In Brief

Donald Trump’s 6-month approval rating isn’t that much lower than Bill Clinton’s

Jul 20th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED JULY 21]. “This may be the hottest day we’ve had this summer,” someone said in the parking lot. I don’t know myself. In any case that’s just up here — north of the lakes. Contemplating the more southerly climate of la démocratie en Amérique, I’m still thinking about two world-wide web reports from this [...]



Memories of Gerry Mulligan and other time travelers in the strange North American summer of 2017

Jul 15th, 2017 | By Dominic Berry | Category: In Brief

At last we have summer in the city 2017 up here on the northwest shore of the most easterly great lake (well, sort of …). Back from a short communion with early July mosquitoes further north, I somehow bumped into a YouTube clip called “Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan — Stardust.” As happens in the [...]



Happy Canada Day, July 1, 2017 (or not if you like) + BC democracy, London squatting, & great Warren Buffet

Jul 1st, 2017 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

For those who do feel inclined to celebrate the occasion, Happy Canada Day, July 1, 2017 — also the 150th anniversary of the northern North American confederation of 1867, established just after the American Civil War (1861–65) and just before the 1868 “Meiji Restoration” in Japan. (Other notable events of  1867 include the Second Reform [...]



Trying to escape the spectre (specter) of Donald Trump in southern ontariariario on a [Sunday] afternoon

Jun 26th, 2017 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: In Brief

One thing I’ve done today (well … yesterday really) is finish reading Jeff Madrick’s review of two recent books on poverty in the USA,  in the June 22, 2017 issue of The New York Review of Books. (The two books are :  The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty, by [...]



Democracy in British Columbia 2017 : suddenly it’s very interesting

Jun 19th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED JUNE 20, 22]. Without a doubt the most interesting thing in Canadian politics right now is the continuing fallout from the May 9, 2017 provincial election in beautiful British Columbia on Canada’s Pacific coast. To start with, make a strong mental note that 44 seats constitute the barest of majorities in BC’s 87-seat elected [...]



Stop the war on streetcars .. why does Toronto’s Ford family hate them so much?

Jun 11th, 2017 | By Citizen X | Category: In Brief

A cogent column by Edward Keenan in this past Saturday’s Toronto Star has prompted me to get something down on paper that has been bothering me for a while now. (Just ask my wife.) The extended headline reads “Ford’s costly streetcar study will just reveal the obvious : Keenan … TTC CEO Andy Byford calls [...]



London Bridge not falling down Ricky Gervais says .. meanwhile what about that UK election on June 8?

Jun 5th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

[UPDATED JUNE 9]. We were just watching TV on a Saturday night,  north of the North American Great Lakes. And then CNN, MSNBC, CBC News, CTV News Channel, and most immediately and crucially BBC News only had eyes for : “6 people dead plus 3 attackers killed in London ‘terrorist incidents’ … ‘Evil, evil people’: [...]



Con party of Canada elects Andrew Who? leader : how much does he know about the original sunny ways, 1896–1911?

May 29th, 2017 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

What can anyone say about the Conservative Party of Canada leadership charade this past Saturday evening (May 27), at the Toronto Congress Centre? The first  paragraph of  John Ibbitson’s report is the best short summary we’ve seen : “Conservative voters concluded, by the narrowest of margins, that Andrew Scheer’s sensible conservatism was a safer choice [...]



Monarchism’s last gasp as protest against decline of old WASP hegemony in Canada (and Australia etc)

May 17th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: In Brief

WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2017. Toronto, Ontario.  This coming Monday we will celebrate locally what is known here in Ontario (and other Canadian provinces) as Victoria Day.  (In Quebec the same holiday is now more sensibly called  Journée nationale des patriotes.) The holiday is nowadays defined as “the last Monday preceding May 25.” And this entrenches [...]



French presidential election 2017, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, and the “We don’t need a king” bus ads in Toronto

May 8th, 2017 | By Counterweights Editors | Category: In Brief

So, as all the polls predicted again, the centre-left Emmanuel Macron (or just straight centrist, as the anglophone mainstream media seem to have decided?) has quite handily defeated the far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen (Donald Trump’s favourite?) for the presidency of the Fifth French Republic. With all the vote now counted, 66.1% has [...]