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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Byfield blaze

Unhappy news from Edmonton, where fire has badly damaged the home of Western Standard columnist, conservative icon, and my old mentor Ted Byfield.

The last I heard, Ted and wife Virginia were trying to raise enough money to finish off their Christian history series. Let's hope all their files didn't go up in smoke.

UPDATE: This story makes it clear that the computer files for the next volume of the series were saved.

NEW LINK: My Report and Standard colleague Colby Cosh has now posted on the subject, noting in his usual elegant and insightful prose the importance of the home itself.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on October 3, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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A good comment Terry. Ted and Virginia have made a significant contribution through The Report magazines and the Alberta series which was well researched and written. Sometimes the magazines were too strident and singular but they were always interesting and often focussed on important stories not covered by the MSM. I wish them well in their efforts to finish the series on Christianity (an important endeavour).

Posted by: DML | 2007-10-03 9:37:52 PM

...yes i hope they are able to recover things.

Just sad people don't put 2+2 together. Oxygen tank and cigarettes.

She's suffering from Lung Cancer to boot, nothing like paying homage to the very thing that binds her, almost paying the ultimate price of 'enjoyment'.

EDMONTON - Well-known writer Ted Byfield's terminally ill daughter put as much space as she could between herself and her oxygen tank before lighting a cigarette in her upstairs bedroom early this morning.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-10-04 5:48:24 AM

It could have been a conscious or sub-conscious suicide attempt.

I'm not a doctor - but I play one on this blog.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-04 7:07:45 AM

Tomax7 The story WAS that a daughter of Ted and Virgina Byfield was smoking cigarettes!! Connect the dots...only the very 'incorrect' in the PC mandated society would smoke cigarettes!!

In the 'new' morality (of eco freaks) smoking cigarettes is the most corrupt behavior a citizen can indulge. The by-line is 'If the daughter of Ted and Virgina Byfield was smoking cigarettes, and it was condoned by her parents, in the home of the parents, then Ted and Virgina are as corrupt as their daughter and DESERVE any loss experienced from this serious abrogation from accepted PC behavior.

PC people do not smoke in their own houses!! And they certainly do not allow guests to smoke in their house - drink or shoot up with drugs - YES - that is 'clean behavior' but smoking cigarettes is considered filthy. That article was as subtle as a base ball bat!

Now we, the concerned public, should expect a shame faced Ted and Virgina saying that both they and their daughter have 'learned their lesson', there will be no further cigarette smoking in their house - they will send their daughter outside to indulge her habit no matter the weather!! (They send war vets and senior citizens outside to smoke, don't they?? The 'homes' that the seniors and war vets live in are their homes by virtue of their age or their health - what makes the Byfield's daughter so special?? The outrage!!!!)

No insurance for these transgressors who brought this disaster on themselves by allowing anyone to smoke cigarettes in the house. The constipated logic is 'Ted and Virgina Byfield are worse people than the PCs expected; they have had this nasty little secret - people smoke cigarettes in their house! - outed so anything they say is 'suspect'. Fanatical health freak(ism) speaking out loud....

Is the Byfield's daughter Okay? I smoke cigarettes so I care about her. Notice that the article did not give the daughter of Ted and Virgina a name - she is a smoker after all..

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-04 10:26:12 AM

Hey jema54j...chill out...no one says they can't smoke in their own home, and no one condemns them for doing so. Surely it's worthy of note when someone dying of lung cancer lights up next to a supply of oxygen, isn't it? That's all the story says...

Posted by: BillBC | 2007-10-04 1:00:27 PM

Congratulations BillBC - you too, connected the dots. The story is not about a tragedy, it is about smoking cigarettes, and the righteous, inevitable consequences dealt to smokers (and the enablers) who indulge in this nefarious habit - in ANY enclosed space. Think of the children....

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-04 1:43:04 PM

Sorry...I think it's about people who light flames near open sources of oxygen....

Posted by: BillBC | 2007-10-04 2:48:03 PM

How many cliches can I throw at this story?

God works in mysterious ways.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

People just enjoy seeing arrogant, holier than thou, and very succesful characters suffer. Especially when they are too old to defend themselves. It's a cowardly way to get one up on someone. Even your worst enemy deserves a little empathy when a family member is stricken with a horrible disease.

Posted by: dph | 2007-10-04 6:43:45 PM

...i think dph is closer to the truth than jema.

It wasn't so much about smoking cigarettes or because the Byfields are the least PC people you'd meet, it was because their own daughter smokes and is dying because of that horrible habit.

Just goes to show you how dangerous smoking really is, common sense does not factor in. How many die in bed from a cigarette induced smoke/fire?

Reminds me of that Film Board cartoon of the guy chasing a dynamite fuse line to light his cig.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-10-04 9:53:50 PM

tomax7 - How many die of drug overdose (including pharmaceutical drugs), too many Big Macs - with fries, too much artificial sweetener from diet pop cans, .....need I go on? Where does the adult stage of life begin in this sorry nation?

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-05 12:28:54 AM

"Where does the adult stage of life begin in this sorry nation?"

Good question. I'd peg it at 34.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-10-05 12:49:35 AM

Spot on, jema54j. That is exactly how our leftist MSM work. How refreshing it would be to have the news simply reported with the slant. Sometimes it is subtle, like here, and other times it is blatant and even to the point of lying.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-05 4:55:36 PM

Oh my, I meant to write "without the slant"

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-05 4:56:40 PM

Saddly Philippa Byfield succumbed to her injuries and the disease yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers go to the Byfields at this time. It seems sad to me - the social commentary about PC here as someone dies.

Posted by: John | 2007-10-09 2:48:26 PM

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