Why do politicians always feel the need to gather a crowd of colleagues and staffers around them every time they make an announcement on TV? And what’s the cost to taxpayers of the time wasted when these people should be working?

Is there’s anything more infuriating than a bureaucrat with a clipboard, a checklist and an attitude.

By what possible logic has the United Church of Canada allowed a professed atheist to retain her role as minister of a congregation?

Things I Firmly Believe

Whenever possible we should assure rather than assume.

Overly politically correct people cause more harm than good.

No public apology should ever contain the word “if.”

We don’t have a justice system, we have a legal system.

Politicians are far too slow to make something right after bureaucrats get it wrong.

Stompin’ Tom Connors was right when he said, “Too many coincidences aren’t.”

Decades Later I’m Still Wondering

In the early afternoon on a Christmas Day about thirty-five years ago, we were stopped in traffic on Toronto’s Jarvis Street right in front of the Salvation Army’s Harbour Light hostel, which at that time was operating out of an old house. There were a few steps leading up to the landing in front of the entrance. While we were waiting for the traffic to move, the front door opened and a uniformed Salvation Army officer emerged, manhandling an obviously homeless man by the scruff of the neck, and unceremoniously pushed him down the steps. The evictee got up and wandered off, apparently unharmed. 

I still often wonder what the guy could have possibly done or said to get kicked out of a Salvation Army shelter on Christmas Day.

An Inexplicable Decision

Washington Capitals’ forward Tom Wilson, the NHL’s dirtiest player, received an inexplicable double break this week when arbitrator Shyam Das reduced his 20-game suspension by thirty percent. Because he’d already missed 16 games, the reduction allowed Wilson to immediately resume play and to also recover $378,049 of his initial 1.26 million dollar fine.

The decision is inexplicable because of Das’ wrong-headed reasoning. Even though he admitted that “Wilson had delivered an illegal check to St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist’s head,” Das went on to say that the original suspension was not supported by “substantial evidence.” Das’ reasoning is wrong-headed because the Sundqvist incident was Wilson’s fourth suspension for egregiously dirty play in just a little over a year. If that’s not “substantial evidence” I’d hate to see what Das thinks such evidence would be. A career-ending injury? A death?

No wonder Major League Baseball fired Das from its panel of arbitrators.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Hand-wringing members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, upset with Doug Ford’s leadership, need to remind themselves that the reason he has the post is because their party had no idea how to run a leadership convention.

Way To Go Calgary

Kudos to Calgary voters who pretty much nixed any chance that the city would hold the 2026 Olympic winter games. Hosting the Olympic games has become a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money, mostly because of the International Olympic Committee’s insistence on extravagant measures. The IOC’s arrogance is without parallel (except possibly for Gary Bettman’s), so it was nice to see this repudiation. 

Canadians On The Moon

A number of news stories this week dealt with NASA representatives trying to convince the Canadian government to participate in a program that would use the moon as a stopping-off point in expanded space explorations and to provide some people for this effort. I’m all for it if we can start with a bunch of politicians being the first to go.

A Usually Misused Phrase

It seems these days that no one ever tells, calls, writes, or asks; they always seem to be “reaching out” to others. “Reaching out” is a meaningful phrase in its original context of offering needed help, but when used as a substitute for other verbs it’s a meaningless, lazy way of speaking and writing.