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Today In History
On July 8, 1907
Florenz Ziegfeld staged 1st `Follies on NY Theater roof

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IF YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY ... Not all that long ago now President Barack Obama "announced that ... grants will be available for those wishing to do research in renewable energy ... such as wind [and] solar." The next day "German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG said ... it will acquire a 28 per cent stake in Archimede Solar Energy S.p.A. to expand its expertise in solar thermal power plants." Meanwhile, for mere mortals who just want to know more the OpenSolar blog in the San Francisco Bay Area has been expanding its resources for letting you "ask questions about solar technology and get personal answers from experienced solar professionals and installation owners." All this remains one big piece in the big new clean-energy future that lies ahead. You can check it out in depth at ABOUT OPEN SOLAR!

CANADA DAY IN TORONTO 2009 .. Percy Robinson and the reluctant Canadian republic  
Written by the counterweights editors  
Sunday, 28 June 2009  

TORONTO. SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2009. The Canada Day that looms ahead this year is looking a bit gloomy in this changing metropolis. As just one of many cases in point, an Ontario cabinet minister from faraway Windsor has called Torontonians "babies" for complaining about a garbage strike right when the weather gets hot. Premier McGuinty himself (from Ottawa) has obtusely counseled patience. An aging local newspaper columnist more sensitively reports a "rising concern that public sector workers ... can take advantage of their monopoly position to blackmail ordinary citizens ... It's hard not to feel — angrily — that something is wrong." The deepest background is of course the economy, stupid. Toronto today is not the economic powerhouse it used to think it was. But fresh intimations of the local past and future offer fresh glimmers of hope. It is high time that someone started celebrating the remarkable local historian Percy Robinson, author of the minor classic of 1933, Toronto during the French Regime. And then there are the growing republican urges of this once very Tory monarchist town. (As in Frederick Vaughan’s book of 2003, The Canadian Federalist Experiment: From Defiant Monarchy to Reluctant Republic.) In any case, Happy Canada Day Canada — from the big city region you love to hate. The times are changing. Many new answers are blowing in the wind.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 July 2009 )

PASSPORT PLEASE .. does it matter that ex US presidents don`t know new border drill for June 1?  
Written by Dominic Berry  
Saturday, 30 May 2009  

TORONTO. SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009. [UPDATED MONDAY, JUNE 1]. According to Time magazine, there was “a crowd of 5,000” inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre yesterday, listening to former US presidents George W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton “share their experiences ... as commander-in-chief.” Meanwhile, only a “few hundred protesters gathered outside .... Most of the anger was reserved for Bush, but the largest banner treated them equally: ‘Bush & Clinton: War Criminals Not Welcome in Toronto.’” (We do believe in equality in Canada.) Time did not report on the part of the event that has most fascinated the Canadian Press: “Bill Clinton and George W. Bush admitted ... they had no idea the US was implementing a new rule Monday that would require Canadians and Americans to have passports to cross the border.”, however, did tell us that: “Both former presidents pleaded ignorance about the June 1 implementation of a passport requirement at the US-Canada border.” And the deadline has certainly caught my attention. This coming Monday, June 1 I’m going to the Passport Canada office downtown, to plug into the “Simplified Passport Renewal Process.” My trip back to the auld sod in Tuscany was cancelled for this summer. But you never know when you might want to pop across the line to the USA, for any of many good and bad reasons.


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Last Updated ( Monday, 06 July 2009 )

SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR MANMOHAN SINGH .. democracy in India surprises almost everyone  
Written by Citizen X  
Wednesday, 20 May 2009  

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2009. Yesterday  Dr. Manmohan Singh, 76, was re-elected parliamentary leader of the Indian National Congress, following the May 16 election results that gave his party more seats in the Indian parliament than anyone expected. Today he was “appointed prime minister for a second consecutive term, for which he will be sworn-in on May 22.” Depending on exactly which source you consult in the vast All India diversity, he is either “the first Indian prime minister to return for a second term in 25 years,” or “the first incumbent prime minister to be returned to office after completing a five-year term since 1961.” In either case, at the end of the month-long “Dance of Democracy” that constitutes a general election in the world’s largest democratic political system, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, on the secular centre-left of Indian politics, more or less, has done much better than its chief rival, the National Democratic Alliance, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, more or less on the communal centre right. (Meanwhile, back on Canada’s Pacific coast, some pundits are worried about the low voter turnout in the recent British Columbia provincial election. But even the New York Times is wondering whether this election result may nonetheless have revived the carbon tax concept, in various parts of North America?)


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 July 2009 )

FACING UP TO 2009 : Obama drama, Harper as Mackenzie King, bailout polls, and lovely JM Keynes ..
IS THERE A BIG ECONOMIC BUMP AHEAD .. bad couple of years, or bad decade?
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