"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

Thursday 28 September 2017


Mike Meyers , comedy talk show host featured on Facebook this morning(Thursday) .He was 
televised at the Invictus Games  and spoke with pride of being  from a " military  family" . 

He expressed profound respect and gratitude to all the veterans participating in the games. 
Meyer's mother served with the Women's Royal Air Force. Father was  with the Royal Army Corp of Engineers. 

His own occupation ,he said with a dismissive hand gesture, is silly in contrast. 

I'm somewhat familiar with the entertainer's background. Our families came to Canada about
the same time, give or take a year. I brought two children. He was born in Scarborough ,Ont. 
in 1963.  

I watched an earlier interview where  he attributed his humour to his British background. I can easily 
buy that. Not so much, the bit about being from a military family or the art of humour  being  "silly" 

Mr. Meyer's mother and father served during World War 2 .

Everybody did. There wasn't a choice. That didn't make us military families in the North American 

Every able-bodied person who didn't work at a job essential to the war effort had to serve. Women were not conscripted but single women had to be either in a job related to the war, in the services or 
clumping  about in corduroy breeches, boots and wool sweater uniforms of the Women's Land Army. 

When Mike Meyers was born, his mother was an office supervisor, father an insurance agent and their  lives in military service were far behind them. 

At this time and in this place, a "military family" is an option people choose as a lifestyle. 

But it was his dismissal of the significance of his occupation, the link to his parents war service and connection to participants in the Invictus Games that made me stop and think. 

WW2 was my shared experience with his family. He and I think of it very differently. It's interesting because he only heard of it. I had  experience of  it.

It wasn't something happening 4,000 miles and an ocean away from our homes. For five years that tight little island was the battle front. No-one sat out the war. 

Mothers worked in munition plants and factories on shifts around the clock.Pre- schoolers lived in residential care centres from Sunday until Friday evening. In one facility, an outbreak of gastro-enteritis took the lives of twenty-one infants.  Those babies were casualties of war a much as any fallen soldier. 

Women of conscription age (18) were directed to war work and had to leave career jobs and in some instances,their homes. 

Rationing was severe. British Restaurants in prefabricated buildings  in community parks helped to augment rations below adequate nutrition level. 

Fish wasn't rationed. But some weird specimens were given new names and filleted to disguise their origin. One particularly ugly creature called "rock salmon" was previously known as dogfish.There 
was so much vertebrae, it was hard to find flesh of fish. Whale meat appeared, cut in cubes. 

People spoke of eating horsemeat. The black market was rife. Hoarding was an offence .That was funny since there was nothing to hoard.  

Women made clothes out of curtain drapery. 

Everyone had to carry a gas mask and identity card. 

The Home Guard patrolled streets every night in every town and village. Fines were imposed if a sliver of light showed because of a curtain not tightly closed. There were no street lights and street name signs were removed so that a would-be German invader wouldn't know what street he was on and would therefore get lost. 

Everybody was encouraged to learn first aid. School,children dug up playgrounds and planted vegetables. I don't re-call a harvest.,

Farmers collected scraps from restaurants to feed pigs.

Hens fed with fish meal had eggs with a fishy taste. 

Squadrons of bombers left from airfields in the countryside in the early evening and returned before morning...or not.  

Commandoes were billeted in private homes. When they went on raids, personnel carriers picked them, up, faces blackened ,helmets festooned with twigs and branches ,to return exhausted four or five days later..or not. Only  to leave again days later. That was when heavy water plants were situated in Norway.

Cities and industrial areas were targets for blitz. Planes would drone overhead for hours,night after
 night. Hitler ended the London blitz exactly at the moment the water supply ran out. Were it not for that decision, London would have burned to the ground and the war would likely have ended there and then,with Germany as the victor. 

Through it all we had the BBC and the movies. Half hour comedy shows kept us laughing and from dealing with reality. 

We turned off the lights, sat in the firelight and listened and laughed. 

Next day, we laughed again as we repeated the jokes with accents and weird pronunciations to each other at work. 

We laughed at the enemy.  At the corporals,sergeants and senior ranks in the Army....the Air Force ....the Navy. 

We laughed about spies, canteens, black marketeers . 

Nothing was sacred . Lots of stupid stuff was going on. 

There was no talk of winning or losing. The nine o'clock news informed us each night  what was happening where. There were no long range forecasts. 

The missing and dead were our constant companions. We were all wounded .We were all dying. 

Our lives were not whole. Our future was not secure.

I was twelve years old when it began. Seventeen when " Victory " was declared.  

The aftermath continues. It's a story for another day or ten.  

On the other hand ,laughter was the continuous filament that brought us through.

The greater the insanity, the more profound the irreverence, the better it reflected the times we were 
living....dying and losing friends, lovers and family members. 

There was nothing....absolutely nothing....remotely silly  about it. 

Wednesday 27 September 2017


Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel had interesting items on their shows yesterday.

Noah had a writer, promoting her book on natural catastrophes .

Kimmel talked about winning the battle to scuttle the GOP plan to scuttle the Affordable Health Care 

I caught only the tail-end of Noah's interview. The  subject was phenomena of hurricanes,tornados,Tsunamis and earthquakes and whether  they are "natural"  disasters
or caused by human intervention. 

The young scientist's conclusion is ,they are not natural. Modern  industrial activities, like fracking, constructing multi storey buildings that sink and tunnelling into bedrock is the cause. 
Underground nuclear testing can hardly be overlooked. 

Noah's last question.: which place in the U.S. Is most dangerous? 

New York City was the answer.  

That was a bit of a jolt. In terms of tremors and earthquakes,New York is uncomfortably close. 

Toronto is doing much of the same stuff. Buildings climb ever higher and subway tunnelling is ongoing. 

Weight of buildings is apparently the problem, not height. 

Toronto isn't New York . But it's moving that way. People have opposed tall buildings 
for decades without a solid argument and without success . Maybe it's time for that to change. 

It seems to me, public planning should be taking a turn and maybe it should have happened 

Jimmy Kimmel thanked his audience last night for all their efforts to stop repeal of health care. 
He indicated  they had phoned their representatives and made the difference. 

I was somewhat surprised by that claim. But the fact is the GOP has withdrawn the latest bill. 
There will be no vote because they don't have enough votes for it to pass. 

Suppose Jimmy Kimmel does have that level of influence. He's not elected. He has one vote 
like the rest of us. But he has a platform. As do others. What if they decided Breitbart needed 
to be stopped  for America to realize the dream ?

Or is it already too late ?

Saturday 23 September 2017


T.V. In my house, is turned on later every day. Sometimes it's not on until eleven in the evening.

Today I turned it on at 3 in the afternoon and off  3 minutes later.

The lunatic was raving again. Complete with platform, flag and back drapes. 

It used to be enough to mute the sound and avert my eyes. Now I can't stand his image in my house. 

Who would have thought KimJung Un , Norgh Korean leader , might have won a measure of credibility ianywhere . Yet he has. He called the maniac, a dotard. It's a double insult.

 It refers to loss of mental competence through aging. The Korean leader is less than half the American's age. They've been angaged in name-calling for a while now. 

Americans in the writing business had to rush to dictionaries  to discover the meaning of the word, "dotage"

I doubt there's another language , including Latino, that doesn't have a direct translation of the word.

Americans claim English as their national language.

Today a topic is whether a football player disrespects the flag by kneeling in one knee during the national anthem. 

In liturgical circles it's called genuflexion. It can't be otherwise interpreted. On entering the church, Catholics dip fingers in holy water and make the Sign of the Cross. Before entering the pew they genuflect with bowed head, men uncovered, in the presence of the Eucharist.

Call it what you will, kneeling  on one knee , with cap in hand, is not a disrespectful gesture. 

To me , it appears players have found a way to protest without disrespecting the national anthem. 

Instead if standing to attention conforming to military style, They bow in reverence,  in exception
to military style. The police are a para-military organisation. 

It needs no explaination. 

It's a simple physical gesture . Not an intellectual manoeuvre .

But then, no sensible person has ever suggested America's  Braggadocio-in-Chief is capable 
of discerning the difference. 

Even before he reached dotage. 

Kim Jung Un has provided him with an excuse. 

Tuesday 19 September 2017


When Stephen Colbert was chosen to replace David Letterman , I wondered at the choice but I don't think of myself as an authority on modern comedy and they took their time and Letterman was not easy to replace. 

I enjoyed Colbert  in his bit  on the Daily Show. Like Jon Stewart, a full hour of frenzy was hard to endure.  What I needed at the end of the day was a performance that reduced  political events to proper perspective. 

Letterman's  show followed the ritual of Johnny Carson whose smooth performance continued the lines of Jack Parr's laid back humour. 

 I don't imagine it's easy to maintain excellence on a nightly basis. Even just for an hour at a time. 
None of. the three accomplished the impossible. But they did create a bridge between unbelievable stupidity and  horror in daily events to reassurance that it was alright not to take life too seriously. 

don't like the noise and fake laughter that intersperses precisely where it's supposed to . 

I find slapstick and contrived skits irksome, lacking wit and boring in the extreme.  

Nkthing amuses me  about Colbert's brief chats with the Lord in the elaborate painted ceiling, 

His confessionals are excruciating and the bit he does from a balcony where he stands under a hat 
is positively juvenile. 

But worst of all ,the show's  opening monologue,a mocking diatribe of the man he loves to hate
makes the presidency little more than a prop. A steady diet is too much . 

There are half a dozen late night show hosts. None have taken  Letterman's place. 

Jimmy Kimmel seems most comfortable in his own skin, therefore easier  to watch. 

Yesterday I read a piece  by Frank Bruni in the New York Times , prompted by Sean 
Spicer's appearance on the Emmy show hosted by  Stephen Colbert. 

Bruni found Spicer's guest appearance with the rolling podium unacceptable. 

He went further and critiqued Colbert's  late night program with many of the  faults I found .

Thank  goodness , I thought, at least  my sense of humour is not out of date. 

Thursday 14 September 2017


One of those  e-mail petitions came through to kick a Conservative Senator out  because of something said that's not within the Gospel of Canada. 

"Religious schools were not all bad". ..."Indigenous people should assimilate...give up their status cards and become Canadian citizens."

I will not sign. Not because I agree with the Senator. I am not sufficiently informed.

But because I find it abhorrent to punish a person for speaking her mind. 

Not being conversant in the language of Treaties hundreds of years old and ,though familiar with accounts of abuse in religious schools,I tend to think not everyone was a pervert , not every act 
had malicious intent. 

Social media has provided us with a truly, realistic sense of how reality can be distorted. 

I do however believe stories with photos of the awful misery of children living in reservations..high infant mortality. ..alcoholism ....child suicides from toxic substances. 

Of aboriginal girls and women engaged in prostitution and an inquiry into numbers of missing and murdered aboriginal women...mothers, sisters, daughters. 

Atrocities associated with aboriginals have been headline news for decades. No improvements are noted. 

Many live full and productive lives , as they  should . Too many don't.

Children are not removed from parental care despite that deprivation polluted water, unsanitary conditions, inadequate shelter, high Infant mortality are all part of their reality. 

And the talk goes on ...and on ...and on. 

A Conservative Senator has put an idea forward . . Indigenous people should assimilate. They should give up special status and become Canadian citizens.

I don't know if the idea has merit. I don't think being a Canadian citizen is a disadvantage. 

The  status quo does not commends itself. 

I don't believe a person proposing an option should be cast out with weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

The idea  should be discussed frankly and freely ...if only for the sake of the children. 

Tuesday 12 September 2017


A Canadian Judge who wore a Trump hat in court the day America elected the lying,swindling,lecher president, has been suspended without pay for thirty days. Oh and... Oh Joy, he was also reprimanded. Tut..Tut ..naughty boy. 

Last year, he earned $290,000.  

He is sixty-nine years old. 

Penalty imposed was the worst, short of recommending his removal from the bench to the Attorney General. 

The panel heard he was not a Trump supporter.  As a Canadian, the likelihood was remote. 

Wearing a baseball cap in an Ontario court would be questionable. A responsible judge could  be expected to require its removal .

For the judge himself to be wearing it was neither acceptable nor explainable. He admits it was the worst mistake he has ever made. He's a year short of seventy. He denied being a Trump supporter. 

Why a panel would rule a judge with self-professed lack of judgement continued to have credibility, raises serious questions about judgement of the panel itself. There were six of them. 

We might ponder further why he celebrated the election of an American 

What precisely was he celebrating ? He is Canadian. A Canadian Judge.  

Why would he do that? 

What does it say about his mental stability? 

His fitness to be a judge?

And the six member panel who thought he could continue without bringing the entire system into disrepute.  

Monday 11 September 2017


The trial of two former staff  in former Premier Dalton Mc Guinty's office started  this morning. 
The charge is destroying documents related to the cancellation of two gas generating plants which were already under construction. The two could go to jail if found guilty.

After the investigation leading to charges,the RCMP officer noted no evidence was discovered 
Involving Premier McGuinty. 

The charge was about destroying all the evidence. 

The decision to cancel the construction was made on the eve of an election.

A majority of seats for Liberals was the prize. 

The new, cleaner plants being built replaced coal-fired plants They were ordered closed on the eve of  the previous election, because of local pressure. Opposition  to the newer, cleaner plants was still an issue. 

Authority for supply of electricity legally resides with Hydro Ontario. Premier McGuinty made the decision to cancel the contract on the eve of the last election. The same Premier has since written
a book about leadership. 

Cost of cancellation of plants already under construction eventually acknowledged were in excess 
of a billion dollars with nothing to show but rusting girders and padlocked gates within chain link fencing. 

Two members of Premier Wynne's staff are currently facing charges of bribery to persuade a sitting member of the legislature to step aside to allow a federal M.P. to receive  the nomination. MP Thibideau  won the Sudbury seat . He had his price. Remuneration had to be the same and jobs for two riding 
Assistants(2) provided. The member has been named to the Cabinet. 

The spurned Sudbury member is disabled. He cannot write. Conversations must be recorded.  recorded. 

Physically disabled people who refuse to surrender to disability tend to be pretty bloody-minded
individuals.  Outcome of the conversations  about giving up his seat should have been anticipated. 

The story continues.....with  a peculiar tilt to it. 

News of inquiries and investigations  to the south of us has somewhat similar parallels with variously different means of arriving at the truth. A special prosecutor has been appointed. A full scale investigation is underway. 

A Senate committee is conducting an inquiry. A Committee of Congress busies itself also with the same inquiry. A grand jury is involved. 

Bits and pieces of Information leak steadily throughout from all sources 

The process could take months but the truth will out. 

A court trial  in Ontario is a different process.  

Even though trial by jury is the judicial right of the complainant . Even if the jury has heard only the evidence permitted by the judge. Even if the trial lasts  five weeks. 

The judge can dismiss the jury in an afterthought ,for trumped -up reason and take the decision unto himself .

 He can take an additional thirteen months, receivenew information from defendants throughout, none of it in open court, and  finally,  write a thirty-nine page  of equally trumped-up logic to justify the decision .

Ontario trials do not necessarily produce facts. Only arguments. 

On argument, a judge may not permit critical evidence.

Competence of trial lawyers  need not factor. 

If a judge decides it would be inappropriate for government authority to be at fault, he is at liberty  to make that decision. 

The Ontario trials currently underway involving government matters should be interesting to watch . 

But that's not likely to happen. 

The media also makes a decision in that regard. 

Thursday 7 September 2017


My mind has been much taken up with emigration this week. On Sunday, the day of Grandson Aaron and Rachel's  wedding ,I received on Facebook , a photograph of my great grandfather James Diamond, his wife Catherine O'Neil ,their daughter Margaret, Margaret's daughter Bridget and Bridget's infant son seated on Catherine's lap. 

The photo came  indirectly through Corrine Bizarro ,a distant cousin in New York, from Jan Lewandowski another distant cousin from another place in the States whom I did not know existed until now. Jan Lewandoski has been creating a family tree for forty years. 

My great grandmother ,Catherine O'Neil  was sister to Anne O'Neil , Jan Lewandowski's
great  grandmother. 

I had never seen my great-grandparents. Didn't know the photo existed. Because it came to me on Facebook it was shared with Leigh Donnnelly, daughter of my cousin Eileen Murphy ,daughter of my 
Aunt  Meg my mother's sister. Eileen is still in the same place in Scotland they came from to the States almost a hundred years ago. Eileen's sisters Irene and Francis are going  for a visit this week. they
too will see the picture for the first time. 

The thread hasn't stopped unwinding since the photo  appeared. Catherine Diamond and 
Cecilia Diamond have joined the conversation. Michael Killen ,son of my late cousin Maureen ,made contact recently. He knew very little about his mother's family now it's rolling out with ever growing speed and detail. 

It's breathtaking. 

Jan Lewandowski's family tree has a Finnigan branch which is my father's family.  
is there too. 

New York, Philadelphie, Colorado, are all  locations of family members.  One  married a Sicilian woman. 

There have been Diamond reunions in Long Island. One  is  for Florida next year. 

On Sunday,at Aaron's wedding, one photo taken was of all my children,their spouses, all but three of their children and spouses, all the children of their children, Aaron and his new bride Rachel ,whose grandmother emigrated to Canada from Holland in 1954....and me. 

If I say so myself, it's an impressive crowd. 

A significant branch of the family tree. 

Wednesday 6 September 2017


As an add-on to the previous post, the salary for a Senator without additional responsibilities is $142,400 for a work year of 83 days.

Travel and housing expenses are also covered.

As noted previously, the appointment terminates at  age 75. 

Justin Trudeau's father made appointments when he was leaving office in 1979.  This was a man who, according, to his other son, hated politics . On reflection, I don't think he was too fond of people either. 

One senate appointment he made at the time of leaving was a failed one-time candidate for federal 
Office, Anne Moon . Ms. Moon was Jamaican-Canadian in her late twenties and  a social worker 
In Vancouver. 

The only public mention since of Ms Moon that  I re-call was not meritricious. She has been on the public payroll for 38 years, is probably  66 now, with nine more years to collect $142,400 for 83 days
 a year , if she's in attendance. 

Another  senate appointment that comes to mind of Andrew Thompson. He was Leader of the. Ontario Liberals for a short time. There were tears in the house on the day he left giving a hint of  tragedy. He was a young man. He received appointment  to the Senate. Nothing more was heard until a news item about his non-attendance in the Senate. He was living in Mexico. 

He resigned after the scandal broke. He was in his nineties when he died. 

I don't think the salary of an Aurora Councillor compares with a member of Canada's Senate. It 
wouldn't  be easy to compare the work load either. 

But at least the voters of Aurora get  to make their own choice out of the choice available.


NAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "CAN YOU BLEEPING BELIEVE IT ?": 

"...appointed for life to the public trough..."

Senators can only serve until age 75 (unlike town councillors)

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 6 September 2017 at 13:54


Town councillors can serve  at seventy -five and older, if they are chosen by the electorate 
in a free and democratic election. 

As I was  and am proud to say. 

And re-elected two more times after that until I was eighty-six. 

Furthermore, I fell short only forty-nine votes of being re-elected when I was eighty -six which  would have taken me to the age of ninety. Still practising politics ,honest straightforward , with the  best 
Interest of the community at large. Instead  of consistently pandering to the sporadic clamour of the inevitable nimby clusters.  

I proved , if  done with common sense and respect the majority appreciates  and the community is
well served.  

I make no apology for my public service. 

I bite my tongue to keep from closing this post with an epithet that's bursting to be expressed and   contradicting my own principles. 

See...I still have the necessary discipline.

And if you are reading this blog ,obviously I have not left the scene.

Everyone knows who I am. 

Nobody  knows you.

Tuesday 5 September 2017


Ontario Senator Ratna Omidvar says Canada should welcome 30,000 "Dreamers" as immigrants from the U. S. For various reasons, mainly education, it would be a benefit to Canada. 

"Low hanging fruit" she called it. 

I don't know the woman. Don't recognize her photo from the interview with Rosemary Barton of the CBC . 

Wikipedia reveals nothing of  how she came to be appointed acting spokesperson for someone like myself.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the appointment. That's all there was. No date. No background. No place of birth ,length of residence or Canadian experience. .. nothing. No indication of useful contribution before or since appointment to the Canadian Senate. Or when that was. 

A solitary reference is made to an amendment proposed by herself to  Bill  C 6 .The amendment would disallow deportation for giving  false information  to obtain legal status in Canada. In other words, obtaining citizenship by lying should be perfectly acceptable. 

Under the circumstances , the benefit to Canada's economy  of receiving 30,000 "Dreamers" from the States hardly seems relevant. 

Except that at least in Ontario, many more thousands of University and College graduates burdened  by debt, have not found employment in their field of study for numbers of years. Many have even returned to post-education to take different courses with more debt but no more success at finding employment. 

Even opportunity to file applications is no longer available. 

Universities  have no  secure opportunities to offer. Professors on contract don't know until classes start, if sufficient students have registered for the course to form a class and they have a job for the next academic year. 
And there in the Canadian Senate , an unknown individual, appointed for life to the public trough  and given a platform by CBC ,national television, to  espouse and promote a proposal which is not only senseless it is downright bloody insulting.