Hiatus is History!

I am glad to be back. Welcome to all the new subscribers. I look forward to your comments. Please keep in mind that agreement with my perspective is not a requirement. The group that sees everything my way could meet in a phone booth—if there were still phone booths.


Help for Syrian Civilians

Dear Virtual Editor,

You will not be hearing from me again until January— for the best of reasons. It appears that my book on Canada’s involvement in other people’s wars has found a publisher. The only problem is that I have not yet finished writing it! Fear not, I will be […]

Four Corners and Prorogies:

“Keep Moving, Please. No Democracies to see here”

Dear Virtual Editor,

Since I have an interest in the news from both my countries, I have planned for some time, as a public service to offer Americans a primer on what Canadians insist on referring to as democracy and a similar primer for Canadians about the […]


Repeal the North Carolina Voter Suppression Act

Dear Virtual Editor:

I was delighted to learn recently that Dean Smith, the nation’s greatest basketball coach and one of the finest people I have known, will receive the US Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour, later this year. I think that is a wonderful and […]

Weapons Free Middle East

UN Arms Trade Treaty, and Nobel Peace Prize for Bradley Manning?

Dear Virtual Editor:

Oh boy! Today we have an all too familiar story you can really jump on. Will the US launch a “limited” cruise missile strike on Syria to “significantly degrade” its chemical weapons capability? The expert talking heads are pushing their way […]

Law, Discretion, and the
United States Justice Department


Dear Virtual Editor,

I know you have a tough job. The news business is competitive and it is easier to report on political soap opera than law. Still, as long as the now fungible phrase “rule of law” continues to surface in popular jargon, maybe […]

Doofus Delights II: U.S. Exceptionalism

Dear Virtual Editor,

Wow! Little did I know about the power of the blogosphere! You will recall that only three weeks ago I celebrated the availability of two outlets for the macho mentally challenged that do not involve weapons: the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and the Calgary Stampede.(See July 26th post.) Little did […]

Law Sometimes Matters: Zimmerman Jury Instructions Were a Mandate to Acquit

Dear Virtual Editor:

I have hesitated to comment on the Trayvon Martin trial. It raises difficult issues for a progressive white southern attorney who has tried and studied murder cases and sought to make the law work. Media coverage, talking heads and all, has demonstrated an understanding of the role of the law in murder […]

Toronto and Montreal: Police Academy I and II

Dear Virtual Editor,

I see lots of police news this week. A Montreal SWAT team ended a 20 hour standoff with an armed 72 year old former professor (oops!),who had barricaded himself in his home. The cops shot him with a rubber bullet. He is in hospital, but doing OK. The man reportedly had 182 […]

Better Days Are Comin’

Dear Virtual Editor:

The most infectiously optimistic person I have known was the lowest ranking crew member of a tank I commanded on the “border of the free world” in Germany. To make sure that the 3d Armored Div. was ready to do battle with the commie invaders, our generals called “alerts.” A siren would […]

Doofus Delights: Pamplona and Calgary

Dear Virtual Editor:

As bad as things seem to be sometimes, one wonders if they would not be worse if the world had no recurring opportunities for the faux macho to act out—without their weapons. Two events serving that purpose this summer are the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and the Calgary Stampede.

In […]

Disgrace of US Guantanamos:
Hope from Alabama

Dear Editor:

The disgrace of Guantanamo has been much in the news lately, including the brutal force feeding of hunger striking prisoners who have already been determined to be innocent or not dangerous. The news also occasionally mentions the Republican obstruction blocking a formal closure and gross Presidential ineptitude in closing it anyway. […]

Canada Day Plot to bomb the BC Legislative Bldg.

Dear Editor:

RE the letter from the gentleman about the couple who is charged with plotting to bomb the BC Legislative Bldg. on Canada Day. In response to an earlier letter, suggesting that this might be a time to view these young people with compassion, the writer says that we should save our compassion […]