Tag Archives: Canada

Words that are a foot-and-a-half long?

While reading a bit of commentary from north of the border, I came across a word, a big word unknown to me, sesquipedalian.

So I had to look it up, and Douglas Harper and his Online Etymology Dictionary don’t disappoint.

1610s, “person or thing a foot and a half long,” from Latin sesquipedalia “a foot-and-a-half long,” from sesqui- “half as much again” (see sesqui-) + stem of pes “foot” (from PIE root *ped- “foot”). As an adjective 1650s. Meaning “sesquipedalian word” (1830) is from Latin sesquipedalia verba “words a foot-and-a-half long,” in Horace’s “Ars Poetica” (97), nicely illustrating the thing he is criticizing.

Words that are a foot-and-a-half long? That certainly describes Conrad Black. But I do like him and his writing. His insights are a good perspective of whatever he’s commenting about.

Black’s trial and imprisonment is a case of the power of vindictive bureaucrats using the State to pursue their perverted senses of justice. Far too many people, from Martha Stewart to thousands of black men, have been wrongly caught up in the corrupt, highly profitable justice system.

There’s a lot of money in prisons. And we must demand reform! It’s time to reduce the prison population.


“Work as if you lived in the early days of a better nation.” Or world.

A mistake etched in stone.

This is etched on a wall at the Scottish Parliament. It is often misattributed to a Scottish writer and artist named Alasdair Gray. Gray credits Dennis Lee, a Canadian poet. A paraphrase of this quote — “Work as if you live in the early days of a better world.” — is on a mural in a subway station in Glasgow.


The first lady of Canada gets it. We are in this together.

International Women’s Day 🍁

As we mark International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect.”
— First Lady of Canada Sophie Grégoire Trudeau

She’s been the target of a lot of criticism for this, unfortunately. There’s no need for it. How is her comment even remotely controversial? It ain’t. But the outrage culture marches on. They are insatiable.


It’s been strange but beautiful weather


I knew it was warm yesterday, but I didn’t realize how hot it was. Eighty-nine degrees is impressive.

There’s more of the same today.

It has been very warm off and on since early April.

The warmth extended far north, into British Columbia, where the city of Prince George broke a 103-year-old record.

Maybe “global warming” ain’t such a bad idea. It sure beats the alternative, cold and wet, though it was chilly this morning.


Classic yellow mustard? Yes, of course. French’s ketchup? I had no idea.


I had no idea that French’s — famous in the United States for their classic yellow mustard— made ketchup. I’ve never seen it before. It’s made in Canada, and is making the rounds in the media up there. A supermarket chain had taken it off the shelves, only to face an enormous outcry, because it’s made from Canadian farmers’ tomatoes. On go the condiment wars.


A Lesson for Us All


A one-hundred-and-four-year-old Syrian woman has made her way, not easily and with a lot of help, to Canada. She had never been out of her homeland before the perilous journey.

She and her family went to Turkey, where they were first denied entry. For seven months they waited, until they were accepted as refugees by Canada. She was born in 1912, the year of the Titanic disaster.

She has dark blue tattoos typical of older generations of Bedouin women.

Because of immigration rules, her grandchildren were left behind, however.

“I worry about my grandchildren. Every time I look at their pictures, I cry.”

“The future is for my children,” her son said.

If ever there was a time to give some discretion to immigration officials this case appears to be it.

It’s a remarkable story. You should read it.

Why can’t America do more?


Trump Mania — North of the Border


Many in the Canadian media appear to be obsessed with The Donald and his success on the campaign trail. He keeps being mentioned, on the CBC and in the press.

On at least one CBC show, As It Happens, which is re-broadcast in Seattle on KUOW, he is routinely mocked by the hosts. Very much like American journalists, who have an almost universal bias toward the left, they just don’t get it. The typical American is sick and tired of being dictated to by a political establishment that doesn’t care, doesn’t listen, doesn’t respond.

Trump ain’t my ideal candidate, but with the leadership we have and have had, why not give him a shot? If he makes it out of the primaries, I will vote for him. I’d prefer Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens.


And Yet Another . . .


who_caresSadly, another newspaper, this one in Canada, bites the dust. The last paper edition of the Guelph Mercury was delivered today to its 9,000 subscribers in Ontario. It began publishing as the Wellington Mercury in 1853.

Unfortunately, most folks, even fellow reporters, don’t seem to care. Companies, particularly media-oriented operations, have to remain relevant to last in the digital era.

I fear the same outcome for my hometown newspaper, which was absorbed into the Gannett empire years ago. Quality, in the writing and the design, has been an issue ever since. I’m an advocate of local ownership.

Hopefully that will be the end game for my hometown paper, which is how it all began, as two competing papers, the Capital Journal and the Oregon Statesman. I wrote a pointed letter to the editor about the subject perhaps a decade or so ago, which the paper’s editor refused to print. It wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last. But more about that later.