Troops of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade going ashore to establish a beachhead. Bernières-Sur-Mer, Normandy, June 6, 1945 By Tylerweatherill - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67783443

A Box Full of Books

September 11, 2019

My summer 2019 reading followed a truly strange and definitely unexpected path, one with an interesting and educational, if horrifying, twist that saw me become absorbed in the devastation and death of war. It began with a paperback, torn into two pieces and lacking a back cover, hidden away amongRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

May 17, 2019

More BullSHIP? In a bit of revisionist history that would probably secretly impress the government of the People’s Republic of China, Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP) CEO Albert Barbusci has erased all mention of the Chinese from his latest Novaporte container terminal press release. I figure the next step willRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

May 24, 2019

Free the information CBRM Municipal Clerk Deborah Campbell Ryan got back to me Tuesday night about another FOIPOP I submitted back in April looking for information about a matter before council. Her original estimate of the fee I would be required to pay for this (public) information was $215 andRead More

Red dress, Potlotek First Nation, 9 June 2019

MMIWG: Two-Eyed Seeing

August 21, 2019

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles about the conclusions of Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) inquiry. You can read the first one here, the second here, the third here and the fourth here.   How might reclaiming the rightful “power andRead More

Troops of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade going ashore to establish a beachhead. Bernières-Sur-Mer, Normandy, June 6, 1945 By Tylerweatherill - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67783443

A Box Full of Books

September 11, 2019

My summer 2019 reading followed a truly strange and definitely unexpected path, one with an interesting and educational, if horrifying, twist that saw me become absorbed in the devastation and death of war. It began with a paperback, torn into two pieces and lacking a back cover, hidden away amongRead More

"Friends," oil on canvas, by Jerry Weiss, CC by 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en, via Wikimedia Commons

On Friendship

September 18, 2019

Earlier this week, as of this writing, I lost a very dear friend and her death has made me reflect on the ethical dimensions of friendship. Most contemporary moral philosophers agree that there are three major ethical approaches in the Western philosophical tradition, utilitarianism, Kantianism and virtue ethics. Surprisingly, itRead...

Jail is…Great?

Jail is…Great?

April 17, 2019

When I saw the headline “Life in lockup“on the front page of Tuesday’s Cape Breton Post I was impressed — a full, front page story (and two additional pages inside) exploring life in the Cape Breton Correctional Facility? SaltWire actually doing a valuable “deep dive?” Excellent. And then I readRead More

CBRM Has Day in Court (and Loses)

CBRM Has Day in Court (and Loses)

September 18, 2019

On Monday, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s bid to reverse a UARB ruling overturning a CBRM Council decision that green lighted the development of a 211-site, lakeside RV park in Big Pond Centre. That was a lot to pack into a single sentence,Read...

Bill and Melinda Gates (source: The Giving Pledge website)

Sharing the Wealth

June 5, 2019

You may have noticed that some American billionaires are actually anxious to give away some of those billions to help those who fall, well, billions short of having a half-decent chance at something even close to the good life. Are the guys with the big bucks “bucking for the finals”Read More

Other News

McIntosh apple. (Photo by User:MarkusHagenlocher CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Gardening Tips from Septembers Past

September 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm

What to do this week The Spectator‘s gardening columnist will be back to her regular schedule next week. (Full disclosure: the Spectator forgot to tell her we were resuming the weekly publication schedule as of September 11. Sorry Michelle!) Luckily, she has written oodles of advice for September gardeners, andRead More

Irish Cove, Cape Breton, Spectator photo

About This Week’s Issue…

September 4, 2019 at 10:06 am

After a wonderful summer on a bi-weekly publication schedule, I had fully expected to be back to business as usual this week, but the universe had different ideas. On Sunday I lost one of my oldest and dearest friends — an actual “friend of my youth” — and I foundRead...

Toronto's Eaton Centre, facing south. (Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Acedia and Consumerism

September 4, 2019 at 10:04 am

I am sitting in a board game café as I write this month’s column. I have my phone on the table in front of me, and I am surrounded by young people, most of whom are using computers and/or are holding phones in their hands. Our phones and our computersRead...

An MH-60R Seahawk from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72 takes off from the flight deck of guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) during international exercise Cutlass Fury 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Colbey Livingston)

War Games: Exercising the Power to Hurt

September 4, 2019 at 10:02 am

To set the tone for their recent article on Twenty-First Century Nuclear Deterrence , four senior American nuclear war-planners approvingly quote from Arms and Influence, Thomas Schelling’s classic 1966 defense of ‘coercive diplomacy’ in the atomic age: The power to hurt – the sheer unacquisitive, unproductive power to destroy thingsRead...

Cover Crops. (Photo by USDA NRCS South Dakota, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Cover Crops for Beginners

September 4, 2019 at 10:00 am

What to do this week The first frost is still (I hope) a while away but parts of the garden are starting to look tired and tapped out. As the harvest moves through the garden, it’s important to clean up as you go. It’s time to pull up or tillRead...

Lament for a Treaty (INF Treaty 1987-2019)

Lament for a Treaty (INF Treaty 1987-2019)

August 23, 2019 at 9:19 am

I did not weep, I turned to stone inside…Dante, Inferno   I rarely cry, but on the evening of 8 December 1987, glued to radio coverage of the signing of a nuclear arms control treaty between the United States and Soviet Union, I wept with a relief I had neverRead More

Tree Walk, Lipno nad Vltavou, CR. https://www.stezkakorunamistromu.cz/

Seeing the Forest from the Trees

August 21, 2019 at 1:33 pm

“Excitement is building for what’s expected to be a multi-million dollar development along the Cabot Trail by a private firm with European connections.” — Cape Breton Post, 17 August 2019 That’s the opening to a Cape Breton Post article about Czech-born, New York-based developer Joseph Balaz (né Josef Baláž) andRead More

Arresting Development?

Arresting Development?

August 21, 2019 at 1:31 pm

On 9 August 2019, the Nunavut sheriff’s office, acting on a statement of claim and warrant from the Federal Court in Halifax, “arrested” the Royal Canadian Geographic Society (RCGS) Resolute — a cruise ship operated by One Ocean Expeditions (OOE). The incident was made public on August 19, by CBCRead More

Red dress, Potlotek First Nation, 9 June 2019

MMIWG: Two-Eyed Seeing

August 21, 2019 at 1:29 pm

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles about the conclusions of Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) inquiry. You can read the first one here, the second here, the third here and the fourth here.   How might reclaiming the rightful “power andRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

August 21, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Sea change A spectator (you know who you are) pointed me to this item from the tender for architectural and engineering services for the new Marconi Campus on the Sydney waterfront (before, I might add, it was also picked up on by the Cape Breton Post): Climate risks include increasedRead More