Thank-you for coming to my blog page. I often rely on the news feeds from CBC, BBC, and MSN to provide the ‘daily’ fodder. Wishing you the best the world has to offer!
12 December 2019
Headline 1: Deeply divided Britain faces historic choice on election day – First of all, a pat on the back to Nicholas Soames et. al. – Mr. Soames is a conservative MP who faced off in good conscience against Boris and the cons over their ‘no-deal’ Brexit plan. He knew he would be kicked out of his party, but he is the sort of politician who bows to principle and not pressure: his is not the party it was when he chose to serve the Conservative vision many years ago.
We arrive at the point of the election: the Brits are not only voting on the Brexit issue. The cons want to make the election a one-act show because their strategists believe this will garner them enough votes to win. Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn is campaigning on social issues. The Brit voter is becoming wiser as time goes on: the gap is closing and the cons’ lead is shrinking.
But the cons of Britain do not give up: they have changed the name of their Twitter account to ‘Factcheck UK;’ the idea being to trick the British twitterverse into believing that what they are reading is from a politically neutral source. Anything to gain an edge. If the truth happens to get in the way, make the truth a lie, and a lie the truth [aside: Donald Trump recently displayed his approach to social issues, such as poverty. In order to reduce the number of folks in poverty, he redefined the meaning of the word. Many of the starving folks living under American overpasses can now take comfort in the knowledge that their president no longer considers them to be poor. But to the American voter, ‘poverty’ has been reduced under Trump, proof that his weighted-to-favour-the-wealthy policies are working to alleviate it….the lie does the work of the truth. After the election, the nature of the lie becomes plain to everyone, in particular those who still live under overpasses, but by then it is too late to help those among us who are in desperate need].
The political tactics of the right are simply business mores applied to the institutions of democracy. We in Canada have been suffering through this since the beginning of the Harper years. Stephen Harper was the first prime minister of our wonderfully cosmopolitan nation of the movement conservative ilk. Our American brothers and sisters have been made to suffer under their ‘leadership,’ off and on, since the election of Ronald Regan, with the advent of Donald Trump being the movement conservatives’ crowning ‘achievement.’
Canada resoundingly reacted to the movement conservative version of the right in 2015. The MCs of the North did not lay down (nor will they ever, because money is involved), however. They continued to manufacture misinformation and used their fundraising to launch vicious personal attack ads on the new prime minister. This was honed to new ethical lows during the election of 2019.
Their high-priced and despicable personality attacks notwithstanding, Canada’s cons barely managed to keep the Liberals from winning a second majority. Their party machine bought enough bull to keep the western provinces voting in their traditional pattern. They did this by condemning real progress (the transition away from a fossil fuel economy is inevitable, it is only a matter of time) as ‘Eastern Canada exploiting Western Canada.’ They leveraged voter angst to fool voters into propping up a vision that would plunge more and more voters into misery -economic, social, and environmental. But they will make themselves more money, purchase more power (to do what? to make more money!) and they will blame the East for all of the misery their greed cultivates for Western citizens.
‘Say anything, Do anything…to gain power over society.’ That is the mantra of today’s cons, no matter where in the world you find them -and they are all over the world. They operate the way a Putin, Jinping, Netanyahu, bin Salman, Erdogan, or Un government traditionally operates. It is no wonder that Trump has displayed some kinship with most of the aforementioned, at one time or another.
Canada was first to tell movement conservatism, ‘not in our backyard.’ The Brits could be the second if they choose a Labour government over Boris’ cons. Third and of greatest import to the World’s future, is what the Americans will do in 2020.
It takes longer to grow a tree than it does to cut one down. The tree is society. The cons would, axe in hand, cut it down and burn it if there is profit involved.
The left would encircle the tree, join hands with one another, and defend it with their votes and their lives, when necessary. Past generations of Canadians, Americans, and of folks all over the world have already done this. In those days, they were ‘Canadians,’ ‘Americans,’ ‘Brits,’…the members of sovereign nations, joined together in a common cause. They were heroes. Our respective nations’ existence today was purchased by their sacrifice.
The movement cons around the world are united only in their zeal for profit, no matter the cost to the nations of the world or even their own citizenry. They even bring the world to war when they disagree among themselves.
I am praying for Labour to win today in Britain. I am praying that the good folks of the world will see the cons of today for what they are, give them a resounding message of ‘not in our backyard,’ and send these types packing.
The truth underpins everything. Awareness is the precursor to right action, which is the solution to every challenge. If we do not discover what is true, we cannot know what is the right thing to do.
The cons of today’s world do not want us to know the right thing because ‘the right’ gets in the way of what they want.
In political terminology, ‘right’ no longer maps to ‘conservative;’ not because of a Trumpian redefinition of the term, but because movement conservatism is not a political ‘philosophy.’ It is rather a Machiavellian means to an end: the end being to gain and maintain power over society, to enslave it to the whims of those with the money. These are the folks who have opportunistically usurped the Conservative brand, in order to abet their profiteering.
Headline 2: Teachers’ unions to announce legal challenge against Bill 124 Thursday – Bill 124 limits wage increases to 1% over the next three years, according to CBC News. On the television I listened as one of the union leaders equated the importance of educators to society with that of healthcare professionals, lawyers, etc. and that they deserve to be paid comparably in order to be paid ‘fairly.’ He is quite correct on the value provided by those working in education. But he also reveals what is basically and systemically wrong with the way we currently go about things. In collective bargaining with governments, unions are in a race with one another towards the top. Like healthcare unions, education unions, and other unionized essential social services, they all operate as if there is an inexhaustible supply of public money to divvy up. They see what doctors are making and naturally feel they should be paid the same. And they should. They are as valuable to Ontarian society as any professionals can be.
The trouble is, governments do not own money trees. They must budget. What they pay Peter, they are obliged to take from Paul, or they must borrow, and end up providing less to the public because they are paying more in interest on more debt.
If Peter is public sector unions, then Paul is the public. The more we pay PSUs, the less remains to apply to alleviate poverty and to protect the vulnerable in society. This includes the children the educators and doctors exist to serve. I cannot find a family doctor. Everyone is full. Poor kids cannot do anything after school; they eat poorly, dress poorly, live poorly because there is not enough money to help them.
This is not anti-union or pro-government. It is an attempt to acknowledge that we have a problem which folks aren’t aware of and therefore the solution escapes them. Unions are important. Collective bargaining is important. Good faith bargaining is essential. But the starting point is misaligned with our society’s goals: to wit: to provide adequate healthcare, emergency, and education services to all citizens of Ontario.
Whereas we enter negotiations with the idea of getting the most value at the least cost if you are ‘management side,’ or doing the least amount of work for the most remuneration if you are on the union side, we should remove money from the equation entirely: being paid more does not mean you will perform your job better.
The money issue focus never makes for good faith bargaining. Humans are too selfish. They rarely consider the ‘big picture’- if mentioned at all, they are simply paying lipservice to the ‘global’ societal impacts of the settlement they desire.
If doctors, educators, whomever in the public service and however they are organized, are serious about fairness of society toward themselves, they must be fair to society. To be fair to society, they must have a global perspective in addition to understanding the needs of those who work in their respective professions. The money issue is inherently counterproductive and guarantees continued labour unrest, public unrest-more strikes and disruption of services.
The systemic problem we need to address is human greed – go figure! Despite the ethereality of matters of the spirit, the solution can be effectively provided by government policy. To wit: to determine the value of each service to society, and accord a specific percentage of government revenues to each service sector, allowing them, in turn, to determine how much to pay one doctor or teacher or firefighter say, on the basis of how many doctors, teachers, firefighters are required to meet and exceed society’s goals. For teachers, one of these is smaller classes. They should also be teaching fewer classes and not having to work every night to plan for the next day. They have families too. The effect would be: when the economy is booming, all of these folks will earn more pay; while the economy is shrinking, all of these folks would earn less pay, but the poor and homeless will remain sheltered, fed, and cared for, and many of them will advance into being productive and proud members of society because they are not spending all of their energy, time, and resources in an attempt to dig themselves out of poverty’s hole.
This is what I call ‘fair.’ Money does not equate with quality. How many find the Donald Trump’s of the world to be a good example for their children?
If one want fairness and equality of opportunity, then one must first acknowledge what money can and cannot do: it cannot enhance the quality of the service one is capable of providing, but it can enhance the quality of what one owns. A bigger tv, say. This then being the reason our governments chronically have less than what many of our Ontarian brothers and sisters need to shelter and feed their families.
Anyone with eyes to see with, ears to hear with, and a brain to process all of what they perceive, can see where our current social model, predicated upon greed, is taking us and the world we live in.
I cannot speak for god. No one in human form is capable of this, no matter what they would have us believe. Only god is able to speak for god. If one is listening, one is able to hear god’s voice-it is all around us. So far as I can tell, and this by way of their artistic and spiritual traditions, the Indigenous of Canada are nearest in expressing the heart of god: profound sadness.
God, in Creation, has painted the canvas most beautifully; and we are actively destroying it out of our greed. No other species on Earth is doing what humans wilfully do to the Earth that provides for them as well as to their own kind. Recently, a homeless dog was discovered at the roadside, protecting an abandoned bunch of newborn kittens from the freezing cold.
All of our professionals and government service folks and people in government stand to learn a valuable lesson from the canine: she even took it upon herself to care for souls made by god but members of a different species. Humans do not even feel obliged to sacrifice a few trips to Florida, or drive a less expensive car, for the sake of children living in their proximity.
Until we smarten up, I would do better having that dog for a neighbour than a human. Some might argue with that, but I warrant no one would if I were talking about Ontario’s current premier and his cronies.
Headline 3: Trump attacks Greta Thunberg for being Time’s ‘Person of the Year.’ – Aw, come on, man!’
10 December 2019
Headline 1: Trudeau says UN vote not a shift in Canada’s ‘steadfast’ support for Israel – I am with the PM all the way on this one. The world must move on. The world can no longer afford the ‘my country, right or wrong’ attitude, even if it is held about another country. Both sides do grievous injury to the prospects of domestic and international peace each time they do violence or otherwise attempt to undermine the cause of the other. Both peoples have the god-given right to exist as a nation. Both sides need to stop behaving as the worst of neighbours toward one another, and instead embrace each other as neighbours and friends. Whom but your neighbour is best located to help you in an emergency?
Headline 2: Democrats poised to unveil 2 impeachment articles against Trump – There likely will be no impeachment because the politicization of democracy undertaken by movement conservatism is almost complete. I say, ‘politicization of democracy’ because ‘democracy’ is defined as the ‘will of the people,’ but how can the will of the people be known when the people are continually fed bullshit by their political leaders in an attempt to acquire/maintain voter loyalty? Under these circumstances, the people will be voting on anything but the issues per se and how they believe these issues are best resolved. Additionally, there are as many people prepared to publish misinformation on the Internet and in mainstream media as there are folks who write what they believe to be true: even if one were to question, the answer remains elusive to the conscientious voter, because there are enough ‘facts’ in existence to support either view, and once again, the voter is reduced to subjectivity and knee-jerk reaction.
The politicization of democracy amounts to a ‘localized’ brain-washing of the electorate: à la Lakoff, the repeated accusations coming from one side are met with the same number of denials from the other side, and, after enough repetitions, the individual voter’s mind will hardwire its reactions to what is being said, one way or the other, and no longer have to think. Each side is attempting to garner a captive audience among the electorate; therefore democracy is become subservient to power. Politics has debased itself to become the vehicle to power and is no longer democracy’s servant.
Donald Trump is the latest presidential ‘fruit’ of the movement conservative cause. Ronald Regan was the first. Trump would run a democratic society with business mores. Hello? Are businesses democracies? Last time I worked for someone other than myself, I was doing what I was told to do, minute by minute, second by second, or I would cease to be paid and I would left to my own devices, living on the street.
That’s Donald Trump’s vision of democracy, of his nation, and of the folks who live in it and who would bravely defend it against any aggressor to the death. But this ‘president’ only cares for those who can care for themselves.
When the nation is at war, the poor have always risen up in its defense. When the nation is not at war, it is leaving the poor to fend for themselves, for their children. Hmmm…
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she is not vote counting (I assume this means attempting to garner/monitor support for impeachment) but rather leaving House representatives to vote according to their conscience. This is exactly the right thing to say because it is the democratic thing to do, and this impeachment is really about giving democracy new life or handing it a death sentence.
god bless Nancy Pelosi, America’s democracy, and America’s children, for the battle to defend democracy will continue so long as any of us thinks about all of us the way the Trumps of the world do.
I pray there are still enough Republicans in the House who remember it is America and not me-first.
9 December 2019
Headline 1: Finland’s Sanna Marin, 34, will soon become the world’s youngest sitting prime minister – Wow! and only 34. Our kids’ generation is moving into leadership: Greta Thornburg, Sanna Marin (all of Finland’s political party leaders are women), Jacinda Ardern…young people speaking their minds… during an age of transition: from paternal to maternal human societies.
The transition is not within the context of human conscious design but rather a reflection of the slow, inexorable reconciliation of humankind with the Creator’s design: in Nature, it is the female who is the ‘Queen-bee,’ and it is the males who operate at her behest. It is not in any way, egoic: the males protect the Queen and the nest. They do not exploit the Queen but rather put themselves between the Queen and all harm. As a university kid, I recall thinking that ‘women’s lib’ would not be content with equality, that the female ego would want to dominate human societies in the way the male ego has dominated for millennia.
But the change we are experiencing in our own day is not at all about ego, male or female. It is about the change in humankind’s motive spirit: heretofore, the male spirit dominated (and the female spirit rendered subservient) because physical strength was needed to survive. Strength was valued, socially, above all else; even above producing offspring. With the passage of time and technological advances, physical strength became esteemed less highly. With modern advances in war technology, we are fast approaching a time wherein physical strength is of no consequence whatsoever; technology and the wits to apply it will decide the outcome of future battles.
Success in today’s world is increasingly predicated upon cooperation, collaboration; seeing to the details of day-to-day life, such as properly raising the next generation of leaders; seeing to the needs of the tribe and the neighbouring tribes. There is none of the ‘grand scheme,’ ‘glory,’ the ‘stuff of history,’ in any of this; rather it is all quite ordinary. Nothing of conquest; everything of the cooperative. Nothing of bloodshed and coercion; everything of the kind and collaborative…all of which is humankind’s best guarantee of continuing to write its history, well into the future. Both ordinary and extraordinary: as we reconcile with Nature and the Creator’s design and become more ‘ordinary,’ we are moving closer to the threshold of a wonderfully safe and exciting future. We will explore the Universe, but not in competition with one another to ‘get there first;’ humankind, and the souls we share the planet with, will arrive together. The next ark Noah builds will have warp engines. We will heal the Earth Mother, reconcile with our Indigenous brethren around the World, while we make a quantum leap toward our future.
My mom exemplified all of this in our tribe. Mom and dad raised our family with the neighbours raising theirs; we children grew up with our neighbours and cousins. It was a wonderful time to be a kid and a wonderful, safe place to grow. I grew up with no notion at all of the mess we humans were actively creating for ourselves. Among her many gifts of leadership, my mom was prophetic: when I was ten, she had stuffed a copy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring into my Christmas stocking. By October, 2019, what RC’s voice was crying in the wilderness of the ’60’s had become a linchpin electoral issue in the Canadian federal election. Mom knew how to survive in a paternal world. We all knew who the boss of the family was. It wasn’t dad. Dad’s job was ‘to serve and protect.’ Things were as mom directed, whenever they had a difference of opinion.
One thing is for certain: dad never, ever used his strength advantage with mom to get his way. Ever.
Even in the context of the paternal society, my dad knew in his heart and soul that violence against women and children are the greatest of evils. He lived in accord with the Creator’s designs even though, in those days, he was not a ‘religious’ person. My mom lived in accord with the Creator’s designs. The reconciliation we are undergoing is in accordance with the Creator’s design.
I love the Creator-the One who created men, women, and children, Muslims, Jews, and Catholics, brown-skinned, yellow-skinned, red-skinned, and white-skinned as equals; Who intended for us to be stewards rather than plunderers and exploiters of our World and of one another. As we continue along the path of reconciliation with our Creator, we are going to see more women in positions of leadership, à la the wonderfully progressive Fins, and we will see less violence perpetrated upon women. A wonderful corollary to this is the end of violence directed at women and children. I warrant we will also see the beginning of Katie Raworth’s Donut Economics paradigm…
…another woman, thinking ahead, à la Rachel Carson and my own mom.
8 December 2019
Headline 1: Dozens Dead in Delhi Bag Factory Fire – A quick Google search reveals that this is not uncommon in India, both in frequency and scale. I cannot recall an industrial accident here in Canada where 10’s and 100’s of workers are killed and many more on top of that, injured.
Now, India is one of those countries we have offloaded many of our former production and services to. The garment factories of St. Catharines are all gone. Many of our software product support services have also landed in India.
The reason is to allow North American/Canadian producers and service providers to lower their labour costs and costs of production. Why? To maximize profits. The challenge? To do so cheaper than the competition. Who benefits? Well, that’s a no-brainer, but it is a question that needs an answer which would be universally understood.
The winner is the investor. The consumer wins only if they have ample money to make purchases. Most workers in the garment industry, wherever in the world they live, are, in the interest of ‘competitiveness’ (aka, profit margins), underpaid, overworked, and subject to horrible working conditions. The Canadian consumer pays a lower price for the garment, but suborns the very sort of catastrophe that motivated today’s first post.
Whilst some of us consumers save a few bucks in the new global corporate order, an increasing number of us will join the ranks of the impoverished as we struggle to find paying work. Because of globalization, it is Canadian labour that is in direct competition with workers in nations who do not have the environmental and worker protections Canada has. The god of today’s world is money and power. So long as it remains so, our leaders will pay lipservice to the economic misery many citizens are living in while an ever increasing number enlist. Our leaders will continue to enact trade agreements that will institutionalize and concretize this deplorable arrangement.
More and more of India’s poor will be obliged by India’s governments to work in factories where they will play ‘Russian-roulette’ with their lives for the sake of providing for their families. More and more North Americans will fall into economic desperation, the trade agreements made by their leaders having them faceoff against one another on a playing field which is not level. But do not worry! Eventually, the playing field will level out. Given enough time, we will have a de facto class system just like India’s: a swelling ranks of poor folks (and all of the social ills that go hand-in-hand with poverty with which India is beset) who risk their lives every day, just to make a meagre living. Plus a wealthy class. Ye olde world of ‘haves and have nots.’
It seems to me this was precisely the social conditions that the Voltaires, Rousseaus, and Paines of the Age of Reason deplored and which provided the unsung impetus, according to Thomas Piketty for the outbreak of WW I. Do you suppose the thinkers of that era would find the world of today, reasonable? All of the soul-searching and dedication of the philosophers of the Enlightenment seems to have been for naught, apart from being paid lipservice.
As time goes on, an increasing number of innocent souls born in Canada will be born into poverty; doomed from the moment they draw their first breath. This is contrary to the liberal principle of ‘equality of opportunity,’ yet our federal Liberals à la the erstwhile Harperian coven of parliamentarians who ran Ottawa before them, appear to be unconcerned with ensuring that the foreign nations with whom we formalize trade agreements operate under comparable worker and environmental legislation – aka a level playing field. Instead, our worker and environmental protections will continue to be watered down by future governments, in the name of providing jobs to folks who are desperate to provide for their children and families (rationalization), but in fact benefitting the ones who already have money with the opportunity to make even more. All to the detriment of poorer Canadians and their families. As for India, the egregious crimes we see being committed there, particularly against women but universally against India’s poor, will continue in lockstep with the slaughter of the 10’s and 100’s of India’s workers- martyrs of the new corporate order.
I grew up innocent of all of this because I had a mother who grew up in poverty and ended up middle class. In those days, there was more activity (and less foreign competition for markets and for jobs), and employers were obliged to pay their workers more, or some other desperate employer would spirit them away with a better wage/working conditions. In those days, notwithstanding our ignorance with respect to environmental and workplace hazards, workers, even at the entry-level, were much better off than they are today. Today, you are lucky to even get work, and if you do, you better not complain about working conditions, pay, and benefits. The middle class touted by today’s federal Liberals was not something that had been engineered by government policy, but rather emerged out of a Normal Distribution of incomes across society-a bulging middle signals a healthy distribution; a healthy distribution is revealing of equality of opportunity, unfettered by, say, starting out poor vs. starting out wealthy.
Technology, globalization, and migration mean those days will not return. The World has become very small. But, this does not mean the end of the middle class. We need only prop up the notion of equal opportunity in our trade agreements. If we trade with you, your workers need to be paid and guaranteed to work under comparable safety and environmental legislation. Otherwise, all bets are off.
Our federal Greens and NDP seem to be more closely reconciled with what needs to be done in order to promote Canada and the World’s long term stability. I will be watching the Liberals closely, because they sometimes betray a disconnect between their words and what they are actually doing. They are a step in the right direction but perhaps only a half-step? Time will tell. The NDP and Greens, however, seem to represent the other half-step.
We need to take a leaf of faith, one in which we venture into the future by taking the whole step; wherein we determine where it is we want to go as a national and global society, identify the intervening steps / timeline to reach that goal, and then figure out how to accomplish these things. No more vacillating. No more distractions. We need only to discover the way and manifest the will to do it.
Now, that’s what leaders are for.
Headline 2: On the map: A House of Worship turned high-end housing at 260 High Park – Interesting. The real estate magnates can now claim hegemony over god as well as determining who can live where and at what price. If you have enough money, and are hard pressed to dispose of it as fast as you ‘make’ it, your kids’ education prepaid and your grand retirement assured, why, you can live in a church! How cool is that? I warrant that anyone who believes in god, no matter what you call god or how you worship god, is alarmed at how much ‘mammon’ and how little of the Creator survives in today’s culture. Why, in my own experience over the last 12 years, I went from finding my yearly angel-themed calendar and angel Christmas cups without any effort at all – even Dollarama had them – to not being able to find a single angel-themed cup or calendar anywhere in a bricks and mortar store. I am obliged to buy these things on the Internet. I find the modern sterilization of religious practices and traditions as alarming and antisocial as it is ridiculous. I am not a bible type person; but I am a spiritual type person.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – these words by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest, pretty much state my own beliefs. The sanitization of religious expression outside of the walls of a church, mosque, synagogue, or temple, and the substitution of the pursuit of human rights for human spiritual fulfillment has created a society of suspicion, mutual contempt among citizens, the bottling of angst and then its violent expression. We have, as a society, out of our zeal to create a tolerant, unified world through trade agreements and the sanitation of overt religious expression, made for ourselves a dispassionate world of intolerance and greed. Not where any reasonable person would want to go. Hello?
In my book, that’s a quantum leap in the wrong direction. You can read more on the separation of church and state elsewhere on this site.
Headline 3: I’m raising my kids as non-believers – I am ecstatic that the headline is not at all about the spirituality of Christmas but rather about when your kids should discover that there is no Santa Claus. My suggestion is to leave it to the children to find out on their own. They’ll come to you when they hear it, and ask you about it. When I was asked by one of my own, I told them that Santa started to do all of these things many years ago, in Germany, so that the children would each have a toy for Christmas. When he died and became an angel, he acquired the ability to be in many places at once, and has been doing it ever since. He does this by whispering into the ears of parents all around the World at Christmas time, even as the corporations are screaming at us to buy! buy! buy! spend! spend! spend! Even in the era of corporate hegemony, I notice folks being nicer to strangers this time of year: wishing everyone they meet a ‘very, merry Christmas.’ People seem to be a little more chill with one another. I suppose this is a remnant of the spirit of Christmas, untouched by corporations, that we allow to emerge, but only for ‘the Season.’ The rest of the year, we revert en masse to the sort of callous, uncaring, and suspicious-of-strangers types we generally lower ourselves to behaving as. But we should be thinking and behaving like this year round, not just at Christmas.
If it is not Hell we are living in and to where Satan is purported to have been exiled, then we humans have succeeded in turning the Garden into the next ‘best thing,’ and our socially-sensitive corporations are actively institutionalizing this ‘brave new world’ even as they deepen the conditions that permit poverty to exist and persist. Today, god and spirit are under attack-just consider that the media’s overarching interest in religion has to do with priests being pedophiles, mosques being graffitied, and the innocent being murdered in the name of god. As for the rest of what goes on inside of religious institutions, that is left by our socially responsible media types to the weekly church, mosque, or synagogue newsletters.
Headline 4: ‘I have told everything,’ Says Whistle-blower in China Crackdown – And then there’s China. This venerable land and people are being led down the primrose path by their own leaders. Separation of church and state? How about a little separation of government from the people for good measure? The disease afflicting the folks in China’s government is gaining purchase around the world. It is the same spirit as was responsible for Canada’s residential schools. But Robert Ardrey would tell you that is diversity which guarantees a population’s ongoing viability, not imposed uniformity.
A lot of sadness for a Sunday…but let’s not end things on such an unhappy note.
Have a great Sunday, everyone! With love and all my hopes for a better world than the one which Akhenaten’s Sun shines down upon today.
7 December 2019
Headline 1 – Dogs may be smarter than we think — and can benefit our health in ways we don’t realize – very interesting article. The research vets an earlier post wherein the suggestion is put to the federal Liberals to consider funding dogs for seniors who cannot afford one on their own.
It’s the weekend! Wishing everyone in the cyberverse a happy, safe, and care-for-others two days off from the regular grind (except the Starbucks’ coffee-grind kind!).
6 December 2019
1 – A happy St. Nicolaus’ Tag to all of the good folks in Deutschland – and wishes that all of Germany’s children awoke this morning to their shoes being filled with yummy treats.
2 – Two days ago, I went to buy stamps for mailing out Christmas cards. Of course I wanted stamps with a Christmas theme. They were sold out. All they had were Hanukkah stamps. I thought, ‘What is wrong with that?’ Same god, parallel seasons, celebration and sharing…demonstrative of all of the virtues in which humankind is blessed -a different faith tradition, that’s all. If you were to read the last chapter of All From One and One in All you will understand my reasons for sharing in the joy with all the Faiths during the celebration of the Nativity. Hanukkah is being celebrated by our Jewish brothers and sisters December 22 to 30 this year. A Happy Hanukkah to everyone of the Jewish faith. In addition to the article appearing in the Jewish Encyclopedia, you can read more about the Hanukah tradition at Wikipedia.
3 – Headline 1: Guatemalan boy who died in federal custody was on the floor for hours before anyone found him, video shows – Once again, the world provides misery and death to the innocent. I don’t know how any of us humans are able to feel anything but shame for our species while this is going on. Another young person left to their own, alone, to suffer horribly, dying slowly, at the hands of ‘civilized’ democratic institutions- never knowing, why. Once again, I am obliged to wonder what became of the sacrifices our war generations made in the war against tyranny, violence, and oppression of the poor, the vulnerable, the innocent?
4 – It’s Friday! Have a great weekend, alles!
5 December 2019
Headline 1: Map of potential school shooting outlined goal to kill ‘150 – 200 people A 16 year-old boy is now in custody. Reading the details of this young person’s plan is chilling. Unnerving. My first thought was, How is it someone so young can come to be capable of imagining such things? How can someone so young think to do to such things, to commit such atrocities, the like which no adult could possibly imagine, unless they belonged to the courageous war generations and had seen the violence firsthand, and because of which their spirits remained tormented their entire lives? How come the teen isn’t out playing ball-hockey, or hanging out with his friends, trying to impress the girls and his buddies; attempting to evade doing his homework (or the after-supper dishes) as one would think normal for someone in Grade Eleven?
As I was scanning the details of the teen’s plan, it took on the semblance of a serious gamer’s efforts to take on a very challenging level of the video game du jour.
The answer to my question lay in the metaphor: between the extreme and graphic violence we are allowed to see on the television (factual and fictional), in the movie theatres, and in many video games, we are en masse being desensitized to violence (and its miserable aftermath). The desensitizing has the parallel effect of not caring/being deeply affected by what is happening to other folks. Now, whenever anyone so conditioned feels maligned, misunderstood, picked on….whatever….the gamer/movie goer in them might respond the way they see the characters in their favourite ‘leisure’ activity respond. George Lakoff Political Mind talks about the effects of repeated messaging upon the human brain and how our brains respond by hardwiring itself to react in a specific way to specific external stimuli. When kids, awash in the violence and misery they see on television/media/internet are experiencing a degree of behavioral conditioning from video games, they are being presented with a doorway which leads to the violence which more and more kids are enacting- a doorway that my generation of kids would not have ever conceived of.
Headline 2: How a CBC producer caught Trudeau on a hot mic gossiping about Trump I believe this to be the pinnacle of privacy invasion. Someone was eavesdropping the leader of a sovereign nation without his knowledge or consent. This is wrong on so many levels, however at its most basic level, it affects us all. How can any of us form the expectation of privacy when we do not accord the same consideration to our neighbours?
We are, as human societies, fast losing our grip on society’s values and aspirations because of technology. Privacy has always been at the top of the list of democratic societies and institutions. Our overexposure to information is creating for us a climate wherein we are fast losing that ineffable respect for the leaders of our nations, our institutions, our neighbours-as well as generations, past and future. Nowadays, anyone can be recorded-filmed without their knowledge. Everyone has a cellphone. No one can know if proximal unsavoury folks, cellphone in hand and pointed in your direction, are watching a movie, reading a text, or, JWR-like, recording you without your permission or knowledge.
Everyone is operating now under the Eye of Mordor. It sees all and knows all, and uses what is sees and knows to ill ends. We should have learned something from the trials of Middle Earth.
Headline 3: Stoney language app connects elders, youth at Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation This is wonderful. This is also something made possible by ‘technology-the-good.’ Even as the world appears to be dividing itself and ‘heading for hell in a handbasket,’ I am sensing the resurgence of the Indigenous nations of the World, beginning right here, in the bosom of our beloved nation. The knowledge of our First Nations’ elders is being transmitted across generations broken by European colonization and the Residential School system. I sense in this a substantive move toward reconciliation of the first order: wherein the native spirit is reconciling with itself after generations of separation from itself; the gap having been created in the spirit of European colonization.
The reconciliation of the Native Spirit with itself presupposes the substantive reconciliation of Indigenous cultures and the national societies with which they are associated.
Headline 4: More than 600 Pakistani girls and women were sold as brides in China, but diplomatic ties threaten investigation For all of the National Post bashing I have been doing over their con-articles, this is a good bit of socially and humanly responsible reporting. I pray to see more of this kind and less of the unabashed, politically partisan kind from this newspaper; I may even subscribe to it one day. My thanks go out to the author of this article; the world needs to know…
…and then it needs to respond.
Headline 5: Pelosi is going forward with the impeachment of Donald Trump – A man whose background would have disqualified him for a position as Walmart’s Greeter will survive the impeachment. Trump will survive because the Republicans have a majority in the Senate, where the articles of impeachment will be applied, the President tried, and the judgement determined by majority vote.
The republicans will support the President. They now care more for power over their nation than they do for their nation. Just as leaders who pervert the notion of leadership into power over the people rather than power to serve the people, democracy has been politicized to such a degree that politics, which once was an attribute of the democratic process has now rendered the entire democratic process beholden to it.
Past generations died to preserve democratic freedom overseas, only to find, watching us from their spiritual abode, that democracy is under siege by its own leaders. The court is still out on PM Justin Trudeau, however I would admonish him for making fun of the President of the U.S. because the mocking makes light of egregious misconduct on the part of a leader of a very powerful nation. This man could singlehandedly tilt the World into war. His actions are enervating his own country’s ability to protect others as well as itself. Rather than mock this man, one should engage in the seriousness of discussion and action that the situation warrants.
We need leaders in order to get things done. We also need to ensure that there are sufficient checks and balances in place to safeguard the democracies of the World from the Neros of the World.
My prayers go out to Mrs. Pelosi and to the American people with respect to the impeachment. Godspeed and good luck.
If Donald Trump is impeached, it will be a miracle… and I would not be happier in being wrong than to be wrong about the Impeachment outcome.
4 December 2019
Today’s headline is about Ontario’s high school teachers’ union staging a one day walkout in reaction to the lack of progress in negotiations. They are protesting large class sizes and the introduction of mandatory e-learning courses. The government claims negotiations are bogging down over compensation.
It is all politics. First, the teachers union should remember this government is not the progressive brand of Conservative anymore.
Second, the teachers’ union must be clear on their primary goal:I wonder, if a government were to offer smaller classes (meaning more teachers) at the price of lower salaries and benefits, wherein the cost of more positions is offset by the reduction in salaries and benefits, would the union accept that?
The question for the teachers, put another way is: Which is more important, the pay or the children?
The question for the government, any government, is: Which is more important, the cost or the children?
As it stands, right now, this government cares only about the cost, and that’s because they’ll slash everything that helps Ontario’s vulnerable in order to promote anything that helps the wealthy. The children of wealthy folks (I wonder how many?), such as the wealthy folks in the Executive branch of government at Queen’s Park, likely attend private schools. If not, they still have a better chance of engaging their kids in the afterschool activities that teachers already provide on their own time and cost (I’ve seen teachers buying their stuff for class activities out of their own pockets).
Teachers are overworked and overwhelmed and, I think, over-remunerated. Not because they don’t deserve it, but because Ontario, as a society, can generate only so much income every year. Every dollar going to one program is a dollar not going to another program. By not recognizing this simple concept, governments have taken on so much debt that we now have too many dollars being taken away from programs and paying interest on the debt. That is money doing nothing for Ontarians, save for the wealthy ones who loan to the government.
The National Post has just featured an opinion piece wherein the author recommends privatizing the education system. That notion to me is beyond laughable because it so plainly reveals the disconnect in the con mindset between what one wants to be real and what in fact is real; it shows the cons have their heads stuck so far up their own nethers they are blind as well as suffering from oxygen deficiency.
26 November 2019
Happy Tuesday everyone (bots especially since they are the biggest ‘fans’ of this site .) A Happy Birthday to one of the best buds I ever had .
1 – I read today with some concern that Microsoft is engaged with funding the Israeli facial recognition software company AnyVision. The firm is already known to be spying on Palestinians and is also selling its services to Russia and Hong Kong.
This is most egregious. Were it not for Jewish Voices For Peace, I would never have known. As it is, I will look for alternatives to Microsoft, to whom I have been a customer my whole working life. That leaves Chromebook (Google), Apple, or Linux. I do not know at this time if Google or Apple are any more ethical and progressive than Microsoft, however, Apple’s presence in China and all of the hoopla over China’s providing us with 5G technology, gives me cause to wonder. Today I can start playing around with dual booting my laptop between Windows and Linux. First I will have to find a Linux distribution which works for me. The link is in case you are thinking the same way.
2 – I read a touching story about a stray dog found on the roadside, snuggling up with a mom and her kittens in freezing temperatures to keep them warm. Read about it, laugh and cry. I want that dog! She is so much of what we humans are not. No one knows how she came upon the mom and her kittens, but she kept them safe until a wonderful passerby noticed them and called police. They are all in good hands now and being treated for a variety of ills. But everyone can marvel at an animal taking it upon themselves to take care of another animal(s) not even of the same species, as well as at the kind passerby, who is a rather rare example among our species. We in Canada have a Prime Minister who appears to be spirited like the dog: he welcomed migrants to Canada who were escaping from war and famine with their children, because they were in need. For no other reason. Yet, he was being criticized for doing it. He was only doing what a dog had the good sense to do(and for which the dog received praise). Why do we esteem the PM any less than the dog? And he was extending a helping hand to members of his own species. Hello?
25 November 2019
1 – Congratulations to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, CFL champs. The weather and the Monday notwithstanding, there can be no happier place to live than Winnipeg, Manitoba. a
Hamilton will be a rather somber place, because of the Grey Cup result and because it is Monday. But the Ti-Cats are a team still realizing its potential. Next year will be their year. It is time.
2 – The federal government’s case with respect to the order for them to pay 40k to each indigenous child impacted by the child-welfare system. This could amount to about 8b dollars. It could have amounted to 80b – no matter, because no amount of financial compensation will undo the crimes our nation has perpetrated upon Indigenous families.
Rather, the focus should be on outcomes. Not outcomes determined by institution folks, but rather by the Indigenous groups themselves. These folks would likely prefer to have the wherewithal to build adequate water and sewage handling capacity, proper housing, schools and hospitals, proper communication and land access and maintain control over developing their own lands.
Let the government settle on this. Compensation is also in order, but it will accomplish little of lasting value in terms of the chronic and systemic problems the Indigenous of Canada are obliged to live with. There is still no exist door presented to them.
Let us help them search for their exit door. We are demonstrably incapable of finding it for them. Every time we got involved, we put them further behind the 8-ball.
If we get out of their way, and instead walk by their side, standing with and behind them in the pursuit of their aspirations (they will not be as we behaved during the era of Europeanization), they will find their way, along with the rest of our nation, to a happy and sustainable future.
With any luck, they will show us the way out of the mess we are in. This will have everything to do with the Creator’s hopes for us:
to be stewards of our land, our world, rather than behaving as a tumorous growth upon it.
24 November 2019
It’s not just any Sunday…today is GREY CUP Sunday! In the Calgary sunshine…could reach a balmy (are you jealous, California? ) -3 degrees Celsius. That’s about 27 degrees above zero on the good old Fahrenheit scale.
Apart from providing the stage for the venerable Canadian pigskin fest, this Sunday is also playing host to a few bits of noteworthy news:
1 – Headline: How stores like Costco use everything from layout to smell to make you open your wallet – yep. It’s not just Costco either. It’s all retailers. All the time corporations are advertising their valuable and heartfelt contributions to the needy(especially kids’ programs) in Canada, they pay their rank-in-file employees as little as they can while working them as hard as they can. So guess what? Most Canadians are put in a position where they need financial help just so their kids can play hockey. How happy are the parents living with the sort of wage uncertainty that even affects their children’s after school activities? How many of these kids are going to grow up on the good side of the law, healthcare, and capacity to ‘make a difference,’ socially?
And how many will not? That is what corporations do because that is the corporate model. The law now accords them the same rights as the citizen, only, corporations have much more financial clout and therefore power under the law, than the citizen, to shade the law in their favour. Think O.J. – with enough money, you can get away with just about anything.
Corporations are not persons. Corporations are mechanisms for generating profits. Wherever interactions occur among citizens, if there is no profit potential therein, there will be no corporate involvement. They leave the ‘little things’ about society and its denizens, for others to worry about. This will never, ever change.
Given the nature of the corporate mindset, does anyone think it is a good idea to cultivate this mindset and approach in governments of sovereign nations? Obviously, a good number of our American brothers and sisters do not think so: they are trying to purge the Oval Office of this as this article is being written. Yet, the phenomenon of the business mindset usurping the social mindset upon which societies are predicated, maintained, and their evolution is guided has been underway for a long, long time – ever since corporations won, by subterfuge, the rights of natural persons under the law in the U.S. back in 1886.
This is how we the citizens have been sold out by our governments: they can claim to be the bastions of democracy and look out for the little guy, year after year, because the little guy is so completely beholden to the bosses at work, year after year, that they fear to rock the boat at work. They need to pay the bills and feed their kids and will put up with poor working conditions and inadequate pay. The little guy is therefore kept in check, having sold his soul to the corporate boss for almost nothing, and it his/her belief that his/her government is going to make things better for him/her- someday.
The trouble is, tomorrows never come, especially that tomorrow: it has been hailed and identified as the goal ever since the days that gave to the World Rousseau’s Social Contract and Voltaire’s Candide. The World is as far or further away from social sanity than it was in those days.
Instead, more and more are losing their homes and dying in debt. This will not change either, because debt is what keeps folks going to work everyday, under poor conditions and even poorer wages, killing themselves to make a living; like the hamster in the wheel, scrambling and getting nowhere; unlike the hamster in the wheel, further behind than when they started. When you start out, you have nothing, but you also owe nothing. Instead, you get a house which you never pay off, and, unless you are among the wealthy, you have little to nothing to leave to your kids to help them out.
This is the business mindset; the business model.
Now, take the headline about Costco, and substitute the name of any government you will. It can be read the same way, either way. Whether one is talking ‘business’ or ‘governing’ it describes the same approach.
Inevitably, businesses die because it is the nature of business that products go out of style, to be replaced by other products. If what Canada sells to the world, or what Joe Blow sells to his neighbour, is no longer sought by their customers, they will go out of business. This is going to happen in our Western provinces as the World transitions from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and Canada is going to provide the World with the leadership and progressivity the land’s spirit has blessed us with as we deal with this transition.
All of Canada must work together, even as some gain and some lose. The West should not bail out from Canada, as corporations might, to seek better current opportunities because they will left with nothing. Right now, their short term loss will be absorbed by the rest of Canada while they transition away from fossil fuels and diversify, for the good of the West and the good of Canada, East to West.
If we behave as corporations do, Canada will not be Canada for long. This is the fate we purchase for ourselves if we allow the usurpation of governing and governance of national societies by corporations to continue. It will continue, so long as corporations and the wealthy continue to support this model.
NO business has ever existed which does not succumb to new market conditions at some point. It is inevitable.
No sovereign nation beholden to a market-society mindset can, either.
2 – Huawei and 5G. Given how China deals with their own rank-in-file citizens, there can be no question that if surreptitious data collection capacity is inherent in the technology provided by Chinese corporations, it will be used, when they feel they can get away with it. Given that Canada will not ever invade another nation in order to right wrongs, Chinese corporations would get away with using their 5G to spy on Canadian citizens. It is not just China that would do it; it seems everyone is doing it. Bad enough, no matter whom we elect in Ottawa, ‘the government’ is doing it too.
But right now, we’re talking about China. The only way to protect yourself from the negatives of others is not to engage them on specific dimensions. If one were needing a ride somewhere, one would not take a ride from a blind person, even if they are driving a Cadillac. If one is needing communications technology upgrades, one does not purchase the technology from someone who is already know to be spying on them. You buy it from someone you already know is not spying on you. Hello?
3 – Who is your pick for the Grey Cup? Winnipeg or Hamilton? I can’t decide. But I usually end up rooting for the underdog (I blame my mother for my being this way ) and so I’m going for Winnipeg. Having said that, I will be very happy to see my Hamiltonian neighbours come away with the win.
Have a great Sunday, everyone.
22 November 2019
Going by today’s news, we in Canada and also in the U.S. are already into the next national elections:
1 – Donald Trump will not end up impeached because of the Republican majority in the Senate, however, the Impeachment Enquiry, capably navigated by Adam Schiff through mounds of ranking-member bs, should effectively neutralize the movement conservative tactic (first popularized by Machiavelli) of accusing the opposition of the very things, especially lying, which they themselves are doing.Strangely, these same folks are associated with American bible-belt politicians, yet, none of them appear inclined to remind these folks of the biblical stance on ‘bearing false witness.’
2 – Ontario’s current premier, Doug Ford, has emerged from hiding and is singing a completely different tone from below Trudeau’s balcony. He now sings a plaintive bemoaning things said before and during Election 2019; hoping the two erstwhile ‘adversaries’ can now ‘roll up their sleeves and work together.’ Only a con can remain comfortable in their own skin while they spew such utter bullshit. It is the same Doug Ford and company now as was before the federal election. The change is not in Doug Ford or in his team; the change is, with federal elections out of the way for now, we are facing the next provincial election. Ontario sided with the Liberals against the sordid personal attacks (and lack of clear policy announcements) indulged by the federal version of the cons because the cons’ behaviour is not who we are. The Ontario cons now realize that us voters are not so easily swayed from our good ol’ Canadian ways, because of our tolerant and respectful ways -we don’t say ‘sorry’ all of the time, for nothing.
Now the con strategy is to mimic the Liberals and appear sensible; but do not worry: when the writ is dropped for Ontario Election 2022, the Doug Ford that emerged during and after the last Ontario election will resurface. The cons are a callous, nasty bunch, by nature. They care only care about profit. Money is power. They help only those who will enrich and empower them. They prefer to cast all other people, men, women, and children, aside, leaving them to fend for themselves. The social and economic problems with which Ontario is beset will broaden and entrench. Doug Ford will attempt to deflect all blame upon Trudeau’s Liberals as he does the work for which Ontarians did not elect him.
3 – Then you have the 3 Stewges (I’ve created a new word to avoid any possible copyright issues ) – to wit: Kenney, Pallister, and Moe (and sometimes Ford as a stand-in for Kenney). They need to transition their economies. Periods of transition are not easy times, and are never popular among people whose lives are turned upside down. I myself experienced this in the pulp and paper industry in the fledgling 2000’s. Economically, I can never recover from this: I lost my home and my family in addition to my livelihood and now live on a shoestring. I am too old to find anyone to employ me. I know what is coming for the Western folks as they transition.
I know they will need their government’s help; materially and in retraining.
Kenny, Pallister, and Moe (and sometimes Ford as a stand-in for Kenney) know this too, but not from the POV of the citizen affected by the cons’ fantastical fiscal ideology (I would have preceded the noun with yet another adjective beginning with an ‘f’ but that would invoke political incorrectness, as well as making for a triple alliteration. The 3 are passing fiscal policies that do nothing to help Albertans through the inevitable transition to diversify their economies away from fossil fuels. The federal government, on the other side, have a vested interest in how the western provincial economies fare because provincial economies are part of the national economy: if the runner in a race has a bad leg, the runner cannot win the race – duh! No prime minister can afford to not care about a particular province. Cons, irrespective of which level of government they find themselves in, have routinely demonstrated their lack of consideration for any parts of our nation which puts a drag upon their illogical ideological aspirations.
So what we have here with respect to Kenney, Pallister, and Moe (and sometimes Ford as a stand-in for Kenney) are provincial premiers wilfully creating a bad situation for their own citizens(but not their supporters) with austerity policy while they refuse to identify and pursue opportunities to diversify their economies (the need for which is as inevitable as it was for us folks on the Northshore Lake Superior, because we ran out of trees) for the benefit of the current generation of westerners and those to follow. They mean to make a mess of everything, all the while proclaiming to those with ears to hear with that it is all the fault of the federal LIBERALS. They hope the pure volume of their messaging will gain purchase in the minds of enough voters to keep them in power, even as they are screwing these same voters.
The lie spoken often enough does the work of the Truth. This has been observed and leveraged by some of the most nefarious personalities in human history. This is ‘page one’ of the movement conservative strategy manual, and exists at the core of the modern Canadian conservative motif.
4 – Last of all, we have that man in Québec. Monsieur Blanchet is just the latest lollipop the puppet masters offer to the citizens of la belle province. The upper levels of Québec society are as corrupt as they are out west. As the ‘movers and shakers’ rain even more misery down upon rank-and-file Québecers by way of their proxy Blanchet, they will blame our PM (who, being PM, wants to see Québecers do as well as westerners) for the misery they are causing, just like his counterparts in the West are doing. But he has a second trump card. He can also use the West (given that it is part of Canada) as a scapegoat for his own bad (from the regular Québecer POV) policies.
Case in point: Blanchet poo-poos pipelines even as he is urging the federal government to legislate CN workers back to work in order to avoid a shortage of propane in Québec. Shame on this man. He wilfully forgets the poor souls of Lac Mégantic in order to pursue his own political ends. Shame on this man and anyone who does this.
The others are of course the 3 Stewges (and sometimes Ford…. ) who want to get their products to markets like Québec. They too are clamouring for the Trudeau Liberals to legislate CN back to work.
Watch how silent Kenney, Pallister, and Moe (and sometimes Ford… ) and Blanchet become during the next federal election on the policy of legislating folks back to work.
All of this points to the cons’ playing the long game in terms of returning to power. We won’t even know what we are voting for, until after we elect them. They will thank us with greater income inequality, decreasing capacity to provide healthcare, education and affordable housing, increasing crime and visits to hospital emergency wards, a dearth of opportunity for ours and the generations to come.
To avoid the trap Canada’s Coven of cons are laying for us (with the help of foreign cons, to boot!) we only need to keep our minds engaged. It is easy to see through the con strategy and expose it for what it is. We need only press them for specific answers to specific policy questions. We need to know what they would do, given that they would not do what the Liberals are doing with respect to the issues.
See what they tell us.
If they say nothing, as is their strategy, it is not that there is nothing to be said. It is because their ‘truth’ and ‘national vision’ is tantamount to the banker’s and investor’s: it is measured in dollars and cents- NEVER IN QUALITY OF LIFE.
Cohesive and viable national societies are promoted and maintained by the many who enjoy quality of life, not by the few who enjoy quantity of dollars and cents.
Let us voters never allow ourselves to be bamboozled by the likes of Matilda’s used car salesman dad.
20 November 2019
1-Just announced: Canada is siding with the Palestinians and against Trump/Netanyahu’s illegal settlements program. We know it is the right thing to do. The U.N. has the same opinion. Jews and Palestinians are not natural enemies; they are natural siblings placed in an un-natural situation by ideology, not history, as U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo would have us believe.
2 – The Impeachment Enquiry: I don’t believe the President will be removed from office, because the process is too politicized: the Democrats control the House, where the enquiry is happening; the Republicans control the Senate, where the President would be tried. The Democrats will vote for impeachment, at which point the issue is brought before the Senate, and the determination is made whether to remove the President from office.
The Republicans will vote against removing Trump from office.
A second round of Donald Trump will therefore be left up to American voters. They will be presented with a very stark choice about the America they want to live in. Because of America’s position globally, they will also be voting for the kind of world their children are going to inherit.
A world which might not exist by the time the world’s children come of age if we and the World continue to elect and/or be led by the new right aka movement conservatives.
We in Canada are fortunate to have a PM like Justin Trudeau. He knows the Canada of today exists on a continuum between the past and the future. He understands that war does not inspire a lasting peace and that the 75 million souls, who lost their lives in the last world war, gave their lives in the hopes that tyranny brought upon the innocent will never happen again.
19 November 2019
Given the current trend among the provinces to elect hard-tacking ideologues rather than progressives (leaning to the right or to the left as they may), it may be time to take a good look at the Senate once again.
The Cons already tried and failed at abolishing the Senate. They wanted it gone because it got in the way of their agenda whenever their agenda tacked hard-right. But Canada’s ship has never sailed in their direction of choice because that direction would impale her (and us) on rocky shoals.
Having failed to take over the pilot of the Canadian ship, they are drilling holes in the bottom of the boat in order to sink her; in order to be free of her. Steeped in a strangely regressive, ideological angst, they are unable to accord any consideration to the fate of the ‘sailors’ after their boat is rent asunder. This is because ideology precludes thought as surely as does blind faith.
In my opinion, the current state of provincial affairs within the federation, rather than arguing against the federal Senate, is clamouring for institutionalizing provincial senates on the exact same format as the federal version.
The reason is simple: thanks to the incursion of American-style politics (movement conservatism) into Canadian politics, Canadians are being divided, one from the other, more profoundly than ever. We are become bipolar- depending on the electoral outcome, Canada will appear either as Jekyll: progressive, rational, honest, caring – the pinnacles of human virtue -or as Hyde: reactionary, ideological, dissembling, contrary, self-serving -the black holes of hubris and ego.
A venue for ‘sober, second thought’ is what is needed to attenuate the vicissitudes with which Canadian politics is now beset. We can’t keep on the cycle of electing progressive governments and then, whenever we tire of the status quo, electing a bunch of buffoons who are smart enough to know that if they say as little as possible about what they will do with a governing mandate, we will be sure to vote them in, not even caring, until it is too late, what we have done with our franchise.
What we have done is undone all of the progress the progressive governments have made, in favour of governments which care only for people who can make money, unfettered by right and ethical action, for themselves and their wealthy supporters, and which care nothing for the folks who contributed and are now retired and too old, too infirm, or too poor to extricate themselves from poverty’s cage.
Now, more than ever, Canada needs to be united. It will not be through arguing among ourselves that we will see our way out of the current mess we are in. The World needs Canada now, more than ever.
The disenfranchised around the World are beginning to see Canada once again as the ‘Mecca’ of equality among humans of every ilk, except the violent and dissembling kind. That’s the way it was when Lester B. Pearson and his Nobel-winning Peacekeepers were in Egypt. When I was in high school, the street wisdom was that, should you travel overseas, be sure to sew a Canadian flag on your denim jacket, and you will be treated as friend wherever you go.
Canada and the World will soon encounter existential challenges along several dimensions-famine, desertification, pollution, extreme weather, and the atrocity of war.
Trump et al. are case in point: his impeachment hearings he opportunistically uses to camouflage his efforts to impose a rapacious, warlike agenda upon the world: the last thing the World needs right now is to have U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo come out in support of illegal Israeli settlements.
The initiative is a wrong as his rationalization is preposterous: ‘to right a historical wrong.’ Hello? If that is his reason, then Pompeo is also prepared to give back 9/10 of the American lands to the Indigenous whom the Europeans took it from, centuries ago?
But alas, it is not his reason. It is only an attempt, dubious as it is, to impart rationality to an insane act. ‘Insane’ if one thinks this is acting to the benefit of the World and its members. Only one presidency ago, Obama’s American stood in solidarity with the Palestinians, as did our Pope, and Jewish Voices For Peace, against Netanyahu’s illegal and immoral settlements.
What Trump, Putin, bin Salman et al. are doing in the Middle East is perpetuating the misery inaugurated in WWI, revitalized in WWII, and perpetuated into modern times by virtue of the Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot agreement.
Very contrary to the American spirit. Very contrary to the Canadian spirit and very contrary to the light in the World.
All of this speaks of ego. Ego is about division and self-aggrandizement at the expense of others. Other egos. Ego à ego is always a recipe for conflict, never reconciliation.
Given the military technology of today, this is leading to the end of humankind, and not toward a sustainable future for our children.
Every kindness, every conciliatory act, we humans extend to one another (and also to the other species we share god’s Creation with) is a vote we cast in support of our children and the World we would leave to them.
18 November 2019
How PM Justin Trudeau Can Begin the Process of Reconciliation Between East and West
Winnipeg and Hamilton are bound for the Grey Cup. It has been an exciting playoff up until now. The morning after an exciting round of divisional finals, I find myself praying the weather gods in Calgary look favourably upon the CFL fan: it is a miracle if our brothers and sisters of Alberta do not suffer exposure after attending the big game this time of year.
But our PM in Ottawa could perhaps craft a miracle himself: how about a program to build covered stadiums for (are you ready for this?) Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg? Not only build them, but use them as both opportunities and monuments to Canada’s support for the West; to diversify itself and to go ‘green;’ these projects representing an inaugural step for Western Canadians to take in their journey toward a sustainable economic and environmental future.
Eventually, the West and the World will perforce abandon fossil fuels as oil stocks collapse and the environment degrades. It is impossible to say which will happen first -economic or environmental collapse -only that both will happen before my generation passes and my kids have become old folks like their dad.
The Grey Cup freezer (stand-up, coverup, or sit-down) will become a museum exhibit akin to the blood-letting physician’s office at Old Fort William. Fans will fill the stadiums. A significant number of new construction and service jobs will be created.
This will cost money. It will have to be shared among the federal and provincial governments. Given their current state of angst against a government comprised of Liberals, the con premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba will likely attempt to torpedo such initiatives, for political points and to ensure that their supporters in Big Oil (the investors who make millions on it) continue to ‘make hay while the sun shines.’
These fellas simply cannot care, being cons, about anything else. No matter what lipservice they pay to voters in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, the cons care only for themselves. They rely on their supporters to feel exactly the same way.
Even the ones who will be left out in the cold after the oil and jobs are all gone.
That will end up being very nearly everyone living in the West, except for Big Oil investors, who can afford to fly off to warmer climes. Will Western voters awaken to the primrose path these cons are leading them along?
Of course, even were a Liberal PM to walk on water, the length and breadth of the Red River, he would continue to be vilified by these three conmen: not because his ideas and approach are counterproductive for the West, but because they are viable for the West but coming from a Liberal. Coming from a Liberal trumps viable for the West in the hearts and minds of today’s cons, every time.
If one finds this counter-intuitive, one would be in the majority. The explanation is the three stooges, Kenney, Pallister, and Moe (and sometimes Ford as a stand-in for Kenney) are operating from a standpoint of greed and political maneuvering, rather than service.
Nelson Mandela [paraphrasing]:
Some leaders think the people exist to serve their position…but their position exists to serve the people.
Our PM will do the right thing. The 3 amigos plus Ford will continue to convince everyone with their eyes wide shut that the PM is doing the wrong thing.
For the sake of the West and its children, let’s open our eyes and our hearts.
Should we do this, the Three plus Ford notwithstanding, the Canada my grandchildren will be born into will be spirited the same way as the Canada I grew up in-the one with Lester B. Pearson and then Pierre Trudeau at the helm.
8 November 2019
1- Among today’s headlines: two more young angels are made dead; murdered by their own father. This individual will receive his due reward in god’s good time and in Canada’s, but this does nothing to protect Canada or the World’s children.
An attack on children is unconscionable, no matter the form it takes. It should not ever happen; it is as unnatural to human and most other species as it is for a rock to float on water.
It should never happen, yet it does, and it seems, with increasing regularity.
This is revealing of a pathology deeply rooted in the human psyche, one that is the result of ongoing social conditioning. The ‘goal’ is uniformity; however, the result has been, as time and generations go on, a pervasive dehumanizing of one another. This means children are begin dehumanized. If anyone can murder or abuse their child, they cannot possibly be relating to their children as parent to child, not to mention, human being to human being.
In Nature, one’s offspring are the number one concern. It is natural for parents of Nature to place themselves between their children and danger, even to the death. They would not even have to think about it. Individuals behaving as god created them would exercise equal vigilance with regards to other peoples’ children as well their own. In a world where humans behave true to their natural programming, no child would need ever worry. When I was a child, I was scared I might run into the Wolfman or Dracula, or that there might be a monster under my bed. BUT I NEVER, EVER, WORRIED ABOUT MY PARENTS unless I said a bad word, or snuck desert before supper. LOL.
What can possibly account for parents doing things that are so unnatural to parents? What can compel an apple tree to grow thorns rather than apples?
We know that such an apple tree, not even one, has never existed, so how is it our species is able to produce even a single child-murdering, child-abusing adult?
This is a conversation we all need to have. It is my reckoning that the reason is the ‘war on the family,’ in combination with a pervasive stoking of the ego, to the degree that as individuals, we distrust and see strangers as ‘them’ and not as ‘us,’ compadres of Canada and of the World. On that basis, and given how horribly inhuman we have behaved over our tenure on the planet, anything is possible.
There is no ‘us and them’ in and among societies evolved in Nature, but there are in the ones humans create.
Parents need to be educated/trained to be parents before they have children.
Children need to have a parent at home with them 24/7 until they are kindergarten age. They must not be taken out of their nest until they are ready to fly. Daycare is great as a fallback option, but not as a staple routine. The opportunity to learn and develop the social skills that will permit the development of viable and long term relationships with other folks is provided during one’s formative years (0 to 5 years old). Under the proper ‘mentorship’ children will thrive and grow up to become the best of parents and mentors to the next generation. And also the best of citizens of Canada and the World.
Enforce expecting couples to take parenting classes.
Institute a Guaranteed Annual Income program (GAI) which everyone qualifies for, including expecting parents, so that one parent is at home fulltime with the children until they are gone off to kindergarten. The costs here will be offset somewhat by the reduction in costs to state programs. Aside of the obvious savings on daycare to families and to the state, the latter will save on the astronomical cost of litigating crimes perpetrated upon children. In fact, as more and more parents become parents fulltime and not just when their busy personal/work schedules allow, there will be many human, social, and fiscal advantages.
While we are revitalizing the family’s role in society, we will reevaluate how we look after the elderly. Train and remunerate family members who look after their aged parents, so that the elders may transition to the next life, living among folks they know and love and not among strangers. Old folks are like kids, after all. They want to be around folks they know and love and feel safe with. Conscript able folks on GAI to perform basic tasks(housekeeping, shopping, etc.) for elders in their communities. Set up community-level coordination of services. If old folks have outlived their friends and next of kin, they would naturally form such bonds with the community folks who come to their homes every day.
Ultimately, the individual Canadian’s problem is the same as Canada’s problem, is the same as the World’s problem: ego. We can no longer run around like the folks encountered by de Saint Exupéry’s Little Prince. The World has become too small for that and we have become too many. A more complete analysis of humankind’s modern beguilement by ego is provided here on this site.
6 November 2019
1- Another Oil Company ups and leaves Kenney’s Alberta high and dry. But, they leave a 1300-well mess behind.
Let this be a warning to our brothers and sisters out west. Kenny is behaving like the spoiled child who will not accept getting told ‘no candy before supper.’ He means to eat the oil-candy anyways, satisfy investors, and leave future Albertans with bellyaches and the myriad chronic social and economic pathologies which would arise from an all-sugar (Big-Oil) diet.
He is not protecting Albertan jobs, he’s fighting to protect Alberta’s investors -wherever they happen to live. When the Sands economy crashes, the oil companies simply move on to sunnier opportunities. They leave the mess and cost of cleanup to Albertans (who cannot leave their homes so readily) to live with for many generations to come.
The folks in business make war on the World and even make war a business. This is as egregiously immoral as it is tragic.
This is why we must keep our votes away from these modern Cons. They are not the Progressive Conservatives of Canada, they are adherents to the Movement Conservative ideology we imported from the U.S. by way of the Reform Party.
I love Albertans and I will tell you why: when push comes to shove and we here in Canada are facing an existential challenge from outside our borders, there are none in the World Canadians can trust more to watch their backs than other Canadians -no matter where they live in Canada, the language they speak, the colour of their skin, or the manner in which they worship our Creator.
2-Signs of desperation: Toronto Mayor John Tory is now singing Doug Ford’s praises, running ’round telling folks that Doug Ford is building Canadian unity. Really?
No doubt, the current premier, who is best referred to as, He who shall not be named, (or spoken of by Andrew Scheer during Election 2019), is building a unity, but it is a unity of movement Conservatives whose goal is to transform Canadian and American societies into corporate societies. These folks aspire to wealth, damn the cost to other citizens and future generations of citizens. They do not see the downsides as being their problem.
Their problem is trying to get elected, given the downsides. They would condemn at least 1/3 of Canadians to the misery of poverty -so that they may continue to enrich the investors in the Canadian economy. Statistically speaking, they would need the votes of many of the people who would suffer from their policies. And so, they make the election about the personality of the opposition frontrunner rather than about their policies. They turn our politics and democracy into a kangaroo court. That is how seriously they regard the franchise and Canadian democracy.
The Cons have put a price on democracy. They feel they can buy democracy, at a price. Their investment in attack ads which, given the electoral result, must have been a huge disappointment for them, is a case in point. Their money, from a Canadian perspective, would have been well spent had it been directed toward fighting poverty and climate change rather than on trying to attire a shepherd in the clothing of a fox.
The body and soul of Canada and Canadian democracy is formed of its citizenry. Milk soured by poverty and climate change never ‘does the body good.’
3- 15,000 Scientists warn humanity about climate change. This was among yesterday’s headlines. The window of opportunity to turn things around is nearly shut. If we do not act now, and with resolve, our children will suffer as adults.
We need to behave as adults. We cannot allow our provincial premiers or would-be prime ministers to have all their candy right before suppertime. We voters need to act as adults with respect to our premiers: Kenney, Pallister, and Ford. [Aside: Premier Moe has just written a reasonable letter to the Prime Minister, thereby breaking with the western cons’ longstanding tradition of ineptitude and getting him kicked off the Stooge show’s cast of characters. One of the stooges from the East has now been ‘resurrected’ to fill the void created by Moe’s departure, and the Toronto Mayor is trying to prop him up]. I am loathe to say this about anyone, but both the current Mayor of Ontario’s biggest city and the Premier of Canada’s most populous province, should be sent off to pasture (where they can dine on their own bullshit ad nauseum) by the voter at the next opportunity.
Ontario and other provinces with con governments are investing our tax dollars in fighting the fight against climate change at the same time the World’s scientists are issuing a dire warning to humans. It is tantamount to the driving test applicant making a right turn when the driving test administrator tells them to make a left.
How do you suppose the applicant will fare in the test? Canada and the World will not fare any better if we continue to elect this mindset to govern us.
4 November 2019
1-The BBC headline reads: Outrage at Far Right Remarks on teen playing Jesus. This is a great example of what not to publish, if one is serious about purging ‘far right’ and all other anti-social behaviourisms from society.
Keep bull where bull belongs. Bull is as bull does: someone has spoken words disputing this teen’s portraying Jesus. This is, of course, not about the teen at all. It is about the speaker. The ‘bull’ is the creation of the speaker. The teen is simply doing their best in the role. Kudos to the teen. The speaker, meanwhile, has taken exception to a brown-skinned teen playing Jesus, I suppose because, for two millennia, Jesus has been portrayed as ‘white’ in Christian iconography.
Jesus could not have been ‘white,’ okay? He was born brown-skinned; he has been brown-skinned for more than two thousand years, and is going to stay that way, because he was born of Jewish parents in Palestine. Eventually, the speaker, whom I assume is ‘white,’ will catch up with the obvious, but in his/her own time.
Allow them the opportunity to do so. When someone allows bull shit to pass out of their own mouths, the hearer should let their words fall to the ground, as is proper for all materials of a comparable nature. Do not raise it up again, for all to see and hear (and smell).
When the media publishes material like this, it is creating a bad smell for everyone; for some, it is popularizing the smell in a backhanded sort of way, giving it substance and galvanizing susceptible folks to channel even more of it.
The goal of the media is to inform. Knowledge is the precursor to right action. We want to build a cohesive society. Cohesion is born of equality, for in disparity is weakness and out of weakness arises division. The ‘far-right’ is weak. Anyone who takes the time to think first, before they react, will see through the ideology. In abstraction, it is nothing more than a philosophy of division. It is highly counter-intuitive to understand that such an approach is anything but anti-social, or that it is not countervailing social cohesiveness.
Things of a divisive nature serve no purpose in society. It therefore does not behoove society to popularize, albeit reporters form no intention to do so, the comments that emerge out of folks’ mouths when they are talking bullshit at an innocent teen, concerned only with doing her best to perform a role in a high school play.
2 – On a happier front, Hillary Clinton may be taking another shot at the White House. I hope she does and I hope she wins: it would be interesting to see what the Americans and the World would have experienced (or would have avoided) during the current Presidency had Clinton been president and not Trump.
Contrary to what some folks on the right are writing, Donald Trump is not an ‘anti-Christ, ‘ figuratively or literally. I see him more akin to Loki, the Norse god of mischief and mayhem. Nevermind the myriad examples he provides the World with on a daily basis-just look at his hair!
3 – A member of the Obama regime has warned Canada about proceeding with Huawei 5G implementation here in Canada. If there is the potential for a Chinese firm, or any other nation’s firms (including those based in the U.S.), to conduct espionage through their technology undetected, then no one should buy it, regardless of the source, because the purchaser does not fully understand the technology they have. It is ignorance of the technology, not the technology per se, that is dangerous. If the potential exists, then one must exercise due diligence and remove the potential or decide against the technology. In the event, develop your own version, for crying out loud: if we can play with dinky-toys on Mars, we can come up with our own 5G.
4 – History has the quality of repeating itself. The emergence of, or more to the point, the popularizing of ‘alt-right-isms,’ is revealing of how humanity itself is fractured: it seems we are divided between embracing a positive future and living in an idyllic past. Neither in fact exists, but it is only what lay in the future that is attainable. What is past, is past. For all created things, including humans, there is no reverse gear, timewise. While we are looking to the past, we will have our backs to the future and we will not be prepared for any pitfalls along the path ahead of us. Never a good way to proceed.
No one drives a car with their eyes glued to the rearview mirror. Everyone knows what would happen if anyone were foolish enough to try.
4- PM Justin Trudeau is trying to get Canada on the U.N. Security Council. With all of my heart, I wish him success in this endeavour. The World needs to hear Canada’s voice, albeit it often seems to be the ‘voice crying in the wilderness:’ we appear to be in the minority of national governments when it comes to human rights and climate change. The PM et al. are only saying what everyone is thinking; and everyone but the alt-right among the wealthy knows to be the death of all humanity if we do not come together to identify and make the necessary shift in course.
The vulnerable and voiceless in Canada and around the World have a friend in PM Justin Trudeau. Let’s continue to give him a try. We have nothing to lose in the attempt to eradicate poverty and the exploitation of vulnerable humans.
We have a peaceful and equitable world to obtain.
3 November 2019
It’s Sunday! Church! Family! Football! oh, and no punch clock. Save for church and football, nothing else is relevant to Sundays anymore; but that is the stuff of a dedicated post, rather than this daily rant of mine…
1 – There have been some modifications to the Canada Elections Act. These are designed to promote truth over falsehood during elections in order to protect the integrity of the democratic system. So far, so good, but there may be a devil in the details:
Section 91 of the Canada Election now provides that anyone who disseminates false information about a candidate or prospective candidate, the leader of a political party, or a public figure associated with a political party, is liable to being fined up to 50K. Prior to the amendment, the disseminator would have to have knowingly disseminated false information. The word ‘knowingly’ has been removed. It is an understandable amendment, but it is going in the wrong direction. Once again, there is a subtle shift occurring in our jurisprudence with respect to the onus of proof: from the accuser to the accused. Despite the best of intentions, allowing the onus to shift is counterproductive (and wrong) if your intent is to protect democracy or our democratic way of life.
Rather than focus on the personalities who wilfully debilitate democracy with their words and innuendoes, we should simply target what they are saying. It is an unnecessary complication trying to determine whether or not something uttered is true or whether the speaker knew it was true. We don’t even have to go there. Instead, keep focused on the ‘genre’ of what is being said. Very simply, do not allow anyone to make negative personal statements about other folks, period. Any negative attachments to any individual, if they are not something criminal, have no place in politics anyways: no matter who you are, you have done something in your life that if known today, would lose you votes, even if it is an admission to stealing a Milky Way bar from the Corner store when you were six.
If it is something criminal, that is within the purview of our law folks. If you learn something criminal of someone else, anyone else, candidate or otherwise, tell the police. Leave it to them. They will ensure we do not vote in someone who would not be good for us.
If it isn’t criminal, the voter should never hear of it. It has nothing to do with the fruits the individual candidate or party would bear if they were to form the government, and that is what we should be concerned with to the exclusion of everything else. If you think this approach is lacking, recall that there is not a kid show on television which does not teach its young patrons to never say mean things about others. If we want our children to learn this, how is it we allow our politicians, our nation’s leaders, to behave any differently? Remember too, that kids hear what these folks are saying too and that it is conflicting with the messaging they receive from the Mr. Rogers and the Care Bears of television. If you want our children to grow up to be as caring as care bears when they are adults, start with behaving as adults in a way that would make sense to them, right now.
To that end: fine the @SS off of the folks who make personal attacks. Whether their information is right or wrong is immaterial in this context; they have already violated the democratic impetus by making the vote about something other than the fruits (policies) the voter may expect from the candidate and party they would choose. [Aside: I would extend this to QP in the House of Commons also].
Our goal is to purify our democratic process of countervailing tendencies. By removing the word ‘knowingly’ and shifting the burden of proof, we are moving away from ‘pristine’ democracy, rather than closer. This is a step in the wrong direction. Our legal tradition, begun with the Magna Charta a millennia ago, produced such notions as ‘innocent before proven guilty,’ and the ‘onus of proof’ to be borne by the accuser, and for good reason. It is not a good idea to ignore the test of a thousand years, for expediency’s sake. If you do, a government of the people will soon morph into something with more of an authoritarian ilk.
2 – A poor young boy, with nothing but joy in his heart for the world, as all toddlers have, has been brutally stabbed. The doctors cannot save him. His family has now accepted this.
This is what this 3 year-old child’s world gave him. Any world where this can happen is what I would have imagined, as a child, as being Hell; but I have grown up seeing enough of it on the news to realize that it happens all of the time in the world we humans are living in. The world we create for ourselves.
Forgive me, but I need to ask, ‘Why would anyone want to build a hell for themselves to live in?’ Yet this is exactly what we are doing and/or allowing others to do to us. It is the same result, either way:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. [Edmund Burke]
That little boy is now an angel. He is waiting for his family to join him one day, in our Creator’s good time. His ancestors will watch over him, while he laughs and plays with his new friends, doing what kids do.
His family grieves. They will never stop grieving.
This family will have wanted only for their little boy to grow up happily and to one day have a family of his own. Imagine how they were smiling and marvelling at the him when he first emerged from his mother’s womb. No one would have been thinking the little angel, newly arrived from Heaven, would come to this. They would never have experienced this, but for the world we built to welcome this child and all children.
I’ll put the question to you: ‘If it is too much to ask of the World for a child to feel safe and loved, what kind of world have we made? What future are we building for our little care bears?
It is a world where we can expect a proliferation of folks such as bin Salman, Putin, Xinping, Trump, Netanyahu, Erdogan, and al-Assad to rise to the top levels of government; when in the Creator’s world they would naturally sink to the bottom. This mirror-like reversal is symptomatic of the human condition; revelatory of the world we are building for our children and ourselves.
That world has been known by many names in many traditions. It is not the Eden of my own tradition, but it is known as the final destination of the condemned, in all traditions.
If we do not change ourselves, we condemn every newborn to a hell with which they have nothing to do, but what we put upon them.
Shame on us.
Instead of using daycare to shape our young angels, let us invest in making parents the best parents they can be. They are, after all, the child’s first experience with the world, and who in the world can love them more than their own parents? Start with this.
2 November 2019
The U.K. is imposing a moratorium on fracking due to concerns the activity is predisposing adjacent areas to earthquakes. I can only say that it is about fracking time.
Apart from big holes and mountains of tailings, operations at the Alberta tar sands will not result in destabilizing regions of the Earth’s crust.
The best thing Canada and the World can do, is to impose a moratorium on fracking and deep sea drilling. These are destructive, ground structure destabilizing, and environmentally-toxic processes; unquestionably a matter of short term gain in exchange for long term pain- a devil’s bargain.
The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf has poisoned swathes of prime ‘ocean real estate’ for generations. It is certain the damage fracking inflicts will be with us for as long or longer.
We are going to run out of oil eventually. Why not accept this fact now, and work to develop a ‘succession plan’ for the world’s energy supply? Although this means investors today will take a hit, it also the only way to ensure that tomorrow’s investors have something to invest in. Before the world runs out of oil, nations will make war upon one another for the little that is left, in a desperate and ill-fated attempt to survive:
With the toys we have now for making war, no one is going to survive WW III.
Let’s put ‘Wexit’ aside. It is not the answer for Western Canada. The answer is for West and East to remember that they are in fact parts of Canada, and Canada can no more do without its ‘body parts’ than we can do without ours.
We need to work together to progress Alberta, Canada, and the World away from petroleum. We need to finance the transition to something better. ‘Better’ is environmentally non-toxic and non-destabilizing, with respect to ground structure and climate, and renewable.
In Canada, given the long term catastrophic effects implicit in fracking and deep sea drilling, our only way forward is to build on the Sands in Alberta as we take fracking and deep sea drilling offline. The Sands lay on Canada’s direct path to energy sustainability. The Sands will pay for Alberta’s, Canada’s, and the World’s transition to renewable and non-deleterious energy supplies.
Were the World to work with us in parallel, we could decrease traditional oil supply and infrastructure/add replacement green supply and infrastructure in such a manner as to maintain some profitability for traditional, land-based petroleum sources as fracking and deep sea drilling is phased out and renewable alternative energy sources are phased in.
The cost of building refining capacity onsite (to reduce the toxic effects of spills) and of building pipelines with the oil transport channel inside of a containment line (I expect doubling the cost of the pipeline per se), will raise the break even point, but it represents an incremental reversal of humankind’s penchant for uploading the side effects of its decisions onto future generations. Given the modern rate and extent of desertification, environmental contamination and destruction, and the reduction of numbers in all species except our own, the financial hit our generation endures because of the transition will be seen as a real bargain by all generations, past and future.
The future will venerate us as heroes. Upon the past we will have conferred vindication.
Let Canadians, of the West and East, be first to unite in our common cause, for the solutions we discover to the challenges we face as a people and nation will purchase our survival as a nation and in doing so, light a path for the World to follow and to take hope in.
1 November 2019
A section of the Keystone pipeline has been shutdown in North Dakota. This is the latest in a series of pipeline leaks. We all know that once the oil is spilled onto the ground or into the water, that ground or water is unusable to anything living, except maybe certain bacteria?
Plainly, pipelines pose no long term benefit to our energy/environmental issues, or to the Alberta economy, but then, neither does oil.
Therefore our problem is a problem of transition. We cannot just stop oil. The more we use it, the more we destroy the quality of our Alberta’s, our Canada’s and our world’s future. If we cannot immediately get off oil, what can we do to make it less harmful to use, to provide a buffer as we phase it out and replace it with environmentally innocuous and economically opportunistic renewables?
To that end, if folks in government are really serious about doing it right; providing opportunity today while guaranteeing it for tomorrow, we could consider doing a few things:
1-build refining capacity at the tar sands and clean up the bitumen before it gets pumped anywhere.
2-design pipelines such that there is an inner pipeline, which carries the oil, sheathed in a larger diameter pipe, which acts as containment. When a pressure drop is detected along the pipeline, the oil will leak into the outer pipe but not into the environment, giving the emergency responders time to properly react. They now have the capacity to shutdown the pipeline with a relatively easy job ahead of them to recover the leaked oil. Our wildlife and aquifers will not be affected.
3-the Indigenous communities along pipeline routes, if they were to agree, would be given the job of monitoring and maintaining the pipelines through their lands and receive a royalty on the volume of oil passing through their territories. The incentive for them is not lacking. It is their land, their livelihood, that oil leaks destroy.
I have no idea what these ideas would cost in dollars, but
I do know that the amount of oil which we are dumping into the oceans and aquifers is going to stay toxic for a very, very long time; and that Mother Earth is hard-pressed already to support our numbers and absorb our waste.
The window of opportunity for action is already closing.
31 October 2019
It is supposed to be Halloween. Sadly, Mother Nature decided there would be no trick-or-treating for the kids. Ironically, the stormy conditions: pelting rains, howling winds, and maple leaves blasting along empty streets lined with houses replete with darkened windows (and no snarling pumpkins, at least along my section) were provide the perfect Halloween atmosphere-the scene of many Hammer horror films. It must have been so disappointing for the kids. I am into my sixties, and I don’t ever recall a year where Halloween was effectively shutdown. I do recall my own having to traipse through 2 feet of snow one year, however…
But to celebrate, I found a channel showing Bela Lugosi’s Dracula (1931). Afterwards I was forced to go to YouTube. There I found a lot of horror movies from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. These were the movies I grew up watching on Halloween as I sorted out a pillowcase full of candy.
All of the major networks showed them when I was a boy. Those movies made it fun to be scared. It was fun. Although watching them caused you anxiety, deep down inside you knew it was a story and that nothing like that actually happens in real life.
Contrast this with the hyper-violent, hyper-graphic, often hyper-sex-laced, story-less, imagination-less crap that we take for the horror genre today. Strip away all of the baubles; just how are viewers’ imaginations engaged and the movie experience enjoyable?
It isn’t. We are only being exposed to an extreme version, an extension, of what we see on the ubiquitous news every day. If I were a kid today, I’d be terrified to go outside just on the basis of what I am watching on tv. And then there’s the Internet…
Does anybody have to wonder at the fact that kids, teens, and young adults are resorting to knives, guns, and suicide with increasing frequency, given what they are exposed to on the television and their computer screens/cell phones?
Multiplex this with the effect of hyper-violent video games: blood galore with a reset button. Does anyone not get that these games are subconsciously programming kids into connecting hyper-violence and death with a game-level reset, only in real-life; that the shackles of conscience, which restrain humans from doing mortal violence to one another, are being eroded by these influences, predisposing folks, at an increasingly younger age, to perpetrate increasingly violent acts upon others?
For preteens and teens, this earns them a spot in a jail cell while they are still maturing into adults. They will not spend time in their own bedrooms anymore. They will live among strangers and stern corrections workers -not mom and dad, who are at least nice some of the time- for a long time. There is no reset button. Their lives will never be what they should have been. All opportunity is lost. Their victims, also young people, are left bereft of all their dreams -because we will not protect them from these influences.
When I was in high school, it was fists. Dirty fighters might kick. But bystanders never allowed it. Someone would break things up.
Enough said. Freedom of Speech IS NOT carte blanche to create and perpetuate misery. Whether it is on the Internet, the television, the radio, or between individuals, it does not matter. Canadian society protects individuals from other people ‘freely speaking’ words that violate our HRC.
How is it that television, internet, and gaming companies are not also regulated with respect to disseminating information that will resonate with young people, already struggling to find their place in the adult world, before they can possibly be ready to deal with it?
I remember the first dead person I saw. The family was on the way up North for vacation. There was a car accident. I saw a poor woman laying on a stretcher at the side of the highway, motionless, not fully covered. It was 55-ish years ago. I can picture it like it was yesterday, BECAUSE I WAS A YOUNG PERSON, if affected me that profoundly.
We cannot expect kids to process what our society is showing and surrounding them with. Free speech cannot be conflated with the right to confer misery upon other people, especially upon children, anymore than the right to bear arms can be conflated with the right to own a military assault rifle or handgun. Those weapons have only two purposes: shooting at targets or shooting at people. They are not your typical sportsmen’s choice. And they are too deadly.
The ubiquitous display of violence has only two effects, residing in our consciousness long after the ‘purpose to inform’ is fulfilled: it scares the bejeezus out of kids (and adults) and it provides people who are on the verge of venting in a catastrophic way with ideas. Can anyone say that random attacks on folks out shopping, having a coffee, or on their way to a lecture or to work, are not increasing in frequency and extent as time goes on?
It is logical therefore, to not permit folks to own assault rifles and handguns. We must strive to uphold the greater good, which is to keep the public safe from bullets. It is just as logical to throttle back the examples of violence and sex channelled to people via television, internet, and gaming, in order to keep the public safe from folks in whom these influences percolate and become precursors to hyper-violence and profligate sexuality.
Humans mimic what they see and hear.
A real life example: The TTC now describes subway suicides as ‘track-level injuries.’ I believe the goal is to reduce the number of suicides by subway train. The theory being, the less people hear about others jumping in front of subway trains, the less likely others are to do it.
26 October 2019
The wisdom from today’s fortune cookie:
When the masters of the empire talk nonsense, ordinary people go into decline.
The world has a problem. Canada has a problem. Fortunately for Canada, we have re-elected the first leader in more than a decade who does not talk nonsense and who works for us ordinary people. The problem is a movement (Movement Conservatism) which began in the U.S. and has spread around the world. Trump, Putin, Un, Erdogan, Netanyahu, Bin Salman, Trump –oops I already mentioned Trump-Harper, Scheer, Kenney, Pallister, and Moe (and Ford) and many more.
Their brand of problem-solving and international diplomacy is through coercion -economic and militarily. Coercion has never, ever, resulted in a lasting order. Have we not learned this, after 6 millennia of trying to prove otherwise?
They also play bullies to the truth.The m-con brand of accountability is to lie (outright or by omission) without getting caught. Their operative is to confuse listeners into buying what they are selling, for what they are selling is detrimental to the lion’s share of buyers, in their case.
Their goal is to plunder humankind and its world. They do not care for those who died in the past, who did so to keep their nations secure and free. To give vulnerable folks, no matter where they live, a fighting chance. They do not care for the children living today or the ones who will inherit the world tomorrow.
They even stoop to discredit a young, autistic teen who has taken time off from her life as a teenager to impress us with the perilous times we and our world are in the midst of. This eerily recalls a line from a Buffalo Springfield tune:
The above links to a video rendering of the song, published on YouTube by Warzone. There is another similarly spirited, extended version here.
The m-cons care only for wealth. They appear to be willing to say, or do anything (that the good folks of Canada and the World will allow them to get away with, of course!) so that we will vote them power over us.
To buy their product.
No one would stand for being cheated by a salesman. We would walk out the door with our money, and leave the salesman empty-handed. Had we been offered by the salesman what the m-cons are selling, we would do well to slam the door behind us and never look back.
Greta Thunberg exhorts us to work together; that’s how we will win against climate change. She give us a truth which we can all take to the bank.
But it wouldn’t be a bank bearing the movement conservative brand, or a bank inclined to conduct their brand of business…
Their brand of business is nothing but monkey-business.
25 October 2019
It’s Friday! Yay! In honour of the happiest day of the workweek, I’ll have a little fun with the latest post-federal election ‘crisis:’ WExit.
[Scene 1]: Three teen-stooges, Kenney, Pallister, and Moe, are hanging out together at the school playground. Kenney says coins get dropped there all the time. The three drool at the prospect of all the candy they can buy with the booty, and set to work digging.
Before long, they have made quite a mess of the property. Along comes Justin. He asks the three why they are destroying the playground, rendering it unusable for generations of school kids to come? They reply they have already spent their allowances and they are looking for coins dropped by the kids who play there.
Justin says, ‘Hold on now, I can give you a little money. Don’t keep destroying the playground.’
‘Screw off,’ says the first stooge, ‘Don’t you tell us what to do in our playground.’
‘No need to swear,’ says Justin, ‘and besides, it isn’t your playground. It belongs to the school -the commons- and its kept up for the kids who play and go to school here. What will you say to them when they come and find everything ruined?’
[The Three teen-stooges, in unison]: We’ll say you did it.
The three can think of nothing else to say and so they run home, telling their fathers that Justin was bullying them. The three fathers go to the school to demand that Justin be sent to Reform [party] school for being a bully and miscreant. They are themselves well known at Reform school, all three having graduated from there.
Justin, meanwhile, had left and brought back a few of his friends to help clean up the mess the three had made so the kids could play again. As they worked, they found many coins. These they saved to repair or replace the old playground equipment with cool new stuff-stuff that can’t rust. The other kids’ parents noticed them and came over to help. In a short while, the park would be as good as new, brimming once again with the sound of children’s laughter.
The principal emerged from the school, the three father stooges in tow. When he arrived at the playground and saw the community and Justin working to restore it, he rolled up his sleeves and started helping, without a word to the three fathers. But he did say ‘Sorry,’ when he happened to bump into another helper as he picked up a shovel.
As for the three-teen stooges, why, they are following in their fathers’ footsteps and are expected to graduate from Reform school in just a few years.
Elizabeth May has written a letter to Justin Trudeau identifying areas of common ground between her Greens and the Liberals. This is a good thing. Since the election, Canada is no longer hosting a political battle but rather, thanks to the Three, an existential one. Canada will need all hands on deck.
The three amigos, together with their federal counterparts, past and present, are not pro-Canada; they are not even pro-Albertan,-Saskatchewan, or -Manitoban. They are pro-con. All-con. They care only for money; and if you have money, they care about you too. If Canada gets in the way of their moneymaking frenzy, they are willing to ditch her.
The cons of today are hellbent on taking Canada and the World to a place where the sun never shines. Their electoral success, such as it is, derives from their ideological stupidity: having been able to convince themselves of trickledown, despite all the evidence to the contrary, they are able to convince themselves of anything. They project a Rasputin-like, maniacal sincerity, when professing their convictions: anyone who hears them deny climate change will at least want to believe them. If they know nothing of the science, they may even vote for them.
The cons are the last ones on Earth yet to realize the World has a problem with global warming/climate change; but then again, they have yet to understand that ‘trickledown economics,’ is a myth. Anyone living in the bottom economic strata would have know this even as its first presidential proponent expounded it.
Juan Ponce de Léon also believed in myths. He searched for the place where, legend had it, lay the Fountain of Youth. What he found was a land which would one day give birth to things even more fantastical than the fountain: movement conservatism (mcon), Ronald Regan (the first mcon president), and the idea of trickledown as a bona fide economic theory.
24 October 2019
The Reform party now branded ‘Conservative’ lost the federal election. It is plain that, apart from their nest in the West (imported from the U.S.), Jason Kenney et al. have no solid traction anywhere else in Canada. But do not worry! These byzantine bozos have a plan B: say hello to ‘WExit.’
One might think it unscrupulous to use the vulnerable citizen as a bargaining chip in a war among politicians, but to politicians like Kenney, Pallister, and Moe, Canada’s Three Stooges (plus Ontario’s Ford, but he’s only there to fill-in on the odd episode), it is only ‘business.’
The Con Business Strategy: The 3 stooges (plus one) knew well before the federal election that insufficient market potential exists nationally for movement conservative politics. To win the election, they resolved to focus their money-tree dollars on ads personally attacking the Prime Minister. This is wrong, patently un-Canadian, on so many levels; but the cons rationalize their morally and ethically dubious approach as ‘doing business,’ and, that it is ‘not personal.’ I would warrant this approach has more puzzo than Puzo about it.
The character assassination approach failed miserably, with many voters disaffected by the personal assault on the PM opting to vote for the Bloq or the NDP rather than the cons.
Canada is not yet so inflicted by the pathology of movement conservatism as to allow these folks to lead us, lemming-like, over the cliffs. The Harper years appear to have inoculated Canada to infection. In response, the Kenney Club: Kenney, Pallister, and Moe (and Ford), has now initiated its plan B: if we cannot control Canada, we will leave Canada.
WExit. The fact that the Liberals burned some of their political capital with the TMX pipeline purchase (4.6B) is upsetting to their plan. The cons duly reprogram their misinformation machine to confer blame for the state of Alberta’s economy on the Liberals in Ottawa rather than the current market for bitumen oil. Kenney goes on television to convince Albertans of the truth of this. Albertans, out of their western angst, appear susceptible to this crap. Everyone seems ready to ignore the fact that the Liberals could only have bought a pipeline for one purpose: to get Alberta’s oil to international markets. In order to revitalize the Albertan economy and to use the federal revenues to finance Alberta’s transitioning to a green economy. What else, apart from fighting to give Alberta a future should the Liberals be doing? If your arm or leg was weakening, would you not do all you can to heal it?
Canada is one body. No one of the body would allow any part of the body to suffer, much less be the cause of the suffering, because all of Canada feels it. Alberta is as reliant on a healthy Canada as Canada is upon a healthy Alberta. We need one another and it is natural for us to react kindly to one another’s needs. These movement con folks, on the other hand, are a cancer in the body of Canada and the U.S. They cannot help with the healing because they are not programmed that way. They can only bring about the body’s demise because they can only consume the body.
Would-be King Kenney does not represent Albertans per se; he represents Big Oil. He cannot amount to anything better than a Crown Prince. He might expect to live another 30 years, say, and live well on the profits of his business endeavours. That will be long enough for him to see the legacy of misery he has left to the next generation of Albertans. It will not matter to him; he and his like will end their days fat and contented.
WExit becomes the holy grail for these movement morons. From the election result it is clear where a stable market currently exists for their product: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. But that market evolved out of western angst which they opportunistically play upon. It is not so much a reflection of perception of quality in their product as it is the western voter’s distaste for anything with a taint of the East on it.
If WExit is successful, the poor folks out in the Prairie will soon be left to dining on bullshit, since that is all the movement morons will have left to set before them after they have taken their share from the oil barons. What will remain to benefit the rest of Albertans?
Undaunted by considerations such as these, Kenney, Pallister, and Moe would continue the push to WExit -with the help of Big Oil, of course. For things of such import, they would need a referendum. To win the referendum, they will need to build massive popular support: complaining about Ottawa is one thing; separating from Canada, quite another.
But to that end, we have Husky Oil announcing major layoffs, coming hard upon the election result. We hear Kenney, a day later, announcing 2.4% cuts to services except for education and healthcare in his first budget, and then going on television to compare the Liberals’ federal election victory to the onset of the Albertan Apocalypse. All of this, according to Kenney, Pallister, and Moe, is the fault of PM Trudeau.
If this were not a serious attempt, unsurpassable in its egregious unethicality and un-Canadianess, to bamboozle honest folks into believing these leaders are motivated to be of service to the citizens of the mid west, I would playfully liken the Kenney Crew to a gaggle of Chicken Littles running willy-nilly, here and there, proclaiming, ‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling!’ But it is serious, and many of our Albertan brothers and sisters are caught up as pawns in the game the Kenney confabulators are playing.
They only want power. Money they have, but the election proves money is not enough to win over Canadians. Canadians rely on respect, above all else, respect for the truth and for one another. The movement moron cons will try to buy the hearts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Ontario’s is not for sale, and I believe that the folks in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba will likewise see through the veil of western angst enough to become aware that the UCP et al. do not genuinely aspire to uphold their interests and wellbeing, that they mean to thicken the veil of western angst, rather than to engage Ottawa in a serious attempt to address western issues. They certainly do not wish to acknowledge Ottawa’s help, because Ottawa is Liberal.
Because Ottawa is Liberal. Hello? The tree is known by its fruit, and the fruit being offered by Ottawa to the West is edible, revitalizing, and sustaining. No matter who the farmer is, he/she will aspire to do this. The fruits of movement conservatives, however, are made accessible only to those at the top of the tree. By the time those at the bottom realize there is no ‘trickle down,’ they will have no recourse but to whither and fall to the ground.
But Kenney, Pallister, and Moe (and Ford) do not care for such leaves. They care about power. Money is power, and they at least have learned this much: if they have all the money, they have all the power, and they will continue to leverage it in an assault on our nation, the one many of Canada’s young people have already fought and died for. These guys are not prepared to die for any cause. But they are prepared to allow others to die in miserable poverty. For money and power. For shame! [Aside: Here, I am reminded of Gandhi’s pronouncement: There are many causes for which I am willing to die, but none for which I am willing to kill.]
Does anyone really think the cons of today, their DNA altered by the virus of movement conservatism, can be good for anybody?
They have not learned that Canadians cannot be bought with money. The good folks out in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba will see through the con and Canada is protected on its western front by the good folks who live there, just as it is protected from the Bloq on its eastern front by the good folks in Québec.
A Canada without Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Québec cannot be Canada. We, as Canadians, are uniquely positioned to be leaders in the global community. Because of our tradition of immigration/diversity we have grown to become a reflection of the world’s composition. We are a microcosm of the world’s challenges, and in fighting for our own survival as a nation, we light the path forward for the world to ensure its own revival-survival. That is the path the so-called ‘left’ is following.
The movement conservatives of the world try to darken and obfuscate that road by stoking fear and division. They want us to choose another road to follow, a road they built for themselves to empower and enrich themselves. The trouble is, they refuse to anticipate, beyond their enrichment and empowerment, where that road is leading Alberta, Canada, and the World to.
It is leading everyone, Canada and the World, lemming like, over a precipitous cliff.
Appearing today on CBC.ca: Trudeau’s to-do list: calm rising regional tensions, heal rifts with premiers
The tension between Alberta and Canada have nothing to do with Trudeau. Alberta’s economy is suffering for one reason: the cyclical nature of the commodities markets. As supply rises, demand and prices fall. The solution for Albertans lay in diversifying their economy, not in changing the federal government. No matter who is in government, Albertans will still need to transition and diversify. The cons out there would have Albertans believe it is because of Trudeau. That because they wanted Trudeau out of the way. But the rest of Canada is not buying the con game and so these cons now mean to move Canada out of the way. Very sad. Very counterproductive. Very Spenserian.
It can be hard, I know from personal experience. I worked in a pulp and paper mill on the north shore of Lake Superior for 25 years. The last 10 years or so, our mill was obliged to fight rising wood, natural gas, and electricity prices, even as prices for our product fell in response to new competition from South America and China. The mill was eventually closed. But the one-horse town survived. This is very much to the credit of the people who remained. I believe Albertans are as well-spirited as the folks on Superior’s north shore.
PM Trudeau is, without a doubt, willing to perform backflips to help Alberta transition, survive, and thrive. He is already getting slapped around by his siblings on the left over the pipeline purchase, something he views as necessary to the transition. Canada is a family. The folks living in Alberta are our siblings. We live in different residences, that’s all. But the extra we have, we are willing to give to our brothers and sisters when they lack sufficient resources to maintain their own residences. It’s only natural, and it is how Canada does things.
The world must transition to renewable, environmentally innocuous energy sources. Big Oil is on the way out, but Alberta is forever. At some point, Alberta must transition or bust. That’s only natural too. Canada must help Alberta survive and thrive, or lose part of its soul. Albertans must succeed, else Canada fails. Only one viable alternative presents itself: we must drop the rhetoric and work together.
The Kenney club doesn’t see it that way. Nevertheless, it is that way, and there is no getting around it. No amount of rhetoric or dollars is going to change natural process. Trudeau is already doing what the article headline is calling for him to do. It is the premier of Alberta who opportunistically conflates normal market downturns with the actions of a progressive government. It is progressive government the cons are attacking.
The rifts the article refers to are those being dug with shovels owned and operated by the premiers. How is it already the PM’s responsibility to act? First, the premiers must lay down their shovels, and they are no more interested in doing that than they are in telling Canadians and Albertans the truth about the Albertan economy.
With Trudeau and Canada out of the way, the cons will have free reign to milk the western cow dry. What sort of Alberta will the good folks living there inherit from these cons?
A hint: the con’s brand of parasitism is in no way symbiotic.
23 October 2019
First: Watch Vachy Kapelos and Premier David Peterson on CBC. [aside: Vachy Kapelos is one of the good ones; so was David Peterson]. What they have to reveal about what is going on today is very elucidating and providing a great perspective. The former Ontario premier mentions the role of the Reform Party-Western Alliance, that they brought a methodology into Canadian politics Canadians have never before experienced. He doesn’t mention the political movement that emerged in Western Canada was an import from the U.S., but I do. Read on…
They’re here [ominous tone]. The line from the Steven Spielberg classic could just as easily apply to that group of power-mongers out west who seek to convert the world and science’s sentiments toward fossil fuels into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s personal angst against Albertans. The media is helping them out, for a reason that may be acknowledged only among themselves but likely involves earning a weekly paycheck. Between the puppeteers and the media owned by them, we are seeing alchemy at its best.
Two days after voting a Liberal government back into power, Husky (a representative of Big Oil on the Canadian side) announced a series of layoffs. The timing clearly shows Big Oil was waiting on the election result. It expected a ‘better deal’ for itself from the Cons. The cons lost, Big Oil was disappointed, and so they make their employees pay for their disappointment. Employees with families to take care of rather than profit margins to tally. The motives and value set of Big Oil and its government cronies could not be clearer: it is doing its damnedest to take down the Liberals and replace them with a Big Oil-friendly government mindset.
Big Oil is fighting for its life, therefore Big Oil must fight any progressive government. It would be the same if it were the NDP, the Greens, or Mother Teresa in Ottawa. The only Big Oil-friendly governments are conservative governments. Conservatives see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, and leverage the police and political assassination to address any discrepancies emerging between their mindset and reality. Big Oil is fighting for ITS LIFE; not only against PM Trudeau, but against the entire world. The dictates of science and the voices of future generations are clamouring for us to learn to take full advantage of what the Sun abundantly and freely provides, with no hit on the environment, rather than to continue raping our planet, rendering it uninhabitable to human and other animal species in only a short while. Recall the BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
The political cronies (Harper, Scheer, Kenney, et al.) of Big Oil work with Big Oil to achieve their ends. Their ends are to make money for themselves. Their ends are not to protect the environment, Indigenous rights, or even to provide jobs to Albertans (the lack of opportunities for which they will confer blame à la Machiavelli in The Prince, upon the progressive government du jour in order to discredit them).
They only want to make money. Anything else, including refining the oil before it gets piped, they will not do if the government doesn’t tell them to, because things like environmental and worker rights dig into their profit margins. Businesses consider what they need of their employees; not what their employees need of the business. Topping the list is having a job. The Husky announcement this morning is a case in point.
As for the media: last night, the reporters were discussing the angst of Albertans and how this has suddenly morphed into an existential challenge; how they feel beholden to a government – a government that ‘hates oil’ – that treats them as a second thought, as colonials. There was no mention of the fact that Science hates oil; that the United Nations hates oil, oh yeah, and that every single living species on the planet Earth hates oil. There was no mention of the Trudeau government’s resolve to transition Alberta and by example the world to renewable energy. Not even a hint of that. The media appears to care only about what they need to do to replace the election coverage in order to maintain revenue…and profit margins- à la Big Oil. N.B. It is not media people that are corrupt, but rather the incursion of the profit motif into this venerable institution’s operatives.
They’re gone. Big Oil will not stay in Alberta forever. As oil companies see the potential for profits weaken, they will cut and run. No more profits = no more pollution, no more jobs, and no more tax revenue for the government -not even to help with cleaning up the mess Big Oil companies leave behind. Remember what nickel mining did to Sudbury. Remember how Sudbury used to look and how it looks now, after years of Ontarians electing progressive governments in combination with the extraordinary resourcefulness of its scientists and citizens.
That Canada and its politics has been polluted by the attitudes of power-hungry politicians and investors down to the level of arena-partisanship is a development as alarming as it is egregiously callous.
We all know that businesses operate to make profit.
We all know that media folks need to earn a living too. Most of them work for media chains- ‘Big Media.’ They not only need to write material that will maintain reader interest, but that will also please the boss. The reporter therefore incorporates some of the personality of the boss/big media into every article they hope to sell, providing a sprinkling of a particular owner’s political sentiments. The ‘personality’ of the boss is conferred, in turn, upon the reader, unbeknownst to the reader: they purchase a newspaper with the understanding that they are getting the truth.[aside: they are reading the truth- but it is often the ‘truth’ as they want it to be, rather than as it is].This will keep folks reading, but it does not fulfill the goal of communication: to facilitate understanding/awareness, which presupposes the proper response to every issue.
We also know how much the world has degraded over the last several decades. Only folks bound up inside of their own ego and the folks who believe in them are able to ignore the changes. These changes were a long time in developing and will take just as long to remedy. It will require the political will of a generation, not just of one government mandate.
The Trudeau Liberals have a plan to phase out our reliance on non-renewable energy. They have a plan to phase in renewable energy. They have a plan going forward for Alberta, for Canada, and by example, the World. They might not make best friends to the Kenney clan or the proponents of Scheer’s nonsense, but they will to the toddler-Canadians of today, poised to be Alberta’s, Saskatchewan’s, Manitoba’s, and Canada’s leaders tomorrow.
1- the PM is taking responsibility for the divisiveness of the election. I have not heard him say anything he should need to apologize for. He was under deliberately vicious attack. Scheer even began the English language debate by launching a missile at the PM before even saying ‘Hello.’ But Scheer, Kenney, et al. are simply pawns in a much larger game; one wherein the global right is desperately trying to maintain control over the global agenda.
The cons at the federal and provincial levels should be the ones apologizing to Canadians and to the PM. It should not be the PM apologizing for what the cons were doing. Still, the PM knows to put it all behind because he anticipates every ounce of effort and resolve will be needed for what is ahead. The cons, meanwhile, will continue to find new ways to undermine whatever the PM does because they want to use the PM to their own advantage. They can only do that if we elect a con for a PM.
The cons will never apologize. The Progressive Conservatives would have; but then, our erstwhile PCs would never have indulged in the hateful, divisive politics driven by their modern day movement conservative counterparts. They wouldn’t have had to: their policies would have been framed in terms of what is best for Canada and Canadians, with an emphasis on providing business with a leg-up on things, and so, they would be competing on the same playing field as the left, policy for policy, yard for yard, and playing by the same rules. They would not cheat (or lie). They would certainly not try telling the captain of the opposing team that he doesn’t deserve to be captain. They would have engaged in open and honest competition.
The Progressive Conservatives served Canada. The modern Conservatives see Canada as serving them. They view the world through a ‘business’ mindset.
Election 2019 was tantamount to the Liberals playing with footballs while the Scheer-quarterbacked cons were tossing missiles.
2 – It should be clear to everyone with eyes to see and ears to hear (and a brain) that there are two types of leader in Canada: the ones that want to serve Canada and the ones that want Canada to serve them.
Kenney, Pallister, and Moe would have done better to team up to provide Canadians with some good ol’ slapstick comedy, if only they were more interested in serving Canada and Canadians than in using Canada and Canadians to their own personal advantage.
22 October 2019
It’s the morning after. Canada has just voted up a Liberal minority government. The NDP hold the balance of power. The Liberals are trying to get the trans mountain pipeline going; the NDP is dead set against the pipeline [aside: my tarot cards predicted a Liberal majority, whereas Mr. Grenier’s poll compositing predicted a Liberal minority. Alas, Mr. Grenier is in no danger of losing his job with CBC!].
Oh, but wait! There’s still the Bloq. They too have enough seats to keep the Liberals in business. The Liberals want to run a pipeline east. The Bloq is against running a pipeline through Québec.
The Cons favour both pipelines and could vote with the Liberals. Alberta needs both pipelines.
Now, some perspective on the politics of leadership and of doing the right thing:
1 – The Liberals ponied up on trans mountain, despite the optics. This is of tremendous benefit to the Albertan and Canadian economies and jobs for Albertans. For what their stand might have cost them in seats in the East, Albertans weren’t inclined to award them a single ‘thank-you.’
2 – The Liberals stood up for jobs in Québec despite the optics of the SNC-Lavalin fiasco; but they were also the only party to take a firm stand against Bill 21. The Bloq campaigned on Québec nationalism as opposed to sovereignty: ‘no one is going to tell us what to do in our own yard’ sort of thing. That resonated with many Québecers who have forgotten that they’ve been here before and are just going around in circles. Do they not know the PM is also a Québecer? That the Québec culture contributes much to the Canadian spirit? That they are already home? Withal, voter disaffection is a chronic condition in Québec. Québecers deserve much better than to feel like this. I pray they will one day have a provincial government and federal representation that will acknowledge and build on community-association instead of sovereignty-association; to wit: for Québecers to live in unity and joy in the day-to-day rather than spending most of their time between writs waiting for the next chance to vote. I have the sense the Liberals take the happiness factor in Québec très sérieusement. Many Québecers did not respond favourably to the Liberals on election night; notwithstanding the hit the party took over the optics of SNC-Lavalin.
3 – A random note: Trudeau was cast as a hypocrite over his failure to deliver on electoral reform, by all of the parties. Yet, back in 2015, his accusers were accusing him of stacking the deck for his Liberals. They were concerned, and rightfully so, that the Liberals would naturally be the second choice for most voters; their position on the political spectrum allowing them to draw votes from both the right and the left. He walked back on his commitment because he was not able to achieve consensus.
4 – Andrew Scheer says, ‘This is only the beginning.’ Coming from the loser, it has a rather ominous, foreboding quality to it: it threatens Canada with dissolution, if that is the only way to power for the western cons.
‘Better to reign in the tars sands than serve in Canada.‘ appears to be the message, that is, if they can’t find a way to boot out Trudeau’s Liberals. If the Liberals form a majority next election, be prepared for our first ever western referendum. When the market for Albertan black gold inevitably weakens, Albertans will have to deal with a tanked economy on their own. Trudeau has been trying to abet the Albertan economy’s transition away from petroleum. Scheer and Kenney, meanwhile, play word games with voters in an attempt to consolidate power. Power to enrich themselves. When all is said and done, many Albertans will be left out in the cold with only a few of them thankful for Scheer and Kenney’s con job.
21 October 2019
It’s Election Day! Whatever is on the bucket list for today, be sure it includes a visit to your polling station. Our politics is divided. Our nation is divided. We need a unifying force. Now. We cannot achieve a lasting consensus if some of us keep silent when our nation is asking to hear our voice.
Do not keep silent. Canadian democracy requires every voice in order to function properly. There are too many power-elements operating which seek to skew our collective voice one way or the other.
Vote according to your vision of your nation.
Our nation is being rent apart by self-interest.
The politicians and power brokers of the West seek to maintain the roots of their wealth. This is in oil. They will resist any changes to this constellation. Going green will displace Big Oil in Alberta: those who are invested in oil will lose out as those who invest in Green, win. Whichever way Albertans choose will determine the long term prospects of the Albertan economy and of the Canadian economy as well.
The Age of Oil is nearing its end, no matter how we vote in this election. If we go Conservative, we elect a government mindset as entrenched in the ‘old ways’ as it is blinded by ideology [translation: the Cons have their heads buried, up their own arses]. Cons only know how to consume and destroy. They don’t even know business very well. And they don’t get that there are many more dimensions involved in governing Alberta than is required to run a business in Alberta. Alberta is a society of many peoples; peoples with unique aspirations, moving together toward a common and equitable future.
On the Eastern front, it is Québec. The power brokers in Québec who seek separation from Canada are not doing it to ‘preserve the French culture,’ but rather to enhance their control over it [translation: their opportunity to make more money for themselves]. If we have not learned anything else from the Charbonneau Commission, it is that politicians do not always act on behalf of the citizen. Democracy takes a punch in the stomach every time politicians act out of self-interest.
And so, we have the self-interest of western politicians pulling in one direction; the self-interest of eastern politicians pulling in the other. We have only the current Liberal government that seems genuinely interested in prosecuting the rights and aspirations of all Canadians and of Canada, coast to coast. Try to imagine: you are a single father, now remarried and with children from you new wife. Your new wife demands that the children of your previous marriage go live with their mother. They are as much your children as the others. You have been raising them on your own for years. Imagine how that would feel? It is like being asked to choose between having an arm cut off or a leg?
That is how Canada feels right now. Her heart is being rent asunder. This land has opened herself up to us all, from the first Indigenous family to cross Beringia to the most recent migrant escaping a worn-torn homeland to begin a new life here. She has been a mother to us all. She loves all of her children.
Today, I am praying for a miracle. A miracle to reconcile West and East, North and South; our generation with past and future generations of Canadians; and the prospects of the World with Canada’s progressive and FORWARD LOOKING LEADERSHIP.
Leadership by example.
In only a matter of hours, we will see.
20 October 2019
It’s Election Day Eve! I am happy and excited. How about you? Still not sure who to vote for? Why I am here to make it easy for you:
Whatever the details, however the respective parties want to dress things up, this election is about unity v. division.
1-A young Québécois interviewed on CBC says he is disappointed with Trudeau over the Trans-mountain pipeline purchase and building capacity eastward. The young man concludes, the Liberals are not doing enough about climate change, and he will likely vote NDP or Bloq.
Riposte: It is a question of bringing on the new as we phase out the old. The transition needs to be paid for. The NDP/Bloq/Greens/Cons are trying to spin doctor practical, long term planning into proof of the PM’s personal hypocrisy, that he is ‘not as advertised.’ They are doing this because they all know it is the only way forward. They aren’t telling us this, because they want our vote. That’s it. It is the value they place on truth: more power for those who fib the best. I assert that the omission of truth is as egregious an offense to the Canadian voter as an outright lie.
2-Singh jumps on the Trudeau-the-hypocrite bandwagon over the pipeline.
Riposte: It is opportunism, plain and simple. The personality points Mr. Singh scored with me during the English language debate have dissipated like a pleasant dream at the sound of the radio clock alarm. He does not care what he says, save for saying what will grab him votes. He is deliberately misleading voters, for power. Sorry, anyone who can do that, and that is all of them save for the Liberals, is not recommended by their behaviour to lead a sovereign nation.
All of which is moot. My tarot reading says the Liberals will form the government and they will earn a majority mandate. I have done readings the last 3 days and they all predict a Liberal majority. Given how politicized and uncertain the polling results are, the tarot could just be the most reliable prediction. In only one day, we will know.
And then I will either throw out my tarot cards or my television.
The strategy of those vying to topple the Trudeau government is to create an alter-ego for Trudeau because they cannot compete on the basis of policy. Even an amoeba will understand the need for a comprehensive climate change strategy. And so, they are obliged to make stuff up about the PM in an attempt to steal votes from him.
The truth of Canada is that the West feels angst toward Central Canada; the East feels angst toward the West, and Québec feels angst towards everyone. The Indigenous remain calm while waiting for the ‘white folks’ to get their stuff together and address their issues; issues that have been around since before Canada became a nation. Getting rid of regional angst is not high on the con-list. In order to understand another person, you must engage them in respectful conversation. Harper stopped holding meetings with the provincial premiers. Justin Trudeau reinstated them.
We will always have regional angst. Folks living in one place have different issues than folks living somewhere else and will not feel understood. Everyone, no matter who they are, will blame the government first.
I am inclined to think governments are rightly accused, that is, if they stoke and entrench division in order to gain or maintain power. I am happy to observe the Liberals under Justin Trudeau appear to be different than the rest:
The Liberals have been promoting reconciliation, inclusion-diversity, and jumped at the chance to open the door to migrant families escaping war zones. That’s the message Trudeau et al. were sending to the world. It is the face of Canada seen by the world. He met with ridicule over his donning tradition attire in India (attire the royal couple currently touring India are being applauded for), he met with betrayal by his own Minister of Justice when he tried to intercede on behalf of workers in Québec, he went after China and Saudi Arabia over human rights violations, he stood up to Trump during the NAFTA negotiations, and he calmly weathered the hyper-disrespectful kamikaze attack by Scheer at the beginning of the English language debate.
One thing I can say about Trudeau is that he esteems respectability in his interactions with others; and that the others do not.
When the others are as full of vitriol as of bullshit, this is no small accomplishment.
It is because of the PM’s comportment during times like these, having to deal with people like Scheer and Singh, that I want him to be Canada’s PM. He is not allowing the winds coming from the nether regions of his opponents to derail his vision for Canada. He won’t allow the leaders of other nations do it to Canada, either. Just like his dad.
Unlike Scheer and Singh, he chooses to see his way forward, like his dad did, rather than talk to us out of his behind.
I am watching CBC Sunday Scrum. One of the media pundits noted how little has changed with respect to affordable housing or with First Nation community water and sewage treatment issues. Why haven’t the Trudeau Liberals done more?
Riposte: The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind. It has always been there and we refuse to accept it: we allow parties to make an issue of balancing the budget. If a government is going to fully remedy these issues, they will need money. A lot of money. They do not have a money tree(therefore, the budget!). They will have to find another way to pay for it, in order to balance the budget. They leave themselves only two options: 1-cut funding to other programs (which exist for a reason), or 2-raise taxes to the extent necessary to cover the costs. Neither of these is palatable to voters. But before the vote, balancing the budget is an enticement, so long as there is no mention of raising personal taxes. But after the vote is when the ‘how’ becomes prevalent. That’s when Doug Ford actually said what he was going to do: after the election, and as he was doing it. Ontarians wrote Ford a blank cheque before. Scheer and Singh have the exact same strategy and are asking Canadians to write them a blank cheque. They decry Trudeau the man, but offer no practical alternatives to his policies. Neither are voters and the media compelling them to reveal the ‘how.’
18 October 2019
Jagmeet Singh described the GST as an unprogressive tax, that it not a fair tax. Au contraire: it is completely fair. The wealthy can buy more and will pay more tax because they have more disposable income. The poorer folks will buy less and pay less because they have less disposable income. What is unfair about that? Put more money in the pockets of poorer folks, take more money out of the pockets of wealthier folks, if you want to address the differences in what people are having to pay in taxes.
Jagmeet is calling Trudeau out as a hypocrite over the pipeline purchase. He can get away with doing this only because he will not form a government. If he does by chance earn the chance to form a government, watch how fast he mimics Trudeau and makes himself the worst of hypocrites, eclipsing Scheer himself.
I have just seen a headline from the National Post: By All Means Meet Greta, then wait for the Science. The NP is trying to get smart with a young person who is acting upon, and guided by, her heart and Science. No amount of printed verbiage can prevail against what this young lady brings to the table.
The NP, it appears, cannot compete with her in terms of human quality and class either.
Shame on the National Post for printing such garbage; even stooping so low in class as to question a young person, who is young enough to believe in the stewardship of her adult generation (which is why she has left the life of a 16-year-old behind to speak to us) and who speaks what everyone with eyes to see and ears to hear with, already knows to be the truth.
The Cons holler, attack, fib, falsely accuse. They get personal. They do this so you won’t vote for Trudeau. The NDP and Greens downplay Trudeau’s accomplishments and exaggerate. They too get personal, only not so despicably as the Cons do. They do this so you will vote for them, and improve upon Trudeau. The Liberals defend their record, offer perspective with respect to timelines of policy implementation (such as transitioning away from hydrocarbon to renewable energy sources), and shed light on the darkness the Cons et al. are trying to cloak the Liberals’ platform in, so that the voter will not evaluate the Liberals’ policies for themselves, but rather listen to their evaluations.
The ‘cloak of darkness’ is questioning Trudeau, the person. The Cons want you to think that his light is only on the surface; that he is all corruption beneath. They want us to reject what we see and hear with our senses and accept what they tell us about Trudeau instead (though they can only see the surface of Trudeau as we do). This is the only means they have at their disposal to win the election. They cannot compete policy-for-policy/head-to-head. Were they to, they would lose miserably. They would have to fight real bullets with blanks, because their real policies are ornery to most people, and to spell out what they are going to do before the election is sure to cause a backfire and kill their chances. Only the more selfish of the haves would vote for them, plus many Westerners; but only because our western brothers and sisters are expressing their traditional angst toward the East. The East generally votes Liberal, leaving the folks out West to plug their noses on many issues and vote con.
The most reliable predictor of future of future behaviour, is past behaviour. Those who elect to behave as playground bullies (the Cons) or coffeeshop gossips (the NDP) before the vote do not recommend themselves for governing a sovereign nation after the vote.
Peter Mansbridge interviewed a Fredericton N.B. history professor this morning. She was wonderful. Give her a listen, and then try to guess whom she might vote for. That is whom you should vote for. For me, it meant voting Liberal. For you?
The media is pummeling us today with news of NDP and Bloq poll numbers surging and the corollary expectation of a Liberal minority government. In these perilous and uncertain times, this will result in a divisive House wherein the party holding the balance of power politicizes everything to its own advantage, with an eye to pulling the plug on the government the minute they feel they can win at the polls. That is not how government is supposed to work. And it is certainly not democratic.
ps ps ps
I believe there is more to the JWR story than most of us know. I do not believe it was simply a matter of her being pressured ‘inappropriately’ by the PM. If that were the case, she would have mentioned that to the PM when they talked. She did not. He read about it in the Globe and Mail. I don’t know her motives, but I believe she was setting him up. What she did played right into the hands of the Conservatives and undermined the chances of reelection of her own peers.
It also puts the quality of life and opportunities for many vulnerable families and kids at risk. What motive could JWR have had that could justify that?
17 October 2019
This has been a bad week for Canada. Divisiveness and opportunism rule the sociopolitical landscape. Whichever party ends up forming the government, it will not last. The mismanagement of Canada by the ‘ruling’ class may be understood as exploitation of the lower class for their own gains, while the so-called ‘middle class’ remains conflicted: they all pay lip service to the notion of a ‘fair and equitable’ Canada, but do not want to contribute a penny toward bringing it about.
Parliament is dysfunctional because we Canadians have permitted it. We’ve reduced our franchise to the level of a shopping spree: we go to the polls armed with our shopping lists and vote for the party which claims to provide what we need off our lists. With respect to voting, no one goes shopping for other Canadians: you know, the ones who are economically and socially isolated, or the ones whose communities whose children and women are being violated and murdered and who lack proper funding to provide clean water, healthcare, and basic community support. When we vote, we are shopping for ourselves.
Here’s the thing: when it comes to voting, one never shops for oneself, and most of us do not realize it.
1- when you vote against social programs, you vote for putting vulnerable families out on the street (it is inevitable).
2- when you vote for renewable energy, but vote against the pipeline to the BC coast, you are telling renewable energy folks and Alberta workers to go find a money tree.
3- when you vote against Trudeau’s handling of JWR et al. and the SNC-Lavalin file, you are voting for the loss of work opportunities for many Québecois over something which occurred in Libya and has nothing to do with Québec, save for the fact SNC maintains its corporate presence there.
4- I would add to (3) that you are also suborning the sort of insidious, underhanded behaviours and attitudes which led to the assassination of Caesar. The only difference here is the target of the assassination doesn’t speak Latin- at least, I don’t think he does. On the other hand, the one playing Brutus in the modern version of the story just might, having been a student of the Law.
5- when you vote against assisting migrants, you support imposing the death penalty upon innocent men, women, and children attempting to leave misery, injustice, murder, and war behind (only to be rejected if they are lucky enough to make it this far). Lucky for us voters we aren’t among the migrants, eh?
6- when you vote against religious symbols, you vote for a godless world, wherein people are encouraged to bury their religious traditions rather than to share in the joy of them with folks of other religious traditions, further dividing us, one Canadian from the other-fyi: no matter your tradition, you will have been created by the same god I was….DUH!
7- when you vote against the Trudeau Liberals, you vote against ‘moving forward;’ against becoming a beacon for the world to follow and bring it home safe and sound. Canada’s current direction is making a beeline toward an equitable and secure future, one that will replace violence, scarcity, misery, and fear with collaboration, sharing (from where there is excess to where there is insufficiency), joy, and hope.
.8-when you vote against the Liberals, you vote against the venerable Canadian military’s tradition of peacekeeping in favour of diplomacy at gunpoint. After several millennia of trying, humankind has yet to achieve a permanent peace with a gun.
None of this is how our Creator intended for us to be living. In light of its ‘secularist’ stance, it seems rather peculiar that this Liberal government is building a social policy framework one might believe to have been inspired by the Beatitudes or similar writings of the other Faiths, and all Faiths bear the same message as what was given to us by the Sermon on the Mount:
that we are of one body; that poverty, violence, and war are pathologies of the body;
that if we do not put an end these, now, the world of humanity will perish, us along with it.
I pray, before Canadians cast their votes, they will think well upon it.
There is a wonderful comparison of the party stands, issue by issue, provided by the CBC this morning. This is the kind of reporting we need to see much more of.
The ‘cards’ tell me the Liberals are going to win a majority government. It sure doesn’t look that way, according to the polls. Still, the ‘cards’ are never wrong
ps ps ps:
I love you, mom
16 October 2019
The Conservative mantra is to leave money in your pocket. That is fine for those Canadians who earn enough to pay the rent and feed their families. But what of those who rely on top-ups from the government in order to make ends meet?
Rest assured the Conservatives will leave more money in your pocket by taxing you less, and it will leave much more money in the pockets of wealthy folks, because they have much more taxable money. But to make up for the loss of tax revenue, they will deny support to Canadians families who already live with their backs to the wall.
Meanwhile, Jagmeet Singh is parroting Andrew Scheer with respect to the pipeline purchased by Trudeau. The real hypocrite of the affair are the men who pretend there is any other way but the way Trudeau is balancing energy supply and climate change. It is a matter of phasing out oil as we phase in renewable sources and delivery infrastructure. The transition will be expensive, money-wise; but it will also buy us a future, and on that basis it’s a bargain.
People like Singh are on the outside of the corridors of power, looking in through the window. If he were in power, he would either sink the nation and Alberta into a hole they will not be able to emerge from, or he would be doing exactly what Trudeau has done on this file. There is no in-between. Singh hopes to earn the party a bunch of seats, but if I were him, and I were talking such balderdash as he is, I would not be running around calling the opposition ‘hypocrites;’ I would be afraid that enough people actually bought my bs to put me in government, and then I would have to put my ‘money’ where my mouth has been, after which people would soon see me for the fool that I was. I was starting to warm up to Singh, but I see now he is as prepared to play with words as Scheer and Blanchet: it is all talk, and it is not sincere. I cannot buy anything that they are saying, because they are not sincere about Trudeau.
Even as they indulge themselves in trying to make the PM look insincere and hypocritical, even as they sow division, discord, and doubt among folks who, now more than ever, need something and someone to believe in. We already have enough Trumps, Putins, Jinpings, Uns, Salmans, and Erdogans in the world. We need more Trudeaus to counter them. If we do not, all of our hopes and dreams for our children will go down with the Liberals this October 21st. If we and the world do not act now with respect to climate change, it will likely be too late to change things the next time we go to the polls.
While the yahoos put the ‘mock’ in ‘democracy,’ the PM et al. are remaining true to themselves, and it follows, true to Canadians.
While Scheer, Singh, and Blanchet attack Trudeau, Trudeau is trying to keep the mess they are creating from spilling over into the next generation and becoming its problem, with the compounding interest of inaction. His competition only cares about winning. They haven’t a clue what to do if they win. Watch what happens if any of them do.
Trudeau hopes that all our children win. Watch what happens if the Liberals do not.
15 October 2019
I– I have just heard Jagmeet Singh would work with the provinces to abolish the Canadian Senate. He just lost my vote.
He has vindicated one of my reservations about the Greens, the NDP, and the cons: although on opposite ends of the spectrum (albeit I was left wondering about how ‘left’ the Greens really are, having hired someone like Kinsella), all three appear to share a willingness to arbitrarily change a formula that has worked for over 150 years, if that is the price of power. Trudeau’s Liberals, conversely, would risk losing power to save this nation. It is not power per se the Liberals seek but rather the capability to enact positive changes. They love Canada as every Canadian should. They are trying to keep their country together, as every Canadian should want to. Jagmeet and Elizabeth seem to map very precisely with Scheer’s willingness to tear it apart. Shame on those three.
p.s. For a defense of the Senate, read my post- An Apology for the Canadian Senate. Senator Serge Joyal is editor of Defending Democracy: The Senate You Never Knew. If you were to read this great elucidation of a most venerable institution, you will not be swayed by those who would abolish it. Remember, these folks love power more than they love Canada, or they would not be trying to dismantle it. I wonder what the folks who died in our nation’s defense would think of these folks?
II- What’s Really Going On In Canadian Politics
Underneath the battle between the Liberals and the Conservatives is the division between Eastern/Central Canada and Western Canada (up to the Rockies).
Whichever way the folks in Eastern Canada tend to vote, and the way has generally been Liberal, western voters mostly opt to vote for the Liberals’ main opposition, not because of the cons’ policies, which the cons keep close to the chest until after they are elected, but because the East votes Liberal. When Canadian folks vote Conservative nationally, it is because they have momentarily forgotten the previous times the cons formed a government…remember Stephen Harper’s Economic [in]-Action Plan?.
That is how the Cons obtain so much of the popular vote: the con puppet masters opportunistically employ the anti-East sentiment, most western voters fall for it, and, if they can dupe enough voters in the East with their typical hollow mantras of ‘balancing the budget’ and ‘lowering taxes’, why, lo and behold! they’re in government, and they’re in the money.
For a while. After the ocean stocks crash and the climate’s reaction to our expanding footprint becomes stronger than what we can keep up with; after the gap between haves and have nots exceeds the breaking point, the Canadian nation will fall apart, we will not be able turn to one another for support, and our dear Canada is forever lost.
Democracy does not thrive in a milieu of angst. Nations cannot survive with crosscurrents of angst operating within their borders.
We get this way when we become too much absorbed by our differences.
Were we to focus more upon our commonalities, we would see that we are much the same, regardless of who we are and where we live in Canada. We would easily recognize regional and demographic disparities and react to fix them right away.
Out of our commonality of human needs (identified by Maslow) and of human aspiration (a peaceful and equitable world to realize our personal dreams and raise our kids in), we would forge a cohesive Canadian society with an indomitable spirit, one that would carry forward to future generations of Canadians as we also pay homage to the honourable and selfless generations of Canadians which preceded ours.
The only party speaking truthfully to the electorate right now is the Liberal party. They are trying to lead and to govern. They do not need to lie. The evidence is all around us.
The other parties, meanwhile, are trying to get elected. They seek fault in anything and everything the Liberals do, only because if they succeed in planting the seeds of doubt in our minds, they can get themselves elected on that alone.
Even Elizabeth May and Jagmeet Singh: they are personable enough to woo voters (I liked them both more after watching the debates). They talk a good talk. They cannot dispute most of what Trudeau has done specifically, so they couch their criticisms in grandiose generalities and ethereal abstractions, but they do not provide any substantiality in alternatives. Just like the con strategy.
The Cons to play on voter disaffection. If the law and economics allowed them to take advantage of Toronto sports fan disaffection, they might promise to buy the New England Patriots, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Tampa Bay Lightning, and then move them, lock, stock, and barrel, to Toronto in order to win the GTA. Of course that’s impossible, but that doesn’t matter: the trick is, to amplify voter disaffection by paying lipservice to the elements of disaffection while offering little to know details with respect to what they themselves will do. They are, in effect, getting the voter to write them a blank cheque. Under such an arrangement, they do not have to provide anything by way of honouring the cheque.
But that’s business. Maybe the cons deserve to be styled as a business-oriented party, and maybe the NDP/Greens should join them, if that is all it takes to get us to write them a blank cheque this election.
Sadly, whenever anyone writes a blank cheque, we hand over control of our entire fortunes. To folks we hardly know so well. But fear not! We will get to know them very quickly after we sign.
Then, we will fare as Orwell’s horse, looking in from the outside, out in the cold, upon a group of folks sitting around a dining room table, fattening themselves while they run our country, dressed like the farmer they just evicted. And then it will be too late.
We cannot afford to mock our democracy. We imperil ourselves and our children by continuing to treat our vote so disrespectfully. We hear Jagmeet Singh tell us that taxing the h3LL out of the 1% is going to pay for his platform. Singh would spontaneously introduce universal pharmacare and dentalcare. All great initiatives, and already comprising a part of the Liberal game plan; but, to impose these changes precipitously would crash our system and our energy supply; to plan and then methodically phase them in over a prescribed period of time is the only way to achieve lasting and positive change while minimizing the pain of withdrawal—that is the Liberals’ approach. The controversial pipeline purchase is to help generate funding for Canada’s transitioning to green energy. It is no hypocrisy. It is demonstrating an aspect of business acumen that the Cons seemed to have whiffed on.
One thing the Cons, NDP, and Greens have in common is strategy: they are all hoping to dupe us with enough superficial verbiage to get us to vote for them; but they are trying to talk us into making a purchase the way a car or vacuum cleaner salesman would.
We’d be buying a car comparable to those sold by Matilda’s father.
I would be more comfortable buying a bicycle from the Holy Father.
14 October 2019
13 October 2019
The Cons are leading in the polling for the first time. This is largely the result of surging support for the Bloq in Quebec. Our nation is being divided by the cons while it being shaken apart by Quebec, where folks appear to be voting out of chronic disaffection rather than calculation.
Canada is fast devolving into entrenchment along regional lines and this is a prelude to dissolution.
We have the best PM and party to see us through the perilous times ahead and we are about to kick them out of office.
We deserve everything that happens next because we abuse our democracy. A society of selfish people cannot stand, and not many folks voting today seem to care about what is going to happen tomorrow, or for their kids’ futures.
Like the cons, we try to recapture yesterday, even though yesterday is long past the point of recovery.
Should we allow the cons, as they are today, to govern, we have made ourselves passengers in a car driven in the forward direction by someone looking through the rearview mirror.
How do you suppose we’ll all end up?
12 October 2019
Is the world going to stand idly by, while yet another despotic regime attacks the innocent and betrays its own agreements? Will we not stand together against the tyranny of nations attacking their own minorities? Will we stand idle as others attack those leaders (Justin Trudeau tops my list) who stand up for minorities?
Think about it: PM Trudeau does not go about strong-arming people the way the Trumps, Putins, Jinpings, Erdogans, and Salmans of the world do. He simply speaks the truth to them. btw: PM Trudeau doesn’t go about indulging in personality attacks the way Scheer does. Lucky for Scheer that his PM prefers the moral and ethical high ground to the mud Scheer’s cons prefer to frolic in).
There is only one place where speaking the truth is a liability to the speaker. That place is Hell, and it is where the geopolitical attitudes of the aforementioned are fast taking us all.
Canada is still a wonderful land. The world is still a wonderful world. Both require a huge amount of healing. In Canada, we are blessed with a leader and political party which knows the direction we and the world needs to take to benefit ourselves and the generations to follow; folks who hold the debt we owe to the war generations, close to heart.
Nevertheless, many folks attack the good leaders of the world.
The maleficent folks are dividing the world and their nations because it is their only way to obtain and maintain their power-they are not troubled by the notion their power is based on coercion. Power means money. They want money. That is their version of the Golden Rule. They are not troubled by how they come by it.
10 October 2019
Donald Trump. Always the headline traffic accident…you want to ignore him, but you cannot help but look. His latest car wreck: tossing the Kurds, former comrades-in-arms in the war against ISIS in Syria, under the bus in order to allow Turkish President Yippee-ki-yay Erdogan to mount an attack on the Kurdish presence straddling the Turkey-Syria border.
But wait! The U.S. President has warned Turkey not to ‘go too far,’ while shaking his finger at them. I suppose in the mind of Donald Trumpet, he feels he’s in control and all is well.
Of course, Donald Trump is insane. His mind operates on the basis of someone who has always known power and is corrupted by it: he is used to getting what he wants, rather than identifying and then working to get what is needed. When leaders of sovereign nations sport mindsets such as this, the nation is in grave danger. When a ‘superpower’ is beholden to such a leader, the whole world is imperilled.
The world has seen here before, throughout its history, many, many times.
In ancient Rome, the Emperor Nero is purported to have set fire to Rome and providing a musical accompaniment as he watched it burn. He opportunistically blamed the conflagration upon the fledgling Christian movement, only to bolster support for his rule.
True or false, the Nero story eerily foreshadows what the current President of the U.S. is doing to the republic he now leads.
The U.S. has been the de facto police force for most of the world. Russia has overseen the rest. Over recent years, China has been attempting to carve out their own share and is upsetting the status quo.
In these unsettled times, the one to whom it falls to maintain the pax Americana is unilaterally rewriting the aspirations of the American Republic and how it sees its role in the world. Trump has a utilitarian view of the world. He is only interested in global policy of material benefit to himself, to wit: those who support him and keep him in power. Trump does not appear to be identifying and responding to what is needed in the region to create an enduring and fair peace for the folks who call the Middle East home.
The insanity of Trump is the ego of Trump: Nero-like, he is all-too-willing to allow the pursuit of material benefits to himself to trump the pursuit of that which would benefit the world and all of its children. He is willing to allow others to suffer and die if it that means power for himself.
If war makes strange bedfellows, it is because nations form alliances of utility in war, just as they do in matters of trade. But it is as insane to sleep with the enemy as it is to reject your true friends. Trump has rejected the Kurds who have kept up their end of the agreements during the war on ISIS.
The Kurds fought and died side-by-side with their American allies. This is the ultimate gauge of honour and friendship. It does not appear to be as meaningful to Trump as it was and is to the American and Kurdish soldiers who lived and were prepared to die there, together. For Trump, the material benefit the Kurds represented to the U.S. during the war on ISIS disappeared right along with ISIS. There does not appear to be any further opportunity in Trump’s mind forthcoming out of the relationship. He has, somehow, concluded there is more benefit to abandoning the Kurds to the Turks.
How this sheds light on Trump’s egoic mindset, Nero might be able to help explain. Trump, like Nero, grew up knowing only power. He was used to getting what he wants; accustomed to the pursuit of self-satisfaction. He craved only power; power to get what he wants, unlike Augustus, who aspired to restore the republican form of government in Rome, divesting power from the emperor in the process. Nero saw his citizens as servants to the emperor, whereas Augustus saw the emperor as being a servant to the empire. Nero was as different in spirit from Augustus as Trump is from his predecessor, Obama.
Trump and Putin may or may not be bosom buddies, but they seem to have a history of helping one another out. Russia is firmly ensconced in propping up the al-Assad regime in Syria. Putin is actively wooing the capricious Erdogan away from the U.S. and into his sphere because of its strategic importance. Erdogan, like Trump, like Putin, will maintain their agreements only for as long as the benefits outweigh the costs – to themselves. The welfare of their citizens or the citizens of other nations simply does not concern them nor does it factor into their calculations. Citizens are pawns to that kind of leader. None of the aforementioned are offering what the world needs of them; they only want to take more of what the world has left for themselves.
Paraphrasing the venerable Mandela: Leaders exist to serve the people; people do not exist to serve the leader. Mandela was as sane as Trump et al. appear to be insane.
Mandela might have known this from his observations of Nature. He would have recognized that to act in contravention of both Nature and god is patently insane. It is the insanity that power and self-absorption afford, when found in combination.
Nature and god will of course survive the insanity of humans. Will humans survive the insanity of leaders submerged in their own egos? The answer will very soon be provided by America herself as she attempts to reconcile a presidency gone off the rails with the aspirations of a republic.
On this, god speed to the Americans and prayers for the Kurdish people.
9 October 2019
How hard is it to explain why the federal cons have buried their Ontario provincial version? The trick is to not behave as a con- until after the voting.
Before the voting, the con strategy is indistinguishable from that of a public event attendee with a flatulence problem: you would do your best to bottle yourself up and then hope a bomb doesn’t breach your defenses while you are sitting in the midst of a crowd. If one happens to blow out the backdoor, you cross your fingers that no one is able to identify you as the source.
When the public event is the Scheer cons’ Ontario campaign, the issue comes down to being one of timing. Because the Scheer cons are not the government at this time, they are not ‘alone on the stage’ as it were. They have the option to bottle up or to confer blame for their foul aroma upon someone else- anyone who happens to be standing close to them in a crowd. Of course, they would not want to do that to another con.
After one forms a government one forfeits the option of suppression and misdirection: they find themselves alone on the stage. It would be silly for Mr. Ford to confer blame on someone else for the policy-stink which he is clearly emanating, and he has been on stage much too long to try to keep himself bottled. Governments must make policy, after all.
An emission from the nethers of the political spectrum (to wit: the right as defined by movement conservatives) is invariably foul. Which of the ‘netherites’ is the current offender is immaterial. All of Canada’s cons know this. All Canadians should react to it at the polls. N.B. Movement Conservatism is an American import. It successfully displaced the sentiments of Canada’s erstwhile progressive conservatives by piggybacking the Western Alliance’s hijacking the Progressive Conservative moniker following the Desolation of Mulroney. The first American President the mc movement produced was Ronald Regan. Donald Trump is simply its latest instalment in the U.S. and Stephen Harper its latest instalment in Canada.
The mc con’s only path to electoral success is to bottle up. If they release too much too soon, they will not get elected: there are many more folks who find the smell of their policies offensive than not. Their traditional support base smells it too, but have cultivated a fondness for the smell because they associate it with their own personal success- success at the expense of the vulnerable worker, parent, and child who are just as Canadian and just as capable to contribute to Canadian society as any other Canadian, if they have the opportunity.
Topping the list of offensive olfactory con-fusions is the dearth of opportunity for economically vulnerable Canadians and the social cohesion that equality of opportunity affords.
For Scheer’s cons to distance themselves from the Ontario con government and earn themselves the best chance of avoiding annihilation at the polls, they must not be found standing side-by-side, buddy-buddy with a con that has already been elected, currently forms a government, already standing alone on the governmental stage, and to whom the foulness of antisocial, regressive dogma has already been universally attributed. The dogma of movement conservatism.
To put it plainly: the federal cons will bottle themselves up until after the election and try to focus our attention on the smell of the competition, real or not, in the meantime.
They cannot be successful in this if they are standing with a group who is already farting like crazy, awash in the smell of antiworker, antienvironment, antisocial, antidemocratic, and regressive policy initiatives.
Depending on the electoral outcome, Scheer’s cons will be venting their angst as the opposition in the next Parliament, or they will be farting right in our faces, obliging most Canadians to hold their breath until they elect someone else.
The trouble is, many of us are vulnerable now and cannot hold our breath for that long.
8 October 2019
The Federal Leader’s Debate. It is all over the news this morning. In the spirit of the times, here is my own list of ‘takeaways’:
1-The format of the debate was at one and the same time deplorable and enlightening. Deplorable because the participants too often talked over one another making it difficult to understand what anyone was saying; enlightening because the crowded format introduced dynamics and stresses that stripped away the discipline afforded by preparation, permitting their true colours to come to the surface, visible to everyone. The folks on the left of the political spectrum showed themselves to be folks of quality, depth, and vision. The folks on the right showed themselves to be as shallow as the left is deep.
2- I have nothing to learn from Mr. Trudeau, declares the Businessman of The Little Prince fieri the latest leader of the Conservative party.
3- PM Trudeau maintained his self control despite Scheer’s opener-blitzkrieg. The effectiveness of such an opener is in the reaction, because the attack per se is baseless: shooting blanks, as it were. The PM recognized the assault for what it was, to make up for the absence of real ‘bullets’ by creating a lot of noise, and kept his poise.
4- Related to (3), I see there’s a new Liberal ad airing. Unlike the Conservative ads, which lay greater claim to despicability than even tabloids can properly be accorded, this one attacks policy and not personality. The latter is an American phenomenon. It must never gain purchase in Canadian politics. It is simply not who we were, nor is it whom we need to be for Canada to survive as a nation and to assume its place in the world as a beacon on human rights. The Liberal ad is done in comic fashion. Like a glass of Ile of Jura scotch, this sort of ‘attack’ goes down smoothly and leaves a smile with no foul after taste.
5- Elizabeth May conducted herself well. Her efforts earned her party points and helped me to get over her drunken tirade at an Ottawa media event.
6- Jagmeet Singh continues to shine, but, like the Toronto Sun, excels in the manufacture of incredibly witty headlines backed up by equally insubstantial material. I am actually beginning to like him and the opportunity he could afford his party and Canada. The value of a 3-party system lay in the opportunity for the 3rd voice to be the voice of conscience. In this role, Tommy Douglas excelled. It is said he was the most influential politician to never become Prime Minister. Jagmeet could change all of that one day, but he and his party lack the policy ‘sense’ requisite to providing a clear and practical alternative to the Liberals today.
7- For that matter, the Cons, as an alternative to form a government, is not only ludicrous but requiring a plurality of Canadians to ‘cut their own throats.’ For the cons to form a government, they must receive the votes of a lot more people than the number who would actually benefit, materially or otherwise, from their government. The only way for this to happen is for the voter to have navigated the writ period with eyes (and ears) wide shut, and/or, for the party to divulge as little policy detail as it can get away with, and hope the voter does not ask questions out of disaffection with the status quo.
8- Just because you say something over and over again, does not make it true. Scheer’s observation only proves that he or one of his staffers has read Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince:’ Accuse the opposition of doing the nasty things you yourself are guilty of doing. [paraphrasing].
9- PM Trudeau and the Liberal party appear to be the only national party that acknowledges when the party forms a government, they are no longer accountable to the party, but rather to the Canadian people. The fact that the PM understands this is clear: the pipeline purchase was motivated by this understanding. We are in the process of transitioning to green, but we are not there yet, and we need the revenues which the tar sands can provide, to finance the transition. Time to accomplish the transition is finite and is running out. The hourglass is nearly empty. Anything less than a Liberal majority could compromise our efforts, unless it is the NDP holding the balance of power, and that Jagmeet Singh et al. are more interested in being of service to our nation than they are in obtaining hegemony over it.
Anyone who has such an attitude (and we all should have such an attitude) would make the very best of governments. When the Liberals are the government, and the NDP is the good angel, no matter how the bad angel tries to con us, we will ignore it and choose to move forward. As our generation passes away, we can be comforted in the knowledge that we leave behind a credit in the account of opportunity.
10- From the Rockies to the Bay of Fundy, conservative governments have been elected provincially on their promise to do nothing about climate change. We can take the PM’s comment to the bank. The cons’ only hope to form a government is to be perceived as a change in direction, but without divulging how things will change and for whom. This is because they don’t want us to know that they don’t know because they don’t care about us. They care only about money. They don’t care about lives, or quality of life, for all Canadians. If one is wealthier, your bank account could grow, as it shrinks for everyone else. But just like everyone else, the wealthy folks will end up with nothing, in time. Your legacy to the next generation of Canadians and global citizens will have a minus sign preceding it.
All’s we are saying, is give truth a chance. This being said in the spirit of John Lennon, who once indicated, if all of the world’s leaders were like Pierre Trudeau, the world would be a better place. Plainly the cons are playing a cheater’s game: they have no hope of winning if they play by the rules, so they operate outside of the rules and hope they do not get caught at it. They knowingly speak untruths about the opposition, crossing their fingers behind their backs, while hoping their strategy and the details of their policies will not be uncovered.
I just heard Andrew Scheer say on live television that he wants to be the Prime Minister for all Canadians. To borrow from another con, ‘Let me be clear:’ he means all Canadians who can pay their way without asking anything of wealthier Canadians.
Andrew Scheer is also tasking Trudeau over firing his Attorney General, JWR. With all of his ‘business savvy’ I’ll warrant he would have not tried to rescue JWR who, rather than choosing to do her job and advise the boss that what he was asking for was inappropriate, went behind his back and to the newspapers.
Can any of us reasonably expect Scheer will see his role any differently than Stephen Harper had? Think Nigel Wright and other scandals. Harper et al. exhibited no discomfort going behind the backs of the Canadian people. Just for starters.
Given the timing of JWR’s complaint with respect to the election, her predilection for recording conversations with others without their knowledge to help her case, and her wilful exclusion of the PM from all of it (apart from his being the target), I wonder if our former Minister of Justice/Auditor General will not someday find her career rekindled in vying for the Con leadership? The last several months have shown she is given to operating very much like a Harper or Scheer.
5 October 2019
Yahoo! A day off from our regular routine! Today we can sleep in, kick back, enjoy a cup of coffee in our pajamas, as we half-ways tune-in (it is Saturday, after all) to the weekend television news headlines…
But wait…the daily litany of electoral bs we were awash in all week has made its way into Saturday morning! Saturday is fast becoming just another day, with no respite accorded us by the folks who sell us the ‘goods’ or those who earn their living by disseminating what the politicians are selling.
Hypocrisy is today’s buzzword.
Andrew Scheer’s hypocrisy identifies with the hypocrisy of Doug Ford, Jason Kenney, Stephen Harper and the globalized right this Harp-er now works for. We know their game: say as little as possible, provide as little detail as possible, ignore factual blatancy as much as possible, then hope the voter thinks as little as possible, before casting their vote.
But hold on a minute! Is Canada not a democracy? And are the outcomes of democracy not predicated upon open and honest, moreover, informed and respectful debate?
Open debate does not allow for personality attacks.
Honest debate does not allow for misrepresenting facts, nor does it allow for the wilful exclusion of facts needed for citizens to make informed decisions.
Informed means ISO quality control: the politicians must ‘say what they will do and do what they say.’
Respectful means to treat others in the same way you would want to be treated- the Golden Rule.
Where is there ‘mock’ in demockeracy? Not even Microsoft’s inept spellchecker can accept that version.
It is time for us all to reconcile with the Canadian spirit. We have imported the sentiments of a socio-political attitude that arose in reaction to Roosevelt’s New Deal, to wit: movement conservatism (mc). Although only the wealthy could with reason ascribe to it, our reactions to it are precisely in accordance with the mc playbook. The left, albeit with a heart in diametric opposition with movement conservatism, appears to be resorting to its tactics in order to fight back. I suppose because it works. The trouble is, when you start to behave like your opponents, how far are you then, away from becoming your opponents? Recall Orwell’s pigs. Now that’s hypocrisy.
It’s a road we do not belong on. Canada and the world appear to have made a wrong turn; wandered off of the path that was leading us to a bountiful future: for Canadian and all other souls, human and non.
Before we voters shoot ourselves in the foot and elect a government that will hurt us and our children, we must take the ‘mock’ out of ‘demockeracy,’ for it should not ever have been there in the firs place, according to the spellchecker.
Our Liberals are challenging the HRT’s ruling on compensation to Indigenous children. Despite how PM Trudeau and Minister Seamus O’Regan are spin doctoring things, it comes down to the amount of compensation.
I can understand the government’s balking at the cost. First, even though the total compensation could amount to ‘only 1%’ of government revenue, it remains a significant amount and will tie the government’s hands with respect to other policy objectives. Second, the government is contesting a non-elected body’s ability to determine the amount of compensation without duly considering those who will pay the compensation (the tax payer/the government), and those who will receive it [Aside: this is precisely the prime argument against international trade agreements: no citizen wants to risk their government’s ability to implement policy on their behalf being regulated by non-elected international tribunals]. Third, the decision to pursue a judicial review, thereby putting the HRT process back to square one (doomed to repeat all over again just to pursue a different compensation regime), might have been motivated by Andrew Scheer’s announcement last week that he would seek a judicial review, if elected. I am wondering if the Liberals weren’t seeking to prevent Scheer from introducing an issue that could resonate with linchpin potential among those who see the government as being too Liberal with tax payer’s money.
But the misery visited upon generations of Indigenous kids and families, I would argue, cannot have a dollar value attached to it. No amount of money can make up for what was done to Indigenous-Canadian children and families. Truly, were the individual awards to have been on the scale of millions and not thousands, it could not undo what has been done. Giving nothing could not make things worse: the misery inflicted upon our Indigenous brothers and sisters is as profound as misery can get.
The fact that anyone has found cause to dither over the amount of compensation is the only thing capable of adding to a cup of misery already overflowing.
That is what my Liberals have done on this file and I wonder if the timing of their decision is in reaction to the potential for Scheer to gain votes during the writ by taking a stand against the HRT decision. If that is true, it is a decision they would walk back, after they have won a majority mandate, of their own accord.
Next, I saw PM Trudeau declaring how he has evolved, personally, with respect to the abortion issue. The PM stated no man can style themselves ‘pro-choice’ and be ‘anti-abortion.’
I disagree. It is a matter of two inalienable human rights set in opposition: the right of woman to be in charge of her own body versus the right of the individual (fetus) to continue living. I cannot countenance the thought of a single individual being put out with the garbage-they are developing their ability to live outside of the womb as it is. Wait a bit, and they’ll exit the mother on their own.
Abortion, from the point of view of the fetus and anti-abortionists, is murder. How can they construe it otherwise? The little thing is working 24/7 to make it out of there and into the light. It just needs a little time to accomplish the job. But, as egregious as it is to apply the brakes on their mission, it is equally egregious to style moms as murderers. They are no such thing. They are humankind’s most important entity, for without them, humankind cannot exist.
Rather than force me to evolve as our PM says he has, we need to evolve our technology. Let us develop the means to transfer the ‘unwanted’ fetus out of the mom who cannot carry the child full term to an environment that can. Given the possibilities being human affords, I am certain we will one day have a resolution to the abortion debate, one that works for everyone and denies no one their inalienable human rights. There is a more complete discussion of the abortion issue here.
4 October 2019
Andrew Scheer finds himself in hot water over failing to disclose his Canadian-U.S. dual citizenship. It is a no-brainer that the leader of one sovereign nation cannot simultaneously be a citizen of another sovereign nation. The cons’ leader knows this and applied to the U.S. to cancel the American half of his citizenship.
Why did he not disclose this before now? The answer is simple: none of the opposition had picked up on it, or if they had, they were waiting for a time with optimal strategic impact to reveal it. The cons’ approach to government, of course, is the business approach. In fact, the only thing the cons hold in common with the ‘business’ paradigm is to maximize revenues(in their case, for private gain, meaning lowering taxes on corporations, profiting investors and high income earners), while minimizing expenses (in their case, cutting services), thereby creating a balanced budget. They possess none of the qualities associated with business, such as business acumen.
The cons see the voter as the employer sees employees: the ones immediately presenting the greatest value to the business at the least cost, are the ones to whom you provide the greatest support. The ones immediately presenting the greatest liability/least benefit to the business are the ones to whom you offer the least support, and will not invest in. If nations were businesses and not societies, these folks would simply and summarily be ‘let go,’ -and left to fend for themselves.
Mr. Scheer’s explanation for not having disclosed his dual citizen status until he was called out on it was, ‘Nobody asked me.’ That’s reasonable in a business sense: if no one asks, why should he say anything if there is no material benefit?
The business model is such that employers do not tell employees what employees would want to know, but rather what they need to know to allow them to function as good employees. Within the confines of government, the firm is the governing or would-be governing party, and the voter is the employee. As a candidate for the leadership of our nation, the cons’ leader would not feel compelled to disclose this information to the employee: he knows if his party wins and forms the next government, he cannot have dual citizenship, and he would resign the American portion.
If his party wins. Aye, now there’s the rub.
Why make an issue of an issue if the opposition is silent about the issue, when the electorate would react strongly against it? Better to keep his dual citizenship off the menu, because it will not be an issue if the election is won: Mr. Scheer had already begun the process of renouncing his American citizenship. If it were to become an issue before voting day, the optics of it could cost the cons some seats.
For someone to renounce their Canadian citizenship, the process normally takes about 6 months, according the Government of Canada website. Assuming the American bureaucracy is as efficient as ours, it would mean that Mr. Scheer’s application to cancel his American citizenship, begun in August, would not complete until months after the federal election.
Mr. Scheer’s strategy and objectives with respect to the issue of his dual citizenship are as plain as the dimples on his face: he is simply hedging his bets. If he wins the election, he has already begun the process of cancellation; if he loses, his dual citizenship becomes a non-issue. In that even, he cancels the process and his dual citizenship, along with the benefits it presents to him, remains intact.
The timing of his application to cancel his American citizenship is strategic. He knew at the moment he accepted the CPC leadership role that he cannot be simultaneously dual citizen and leader of a sovereign nation at the same time. He could have begun the process then and there and his actions would have been perceived positively by the voter.
In CEO-like fashion, he chose not to begin the process at that time. If he had, the renunciation of his American citizenship would have been fait d’accompli long before October 21.
Still, Andrew Scheer’s strategy is as understandable as it is hypocritical: he does not want to provide his Liberal opponents with fodder for personal attacks on himself, akin to the ones he is directing at PM Trudeau with gusto and a tonne of money. With folks in Canada living on the street and food banks being depleted, what a waste, even if it was donated. Give it to the poor and resort to scribbling your ads on highway overpasses: it’s free and the traditional venue for such base, and baseless, material.
Besides, it will mean fewer annoying commercials while I’m watching Star Trek on CTV’s SciFi channel (formerly Space) or CFL on TSN.
The modern penchant for personal attack ads is something I believe first gained traction in the U.S. Everyone under the public lens becomes a duck in a shooting gallery. Not only their personal views and private lives are unfairly exposed by folks having skeletons and agendas of their own; but also everything they have ever said and done and their political enemies have uncovered. Show me one mature adult who thinks and behaves the same way they had as a child, a teenager, or a twenty-something-year-old, and I will show you someone who is not a mature adult. At those stages of life, we have different priorities and values…we are not at primetime yet. Duh.
Show me anyone who behaves and speaks the same way to their teacher, boss, cleric, doctor, or children the same way they speak with their buddies…Duh X 2.
The fact that we adults see nothing wrong in holding others accountable for what they did as young folks for anything most, if not all young people do, being young folks, and the which we, as mature adults would never do, being mature adults, is as hypocritical as it gets.
Before anyone is a public servant, they are a human being. They are no more mandated to relinquish their humanity when vying for a position in public service as the voter is required to relinquish their humanity (or common sense!), before casting their vote.
If we would impart a semblance of honour and the Canadian spirit to this election, we would, candidate or voter, easterner or westerner, francophone or anglophone, Indigenous or immigrant (being the only ‘types’ of Canadian there are), apply the golden rule in our interactions:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The cons, god bless ’em, act as if they might have misheard it:
Do unto others before they do unto you.
I am betting that Mr. Scheer is now wishing he had got it right the first time. As it is now, he looks like a hypocrite leading a party of hypocrites, and he is going to experience just what the Canadian voter thinks of hypocrites. The cons are not behaving as they truly are, and they truly are as Canadian as the rest of us-it is their desperation to be in power that is motivating them to behave in such an egregious manner.
How is it then, that the cons’ attack ads, the Toronto Sun, and the National Post, focus on painting PM Trudeau as the hypocrite: ‘He’s not as advertised?’
Machiavelli’s the Prince(paraphrasing): If you anticipate opposition, accuse your opponents of doing the very thing you yourself are doing.
Well now, Stephen Harper must have loaned Andrew Scheer his copy of the medieval classic. As for the newspapers, they’re doing ‘business’ too -albeit of the monkey kind.
3 October 2019
The Dangers of Politicization: Making Something Real about Something Else
Appearing today on msn.ca:
The headline offers both encouragement and discouragement at the same time:
Encouragement, because it is a practical warning to the voter—the Ford-con’s penchant for socio-political thuggery is simply a rehash of the Harper regime’s wild Western Alliance politics, of which Andrew Scheer is the latest face;
Discouragement, after reading that the union involved may have deliberately timed their strike to happen in the middle of the federal election.
Politicizing negotiations with the sitting government introduces a great imbalance into the negotiations: the normal horse trading is upset by one side leveraging the public’s sentiments apropos the negotiations in order to force concessions from the other side, concessions which would not have been gained otherwise. In this case, it might be more sick days, more pay, more whatever…something being of material benefit to teachers.
The public’s only concern is the provision and quality of services. They should not be ‘party’ to the negotiation process. It is for the teachers and elected officials to work things out among themselves, on the public’s behalf. This is certain to produce the best and most enduring outcomes, if both sides acknowledge the children are the superordinate consideration, not remuneration.
The effect of the union’s strategy is to transfer Ontarian’s current angst toward the provincial con government onto the federal cons, in the hopes the federal cons will pressure the Ontario cons into settling with the union representing Ontario’s 55,000 education workers—and neutralize the deficit the Ford-cons impart to the federal cons’ chances of forming the next government.
The trouble with this strategy is the imbalance it creates within society. Governments raise a finite amount of tax revenues in a given year. When any societal subsystems are allocated more tax resources than are reasonably necessary to properly maintain them, the consequence is for other societal subsystems to be allocated less tax resources than are reasonably necessary. The sitting government is obliged to either reduce services in those sectors or borrow the money to make up for the bonus concession accorded politically-savvy union negotiators.
Government borrowing increases public debt. This is good for the wealthy—they lend to the government. It is not good for folks who rely on the government’s provision of services: the more governments owe, the more interest they must pay to service the debt. The interest paid maintains support for the wealthy at the expense of the quality of programs provided to those in need of those programs.
This is an artificially-created deficit. ‘Artificial’ because, if the negotiation did not involve a public sector union, the voter would have no interest in the agreement or lack of, whatsoever. Because it is a public sector union, they have the possibility to ‘kidnap’ the voter during an election and demand, as ransom, a deal they would not otherwise have achieved had they been a private sector union.
Politicizing such things for one’s own material gain is as immoral as it is egregiously hypocritical. The public service is, at the end of the day, public SERVICE. It is not service to the public to willfully introduce such imbalances into society in order to garner more rewards for your own.
A simple example: class sizes: Teachers want smaller classes. Parents and kids should too. Smaller classes facilitate improved educational experiences and outcomes all-around. Recent settlements have granted and protected gains for teachers at the expense of students: class sizes have grown because there’s no money left to hire more teachers.
Politicization where it does not belong ends up creating a bulge in the tire tube of Ontarian society—one that is sure to burst in time.
The teaching profession is one of, if not the most venerable profession. Teachers are entrusted with preparing Canada’s next generation to take the reins. Politicizing negotiations grants teachers better odds to emerge victorious. Sometimes, depending on the public’s mood and the government’s spin doctoring, governments can look good too…
…but the losers are always the children, when those children step into their roles as the leaders of Ontarian and Canadian society. They will not have benefited from the socialization and educational opportunities that more teachers/smaller class sizes naturally afford.
2 October 2019
The first of the French language leader debates airs tonight on TVA. The expectation is for PM Trudeau to be confronted on several issues, not the least of which is the government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline. The purchase is, ostensibly, in stark opposition with another of the Liberals’ key policy initiatives-the fight against climate change.
The contradiction is easily reconciled if one adopts the perspective of the ‘long-game,’ and choosing to action the two in parallel shows why the Liberals, more than any other party positioned to the left of centre, is best suited to lead our nation into the future.
It is not that the NDP’s Leap Manifesto is faulty. It is in fact, the goal. It sets out a positive vision for Canada and the world. It will deflect Canada and the world away from its current trajectory towards an apocalyptic demise. It is noteworthy that much of the Liberals’ current platform parallels the Leap. The Liberals will accomplish the Leap, just not all at once.
The problem is one of timing, and here’s the rub:
Canada and the world have cultivated petroleum-based economies for so long that a sudden change in direction would have catastrophic economic and social impacts. Oil production and exploration represents 2 to 3 percent of the global economy.
Canada is heavily integrated into the global economy, being signatory to several international trade agreements. The mineral, gas, and oil production sector is the 3rd largest contributor to Canada’s GDP. Canada’s role in supplying domestic and international energy needs is significant, however, the reliance of Canada’s economy on oil exports is incomparably greater. The reliance of the Albertan economy on oil exports, more so.
In short, if Canada does not export oil, the Canadian economy will take a catastrophic hit. Alberta, one of Canada’s most beauteous and vibrant provinces would become a ghost-province.
No responsible federal government can allow this to happen, anymore than parents can allow one of their children to leave home before they are fully grown up to resolve issues of overcrowding. No responsible federal government can arbitrarily shutdown a pinnacle of the Canadian economy and the world’s energy stocks.
But the state of the environment, à la the condition of overcrowding will, in time, become so offensive with respect to quality of life, as to make it untenable if nothing is done.
A classic ‘damned if you do; damned if you don’t.’ Every step we take along the road to oil production is a step closer to Hades. However, going in the opposite direction ends up leading to the same place.
So Canada finds itself straddling two ‘escalators’ – one going down, the other going up -both leading to Hades, eventually. The ‘up’ direction -killing the tar sands -will get you there right away; the other -not killing the tar sands -will take longer, but the destination is the same and just as certain. Certain because the latter is not yet ready for primetime. It cannot yet bear the traffic. Not yet.
For our poor straddler to avoid violently being pulled apart at the crotch, what can we do?
Simple. Slow the escalators. Continue to run them both, as you build capacity and capability into the one leading upwards on onwards. Do that, and the upbound escalator will take us away from Hades rather than towards it.
It is purely a matter of timing: in order to fight climate change without crashing the ability of Canadian governments to provide for the needs of its citizens, rather than Canada’s and the world’s wealthy, as the petroleum-based economic model is doing, they must ‘straddle’ two policy goals:
- Continue support for tar sands development, as they simultaneously
- Develop green energy technology and infrastructure.
As we continue to develop green energy technologies and infrastructure, new green capacity will be created, commensurately decreasing our reliance on oil. Political and social will, over the long term, is necessary. With human ingenuity and in time, green will replace petroleum, and the world can enter fully into its healing process. This will take many generations to complete. It took many generations to create the very real peril the current generation faces.
The Liberal government’s purchase of Trans Mountain is not in conflict with their war on climate change. There’s money to made in the tar sands; money which the government can use to build green infrastructure.
As green energy must increase; petro-energy must decrease.
It is inevitable.
The window of opportunity is upon us-now.
It is critical that we act as a nation, on behalf of our children, who will inherit Canada and the World from us. Our generation did not create the world’s addiction to oil, but it falls upon us to end it.
If we continue to delay, or to elect governments with their heads buried in the tar sands and all-too-willing to present their arses to the Canadian public, we are on the trajectory to Hades.
For the short term, we need the pipeline. There is no other way to get the oil to international markets. We need the money to pay for green infrastructure and development. Shipping oil by rail or road is heightening the danger.
To allay the very real and immediate concerns with respect to the pipeline, we need to build refining capacity onsite to purify the bitumen to the degree necessary to neutralize the effects of spills along the pipeline and shipping lanes. The pipeline per se must have a monitoring regimen in place with the capacity to immediately detect and contain spills, ensuring the surrounds are not contaminated. Continual monitoring will help prevent them, proactively. It is a worthy initiative to ask our Indigenous brothers and sisters to take on the role as stewards of the pipeline, continually monitoring it along its length and breadth; actioning shutdowns and repairs before spills happen.
PM Trudeau’s Liberals are so committed to doing right by Canadians, especially future Canadians, that they are willing to risk being booted out of government by voters bamboozled by special interests, abetted by some of our media folks and wealthy investors residing at home and in other countries. Without mentioning any names, these are the ones who would con us into believing things are good just the way they are and that we do not have an environmental crisis.
Good for whom?
Only the world’s wealthy. The rest of us will live in compounding misery. As we lay on our deathbeds, will we wonder if we could have done more for our children?
Trudeau’s Liberals, meanwhile, are working to save us from a scenario such as this. We only need to lift our heads out of the sand and it will become clear the Liberals are currently Canada’s best way forward.
The Cons are, well, just cons. They rely on attack ads and continual messaging to keep us from thinking. They want us to react, not to think. They value appearance over reality. What they are selling has all of the ‘substance’ of appearances. Their makeup comes off soon after they are elected, à la Doug Ford’s cons. They will continue to present their arses to the voter, and the voter can only accept what the cons present as real, by keeping their eyes closed and their noses plugged. The cons care only about business because doing business enriches them further. In the cons’ idyllic vision, if you do not have what ‘business’ wants, to wit: money or a marketable skillset, you do not exist. You are a problem they hope will, with enough neglect, disappear.
[Aside: ‘Corporate social responsibility’ is simply blowing more smoke up our nethers. Such an initiative simply promotes business and profits above the welfare of citizens. The welfare of the citizen is determined by convenience and not by honour or a sense of responsibility.]
As for the NDP, they are on the right path but mean to gain their destination before Canada and the world can ready itself. They need to acquire a patient resolve. We cannot get to where they want us to go (and to where we need to be) by moving the mountain blocking our way, out of the way. It’s too big to pick up and set aside. We need to find a way through it. The cons won’t try and the NDP can’t, despite the best of intentions.
We must phase out the old as we phase in the new. We have only the time Mother Nature has given us. Not a tittle more. According to the U.N. , we have 5 years to begin serious action; after that, anything we try will just be too late. The window will be closed to us. Forever.
For ours and our children’s sakes, we need to provide the Liberals with a majority mandate this election to keep things moving forward.
Don’t be fooled by any salesperson wearing blue. The progressive conservatives of Canada are no more. The current version of con would have done well to listen, as the ‘left’ had done when it’s folks were teenaged, to David Bowie’s warning:
We have 5 years. The length of a renewed Liberal majority mandate.
Let Canadians give them a chance to continue laying the foundation for a vibrant and enduring future for Canada; one which can only be possible if all Canadians share in its construction and its rewards.
27 September 2019
Greta Thunberg – ‘young people speaking their minds.’ I pray, with all of my heart, that enough folks will listen to this kid. She is the voice of a generation. The one that’s poised to take the reins over from ours in only a few years. Her generation speaks the truth. If we do not listen, now, humankind will not have another chance.
The Death of Democracy – it’s official. Elections in Canada have acquired all of the excitement of the Stanley Cup playoffs. We have subterfuge, cheap shots, and all sorts of offensive and defensive play-making to wow us all the way to the voting booths and then the offseason, which could last 4 years.
À la hockey fans, voters have become unapologetically partisan; watching and rooting their favourite team onto victory.
But that’s where the similitude ends.
After the hoisting of the Cup, there’s a parade and a pennant raising, followed by a summer of basking in the afterglow of victory- not to mention Winter’s end.
Upon the election of a government, the partisan voter is left with something altogether different. First, whereas hockey fans finding themselves on the short end of the hockey-stick will not have to wait long before the start of a new season and renewal of their dashed hopes, the voter whose party got shelved will likely need to wait years for another chance. Second, many voters will be surprised to learn the party they voted for, based on what they thought they knew about the party’s stands, actually proved to be everything they thought the other parties stood for, but had voted against based on the word of the party they traditionally support; a ‘word’ which was constructed on the basis of what the most voters want to hear, and not on what ALL VOTERS NEED TO HEAR.
What is it voters want to hear?
1-that everything is going to be better for everyone.
2-that it won’t cost them a dime.
3-they’ll have more money to spend.
4-that everything is under control.
What the cons are NOT saying, is how things will be better, for whom, and what it will cost others. They are not talking about anything which might be unsavoury to the voter BECAUSE THE VOTER ONLY LISTENS TO WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR and disregards everything else. When the cons are asked, they answer with platitudes and generalities. Most voters end up being surprised by what their new con government ends up doing, how inept they turn out to be; all of this while the cons DENY, DENY, DENY and tell us everything is great and that they are doing exactly what voters mandated them to do.
The voters did not mandate anything because the cons never provide them with anything to vote upon before the vote. It is the con strategy to provide the ‘details’ after the election and after it is too late to do anything about them.
Meanwhile, the cons spend nearly all of their money on personal attack ads because they want to make the election about personalities rather than policies. They know if voters were to properly compare policies, the cons would lose, because most voters do not belong to the demographic that would benefit from con policies.
Few would vote for them if it were realized that the Cons are simply about:
1-lower taxes (much more meaningful to people who have lots as opposed to those who have naught),
2- a ‘business’ model that maximizes profits to the exclusion of all other considerations (which necessarily entails reducing the cost of environmental and labour protections),
3- ‘small government’ (meaning less regulatory interferences to doing ‘business’ and zero support to the economically vulnerable among us, save for the counsel of a policeman and a jail cell or a visit to the triage doctor).
The Liberal party happens to be on the same page as the world, going by what the U.N. and the next generation of Canadians are telling us.
The NDP has a good leader. He is connecting the dots between the NDP of today and its roots in the erstwhile Social Credit movement spearheaded by Tommy Douglas -a Canadian I count among the best our great nation can produce.
The Cons, the latest version of which is ‘led’ by a Stephen Harper hologram photoshopped to look like someone else, are keeping their lips together policy-wise. They try to make the election about something as ethereal as ‘personality;’ Justin Trudeau’s personality, because he’s the one in their way. The con approach has nothing to do with the ‘business’ of running a country; only with the selfishness of ego – a patently un-Canadian attitude, going by the sacrifices previous generations of Canadians made to get us here.
The greatest ‘evils’ to threaten democracy are voter apathy and politician untruthfulness. As per The Four Agreements, governments must be impeccable with their word (Agreement Number 1) and voters must never give up (Agreement Number 4) on the franchise to elect responsible governments. If governments and would-be governors do not speak the truth to the voter and the voter does not care, our votes mean nothing, and our prospects for the future are made subject to the whims of the egos in power.
Given the current state of the world, this spells disaster for the next generation.
‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [women and children] do nothing.’
Greta has got it covered for the kids. As for us adults, we will know come the 21st of October.
23 September 2019
Happy First Day of Fall! As our hemisphere begins the descent into Winter, our nation slides into the most undemocratic election to occur in our nation’s history.
‘Undemocratic’ because it appears that the folks who take it upon themselves to ‘report’ on the election do so with the love of the dollar eclipsing their respect for the truth and their sense of how the dissemination of ‘half-baked’ theories and opinions can resonate with folks who, the election notwithstanding, are obliged to devote all of their time and energy to making a living and looking after their families.
The voter does not have the time and resources to treat the voting franchise with the seriousness it requires, and the parties know it. The parties put out a lot of misinformation and innuendo in personal attacks on their opponents which the media uses as fodder for achieving their own goal, which is to keep people reading; thereby maintaining advertisement revenues. The catch-all rationalization is to put them out as ‘opinion pieces,’ giving the ‘reporter’ carte blanche to disseminate whatever balderdash they choose to.
But when the question to be settled revolves around a nation’s vision, we voters cannot afford to be as cavalier with the truth as our media seems inclined to be. Voters need to earn a living too. They need to feed their children and maintain a comfortable home for them. Many Canadians do not have the wherewithal to do this even now.
If Canada kicks the Trudeau Liberals out of office, putting the cons in their place, things will get much worse. The cons are promising to give the folks with money already the opportunity to acquire more money under their watch— to ‘get ahead, and not just get by.’ The economically vulnerable among us will at the same time watch the line which demarcates ‘getting by’ move further away.
Those struggling now will end up further in debt under the cons (even as those who lend them the money get richer). Their children will experience less opportunity than their parents.
Yes, our media folks will make a living; but no, they are not behaving in the way the notion of the ‘Fifth Estate’ prescribes; or that Canadians, Canadian society, and our nation’s vision needs them to behave.
This is not something the media folks per se are responsible for. It is the responsibility of the owners of the media outlets, and the current model, because it allows for one group or individual to have control over several ostensibly independent news outlets.
In order to restore our democracy, we need to worship the truth more and the dollar less.
The greatest lie in existence today is that the more money you make, the better you are at your job. If there is one example where being paid more makes you better at what you do, I would want to know about it. The fact is, it cannot be true. Everyone, in their ‘holy of holies,’ knows this.
Being paid more only helps you to live beyond what is necessary to navigate Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In fact, getting paid too much more will ensure that you never reach the top of the pyramid, save for in your own mind.
Earning below what is necessary to navigate Maslow is as socially deleterious as it is a crime against humanity and Nature and god.
We all know this. Our politicians know this. Our good media folks know this.
Our Fifth Estate has accomplished many great things (the tv series, The Fifth Estate, for example ) in the past and even now. The trouble is, the business model is misapplied when it is applied to the media. The reporter is beholden to the employer and if the employer is beholden to profit and personal agenda – anything other than the truth, wherever it may lead—then the reporter must report in accordance with the employer’s wishes—the employer’s ego. This is the beginning and end of the truth.
That model is leading us to a place we do not want to go. It is leading us to a place where we do not want our children to grow up.
To his credit, the PM has not fallen to the same tactics as the opposition folks are doing. Despite the personal attacks, he is resisting retaliation with all the might he can muster, mister.
Ironically, the con attack ads are playing right into the Liberals’ designs: the attacks on Trudeau’s character are providing the opportunity for Trudeau to display his quality as leader of a progressive and democratic nation:
He is leading Canadians. He is telling us where we are at and where we need to go. He refuses to stick his head so far up his own hind quarters that he can see nothing but his own manufactured truth—à la the cons. He rather keeps his eye to the future; identifying the opportunities and pitfalls along the way. He is attempting to reconcile today’s Canada with the aspirations of its future generations and the sacrifice of its past generations.
The PM wants to learn the way forward and take his nation that way. The cons only want to lead a nation of opportunity for those who can afford it.
The separation of church and state forms a part of our modern societal signature. Yet there is not a single human in existence who was not created by god—regardless of how one names and worships the Divine.
On that basis, the separation of church and state/the monetizing-politicization of the media notwithstanding, we will vote with our conscience, otherwise we separate ourselves not only from democracy but from god as well.
Separation from god is to reject the light and to embrace the darkness.
This election, in its apolitical barebones simplicity, is really about that.
Canadians are choosing between a vision cast clearly in the light v. one imagined in the darkness. Anyone with knowledge of human history knows very well the choice before us and the outcomes. We have seen it all before.
We fought wars over it. Millions upon millions died in them.
Now, take a good look at your children and your grandchildren.
There is an interesting forum discussion of CBC’s reporting here:
Apparently, there is no alternative to reading as many sources as possible and then separating the facts from ‘would be’ facts. All the more reason we need to reduce the impact of the profit motive on this venerable and critical institution. Most folks do not have time to do this. We need to rely on our media folks for the truth. We need them to be beholden to the truth first and foremost. For that to happen, we need to change the ownership model.
… to avoid anyone having ownership over the truth.
Minister Freeland’s and the National Council of Canadian Muslims decided to host an election-issues townhall. I imagine the NCCM wanted to do this as a show of solidarity with the PM against opportunists on the right who seek to create an identity between the PM and racism for the electoral points it will provide them. They know he is no racist. But his opponents took it upon themselves to derail the townhall by disrupting the proceedings continuously, obliging the hosts to cut the proceedings short. The issues they raised had nothing to do with the brownface ‘scandal.’ They simply chose a townhall hosted by a Canadian Muslim organization as the venue. Given the high profile and opportunity of the PM’s brownface photo, in combination with the significance of being hosted by a Canadian Muslim organization, it is hard to think this particular venue was not targeted. The disruption itself is so wrong on the surface; egregiously inappropriate and underhanded if it was organized and deliberate.
Canada is becoming more like Twitter every day. People are content to just yell at each other, accomplishing nothing, save for ill-will and deepening the divisions among us, while our country and many of our Canadian brothers and sisters fall further into poverty and social isolation. Are we going to keep arguing amongst ourselves over the colour of the lifeline, even while folks are drowning, before we throw it to them? The dearth of consideration, respect, and tolerance is not something of the Canadian spirit. It is rather a pathology of the Canadian spirit.
Twitterverse is up in arms because the PM tweeted his best wishes to Canadian Emmy Award candidates.
This is what he tweeted:
Lots of Canadians up for #Emmys2019 – congratulations to all of you, and good luck tonight!
How is it that anyone, anywhere, can find anything amiss in a tweet like this?
The Trudeau tweet was a nice sentiment. To be condemned for doing good is an experience only possible in one very bad place. A place which has been known by many names.
None of them is ‘Canada.’
This is not who we are.
22 September 2019
The Trudeau brownface ‘scandal’ remains front and centre in the news one week into the election period.
Not exactly the perfect formula going into an election: media folks who will write/say anything to create controversy and keep readers reading plus folks who love to snipe for sniping’s sake equals a bad outcome for an election. It is not so much that these media folks are misbehaving as it is their talents are misapplied: they create a good story when they should be creating nothing—and report the facts of an event.
Every writer of fiction knows you just keep placing ‘roadblocks’ or ‘speedbumps’ along the protagonist’s path in order to keep folks reading. But that is for writing fiction, not reporting news. The reader of fiction knows to suspend the imagination for the time they are reading. It is their break from the mundane or misery. They know to reject what they are reading as factual and they do it without even having to think about it. Upon closing the book, they return to real life. But when the reader is reading ‘news,’ they do not suspend their imagination. They engage in cognitive evaluation—a totally different mental approach based on the nature of the material they are reading. They will tend to take seriously what folks are writing/broadcasting, which sometimes has a healthy share of manufactured bumps included. This technique is as effective in fiction as in non-fiction to maintain interest; the difference is some readers will accept it as the gospel truth and vote for their governments on that basis; and that’s when what’s being disseminated morphs into something of much greater import than the simple telling of a tale.
We are making a fiction of a very serious process, the outcome of which will affect the quality of life for many Canadians. The strategy is to apply today’s sentiments to a time these sentiments were not the vogue; in this case, by focusing on the PM’s choice of costuming a few decades ago. As if he did it yesterday. His opponents thru the media reporting are trying to infer that the PM is a racist, based on his costume choice when he was a young man; not a politician and not the PM. That is tantamount to claiming the apple tree in the front yard is actually an avocado tree. That might only be believable when the tree is very small and has not yet produced its fruit; after which no one, not even an opposition party in Canada’s venerable House of Commons, would try to do that: the tree is known by its fruit. The PM has gone to India and dressed in their traditional attire as a show of respect for India’s folks and traditions. The PM marched in the Pride parades. The PM is no racist. But he is anti-exclusion.
A responsible Canadian media would not support the dissemination of such balderdash. they should have been playing up all of the instances where the PM has demonstrated his aspiration to reconcile diversity with social cohesion; inclusion and tolerance promote social cohesion. United we stand, yes?
But the PM, à la the innocent suspect who strategically pleads guilty in order to avoid a worse sentence, apologizes rather than says, ‘I wanted to go dressed up as Aladdin. Aladdin would have been brown-skinned as surely as he would have been wearing the turban and period attire…why is no one complaining about the turban? the period attire?’ Are they not just as much a part of the costume as the skin colour?’ Trudeau is no racist. The folks who try to project racism upon someone who is not racist either have a personal agenda and find it anywhere they choose to, or are genuinely living in fear of it. Whatever their intent, the PM’s intent was never racist. The media’s primary concern appears to be to keep folks reading. That’s how they make money. Some of them don’t appear to be troubled if the truth of the matter gets ignored along the way, or that people are genuinely hurt by the perception of racism.
The media are called the ‘5th Estate.’ Their role in society is highly esteemed and even more crucial. This is not something any of its members or owners should be trifling with.
Personally, when I engage someone, anyone, I do not by default see them as brown, yellow, red, or white, because I don’t see myself as ‘white.’ Neither do I see them as male or female, because I do not see myself as ‘male.’ I do not see myself as anything but me. I am not ever self-conscious of how I am different from the folks I happen to engage. I relate person-to-person; human soul-to-human soul. I proceed from a sense of commonality. Our similitude is much more substantive than our differences; the more you think about the whole picture, the more our differences are engulfed by our commonalities.
When I saw the picture of the Jordanian soldier carrying the limp body of a 4-year-old boy who drowned when the boat he and his family were in capsized, I cried profusely. At that age, he would have died trusting the world…and the world is supposed to protect its children.
I did not see a Syrian child. I saw only a child whose innocence and faith in the world was rewarded with a death sentence by the ‘adults’ of the world. I’ll warrant the PM felt the same when he saw that photo.
Nanos is giving the Cons a 5 point lead, post brownface. Let me get this right: we are going to trash a PM, who actually cares about the ‘little people,’ over a costume he wore when he was twenty-something, in favour of a fork-tongued con who routinely makes mockery of our electoral process by stooping to personal attacks on his opponents; reducing our election to a kangaroo court? Is that right?
Canadians never used to be this way. We were compassionate, considerate, and loath to speak falsely or rudely about anyone. PM Trudeau appears to be the only one in the room who is acting Canadian in the way we once all were. If the mores, ethics, and aspirations of today’s cons are what Canadians are choosing for themselves, our nation cannot stand. We will have become a nation of egos who kneejerk react to everything, worship the dollar above all else, and who have no national vision beyond their self-aggrandizement. Even while so many of their fellow Canadians live in penury and isolation.
If that’s the new vision of Canada, Canada is doomed. It cannot stand so divided and so dispassionately.
Btw, why are we hearing so little from the Doug Ford government these days?
20 September 2019
The debate surrounding Justin Trudeau’s brown-facing as a 29-year-old continues on CBC news channel. This is a non-issue but for the politicians and media, but naturally, what they report on acquires substance in the minds of readers. Now, at least, CBC is reporting on the attitudes of folks who were actually at the gala where Trudeau dressed up as Aladdin. None of them were upset at the time, and had not thought it an issue today, until the media and opposing politicians brought it up.
Apparently, the PM is not the first to be tasked over this. Our favourite family theatre company, Disney, was also recently challenged over brown-facing Aladdin and other characters. They did not find it necessary to apologize. You can read about that right here:
This is all ‘much ado about nothing,’ to quote the great English bard.
It appears necessary to remind the media and politicians, and everyone else, that ‘white’ folks are people of colour too. Moreover, there is not a single human living today whose ancestors were not at some time brown/black in skin tone. It is a matter of adaptation to the environment that folks live in, which is responsible for the variation in skin tone among us. That’s it. OUR OUTWARD APPEARANCE is only a matter of the epidermal response to the environment we live in over a very long time. We are all of one family. The same family. Period.
With respect to migration and immigration: But for the Indigenous, who came to Canada first, there are none living here today who are not immigrants or descended from immigrants. I do not recall ever having heard any of the Indigenous folks telling others to get out or stay out of Canada. They were here first and still they do not lower themselves to the level that some of us are doing these days. The Indigenous continue to respect peoples’ right to make a living for themselves in safety and optimism for the future of their families.
Let the dialogue be around that. Let’s learn from the spirit our Indigenous brothers and sisters have been blessed with.
19 September 2019
An article today on CBC: the PM appeared in brown face costume for a gala event as a young person. The article quotes the PM as being ‘deeply sorry’ for doing a ‘racist’ thing. Another article on the same page asks, ‘Who is the real Trudeau?’ putting the PM’s entire character to the question on the basis of how he chose to dress for a costume gala, at a time when the costume was offensive to no one.
Really. We are now going so far back into a person’s history to throw dirt on them, the expectation we voters and the media have of our leaders is that to be a leader, one must be, à la Jesus, of divine birth—for how else can a would-be leader, as a child, young adult, or even a 30-something young person, existing on the lee of life experience, be expected to anticipate the permutations of everything they say and do at an earlier time, for all time? They do not even think like adults yet. How can they be expected to behave like adults, or Prime Ministerial? Come on, man!
That is what parents, friends, and teachers are for: to assist the children in growing up tall and true. They cannot do this on their own, anymore than a tomato plant can. They both require support, as they mature, in order to produce their particular fruits.
The way things are going, we will soon be holding our leaders accountable if it is discovered that, as children, they messed their pants after graduating from toilet-training; that is, if the media gets a whiff of it . The PM is sorry for messing his pants in Kindergarten—when someone decides to pen an article with this headline, I am done with MSN; likely also with the National Post, the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail—all just as likely to produce an article with a comparable smell to it, only the subject could be one of the PM’s rivals, depending on the reporter’s political inclination…
If it affects the PM’s standing in the polls, I am done with Canadian politics.
I wonder if JWR ever pulled the wings off of a housefly when she was a kid, just to watch it flounder? If she did, woe unto her and her chances of being re-elected in 2019 if any media folks get a hold of that piece of news.
In the right newspaper, her version and role with respect to SNC-Lavalin would be called into question and utterly discredited, if she actually had pulled the wings off of a fly; all the more if she had messed and then tried to cover it up before mom saw! When she was 4 or 5, she likely would not have thought of how her decisions could impact her chances of re-election. And why not? Furthermore, why isn’t the PM responding to her in kind?
Before any media folks decide to stoop to this kind of reporting, they would do well to answer the last question, first.
I am thinking that the PM has better sense than to treat people like that.
That’s why he is Prime Minister, Stephen Harper no longer is, and Andrew Scheer should not be.
Something of arguably greater significance to Canadians and the World than Trudeau’s ‘brown face’: Pompeo Inadvertently Admitted the Iran crisis is a ‘direct result’ of Trump’s Actions
Really? Wasn’t that the point all along? Since the election of Trump in the U.S. and the dismissal of Harper by Canadian voters, I had oftentimes remarked over developments on the global scene that right-wing elements on our side (aka the war hawks we all learn about in high school history class) appeared to be provoking war with Iran. Trump’s withdrawal from the JPOAC followed so hard upon his election that I wonder if he skipped a washroom visit in order to sign off to cancel the agreement, such was his enthusiasm. His justification for doing so supports the possibility: he shows himself to be full of poo up to his eyeballs , and the other signatories would all agree. The expectation that this would encourage Iran to come back to the table and negotiate a worse deal for themselves—a deal they forged with Obama et al. is bogus, but that is exactly what Secretary of State Pompeo is saying today. Come on, man!
Then there’s Canada’s erstwhile PM, Stephen Harper. He had signed off on a full page ad in the New York Times proclaiming support for Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from JPOAC. Harper’s Foreign Affairs bulldog Baird is also a signatory.
And so the world verges on war. It might begin with the U.S. and Iran, but it will not end there. You can bet, given the ascendancy of China, the bitterness of Russia, and another hawkish Republican in the Oval Office, that all of the bruhaha will soon morph into global conflict. The thing that is keeping the world from outright conflict is public support for such a war.
And the public may not. After all, it is the young people of nations that are maimed and killed in wars; not the finely attired war hawks on the right who start them.
17 September 2019
The headline on today’s MSN.ca webpage (Narcity article) reads: Canadians Canadians Are Arguing Whether Justin Trudeau Is “Creepy” After Bianca Andreescu’s Rally[i]
The substance of this article hardly recommends it for comment. If adult Canadians (media and voters) presume in a such a manner, which is both base and baseless, to judge our public servants and their roles in high office, why then, shame on us adults…
The fact that anyone would think it good to publish this material, and that some readers actually take the material seriously, is revealing of the mindset of writer and reader. The reality holds little value for them: they know what they would like to write or read about; imagine it, and then pass it off or accept it as news. They do not recognize that what they want to write or read about is a reflection of their own dysfunctional perspectives and has nothing at all to do with the PM.
Those who wilfully publish such patently LIBELOUS material just to make a buck, or to engage in character assassination of the PM for partisan reasons, deserve the kind of government/society/world they will get should they realize their intentions. The trouble is, those who take our democracy seriously, and those who died in the Wars to preserve democracy at home and abroad, do not deserve such a world. To them, that world is found on the far side of the Styx.
As for the folks who would reshape the world into what it is not, the greater detriment these folks do is to themselves:
‘…it is not what goes into your mouth, but what comes out of it, that defiles you.’
Come on, man!
[i] You can read about it here:
Yet another article appearing today on CBC’s website:
Federal Parties Being Warned of Efforts by Six Foreign Countries to Influence Election: Sources
Foreigners should respect the elections of other nations. That’s a no-brainer. Having said that, how different is it from the way our political parties and their 3rd party affiliates attempt to influence our votes?
Books like Issenberg’s The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns and Lakoff’s The Political Mind: A Cognitive Psychologist’s Guide to Your Brain and its Politics illustrate exactly how this is done.
Voters are not encouraged to think but rather conditioned to react in a certain, predetermined way. Think subliminal advertising, and you get the idea.
But democracy can exist only in form but not in substance if voters are being manipulated to vote in a certain way.
Although foreign attempts to manipulate our electoral outcomes are egregiously distasteful, unethical, and immoral, just exactly how much are we voters responsible if we allow our own politicians and media to do try to manipulate our votes with dubious claims and reporting with ‘weighted’ facts and innuendo? None of it is outright lying, mind you, but it is the type of approach which does the damage of the truth without being true. And it is manipulative.
Just like the car salesman may try to manipulate you into a purchase. They maximize their profits at your expense. That is how one might run a business.
It is certainly NOT how one should run a nation-society.
Canadian voters have the power, however, to vote according to their true desires. We must listen to what the parties are saying. We must evaluate and compare. But that’s not all…
We need to look around. We need to give at least a little thought to what the party stands will mean for our neighbours and fellow Canadians. Make no mistake: a society of self interested individuals is not a cohesive or long term viable society.
Canada can only stand if it stands united.
If we proceed according only to self interest, we stop listening as soon as we hear what we want to hear. We will not ask questions.
Questions like, “If the Cons are going to reduce income taxes so that ‘people can get ahead and not just get by…’ where will that leave 3M plus Canadians who require social assistance to even get by? Hello? Anybody home?
And so, we render ourselves vulnerable to the manipulative agendas of others, at home and abroad.
Unless we see beyond our self-interest and view our nation and its place in the world as Canadians.
2 September 2019
First, wishing all folks a very Happy Labour Day! All the best to teachers and kids in the new school year!
Quebec’s secular law is the subject of many news articles, and rightly so. I have not studied the legislation- I have only encountered a few headlines and glossed over a few articles- however I do have a comment to make about any legislative attempts to separate ‘church’ from state, including the one recently passed in the Quebec Legislature:
The separation of church and state is simply another motif operating within the system of checks and balances all societies require in order to maintain cohesion. It allows for reason -the product of the mind-to act as a check upon faith-the desire of the heart. This implies a separation alright, but not from god: all humans proceed from god, and if anyone is separated from god, they are insane with their own ego. Any society which acts to separate citizens from their god is equally insane and cannot stand for long.
The separation Canadian society requires is that of the individual from their egos. Banning folks from wearing religious symbols at work is to force some legislature’s ego upon the citizenry. It’s simply replacing one ego with another.
What individuals do, if done out of ego, will benefit them but could be harmful to others. What individuals do, if their egos are ‘checked’ will be of benefit to themselves and others. A society of egos is not a cohesive society; the ‘elements’ of such societies are constantly on the prowl for ways to do end runs around the rule of law in order to advantage themselves.
A society of ‘checked’ egos; why that is a society both happy and indomitable. It is a society where religious beliefs are shared; where no one feels inferior or feels they need to defend their beliefs (with the exception of atheism, which is simply denial); where every citizen is guided by god/the Universe and seeks in their personal lives to live by the highest standards they can manage. In such a society, the aspiration to know god better inspires everything citizens do. The Faiths can help each other to that end.
The Quebec Legislature should, rather than ban religious symbols, engage in a silent prayer at the beginning of every session, according to their own religious custom, and god will be sure to guide them in their solemn duty to serve their nation and their citizens. But they did not; instead, they want to remove any trace of god from their offices and institutions.
This is taking things in the wrong direction. You cannot ask folks to check their beliefs at the door, but you can ask them to leave their egos at the door before they go in. This happens to be what EVERY RELIGION ASKS OF ITS ADHERENTS when one enters their establishments. The Faiths also teach you how to leave your ego behind in your daily interactions with other souls: your community, your neighbours, your partner, your kids…yada – yada.
For my beliefs, I am answerable to god, not to the government. For what they do, everyone in government is as answerable to god as they are to the voter, even more so, because god has the expectation that governments will take care of the folks god made and help them to properly raise their children, who will one day grow up to become god’s stewards and the next generation of Canadians.
You can separate church from state, but you cannot separate god from the individual. You cannot separate the individual from their ego, but you can teach them to check it at the door- after all, all the Faiths teach it.
Visitors are invited to read more on this topic here:
15 August 2019
Canada’s Ethics Commissioner finds the PM guilty of inappropriately attempting to influence the Justice Minister – AG JWR to leverage a Deferred Prosecution Agreement upon SNC-Lavalin. Ethics Commissioner Dion found that the PM violated conflict of interest rules by using his position to pressure the Minister to seek a DPA to the ‘benefit of a third party.’ Yes, the Commissioner is correct: the PM did try to guide the government’s response to SNC-Lavalin on behalf of a THIRD PARTY. The ‘Third Party’ the PM was acting on behalf of: workers in Quebec. I do not believe the intent of the law was to include, in the definition of ‘third party,’ the Canadian voter. Thousands of jobs would be lost if SNC-Lavalin is prosecuted and found guilty; and I wonder if another CANADIAN company is going to take up the slack created by barring the firm from government contracts for 10 years? Canadian jobs lost/more foreign workers and companies being paid Canadian tax dollars as a result— for Canadian workers and tax payers, this is the substantive outcome of JWR’s ‘heroism’ in ‘defense’ of democracy. For the vulnerable and disenfranchised of Canadian society; for women, children, minorities, the sick, the poor and the homeless, and for future generations in the way of the environment we leave to them, the outcome will be as deleterious as it is existential.
We know what Messieurs Scheer and Singh would be tasking the PM with in QP if he had done nothing:
‘Will the Prime Minister explain to this House why he did not seek a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with SNC-Lavalin, in order to avoid the 10-year ban on contracts with the Canadian government and to save thousands of jobs in the Province of Quebec?’ (followed by catcalls and raucous ignorance while the PM is answering the question).
Microplastics detected in the ice sheets of Lancaster Sound—An arctic research team is finding microplastics concentrating in the ice of our northernmost region, a region everyone had still regarded as pristine. Microplastics belong to a group of pollutants known as Bio-accumulative and Persistent Toxins (BPTs). The problem can only exacerbate because the ice sheet is acting as a filter and retains the microplastics, which themselves will take generations to breakdown into harmless components. The microplastics will accumulate much faster than they are breaking down and we may be well on our way to having killed the North.
But that’s not all: microplastics are not only being found in the northern extremes of our planet, but even on the Swiss Alps. The researchers believe microplastics are airborne as well as seaborne, which means they will reach everywhere and that we are breathing them to boot. Microplastics are thought to cause cancers. We’ve polluted our water to the extent that every drink we take is increasing our cancer risk; now add to that what microplastics are doing with every breath we take.
We have a government which takes the environmental situation seriously. We have a government which is trying to balance the needs of the employers and puppet masters in Canada with building and maintaining social cohesion. We had a Justice Minister who was given a once-in-a-century opportunity to help Canada resolve longstanding issues with its Indigenous brothers and sisters but who instead used her position to torpedo HER OWN GOVERNMENT’S CHANCES OF REELECTION. The timing of JWR’s ‘disclosures’ with respect to SNC-Lavalin, plus the way she went about doing things: surreptitious recordings during meetings without the knowledge or consent of the other parties – and she is crying foul on the government’s openness? hello? – is very suspect. JWR has an honest face. It is a face you want to believe. If the voter refuses to delve deeper than the surface, they will get prima facia honesty—but it is what is underneath the surface which is going to rise up and bite them in the @r*se. And by then, it will be too late for many of Canada’s and the world’s people-children whose wealthy classes have disenfranchised them by their pursuit of profit and competitiveness to the exclusion of all else.
There is only one place I have ever heard of, where the innocent are exploited, the liar is exonerated, and the do-gooder is vituperated and condemned by those he wanted to help, and I am NOT talking about 30 C.E. Judea.
The world and Canada verge upon a choice of existential proportions. It is a choice of vision between a two-tiered world of haves and have-nots (with at least half of the world’s folks living in misery while the other half enjoys wintering on white sandy beaches; a world where some live in condominiums high above the squalor of the streets where their fellow citizens are living), and a world in which resources are developed and distributed naturally; in the way the human body distributes its resources naturally: from where there is excess, to where there is deficiency.
14 August 2019
Wondering why mental illness is so pervasive these days, particularly among young people? Here’s the culprit: just look at the morning headlines:
- Protests in Hong Kong – violence à la Tiananmen Square?
- How Trump’s allies in the M.E. are turning against each other: Wars within wars/factions within factions- the politics of the region is impossible to unravel. Factor in the attitudes most middle eastern governments show toward human rights, inclusive of the Israeli government’s attitude toward the Palestinians: Any human rights-respecting country seeking relations with these governments is effectively ‘shaking hands with the devil.’
- Concerns that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been released from deer farms into human food supplies
- Canada’s spy agency has staffing issues
- The superpowers: the U.S.A., Russia, China, directly confront each other economically and geopolitically as the play Supremacy.
The litany of bad news is endless – and that is just one day’s feeding—what a way for anyone, in particular our young, to begin their day.
Of course, there’s the ubiquitous threat to young people from sexual predators, hyper-violence, classmates with guns, cyber-bullying, hearing leaders of nations threaten the leaders of other nations with nuclear annihilation, and murder-suicides wherein the parent murders the other parent and the children too.
One should easily imagine how it might resonate in the minds of children that there are parents out there who murder their own kids. You just can’t keep kids from finding out these things.
What a change from when I was growing up: I used to stay up late and watch the spooky show Friday night, and that caused me to wonder if the scar on my mom’s neck was from a vampire bite? Can you imagine what kids are manufacturing in their imaginations these days, given what they are exposed to every day?
The litany of unsettling news we encounter as we begin our day sets the pattern for the day: we are either responding to stress(current situation); if not, we are anticipating stress(a future situation); if not, we are processing residual stress(from past situations). In today’s world, there is simply not enough time for us to get the drop on stress.
No one can maintain a positive attitude; no one lacking a positive attitude can remain properly focused on the task at hand because of the distractions of worry: we make more mistakes, our self-confidence decreases, and the weight upon the psyche is increased.
There is no time, especially for the young folks among us, to process all of the stress-evocative news we face every day, and so there are things we leave unprocessed.
What is left unprocessed, accumulates and eventually we find ourselves feeling anxious, worried, irritated…and we can’t even put our finger on ‘why?’
These negative emotional energies become our ‘natural’ state.
Welcome to the world of mental illness.
Chronic anxiety is soul-killing and leads to depression as we withdraw consciousness-wise, into ourselves. Withdrawal is our mind’s defense mechanism. The further in we go, the harder it is for us and/or for mental health professionals to bring us out of it.
Life, however, is something best lived outside of the head. No one can produce a loaf of bread from the oven of their imagination. We must remain somewhat open to the real world because we need some of its inputs—food, security, and human company topping the list of human needs.
But the elements of daily life that kill us emotionally/spiritually gain entry along with the things we need and actively pursue in order to survive.
We need water to survive. Our water is poisoned. The water we drink to survive is also killing us.
Two generations ago, when I was little, there was no Internet or 24/7 news channels. There were no smartphones. And there weren’t monitors placed wherever people are known to gather, a bus station or doctor’s office, say, that are displaying violence from around the world. Even if the degree of malfeasance in the world has not changed from the levels of my childhood generation, we were permitted to remain ignorant of most of it because there was no way for us to hear about it.
That has all changed.
24/7 exposure to the world’s troubles has increases our reliance on the government to keep us safe even as it decreases our trust in one another, in particular people we do not know. There was a time when strangers could generally be trusted. Now, there are too many people around to get to know everyone.
Many of us do not even take the time to get to know our own neighbours-something which is quite unnatural because knowing your neighbour contributes to your sense of security. We are too distrustful of one another.
We are too divided.
‘United we stand. Divided we fall.’ That is the wisdom from a generation before ours. Division could be levered as a tool of social control by folks seeking to normalize society, according to the interests of the ruling classes, but if that is true, the strategy is plainly not working. It is only shifting the stress away from government to the individual, and kids growing up today are afraid to grow up. How is that preparing them for adulthood and to become the leaders and backbone of Canadian society?
The are afraid to step outside on a Saturday morning, because they’re no longer watching the Three Stooges and having a good laugh to start their day, they way I did when I was little.
25 July 2019
Amber Alerts: CBC reported on a recent petition, with thousands of signatories, to fine folks who complain about 3 a.m. amber alerts? Ah, come on, man! YES, amber alerts are important. EVERYONE knows this, including the complainers- hello? The issue IS NOT the ‘amber alerts,’ IT IS HOW THEY ARE BEING DONE…
At that time of the night, one is either asleep, having to get up for work in a few hours and with kids having to wake up for school in a more few hours, or at work already on the nightshift. They are very unlikely to do anything but continue working or try getting themselves and their children back to sleep—UNLESS they hear strange noises coming from outside their bedroom window, or perhaps notice strangers in their workplace parking lots-IN EITHER CASE, they would call the police as a matter of course.
I recommend that a time-of-day window be established for amber alerts outside of which, amber alerts are not permitted, or alternatively, cellphone companies and internet providers offer their customers the option to ‘opt out’ for max 8-hour period each day.
One last question:
How many of the folks who signed the petition got dressed and went out to search their neighbourhoods after the alerts? god bless anyone who actually did. I’m certain EVERY Canadian prayed for the child’s safe return, and were vigilant from the moment they awoke to begin their day.
22 July 2019
Things appear to be heating up in the Strait of Hormuz, Hong Kong, Venezuela, Jerusalem—just about anywhere one can imagine, people are looking for an excuse to fight and to hurt other folks; or a place to hide from it all…
As hard as it is for adults to ‘keep the chin up’ awash as we are in threats of war—nuclear war—can you imagine what it is like for children to be growing up in such a world, a world one can never really ‘escape’ from because we are besieged by reports and threats of misery on all sides, all-day, thanks to the ‘advances’ in communications technologies?
Social media is heavily weighted toward personal sniping, misinformation, and manipulation. We’ve always had folks who learn to be comfortable with lying, but now ‘lying’ seems to have become for some interests, an accepted mode of communication on the Internet; a ‘buyer beware’ sort of thing. Lying is never acceptable for readers: they want the truth and they will form the reasonable expectation of getting it from their favourite news sources. Some writers, however, à la those who have only enough imagination to ‘snipe’ at the ideas of others but lack the imagination to come up with effective alternatives, wilfully exploit the innocence of the reader in order to promote their own hidden agendas.
Misinformation with the goal of manipulation is become more blatant and universal, to the point that the ‘information’ existing on the Internet, for the reader, ultimately becomes a matter of ‘faith.’ One cannot easily or readily check the ‘facts’ a given writer is presenting in their article.
Should misinformation incline the world yet again into global confrontation, the war after that, according to Albert Einstein, will be ‘fought with sticks and stones,’—if there is anyone around to fight it. In the past, ‘information’ was streamed by governments through their respective media to prepare their citizenry for war and all of the misery, sacrifice, and loss of personal liberty war entails. If the current global penchant for gunboat diplomacy does not reverse itself, no one, especially the young people and the poor people who invariably end up in the front lines fighting in defense of their nations, will emerge from it for the better.
Governments, nations, individuals are all required by god, Nature, and the Universe, to speak the truth, or speak nothing at all. The Universe is WYSIWYG; people are dysfunctional if they are not. There can be no airs, no hidden agendas, no lies spoken, because young people die as a result. The degree of connectivity in today’s world, made possible by technology and facilitated by the Internet, demands that ‘information’ be carefully regulated. Freedom of speech is not carte blanche to lie, to spread hatred, to incite violence, or to suborn a decision to go to war, because young people die as a result.
In words attributed to Jesus: What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. [Mathew 15:11].
In a word it is said that at times we must fall
But the worst of it all was the lies…[I]
Are we, after 75 years, standing at the precipice of war? Have we forgotten what it is we take the time to remember and reflect upon every 11th of November? If the various world ‘players’ plunge the world into the abyss, then what exactly do our world’s leaders think about on Remembrance Day? Looking at the news today, it appears that several of the world’s leaders (but thankfully and notably, Canada’s next-gen PM is not among them ) will not listen to Canada’s bard, nor to the importunity from the Great War generation on the St. James Cathedral Cross:
This cross commemorates the glorious sacrifice of those who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918 and appeals to those for whom they died to lay aside hatred and strife and to seek brotherhood and peace under the banner of Christ.
These are words of truth. No matter which faith one belongs to, who can say god wants war? Who can say the heart of god is not broken each time we do violence to one another and to children?
What if all of us humans were to vow to NOT be the first to do violence?
[i] Too Many Clues In This Room, from the album Summertime Dream by Gordon Lightfoot.
21 July 2019
From Yahoo Answers:
The Question: Why does the refugee welcoming, feminist, pro-abortion, Islam loving prime minister of Canada have a lower approval rating than Trump?
Ratings are more revealing of the mindset of the electorate than they are of the performance of the individual in question. The PM et al are trying to ‘do right’ by ALL of Canadians, whose interests and needs can vary greatly, rather than focus upon serving one particular segment of society to the exclusion/detriment of others. The Liberals support inclusion, diversity, tolerance-they recognize that we must be able to work together and work together well, in order to meet the challenges that are coming, if we are to have a chance at all.
1-Refugees: My mom taught us well by her example: During a major snow storm, she welcomed a group of men who were snowmobiling in the area (rural) and got stranded, into her home. They overnighted and were able to get unstuck a few days later, after the ploughs got through. They showed up one more time at her door with armfuls of the best homemade Italian sausage…my mom simply could not shut her door in their faces. Could anyone reading this have shut the door in their faces? How is any migrant, be it as they are in desperate flight from wars and famines, different from the hapless snowmobiler? How is the PM behaving any differently (or humanely) than my dear mom?
2-Feminist: Again, it is about inclusiveness. In order to progress as a society we cannot exclude what nominally represents one half of the human race…hello? Equality of opportunity, along all of its dimensions, translates into maximal advantage for the society, along all of its dimensions. In Nature, the female is often the ‘Queen Bee.’ The male’s raison d’être is to defend the Queen and the nest. If humanity were to be true to itself and to Nature, not a single human female would be treated with anything less than the greatest love and respect.
3-‘Pro-abortion’ -is a misnomer. The PM is not ‘pro-abortion’ but rather PRO CHOICE. Choice over your body is a ‘self-evident’ and ‘inalienable right.’ This is only half the story. The unborn also have the inalienable right to life. I have posted a more complete answer (and point to a resolution) here:
4-‘Islam-loving’ The practitioners of Islam are men, women, and children created by god. I do not capitalize ‘god’ out of disrespect for the Big Guy/Gal but rather out of the profoundest respect for all Faiths. There is not a single reason to exclude a follower of Islam-Muhammed Ali practiced Islam, and, albeit he was not perfect, in my book he was the greatest human being I have ever heard of, and I’m certain he made our Creator proud in his service to humanity, despite breaking a nose or two. There is every reason to include practitioners of Islam because they increase rather than decrease humanity’s capabilities and chances for success in overcoming the many existential challenges humanity faces.
I’m not certain whose approval rating is lower and neither do I care. When I compare Trump to Trudeau I get the sense of a collision between the old order and the new order, or more precisely, the old order now finds itself face-to-face with the progressive vision of a generation poised to takeover the reigns…‘Young people speaking their minds, are getting so much resistance, from behind.’ Do you remember the song? For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield. The lyric is as pertinent today as it was to the decade it was written in. The ‘resistance’ to the upcoming generation is coming from the right. The right emphasizes tradition and the old ways, at least that is what they would like us to think. The truth is, they emphasize only those aspects of tradition that will help them to aggrandize their wealth and control. My mother was ‘forever young.’ She never lost her light, even though she grew up poor and had to grow up early. She never lost her love for children or her compassion for those who could use her help. Her help she never refused ANYONE.
I suppose she could not outgrow being a child in her heart, though she had to grow up and inherit the cares of the adult world. Her heart was her vision.
Her vision is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vision as well. Contrast this with Trump’s. If Justin is trailing Donald, ask yourself:
‘What do approval ratings say about us ‘approvers?’
20 July 2019
Tweet by @qualifyfor: Cons have done their utmost to divide the country. Constant attacks instead of policies. Their only hope is to make Canadians hate other Canadians. Harper started the divisiveness and now all Cons are following suit.
You are right. For the cons to make it into govt, they have to divide Canada; they must bamboozle the folks who can’t or won’t take the time to understand the party offerings and instead just knee-jerk react. Harper splayed his hands, saying, ‘Let me be clear,’ then says nothing.
Ford did the same to get elected. Now, Scheer is doing it. they understand most voters are too busy to get too deep into politics, and that it is more effective to uncover and push the right buttons than to attempt to reason with them on the basis of policy alternatives, so they spout off about chocolate milk. (I heard the same claims when I was a little kid, and tried it on my mom, but unfortunately, she was adept at ‘policy’ and knew a scam when she heard one …)
Canadians need to talk to one another, openly and honestly, neighbour to neighbour. We should not be allowing attack ads or any other attempts to influence our vote, and we should mothball polls because they influence how people vote and the cons will use them to gauge the effectiveness of their attack ads.
We should not allow governments to tell us what we want, how we are feeling, unless it is a reflection of what ‘the people’ really want, and ‘the people’ can only know that if they talk to one another, discovering their commonalities (and discovering the ‘poll results’) themselves. These days, the ‘will of the people’ is being downloaded from ‘above,’ even though it often sounds like it is coming from the sewer.
Tweet in response to article on msn.com
The Rise of the Satanic Temple in Canada http://a.msn.com/01/en-ca/AAEARuV?ocid=st …
‘It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody…’ Bob Dylan. You cannot conflate ‘Satanism’ with ‘individualism.’ According to the American bard, if you choose ‘Satan,’ that’s your master.
Tweet by Alvin Tedjo @AlvinTedjo: Doug’s latest cut takes $100M from families who need housing and rent support. He keeps making life more unaffordable, and his childcare plan helps no one. Let’s start helping families with universal childcare:
True wrt Mr. Ford. However I don’t think universal child care, albeit a good babysitter, is helping children. They are leaving the nest too soon nowadays. Many of the social skills they require are learned in a constructive family setting. Put money toward making adults better parents and toward keeping one parent at home(GAI – Guaranteed Annual Income – plus advanced/vocational education) until children reach kindergarten age. Allow children the time for unstructured play and to just be kids…it is the most magical time of our lives.
Want to build a stronger and more resilient Ontario? A stronger and more resilient Canada? It begins at the beginning: how we are raising the next generation of leaders and community contributors.