When I started reading science fiction, in my teens, it was widely regarded as a disreputable form of literature. This was not surprising, since at that time – the early 1940s – sci-fi was confined to pulp magazines with lurid covers, often depicting scantily-clad heroines shooting ray-guns at BEMS (bug-eyed monsters). Living in Newfoundland at the … Continue reading Science fiction helps us to encompass the future as well as past and present
“Where’s the money coming from?” That’s the question thrown at any individual or group seeking increased funding for health care, education, child care, or public pensions – and, most urgently, for the elimination or at least sharp reduction of the disgracefully high rates of poverty in Canada. The presumption underlying this question is that the … Continue reading No excuse for government refusal to improve our inferior social programs and help kids in millions of poverty-stricken families
Canadians are living longer, with current life expectancy now averaging 81. Statistics Canada reports that last year 750,000 Canadians were in their 80s and 305,000 in their 90s, with women significantly outnumbering men in both categories. (Of the 305,000 nonagenarians, more than 200,000 are female.) But StatsCan can’t measure the well-being of these senior citizens. … Continue reading More people are living longer, but suffer from lack of a genuine health care system
Twenty-six years ago, over 1,500 scientists signed an open letter warning humankind that we had to start protecting life on our planet instead of continuing to ravage it. Our corporate and political leaders ignored that warning, prompting scientists – now nearly 15,000 of them – to issue another desperate appeal for human as well as … Continue reading Scientists’ latest warning to humanity as unlikely to be heeded as were all their previous alarms
Oh God! That bread should be so dear, And flesh and blood so cheap! –Thomas Hood, “The Song of the Shirt.” Canadians are fortunate to live in one of the world’s better countries, but we delude ourselves when we claim to be living in the best – or even one of the best. Not when … Continue reading Alleviating child poverty would save much more money than it would cost
The people in Canada who are intelligent, open-minded, and not ideologically conservative would probably number at least a million. But if only one in twenty of them – 50,000 -- were to read Joyce Nelson’s latest book – Bypassing Dystopia: Hope-filled challenges to corporate rule -- the outcome could be a grassroots uprising that would … Continue reading Book review: ‘Bypassing Dystopia’ could free Canada from the clutches of neoliberalism
Harper’s magazine, in its June issue, reports on a panel of former soldiers that it convened at the U.S. Military Academy at Westpoint, New York. They were all veterans of wars waged by the U.S. over the past 30 years, mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan, or stationed in some of the nearly 800 military bases … Continue reading Why is the United States always fighting a war somewhere? Could it be because war is profitable?