Kenny Edwards was only trying to buy a few tins of chewing tobacco at an Oklahoma store, but within seconds he could see that he was unnerving the clerks behind the counter. It was around 1946 in a state still in the grip of segregationist Jim Crow laws. Hospitals, lunch counters and drinking fountains were…
By PAT WATSON
There is a solution floating out there that promises to be a revolution against poverty. First, an analogy: If you all agree that shelter is a condition for healthy living and a human right, then we should also agree that we must provide the means for ensuring that standard. That means we mutually ensure the universal provisions for shelter. There is no sense in saying, ‘Well, we all must have shelter as a right, but regarding procurement of the means then you’re on your bro.’
Which brings up the recent discussion coming from the provincial government on running a pilot project on ‘mincome’. That’s the term being used to refer to the idea that every household be provided with a guaranteed basic income.
The Ontario Liberal government is now doing a search for the right community in which to proceed with a pilot project on mincome payments.
This wouldn’t be the first time such a social experiment has been done. A similar pilot project took place in
The Dusty Crystal Ball does a snow job on 2016
By PAT WATSON
The seconds are ticking into 2016. At this time and in this space, as one year hands off to the next, the Dusty Crystal Ball nudges its way to the centre to again prognosticate, with absolute improbability, expectations for the year ahead.
Here then, for your amusement, are the top 10 events to watch for in 2016 – none of which are expected to materialize. Remember, this particular crystal ball is very, very dusty, and has yet to see any of its predictions come true…except for the odd accidental piece of irony.
Prediction 1: The unusually warm Christmas 2015 season, during which time so many across Canada finally began to talk about the reality of global warming, will quickly be forgotten once meteorologists and climatologists ramp up their statements that this year’s weather anomaly is the result of yet another El Niño system. The questioning will end when a more typical winter returns by the end of January. Then, the talk among strangers at bus stops while waiting in the freezing cold for the bus or streetcar will be, “Global warming? What global warming?”
Pat Watson is the author of the e-book, In Through a Coloured Lens. Twitter@patprose.
Comments sections rife with hate and nastiness
By PAT WATSON
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has issued a notice that it is suspending comments posted below news reports on matters concerning indigenous people because “over many months these stories draw a disproportionate number of comments that cross the line and violate our guidelines.” The notice posted earlier this week characterized some comments as “clearly hateful”, “vitriolic” and “ignorant”.
The suspension will continue until the middle of January, perhaps longer. We shall see.
This suspension of comments follows a similar suspension decision by the Toronto Sun daily newspaper announced at the end of September.
Well, there is that saying that “haters gotta hate.”
By PAT WATSON
A person would have to care about what goes on inside the halls of greatest political power in this country to give any attention to the trial now taking place into disgraced Conservative Senator Mike Duffy’s improper spending claims.
The cross examination of former Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister Nigel Wright by Duffy’s lawyer Donald Bayne would prove to be an eye-opener for people outside the industry town of Ottawa – if such people were even a little interested.
The revelations should be enough to remove trust from the Stephen Harper collective seeking to be elected again to run the government, or, depending on your political bent, ruin the government.
But, I have talked to some everyday people about both the ongoing trial and the upcoming federal election and can report that they know absolutely nothing about the trial. Nothing. There are people who may have a vague sense that there is an election coming. And, to suggest that it is a vague sense would be perhaps to overstate their awareness, interest or concern.
There has been much interest from readers who have taken up the free download offer at amazon.com for In Through A Coloured Lens. Downloads have come in from the U.S. and Canada as well as the UK, Japan, Italy and Germany.
The free download period ends Wednesday, Dec. 18. So don’t miss your chance to take advantage of it.
Not a Kindle user? You can still get a copy. Amazon provides a feature to let you download e-books to tablets, smart phones and computers.