Night Music: Sandie Shaw

February 22, 2017

Anti-Vaccination: An Old Story

February 22, 2017

I was doing my usual research this morning when I came upon the following ad:


This was published in the Vancouver Daily World on 15th February 1911. While I was aware there had been some objections ever since Jenner poked a little kid with cow-pox back in the 18th century, I didn’t know the opposition had been so organised until relatively recently.

While I am here, I might as well have my say on this topic. I have three points to make:

One, I personally think it is madness not to have vaccinations. It can easily be shown how many millions (billions?) of lives have been saved or improved because of them, and to compare that favourably with the infinitely tiny number of cases where vaccines may have caused some issues;

Two, as an anarchist I believe everyone has the right to refuse vaccinations for themselves and their non-adult children;

Three, any school or other public place should have the right to prohibit entry to anyone who has not been vaccinated for the safety of everyone else using the space.

That’s my opinion and it is worth at least two cents.


Image: Charleston WV

February 21, 2017

charleston WV

Days of Joy and Sorrow

February 21, 2017

Today would have been Nina Simone’s 84th birthday.  She gave us such joy and passion and most importantly a withering and uncompromising understanding of the black condition in America. This review of a Simone biography is well worth reading. She was fierce in her joy and I love her for it.


Also today, in sorrow, we remember the great Malcolm X who was cruelly assassinated on this day in 1965. I have written before, and I repeat, Malcolm X’s “Autobiography” stands with Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and Nelson Mandela’s speech on his release from prison as the most influential statements of civil rights in the twentieth century.

Night Music: Goodbye To Love

February 20, 2017

A great arrangement and not to be missed — the incredible fuzz guitar solo by Tony Peluso.

Good Time For A Sanctuary City

February 20, 2017

Montreal City Council has just voted unanimously to make their municipality a Sanctuary City — a place where undocumented refugees can feel safe from official persecution and harassment.

I understand that the Trump Tower here in Vancouver is to be formally opened on February 28th and members of the Trump cult will be here for the event.  We should flood City Hall with demands that on that date we declare Vancouver to also be a place of safe refuge.

Can we make it unanimous?

Poem: Triage

February 20, 2017



Losing a lover is like

losing a limb

or a necessary organ:

take whatever drugs you want

to ease the pain,

it still hurts like hell

in the morning



Taking a new lover is like

another transplant:

the dose of anti-rejection drugs you need

just grows and grows.

And as the skin thickens

it takes a harder push

each time

for the needle’s point to pierce your cover;

and each drop of blood seems redder

and more precious

than the last

until you decide

at last

that the payoff is not worth the pain

and you consign that part

of you

to an oblivion

that is not complete

to a decision that is not whole-hearted

to a diagnosis that hurts

like a lover leaving.