Barbarians within

Far be it from me to rain on the Blue Jays parade, but I’m about to. No one was more happy than I with last night’s come-from-behind win. It had to be the wildest game of all time. There have been other spectacular victories recently that also rank with the ages. And I speak as a fan who froze his butt off at Exhibition Stadium in the early years. For all this time I’ve been part of one group or another that share a pair of season’s tickets so I go to the ball park for maybe a dozen games every year....

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Day of decision

I’ve been wavering about Justin Trudeau for prime minister. When I first heard him speak in March 2013, I was a fan and said so in a blog post. (Justin Time.) He was articulate, well-informed and worked the room well. When I next heard him in May 2015, his speech was lacking in passion and his performance was poor. I was less impressed and said that, too. (Flatlining on Front Street.) During the election campaign, his presentation has improved and his economic policies seem appropriate. The Nanos poll has the Liberals in the lead by six points while Ekos says the Conservatives are...

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Last chance saloon

Now that the first official photos of the new BlackBerry Priv have been released, there’s hope for us BlackBerry users and fans yet. Dimensions are not yet known, nor is the price, but it looks both thin and robust as well as equipped with a slide-out keyboard. And for those who care about apps, it’s an Android device. CEO John Chen has finally shed the BlackBerry cloak of using only its own operating system while, he says, continuing to maintain security. He admitted that because of “logistic and financial reasons” he couldn’t put apps and the BlackBerry 10 together. “This is the best...

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Key to victory

In 2012 I attended the ceremonial sod-turning for the tunnel that recently opened to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Before the program began, my son Mark, who was then chairman of the Toronto Port Authority, pulled me out of the audience. Prime Minister Stephen Harper had just arrived, was in a nearby holding room, and would do a quick photo with Mark and his young family that would include me. What was supposed to be a 30-second session must have lasted 15 minutes. Harper was effusive and friendly, far from the stiff father who shook hands with his own...

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Sock it to me

When it comes to socks, I’m like Jack Nicholson in Heartburn where all too often he leaves the house claiming he has to go buy more socks when in fact he’s having an extramarital affair. I’m no Jack Nicholson, but I do seem to buy a lot of socks. This particular expedition took me to The Bay at Queen and Yonge in Toronto where since the days of of Robert Simpson Co. in the 1970s, men’s basics have been lodged handily in the basement or on the main floor. No longer. Only brand-name perfume and high-margin emoluments are there now. Men’s...

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A modern-day prophet

I was minding my own business on the subway when I suddenly realized someone was shouting at me. “You in the suit reading the financial paper, do you know what’s on pages 144 and 145 of the federal budget?” By the time the sentence was complete, I had spotted a man who had stood up from his seat about halfway down the car. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I called back, wondering why I had been singled out for this diatribe. For the next two minutes he went on about something he called a “bail-in” that had already occurred in...

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War what is it good for?

You have to wonder what country Stephen Harper grew up in. It couldn’t have been the same Canada I know, the one where political leaders show the way in welcoming desperate refugees fleeing horrific circumstances around the world. Under the Harper government’s heartless rules, it’s almost impossible even to sponsor family members who are under the gun and could make a contribution here. He thinks our F-18s are the only answer in the Middle East. It’s not even clear that our puny effort, along with others, is making any progress by bombing ISIS. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander suspended his re-election efforts yesterday...

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Down the digital slope

Increasingly, movies are made with computer generated imagery (CGI). Robert Downey Jr. spends his studio life in front of a green-screen doing snappy one-liners while all the special effects are added later to Avengers and the like. Dialogue no longer matters; impossible action is all. As Hollywood’s best-paid actor he makes $US80 million a year. Next we’ll be watching Jimmy Stewart in the sequel to It’s a Wonderful Life made from a pastiche of his previous films using soupçons of CGI. Music, once difficult to reproduce on stage because of studio tinkering, has gone fully robotic. No longer is it just Auto-Tune software correcting...

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