Babel-on-the-Bay: On Bastille Day in America.

Watching the self-indulgent speech by President Donald Trump at his inauguration, it was as though he believed that his promises to the people of America were unique in world history. He was wrong. The same speech could have been made as the Bastille fell in Paris in 1789. But the difference was that the continuing ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Sometimes the answer is in plain sight.

Writing about the problems the Barrie Liberals face in the 2018 provincial election recently, we should have stated the obvious answer. It has been there for the past seven years. The problem is that there will be two electoral districts covering Barrie for the 2018 provincial election. These are identical to the federal electoral districts ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s have a truce for Mr. Trump’s day.

It all becomes real today. That person will become President of the United States of America and there is nothing we can do about it. We can share our shock with the rest of the world. We can ridicule the corrupted system that allowed it to happen. Finding fault is so much a fool’s game. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Even an elite Senate needs direction.

It seems you cannot keep a newspaper person from writing. Even with a sinecure such as a guaranteed salary for sitting in the Senate (until age 75) former La Presse editor André Pratte keeps writing. The past week it was a piece he wrote for the Toronto Star on why an evolving Senate must adapt. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Who is worried about Patrick Brown?

This advice is just for Ontario Progressive Conservatives. They are the ones who need to worry. The reason for this is the statement made last week by Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown’s good friend and campaign chair Walied Soliman. He is reported as saying, “We know that the Liberals are going to unleash a campaign ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When a friend gives a friend a lift.

This is not the prime minister’s problem. It must be the ethics and conflict of interest commissioner’s problem. This commissioner acts independently and reports to parliament on those issues that might involve the ethics or any conflict of interest on the part of federally elected persons. We hear that she is currently looking into a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Premier Wynne: Colour her gone.

It seems more and more likely that Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Ontario Liberals are on the slippery side of the slope. Nothing says it more emphatically than the situation in which we find ourselves here in Babel. (You know Babel as Barrie, Ontario.) We are less than two years from a tough election situation ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Butt out Ms. Fonda.

While it is so very nice of actor Jane Fonda to lend her celebrity concern to the rape of the environment for tar sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canadians should certainly say ‘Thank you.’ It all helps, but celebrity endorsements and support can come across as self-serving and really do not carry much credibility. Celebrities ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Put in a word for us when you see the PM.

So, what are you going to tell the prime minister? He’s coming to see you. You just need to contact your Liberal M.P. to get an invitation. He is not coming to our riding. We lost to the Conservatives by 86 votes. And please do not ask the PM if it is cold enough for ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Concern for Canada’s Conservatives.

If we did not have Canadian Conservatives, we would have to import some from the U.S.A. Admittedly these are not the best of times for Canada’s Conservatives. This coming week we will watch their federal leadership contestants mangle the French language trying to measure up to Maxime Bernier and Steven Blaney in a French language ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Culling Canada’s Cabinet.

Cabinet making and cabinet tending are different requirements of a prime minister. Those were sunny days in late 2015 when Prime Minister Trudeau chose his first cabinet. Change can come quickly at busy times. What we have to realize is that his perspective on the need for change is quite different from our perspectives. Trudeau ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Let’s march to our own drummer.

It was hardly a surprise when the Prime Minister’s Office said he was not attending Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington next week. Frankly, the Canadian prime minister would just be in the way. It was more of a surprise that he would not be attending the concurrent world economic conference in Davos, Switzerland. It seems ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: Business.

Now let’s talk about the real aristocracy in Canada. These are the nobles. They direct the troops that dig our mines, produce products, market the goods, merchandise wares, account for our monies and provide services that all add up to our gross domestic product. It is the chief executives that are the elites of business ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: The Politicians.

Sociologists would probably not include this group among the elites but from a political perspective it is hard to deny them. While the elected at the provincial and federal level have obvious influence on our lives when serving in cabinet as prime minister, premier or in a cabinet position, their position as an elite can ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: The One Per Cent.

If anyone ever got a bad rap, it is Canada’s one per cent. This group of Canadians is supposed to control about 50 per cent of the country’s wealth and is divided between old money and new money. And there is constant conflict between the old and new. It is simplest to divide them into ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Meet the Elites: The News Media.

It has always come as a surprise to us that the news media could think of themselves as one of society’s elites. (And just because Donald Trump says it, does not make it so.) But there is a growing distrust of the news media that is hard to deny. We cannot speak as knowledgably of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Not everyone hates Premier Wynne.

It is too bad that Ontario Premier Wynne has no politically smart advisors or staff. Here it is the first week of 2017 and the foolish lady is deep in the do-do of her own making. By selecting the beginning of January to launch her ill-fated cap and trade program, she has been ripped off ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The adults are leaving the White House.

We were never as concerned with George W. Bush as President of the United States. Everyone seemed to understand that ‘W’ is as dumb as a Texas hitching post, but we were probably wrong to assume there were some checks and balances on him. People thought they had more reason to fear Vice President Dick ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: In the quiet before the storm.

It is the ho-hum time between New Year’s and the real reasons for having a January. In our area, that just means more damn snow. At least the ski hills are buzzing. But we want to talk about how we vote and who we vote for and what’s wrong with our constitution. For a political ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Brown’s beliefs bewilder.

After the Legislature of Ontario rose for the holidays there must have been a press gallery gathering to talk about how to handle PC Leader Patrick Brown. The discussion might not have got very far but there must have been general agreement that the socially conservative website LifeSiteNews has a point in referring to him ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tom Clark, we are going to miss you.

That has to be some kind of a make-up or lighting trick. How can Global Television’s Tom Clark look so young and yet admit to 40 years in broadcasting? When he announced his retirement on his New Year’s day West Block program, it came as a surprise. But having been there for Tom’s remarkable career ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Roman God Janus is smiling.

Looking both back and forward is a trick of a God such as Janus. Humans find it easiest to look ahead as we enter a new year. We have already written off the year behind us as a bad dream. And we have much excitement to look forward to in 2017. In North America, the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Happy New Year to Casino Rama.

Many of us have a local pub, restaurant or Legion hall where people know you and make you welcome. We feel that way about our local casino. We have gotten to know many of the staff over the years and they know and welcome us. And we do that knowing that we are going to ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: A Second Front to help the B.C. pipeline fight.

There are people in British Columbia ready and willing to go to jail in their fight against twining the Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby, B.C. It is an abomination that must be stopped. In turning his back on the environmental concerns, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is guilty of hypocrisy. He has betrayed B.C., he has ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Petticoats and pantsuits: The politics of gender.

There is a double standard in writing about the politics of gender. A man has to be oh-so careful not to offend while female writers can tramp so carelessly on men. And today, we are supposed to commiserate with the female politicos still drowning their sorrows in gin fizzes over Hillary Clinton’s loss. Face facts ...