Hockey’s failure in America

The NHL and its commissioner, Gary Bettman, just keep on trying to sell hockey in the sunbelt.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  If you still don’t succeed year after year, just keep at it.  And if you pile up failure after failure, then just double down and play again.  Eventually, the odds have to turn in your favour, no? Continue reading

Undermining the law

– in Wolfe Island, Ontario –

Those of us who live in the St. Lawrence River area, between Ontario and New York State, are understandably sensitive to issues of transportation and border crossings.  In these summer months, when the Horne family operates its cross-border ferry, it’s easy enough to go over to Cape Vincent or Clayton for lunch.  Year round life depends on access to Kingston by ferry. Continue reading

Judicial apocalypse now

Prosecutors and police are a sensitive lot.  Write about failures in the schools, health care system, post office, social services or any other arm of the elephantine state apparatus, and people accept it as sadly routine–of course there are failures, even significant ones, on a regular basis.  But suggest that the same inefficiency, adverse outcomes or abuse of power are found not infrequently in our criminal justice system, and the response is vigorous. Continue reading

Buckley, pere et fils

Christopher Buckley’s recent memoir (excerpted above) admits that it is difficult to be the son of a great man. It is more difficult still if you are not a good son.

In his memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, Christopher Buckley, the only son of William F. and Patricia Buckley, reflects on both parents dying within a year of each other.  The great and the good have all taken notice.  That the late William F. Buckley was a great man is not in dispute, a man of prodigious talent who became one of the few truly consequential public intellectuals of his time.  The book forces the reader to the reluctant conclusion that whatever the flaws of Buckley pere, Buckley fils is not behaving as a good son. Continue reading

Ethics and the oilsands

~ in Calgary ~

The oilsands may be back sooner than expected. Oil prices are rising from their low late last year. Labour costs are down. Steel is cheaper. And today the shareholders of Suncor and Petro-Canada are expected to approve a merger of the two companies, creating Canada’s largest energy company, valued at some $46-billion. Continue reading