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Ripples from asbestos miners’ strike lasted more than 20 years

Arguably Canada’s ugliest-ever strike, a five-month labor conflict centered on the small town of Asbestos, Quebec had a profound effect on Canadian society, politics and culture for decades.

If the effects in question were converted to lines of influence and if we were able to see and follow these lines starting in 1949, here are the results:

a. The behavior of the political leaders of the day is believed to have sparked the earliest beginning of what became known as Quebec’s “Quiet Revolution” which ultimately grew into separatist terror action and martial law.

b. A second line was reported to…


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KItchen diplomacy in Dominican Republic/Dominican Today News photo

Citizens mobbed the presidential mansion at bedtime to express their dissatisfaction

By Regis Yaworski

Over a period of less than 10 years, the usually-peaceful South American country of Ecuador went through five presidents.

In that time, citizen revolts took the form of what might be called “kitchen democracy”. Hundreds, sometime thousands, of citizens would arrive at the presidential mansion bearing pots and pans which would be banged and hammered through the night or day and night until the president left.

The tactic has been picked up by other countries, recently by Dominican Republic protesters.

Medium writer David Dennis Jr. posed the question of citizen protest in Washington, DC, in the event…


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Cocaine runner: Semi-submersible boat from Colombia carrying cocaine to Jalisco, Mexico: Mexico Daily News photo

Are cartels on course to become Mexico’s true government?

By Regis Yaworski

When the average person thinks of a Mexican drug cartel, their thoughts center on cocaine, crystal meth, and heroin.

The extent to which these criminal units have developed and diversified is a testament to the immense power base they’ve established, often exceeding the imagination of all us gringos who can only stare in awe at their handiwork.

I will get into hot water over this, but it's like the cartels may be on the verge of becoming the true government of Mexico.

Let me establish my credentials here: I choose to live in Yucatan state of Mexico…


There’s a 10-digit number that holds the secret to the digital world

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By Regis Yaworski

I don’t pretend to be “normal”.

So here’s a caution for readers under 30. Do not read this if you have concerns about your coronary health

Ready?

Here it is: I do not own a telephone.

I don’t mean just a “smart” phone; I mean smart, dumb or any phone.

My reasons are complex but they simply boil down to hate. I hate talking on phones, I hate being “accessible” except on my own terms and I hate the techno-acrobatics involved with setting up, maintaining and nurturing of the device.

The reality, though, is that my battle…


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Thee blockade that thwarted police (Source: Windsor Star)

The precedent set in 1945 is still a major influence on Canadian labor

By traditional measures, November 4, 1945 should have gone down as the most violent labor action in Canada’s history. The stage was set, the conditions were ripe, and a dangerous degree of pent-up anger seemed to point to the inevitable.

By dint of a brilliant tactic and old-fashioned union solidarity, the anticipated bloodbath didn’t happen.

The occasion, which ended up establishing a dramatic precedent in Canadian labor relations, was the Ford Motor Company strike of 1945 in Windsor, Ontario.

Negotiations between Ford and the United Auto Workers…


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Abandoned farm house from Depression era: Author Photo

This province gave birth to Canada’s renowned health care program

Few Canadians and almost no Americans have any familiarity with Saskatchewan, a sparsely-populated, mainly rural province where the population tends to hover at just below a million inhabitants.

Canada‘s national health care program had its origin in this province in a tumultuous controversy that made international headlines.

As young citizens, we had no embarrassment joking that we were from The People’s Republic of Saskatchewan, with the distinction of being the first socialist state in North America, a description that probably mystifies and terrifies American conservatives.

They may be surprised to learn that we had no forced labor camps or indoctrination…


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River Street in Savannah, GA/Author Photo

Turning its back on Southern history, Savannah captivates tourists with a movie

By Regis Yaworski

In 1997, the statue of a young girl was moved from Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GA, to a city museum.

The statue, a little over four feet in height, had no special historic significance; despite that, it was moved for its own protection as well as to prevent damage to the cemetery plot where it had stood in relative obscurity since the late 1930s.

The need to move The Bird Girl, as the statue was nicknamed, into protective custody speaks volumes about where the city of Savannah has cast its cultural lot: The city that epitomizes the…


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Scene in downtown Havana Regis Yaworski photo

Visiting Cuba:

Sure, Che Guevara May Have Been a Brutal Killer,

But Let’s Keep That Between Us

By Regis Yaworski

Towards the end of the Obama presidency (remember that?) it became acceptable for Americans to visit Cuba. From Cuba’s standpoint, that’s still the case and has almost always been so. Under the Trump administration, it’s somewhat unclear whether the US prohibits or simply frowns upon tourist visits.

One way or another, there are some protocols to follow — for anyone.

It’s not just about ending up wearing a tan rather than handcuffs; there are some social rules to take into account. For example, repeat after me: “Fruitabomba”.Not …

Regis Yaworski

Twenty years in newspaper journalism, twenty-five as a Canadian college professor now retired as professor emeritus. Winters in Yucatan, Mex., loves history.

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