Paul Roy is one of my favorite uncles, and I’m lucky to have many. He was a sapper in the Royal Canadian Army during WWII. I don’t have all his service details, but he saw his share of action. Paul got very good handling explosives in the asbestos mines of Thetford Mines. It was said he could set off a charge next to a window without breaking glass.

He brought home a war bride, Vina, from the UK, who lived her life a delightful anachronism, an Englishwoman smack dab in the middle of Quebec’s asbestos mining region. She probably understood and spoke French, but she never let on.

Paul was also one of the “Lost Canadians.” Born in a mill town in the US (don’t know the detail), he found out he wasn’t Canadian when he applied for a passport to sail back to the UK with Vina. I’m guessing my grandmother, Emerentienne Roy, was one of the many young Québecoise who went south to work the mills in New England. It was on one of those trips to Manchester that Paul was born.

My father memorialized Paul’s citizenship issues in a chapter in his book, Border Guards. I also wrote about this . . . Click here for the full article

California won the election – it’s all about the demographics, stupid



While everyone worried about Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania – people forgot about California. Great analysis.

I’ve always believed in Jerry Brown. Not as POTUS, not as Senator, not even as Governor, just as the guy who does the right thing because it usually is the right thing to do. He is a knight-errant, an effective and monastic Don Quixote (except in this version the windmills are Central Valley farming interests), who seems beholden to no one.

Jerry Brown brought back my values. He inspired me to go to Santa Clara to study law. He is resurrecting California. He has delivered us from evil.

California was never even in question or in play in the 2012 election – we were going Democratic no matter what. California was spared many of the presidential political ads. The ones run by the SuperPacs were pathetic and rawly biased. Given our melting pot demographics, they proved to be a pathetic waste of money.

Brown now has to show his mettle. The Democratic Party has a clear path to set the agenda in California. It’s not all about taxes. It’s about quality of life.

In terms of the impact of taxes on California businesses, if I was raising chickens, I’d probably leave California. But I’m not. I work in high tech and it’s centered in the Silicon . . . Click here for the full article

Celebrate Henry Kaiser as our Tommy Douglas


Don’t try to argue with me or prove out the points. I’m for responsible spending and can make do with very little and survive. But health care for all is a right, not a privilege or a benefit. Preventive healthcare is more important than acute intervention – it prevents later costly intervention. If we treat healthcare as a true business, then just like manufacturing or software development, the earlier in the cycle you discover defects and bugs, the less expensive it is to fix it. The best way to cut costs is to 1) find problems early, and 2) create a reasonable treatment regime taking client dignity into account.

This is why I am going on the record to say that we need to give every single American privatized healthcare – as long as we outsource it all to Kaiser. We can have the best of both worlds, private, but with a single payer.

Kaiser was founded by an industrialist, Henry Kaiser. From the fountain of all knowledge, Wikipedia:

“In 1942, Henry Kaiser built a steel mill in Fontana to supply steel for the ships he was building to help America win the war. When he learned that his workers couldn’t get adequate health care, he built a hospital and medical offices right on the steel mill grounds. It . . . Click here for the full article

Canadian National Film Board New Boys – Canoeing in 1973 old school

At the chapel after the trip. Probably fantasizing about sleeping in a bunk bed with a three inch think mattress with 50 of my closest new friends.

We were given haircuts, issued clothes, laundry numbers, canoe gear, and assigned a chore / duty. We boarded an old yellow rented school bus on Tuesday morning, four canoes in tow, driven about 350 miles east of the school. I learned how to sleep sitting up on that school bus. Click here for the full article

  • by category