived in a horse drawn carriage for her election-night party§!!!!

* ※Eritrean-Canadian human rights lawyer§ Saron Gebresellassi ※ran a values-based campaign that spoke to racialized Torontonians. She finished well behind, but encouraged many who feel disenfranchised to vote for the first time. She arrived in a horse drawn carriage for her election-night party. Now that*s chutzpah.§

* Despite winning with more than 60% of the city-wide vote, so far the re-elected Mayor John Tory ※hasn*t accomplished anything remotely approaching visionary. It’s been back to meat and potatoes issues, like keeping property taxes low, under his watch. Meanwhile, Toronto is headed for a financial iceberg.§ (And as the print but not the digital edition of? DiMatteo*s piece further explained : ※A whopping $22 billion and growing represents the amount in unfunded capital projects§ 〞 as former city manager Peter Wallace was stressing before he left this past March.)

* ※Ford*s assault on democracy [ie suddenly moving from 44 to 25 council seats in the middle of the campaign] undercut what was shaping up to be the most diverse city government we*d ever seen …? Council’s left wing still control about half the 25 seats but just like under Rob Ford, they will have to rely on a handful of councillors who now make up the mushy middle to carry votes over Tory. That will be a trickier proposition this term.§? (The Toronto Star may not agree that the left wing ※still control about half the 25 seats,§ but it probably would second the motion ※That will be a trickier proposition this term.§)

(4)? Finally getting John Tory*s ancestry right

In 2018 yet again Gord Perks, one of Council*s continuing ※stalwart progressives§ and one of ※John Tory*s most strident critics§ won re-election comfortably in Ward 4 〞 Parkdale-High Park.

I have a few times in the past urged (albeit strictly verbally and among friends and colleagues, never in print or digitally 〞 I think) that John Tory is a descendant of an ancient ※Tory Toronto§ governing elite (aka ruling class, ※Family Compact,§ etc), stretching back to the early 19th century.

Now that Mayor Tory (2014 〞 20??) has democratically won more than 60% of the city-wide vote in the 2018 municipal election, I thought I ought to at least check into this rather vague instinct. It drew on some research I undertook many years ago, for an aspiring article on ※Winston Church in Toronto§ that no one finally seemed interested in publishing at the time.

More exactly, I discovered that on Saturday, August 17, 1929 the old Globe in Toronto (still several years before its Depression-era merger with the old Mail and Empire) reported on a luncheon address in the banquet room of the new Royal York Hotel the day before, by the visiting Winston Churchill. (Then on a North American tour to occupy some political down time, accompanied by his son, his brother, and his nephew).

In its report the Globe noted that the eminent local businessman John A. Tory had declared : ※Perhaps no Empire statesman appealed so strongly to Toronto citizens as Mr. Churchill.§

Ken Thomson (left), leader of the international media empire begun by his father, Roy Thomson, and his lawyer and business advisor, John A. Tory (the second, right), late father of today*s Toronto Mayor John H. Tory 〞 ※circa 1984§.

I somehow seem to have taken this declaration, made a full century after the heyday of the old Family Compact that the Mackenzie rebellion of 1837 railed against (ultimately leading to the start of Canada*s modern parliamentary democracy in 1848) as a sign that present-day Mayor Tory*s lineage stretches back to the earliest days of a now quite ancient Tory Toronto.

A deft obituary by Sandra Martin in 2011 for the present Mayor Tory*s father, John A. Tory, has now made clear to me that I have been exaggerating the longevity of the current elite Tory family in the Tory Toronto past. (It was btw in 1842 that Charles Dickens, on his first North American tour, wrote to his friend John Forster : ※The wild and rabid Toryism of Toronto is, I speak seriously, appalling§ 〞 as reported in? Forster*s Life of Charles Dickens published in the 1870s.)

Thanks to Ms Martin*s more exhaustive research, I can now report that there are two historic Toronto elite figures named John A. Tory. The second, as it were, is the present mayor John (H.) Tory*s father, who was born in Toronto in 1930, and sadly passed away in 2011. The first is the grandfather of Mayor Tory*s father (or Mayor Tory*s great grandfather). He was born in Nova Scotia in the late 1860s, but ※ended up in Toronto as head of the Ontario division of Sun Life Assurance Company.§

Mayor John Tory and constituents at ※the very first Taste of Jane & Finch food truck festival,§ late September 2018.

It can only have been this first John A. Tory (in his early 60s at the time) who told? the Royal York Hotel audience gathered to hear a touring Winston Churchill in the summer of 1929 : ※Perhaps no Empire statesman appealed so strongly to Toronto citizens as Mr. Churchill.§

As Sandra Martin has finally helped me understand as well, it was the first John A*s son (and the present mayor*s grandfather), John S.D. Tory, who founded the business now known as Torys LLP 〞 a ※Canadian international corporate law firm with offices in Toronto, Calgary, New York, Montreal and Halifax.§

So … today*s Mayor Tory does not come from quite as old an old Toronto family as I once no doubt somewhat foolishly and even ideologically imagined. But the old Tory Toronto patrician surface that still stands out, even when he*s wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs windbreaker while campaigning among we the unwashed voters, does have venerable enough roots in his great grandfather*s generation

I should very finally say myself that, unlike some very close to me, I share many of the reservations about Mayor Tory*s broad policy approach to Toronto life expressed in Enzo DiMatteo*s? NOW magazine report on the 2018 Toronto municipal election.

At the same time, I*d agree that Mayor John H. Tory*s old Toronto patrician democracy of the early 21st century has been a welcome enough relief from the latest appalling wild and rabid Toronto Toryism of the late Rob Ford (may he rest in peace). And it is to Mayor Tory*s credit that during the televised public celebration of his October 22, 2018 victory his adult children warmly explained how he now makes them call him ※Your Worship§ at family gatherings.

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O Cannabis .. and the looming midterm elections in the USA today .. https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/10/o-cannabis-and-the-looming-midterm-elections-in-the-usa-today/ /5c0/2018/10/o-cannabis-and-the-looming-midterm-elections-in-the-usa-today/#comments Wed, 17 Oct 2018 18:47:20 +0000 Counterweights Editors /5c0/?p=22487

Canada*s Princess of Pot Jodie Emery in front of Toronto coffee shop she opened this past summer.

First, the bad news.

Our text here is Neil Macdonald*s October 16 piece on the CBC News site :? ※Lose your illusions. It’s an ugly, dystopian world … People my age grew up believing the world, led by the West, was becoming more progressive. It wasn’t and isn’t.§

Macdonald offers a ※few thoughts on the Republic of Dystopia [USA]… and the Kingdom of Draconia [Saudi Arabia], Canada’s most violent and temperamental weapons customer.§

Along the way, he alludes to ※a NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll taken late last month,§ which ※received far too little attention.§ It involved a ※survey of 997 adults … conducted September 22nd through September 24th, 2018 …§

The poll does suggest that Democrats will not finally do as well in the coming crucial November 6 US midterm elections as many of us up here in We the North would like. (Canadians usually ※vote Democratic in American elections,§ etc.)

In a store window, Mill Valley, California, September 2018.

When asked, eg,? ※Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as?president?§, 49% of US ※National Adults§ disapprove. But a healthy enough 42% do approve (while 9% are ※Unsure§).

Regionally, in the Northeast only 32% approve of the job Trump is doing, while 59% disapprove. But in the South 45% approve, while only 44% disapprove.

Similarly, among the youngest 18 to 29 age group (with the lowest propensity to vote) 60% disapprove of Donald Trump, and only 29% approve. But among the 45 to 59 group 47% approve of Trump while only 42% disapprove.

In big cities 60% disapprove of Trump while only 31% approve. But in rural areas only 29% disapprove while 57% approve. And similarly on and on

Ultimate Hollywood liberal (and Democrat) Bill Maher, who believes what America wants most right now is to get back to normal 〞 whatever that may really be, or not.

To us these numbers alone do not quite seem to warrant Neil Macdonald*s especially gloomy conclusion : ※It’s increasingly apparent Trump represents Americans better than any of his predecessors. I’m willing to bet his fellow Dystopians will elect him to a second term.§

At the same time, if your future mental health currently depends a great deal on the thought that some enormous Big Blue Wave on November 6 is finally going to put Donald Trump in the collapsing balloon where he belongs, it probably would be prudent to reduce your expectations.

(And for at least some compensating good news click on “Read the rest of this page” and/or scroll below.)

The New Age of Legal Cannabis in Canada … and California

※Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton hands Ian Power and Nikki Rose the first legal recreational marijuana purchases after midnight at a store in St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada (REUTERS).§

Meanwhile, it does remain the case that even in the September 22每24? NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll more ※National Adults§ disapprove rather than approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president.

(And except for one poll from Rasmussen Reports/Pulse Opinion Research, this is also true in all the ※Latest Polls§ on the Five Thirty Eight site as of October 17, 2018 at 9:55 AM, ET.)

Meanwhile again, up here in We the North the good news is that today, October 17, 2018, is also the day marijuana finally becomes legal across Canada.

(And on this front see ※First legal weed sold in Canada at Newfoundland shops … St. John’s residents Ian Power and Nikki Rose became first Canadians to purchase legal recreational cannabis.§)

In a broader North American context, recreational cannabis has already been legal in the most populous US state of California since the start of this year.

Street view of new Transbay Transit Center which opened in downtown San Francisco this past summer.

California has more people than all of Canada at the moment. And this past Monday the New York Times helpfully published ※What Canada Can Learn from California on Marijuana Legalization

California is as well the centre of the Resistance to Donald Trump in the USA today. And see Natalie Sherman*s recent article on the BBC News site : ※How California is changing the US

The article asks : ※California is embracing progressive policies. Does it preview the future of America?§

Recurrently spending time in the Golden State over the past number of years (while otherwise living quite close to the US Northeast, where feeling against the current Trump administration in Washington is almost as strong) has convinced us that the aging Jerry Brown and not the aging Donald Trump is in fact the ultimate future of America.

President Obama walks with then California Attorney General and now Senator Kamala Harris after his arrival at San Francisco airport in February 2012. Photo: Paul Chinn, San Francisco Chronicle.

Or Barack Obama offered one vision of what lies ahead for eight prescient years. Donald Trump is now offering another. And we here are still prepared to bet that, whatever happens on November 6, Donald Trump will not last for two full terms.

The Trump Republican administration is the crazy plaintive last gasp of an American era that is dying 〞 demographically, economically, morally, and spiritually.

There no doubt is an ongoing hard political struggle ahead, and (despite various antecedents) it has only just begun. But the great cause of a progressive free and democratic society, around a rising global village that liked President Obama so much better than President Trump, is far from dead yet … from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli

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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving 2018 … Kavanaugh confirmation in USA, NAFTA Mark II, & Doug Ford*s Ontario https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/10/happy-canadian-thanksgiving-2018-kavanaugh-confirmation-in-usa-nafta-mark-ii-doug-ford%e2%80%99s-ontario/ /5c0/2018/10/happy-canadian-thanksgiving-2018-kavanaugh-confirmation-in-usa-nafta-mark-ii-doug-ford%e2%80%99s-ontario/#comments Mon, 08 Oct 2018 05:08:01 +0000 L. Frank Bunting /5c0/?p=22463

C. Wright Mills, the Columbia University pragmatist professor from Texas who some say invented the New Left in 1960. Maybe its time has come at last in 2018 ??

MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2018. GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. We came back from coffee Saturday just as our local TV news station was tweeting : ※BREAKING: US Senate votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court

Sometimes, C. Wright Mills from Waco, Texas is alleged to have said, just describing what*s happening can be a radical act (or words to that effect). Revived by our Saturday coffee, I had some vaguely similar thought about just citing tweets on the new US Supreme Court justice.

1. Howard Dean & David Frum

My observations started chronologically with a Howard Dean retweet-with-comment, on an earlier query from David Frum, not long before 8 in the evening (ET), Thursday, October 4.

Former George W. Bush speechwriter Frum had asked? : ※if Supreme Court rules 5-4 in favor of Trump self-pardon for tax fraud … with Kavanaugh providing the margin of victory to a majority that includes Gorsuch in seat GOP held open for a year … will that command legitimacy?§

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean added to his retweet of Frum*s question :? ※The Court lost their legitimacy in 2000 over bush vs gore. They have never really recovered …? Kavanaugh and Gorsuch won*t help. GOP can ram stuff down our throats but we will never respect them or call them legitimate …§

2. Steve Schmidt

Nicolle Wallace, l, and Steve Schmidt, r : Once they worked to elect Republican John McCain president. Now they*re conservative critics of Donald Trump on what is sometimes a progressive TV channel.

Chronologically my next tweet was from Steve Schmidt, former senior strategist for the 2008 Republican presidential campaign of John McCain (at 3:10 PM ET, 5 Oct 2018) :

※The price of Brett Kavanaugh*s ascension to the the SC is incalculably high. It will shatter the institutional integrity of the Court and eviscerate standards and expectations for both honesty and non partisanship in Judicial nominees for many years.§

3. Ezra Klein & Matthew Yglesias

Then on the late afternoon of Friday, October 5 I was struck by two tweets from the estimable Ezra Klein, founder and editor of the news and opinion website Vox.

The first (4:43 PM ET) urged : ※Brett Kavanaugh*s confirmation will delegitimize the Supreme Court 〞 and that*s a good thing, argues @mattyglesias.§ Klein,? good editor that he is, was just promoting Matthew Yglesias*s article on the Vox site : ※It*s time America woke up to the radical right that*s run the Court for years

Pop singing legend Taylor Swift has recently announced that like many others she will be voting Democrat on November 6, 2018.

Yglesias*s article itself is of course well worth reading. It concludes : ※Starting with … the procedural weirdness of Bush v. Gore, judicial conservatives have been undermining electoral democracy to entrench their power on the bench and then wielded that power to undermine democratic governance.§ Whatever happens, ※the cloud of illegitimacy hanging over Kavanaugh*s head will be helpful in waking the public from its slumber.§

Ezra Klein*s second October 5 tweet to catch my attention (6:29 PM ) went : ※I’ve thought for weeks the cynical play would be for Republicans to hold the nomination open through the midterm for base mobilization〞 as they did in ’16 … But now, the right gets their guy and the left is enraged. If I were a vulnerable Republican, I’d be? worried …§

(And my very own editors have reminded me that counterweights itself retweeted this last message, with the comment ※Hopefully Mr. Klein is onto something …§)

[For still more on Adam Schiff, Michael Moore, Max Boot, NAFTA Mark II (aka USMCA) , and Canadian Sunset in Doug Ford*s Ontario,? click on "Read the rest of this page" and/or scroll below].

4. Adam Schiff & Michael Moore (& Max Boot)

I initially concluded my own latest studies on the Kavanaugh confirmation in the USA today with two final tweets from the afternoon of Saturday, October 6.

※Protestors rally against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, October 4, 2018 in Washington, DC.§

The first is from Democrat Adam Schiff 〞 the US Representative for California’s 28th congressional district (and ※US House candidate, CA-28§ this November 6) : ※Decision by GOP to push through a dishonest nominee who may have committed sexual assault is tragic … But we have the power to do something about it. We can take their gavels away. We can take their jobs away. Because we can vote … On November 6, don*t get mad 〞 get to the polls

The second October 6 tweet is from movie maker Michael Moore, who needs no further introduction : ※The fury now commences. An electoral rampage is underway. November 6th is the day of reckoning. I*m in§ (3:36 PM ET).

As a final key current note on this front I*d just flag one more tweet, from early this morning, Monday, October 8, 2018 : ※Conservative commentator Max Boot: &Vote straight-ticket Democratic Party 〞 the GOP needs to be razed to the ground*. Calls for the total destruction of the Republican Party to undo the damage by President Trump.§

5. Meanwhile, back at NAFTA Mark II, aka USMCA

Here I*ll just quickly note two tweets from October 4, 2018 :

From the Toronto Star, tweeted at 12:35 PM ET : ※Trump repeatedly complained of Canada*s dairy tariffs of up to 300%. Well, guess what: almost all of those tariffs are unchanged in the USMCA.§ (So much of what the current US president claims to do is like this.)

At 1:45 PM counterweights itself retweeted a tweet from Bloomberg News editor Stephen Wicary, itself retweeting a tweet from The Economist : ※The renegotiation of Nafta is a relief. But it is not a success, @TheEconomist writes …§

The counterweights retweet included the concluding thrust of The Economist piece : ※About all that can be said in favour of the USMCA [Trump*s cumbersome new name for NAFTA] is that the uncertainty cast by Mr Trump over North American trade has eased. However, America would be better off had he never raised any doubts in the first place.§

6. Canadian Sunset : in case we think we*re somehow (a little) better, now there*s Doug Ford in Ontario …

Alas, north of the Great Lakes we can no longer smugly make fun of the Crazytown president of the USA today, since the Ontario electoral system selected a counterpart of sorts in Premier Doug Ford this past June 7, 2018.

My first revealing sample tweet on this subject comes from TV Ontario politics guru Steve Paikin, 5:44 PM on October 4 : ※Former senator and we’ll known red tory Hugh Segal: &if you’re a red tory, you don’t have to bow your head to any establishment because no establishment will have you. Certainly not at Queen’s Park these days.*§

And then, bright and early at 6AM on Saturday, October 6 CBC News posted a useful summary of the initial wonders the Ford Nation premiership has wrought by Lisa Xing : ※The 10 biggest things Doug Ford has done in his first 100 days in office … The PC government has made some sweeping 〞 and controversial 〞 changes since June 7.§

Meanwhile as relief from all the political absurdity in the North American air today, try this classic 1960 rendition of ※Canadian Sunset§ by Chicago tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, son of the boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. (And remember, this too is part of the America we the north have always admired, in our own North American way 〞 as in what sensible people will still call the North American Free Trade Agreement, which continues to make quite a lot of sense … well, probably… for now? How long will Donald Trump be US president anyway?)

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From liberal paradise of N California to Ontario under the Ford Nation (and the Governor General of Canada) https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/09/from-liberal-paradise-of-n-california-to-ontario-under-the-ford-nation-and-the-governor-general-of-canada/ /5c0/2018/09/from-liberal-paradise-of-n-california-to-ontario-under-the-ford-nation-and-the-governor-general-of-canada/#comments Sun, 23 Sep 2018 22:09:27 +0000 Citizen X /5c0/?p=22438

Sign in shop window, Mill Valley, CA : advertising local fund-raising campaign for Beto O*Rourke, Democratic opponent of Ted Cruz for US Senate seat in Texas.

The managing editor has suggested I apologize for taking so long to report back on our Toronto editorial group*s latest round of consultations with the technical staff, now in Mill Valley, California, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

But as the sophisticated lady asks, who really cares? In any case we had a terrific and as usual helpfully informative time testing the Resistance in the liberal heartland of the Golden State.

The extracurricular activities featured a visit at last to the Bay Model. [※Housed in an unassuming low-slung building on Sausalito*s waterfront, the Bay Model was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1956-57 to demonstrate what would happen if the South Bay were dammed and infilled (as had been proposed).§]

Our casual wanderings also included a tour of downtown Mill Valley. We were especially struck by a sign in a shop window : ※MILL VALLEY FOR BETO FOR TEXAS SENATE … RSVP/Donate BETOBELIEVEIT.com.§

(Beto O*Rourke, in case you*ve forgotten, is the Democratic opponent of Ted Cruz in the Lone Star State, far away from San Francisco Bay. And this is just another sign of the passionate progressive spirit in this part of the USA today.)

My own big problem reporting on all this promptly was that virtually all of us in the Toronto editorial group were consumed by the great Doug Ford notwithstanding clause crisis in Ontario politics, as soon as we landed back in town.

Grounds of California office, Social Metrics Canada.

In the end the courts determined that Premier Ford did not need the notwithstanding clause at the end of the Charter of Rights in the Constitution Act, 1982, to slash the ※number of Toronto voting districts mid-campaign … from 47 to 25.”

Like others, I remain appalled by this especially foolhardy episode in the contemporary history of Canada*s most populous province. But there is no point in giving Doug Ford more further attention than absolutely necessary.

Another still unresolved issue on the fringes of Canadian politics has recurrently raised its head on our return from beautiful Mill Valley, CA.

See, eg : ※Governor-General at odds with RCMP over security issues§ (Daniel Leblanc) ; ※Failure to launch: Inside Julie Payette’s turbulent first year as Governor General§ (Marie-Danielle Smith and Brian Platt) ; and ※Governor-General Julie Payette needs to make a choice about her role§ (John Ibbitson).

Is some old Ottawa elite actually at war ?

Counterweights Chief Technical Officer, at lunch in Tiburon, CA.

My own not entirely serious view here is that John Ibbitson offers an almost sensible reaction to some old Ottawa elite*s war on Governor General Julie Payette*s unwillingness to take its claims to define her job with the respect they feel it deserves.

For my taste, Mr. Ibbitson nonetheless still accepts far too much of the all too quaintly old-style monarchist rhetoric about what does seem to me (and many others in Canada today) as just the de facto ceremonial head of state in what the Constitution Act, 1982 alludes to as our ※free and democratic society

For me the key issue in the development of the office now filled by former astronaut Julie Payette was suggested just this past July 1 by one of our esteemed colleagues on this website. (See Randall White on ※Happy Canada Day 2018 : Electing the Governor General could make a lot of sense in the 21st century.§)

In the shop window of a souvenir store in beautiful downtown Mill Valley.

Meanwhile, John Ibbitson does seem to be saying that as matters stand the job of de facto ceremonial head of state in all its vast vagueness (beyond just signing the laws into legal effect, and possibly resolving unclear election results once in a while, etc) is Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette*s to define as she sees fit, not her staff*s and/or her office*s various sometimes self-appointed clients* and so forth.

The Governor General today does have responsibilities to the larger Canadian people, of course. And what Mr.Ibbitson seems to finally urge is that a new holder of the office must at least make clear to the public how she or he is choosing to define her role, or his role, and so forth.

Wild & crazy ideas in even wilder & crazier times …

Young engineers in training, preparing to visit the Bay Model.

This does seem reasonable to me. At the same time, I think it*s still a little early to demand too much clarity of this sort too soon. As a mere citizen and voter who lives far away from Ottawa, my view would be let*s just wait for another year. Leave the issue? until this time next year. We*ll re-evaluate then.

If there is still not enough clarity for all the various publics then … well maybe we should just turn the office of? Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada into an elected one. As has worked very well in such places as Iceland and Ireland since the middle of the 20th century!

And as started to sound especially compelling when you returned from the techno-meteorological? progressive paradise of Northern California, to ※Doug Ford slashes number of Toronto voting districts mid-campaign … Premier puts October election in disarray by invoking rarely used &notwithstanding* clause to cut the number of wards from 47 to 25.§

Recent events around the world can*t help but make you think. What if some deadly serious authoritarian politician became prime minister of Canada? Wouldn*t a democratically elected Governor General as ceremonial head of state look pretty good then? If some emergency arose that the Governor General*s residual powers could help resolve, as some last resort?

At the Bay Model, Sausalito.

In any case, to return to the techno future that seems even closer in Northern California, just before we left on our latest trip there an Associated Press story appeared in the National Post in Toronto : ※Robot boat paves way into history as it becomes the first to sail across the North Atlantic … It’s a milestone that shows the technology is robust enough to carry out extended missions that can cut costs for ocean research, border security, and surveillance in waters.§

So … now a robot has made it across the Atlantic … where will they be going next?

]]> /5c0/2018/09/from-liberal-paradise-of-n-california-to-ontario-under-the-ford-nation-and-the-governor-general-of-canada/feed/ 0 While Canada in NAFTA lingers on (maybe, maybe not) we go to test the Resistance in Northern California! https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/09/while-canada-in-nafta-lingers-on-maybe-maybe-not-we-go-to-test-the-resistance-in-northern-california/ /5c0/2018/09/while-canada-in-nafta-lingers-on-maybe-maybe-not-we-go-to-test-the-resistance-in-northern-california/#comments Tue, 04 Sep 2018 23:41:12 +0000 Citizen X /5c0/?p=22422 I*ve just returned from the beach, as I start to write at least. It*s Labour Day 2018, up here in the true north. It was cloudy and grey at the beach, and still hot but relieved by a strong, steady breeze from the west.

There were quite a few people, enjoying the last day of the summer holiday season before, as someone somewhere put it recently, the real world returns.

My ostensible reason for going to the beach 〞 only a few minutes from our office 〞 was to contemplate what to write here, on my current assignment.

Again I have been asked to announce that this coming Wednesday (ie tomorrow) most of us at our Toronto editorial headquarters will be leaving for further regular consultations with the growing technical support staff,? now in Mill Valley, California, some 15 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge …

NAFTA maybe, maybe not?

Some time has passed. I*m coming back to this assignment late at night. It*s dark out the window at the back of the building, just beyond my desktop computer …

I*ve concluded that my best move is to return in the morning, when I*ve had a chance to sleep on community political views one last time …

… I*m back again. It*s now Tuesday afternoon. Too much to do getting ready this morning. And a lot remains undone. So, as luck would have it, I don*t have much time to say more in this space.

All the editors, however, have urged on me that they do want to acknowledge we are leaving at a time when relations between the country we are leaving (for a week) and the country we are visiting are officially troubled, over NAFTA and so forth.

※You people here have a great country with great possibilities§

We are aware as well that in some minds this has only blended with the Federal Court of Appeal decision against Ottawa*s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, to give Justin Trudeau his worst week from hell as prime minister yet.

I have also been instructed to say that the editorial community here has (at least?) two further propositions to advance. The first is that we are just going to California, centre of the Resistance to the current rogue administration in Washington, DC.

And the second is just that all of us here urge Primer Minister Trudeau (and Chrystia Freeland and everyone else in the cabinet, in parliament, and everywhere else) to keep standing up and standing firm for the best interests of Canada and the Canadian people, as in the past. Whatever happens, we the north will survive and prosper greatly in the end.

(And remember what US President Dwight Eisenhower told Ontario Premier Leslie Frost back in 1953 : ※You people here have a great country with great possibilities … don*t let them ruin your water. We have ruined ours in the States … §)

Building the Trans Mountain pipeline

Oh and in conclusion a last (third?) thought on the Trans Mountain pipeline. We believe that Justin Trudeau will finally make sure the thing gets built to tidewater, just as he has promised.

And we fail to see how it benefits the great Canadian cause of having this happen (safely and with environmental sensitivity, etc) to scream endlessly that he*s bound to fail?

Meanwhile, we are escaping further debate on all such matters by concentrating for the next week on much deeper questions of high technology and the future generation, at the Bay Area conference centre illustrated in the accompanying photos.

We remain unshakably convinced that Canada and all its glorious provinces (and especially the one that is not a province like the others) will remain standing in both official languages, and in the high traditions of the First Nations who have given the country its name and so much more, when we return on September 12, 2018.

The ongoing pursuit of various American (and Canadian) dreams

I will report further at some point not too long after our September 12 return on just what we may or may not have most recently discovered about the future of America in the Marin County heartland of California liberalism 〞 and the ongoing pursuit of various American (and Canadian) dreams.

Meanwhile, a few of us managed to drop by the beach again just now this Tuesday afternoon : far fewer people on a beautiful sunny day, but with another strong, steady breeze, this time from the east. As Eisenhower told Leslie Frost long ago, we do have a great country with great possibilities up here in the ancient land of the multicultural northern fur trade, from the Atlantic to the Arctic to the Pacific oceans. ※Je me souviens.§

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Will deposing moderate Malcolm Turnbull as Australia*s PM finally lead to Australian Republic of his dreams? https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/08/will-deposing-moderate-malcolm-turnbull-as-australia%e2%80%99s-pm-finally-lead-to-the-australian-republic-of-his-dreams/ /5c0/2018/08/will-deposing-moderate-malcolm-turnbull-as-australia%e2%80%99s-pm-finally-lead-to-the-australian-republic-of-his-dreams/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2018 22:05:07 +0000 Greg Barns /5c0/?p=22404

Malcolm Turnbull (l), now deposed prime minister of Australia, with prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern (r), in at least somewhat happier times than today!

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA. REPORT FROM GREG BARNS. Australians used to laugh at Latin American nations like Argentina and Ecuador, which in recent decades turned over their leaders with astonishing regularity. But now the boot is well and truly on the other foot.

Today saw the demise of Australia*s fifth Prime Minister in 11 years. The Liberal (and moderate liberal) Malcolm Turnbull, who headed the Republic campaign to end Australia*s ties with the British monarchy in 1999, was deposed as Prime Minster courtesy of a hard-right insurgency inside his party, as he himself described it.? His successor, the conservative Christian (but still Liberal) Scott Morrison, assumes office with doubts about whether he can command a majority in Australia*s lower house, the House of Representatives.

(Canadian admirers of Justin Trudeau will also want to remember that the Liberals have long been, so to speak, Australia*s largest party broadly on the right side of the political spectrum. The best current Canadian analogue is the provincial party system in BC, on Canada*s Pacific Coast.)

Malcolm Turnbull (1) with his former Treasurer Scott Morrison (r), who finally became the ※consensus candidate§ in a Liberal leadership contest provoked by what Turnbull has called a hard-right insurgency against his government.

The last Prime Minister to see out his term in Australia was the Liberal John Howard 〞 a great influence on Stephen Harper in Canada. Mr Howard was voted out of office in 2007 and replaced by Kevin Rudd of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), who was in turn deposed by the ALP*s Julia Gillard in 2010. Ms Gillard was then undermined by Mr Rudd who got his old job back for six weeks, before losing an election in 2013 to the Liberal*s Tony Abbott.? Mr Abbott, an arch-conservative Anglophile, lost in 2015 to Mr Turnbull who had challenged Abbott for the Liberal leadership.

Confused?? Well so are many Australians, and angry too at the self interest of their political class.? The campaign to unseat Mr Turnbull has been so chaotic that many are now saying the Liberals, who have been the major conservative organization in Australia since 1944, are now finished as a political force.

The influence of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the so-called Sydney shock jocks, the Rush Limbaughs of Australian radio, was apparent in the consistent attacks in recent months on the moderate Mr Turnbull. The favoured candidate of the Murdoch media and other right-wing media outlets has been? the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.? Mr Dutton belongs in the nativist hard-right camp 〞 hostile to migrants, contemptuous of &out of touch* judges, and opposed to climate change policies.

The good news about the Australian Liberal leadership contest, some will say, is that Rupert Murdoch*s favoured (and most Trumpian) candidate, Peter Dutton, did not win. Murdoch who is now married to Jerry Hall 〞 also mother of four of Mick Jagger*s children 〞 was probably not too disconsolate. Many thanks to Getty for photo.

But Mr Dutton*s backers did not bank on Mr Turnbull*s tactical skills.? Prime Minister Turnbull cast some doubt on Mr Dutton*s ability to remain in parliament because of a provision in the Australian Constitution, which prohibits MPs from earning money from the government : Mr Dutton*s family owns childcare centres which receive government subsidies. Mr Turnbull also controlled the timing of the request for a leadership ballot, and this meant that the alternative conservative Mr Morrison had time to garner enough votes to win the Liberal leadership.

Mr Morrison, however, may have to call an election immediately, even though one is not officially due until May 2019, next year. The Liberals now have a one-seat majority in the 150-seat lower house, and Mr Turnbull has indicated he will quit his Sydney electoral district immediately.? Unless the opposition ALP agrees to a pair, which would ensure one of its MPs did not vote, Mr Morrison and the Liberals may lose a confidence motion in the House.

Meanwhile the events of the past week have bewildered Australians. One of? the reasons for frequent leadership changes is because the rules of the Liberal Party mean only MPs get to vote.? In order to avoid its similar experience with Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd, the ALP has moved to a system where all members of the party can vote for the leader.

The moderate Liberal Mr Turnbull had a difficult job as Prime Minister. To become leader he cut a deal with the dominant right-wing faction of his party, which meant he agreed not to resurrect the Republic debate and not to pursue other liberal causes he believed in, such as a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme.

Malcolm Turnbull during the 1999 Australian Republic referendum 〞 which his side lost (on a technicality some would say) 55% 每 45%.

It is likely the Australian Labor Party will win the next general election whenever it is called.? And the party and its leader Bill Shorten are committed to an Australian Republic.? They may even be able to entice Mr Turnbull, as an ex-Liberal Prime Minister, to campaign with them and so turn his Australia first dream of the late 20th century into a 21st century democratic reality.

If this does happen, it? may give Australian politics some fresh interest for Canada. (If the struggle between the hard right and the more moderate Malcolm Turnbull inside the Australian Liberal Party doesn*t already seem at least vaguely reminiscent of Maxime Bernier*s resignation from Andrew Scheer*s Conservative Party only yesterday!) And if an Australian Republic does finally grow out of the summer 2018 hard-right insurgency against Mr Turnbull, it will not be a consequence that the insurgents intended.

Greg Barns is a political commentator and former political adviser in Australia.? He worked closely with Malcolm Turnbull on the 1999 Republic Referendum and followed Mr Turnbull as National Chair of the Australian Republican Movement in 2002.? Mr Barns is author of &What*s Wrong with the Liberal Party?* (2003 Cambridge UP). Twitter @BarnsGreg.

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RIP V.S. Naipaul 〞 who thought briefly about moving to Canada long ago but then went back to England https://www.google.com//5c0/2018/08/rip-v-s-naipaul-%e2%80%94-who-thought-briefly-about-moving-to-canada-long-ago-but-then-went-back-to-england/ /5c0/2018/08/rip-v-s-naipaul-%e2%80%94-who-thought-briefly-about-moving-to-canada-long-ago-but-then-went-back-to-england/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2018 06:36:19 +0000 Randall White /5c0/?p=22361

V.S. Naipaul in his later days.

I have no deep familiarity with the writing of V.S. Naipaul, who ※died at his home in London§ Saturday, August 11, 2018, just a few days short of his 86th birthday.

But he is at least one of only a few great literary talents I for a while found fascinating after my mid-30s. I feel an urge to say something at the time of his death. (And why not? As explained on Twitter : ※We are all journalists now.§)

I was late coming to Naipaul*s work. I first learned about him on Dick Cavett*s PBS series, during the age of ※the last great intellectual talk-show host§ on US TV.

Based on records now online, that was in late November 1980. And I was fascinated (refreshed even) by the man talking to Dick Cavett.

Not long after, I received Naipaul*s 1979 novel about modern Africa,? A Bend in the River, as a birthday gift. Reading that led me to buy his early 1981 collection of four gripping non-fiction pieces, published in paperback by Vintage Books in New York as The Return of Eva Peron.

The next Naipaul book I bought (in hardcover this time) was his mid-1970s report on India : A Wounded Civilization. (He was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Trinidad 〞 a grandchild of reputedly high-caste migrants from India.)

Naipaul in his earlier days.

Sometime later I was lucky to come across a remaindered hardcover copy of Naipaul*s 1984 collection of two brilliant non-fiction pieces, Finding the Center. (The first piece pursues his own autobiography, and the second his travels in West Africa.)

Over the past few days I*ve been pleased to (re)discover that Ian Buruma (a great literary talent in his own right) considers both A Bend in the River and Finding the Centermasterpieces

Finding the Center is also Buruma*s personal favourite, among Naipaul*s ※more than 30 books in a distinguished writing career spanning five decades

After Finding the Center I bought three more books by V.S. Naipaul myself.

A Turn in the South, published in 1989, describes his 1980s travels in the most angular geographic region of the USA today (and long ago as well).

Beyond Belief : Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples was published in 1998. It draws on Naipaul*s travels in the Muslim countries of Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, and Pakistan.

Naipaul at home in England, 1981.

Finally, I also managed to find a remaindered hardcover copy of the 2004 novel, Magic Seeds. It? reports on adventures in India, Berlin, and London, and ※Britain’s new multi-racial identity

I was subsequently dissuaded from looking too closely at Magic Seeds by the critic Mike Phillips at The Guardian. On his view : ※There may be many reasons to admire the body of Naipaul’s writing. This book is not one of them.§

More generally, all three of these later Naipaul books that still sit on my shelves deal with subjects that are still interesting and important in the turbulent global village today. But I have not found them as gripping as the first four of his books I read, in the first half of the 1980s.

There is nonetheless (I have just agreeably rediscovered) an eighth and final Naipaul item on my shelves today. And it has proved especially helpful in my personal homage to the many reasons to admire the body of his writing, now at the time of his death.

It is a neatly folded 7-page ※hard§ copy of Ian Buruma*s late 2008 review of Patrick French*s The World Is What It Is : The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul.

It also fits well enough with Buruma*s August 13, 2018 eulogy, ※V.S. Naipaul, Poet of the Displaced

Naipaul in Grenada, 1983, on assignment for the London Sunday Times.

Both pieces are from the New York Review of Books. The last paragraph of Buruma*s (online NYR Daily) eulogy a week or so ago is worth quoting in full up front :

There is no such thing as a whole civilization. But some of Naipaul*s greatest literature came out of his yearning for it. Although he may, at times, have associated this with England or India, his imaginary civilization was not tied to any nation. It was a literary idea, secular, enlightened, passed on through writing. That is where he made his home, and that is where, in his books, he will live on


※Seepersad Naipaul, father of V. S. Naipaul, and the inspiration for the protagonist of the novel, Mr Biswas, with his Ford Prefect.§

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul TC, to give his final full official name and title, inherited his writing ambitions from his Trinidad journalist father, Seepersad Naipaul.

※Vidia§ Naipaul (to his very best friends) graduated from Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, when he was 18, and then won a Trinidad government scholarship to study at Oxford in England.

Naipaul graduated from Oxford in 1953, moved to London in 1954, and married? his former Oxford fellow student Pat Hale in 1955. His first novel, The Mystic Masseur, was published in 1957, and won the John Llewllyn Rhys Prize. His break-out novel of literary greatness, A House for Mr Biswas (based on childhood memories of Trinidad) appeared in 1961.

Naipaul*s early literary success in London was not matched by immediate social and economic success. As also explained by his current Wikipedia article : ※He had been especially unhappy with the increasing public animosity, in the mid-1960s, towards Asian immigrants from Britain’s ex-colonies … he and Pat sold their house in London.§ In the late 1960s, ※they travelled to Trinidad and Canada with a view to finding a location in which to settle.§ They apparently did not find anything suitable in either place, and returned to England.

Right-wing politics?

Naipaul in Paris, 1992, at 60 years old.

Early on in his career in England, in the late 1950s, Naipaul had been befriended by the High Tory novelist (and earlier friend of the democratic Socialist George Orwell) Anthony Powell.

Somewhat later he ※was introduced to§ the popular historian ※Antonia Fraser, at the time the wife of conservative politician Hugh Fraser.§ She ※introduced Naipaul to her social circle of upper-class British politicians, writers, and performing artists.§

By the time his novel In a Free State won the Booker Prize in 1971 (then worth the then substantial sum of ㏒21,000) his social and economic fortunes were improving.

The trend continued. When Mel Gussow at the New York Times visited in 1994 he found Naipaul ※and his wife, Patricia, have a home in Wiltshire, deep in England’s West Country … a comfortable house with modern furnishings.§ There was as well a ※wide lawn and garden§ which ※borders a meandering stream and looks out on a Constable-like landscape. The Naipauls also have an airy duplex in Chelsea, which they use when they are in London.§

Even when I first encountered V.S. Naipaul on Dick Cavett*s US TV show in 1980, it was clear enough that part of his act was at least seeming to say old-school white guy things, that a person who was not a coloured old British empire colonial could not get away with.

"Too complex a figure to be dismissed as a racist," he also apparently liked cats.

As Ian Buruma explained in his 2018 eulogy a week or so ago : ※It is tempting to see Naipaul as a blimpish figure, aping the manners of British bigots; or as a fussy Brahmin, unwilling to eat from the same plates as lower castes.§

Yet views of this sort, Buruma went on : ※miss the mark. Naipaul*s fastidiousness had more to do with what he called the &raw nerves* of a displaced colonial, a man born in a provincial outpost of empire, who had struggled against the indignities of racial prejudice to make his mark … These raw nerves did not make him into an apologist for empire, let alone for the horrors inflicted by white Europeans. On the contrary, he blamed the abject state of so many former colonies on imperial conquest.§

Mr. Buruma had further explained in his 2008 review of Patrick French*s authorized biography that ※bitterness about the way black politicians in Trinidad went after the Indian minority in the 1950s certainly affected Naipaul*s views.§ But he is finally ※too complex a figure to be dismissed as a racist. For in fact he has written about Africans, as well as Asians, with more intimacy and sympathy than many hand-ringing leftists who take a more abstract view of humanity?§

A twisted sex life, etc ?

The late Christopher Hitchens reviewed Patrick French*s ※astonishing (and astonishingly authorized) biography§ of V.S. Naipaul, when it appeared in 2008.

A still quite young V.S. Naipaul and his first wife, Patricia Hale.

Hitchens noted that the book*s reception ※has already focused very considerably on the ways in which Naipaul maltreated his wife, not only through his extensive resort to the services of prostitutes and his long-running affair with another woman, but through what might be called a sustained assault on her self-respect.§

Ian Buruma*s 2008 review of the French biography covers similar ground. And see as well Geoffrey Levy at Daily Mail.com in January 2009 on ※Misogyny, mistresses and sadism: Why Nobel prize winning author VS Naipaul is at the centre of the most vicious literary war of the decade.§ (This also covers Naipaul*s quarrel with his younger fellow writer, Paul Theroux.)

Naipaul and his lover of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Margaret Murray.

The quick details are that V.S. Naipaul married Patricia Ann Hale in 1955. The story from here is told succinctly (if not completely accurately?) in the author*s Wikpedia article : ※During his first trip to Argentina, in 1972, Naipaul met and entered into an affair with Margaret Murray Gooding, a married Anglo-Argentine mother of three. [Other sources just say Margaret Murray, mother of two.] He revealed his affair to his wife one year after it began, telling her that he had never been sexually satisfied in their relationship. He moved between both women for the next 24 years.§

The Wikipedia article ทํางานคาสิโน pantipcarries on : ※In 1995, as he was traveling through Indonesia with Gooding, his wife Patricia was hospitalized with cancer. She died the following year. Within two months of her death, Naipaul ended his affair with Gooding and married Nadira Alvi, a divorced Pakistani journalist more than 20 years his junior. He had met her at the home of the American consul-general in Lahore. In 2003, he adopted Nadira*s daughter, Maleeha, who was then 25.§

Sir V.S. Naipaul and second wife, Lady Nadira Naipaul, in 2006.

Describing the relationship between Naipaul and Margaret Murray, Geoffrey Levy*s 2009 article notes ※&their* taste for sado-masochism … Cursed by lifelong doubts about his own sexual inadequacy, he finds that he is able with Margaret 〞 an Anglo-Argentinian who left her husband and two children for him 〞 to indulge in abusive practices that had always fascinated him … According to Naipaul, the more he abused her, the more she came back for more.§

Levy also notes that Ms Murray wrote a letter to the New York Review of Books, in response to Ian Buruma*s 2008 review of the French biography. And her concluding sentence was ※Vidia says I didn*t mind the abuse. I certainly did mind.§ Further communications on the relationship appeared in subsequent additional letters to the New York Review of Books, published in the February 12, 2009 issue.

Naipaul*s second wife, Nadira, was at his side when he died on August 11, 2018. She said in a statement : ※He was a giant in all that he achieved and he died surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour.§

Canada (and Trinidad) as a road not taken …

Naipaul travelling with Margaret Murray.

Naipaul was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990, and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. Two final sides to his life and career have particularly intrigued me.

The first is a passage from the later pages of A Bend in the River, which pretty clearly describes his reactions to his late 1960s trip to Canada (where I have lived virtually all my life myself), ※with a view to finding a location in which to settle

The passage reads : ※I didn*t feel I could stay in that country. I felt the place was a hoax. They thought they were part of the West, but really they had become like the rest of us who had run to them for safety. They were like people far away, living on other people*s land and off other people*s brains, and that was all they thought they should do. That was why they were so bored and dull. I thought I would die if I stayed among them.§

As a Canadian who has no other possible real identity I of course react against this assessment. And I think it is just one of several ways in which V.S. Naipaul*s perceptions of the world today were provocative but not finally exactly on the money.

At the same time, especially in the late 1960s (and early 1970s and even today still) the Canada I knew was in some very real ways a place that deserved the harsh summary Naipaul quietly offered towards the end of A Bend in the River. We needed and still need to improve.

At the same time again, I*d nowadays note as well that at some points the frequently abrasive and in later years curmudgeonly V.S. Naipaul had harsh things to say about almost everyone and everything.

And that included the England he and his first wife finally went back to after their unsuccessful quest for alternatives in Trinidad and Canada.

Ian Buruma noted in his 2008 review of the Patrick French biography that in a 1980 interview Naipaul declared : ※In England people are very proud of being very stupid. A great price is being paid here for the cult of stupidity and idleness … Living here has been a kind of castration, really.§

Later sympathies for the BJP in India (& what about Brexit or even Donald Trump?)

The particularly intriguing side of V.S. Naipaul*s life and career I*m drawn to conclude on echoes the Right-wing politics? theme, and finally brings it right up to date in the USA today.

To start with, as much as he belittled its taste for stupidity (and enjoyed travelling literally around the world ), England is where Naipaul ultimately chose to live for virtually his entire adult life. His English countryside idyll in his Wiltshire cottage may also remind the politically sensitive that ※Wiltshire and Swindon vote[d] to leave EU§ in the 2016 Brexit referendum. (And the county of Wiltshire gave all seven of its seats to Conservatives in the 2017 UK election.)

In his later years Naipaul also acquired something of an interest in the Hindu nationalist revival which boosted? the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that Narendra Modi finally brought to power in the 2014 Indian election.

Patrick French alluded to all this in a 2003 interview in India, while researching his Naipaul biography. Naipaul had, French suggested in response to a question, ※said things which can be used in certain ways. People try to say, oh, he*s lined up with the BJP. I*m not trying to defend or condemn. I personally don*t share his position on a lot of subjects to do with India. But to see him as a mouthpiece for the BJP as he*s being presented sometimes I just don*t think is right … He goes somewhere, he studies the history, the society, the culture, he forms a certain point of view, and he expresses that view in very forceful terms. But it*s not because he is an ideologue.§

All this can take on a still sharper edge if you see Narendra Modi in India as a too much unexamined pioneer of the international right-wing populist surge that finally brought Donald Trump to the White House (which he may or may not now be occupying a little more precariously since this week of August 20-26, 2018 began).

To summarize the argument I have turned to the penultimate paragraph of the Naipaul eulogy ทํางานคาสิโน pantip, this past August 13, 2018 :

※The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it, Naipaul wrote. Barack Obama, in an interview to Michiko Kakutani as his presidency was winding down, found Naipaul*s vision very bleak and pessimistic. But the election of Donald Trump proves Naipaul right. The Democrats allowed themselves to be nothing and found no place in the White House. Naipaul had cannily dissected Republican pieties and foibles in his book on the Deep South. Walking across the Mason-Dixon line in A Turn in the South, Naipaul had written sharply about race and religion and their many conflicts and contradictions. And he had praised, something rare for Naipaul, James Baldwin, the black writer whose work is now being reread widely as America again grapples with its racial gladiators.§

(And in the interests of the deepest truth, I should make clear as well that I very finally agree myself with Barack Obama*s ultimate assessment of Naipaul*s vision. And it is Obama, I think, among all the democratic politicians in my lifetime, who has come closest to at least understanding the elusive [and necessarily multicultural?] ※whole civilization,§ for which the altogether brilliant English-language writer of the late 20th century Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul is said to have yearned.)

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