(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, May 17, 2014) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ There was a time when a neighbourhood school was a place that nourished your soul. It wasn’t that long ago. I’m not that old. You’d go to play, say, baseball on Saturday morning or, in winter, hockey on the rink that your Grade 6 teacher lovingly flooded outside the row of windows where even the good students looked out to daydream. It was a time when you’d walk to school every morning. By yourself. Even when the school bully – her last name was, fittingly, Greenall – went the same way. It somehow even brought out courage that you never knew you had.
“Hey, let’s talk about sex!” I said. I couldn’t help it. It was at the dinner table yesterday evening and Mom wasn’t there and it just sort of tumbled out. You know, like “Hey, pass the carrots, will ya?” Now, sure, I know my kids are sort of young. But I’ve already had some pretty [...]
(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, March 15, 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦Fear is a strange thing, which is why it’s so hard to look into the eyes of another human being that you’re about to gas or bomb or, in the case of Uganda’s gays, throw to the lions. This is also why President Yoweri Museveni recently refused to meet with Uganda’s gay community – there were repeated requests – before signing Uganda’s infamous anti-gay law. The new law means even touching with the intent of a homosexual act – try to prove or disprove this one – will get you seven years. Short of jail, a life-sentence for a single homosexual act, there’s obviously also a new chill on the street here.
We are children, all of us, not entirely at home in this world because in a deep place, maybe a forgotten place, we realize there is something else, something more. Which is why crimes against children are especially heinous: they’re an attack on the very nature of innocence. They’re also a reminder of how, in the [...]
If there is a time for everything -- a time to search and a time to give up, a time for love and a time for hate -- it would appear it's time for the Americans to blow Saddam and all that is his to Kingdom Come.
Fear is a funny thing. Along with other Commonwealth citizens, Jean and I were recently informed that most staff members of the British Embassy here are leaving and that we should consider the same.