"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday 21 December 2016


I've been sewing. I thought I'd stopped. 

Having small girls again to gift is part of the incentive. The first was our visit to One of a Kind Craft Fair two weeks ago. 

I also need a distraction.

The sewing machine has it's own story. I made a contribution to OMERS pension when I 
was a Regional Councillor. I had the option withdraw it when I left. I did and bought the Bernina. 

When I was appointed to the Social Assistance Review Board,I started knitting again to occupy my time in dreary small town  and city hotel rooms. Travelling  is a deadly way to earn a living. 

Yesterday was the Christmas family  gathering .The little girls took their gifts home unopened. This morning, smiling photos showed them in their new aprons proudly displaying the Rice Krispie squares they'd made already.  
I have not forsworn politics. It has been too long a part of my life.I may have the stomach for it again. 

The  swaggering youth of our own  Prime Minister gives me no comfort. 

It's hard to see how the financial mess in the Province will be resolved.

I will sew up more of my fabric stash. Knit up the yarn.

I may master the art of crochet so my great grandchildren can be photographed wearing  hats with flowers in pastel colours.Maybe even acquire an interest themselves. Self-sufficiency is a good thing.

I will do what women have always done. Create order amidst chaos in an area where we have control.
Where projects are started and completed and serve a useful  and pleasurable purpose. 

On Sunday, I held two newborns  in my arms . A girl and a boy.  Neala and Grayson are tenth and eleventh members of the fourth generation of my family. There will be others and photos to put time into perspective. 

For them, to-days  news will be lost in the mist of history.  Like the French and American Revolutions and later the American Civil War was to my own generation. 

It's the best we can anticipate.

In the meantime, 

'Tis once again, the season to be jolly. 

Fa La La La La...La La La.......La

There is nothing to add.

Sunday 4 December 2016


The most read story in the New York Times this week was  how a rich man made his wealth disappear when his wife filed for divorce. 

The great thing  about the New York Times is how complete the stories. 

The  problem is, how long they take to read. If I had the paper ,it would mean much of my day would be spent reading. I love ldetails. When I finish reading, no questions are left.  

It reminds me of the time before the Toronto Sun. The  Globe and Mail was delivered at six in the morning. The same carrier delivered it until he finished high school. 

Reading it was the start of my day . If the Globe wasn't delivered ,it seemed my day never began. 

But the story in the NYT was particularly informative. It told how a couple acquired the wealth. 
They were immigrants, both. He was Finnish. She came from Wales. Their first venture was a con 
like I wrote about a few weeks ago.

 A social media ad offered a free trial with shipping charges to be paid. That's how the credit card number was obtained. The ad claimed endorsations by Ellen de Generis. 
I learned later, permission was not required to make the claim. 

Small print tied me to a contract which within five weeks produced a $500 debit balance on the Superstore MasterCard. It was the credit card rep who informec me how I came to be committed 
to a contract .

Dialogue  between us continued for months before the problem was resolved to my satisfaction. 

My last call requested contact information for the President of Superstore. I didn't get that bu the $500 debit was removed from my account. 

Now  I'm reading in the New York Times , about a couple, possibly the same , who amassed a fortune of $400 million with such a scam and several other similar projects. As well as wealth ,they had mansions, a condo ,a boat and a plane. They moved in circles such as the Donald Trumps of the world. 

It struck me ironic that Bernie Madoff is in prison for stock market fraud. He would have to live several lives to complete sentences handed down for his offences. 

Martha Stewart served time In jail for making money from the stock market outside the rules. 

Donald Trump gets to settle civil action out of court for $24 million. He operated  a university with 
claims  pthat didn't stand up in court. 

He's not in the habit of settling with victims . He has told us . He did this time because he didn't want the scandal hanging over him as he is sworn in as President of the United States and taking over the Oval Office. 

The NWT didn't refer to Trump in the story about how to hide a $400 million fortune of ill-gotten gains. 

That's just how my thoughts  follow through. 

Martha Stewart is a jail bird. 

Bernie Madoff likely will never get out of jail. 

Donald Trump gets to be President.  

Tuesday 29 November 2016


Anonymous  has left a new comment on your post "GUEST POST ON THE APOCALYPSES": 

Worry less about our neighbour to the south and more about here at home. We have a new plan for climate change that will mine another 10 or so dollars plus HST from your wallet each cold winter month just for heating your home with natural gas. Have not heard Trump come up with anything as stupid as this.

Many cannot afford electricity. It is crippling some businesses. We stopped burning coal and now cannot afford the alternatives.

Provincial and municipal planning has, for the most part, left us dependent on the car. Hit transportation fuel with all kinds of taxes and surcharges plus HST on top of it all. Better yet, throw a new tax it and more HST under the banner of carbon trading. Where does all this money go to cap or trade carbon?

Have not heard Trump come up with any of these stupid ideas. 

Give the man a chance. He won the election. He didn't become a billionaire without using his head. 

Just to be sure, google the debt clock for any U.S. state you choose then compare it to Ontario's debt. Maybe this is a clue to why this government is "acting" (read taxing)on carbon. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 29 November 2016 at 15:5


A cornucopia of choices  and I don't want to write about any of them. They're not really 
choices . It's a bleak picture all round. 

The $10 cap and trade fee added to bills received in every home with gas service within 
hours of Ms Wynn acknowledging personal error in excessive charges for electricity was
likely also a surprise. 

The thought is more depressing than if it was deliberately planned. 

I can't rid myself of the impression, there is no competence in any part of the government.

In Aurora , a plan for sometime overnight parking permitted during  snow and ice conditions 
has been tabled for approval. 

This week a newly elected nineteen -year -old will be sworn into office as an Honorable Member 
of the  Legislative Assembly. What does that tell us? 

At the National level, the  leader wanders the world with youthful nonchalance, with time for 
gushing a statement of condolence for an old family friend who also happens to be a ruthless 
dictator .

In the United States ...what can be said that hasn't...many times over. It fails to improve  with 

I don't want to. Whoever does, should write their own blog and seek their own readership. 

This year ,2016, two of my grandchildren married. Two more great- grandchildren joined the family. 

Next year, two more weddings are planned . 

The clan will gather at my house the Sunday before Christmas. 

That takes preparation. The house has been neglected and is in need of care.

I can't think of a better reason for turning my attention away from politics. 

I do read the New York Times, as much as possible in any one day. I still watch Charlie Rose. 

For participation quotient, I content myself commenting to Facebook posts. 

For now. 

Monday 21 November 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "LIE BACK AND THINK OF SCOTLAND": 

Forget Scotland. She will have her hands full with Brexit and a role within the EU.

If there are any Americans with decency, hope and character, they are going to be in for a far ruder awakening than that which has occurred since November 8.

The man who lives in a gilded tower in New York City, and is likely to spend more time within it than in the White House, seems intent on ruling via executive order and Tweet. So far that is the order of the day.

His initial appointments, Chief of Staff, Chief Strategist, Attorney General, CIA Director and National Security Advisor are enough to blanche the skin off an almond. They are all photographed with mouths agape.

He still has a few more surprises with which to bomb his citizens and the world.

There are 640,000,000 acres of federal land that might be slated for fossil extraction or other desecration, complete ignorance of climate change and the environment even though parts of Florida recently flooded with the advent of the great moon.

His overtures to Russia are childish. That country and its "muscular" president are a game. What is Reality TV in international geopolitics is China, a country with four times the population of the US. The Chinese president has made some statements in the past few days about honouring the massive agreement recently reached by some 200 countries relating to global warming and greenhouses gases. This is the only country with the raw power to force Trump back into his cage.

In the meantime Twitter trembles. 

Mark as spam 

Moderate comments for this blog. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 19 November 2016 at 20:22

Sunday 20 November 2016


Through  the kindness of friends, I receive the New York Times Briefing every morning. 

I've weaned myself from CNN. 

Reading takes more time than listening but I can be selective. I get the Guardian Briefing on Brexit once a week as well.  British pols are so open, so ridiculous as to be downright comical. 

Boris Johnson, former Lord Mayor of London, now has a role in Brexit. He is a character straight out of Monty Python.

 Brexit is no closer today than it was the day of the referendum. I said that at the time. But they needed a Superior Court to tell them a referendum is not a government decision. 

The upcoming transition in the White House is covered in  NYT and I still watch Charlie Rose's evening program. Last night's guest, a New York Times editor said there should be no rush to normalize the current situation. The President-elect, in the character revealed, is unthinkable. 

 Tom Friedman was Charlie's guest this evening . 

He has a new  book out. 

He is not sanguine either. 

It's late but it's the only glimmer of hope on a deep dark horizon. 

I still can't talk about the recent election. And I can't move past it. 

I make comments  on Facebook. Short responses to specific comments are not that hard. 

They ease the pressure. 

Still, the blog awaits 

I've started  and abandoned repeatedly.

Ramifications of the American election are so horrendous in so many respects, I'm not sure any essence can be captured. 

As days turn into weeks, nothing emerges to cast a light on  the future. 

Since August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri , in America , things just keep getting worse. 

Wednesday 16 November 2016


I have made a determined effort not to think about the American Presidential  Election.i content myself making comments to Facebook. 

People are appalled .
Protests are being held
Nought can be done about it. 

I think people should just be quiet and watch how the story evolves. It's not over yet and It's certain, with the motley crew part-time in the White House, things will not go according to the plan advanced. 

I watched a protester with a rainbow flag and felt exasperation. Why do they always think it's all about them .

First it was about right to marry the love of their choosing. Then it was about adopting children. 
Now it's about bisexuals and transvestites and non-gender specifics and the use of public washrooms. 

 How many more permutations are they  likely to present ? 

I thought about my childhood in Scotland . Admittedly  a long time ago. Boys who were different were called Jessies or Mammy's big tumshies. In England, Nancy-boys or Mamma's boys. Girls  who were different, dressed in masculine style, trudged about like boys and were referred to as Tom-boys.

Not much was made of it. No connection to sex. Sex was a very private matter. People blushed in those days at an inadvertent reference. 

It's now  fifty years since the sexual revolution that came with the birth control pill. Women became stand-up comedians. Parents put  fourteen year old daughters on the pill. Nothing  remains that can't  be openly discussed. A person can choose to have one child or none ,according to a personal schedule. 

The Pill messes with hormones. Only girls take it. After a while problems emerged. Children were not be so easily begotten as once thought.  Young women suffered sudden death from blood clots. Cancer shows no sign of disappearing.

Homosexuality , lesbianism, bi-sexuality,transvestisism and who knows how many permutations in between, are held to be the norm. 

The drug industry Is unlikely to make a connection with the lucrative, hormone shifting birth control pill
and the last several generations of humanity know nothing different.  

The scientific community recently pondered why Neanderthals became extinct after inbreeding with humans. 

After the recent election, I'm not sure there's  any weight whatsoever to the veracity of that theory. 

Until the new president's supporters realise the advanced plans are not likely to be realised ,I recommend we all just lie back and think of Scotland. 

Wednesday 9 November 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post ""THE COMFORTABLE PEW"": 

I'm curious to see your reaction to  the US election. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 9 November 2016 at 13:43


Third grade primary school in Scotland more than eighty years ago was First Communion Class.
According to Church teaching,children reached the "age of reason ". At seven we could tell right 
from wrong. 

My birthday was in December. I was a few months shy of the requisite age when I started learning  about the  Sacraments.

Baptism was  first. The message was  firm: 

"Unless  a man is born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven".

We learned  an infant, born with the stain of original sin, deceased before christening could never see the Face of God.  Limbo was the place for throw-aways.

It struck me as less than fair but at six you don't argue with the teacher. Especially  a nun. Priests and nuns enjoyed superior status. 

My sister trained as a nurse in her teens. She worked full shifts for less than pocket money. Was required to attend lectures and pass hefty tests over a period of three years. At the end, she was allowed to wear a special cap and badge of registration and still work for next to nothing. 

When Kathleen came home,she passed on what she learned from lectures. Years later,I recalled lectures she didn't, to her great exasperation. 

A choice tidbit was how in mediaeval times, French priests put dirty hands inside a mother's body to administer the Sacrament before delivery. 

I would be  sixteen then. I was not impressed. 

Reading was a large part of my life. Much of it,after the war, about fascism and how it took hold in Europe. 

Hitler took a page from the  teaching manual of Holy Mother Church.  Children learned fascism from earliest years. They were encouraged to report parents if anything disloyal to the concept was heard at home. 

Hitler's Youth were magnificent physical specimens. Tall, fair, well fed, daily physical exercise, summers at the farm, marching ,singing; as close to automatum as possible for humans to be. 

At war's end, allied soldiers were shooting children of fourteen,taken from their classrooms,
put into uniform, given a gun and sent to the Russian front. Russians didn't take prisoners. They 
 hung them from tree branches in the forest. 

In final irony, Hitler married his mistress then committed suicide in a bunker.

Mussolini had a different fate at the hands of his countrymen. 

The church has changed it's teaching since then. Now they hold that life begins at conception. Abortion is murder. A woman's right to choose is not an option. 

What I learned when I was six is history. Seldom mentioned. 

The deaths of six million Jews in Nazi death camps in Poland and Austria are history. 

Denied by some. 

A belligerent bigot has been elected President of the United States.

It is what it is. 


Tuesday 1 November 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "FIREHALLS... PUMPERS...HELICOPTORS... BOATS...SNOW...": 

Because property tax payers are unaware and ignorant of all these visible and invisible charges, they can hardly register a complaint.

And if they do staff and council will argue them into the ground so thoroughly that they are unlikely to ask a question in the future.

This is responsible accountable government, as opaque as a barn door. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 1 November 2016 at 13:44

I don't attend Council meetings nor watch on television. The chamber of somnambulism belies any 
hint of action. 

I don't read staff reports unless I'm looking for something specific. I'm not a Councillor so I have no obligation to dig deeper. 

I see and hear what is readily available.

I read The Auroran. 

If a story starts on one page and continues on another, I follow it. 

Access to information is the same for everyone.

 So, the difference in awareness is concerned interest or the lack thereoff. 

It has never been different. Though it must be said, there's less excuse. 

Social media, the new kid on the block, is full of virulent, expletives undeleted ,references to provincial and federal policies and politicians and perceived scandals. 

At the local level, all is sweetness and light. Fun and games. Positive vibes. 

Being a member of the "old members club" is as comfortable today as it always was. 

Monday 31 October 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "POLLY PUT THE KETTLE ON": 

I would argue that having schools of any kind - public or private - paying development charges is wrong.  

How does the building of an arena on a school property generate an increased drain on Town resources that require DCs to be collected and then used?

Towns and Cities are so dependant on DCs that when they are not available, they get all bent out of shape. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 31 October 2016 at 12:36


No more than a retail facility adds to municipal costs . Additional park facilities are not required yet municipalities require a charge to be paid in lieu of a park at the time a permit is issued. 

In the past, I sussed out totals from various taxes imposed on a modest home prior to sale.
Land transfer tax,sales tax, development charges and various  permit fees none of which add value to the building but added twenty-five per cent to market value,the base for property taxes .

Forever and a day, the homeowner pays taxes on taxes. 

The over-riding principle that taxes must be easily understood is forever lost. 

Starting with water and sewer rates,municipal taxes are devious, underhanded and egregiously exploited by appointed and elected officials alike. 

The new homeowner gets less house on little more than a footprint  but development charges increase every five years along with master recreation plan reviews and the myth of spending discipline.

$26 million dollars for an architect designed public works facilities with green roofs, with $18 million of debt and never finished.
Arenas proliferate, baseball diamonds need users from King to make up teams. A new youth centre requires  promotion to encourage use. $6 million used to build a park in Mavrinac to prevent the land from  development  and adding  to the assessment base. 

$11 million used to buy land at Vandorf Sideroad for recreation and half a million for a musty old contaminated barn in the town park with neither use nor purpose possible in the private  or 
Identified in the public sector. 

Mayor Dawe regards the development charge as  price of admission to live in Aurora,

I think it's  sheer exploitation but as long as homebuyers are unaware, willing and able to pay, there's not much point in discussion. 

But heck, why not. 

Sunday 30 October 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "TAUT LIKE A WIRE": 

The 1%ers at SAC begged off paying the development charges on their new arena, but can purchase Willow Farm!?! The new section of trail better be protected for residents' use! 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 30 October 2016 at 21:12


An announcement in The Auroran reported  an appointment at St Andrew's College recently. It was noted the individual  had recently overseen $46 million of development at the college.

Successful lobbying at Aurora Council to forfeit Development Charges on the development was
likely a key point in favour of the appointment. 

As I read, I realised the cost to Aurora taxpayers was never revealed. 

In a letter to the editor last week,the Mayor outlined rigor observed by Council in decision making . 

He noted expert advice from staff is part of the process.

But that's not true. 

No advice was offered by  the Chief Financial Officer on the college boon-doggle. A delegate appeared at council. He asked and they received. With barely a quibble from the previous council. 

When York Region Separate School Board  built St Maximillian Kolbe High School on Wellington Street,
they  had to appeal to the OMB ,to have an inflated property evaluation corrected In order to reduce the Development Charge. The Board was successful. 

Lawyers were employed by town and school board at cost of the same taxpayers. Hearing  was also 
at public expense of course. 

We discovered then Aurora was the only town in the Region that required a public body to 
collect from taxpayers to pay taxes to the same base to cover development charges but we did 
not learn any of that from the expert advisor. 

If St Andrew's has purchased Willow Farm property,further development is likely planned. No 
doubt with full confidence the same friends on council will once again gift them the cost of development charges.

Thursday 27 October 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES": 

Why do you watch CNN? That channel is just as bad as Fox is on the other side of the spectrum.  

You need to get more. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 27 October 2016 at 14:37


CNN Is what I have . I don't get Fox nor is it likely. I save where I can. I mute CNN a lot. 

Last night, at supper time, I was in the kitchen....slicing lots of onions ...I like them.....listening to news
of the GOP nominated VP's plane sliding off the runway at La Guardia in the rain and waiting for the bellicose billionaire to blame Hillary. 

He didn't but there's time.

Y'all know I tried to avoid obsessing over the election of a President. I've been through this before. None of it is uplifting.  I remember when funds from the American medical and insurance lobby flooded  Saskatchewan to block universal health care. Lies about the British system were horrendous. 

This election promised to be worse than all the rest even without the bellicose bruiser at the head of the GOP ticket.

CNN persists  in discussing the candidate like he's a person of normal intelligence and character. 

Repeated video clips portray the exact opposite.  

A product of expensive schooling, without proficiency in language is alarming. It means he can't learn. 

Boorish, bullying, oafish talk is described  on CNN as "authentic", "direct" and "telling it like it is".

Words are the media's stock in trade and still they fail to recognise the signs. 

Telling it like the brutish low life with whom he shares the spectrum, is more to the point.

He's living proof intelligence is not the product of wealth and education.

CNN is still doing it,although most people,including supporters, are persuaded by his conduct, he is
everything he appears to be and none of it is commendable. 

Tonight, Carl Bernstein, journalist and author of a Clinton biography had seriously critical stuff to say about Hillary. He's been a panelist throughout the campaign and negative on an oddly personal basis. 

I had recourse to Wikipedia to re-call his surname from his involvement with Bob Woodward, reporting  Republican criminality  in Watergate Democratic headquarters.

Another query with the  promotion of a biography during the campaign, Revealed  Bernstein was husband to the late Nora Ephron, a successful comedy play and screenwriter. 

He cheated on his wife while they were expecting their first child. The marriage ended.

His lack of principles  is not connected to the presidential campaign. 

The same might not be said of the hostility he clearly harbors against the Democratic nominee. He's not alone. But his negativity is personal not political. In private moments ,one tends to look for cause.

As I write ,James Comey, FBI Director once again has stepped over the line of his authority.  

Considering what has gone before, in this and other elections, it's hard to doubt  it's  part of the Grand Republican Master Plan. 

The outcome may not be as cut and dried as feared. 

Intelligence of the voter is always underestimated by the media. 

But tension is terribly taut. 

Wednesday 26 October 2016


In the wee small hours of Wednesday morning, CNN offered a smorgasbord of delectable snacks.

They showed Meghan Kelly ,a Fox Anchor, in an interview with Newt Gingrich former speaker in the Senate and one of the three main surrogate stooges of the Republican candidate for President. 

It would appear he agreed to the interview for his own purpose. 

While he raged and ranted and pointed his finger and mocked Ms Kelly's head tilt, Ms Kelly's resolve visibly hardened and she  became more self-possessed. 

He challenged her to say the words "sexual predator"  and repeatedly claimed she was "obsessed with sex"

Ms Kelly had the last word though. She calmly advised him he should work on his anger issues as she ended the interview. 

Star Jones,President of Diversity Network, was in a feature that followed on the same CNN program. It was noted, when former President Clinton was being impeached, Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. He has had three wives, cheated on the first two, one while she was dying.

An offer of "open marriage " alternative to divorce was part of his  plan for his own life, while active in the impeachment process in the Clinton Saga of several decades ago. 

Michael Moore followed Star Jones in the Don Lemon program. The focus of his latest movie is  on the current election and the catastrophic impact  of the Trump candidacy. 

His theory is, the people affected badly by the current economy are using Trump like a ballistic missile 
to take revenge for their poor circumstance at the hands of government. 

It's a valid  proposition and obviously solves nothing.  But for people without hope it's payback time 

As I write ,one of his sons responds in a taped interview to a question;

 "Does your father realise he is a polarizing figure ?"

Yes he does.

"Does he care." 

No he doesn't. 

What else d'you need to know?

Friday 21 October 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Modern American Politics": 

Drumph is the absolute worst candidate that Republicans could have chosen. He was a Democrat until a few years ago. Now they are faced with the monster they allowed to grow in their midst. He is their creation. Nothing has changed since his folks sent him off to a military style school in the hopes that his bullying would be curtailed. His wealth has insulated him from all responsibility.
I feel so sorry for the American public. They deserved better. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 21 October 2016 at 13:01


The candidate is not solely responsible for winning the GOP nomination.He had help. The other fourteen candidates lacked the stamina to stay the course. 

The " strategy" of bullying and abuse by Trump dominated the contest from day one. 

Yet the media accorded him credibility. They enjoyed his performance. Called it "muscularity".

After the primaries, CNN matched every negative report about the GOP nominee with something dug up  about the Democratic nominee . The claim was "to provide balance".  Statements with scant substance were repeated over and over and credence established to nothingness.

The longer it lasted, the greater the damage .

A monster was created. The loudest most strident voices filled the air time.

The claim of dislike and distrust against the Democratic nominee became a given. Despite the enthusiastic crowds at rallies.

Until Trump accused the media of dishonesty and corruption, the narrative continued in the same vein. 

The tune changed, late but better than never.  The Trump narrative widened. 
He was rich and famous.His power and belligerence were feared. Only when THEY  were threatened, they defended themselves in the way they know how. Payback time. 

Like the young women he  abused throughout his maturity, the media chose the moment to 
break reticence  and  change the Trump narrative. 

At the catholic charity dinner, Hillary suggested campaigns should be shorter. 

The guests  applauded.

It would not have been best.  The extra time was needed .

Braggadocio is puerile.

Reality finally came to the fore. 

Americans will do what they will. 

You can fool some of the people some of the time. 

You can't fool all of the people all of the time.