What happened then?

It seems that Whites will become a minority of Americans by 2045. This demographic reality is fueling the Great Replacement Theory that’s behind rising racial violence in the US.

I also learned that 32,000 Americans are imprisoned because of cannabis offences.

These two unrelated facts are connected in an odd and vital way to Canada and Toronto.

First, Whites became a minority of Toronto’s population in 2015.

What happened then?

Nothing. Even today, when 58% of Torontonians are not White, and when one in two Torontonians is born outside Canada, “nothing” is “happening”.

On October 17, 2018, cannabis was legalized across our country. What happened on that day and beyond?

Nothing. Young men, whacked up on grass, didn’t roam the streets terrorizing the population. Stoned-driving cases didn’t uptick. Even now, nearly five years later, the wisdom of decriminalizing cannabis isn’t polarizing our society. Frankly, not many of us give it a second thought.

I, for one, am happy to live in a place where nothing happens.


1. Henry Kissinger turned 100 this morning. This CBS report sums up his life and times, and this Economist interview, which he did last week, sums up his views.

2. Women and work. As this Fortune piece points out, “Flexible work is feminist – and women won’t return to a system that hasn’t served them well to spare the feelings of powerful men.”

3. Cities with the most skyscrapers. Toronto does quite well, if you like long tall buildings. But North America and Europe are kindergartens compared to Asia in the skyscraper sweeps. The same with patents filed.

4. Bad news from Big Oil; good news from Big Tech. The good news first: your iPhone will soon be able to speak in your voice. So if you have a degenerative disease, or your voice is aging faster than you are, at least you can sound ‘normal.’ And from Salon, how oil companies urge us to “look over there” when the problem’s really “right here.”

5. Locking them up. Elizabeth Holmes goes to prison on Monday. Here’s the handbook she’ll use to orient herself during her 11-year prison sentence for defrauding investors in a blood-testing scam. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani won’t be going to prison, at least not if he loses Noelle Dunphy’s civil lawsuit, accusing him of harassment and sexual assault. See particularly page 44-45 out of 70.

6. A seer sees deep threats in AI. The historian Yuval Noah Harari spoke last week at a climate change conference on AI and the future of humanity, thereby covering both of today’s existential crises in a single speech.

7. The bests are yet to come. Here’s Maclean’s best places to eat in Canada, and Toronto Life’s best in Toronto, plus 10 of the most beautiful hotels in the world, and Condé Nast’s best new hotels in the world.

8. Roger’s little rule book. Some sage advice about writing and life from the late critic Roger Ebert.

9. Unboxing Shakespeare’s First Folio. “Without this extraordinary book, several of Shakespeare’s best-loved and most-performed plays would have been completely lost to us, including Twelfth Night, Macbeth and The Tempest.

10. The bow must go on. What to do when your $30,000 bow breaks mid-concert?

11. What I’m liking. I’ve come to the caste party two years late. But Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents explains why so many female, Black, and liberal Americans voted for Trump in 2016 and, god forbid, seem ready to do so again next year. When was the last time a New York Times book review began like this? “It’s an extraordinary document, one that strikes me as an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”





Here are the trips RamsayTravels is hosting in the coming months.

Jean and I invite you to come with us on any (and all) of them.

You should join our happy band of gentle adventurers because…..? …..the sights and tastes and lessons and sweet surprises on these trips are exceeded only by your fellow travelers who are doing the same thing.

So, in order of appearance…

October 2-10, 2023 — Bicycling and the Kardamyli Literary Festival in Greece.

February 25 – March 9, 2024 — Lindblad Expedition to the South Pacific.

May 29 – June 5, 2024 — Northern Italy under Sail, aboard the Sea Cloud II.

September 2-9, 2024 — Lindblad Expedition to the Great Bear Rainforest.

Just e-mail Bob Ramsay at if you have questions.

Thanks for coming this far with us.

Bob Ramsay

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