What My Children Taught Me

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They taught me that unconditional love is able to reach the human soul, across oceans and highways, across good times and bad times – across time itself.

This recommends unconditional love for being understood as an attribute of the ‘Space-Time Continuum.’ To wit: it is of the eternal. It is non-coercive, non-controlling…it is comfortable living with uncertainty and with resisting the human compulsion to control events and other folks’ reactions to events.

Parents need to feel loved by their kids, just as kids need to feel loved by their parents. But parents are special in that they need to see that their children are happy and safe more than anything else. Above all else, the parent-child relationship is a ‘pay-it-forward’ scenario.

At some point, one’s children will have children of their own; as parents age, their children will become more like parents while their parents become more like children. It is not that we actually change, only that the challenges and responsibilities we face as grown-ups are not those of children, nor those of the elderly. Our children will one day end up being their children’s children. Just like we did.

Some other things I learned from my children:

  1. That siblings who have experienced divorce/strife between the parents, can grow up to be well-adjusted children, nevertheless. The network my children have formed together appears destined to be as wonderful as the one my mom and her siblings formed around their mom/my grandma. They all got married and had families of their own. While my mom, aunts and uncles were living, we saw them nearly every weekend growing up. That was in addition to having lots of neighbourhood pals. What a great way to grow up. On that basis, you make it great for your own children.
  2. You are only in the process of failing if you are not trying/you only fail, if you do not try. One of my children was awaiting her exam results. She had not been given a pass the first time, and this was her last chance at obtaining her accreditation, after 7 years-ish of studying. She went through h3ll, as you can imagine, for a whole year. She shared this with me only recently.
  3. Her timing was perfect. I had been wallowing in ‘giving-up’ mode for some years, likely ever since the first signs of my family’s break-up, which, happily (I recently learned), didn’t break up at all, on the spiritual level. Even after so many years, an extended period of time together allowed the special connection of family to reemerge all on its own. If something transcends distance and time, it is unconditional. It is eternal. Separation, of the material and/or consciousness variety, is only a very transitory human condition. [p.s. If humankind could regard one another as being ‘of one family’  which we are, if we go back far enough, why we need only acknowledge that beyond the separation that forms between souls ( a veneer of cloud upon the soul as thin as the atmosphere which separates our life-factory Earth Mother from the uninhabitability of Space, and what I call ‘ego’) there exists someone (or something) who is, in their essence, just like us and will do us no harm. IF THEY ARE NOT EXTENDING THE GOLDEN RULE, it is because they are in spiritual pain and the clouds of ego are temporarily blocking the healing energies. We all experience phases like this. Mine began when I hit high school age, I believe. Don’t let this dissuade you. Keep extending kindness. It will breach any ego, in time, even as the waves can breach the shoreline.

My children are different personalities. They are uniquely spirited with respect to one another. Each has their own gifts and strengths, weaknesses and challenges. They will one day head good families(if they are fortunate to find a good man) and raise wonderful children (if they choose to have children, any child of theirs would be a happy child, just like I was with my mom), to take over the reins from their generation when the time comes.

As for moi, my three daughters are fulfilling the dreams I once had for myself, and in their unfulfillment, conferred my hopes upon my children.

Ultimately, it all comes down to service. Daughter One aspires to be CEO of a nonprofit (Serve the cause of a special community). Daughter Two aspires to to work in the field of Environmental Law (Serve the cause of sustainability). Daughter Three aspires to be a doctor (Serve the cause of the sick). In every case, they aspire to serve a cause based on the needs of others. [I might point out that the cons of today approach issues from the perspective of their needs, as opposed to the needs of others].

Despite the marriage troubles, I remained thankful for my kids throughout. I just worried about them more when they moved so far away. And I missed their happy faces. When my time arrives, I pray I will remain in contact with them, albeit from the other side of the River Styx. A source of love and understanding, and of strength, just as I sense that  my mom is for me now…

…and as her sisters and mom were for her, after they had crossed over.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

Canadanua YouTube Christmas Favourites

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These are among my all-time favourite Christmas movies. The ‘spirit’ of Christmas is often ‘compromised’ because of the ‘business’ and busyness of the season. This year, Christmas 2020, the self-isolating we do to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19 also provides us an opportunity to go back in time; to visit with ourselves, in Christmases past;  to see ourselves and the spirit of the season (aka the Spirit of the Christ) à la Ebenezer Scrooge.

A Christmas Carol 1951 Movie Alastair Sim Jack Warner – YouTube

A Christmas Carol 1971 ~ Animated ~ Alastair Sim ~ Full Length ORIGINAL POST – YouTube

Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) Full Movie – YouTube

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer | 1964 | HD | 1080p | Full Movie | Christmas Movies for Kids – YouTube

Frosty the Snowman | 1969 | HD | 1080p | Full Movie | Christmas Movies for Kids – YouTube

The Little Drummer Boy | 1968 | HD | 1080p | Full Movie | Christmas Movies for Kids – YouTube

A Christmas story – YouTube

The Nativity Story-BEST film about Mary( Miriam )and Joseph ( Yosef) and the birth of Jesus(Yeshua). – YouTube

God bless us, everyone!

On that note, a very merry Christmas and Happiest of times in the new year, to everyone of every Faith. I know the other Faiths wish us the very same during their special occasions.

It’s part of the Golden Rule, and that is the basic operative of every faith.

And it is very much the Christmas spirit.

 

Canadanua Blog Archive

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2020

~the year we need to see clear~

31 December 2020

Whoever you are, wherever you live, Canadanua wishes you and yours A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! The best of family, friends, health, happiness and all the World, our world has to offer!

p.s.

No matter how dark things appear to you right now, remember that, so long as you allow your light to shine forth into the World, our world, then god’s light will never fail and neither will yours.

The darkness that surrounds a light source is always vanquished. That is a law of physics. It is a law of spirituality. It is god’s law.

The light in our souls is the source of all life, in the many forms ‘life’ takes on. Rather than spend trillions on military hardware and the preservation of antiquated social structures, let us, on behalf of the World, our world, resolve in 2021 to heal our relationships with one another (displace the darkness of your ego with your light, because light is a part of you too), and to heal our relationships with our planet. On this, our indigenous folks may just lead us to sustainability. But we need to first adopt the Golden Rule among and within all nations.

Indigenous folks need to reconicle with one another, just as all of us need to. Ego gets in the way of the light that used to be transferred between human souls as a matter of course. Nowadays, with so much ego in the World, our world, the quality of our interactions is adversely affected by ego’s reflections of our own fears and regrets, upon other people. This only deepens the darkness we ourselves exist in, as well as creating more extraneous, external bs for others to deal with, others who are our loved ones, even.

28 December 2020

Before diving into the rant of the day, Canadanua.com extends its profoundest gratitude to the folks working healthcare and grocery during COVID Christmas. Not all of them celebrate Christmas, but ALL OF THEM are doing the work of our creator, and in doing so, magnify the spirit of the creator and of the season celebrated by Christians. Many, many blessings upon them.

Headline 1: La Chine condamne une journaliste citoyenne qui avait rapporté le début de l’éclosion – while watching a YouTube documentary on the Kursk tragedy, I heard mention made that Russia’s new president, Vladimir Putin, had entered into a dubious arms-sales agreement with China.

At the time of the Kursk tragedy, China had already compiled mountains of cash to spend, thanks to a burgeoning economy spawned by trade liberalization with the West; while Russia was in desperate need of cash, in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union and the imposition of trade sanctions by the West.

In the world of today, our world, the pursuit of profit trumps even common sense. We have paid for the guns we might be staring down the barrels of, one day, if the World, our world, does not recover its sanity. [Aside: if we all just got along, guess what, those trillions of dollars nations spend on ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ militaries could be spent on fighting climate change (can you imagine how many trees a trillion dollars would buy?), and giving the human race a fighting chance at surviving into the next century and beyond, by paying the billour way through a transitioning to green, the transition to

The Chinese journalist, Zhang Zhan, is serving 4 years for disseminating ‘false information’ in China. She had been reporting on the outbreak of COVID-19 at the time China’s Xi-regime was suppressing news of the outbreak.

Only in a world governed by egos (to wit: the egos of the rich/powerful, but not necessarily of  practical/common sense folks), can someone be punished for speaking the truth.

If we allow the Chinese Xi-regime to continue, it will seek to impose its will beyond its borders while it continues to entrench  binary control over its citizens. ‘Binary’ because, if one is not with the Xi-regime IN EVERY CONCEIVABLE WAY, then one is against it and subject to condemnation, imprisonment, torture, or death. Xi would export his ‘political philosophy’ to the World, our world.

If Xi, and the paucity of spirit and common sense he has systematized in Chinese society, is successful, his ‘vision’ will have spread, cancer-like, around the World, our world. All future generations can blame ours for not having the courage to stand up against the Xi-regime, the Putin-regime, and all other like-minded regimes.

A lot of good this would do our future generations.

Xi et al. resort to the politics of fear to maintain and extend  their control. Populist politics emerged from rightwing political movements such as movement conservatism. Fascism. The Xi-regime styles itself as ‘communist,’ when in fact, Xi et al. have simply co-opted the communist-socialist movement into their own brand of fascism. They are the pigs of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. They do not care how they acquire power over others, they just crave power over others, by any means. This is not ‘vision,’  it is the wantonness of ego. Plain and simple.

‘The more things change, the more they stay the same,’ as the saying goes. Communism emerged in reaction to capitalism. Socialism emerged in reaction to capitalism, and then movement conservatism emerged in reaction to the socialism of Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Nowadays, Communism/socialism has evolved into fascism. Republicanism/Progressive Conservatism has evolved into fascism. We are going around in circles.

Will the circle be unbroken?

The Golden Rule will stop that vicious cycle in its tracks. Ego is the impediment, the anathema to the preeminence of the Golden Rule in human affairs.

Wholesale observance of the Golden Rule will clear away the scab of ego from the souls of humankind – those operatives of the Xi-regime and like-minded folks – and the light within the soul of every human is therefore exposed and universally shared.

Ego will no longer blind us to a light which is in every living thing.

On that basis, we can only treat one another with the dignity, respect, tolerance, and understanding that will be necessary to extricate the World, our world, from the mess humans have made of Her, Our Earth Mother.

Headline 2: Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain Alhathloul sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison: state-linked media – courtesy of the same government responsible for the brutal assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi expatriate who had been writing for the Washington Post. According to the article, Loujain had rejected an offer to reduce her sentence, if she withdrew allegations of being tortured.

I dunno, but there is something to be said about the company one keeps, and it does not bode well if goodly, godly, progressive nations such as Canada does business with regimes that are patently ‘ungodly,’ in their conduct, such as China and Saudi Arabia, and so many others.

26 December 2020

Hoping everyone has passed a happy Christmas. Thanks to my mom, I had the best Christmas I could possibly have, with COVID-19 trying to hitch a ride on Santa’s sleigh, and having to spend Christmas Eve with only Scrooge and the Spirits of Jacob Marley et al.

I chose to be happy. I chose to not feel lonely. By first silently stating my intention to myself, I made this possible. A family member wanted to talk about how lonely I was. They expected that I should feel ‘lonely’ because I live alone; I should feel ‘unhappy’ because I am lonely.

F%@A  that! (I thought to myself) Let’s talk about happy things!

My mom, although having to manage in a household full of egos, found camaraderie and happiness, ‘un-loneliness’  and joy, the proverbial oasis in a waterless desert, wherever she was, wherever she went, whomever she was with, BECAUSE SHE CHOSE IT – FOR HERSELF. It was rarely offered to her by any of us. And because she chose it for herself first, everyone she interacted with was the recipient of her kindness and understanding.

I remember my guitar teacher’s GF telling me, ‘I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t like your mother…but then again, I can’t think of a single person your mother doesn’t like.’

It is all about where you direct your consciousness, your focus. Outward or inward. ‘Up’ or ‘down.’

Focus on the good. That’s how my mom rolled. I was so happy to hear someone say something like that about my mom.

The condition of isolation at Christmas forced me to become aware of how stark the difference is, between being in ego-mode and not being in ego-mode.

My being in ego-mode created too much emotional pain and angst; especially when I felt myself the target of injustice, unfairness, or insensitivity. I was aware of how I was feeling inside, and it hurt. I also felt miffed. I don’t want to go around feeling either. These are soul-sucking emotions.

I had to make myself stop thinking these things and consciously direct my mind elsewhere. When I did that, I felt better. When I wasn’t doing that, I was back in ego-mode. Because of the two emotional extremes I was feeling, depending on whether I was in ego-mode or not, it was easy to stay out of ego mode, and the benefits impressed me enough to see I was onto something; something my mom taught by example all along

There are only two states of consciousness:

Self (ego) -consciousness, or not.

The only way to not feel the emotion, is to not think about whatever is evoking it. Simple. Nothing else works.

When you think about something, anything that is evocative of an emotional response, you are in ego-mode. Emotions are a barometer. If you are feeling the negative kind, jealousy, anger, envy, neglect and loneliness, the ego is informing you to think outward; that the mind’s door to your soul has swung inward, bringing along with it the negatives generated between your own ears.

Switch off the ‘ego-button’ and you will soon begin to feel better. My mom learned this early on in life. She was not content to let others create a narrative for her to live by, even those she lived with, even as she took such good care of us all.

When you feel ‘down,’ change what it is you are thinking about. Don’t carry it around with you, else it will  weigh your spirit down and flatten the energy-output from your soul.

The soul is our battery: it is recharged by acts of kindness and understanding, acts of giving and receiving without conditions, acts of courage. It is depleted by acts of cowardice, acts of callousness and condemnation (judgement), acts of giving or receiving, with conditions attached.

Bottom line: When you wrong others in word, deed, or neglect, apologize to them, atone immediately, and then move on. It doesn’t matter if the apology is accepted or not. If it was sincere, you’ve done your part after you atone. You will try hard not to offend the person in the same way again, and you will be forgiving of others when they give offense to you. Be sincere. Don’t ever pretend to be.

Headline 1: In Christmas message, Pope Francis urges countries to share COVID-19 vaccines – the  kindest of souls to sojourn among us in many a year, this pope continues to light the path for us to follow.

To quote from the CBC article:

Pope Francis in his Christmas message on Friday said political and business leaders must not allow market forces and patent laws to take priority over making COVID-19 vaccines available to all, condemning nationalism and “the virus of radical individualism.”

By ‘radical individualism’  might he have also said, ‘ego?’

As usual, this pope is all over the truth. Good for him (and for the World, our world), because his job is all about the truth, yes?

The World, our world, would do itself a whole lot of good, to follow the lead of this Pope.

24 December 2020

A very, merry Christmas! No matter your own tradition, to you, everyone and everything under god, the joy of my own tradition.

Growing up, Christmas was my favourite time of year, albeit Christmas Eve, the longest night: I could never sleep over wondering what I was going to get from Santa. Thank god I had a mom who thought to sneak her nylon stockings, filled with gifts and treats, under our beds during the night. Somehow she accomplished the feat without ever getting caught…she must have sprinkled some dust from the sandman on me while she hid the stocking, to help me pass the time until my older brother and sister and of course, mom and dad, got up.

It was the best of times. It was the love and energy of my mom, being so fully informed as she was with the Spirit of Christmas, year-round, that informed the rest of us.

As she watched us tear into our gifts (while cooking us a nice Christmas breakfast), she saw happy children, something she herself experienced little of, as a child growing up in poverty in Québec, and she derived her ‘joy of the season,’ from watching us be children.

She never forgot the wonder and joy the Christmas tradition evokes in the hearts and souls of children. Because of her, the Spirit of Christmas burned brightly in our home, year after year.

That is what I want to share with all souls, human and non, today.

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Merry Christmas mom, grandma, aunties and uncles, all angels now. And thank you for the wonderful childhood you rarely experienced for yourselves, but which you made sure your kids all had, at Christmas and every day throughout the year. Like the baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, you added ‘the beef’ to the Golden Rule.

p.s.

In the Spirit of the Season, I am praying that our PM and JWR/CP reconnect and reconcile. I had come out strongly against JWR/CP. I was reacting to the consequences of the allegations they made against the PM. I recognize I was not a ‘fly in the room,’ and acknowledge that I might have been unfair to these two MPs. If they were being true to themselves, they could not have been false. Only they and the PM can know for sure.

But what a great gesture of reconciliation, what a great foreshadowing of what is to come, first for Canada, and then for the World, our world!

p.s. p.s.

Disturbing Headline: Police takedown of woman in stormtrooper costume won’t result in criminal charges – the article says the young woman was taken to the ground when she did not ‘initially comply’ with the order from the police. She was advertising in front of a restaurant, for the restaurant; a restaurant that happens to cultivate a Star Wars ambience. Are our police folks becoming so reactive, as the public who called in about this person, that they no longer bother to evaluate before jumping to conclusions and jumping all over people? People the police say they are there to ‘serve and protect.’

Is it now ‘shoot first, ask questions later?’ As if we are at war? Is our venerable police institution now at war with the nation’s citizens, who have no protection except for what the police offer them?

Standing in that costume, doing my job, being paid minimum wage to do it, but having fun seeing the people’s expressions, especially the kids, who would think it cool, and bug their parents to buy them a ‘Yoda Soda,’ I would have had so much fun. If then, while that was happening, two police folks came up without any warning and told me to get on the ground, it might have taken me a minute to put the joy I was feeling out of my mind, so that I could respond to this turn of events, made so by the paranoia of passersby and that of the police who arrived on the scene.

‘Shoot first, then ask?’ Wrong strategy if you truly ‘serve and protect.’

As time goes on, this will happen more and more. Because the citizen is becoming more and more isolated, one from the other, we have to guess more to replace the facts gained over the course of getting to know people, in particular our neighbours, because we deplore uncertainty. But we replace the gaps in our knowledge about other folks with our worries, our anxieties. OUR GUESSES. Not very fair. Not at all accurate, unless one is interested in holding up the mirror to themselves and to what is in fact the machination of their own minds. Very Trumpian. Not very Canadian. Not very humane.

22 December 2020

3 more days ’til Christmas!

Headline 1: Les adolescents ont été altruistes depuis le début de la pandémie – this could be proof-positive that the previous generation (ours), the one which, as a collective, ignored the warnings/advice of ‘environmental activists,’ such as Rachel Carson, ‘rabble-rousers’ such as the Mahatma, ‘bleeding hearts’ such as Mother Theresa and St. Francis of Assisi (and of Pope Francis, having adopted the venerable saint’s moniker), and ‘warrior’-philosophers such as Ret. Gen. Romeo Dallaire and Lawrence of Arabia, has not managed to corrupt our children’s generation, in the same way – thank god!

Young people speaking their minds…‘  Now, not only speaking their minds’ vision, but making it real.

Headline 2: Troops fighting COVID-19 could sleep in tents this Winter – that’s Canada’s troops! Squarely situated between Canada and the World’s, our world’s, vulnerable. Be the attacker a virus, a tsunami, a civil war, or a rogue nation, these young people volunteer to put themselves between us and any existential threat.

The ante is their lives. The honour our military folks do themselves in their sacrifice cannot be overlooked by our creator. Because of Mike Pearson’s peacekeeper vision, they further the cause of the human Creation; they give Peace a Chance, rather than further the spread of darkness, à la Xi, Putin, Trump, Netanyahu, et al. – these being only the latest cohort of the darkness, which is always encroaching upon the Light of Creation and of the World, our world.

But never succeeding. Just as the truth always trumps the lie if the truth is made known, so too the Light of Creation always prevails against the darkness.

Even if the souls of humankind were absorbed into the ‘black holes’ of their own egos, the Light of the Creator can never be vanquished by it; neither can the umbilical cord connecting our souls with the soul of the creator ever be fully cut, since that is of the creator also.

Ego is our personal ‘galaxy’s’ black hole. Free will is our ‘event horizon.’ Einstein’s  ‘singularity’ is the mind, heart, and substance (aka the Logos/the Word) of the creator.

What a wonderful creation. What a wonderful life being offered to humankind and all other living souls, if we of the World, our world, simply set our egos aside wrt our interactions with other folks and with the others souls we are brother and sister to, because everything living thing has the same mother – the good ol’ Mother Earth.

20 December 2020

Only 5 more days ’til Christmas!

Today is also Sunday. A special day for all of us folks raised in the Christian tradition. I have been away from church since my papermill closed, my family went away, and life as I had known it, had ended.

Then my mother died, and all of our lives were changed. Such was the limitlessness of the love, courage, and patience/tolerance she extended from her soul, outward into the World, our world.

She extended creation in the way that would dispel any doubt in the Mind of the creator as to whether he/she should have given us free will.

In fact, it is like Bob Dylan sings: whatever the details of a given situation are, they are secondary at best.

It may be the devil, Or it may be the Lord,

But you gotta’ serve somebody.

On that basis, and after so many years, this Sunday, I am giving my Sundays back to the lord. What actually prompted this was a deal I recently made with the lord/the Universe (for to me the Universe is the material body of god), with respect to an issue involving one of my children. God came through.

Now it’s my turn to deliver.

I began the day with watching today’s mass (the 4th Sunday of Advent) on YouTube. I am going to make it a point, today, to begin learning a Dylan classic.

I am going to reaffirm to myself, at the start of every day, to try, moment by moment, to stay out of my ‘head’ where my anxieties and regrets are permitted to live. These soul-sucking emotions cannot ‘live’ outside the head because they don’t materially exist; just like the denizens of Star Trek’s holodeck.

But, from our soul’s perspective, they do. Our job, first and foremost, is to master where we direct our attention. We are, with respect to our own egos, the ‘parent’ who must conduct the business of the home while their young toddlers clamour non-stop for our attention.

We must be vigilant as to where we direct our attention because the target is what we are conscious of. Since at any given moment, we can only be conscious of our thoughts/emotions or of what is going on on the outside of our heads (including what our hands and feet are doing), it follows that we are able to react to either:

  1. the outside, or
  2. the inside.

If we live on the ‘outside,’ when  the event transpires, so too the emotion that had been evoked by the event.

This is ‘now-ness.’ There is no consciousness of any residual emotion spawned by the event. Because the ‘ear’ of our consciousness is turned away from our ego, we no longer hear it.

Because of our ‘entrenchment’ in the Now, the past is not relevant to us, at the moment, and the the residues of the past will easily and eventually dissipate.

In this condition, our souls feel free. We feel light. We feel happy. We feel contentment and a general attitude of Joy. The affect of ‘nowing’ ourselves is liberating ourselves from the anxiety and ignorance of ego.

Contrast this with living on the inside of our heads:

In the sheer absence of the ‘distractions’ of the outside world, we have only our worries, about things that have not, and likely will not  happen, and our regrets over things which did happen and for which we have paid the requisite emotional price, not only once, but many times over. The emotions from a single event, as one replays it over and over again, compound like interest in a bank account. Left long enough, these emotions will grow way beyond their natural size and also their capacity to do us harm.

Either situation is possible, despite the extreme differences between them. One is in reaction to the real; the other is in reaction to what is not real, only remembered or anticipated. The common denominator bridging the gap between reality and fantasy is THE MIND.

The mind is that powerful: it can make the immaterial, material, just like the creator did, the moment before the Big Bang. AND HE/SHE USED HIS/HER OWN BODY AS THE ‘PUTTY’ TO FASHION EVERYTHING OUT OF.

Now I think I understand the concept of the ‘Holodeck’ of Star Trek: it is the television scifi version of the ego-mind. There would not be much existing on the outside to provide fodder to the mind’s of space trekkers in Outer Space. To keep folks from being fully absorbed into their own heads (a natural human response to the lack of external stimuli, and what I would call ‘insanity’), they create something artificial, unreal, but which is seen to be real by the mind’s of the participants in the holo-program.

I have to say, I’ve always had a hard time with the concept of the holodeck, because as ‘real’ as it is, the participants are required to suspend their imaginations completely in order to get the experience. They are, à la Fantasy Island, ‘living’ a fantasy of their minds’ own creation.

They have just walked into the holodeck, shut the door behind them, and said, ‘Computer, execute program….’

Here, one is not only watching the movie, one is ‘living’ the movie.

That is the power of the mind.

If we do not turn our minds away from our ego, our ‘clamouring child,’  we distract ourselves from the Now. This is akin to falling off of the Balance Beam. That narrow strip walked by gymnasts, that point of contact between the gymnast’s feet and the beam, symbolizes the focal point of consciousness.

While we keep our mind’s focus there, on that precise spot, we cannot fall off of the beam. Never, that is, until we are distracted from our consciousness of that point.

If we are never distracted, we will never fall, fail, or do harm to anyone else.

We are photons in a beam of light. Depending upon our energies at the moment, we are operating at one particular wavelength or another, but the photon remains discrete from the moment of its inception, as do we. The photon-spirit/soul can acquire more or less energy, but it can never become separated from the beam.

This beam has its source in the Big Bang. We can only keep moving forward, along the circle, as the momentum of the Big Bang pushes us from behind, toward the Future and the reconciliation of all things, represented materially by the Universe collapsing into that tiny little point and the iteration of a new Big Bang cycle. At that point, the creator sends all souls forward, equipped with free will, to extend his/her Creation.

We cannot fail in our god-given purpose, if we keep ‘the self’ out of  our interactions with the World, our world, because we are being guided by the spirit existing in all things along a path prescribed by an ‘Original Consciousness,’ of which our individual consciousnesses comprise a part.

We become separated from god’s guidance when we are in our heads. The bone of our skulls becomes the veneer of cloud that prevents the light of the creator from entering, warming us and rejuvenating our souls.

I say ‘an Original Consciousness’  because there may be other universes, other material bodies. It may be that two universes, two ‘creators,’ come together to produce a new, fledgling universe, and that the ‘Big Bang’ is tantamount to the moment in which the male sperm and the female egg come together, and a new Consciousness is born.

The above is explained in more detail, here on this site.

Of course, it is only one possible scenario. It is the product of my imagination. Does it match on any points, with yours? Have you given it some thought?

One headline today, because it is so ‘Christmassy’ in spirit: Why a pair of tow-truck operators opened Hope’s Kitchen, a 24-hour centre for homeless people – god bless these two. In truth, the fact they are doing it is proof god has already blessed them.

Lastly, this Christmas, give it to the creator and not to the other guy. COVID-19 is the other guy’s weapon du jour. His target is when two people get too close, enter enclosed spaces (such as apartment elevators, halls, laundry rooms, and other common areas) without being masked and without observing the rules of proper hygiene. He cannot fire his weapon if we don’t provide him with a target.

Stay home this Christmas. Take a long walk of a half-hour or better, once a day, outside and distanced from others, or inside your own dwelling. Keep your bubble small. If you live alone, limit yourself to two other people’s domiciles (representing, ideally, only 2 other people). Observe all the rules of hygiene: masking, hand-washing, physical distancing, essential travel guidelines, etc. Have your conversations with others at as much distance beyond the 2 metres as you can muster. And remember to be kind to the ones who do not. Instead of running around correcting people, be an example.

For i.e., yesterday I encountered another tenant in the laundry room. She was not wearing her mask (she had it with her, but had taken it off because she was the only one in the laundry room). She is a wonderful lady, I know firsthand. I entered masked and gloved. We talked about the COVID CHRISTMAS while she packed up her laundry and I started mine. During our conversation, she sneezed and sniffled a little.

Now, she might be spreading COVID or she may not be. She can’t know. I can’t know. Rather than take it up with her directly, I approached the issue from an angle: I mentioned in our talk about COVID that I avoid elevators entirely, and of course wear a mask in our buildings common areas, including the laundry room.

We parted company amicably, as always. I stood back, opened the door for her, and then waited in the hallway for her to go onto the elevator. I took the stairs. I heard her sneeze after the elevator door closed.

I am sure that the next time I see her in the laundry room, she’ll be masked and friendly as always. ‘Friendly’ because I didn’t take her to task the last time; and wearing her mask because our discussion was a friendly reminder, as opposed to shaming or passive-aggression.

This wonderful retiree, one of many in our community, left me with another remembrance: she said that her children always come first. This is what every parent can take to the bank. In this, she ‘magnifies’ the creator because for him/her, we always come first.

That is the way of the creator. ‘Life’ always comes first. [Aside: If children are first for us, and not careers, etc., we will not continue to send them off to daycares at so tender an age. Let them be children for as long as they need to be. That way, they will truly be ready for adulthood, and for being good parents, when their opportunity comes].

As our children are to us, so are we to our creator. On that point, it is safe to say, as the Beatles sang, that the creator is here and trying to shine his/her light upon us. To light the path before us. We need not wander in darkness, ever.

Listen to the entire Let It Be album here.

All the best of Advent to you and yours. It does not matter one tittle what your own tradition of belief is, the creator wants the ‘Created’  to share their joy in the creator with every other soul. Not to convert or to compel, only to SHARE the positive, just like a plethora of living organism can share the same piece of soil.

If you do not believe in a creator, it is no matter; the creator believes in you. It is only because the shell of ego is blocking us from sensing him/her that any of us can conclude that there is no god. The creator, happily, knows all about ego, having had much time to deal with his/her own, and has figured out a workaround:

Can you guess?

The Golden Rule. This is our guide.

19 December 2020

We’re on the final countdown to Christmas. As the Cub Scouts say, ‘DYB-DYB-DYB’ (Do Your Best) and we’ll ‘DOB-DÖB-DOB’ (Do Our Best), and get this COVID-19 virus shelved for good.

Topping the headlines today is China. On the bright side, they flew an unmanned mission to the Moon and brought back some ‘souvenirs.’

On the darker side, China’s governing regime did not go about handling the COVID-19 business, after it was detected in Wuhan; preferring to control and downplay news of the virus rather than warning people. The regime has not acted faithfully  with respect to their own populace and to the rest of the World, our world.

The World, our world, cannot tolerate the Chinese regime’s notion of a New World Order, anymore than it could tolerate Trump’s version. America has skeletons in its closet (the nuclear testing at the Bikini Islands immediately comes to mind), and China does too. It boots neither well. If China and America go to war, it’ll pretty well destroy whatever order exists. A new power, phoenix-like, will rise from the ashes of the old order. I’m not certain, which, but I am certain it will not be  America or China. They’ll likely cancel each other out. But, can you imagine if they worked together? Of course, it couldn’t with a China that thinks the way their current regime thinks. So, before that can happen, and the World, our world, can avoid war, there will need to be regime change in China, just like there was last November, in the U.S.

With respect to the modern Middle East situation, try watching Lawrence of Arabia: His Legacy, on YouTube. This is a wonderful historical documentary, as illustrative as it is profoundly inciteful about the man who helped to unite the Arab tribes to make a stand against the Ottomans; about how his efforts were politicized by the victorious Allies, and then how the Allies proceeded to divide up the Middle East in such a way as to ensure war for generations thereafter.

T.E. Lawrence put his heart and soul into his vision of a modern, self-governing, united Arab World. After the war, his bosses got involved.

Lastly, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling out the PM over the recouping of CERB benefits, while corporations that got COVID money paid out millions in dividends to shareholders. Um, he’s right to a point. It could be that the CRA was not clear enough on the CERB criteria.

Personally, I knew I didn’t qualify for help because of the minimum you had to earn before the outbreak. I had been unemployed before the pandemic struck. i encountered someone at the grocery store checkout who said I should apply anyway. I didn’t take that advice, but perhaps others did, perhaps even the fellow who offered to me?

To pay our way out of COVID-19, what needs to happen is a one-off tax on wealth, progressive scale, plus a recoup of moneys  hidden from governments in tax havens; whose existence should not have been tolerated in the first place.

Offshore tax shelters exist because the wealthy want to confer the tax burden on us because we are so many. Laws are passed which apply to everyone, BUT the wealthy would take a big tax hit having to play by the same rules.

According to StatsCan, when it comes to income tax, the top 10% made over 80,000, the top 5% over 179,000, and the top 1% over 380,000. This does not include wealth. It would however be inclusive of the income from interest paid on wealth. The top 1% earn minimum of 30,000 every month.

That is what fulltime workers earn IN ONE YEAR at 15.38/hr. That’s just about everyone I know nowadays, except for doctors, teachers, lawyers, first-responders…and of course folks working in the public service.

IMO, no one in Canada should be earning more than 2sigma above the mean income, if the Liberals are truly evidence-based policy makers, they should know this already. Anything above should come back 100%. It won’t make much of a difference to overall tax revenue, it is just principle.

IMO, a progressive tax regime should be applied and regulated according to the change in GDP. Interest paid on investments, whether earned domestically or beyond our borders, should be taxed back at 100% if interest equals or exceeds the GDP change. I go into more detail here.

Taxing something back at 100% sounds patently unfair, but it isn’t, if you think upon how fortunes are made. It is consuming Canadian resources, owned by Canada (Canadians), and utilizing the efforts of Canadian workers. When Canadian workers aren’t needed because the people who control the money haven’t found suitable places to invest, what happens to the workers? What happens to their  families? THE SOCIAL CONTRACT WHICH EXISTS BETWEEN THE STATE AND THE CITIZEN IS TWO-WAY. The only means governments have to redistribute our nation’s wealth is taxation.

TAXATION, the perennial dirty-word at election time, unless it is prefixed with ‘REDUCE’ is what the wealthy are afraid of. Someone earning 30,000 per year should not be worried about the tax they pay now, because, in their old age, they will get it all back and then some. But the wealthy won’t.

Remember that money is society’s lifeblood. It carries nutrients from where they exist in abundance to where there is scarcity, so that everyone is nourished and everyone is able to contribute in some way to society, so that things go smoothly, with few hiccups, as society evolves toward the Future.

If blood pools anywhere in the body, pathology results. If it doesn’t get to where it is needed in sufficient quantity, pathology results. No society can be all it can be if the money is not circulating fully; if it is held back and kept out of circulation until the ones who control it can find a profitable use for it.

18 December 2020

It’s FRIDAY! Not just any Friday: it’s the Friday before Christmas. The day Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. It’s the one day out of the year when Christian folks make it a point to be pleasant.

Not only with other Christians, but with everyone they encounter as they go about their business.

It is the one day, out of the entire year, when folks follow the Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule was set long, long ago, by our creator. We have yet to follow it, as a species, but we surely try to, ONE DAY OUT OF THE YEAR. [There are folks who do, Christian or no, every day of the year (Moms are at the top of the list). Those folks, whatever their colour, gender, culture, and religious beliefs (or lack of) are a blessing to know and to be around, and they are the source of much joy for the creator].

COVID-19 is vying to be the latest Grinch who stole Christmas, but we need not let it win.

IN FACT, in our loneliness, that  30 second exchange at the cash register, as you pay for your groceries, that ‘good day’ you wish to folks whom you don’t know, when you cross paths, the ‘how are you?’ with which you greet your neighbours and the workers/security folks in your apartment building…these little things go such a long way. They resonate and rarify in the person to whom you outreach. The isolation of the pandemic is reopening our souls to what is of fundamental importance.

You can bet the next persons which that person encounters will be the recipient of ‘positive,’ because you planted the seed of kindness in them.

At some point, that seed will come back to you, RAREFIED. Multiplied -many time over. That’s karma.

If ‘Love’ is the motive force of the Golden Rule, then ‘Karma’ is both its outcome and reflects its operative strategy.

17 December 2020

Jewish Voices For Peace (JVP) is currently mounting a Twitter protest against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Here is an excerpt from JVP’s outreach:

‘Despite years of protest, the Anti-Defamation League continues to operate U.S.-Israel police exchange programs that create opportunities for the circulation of deadly tactics and ideologies between U.S. and Israeli armed forces. They continue to harm Black- and brown-led movements for justice and weaponize harmful definitions of antisemitism.’

You can sign up here.

You can read what the ADL has to say about JVP here.

There are two types of folks in the World, our world: Type I, the kind that react to the second type whenever Type II does ‘mischief.’ Type I tries to educate and keep the Peace. Type II folks simply say whatever it takes, as often as is needed, TO GET WHAT THEY WANT. If they anticipate opposition, they will either steamroll the opposition (the short game) or peck away at their structures and support (the long game). Type II also relies heavily on  the Machiavellian playbook: they will accuse the Type I folks of the very nonsense they themselves do. It works to divide the opposition because some folks react, while others think, then respond.

To my knowledge, the State of Israel is eroding the Palestinian lands by creating more and more illegal settlements. That’s the long game. Whenever someone on the Palestinian side ‘loses it,’ and tosses a rock across the fence, Israel’s military responds with a bazooka, figuratively speaking of course. That’s the short game.

The Israeli regime is on the attack with respect to the Palestinians. If left alone, over time, Palestine will exist only in history books. The World, our world, and our Pope, has the backs of everyone in Palestine and Israel who want to live in peace and who do not want to do violence to people to get their way, or to move them out of their homes (kids, family pets, and all) so that they can build more homes for themselves.

The Type II’s are everywhere. A nuance on the Machiavellian theme is to call the opposition the very thing they are not. JVP members are Jews (duh!). How can the ADL typecast them as anti-Semitic? Hello? 

That region has known strife FOREVER it seems. The folks at JVP simply want it to stop. They aspire to have Palestine as a neighbour; for Palestine and Israel to coexist and to watch one another’s back.

They have the right mojo: “There is no way to Peace. Peace is the way” – only peace is able to generate a peace that is sustainable. We should know by now, after two world wars and localized conflicts happening everywhere ever since, that war and coercion do not result in a sustainable peace.

JVP wants to share. The ADL want JVP to stop. Israel’s government wants the land that is home for the Palestinians.

Lemme see, now…in the JVP-ADL scheme of things, whom might I label ‘Type I’ and whom would be  ‘Type 2’?

While Trump was president, he did everything he could to overturn the U.S. – built International Order. He tried to pick a fight with Iran, with China, and he even tried to broker agreements between individual Arab states and Israel, but not Palestine. This all smacks of political expediency. It would crash like the Boeing 737’s did because these deals are intrinsically self-serving, for both sides. Once one side or the other perceives something better, all bets are off.

Contrast the ways of the outgoing president, Israel’s Prime Minister, the cons of Canada under Brian Mulroney, Stephen Harper, and now Erin O’Toole (the Canadianized versions of the American movement conservatives), or those of China’s Xi, with the ways of Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh, et al.

I don’t hear the PM rattling sabers (or golf clubs) with anyone. I don’t hear about him wanting to build a super prison or camps for First Nations folks. I did see him open Canada to refugees rather than leave men, women, and children to their own devices. And I certainly never heard of any migrant children being separated from their moms and dads.

16 December 2020

Headline 1: Biden prêt à se faire vacciner “en public” contre le COVID-19 – the president-elect is unafraid to lead by example. Just like Gandhi did. When a leader shows themselves willing to lead the pack rather than to push it (and see what happens), you can bet that leader really believes in what they are doing. That’s a good leader.

At the other end of the leadership spectrum are those leaders who are content to push from a safe distance. That’s a bad leader.

Biden will likely seek to undo Trump’s attacks upon the International Order America has been building and policing for 75 years.

He will try to mend fences with Iran, China, and Russia, however those nations might resist. China and Russian are of particular concern globally; Iran more of a regional concern. China does not appear to be content with operating even the strongest of economies within an International Order built upon consensus and supported by the rule of law; they may aspire to run the show.

Scenario: There are two gunslingers approaching each other from a distance. One has a bazooka (holstered). The other guy has already tossed a knife without giving any warning or even admitting to doing so, and is brandishing a 6-gun in each hand, pointing it willy-nilly, everywhere, including, but not limited to the opponent.

In a gunfight, which would you put your money on? (My answer: Why, the one with the bazooka. The fact that it is still holstered when the other guy has weapons out and is threatening to use them if anyone gets in their way, tells me that guy has something up his sleeve (in this case, maybe a bigger bazooka), which he isn’t revealing but which is providing him peace of mind in the current situation. He feels he has time to react, precisely when the times demand. In other words, they exude a sense of control with respect to their opponent and the situation, and they will not be bullied into either submission or into war).

Which one would you support? (My answer: same as above. China aspires to control everything. Everything on their terms. They rule their own with a heavy hand, particularly when it comes to the party line. The end of diversity is the end. Period. Trudeau’s Liberals resisted the police intervening with the Wet’suwet’en blockades. How do you suppose the Chinese regime would have handled this? A world existing under the cloud which currently hovers over the Chinese people would be an abject nightmare for the World, our world, and the creator. That world would be too much 1984.)

p.s.

COVID-19 vaccinations are beginning. Let us all be patient, and ready, when our chance comes. As much as I would want to protect the elderly(my dad is 90-something), I believe the first order of vaccinations should be healthcare, pharmacy and grocery store workers, and first-responders and delivery people. These are the most mobile folks in our communities and it makes sense to me that if you cover them first, they will not be able to transmit the virus to others. I am no doctor, though. If what I am saying is bs, please write in and tell me why. I would appreciate being elucidated.

The elderly in eldercare homes (their caregivers are already vaccinated) should be first among the general population, after the aforementioned. Then all other old folks and those with underlying conditions. Then everyone else.

In parallel, I would want to lockdown everything non-essential from the end of the school break until mid-January. Give the virus a chance to play itself out while we are rolling out vaccinations. Have everyone prepare ahead of time so that most folks will only venture into common indoor areas once or twice during the lockdown period [But folks should take walks everyday, physically-distanced, or, as I often do, walk my apartment for a half-hour or so, to keep things moving].

p.s. I have said it before. I believe it bears repeating: Amazon and eBay are great in the time of COVID, but I fear too much business is going to China through these channels.

I believe the biggest culprit is shipping charges. I recently was obliged to buy an electrical component (a transistor) for one of my dad’s projects. I could get one transistor shipped from the U.S. at the same cost as about 50 transistors coming from China. I wasn’t certain which one would work for my dad, so I bought the mixed set from China. I was loathe to do this. But I did. For the last time. Until I am confident China has forever ditched their current regime and forever ceased in persecuting folks who could one day save the day for China, I am resolved to not buy anything from China.

Why? The Xi regime. I do not want to contribute to China’s military while the possibility exists that I may be staring down the barrel of a Chinese gun someday.

15 December 2020

First, to any one celebrating a birthday today, may your future be bright and your sails full!

To kick off their special day, here’s a video I highly recommend:

Gaia Hypothesis – James Lovelock – Let me just add that the Liberals’ plan to plant 2 billion trees is exactly the right thing to do. We should have been doing it all along, planting a tree for every tree we harvest, because it takes the better part of a century for our firs to mature. It will take at least a century before we experience the full benefits.

A serious tree-restoration program in Canada and around the World, our world, would represent a quantum leap forward in sustainability, providing humans with a future that they have been busy with forfeiting over the last decades because of our zeal to manufacture, consume, and discard.

Inexorable GDP growth can only be accomplished by increasing manufacturing. Manufacturing will  increase if consumption increases. Consumption increases only if the number of buyers and the amount of waste they produce increases. But, the ‘throw-away society’ is contrary to efficiency.

I also just heard that someone predicted the World’s current state of overpopulation / scarcity of resources, more than 200 years ago.

If we had only taken the Malthusian Trap more seriously. Ironically, it could be another human pitfall, identified by an ancient Greek, that could cure the World, our world, of the Malthusian kind:

Thucydides’ Trap.

Let’s keep with the Liberals on Climate Change, etc. Let’s hope the World’s, our world’s, ‘puppet masters’ get with the program. They control most of the World’s, our world’s, money. Money is power. Political power. The power to do good. To make positive, sustainable change.

But the pursuit of more money, aka profit, to the exclusion of all other environmental, social, and geopolitical considerations, is the operative in the World of today.

Our world.

12 December 2020

Soon, my family is expecting to receive great news: my little girl will be accepted into the last leg of her journey toward a law degree. Her future is bright. My prayers for her and for all of the World’s, our world’s children. It is with them that we leave our hopes and dreams, yet to be fulfilled. It is upon their shoulders we lay the problems our generation failed to solve…

My prayers for my children’s generation.

Headline 1: De possibles nouvelles restrictions la semaine prochaine – In his last news conference before the Christmas Break, Premier Legault warned of the possibility of further restrictions on gatherings, to be implemented the beginning of next week. Notably, he asked the police to be less flexible with respect to violations on pandemic restrictions.

This is the elephant in the room no matter who is talking about putting a chokehold on public gatherings. To hear things like this from our government leaders is scary because it recalls everything we’ve been told about authoritarianism, fascism,. Chinese/Russian communism…a nightmare NO ONE, once having tasted of democracy, would ever want for themselves or their families.

I don’t believe our police folks would want to do that either.

I suggest that, rather than rely totally on ‘coercion’ (although it is necessary to keep it as an option) in order to garner the proper respect for COVID-19 and our neighbours, we might focus on illustrative  activities.  Play to folks’ inherent good sense and good will. To wit: organize small groups who will walk about their communities, colourfully, cheerfully identified as community protest against COVID-19, ‘tethered’ together, to graphically display the distance of 6 feet, masked, a bottle of sanitizer visibly displayed peeking out of their coat pockets, holding up signs of encouragement, education, and some tips.

Do this everywhere, on a daily basis. Invite folks to walk along with your group for as long as they need the exercise and want a little human company. Perhaps have some extra masks and sanitizer handy to distribute to vulnerable folks (like solitary elders)  you might encounter on their way to the grocery store.

Headline 2: Britain’s navy to protect fishing waters in case of no-deal Brexit – yesterday, it was France’s president who decided to not help the World, our world toward the sanity of peaceful coexistence; today we receive another dubious contribution, this time at the behest  of Boris Johnson. Albeit Macron and Johnson are on opposite side of the fence with respect to Brexit, they behave like hand-holders when it comes to saying and doing things likely to help plunge the World, our world, into war with itself, deepening the misery among their own citizens.

In nowise should Britain’s navy be positioned between Britain and Europe; neighbours in peacetime; allies in times of war.

Headline 3: Amnesty International reports “disturbing and intensifying” pattern of Chinese interference in Canada – not just in China. The regime presumes to reach across national borders and threaten the citizens of other nations. That is not the sort of conduct conducive to peace in the World, our world. The citizens of China have our love and respect. But they have a crisis ahead. They must launch Xi along with their next mission to the Moon and find someone who loves the Chinese people (and aspires to their happiness) more than he/she does his/her own.

Wow. Can you imagine what is possible for us, with all of the wealth and wherewithal we humans have developed over the millennia, if we just said, “No more fighting, that’s it! We’ve had enough of that bs’ and instead dedicate our cumulative wealth and wherewithal to fight climate change, to end poverty and the exclusion it invites, and to promote the Golden Rule to the preeminence among human affairs it fairly deserves?

Headline 4: Canada’s ties to China’s military underscore the weird contradictions in its foreign policy – I am reading this now with great interest. The article already confirms what I thought of Xi. Given how the Chinese regime is inclined to treat its own people and to using its elbows (for now) to push everyone else out of its way, it surprises me that Canada has had anything at all to do with China’s military. And there’s the news from Amnesty International. Do we really want to be ‘friends’ with a regime who can do these things? Hello?

The World, our world, needs to take a stand against China. Now. We cannot just sit back and dream of better times. Neither can we push too hard. And there’s the rub. No one wants to go to war. China knows this. The U.S. knows this too.

Which one will blink first? I don’t see either blinking; and Canada sits right in between them. What to do…what to do…well, take a lesson from Wayne Gretzky: keep moving forward. Be patient. Do not commit. Allow the goalie (or defender) to have the first move. Then you know exactly where to put the puck…

China only experiences a changing of the guard through revolution. They need the structures of  democracy. Given China’s power, the World needs them to acquire it. The Chinese people need the ability to vote out bad governments, without spilling their own blood. They need to have a say. On that basis, I do not see China as an enemy but as a nation of our brothers and sisters. We work things out. We never go to war. We respect our neighbours.

Praying for the World, our children’s world.

p.s.

It would be proper if online ‘markets’ like Amazon and eBay would figure out a way to provide more Canadian and American sources, and with cheap shipping. I want to order things ‘locally’ but anything coming from the U.S. normally has a very high shipping charge, whereas  ordering things from China are orders of magnitude cheaper on the shipping. THIS IS A DEFINITE INCENTIVE TO BUY CHINESE for all of us online shoppers.

When we buy Chinese, we help to prop up their economy. This gives them more opportunity to spend money (our money) on building concentration camps and military hardware. We could easily one day be staring right down the gun barrel paid for with our own money.

I want to buy Canadian, firstly. Next, I want to support that venerable nation and great people to the south of us. They are much closer than China. Why don’t the shipping rates reflect this?

11 December 2020

Well, it is Friday. It is the end of the work week.

Very sadly, it is not the end of Donald Trump. The decrepit old devil remains very busy still, and doing his damnedest to turn the world upside-down, before he has to leave the White House.

Headline 1: Trump fait le vide dans le couloir de la mort – the article points to the fact that Donald Trump is the most ‘murderous’ president since the 19th century. O. M. G.

The article takes a peek into the mind and heart of the outgoing president. It confirms much of what I dread with respect to this man.

An excerpt from the article:

« Donald Trump a toujours été fasciné par la peine de mort, dit Abe Bonowitz, directeur de l’organisme Death Penalty Action, qui milite pour l’abolition de la peine de mort aux États-Unis. Il l’applique parce qu’il a le pouvoir de le faire. Rien de plus. »

My translation: “Donald Trump has always been fascinated by the death penalty,” says Abe Bonowitz, director of deathpenaltyaction.org, who lobbies for the the abolition of the death penalty in the United States. “He applies it because he has the power to do it. Nothing more.”

He kills because he can. Hey folks, we aren’t talking about climbing the highest mountain here; we’re talking about state-sanctioned murder. Now, the border wall, the separation of migrant children from their parents (can you imagine how frightened those children were?), and the stoking of tensions in the Middle East and just about everywhere else, is beginning to make sense to me. He’s doing all of it, BECAUSE HE CAN.

…not because, as the leader of a nation birthed in response to oppression, it is his god-given duty to  seek opportunity for Americans and for the World, our world, to preserve ‘life, liberty, and happiness.’

God help us.

Headline 2: Explained: What is in France’s draft law against ‘Islamism’  – you know, it seems that, more and more often these days, when someone in government says their law is not about this or that, it is because the new law IS EXACTLY ABOUT ‘THIS’ OR ‘THAT.’ Obviously, politicians have read or heard of Machiavelli, because that is a tactic straight out of the Machiavellian playbook.

France’s Prime Minister is quoted in the article as saying the new law is “not a text against religion, nor against the Muslim religion.”

Here is an excerpt from the article describing the elements of the new law:

It envisages a range of measures, including school education reforms to ensure Muslim children do not drop out, stricter controls on mosques and preachers, and rules against hate campaigns online.

Once the law comes into force, French mosques could see increased surveillance of their activities, such as financing. The government would be able to exercise supervision over the training of imams, and have greater powers to shut down places of worship receiving public subsidies if they go against “republican principles” such as gender equality. Moderate community leaders targeted by an extremist “putsch” could receive protection.

um,…seems to me this law is exactly about religion, and not just any religion; it specifically targets the Muslim religion.

France, à la Québec, already thought it wise to ban religious symbols in public places. I totally disagree with that one too.

10 December 2020

Headline 1: As Canadians sour on China, an ambassador changes his tone – great article by Mr. Dyer. The machinations and manipulations of the Xi regime are what they are, an no one is fooled.

Before diving in, an excerpt from Mr. Dyer’s article, referring to Ambassador Barton’s original position on relations with the Chinese regime:

Rights activists are particularly suspicious of Barton on this file because the company he headed, McKinsey, earned a reputation for indifference to Uighur suffering while eagerly promoting the Chinese government’s economic plans for their homeland.

Question: How is it that a guy who led a company (McKinsey) in Xinjiang; who viewed the rights of his employees and folks of the community and the Chinese government’s treatment of these folks through a patently business-like lens, can end up being Canada’s ambassador to China?

Is it because we regard the pursuit of ‘profit’ as the highest order moral code? In Ambassador Barton’s silence, he condones the persecution of the Uighurs, in the way corporations condone the effects of waste on the environment, or of investors’ demands upon their workforces and by extension, affecting the community/society). Ambassador Barton’s tone has changed since the days he led McKinsey. Let us ensure Canada’s tone is changes as well. For our own sakes and also to provide an example to the World, our world, and soon to be our children’s world.

The nations of the World, our world, need to be as intolerant of the human rights violations happening in China as within their own borders; else we simply cast ourselves as hypocrites, and no one, especially not China, which traditionally and courageously walks to the beat of its own drum (it is just that Xi is taking his venerable people in the wrong direction), is going to feel any obligation to listen to hypocrites. We must first get well at home.

We are in nowise as extreme as China, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and may other of the world’s nations, in the ways we discriminate against and oppress folks living within our borders, but discrimination and oppression persist, down to the level of the individual. Personally, I cannot discriminate between ‘extreme’ and ‘mild’ forms of discrimination and oppression. Neil Young couldn’t either:

‘…we have a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand…’

Let us first reconcile with ourselves, within our respective nations, before we get in China’s face and try to convince the Xi regime to back-off.

We must achieve settlement, with all propriety, with our Indigenous Canadian brothers and sisters, and with the poor -they are our brothers and sisters too. Given time, the poor will include your brothers and sisters’ children and their children’s children.

…and we must reconcile with the environment. on this, how much better have we been than China, or anyone else, over the many years? Thankfully and fortunately, our Ottawa Liberals and NDP are engaged in changing Canada for the better.

But the World, our world, is in a bad way. Our children are growing up frightened by the news, and more regimented, as the perils of the World, our world, increase -this because of the attitude of the adults living in it -and we must keep up by increasing security over them. That means children growing up today are less free than we were when we were kids, a half-century ago or so…

Know that, whatever happens, we will overcome IF WE WORK TOGETHER and neutralize the forces of disunity and oppression.

Let us stand by each other.

Let us give peace a chance.

Here’s our way out of the mess we are in.

Imagine.

p.s. Leaving readers today with a bunch of tunes by John Lennon. Look at what he did with his fame and fortune – all this, someone in the World, our world, thought to destroy. Why?

The World, our world, seems to have made a habit out of murdering those folks our creator blesses us with, from time to time, to light humanity’s path forward toward a world where children are never anxious and grow up to be happy, industrious, well-grounded adults.

A world imagined in the mind of the creator would be one wherein a child’s dreams are routinely realized; providing impetus to the extension of god’s Creation into an endless future of compounding joy.

Let’s all shine on.

Headline 2: Trudeau not likely to promise higher health-transfers when he meets with premiers today, say sources – another great piece from CBC folks. The article features a quote from the president of the Canadian Medical Association:

To come out and give an indication that it’s status quo, that is unacceptable,” she said. “Not only is it unacceptable to the CMA, it’s unacceptable to Canadians. This is what Canadians want to see. They want change, they want assurance that their leaders care about their care, about our health-care system.

With the profoundest respect, I would add, ‘Canadians want to know/see if doctors will accept less pay in exchange for fewer patients, more doctors/healthcare folks, and a lower patient/doctor ratio. What doctors do, the service they provide to society is invaluable; no amount of money is able to make them better doctors. What would make for better healthcare is supporting more folks working in healthcare.’

Same goes for teachers and for anyone else serving in a public capacity. There is no money tree. The effects of dealing with unions representing professionals is contributing to a modern societal side effect with respect to the gains they negotiate, to wit: they are leaving less money for everyone else except for the investors, who take their cut first, year-over-year.

9 December 2020

Headline 1: 2 Ontario LTC operators got $157M in COVID-19 aid. They also paid 74M to shareholders – alright, already. The protagonists say the government money was used for COVID-related initiatives. If they paid 74M to shareholders, that’s 74M they did not need from the government. If anyone has any doubt that the World, our world, is going to hell under the corporate model, then this should convince you. And it is happening everywhere.

Even as the government does cartwheels to save the elderly from COVID-19, they at the same time refuse to help folks who were already in a position of disadvantage BEFORE the outbreak. People who likely were low or out of savings and desperate for work.

Why? The government had to know about these people. They didn’t just slip through the cracks. They were ignored. Again, one should ask, ‘Why?’

It appears the answer is as old as the condition of poverty. The poor offer no money-making potential. They do not/cannot fend for themselves or generate their own livelihoods. They can only consume and this only upon the goodwill of others or of the state.

It appears the state has already adopted the mindset of corporations. They just love to tout how they help poor kids to play hockey. But they will only ‘help’ to the degree that ‘helping’ is good for business, to the degree that shareholders will allow.

Despite my own financial position, I continue to give money to the Liberal cause. After reading the article, I find myself again on the verge of contacting them and stopping my donations.

As small as my donations are, they impact my bottom line more substantially than, say, what Canadian Tire or Tim kicks in  for poor kids. Similarly, extending relief to the chronically poor, even if just a hundred a week, would have made a huge difference to those folks and families. The difference between having a living arrangement where you and your kids feel safe – or not.

I would add that I find it offensive to have to listen to companies like Canadian Tire blowing their own horn over their ‘community spirit.’ Behind the ‘company’ are the investors, and they are ‘investors’ for one reason and one reason only… and it isn’t to help poor kids to play hockey.

Canadian Tire could begin to remedy this by PAYING THEIR EMPLOYEES MORE and stressing them out less by overworking them. They all need to go home, more often than not, with enough left in the tank for their families and themselves.

But that would mean lower profits for investors.

It appears that our Ottawa Liberals are more concerned for investors than for the poor.

It appears that in Ottawa and around the World, our world, ‘doing the right thing,’ given how far the disconnect between the ego of the wealthy and Humanity’s true Nature has progressed, would require a level of political will the world has not seen since the last instalment of the Great War.

I want to be wrong about the Ottawa Liberals. Message to Minister Everything and to the PM: please prove me wrong.

End poverty and homelessness and shelters. Give citizens the peace of having their own space, however modest; while preventing folks on the other end of the economic scale from having so many large, empty houses, in Canada and abroad. If Liberals are true proponents of ‘evidence-based policy-making’ then they are already aware that anything existing 2sigma outside of the mean income/mean wealth of the population is an outlier and needs to be brought back into line. THE ONLY WAY TO RESTORE THE MUCH-TOUTED MIDDLE CLASS is to create and maintain equality of opportunity for everyone. That means the portion of personal fortunes and incomes outside the 2sigma must be taxed at 100%.  The further away anyone is from the mean, the more they are advantaged or disadvantaged. That can’t be changed. It is natural process. It can only be ameliorated and managed. By taxation.

Wherever you live in the World, our world, may you receive happy news today about your future! There is a whole generation of young people awaiting the end of COVID-19, so that they may step out into the World, their world, and leave their indelible mark.

My generation is passing as my children’s generation is poised to takeover the reins. Let us find the political will to give them the best advantage we can, while we can.

8 December 2020

Does anyone remember the movie, War Games?  The upshot of the tale was, there is no way to win a nuclear war. Well, several millennia into the Anthropocene Epoch, it is safe to say that war  per se offers no way to win. After all the millennia we humans have been around, we have honed our ability to kill ourselves off to the level of the existential.

Nations continue to build and expand an already massive military inventory, even as their citizens are in existential need.

Question: if you were the creator, and you saw some of your beloved creation preying upon others who cannot defend themselves, while the majority stands by and does nothing, what would you feel compelled to do?

My answer: I’d protect the vulnerable from the attackers; I’d incarcerate the attackers on  Mars or something if they do not stop; I’d give those who stand by and do nothing a kick in the bum. I surely understand Mr. Neil Young’s frustration with us; I get the message from Simon and Garfunkel.

What is your answer?

By now, we should all know what needs to be done. Humankind must fully embrace its god-given role and duty to be stewards here over god’s Creation. For us to do that, we must first fully embrace the Golden Rule. Just be kind to one another. Take no more than what is needed for sustenance, because otherwise we are hoarding while many of our brothers and sisters and their children are starving.

p.s.

In between hand washes, mask-donning, social distancing, and essential outings, how about watching Romeo Dallaire’s Shake hands with the devil ? You can also purchase a copy of his book, if you prefer. I watched it yesterday and right away ordered the book. Mr. Dallaire was a noble Canadian obliged to serve in hell on Earth. Canada and the World, our world, is greatly indebted to this venerable Canadian.

Headline 1: China successfully activates nuclear-powered ‘artificial sun’ – not surprising. As a group, the Chinese are a hyper-intelligent, hyper-industrious bunch of folks. The Chinese project is done in association with ITER, a global cooperative dedicated to developing fusion power generation technology. What a boon to humanity and to humanity’s creator China has been and continues to be. It need only reconcile itself to being a valued, respected, admired part of the World, our world, rather than aspire to mastery over it. The World, our world, aspires to equality, opportunity for all-none left out, and a viable, sustainable future.

The World, our world, needs China. It needs the U.S. It needs Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, the EU…all of them. We are come to a point of inflection in the Anthropocene Epoch. We must stop the killing, the violence, the crimes against women and children perpetrated by men (when we men grow up to be adults, the reason for our continued existence is to protect the nest, yes?).

And, like it or not, we need to have a serious discussion about population reduction, before we humans go to war over scarce resources, and/or the Earth Mother Gaia and the creator do it for us. We simply cannot continue to consume resources and produce toxic waste forever. Climate Change is already upon us.

Headline 2: Ottawa has spent $240B fighting COVID-19 in just 8 months: A CBC investigation follows the money – certain to be an informative article, which I will read with great interest. But I maintain the attitude of finding no fault in how the Ottawa Liberals spent the money. No one was given a playbook for dealing with COVID-19. I am confident they did the best they could. Let’s not waste time with finger-pointing. Let’s get together and figure out how to pay it back. On that last point, I have written ad nauseum. Piketty knows what to do.

I like how Jagmeet Singh is thinking. I heard one of Vassy’s P&P pundits say that he’s living in a dream world; that Canada, in reaction to its policy on generic pharmaceuticals, is being avoided by the big companies, like Pfizer, who manufacture vaccines, and who will not establish a production facility in a nation that offers such a bad deal (even though the country is trying to help its citizens). The big players go to and invest in where they get the best opportunities to profit.

The pundit is right, but only in a narrow sense. Jagmeet Singh has identified a critical area in which we are weak. We cannot fix it in a day, true, but we can in time. Let’s follow Jagmeet’s lead, PM Justin, just like Mike followed the lead of Tommy Douglas, many years ago.

With respect to potentially another area of weakness: Canada should directly involve itself with ITER. Kick-in some cash. Get more serious about fusion. Our Candu Reactor design, I recall,  was universally recognized as the safest design of the day. Maybe now we can direct our technical prowess toward helping the World, our world, create a boundless supply of clean energy. When we stop burning coal and gasoline, when we stop taking oil out of the seabed, can you imagine what a quantum leap that would represent in our fight against Climate Change? WOW!

p.s. p.s.

A YouTube video I was listening to as I wrote today’s rant, entitled In Search of Alien Planets in the Universe, ended with someone saying this [paraphrasing: Humankind is in the unique position of spreading life across the Universe. It is our gift to the Universe.]

Maybe. But only if we stop behaving like a cancer. The Universe is the body of the creator. Within the body lives humankind. Cancer is not part of the body, it infiltrates and takes the body over, removing all life from it in time, and in the doing, ensures is own end.

Humanity’s choice: be cancer-like and destroy itself OR be steward-like and extend the creator’s creation, pushing the darkness back with every step.

3 December 2020

We liberalized and globalized trade. The West enriched its traditional competition. The ‘competition’ directed much of its wealth, earned in trade with the West to their militaries, creating the situation we have now. War, or the threat of war is everywhere.

America and the Pax Americana have been under steady assault for decades -much like what the World was witness to during the protracted downfall of the Roman Empire. The resources the empire required to maintain order became greater than the resources it earned from its dominions. Over time, the empire weakened, then fell.

Going by their antics, it appears the folks on the ‘right,’ you know, the likes of Trump, Putin, Netanyahu, MBS, and Xi, are unafraid of war; in fact, these dough-heads may even secretly welcome it. They talk about nuclear war, advertise and glorify their increased capacity  to kill with each technological advance they make, and continue to antagonize one another.

For his part, it appears Trump is trying to precipitate WWIII as his ‘presidential legacy’ before he leaves the White House. Trump has taught us, in a backhanded way, to appreciate our democratic institutions and the rule of law. He is reacting to China’s growing economic and military power.

Thucydides’ Trap explains what is happening in the World, our world, right now. The ‘rise of China’ is creating a geopolitical dynamic that was first identified by the venerable Greek historian during the Peloponnesian War.

If the Trumps of today are successful and the World, our world, goes to war, it will be the poor who suffer first; but they will not be the last -the next world war, if it happens, will eventually consume the wealthier folks too. The bunkers can only delay the inevitable. Of course, H.G. Wells imagined an alternate future for the wealthy and the poor.

The way out is for nations to exhibit restraint for now, until Trump is gone from the White House.

The current Chinese governing regime supports a worldview which most Chinese folks would find distasteful, were they not overwhelmed with fear of reprisal for nonconformance.

Fear-based government is what the authoritarians of the World, our world, use to keep miserable folks in line. In the words of the Great Canadian Bard, Gordon Lightfoot:

See the man who tips the needle,

See the man who buys and sells,

See the ones who put the collar on the ones who dare not tell… 

That is no world to live in. It is no world for any child to grow up in. Given the treatment migrant children received from the World, our world, being separated from their parents at a extremely unsettling time for them and just when they needed to be with their parents most, the World, our world, is building up a lot of bad karma for itself.

The misery is everywhere. It is as obvious as it is avoidable. It is created by some of the leaders of the world for selfish purposes. This entire model is anathema to the Golden Rule.

It is the people of the nation that provide the spirit of the nation. It is the people of the World, our world, that provides for the spirit of the World. The spirit of anything is divisible between the darkness of ego and the Light of the human spirit.

Because humans have the gift of free will (deriving from the capacity to think for ourselves), we are able to choose and fulfill one or the other, the darkness or the Light.

It is possible for us to choose the Light and to end war and poverty. To end human misery and the misery humans cause other species. All living things bear the Light of the creator because the Light of the creator is in all living things. It is incumbent upon us to choose to be stewards in god’s Creation, rather than to continue to exploit it willy-nilly without regard for others or for future generations.

The writing is on the wall. Only those blinded by ego cannot see that. We need to wholly embrace the Golden Rule and our god-given duty to be stewards in god’s Creation.

Ask yourself if this doesn’t sound like the truth.

Headline 1: CDC shortens quarantine recommendation for U.S., raising questions in Canada – well, Canada has many traditions. Of note among them:

  1. Immigration
  2. Erring on the side of safety

I am as ecstatic about living in such a country as Canada has traditionally been as I am that our tradition resulted in our continuing to elect a government inclined toward building the most sustainable future at the lowest cost (albeit I differ from the Liberals on a few items – I believe, for example, that kids should not be ‘daycared,’ rather, that the best socializing for them, at that age, is in the home, that the nation should focus on training adults to be better parents).

Justin Trudeau is serving Canada and Canadians well, during a difficult time. He will need time to implement a modernized agenda. He does not need a majority to do it, so long as the NDP maintains a level of presence in the House to compensate for the lack of seats. But he will need our support. For example, following his advice and the advice of our medical professionals during the panemic.

Trudeau does not fear progress. He embraces it even though it evokes a huge amount of flack from the relative few who benefit from the status quo.

A leader, who does not fear progress, of a nation that traditionally errs on the side of safety.

Imagine if all nations were so led. It’s a combination for hope and for humanity’s dreams fulfilled.

Headline 2: ‘Waging war on nature’: UN chief delivers dire warning about climate change – if you don’t believe the PM, the Pope, or any human who uses their head for more than a placeholder, then maybe you will buy into what this fellow says. The cons of Canada have earned themselves a lot of bad karma by denying climate change or doing nothing about it, the while putting the Liberals down for doing something.

2 December 2020

Lots of headlines to catch up on, but for now, I want to say I have never been so dismayed with our politicians, that is, with the exception of the Liberals (been aligned with the Liberal way of things for most of my life) and the NDP, who, under Jagmeet Singh, is performing admirably as the conscience of the government and of Canada.

Case in point – I’ve just seen the NDP leader on CBC News calling for a Crown Corporation to start manufacturing vaccines. I totally agree that we need the capacity in place to make vaccines for ourselves. We are a small market. Although international suppliers will make their best efforts to supply us fully, they will want to supply their major contracts first. That is the nature of business.

[Update: Having said that, I have just listened to one of the P&P pundits whom I understood to be saying that the manufacture of vaccines is a very complex undertaking. Having said that, this is something we should take a serious look at.]

But what is critical to the survival of a nation is what its citizens need to survive and thrive, yes? Take it up with Maslow if you want to, but he says survival is #1.   Vaccination is critical. To us and to the economy; as critical as water is to human survival.

CON-versely, the fiends who would con our federation (by that I mean the cons in Ottawa and among the provincial governments) are focusing on the vaccine roll-out because the Liberals have done as good as anyone can do given the situation of an emergent pandemic, and demonstrably so; therefore the cons are trying to set the stage that they may gain points from the vaccine’s roll-out, when they know there will be trouble, NO MATTER WHO IS IN CHARGE. I know what would happen if the cons were in charge right now, because we are seeing what is happening across Canada among the con provincial governments and  what Trump did in the U.S.

Note: Contrast the con approach (which is out of the Machiavelli playbook) with what Trudeau’s Liberals do:

Today, on the news channel, Minister Miller was announcing that the Liberals were not going to meet their national Indigenous Safe Water targets by 2021, as they had promised. Instead of spin-doctoring the results into some sort of backhanded victory, they admitted to why they fell short. Kind’a what my mom taught me when I was little: ‘If you do crap, and I find out about it from somebody else, you get grounded longer than if you were to fess up yourself.’

So, tell the truth and take your licks. That’s what the Liberals are doing as a group. Yesterday, the PM was visibly flustered with O’Toole’s revisionist history on what the Liberals have done with respect to the pandemic. “Tell the truth. Don’t make up stuff!” [paraphrasing] was the sense of his reaction.

For the life of me, I don’t know how PM Trudeau is able  to contain himself when he and the Canadian public are being soused with so much bullshit, day-in, day-out, by the cons across the floor, by the cons who are provincial premiers, and the Bloq’s Blanchet.

Headline 1: The pandemic was already polarizing – now vaccines have become partisan as well -here’s my comment posted earlier to CBC News: ‘Another great article by Mr. Grenier. We exist in an age where everything is being politicized. We’ve only just ‘evolved’ from an age where everything was ‘God’s will.’ How have things changed, I mean, really? The Ace up the sleeve of humanity is free will. The PM et al. have been managing an emergent situation (the pandemic) admirably. No one saw COVID coming. Therefore, NO ONE had a plan. Trudeau et al. are giving their all on this file, as are the good folks on CBC. Multiplexed onto the challenge presented by COVID-19 is the fictional narrative being told by the Cons (this time around, it’s Mr. O’Toole) and the Bloq. Their strategy is to find something in the government’s COVID response that provides opportunity to discredit the government. Their endgame is to discredit the government, NOT TO ENOURAGE THE GOVERNMENT TO DO BETTER. We have already seen enough examples of the modern conservative in action, among several Canadian premiers. What do you suppose the cons would be doing? I mean, really? It is the great fortune or misfortune to happen to be the government when something like COVID-19 strikes. The Liberals are simply taking care of business. As for the Cons…’

p.s. I really liked what I saw from Nova Scotia’s premier and head doctor yesterday. Straight-out. Forthright. Right on point. Typical Maritimers.

Headline 2: Israel hands over $1 billion in Palestinian tax backlog in sign of warming ties – the article begins by saying this is ‘another sign of warming ties between the sides after the U.S. presidential election victory of Joe Biden.’

As the World, our world, teeters toward war, perhaps a break has appeared among the clouds, to give us a peek at sunshine and some blue sky?

Let’s see.

China, and the rest of the world would best serve itself and the creator, were they to follow the Golden Rule.

When the World, our world, gives up on the notion of mastery over it, when we institute fully a communal and cooperative approach to existing and emerging problems, and when we turn our backs on violence, we will have turned the corner and begun heading back to the Garden we left.

Wait and see.

22 November 2020

As the World, our world, tilts toward war with itself, which btw, is the culmination and reward of ego, let us all recall that war, and all the violence, misery, and hatred which attend upon it, is made in direct defiance of everything we think we know about god.

Rather than post references to the news of the day, I thought to dedicate today’s rant to what I believe is why our creator created us, and by ‘us’ I mean every living soul.

First off, it is the soul that is eternal of its nature, because it is the media of the creator, unchanged. From the soul emerges consciousness.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose, says Robert Byrne. Take that to the bank. It means we should be engaged in doing something that WE FEEL PROVIDES VALUE. Very important that we feel this because it speaks to engagement.

Each of us dreams, as teens approaching adulthood, of making a difference in the world. Well, by being in the world, we have already made a difference. We became conscious; we built our independence while in our mother’s womb; we got the heck out of there as soon as possible.

Now we are independent. How will we develop the difference we made by coming into this world?

God created us as part of the process of extending Creation.

Simple. Live. In living, we extend our personal footprint with every step. We must choose, moment by moment, whether to create or to consume.

Everyone consumes the same things in the same way. We create waste the same way.

But HOW WE CREATE is as unique to the individual as snow flakes are unique. No two are exactly alike.

This speaks to our creator’s operative of diversity, so it must be the truth.

And there it is. If you want to make a difference, create. After all, that’s what the creator does -has always done- so following the example of the creator must be a good idea, hello? Why wouldn’t we want to help the creator?

Build something – it wasn’t there before. Cook something you haven’t cooked before. Say ‘hello’ to someone you’ve never spoken to before. If you are a lousy cook but a good story-teller, write stories! DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE to do.

And find the time to do something someone else would like to have done.

Make that difference.

Remember, ‘consumption’ is by definition, of the ego; whereas it’s antithesis, ‘creation,’ is of the creator. The media of Creation is the Light. The Light is that from which all things of form are distilled for a time.

When it is ‘our time,’ our consciousness/spirit launches back into the Light field from which our ‘packets’ originated, shedding our bodies like the Space X Dragon does its first stage.

And then we continue along the circle of consciousness/being, to be distilled into the material realm for another chance to extend Creation.

It is an ongoing process, without end. Given that we are eternal and therefore in for the long-haul, why not make the best possible environment for us to live in while we are here?

Begin with the Golden Rule. Everything else will fall into place, and the ‘Eden’ we left some years ago will return on its own.

We are all part of the creator. Not even the creator creates from nothing. The creator creates out of itself. Everything we feel and do and think and are conscious of, derives and reflects back to the creator (that circle motif again!), the good and the bad. The creator feels what we feel. We feel what the creator is feeling. Our ‘state’ is the state of the creator.

It is our ego which is acting as a cloud to block our knowledge of the creator and of the spiritual operatives upon which all of Existence is predicated. We are as ignorant of this as we are of the hurt we confer upon the creator with all of the misery we are generating between us.

The ego is a blanket over that photon of Light which is the individual soul / spirit. Roll back the blanket, if even a little, to let your light shine outward and upon Creation, that which we are all a part of, like the cell is a part of the human body and the leaf is a part of the tree. That is the way to a happy, happy future. The only way. And it is for EVERYONE.

We need only set the ‘self’ aside -the ‘consumer’ -to allow the creator in each of us to emerge. That’s it. Judgment and the fear of judgment will pass away, along with punishment.

The Golden Rule.

Although things look pretty bad right now, we have not lost. Humankind can come to its senses, even after millennia of ego’s insanity. Things do not have to continue this way. THINGS NEVER HAD TO BE THIS WAY.

We were lied to by ego, but the light in us will dissipate the ego from our perceptions, our actions, and will provide a bulwark of support to our neighbours.

You’ll see.

21 November 2020

Headline 1 – Trump suffers twin defeats in his efforts to overturn Biden’s victory in key states – America has often not handled the prowess they garnered in the World upon the conclusion of WWII. Perhaps Donald Trump is, in a backhanded sort of way, providing the impetus for the kind of soul-searching this venerable nation has long-needed to engage in, to wield its power for the good of the World, our world, and not in the monomaniacal pursuit of its own ego/ self-interest. At the end of the day, pursuit of the common good ensures a common, sustainable future because it is based upon a common foundation, whereas, pursuit of self-interest to the exclusion of all else erodes the common foundation from which all nations arise, allowing some to grow tall above the rest, for a time, before they begin to list to one side and eventually fall over. This pattern is also true of individuals within societies: you cannot allow such wealth disparity to exist and compound, without having the same result. Utter collapse.

Headline 2 – Tibetan political leader visits White House for first time in six decades – China and the U.S. are likely going to war. Thucydide’s Trap. If the World, our world, is to avoid the war without winners, The Golden Rule must be its preeminent operative and the U.N. must be configured to be the ones to be the highest political authority. A federation of nations. The Security Council needs to be abolished and replace with something akin to the Canadian Senate, as it exists in its current form.

Headline 3 – Trudeau turns to the bully pulpit as the pandemic surges – because that’s what he has left – well, folks, if your mom  tells you to wash your hands and not eat any treats before supper, you listened. If you didn’t, you knew there would be trouble. Mom would tell us these things for our good. Either way, she still had to cook supper, so it wasn’t for her benefit she drew a line with us kids.

IT ISN’T JUST TO PROTECT YOURSELF. IT IS TO PROTECT OTHERS.

Like the kindly old lady who lives down the street, or in the apartment above. She already has enough to deal with everyday, especially now. The pandemic and its outfall must be especially hard on elderly folks like her. She needs to see that we are all being conscientious about containing the pandemic. Oh, and if you happen to see her, be sure to give her a kind ‘hello’ -from a distance.

All the best and a happy weekend!

20 November 2020

There are a lot of discouraging headlines today, but, we must stay the course and have an ear, ALWAYS, to the voices of reason. Please note that Donald Trump and that French president are not among said voices.

Headline 1: Incoming Biden presidency exposes old French-German rift on defence – the French have always walked to the beat of their own drum. This can provide for some tense moments, but there is no doubt the World, our world, is a better place because of our French brothers and sisters and the special contribution they make. Having said that, the World, our world, is entering a precarious phase. It will take but a moment of insanity, and whatever good humanity has accomplished over the last several millennia could be erased in an instant.

To Mr. President Macron: This is no time to go it alone. This is no time to flaunt your disrespect of others. There is inestimable value in the Golden Rule. The right to ‘free speech’ is not to be conflated with a carte blanche to disrespect others and their religious/cultural beliefs. The World, our world, is one world. We need to be together (and for that we must be respectful of one another) in order to stymie the attempts of Trump and his ilk (it seems that you could be among them, sadly) from exploiting the cracks of human division in the World, our world, widening them to the breaking point, and causing the whole world to fall apart…

…and then, somehow creating a fascist, totalitarian, corporate-run nightmare of haves and havenots -arising out of the ashes of WWIII, phoenix-like.

Doesn’t this remind you of Spencer’s Lucifer? Well, that also appears to be the likeness of Donald Trump.

Headline 2: Trump uses power of presidency to overturn the election and stay in office – I can only say, shame on you, Donald Trump. You were given the opportunity to be the leader of a great people and nation. Now you are turning on the nation and the people. For shame…

Headline 3: Le G20, Riyad et le silence du Canada –  The author is calling out Canada for not bringing up Jamal Khashoggi, the Kingdom’s human rights violations, and the terrible ongoing tragedy in Yemen, at the Saudi-sponsored virtual G20. I understand that, until the U.S. has Biden in office and in anticipation of that venerable nation’s finding itself and returning to sanity, whatever we do is going to upset an already precarious geopolitical situation even further. Same goes for soft-shoeing on China. In either case, returning tit-for-tat will only exacerbate things further, and take us to a place NO ONE would want to go.

No one knows right now which spark is going to set the World, our world, ablaze.

Donald Trump and the like have lived their lives. They are just a bunch of cranky old men. But there are a whole generation of youngsters who have dreams for themselves and their world, soon to take over the reins.

Let’s give them a chance.

To do that, we must Give Peace a Chance.

17 November 2020

Headline 1: Champagne won’t call China’s treatment of Uighurs genocide after  Beijing criticism – personally, I do not find anything remiss with Bob Rae’s comments. If the World, our world, accepts that it has a moral obligation to look out for people, then it cannot continue to look the other way when folks are being persecuted because of who they are. The Rule of Law makes no dispensation on the basis of who you are; only upon the basis of what you do.

Headline 2: She survived the Holocaust and died of COVID-19. Her family says pandemic’s human toll is lost in the numbers – yes indeed. Prayers for this courageous lady. The burden she bore for her entire life is lifted and she is with her sweetheart now, and all of those who left her behind. Prayers for her family too. I lost my mom several years ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. Love your moms; you just never know how much they give to your quality of life, until they have left and gone.

Headline 3: Tories put lack of action on Huawei, China in crosshairs with new motion – hmmm. Are we seeing a change in tone among the Cons? Not so long ago, Stephen Harper seemed very much a fan of doing business with China. It was right in the middle of PM Harper’s time at the top that Nexen was sold to China.

I worry that our cons are softening their tone, just as support for the demagoguery of Donald Trump is softening among the Republicans in the U.S., and for the same reasons. The Republicans see they are losing voter support in the ‘swing-states.’ They need to change their tone from Trump’s if they want to see the Oval Office again.

Same for Canada? Are our cons softening just enough to lure voters into supporting them again? It’s what happens after these bozos get elected which is cause for alarm in Canada, and by extrapolation, the World, our world.

Friday the 13th 2020

I spent my whole life worrying about Friday the 13th, and nothing bad ever happened, that is, until today. The fact that I am posting so late in the day should provide a hint?

Headline: What  you need to know about Canada’s New Three-Layer Mask Guideline – the article provides links to other sources, such as a  DIY 3 layer mask how-to provided by the Government of Canada.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend.

12 November 2020

Headline 1Trudeau says Canada will not stop calling out China’s approach to ‘coercive diplomacy’– Hey, I’ve got an idea: Why doesn’t Xi and Trudeau step into the ring and settle it with a pair of 8-oz gloves? I guarantee you it will be over quickly and it won’t be the PM sporting a bloody nose.

Headline 2: Saudi king urges ‘firm stance’ against Iran – check out the picture featured in the article. Donald Trump carrying a sword while walking abreast of Saudi dignitaries, among them the King.

According to the article, the Saudis expect President-elect Joe Biden to revive the nuclear pact Obama had forged between the World and Iran. The Saudis also expect Biden to be less sympathetic toward them and their geopolitical ambitions.

Warfare makes strange bedfellows. With Trump running things, it is difficult to know who’s got whose hand in whose or who else’s pocket?

Stoking division is the outgoing U.S. president’s area of specialization. The Maelstrom of Mara Lago is currently  targeting his own nation and the Middle East. He vainly ‘does deals’ in the hopes of keeping himself in the White House. He can’t. He must know that. But I believe he is trying to create a legacy. He has only between now and January 20 to do so. Whatever can the legacy be that Donald Trump is trying so hard to build before he leaves office?

I worry that he wants war, fully expecting his maleficent worldview to emerge from the ashes of war, phoenix-like, with the U.S., Russia, and China running things à la Orwell’s 1984. A world wherein the truth is continually being written and then rewritten, and so long as you aren’t stupid enough to give voice to what everyone knows, you won’t end up with a bullet in your head like Winston did.

Joe Biden may not be able to prevent war with China, Russia, Iran, but I daresay he’ll try to find a common ground with these nations, without giving up on his god-given responsibility to promote, protect, and propagate (PPP) liberal democracy within and among the nations of the World, our world.

If anyone is to build a World of Light (under the rule of law/liberal democracy) one cannot do so while operating in the shadows. Trump is always operating in the shadow. p.s. Nevermind his tax returns-does anyone know if he cheats on his scorecard when he plays by himself?

I don’t know about you,  but I am sick of looking at and having to listen to Donald Trump. I find his conduct reprehensible in a human being, especially one whose position affects and bears responsibility for the lives of millions, if not billions.

Moreover, I am sickened by the company he keeps.

p.s. p.s. One cannot be ‘of the people’ if one does not live with and as the people live. The real existential problem for the U.S. and the World, our world, derives from wealth inequality.

Headline 3: Ottawa announces new Hong Kong immigration options as committee warns Uighurs face ‘genocide’ – plainly, we here in Canada are blessed with a government that wants to do the right thing BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING, and not to profit from it in some way.

There is already too much misery in the World, our world. More than any world or any soul can bear. Peace, not profit, is the way.

I pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters. I pray for our Iranian, Jewish, and Saudi brothers and sisters; because they were all created by the same Love that created me, my kids, my mom and dad, all of the people I love.

I would not want to do anything that would break the heart of the creator. I would not want to make war upon or to do violence to another person. I would want to defend peaceful folks from those harbouring rapacious ambitions, such as the Chinese regime appears to be.

‘There is no way to Peace. Peace is the way.’ 

11 November 2020

https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

Remember. Then imagine what it must have been like for our soldiers If you missed getting a poppy, you can still support Canada’s veterans at mypoppy.ca

We are here today, and with a fighting chance, because of the sacrifice made by past generations of Canadians. The Canadians to which our generation is indebted to were white-skinned, red-skinned, yellow-skinned, brown-skinned, black-skinned…

When we disrespect one another, we dishonour and discredit the sacrifice of those young men and women who were bereft of life as they knew it, forced to live in camps and trenches, in the muck and squalor, destined to be maimed and cut-down by the enemy.

Those who survived likely came home believing they had left the  ‘enemy’ behind, forever.

St. James Cathedral cenotaph-

Headline 1: Barr sparks DOJ firestorm with election probes memo – Donald Trump is reminding us the ‘enemy’ hitched a ride from then into the present day, spreading itself, opportunistically awaiting voter disaffection to catapult them over the fence of rationality and into power, that they may further bury society under the ordure of populism and movement conservativism.

Look at those men in the photo. The Trump folks have the anima of bandits, and it isn’t just the just the masks. Look in their eyes. The ‘clear and present danger’  here is not Donald Trump’s purchasing himself a second term through the courts, it is the unsettled and vulnerable state of the government and the American nation with respect to ‘competitors’ like Russia and China, who seriously want to cut into their geopolitical market share. The danger is, the new president cannot enact his agenda on behalf of the American people and also of the World, our world, while Trump is tying everything up with his tantruming.

Although Trump and his like present a ‘clear and present danger’  to their nations and to democracy and responsible government, they are letting us know, before it is too late to do anything about it, what sort of world they would create for our children to grow up in.

If you have ever watched children at play at the playground, you quickly noted how fast they make friends out of strangers to play with. Not a single child wonders if they should play with a Muslim child, a Jewish child, a Christian child; a black, red, or white child; a Syrian, Nigerian, Vietnamese, or Chilean child. Ever. They see ‘other children’ as other children. Our children have the answer to the World’s, our world’s troubles.

We need only begin to see the World, our world, the way children do. We used to, when we were kids. But we forgot. This is why war is ongoing, 100 YEARS AFTER the good parishioners of St. James Cathedral erected the cenotaph on behalf of their fallen.

Please take a moment today at 11 a.m. to reflect upon the sacrifice of our past generations. Consider what it might have meant today if fascism had won yesterday. Then look at each descendant (being of all colours and ilks) of those who fought and died for us before we were born, with gratitude.

Only then may we look upon our children with all of the hope and joy children bear in their hearts, rather than with the trepidation that comes of seeing kids hurt and killed as ‘collateral damage’ or incarcerated and separated from their parents by Trump’s border security.

p.s.

I watched the Season 7 prequel of 24. In this one, Jack is tasked with saving a group of African orphan children from being kidnapped into paramilitary groups. Child soldiers. The setup portion of the episode will bring tears to your eyes. You will see how the innocence of children is pushed out of their young souls by the world of adults which offers only violence and bloodshed, and you will weep as they did in Rama.

Romeo Dallaire has written a book on this: They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children. He also has a website dedicated to the cause of child-soldiers. I will spend time with his book today. There are also videos on YouTube.

p.s. p.s.

According to the Washington Post, Trump has taken to installing ‘loyalists’ in the Pentagon’s ‘top senior ranks.’ You can read about it here.

I believe our creator will deal with Trump so that the World, our world, can move forward. Our children have suffered enough. Our young people have given too much of their blood in sacrifice. Our elders have lived to see too much misery and buried their own.

It is not the creator that asks any of us to sacrifice or be sacrificed in this way. Ever. The creator put us here to extend his/her creation, to beautify it, to find other places like it, BUT not to turn it into a slaughterhouse, a toxic quagmire, a heartless, unforgiving place to live.

If we could remember back to when the creator first created us, we would know this.

And we would never ever have to fear one another, ever again.

Yet another disturbing headline: Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers resign en masse – well, I’ve yet to see China’s regime do anything conducive to ending the World’s misery. They are tilting the World, our world, toward war.

A war no one is going to survive. But the Xi-regime must figure it’s worth it. À la Milton’s Satan.

Too bad. Xi must be a very capable individual. Can you imagine what would happen if he dedicated himself and the venerable nation he currently leads to Peace instead of power?

Cat Stevens:

I’ve been crying lately,

Thinking about the World as it is

Why must we go on hating?

Why can’t we live in bliss?

I don’t have an answer, Yusuf.

9 November 2020

Headline 1: Video showing woman knocked out dragged to RCMP cell prompts lawsuit, call for investigation – I saw the video just now on CBC News channel. I am shaking as I write this. When I saw that ‘officer’ cold-cock the woman, the first words out of my mouth were, ‘How does someone like that get to be a _ police officer?’ (expletive deleted).

If that is how 3 policemen treat a defenseless woman who was no threat to them whatsoever, THEN I NO LONGER FEEL SAFE. I am a man, nearing retirement age.

Too bad I feel like that. I am someone who would not hesitate to help a policeman who was in trouble, having not a care for my own personal risk. Because the officer is a human being.

Our Police is an institution which is not ABOVE THE LAW,  but exists to SUPPORT THE LAW. In the pursuit of their mandate, our police folks must be above reproach.

It must never be otherwise, or society will lose its cohesion and fall apart; above all else, the police must apply fairness where and when it is lacking, and protect the vulnerable.

Nothing more vulnerable than a young Indigenous woman in an incarceration centre surrounded by three ‘policemen’ (and a CCTV camera).

Nothing more unfair than speaking in your own defense and getting punched in the face without warning and knocked to the cold, hard basement floor, out-cold.

Had this occurred in the olden-days, I suspect that the two officers who were standing there when the third officer punched the woman would have taken the officer aside and taught him (discretely) WHY YOU NEVER HIT A WOMAN. Ever. As a man, you did violence to woman to the peril of your soul. In a World that respected its creator, it was all any man worth anything at all as a human being would need to know.

Because that was how people were raised to think and to believe. But it seems something has been lost to us, since I was little and when my dad told me, ‘Son, you never hit a girl.’

Now, we see members of one of Canada’s most crucial institutions behaving like the worst kind of thugs. Even worse, the officers were never even charged internally or punished.

Our police need to reacquire self-respect for their institution. We need our police folks. Years ago, as a youngster working on the paper machines, my tour boss told me that, when he first started on the machines as a young man, if someone on their crew wasn’t doing his job, why the crew would take him out back for a little chat; after which the crewmember had no more trouble with keeping up. They handled things internally. But it involved more than just a gentle scolding from across a desk with a union representative handy.

Another example of a democratic institution gone awry: Donald Trump continues to destabilize his own nation, playing right into the hands of the geopolitical ‘competition’ like Russia and China.

Discontented with having lost the game, this individual decides to use the power given him by the rules 4 years ago, to change the rules. 200+ years-old rules.

We simply cannot survive much longer as a nation or World with all of this hatred and angst, with so many of us seeing other people as something other than ourselves. As if other people ‘lived’ only on the tv or in a video game; as if what is happening to them doesn’t snowball into a whole lot of misery for them and for their loved ones.

As if it couldn’t happen to us.

We may soon get a surprise. Showdown at Big Sky.

We can avoid a whole lot of misery. We need only follow the Golden Rule.

Headline 2: China, Russia hold off on congratulating Biden; U.S. allies rally round – No surprise so far as Putin is concerned, because he and Trump are business-buds. But China? Here’s what China has to say [excerpted from the Reuter’s article]:

“We noticed that Mr. Biden has declared election victory.” 

Um, ‘noticed?’ The newfound economic clout, built by wealthy Chinese on the backs of their own countrymen, is causing the regime to project an arrogance which is going to buy that nation and the World, our world, a heap of trouble.

Wenbin, speaking on behalf of Xi’s regime, is about as awe-inspiring and courageous while speaking from across the ocean, as the cop who cold-cocked a poor defenseless woman in custody, surrounded by other cops.

If China’s regime is brave enough to go toe-to-toe with the U.S. Military, they will get a big surprise. The war will be over for them almost as soon as it begins. The sad thing is that Xi’s bravado is going to be called-out by the price of many innocent Chinese dead. What will the creator think of someone like that when he comes before Judgment?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have about as much respect for the Chinese regime as I do for Trump, Putin, or any such like. We need collaborators and leaders with vision. God knows, the World, our world, has seen enough of the egoic sort. Besides, Xi’s regime projects a kind of ‘playground’ belligerence. They go out of their way to show people how big and tough they are.

Well, they better do better at war than they do at managing their own laboratories; otherwise, China will not survive its own regime’s ineptitude. I know the Chinese people are a brilliant bunch, yet their government is comprised of a bunch of bozos. If that isn’t a case for democracy, I don’t know what is; BUT, it certainly is another example of Murphy’s Law.

Our American brothers and sisters are in the process of rectifying a mistake. Will our Chinese brothers and sisters do the same?

Democracy is  not perfect, BUT after 4  years, you get the opportunity to fix things. Trump, to his compounding and everlasting shame, is right now trying to fix that. DEMOCRACY got him elected and now he’s trying to steal it from America, because…HE DOESN’T LIKE DEMOCRACY AND (obviously) democracy doesn’t like him. [Note that Trump is crying foul that the Democrats are stealing the election. That tactic is straight out of Machiavelli’s playbook, apparently just topping the bestseller’s list among the neoconservatives of the World, our world, though it was first published in 1532 – not surprising, their politics is even more past the best-before date than Machiavelli- the Athenians had to be reacting to something when they came up with ‘democracy.’ The Peloponnesians must have had their fair share of Trumps, Uns, Putins, Xis, Netanyahus…but then again, they had their Bidens and Obamas (and Trudeaus) too.

We want to be friends with China and Russia. America wants to be friends with China. We want Chinese and Russian folks to live well, in safety and community; to be happy. We will watch their backs. Always.

The World simply doesn’t want a regime that thinks it’s okay to persecute Falun Dafa members or Uighur Muslims, to be setting the agenda for the World, our world.

The World, our world, doesn’t want to be pressured by a regime that opts to freak the bejezus out of foreign nationals (and their families) by putting them on death row, just to obtain geopolitical leverage. THAT IS MORALLY WRONG. Anyone who resorts to that is MORALLY DECREPIT.

What the World, our world, needs now (besides Love, sweet love, that is) is moral  certitude.

This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man…

Joe Biden has a big job. Not only has Trump left him with a precariously divided nation, he may have to go to war with Russia and China in order to free their peoples to allow them to participate in a global, liberal world order, one that would make our creator proud of us.

He may not have to go to war with Iran if Iran would reverse their tradition of enmity with Israel and make reparations for their support of terrorists. Iran is an old and venerable culture. The World, our world, needs them too. They have contributed much to the World already. An Iran back in touch with its ancestral glory, particularly in the realm of science and philosophy and art/literature, will make for some great new things to enter into the World, our world. Obama was already engaging Iran in dialogue before Trump came along.

 p.s.

Wherever you live in the World, our world, please join Canada in mourning for the loss of a few great ones: Howie Meeker and Alex Trebek. They have joined the light and are no longer limited by form. They will continue to shed light into the World, theirs and our world, and help us to be about the business of extending the creator’s Creation. The reason we are here.

Wherever you live, please join the American people in solidarity against a leader who believes the people exist to serve him; I know that Americans have given their young blood in the past in solidarity against fascist oppression and divisiveness. Together we stand (against anything and anyone).

Look up Bishop Mike Curry. Think of one thing to do today for the creator. Think of one thing you can do for a loved one. Think of one kindness you can do for a neighbour or your neighbourhood. Then think of something nice you can do for your self.

It’s what Bishop Curry would say.

It’s what our creator wants. THE GOLDEN RULE.

7 November 2020

The weekend is officially here, unless of course, you are one of the vote-counters in the American election. Anyone who has worked an election knows what an arduous, unforgiving process it is, and they have been at it for days already, while subject to unusual duress and legal challenges from the Trump campaign.

The Trump campaign. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am getting sick of his antics. Trump continues to make this all about Trump; as the vote count continues to resolve into a Biden victory, Trump is becoming even more desperate and fantastical in his rhetoric.

Even after Trump is no longer the question, Trump would continue to challenge the institutions most fundamental to America. Some folks even wonder if he’ll vacate the White House willingly.

But I have wasted too much time writing about the likes of Donald Trump and the movement conservatives, south of the border, here in Canada, and wherever else they are to found, and they are to be found all over the World, our world.

Instead, I’m going to have a look at the movie, the Manchurian Candidate. Apart from the fact the bad guys could be Putin and Xi, the movie might just help me to understand what is going on in Trump’s head?

The movie is preposterous, I HOPE. What leader of a nation would hand his nation over to an enemy? Not even Trump. But Trump is misled and betrayed by his own ego. His ego leads him to think that people who want to take you out (or your nation) can be bought or traded with. People like Putin and Xi. That only works for the moment. These people simply don’t want a cut, THEY WANT ALL OF IT, if they can get it. They want to be the ones dictating to the World, our world.

Trump does not see his nation or the World, our world, as a ‘president’ might. There is nothing ‘presidential’ about Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is a CEO. He always lived and thought as a business person. He is transactional. That is why, despite decades of American foreign policy to the contrary, he would go off on his own to make a deal with the likes of Un. And there’s the rub:

He should know that ‘deals’ of the business variety only last as long as the money flows in the right direction and in adequate volume. If you are a CEO leading a nation, why, the geopolitical situation becomes ‘transactional’ too. Alliances form and reform on the basis of mutual convenience. In such a model as this, ‘partners’ always end up as competitors, and competitors always go to war when their ‘market share’ begins to dry-up. Thucydides’ Trap.

Even if there were ‘massive voter fraud,’  the incumbent is protected by the constitution and democratic institutions of his nation. These institutions will do their job. He need only make mention that,  although Biden appears to be winning, there exist issues in the vote count that could potentially turn things the other way. And then allow things to take their natural course.

No republicans protesting outside of vote count centres. No gun-toting citizens walking among the protest crowds in Arizona. No worries that confrontation will break out into violence, mayhem, or a perverse, Trump-inspired version of Arab Spring.

Praying for the rule of law, and the law of the Golden Rule.

p.s.

It seems the World, our world, has a choice to make: there are leaders of nations who make the ‘truth’ what they want it to be, so they can do WHAT THEY WANT, upon the backs of the citizenry, and there are leaders who want to see the truth for what it is, so that they can DO WHAT IS NECESSARY, on behalf of and FOR THE PEOPLE.

Biden is sounding very much the leader and is echoing the words and vision of Abraham Lincoln.

p.s. p.s.

I came across an interesting video investigating the assassination of JFK, yesterday. There is also a video about his brother’s assassination here, entitled the ‘real Manchurian candidate.’

p.s.p.s.p.s.

Biden has carried Pennsylvania. The game is over. Trump refuses to leave the rink, but all of the fans have gone home.  He has only the Zamboni guy for company.

6 November 2020

It’s FRIDAY!

Headline: Whole Foods Grocery chain bans employees from wearing poppies – a lawyer is quoted in the article as saying, ‘wearing poppies could be considered a political statement.’ Alright, already. If anyone needs proof why you cannot run a country as a business, business itself is the reason. The disrespect Whole Food Grocery is extending to our nation’s heroes and to their own employees is over the top. I vow to never give that company and its investors a dime of my money. Shame on that company.

Shame on Donald Trump. His ego informs so much of his worldview and his actions that he would rend his nation asunder if it were to choose the other guy for President.

Trump is very much behaving as the loser; his incendiary rhetoric with respect to voting fraud and the electoral malfeasance of the ‘radical left’ is bound to motivate violence. News that someone was arrested while planning an attack on the Pennsylvania vote counting station has just aired. That’s only the beginning. And it is all on Trump’s shoulders. Shame on him.

And now, we see Biden leading in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

This has not staunched the flow of false and incendiary rhetoric out of the mouth of Donald Trump. He needs to stop this behaviour. If he really truly cares about anyone but himself, he needs to stop what he is doing. There are too many Americans who look up to him and who are genuinely motivated to assist him in any way they can.

Donald Trump’s supporters can be forgiven for their ingenue, because ALL OF US should be able to trust the word of our leaders and not have to question their word, IN A DEMOCRACY. Sadly, we can’t take always take the word of our leaders at face value. Sometimes, national security mandates obfuscation; but for the most part, when leaders ‘fib’ or or not forthcoming it is because of playing politics.

Folks are taking Trump at his word and this is going to lead some of them to do violence and to end up in jail. I pray that our American brothers and sisters desist from doing violence or reacting violently to others who are doing violence to them. SatyagrahaThere is no way to peace. Peace is the way.

America may have just turned the corner and gotten back on the rails leading to a progressive, equitable, and sustainable, world order. America is the biggest economy, the biggest military, and the bastion of liberal democracy.

On this last point, I would take exception to Ambassador Bolton qualifying the difference between Trump and Biden as ‘incompetent v. incorrect.’ Most Republicans were silent on Trump’s ‘incompetence’, but that was before the election results started coming in. Now, with Pennsylvania and Georgia leaning toward Biden, Republicans are abandoning ship with gusto. Bolton is only calling Trump ‘incompetent’ because Trump is losing the election, and maybe because Trump fired him.

Shallow Hal, you might have been outdone by the GOP. They are shallow; but they are also looking ahead to their next opportunity to turn America away from itself. They want another shot at the Presidency and the power it gives them. THEY SHOULD SPEND LESS TIME ANTICIPATING FINANCIAL RETURNS; more time choosing a bona fide presidential candidate. Let’s see, in recent times, they chose a B-movie actor, then a guy who didn’t seem capable of tying his own shoes, now someone who could have been a character-study for the Omen III’s Damien. They have been running movement conservative candidates, and they will likely continue to do so because the GOP is suffering from the cancer of movement conservatism and it will continue to spread unless the GOP does something about it.

As for what Donald Trump can do for his nation and his party, going forward, he should come clean, apologize for the rhetoric, and urge Americans to be calm. He’s made fans of extremists – those folks have never had a friend in government before, much less in the Oval Office, and they are not likely to let go of Trump after enjoying the vindication of their views when he was the most powerful individual in  the U.S.A. They likely felt empowered by Trump. This could make for tenuous times in the weeks and months ahead.

ABC News posted a documentary Homegrown Hate: The War Among Us on YouTube.

The U.S. and China may be on the brink of war. Thucydides’ Trap. All of the division in the U.S. will be replaced with patriotism. There’s nothing like a common threat to get feuding neighbours to work together.

5 November 2020

First, an observation: Two days after the voting day, there is one individual acting presidentially, but isn’t (at least not yet), while the other guy is not acting presidential, but is (at least for now). Mr. Biden is reminding folks about the pandemic and to be patient while the vote is ongoing, until EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED AND VETTED. ‘President’ Trump, meanwhile, is seeking to disrupt the vote count with court challenges in the states he is currently leading in (and where Joe is catching up); but not in places where he is behind. Hmmm. If I were an alien from Space (and my kids believe that is exactly what I am), and I were watching Trump and Biden, post-election, I would have guessed Biden was the President. I would have thought the ‘other guy’ was perhaps his valet?

The future remains undecided as the vote counting and this presidential incumbent’s efforts to ‘trump’ democracy continues into the second day, post-election.

Despite the warnings of America’s first president, the individual who occupies the Oval Office remains in defiance of American democratic principles and is actively dividing America in order to forge a path back to the White House and to power.

Why does this individual wish to kill the very institution that brought him to power in the first place? It is because Donald Trump and the movement conservatives are simply opportunists. They bank on the notion that ‘democracy’ is only as ‘perfect’ to the extent participation is complete and that there are enough folks who, being so busy with other things in life, when it comes to electing their nation’s leaders, they will vote for the one who ‘sounds’ best, give things no further thought.

What Donald Trump is about since the polls closed  two days ago is trying to protect his lead in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

First, he is pursuing litigation to block the further counting of mail-in ballots. He believes he currently has the lead because his supporters were more likely to go to the poll station, full of Trump’s  ‘pandemic be darned’ bruhaha; whereas democrat voters would tend to mail in their ballot so as to not risk contracting or spreading the coronavirus. Procedurally, the mail-in ballots are counted last. The upshot is, as the count of the mail-in ballots proceeds, Trump’s lead is vanishing as Biden is threatening to overtake him.

Therefore Trump’s attempts to have the courts suspend the count.

Second, he declared victory the morning after while in the same breath accusing the electoral system, and those working in it, of fraud. Without ANY proof. Because he was already worried he might lose. He continues with his unconstitutional rants (‘unconstitutional’ because as Biden reiterated, ‘ALL VOTES MUST BE PROCESSED,’ tweeting that he is claiming Georgia and Pennsylvania and their electoral votes. IT IS NOT THE PRESIDENT WHO DECLARES THE WINNER. It is the law, after all. What the ‘president’ is doing is setting up Americans for a lot of misery, post-election.

He is openly dividing his country as his last, desperate attempt to stave off defeat. His heart is black. He’s only ‘got your back’ if he can stand on it to climb back into power; after that, he doesn’t know you anymore.

Even worse, he is destabilizing his nation by dividing it so starkly and with the threat of much violence to ensue if he is defeated at the polls. He may even attempt to manufacture his own version of ‘Arab Spring’ out of his Florida supporters and setup court at Mara Lago.

All of this is playing right into the hands of America’s enemies and the enemies of liberal democracy. Enemies like Russia and China. It almost seems as if Trump is using the playbook of his nation’s foes.

Trump simply does not care. He shares the word view of Putin and Xi, who grew up despising America and who want to be ‘great’ themselves. In their old age, they have become, à la Giuliani, decrepit, despicable old men.

If Trump shares the view of America’s enemies, then he is the enemy of liberal democracy, since the ideology forms the basis of the democratic system and informs how they go about things.

This is why Trump feels it’s okay to leverage the Supreme court (which he seeded, just prior to the election, with another conservative judge). If the American people are going to close the door to the White House on Donald Trump when he comes knocking, then Donald Trump is going to try kicking the door down. Simple as that. If that doesn’t work, why then he’ll huff, and he’ll puff, and…rant away on Twitter.

Third, in parallel with running electoral interference through the courts, Trump supporters are gathering at centres where the votes are being counted to protest and running some interference there.

Trump is turning his nation into a Kangaroo Court, over which he presides…a nation suddenly turned inward and fighting with itself.

That sounds like ‘hell’ to me. How does that style Donald Trump?

The sad thing is, the Trumps of the World, our world will not go away on their own. They wait in the shadows for opportunity to further a fascist socio-political agenda. Their agenda is to substitute their cultivated appearance of principled democracy for the real thing. Every time another movement conservative à la Regan, Bush(s), and Trump is elected, the new guy/gal will further the movement conservative agenda, weakening American democracy incrementally, until, it is forever lost.

America has been there before. Corporations came to be treated as natural persons under the law on the basis of a Court Reporter’s reporting error. Corporations have no bona fide claim to being equal to an individual under the law.

They are not equal.

This is why corporations have so much influence in society today; why they are even telling us (as they pay us poorly) that they are doing their best to get our kids into playing hockey and we should be grateful for that, when their business practices are responsible for our needing material help in order for our kids to play hockey in the first place.

It is why, as time goes on, nations are becoming effectively business centres, and citizens, employees.

Business organization is fascist. No one’s living is safe. Only those who provide the most value to the business’s goals are promoted. The business goals are determined by the investors and by management.

Conversely, in democratic societies, it is the ’employees’  who determine the direction and goals of the ‘business.’

The choice before Americans, and before the World, our world, is whether we want to live as ’employees’ of a business, or as citizens of a nation and of a World, our world.

Trump and the like do not want to share power. Ever. They want to sit atop nations modelled upon a business paradigm. They want to institutionalize the continuing preying upon the vulnerable by the wealthy; or, as they might put it, keep looking for ‘market opportunities.’

Poverty and vulnerability eclipse all other considerations in dividing one human from another. Skin colour, national origin, religion, sexual orientation…none of that divides people like money and the opportunity to make money does. For some among us, the opportunity to make money transcends all other human differences: ‘If doing business with someone can help them to make money, then these folks would do business with the devil himself…or Putin, or Trump, or Netanyahu…

What could emerge from the pandemic is a totalitarian nightmare, a world divided,  a globalized ‘us and them.’ And as time goes on, this format will calcify into one group living above and presiding over the squalor their ways are creating for the rest of us and our children.

p.s. I’m watching on CBC News Network a representative from Georgia answering questions about the status of the count. He is wonderful in his directness and his knowledge of the process. CBC’s coverage has been outstanding.

4 November 2020

Well, the American people have voted, and the count is ongoing. Trump is leading in several crucial states and could be poised to win a second term; but the court is still out as the counting of ballots continues. Today I am praying for Divine Intervention.

If Trump ‘wins the day,’  it is not solely due to his manipulations of voters and the voting process, nor is it much a matter of foreign interference, nor are systemic flaws in the electoral process the culprit. The election result falls squarely on the shoulders of the voters, even if they have effectively chosen to give American democracy away. Given how divided they have become, how the sacrifices of past Americans has been rendered for naught by Donald Trump and the movement conservatives, they might have been better off without him.

After bearing witness to 4 years of dysfunctional management by the leader of a world-class nation, the likes of which world has not seen since Nero was emperor, for anyone to continue to support his brand of leadership, is proof they themselves have been rendered blind by their own egos.

It is only ego that permits thinking people to live in denial of obvious realities and to vote on the basis of an ethereal, never-to-be-realized promise of return to the ‘good ‘ol days.’

But democracy relies on people to think, so, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’

What Trump/Pence/the movement conservative version of the GOP are doing is using Machiavelli’s playbook:

‘Protect the integrity of the vote.’ said VP Pence. This said following Donald Trump’s premature ‘victory speech’ wherein the president accused the Democrats of election fraud and warned he would go to the Supreme Court (newly bolstered with a Trump selection) to fight the counting of the mail-in votes. He wants to use the Supreme Court to block these votes because his lead in Pennsylvania is 700K but with  2.3M votes mailed-in and yet to be counted. This is problematic for the President because the mail-in voters were largely big city-folks who wanted to do their part to fight the spread of the pandemic, and given that Trump flaunted the pandemic so brazenly, it is less likely pro-Trump voters would choose the mail-in route. The mail-in could be disproportionately democrat. Once the mail-in votes are included, they could flip the state to Biden.  Biden currently leads nationally, with 224 electoral college votes (ECVs) to Trump’s 213.

Machiavelli: Whatever it is you want to do, and you are expecting a negative reaction from the people for doing it [to wit: manipulate the vote count/vote suppression], ACCUSE YOUR OPPONENTS OF DOING IT.

‘We’re not going to let people find votes at 4 in the morning and then add them to the list.’ P Trump. Again it is dressing the opponent in the suit the accuser wears. Granted, Biden’s team reviewed Trump’s record and found him sitting atop of malfeasances piled higher than Smaug’s gold; the difference is, Trump actually did the things the democrats accused him of; therefore Trump et al. went about accusing the democrats because Machiavelli observed that this tactic works.

Machiavelli: Yep.

…and he fights socialism…‘  Cuban national now living in ‘Little Havana.’ This man loves Trump because he hates Castro and Castro’s ‘socialism.’ He only likes Trump because of his hatred for Castro. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TRUMP. But Trump used the disaffection of those of Cuban descent toward their political system to help him fractionate the non-white vote in Florida, permitting him to win that crucial state.

Machiavelli: Divide and conquer.

I personally do not believe the World, our world, is able to survive another 4 years of Donald Trump. He will end America and the pax americana. The World, our world, will go to war with itself.

I say ‘with itself’ because the World has gotten very small in our day. What happens in one part of the World, particularly with respect to Climate Change/Desertification/Deforestation, the depletion of ocean stocks, the heavy toxic stresses (both mental and material) upon dwellers in major cities, the widening gap between haves and have-nots, affects all of us these days, like never before.

There is simply no other viable operative for humankind but to accept that we are all together in terms of the existential challenges we face and developing workable, sustainable solutions to those challenges. In our day, we are presented with a stark choice: BE PART OF THE SOLUTION, OR REMAIN PART OF THE PROBLEM. To be certain we will share the same fate, whichever way it goes.

Trump and leaders of his ilk only want power and control. THEY DO NOT TROUBLE THEMSELVES OVER THE DETAILS OF HOW THEY GO ABOUT ACQUIRING POWER. They do whatever it takes. They say whatever folks want to hear; the truth be ‘darned.’ They will not be true to the voter or to the American ideal. THEY CHOOSE TO BE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

For American democracy to survive; for the World, our world, to emerge from under the cloak of  spiritual darkness, being of the manufacture of the egos of leaders such as Donald Trump, we must  choose to be a part of the solution.

In a democracy, that entails a return to open and respectful debate and to educating folks on the constitution and upon democratic principles and to promote democratic participation.

Trump wants to stop the vote count. Biden says his team will ensure that all of the votes are counted.

Trump wants to suppress the voter. Biden wants to wait for all ballots to be counted. He wants to hear the voter.

America is a democracy. In a democracy, the leader serves the nation.

Which of these two gentlemen appears to want to serve the nation?

Which of these two gentlemen wants the nation to serve him?

Hello?

p.s.

Until the final call is made, I will be praying for America to begin to reconcile itself with itself. What Shakespeare has Polonius give to Laertes in the way of fatherly advice, I would offer to the American people and their venerable nation:

This above all: to thine own self be true
And it must follow, as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man [or any nation].

Our prayers.

p.s. p.s.

The New York Times has published a fine update on Election 2020.

Although as of this writing the fate of America and the World, our world, is yet to be determined, I draw some encouragement from Donald Trump’s rant this morning: his tone and demeanour is not that of someone certain of victory; in truth, it seems quite the opposite. And then there is this morning’s litany of tweets from the thumb of the president, crying foul.

On our side of the reporting, kudos to  CBC’s Eric Grenier, who is able to provide an accurate and comprehendible analysis of what is going on south of the border, for the uninitiated among us (me especially).

3 November 2020

First, our hearts go out to the victims in Vienna. It seems, in today’s World, which happens to be our world, there is no shortage of individuals prepared to be the hand of Darkness.

Today is the day of reckoning for the presidency of Donald Trump. If he wins again, the world, our World, loses. He will confront China and Xi’s geopolitical ambitions head-on and war will come.

No one is going to survive that war.

It will spread like wild fire, with the Dark One fanning the flames with gusto.

Whatever happens today, COVID-19 will still be with us tomorrow. Governments around the globe are enacting measures that will forever change the World, our world.

The shape of the new post-pandemic world order is the concern. Technology has made the world ‘small.’ We can no longer live in our own bubbles, because each bubble is pressing against other bubbles. We can either learn to collaborate and watch each other’s backs, or we can engage in a tug-of-war over boundaries and dwindling resources, a war that doesn’t end. What we do affects everyone else on the planet nowadays.

The curtain is coming down on the Anthropocene Era, and we are doing it to ourselves. The shape and fate of the ‘new order’ is determined by whether we choose a globalized, ‘binary,’ ‘us and them’ constellation such as what the Trumps and most of the world’s investors are pursuing; wherein societies continue to fractionate deepest along the dimension of wealth (all of the other divisions, such as religion and race being relatively insignificant), or…

…we embrace natural process, one based upon our acknowledgement of the reality that we are not, in fact, two kinds of people.

We are but one kind which has been divided within, and by, itself.

It is simply not possible to build a cohesive and sustainable society, domestic or global, wherein one group creates a set of rules and  conditions by which another, ‘lower’ group, must live by. For example, personal wealth needs to be regulated. We cannot have anyone earning on a yearly basis, more than 2 sigma of what the mean personal annual income is. That is the Normal Distribution. The 5% existing outside the majority of the curve (beyond +/- 2sigma) are taxed or benefited to bring them within the 2 sigma range. The Normal Distribution is a feature of Nature. It provides a statistical snapshot of a healthy distribution among the individuals making up the population/society.

The imbalances which are a feature of human societies are to be found nowhere else in all of Nature.

If we want to survive, if we want our legacy to future generations to be progress, hope, equality…joy…then we must collectively open our hearts and minds and begin the spiritual transition from discrete to analog, from binary to all-inclusive, from the world vision imagined by ‘Satan’ to that imagined by Jesus, Mohamed, the Buddha, the Brahman, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mike Pearson, and all those who lived for Peace, THAT WE MIGHT ALL PARTICIPATE TOGETHER TO EXTEND THE BEAUTY AND MAGIC OF WHAT THE CREATOR, created.

Good luck today, America. No matter what happens today, we will always have the backs of our American brothers and sisters.

And we pray that America will leverage its ‘strength’ to continue the fight for liberal democracy, the fairness of the rule of law; a world of inclusion, a world which ‘trusts in God’ and the creator’s intent for all humankind to pursue and protect ‘life, liberty, and happiness‘ and a viable future FOR ALL.

2 November 2020

The headline for the latest rendition of the Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor’s newsletter, ‘Today’s WorldView’ is – When America decided to rule the world – it makes for interesting and timely reading.

‘Timely,’ because these days it is China cultivating the attitude of being a military/economic superpower. But it is also frightening.

‘Frightening’ because for China to get closer to having its way, the U.S. must move out of the way, which they will not willingly do, nor would the World, our world necessarily want them to. We may yet see ‘Thucydides Trap’ play out on the human stage once again.

As corrupted as Liberal Western democracies are, the worldview aspirations  of a nightmarishly autocratic, totalitarian regime such as Xi’s is would be a whole lot colder, blacker -inhumanly intolerant of human rights and of diversity.

With no checks and balances on it, akin to those protecting American democracy against Donald Trump, such a regime represents an institutionalization of ‘Hell on Earth.’

For the World, our world, to survive, there can be no ‘superpowers.’ Humankind per se must be the new force in the World, our world; one informed with an attitude of stewardship and respect for all living things, and the ‘life-factory’ we call Mother Earth. Imagine.

I have encountered many people of many cultures and faiths, especially while living in Toronto. It might have been at the beach, in the café, or serving up my order at the food court. THEY WERE ALL VERY HUMAN TO ME. Yes, they were different from me in appearance, they spoke my mother tongue with an accent, but I never thought anything along the lines that they were different, and I NEVER, EVER felt uncomfortable interacting with them. Whether they be Chinese, Middle Eastern, European…didn’t matter. OUR DIFFERENCES DIDN’T MATTER. It was always just human ‘soul-to-soul.’ That’s it.

…given my own experience with folks from other parts, I am unable to understand how anyone would want to wish or do harm to anyone else.

A Proposition: The Good Neighbours Paradigm (GNP): I am bracketed by a dwelling on my right and one on my left. I am on good terms with both of my neighbours. I watch their backs, and they watch mine. Likewise, my neighbours are protected: being situated between my dwelling and their neighbour on the far side.

And so it goes…everyone has neighbours. Every neighbour watching their neighbours’ backs. This is part of being a good neighbour.

I feel like Mr. Rogers. You know, as a child, I couldn’t get into his show because it seemed so lame, um, compared to Popeye…

…ironically, as an adult, I find his message to be one for the World, our world, and for the ages:

Won’t you be my neighbour?

Now, he’s the sort of spirit the World, our world, would do well to ensure always informs the leadership of the World.

Our world.

p.s.

As for our American brothers and sisters: I wish them GOOD LUCK AND ALL THE BEST, tomorrow. I hope they know that however things turn out in the election, we are their neighbour. We’re always there if they need to talk, and anyone who would want to go to their home to do them harm will have to go through us first.

America is not alone in the World, our world. We have their back.

At the same time, when they happen to elect a president who would use force to oppress other nations, and to advance a fascist, neo-conservative geopolitical agenda (rather than to protect other nations from foreign belligerence), then expect us to ‘knock on the door’ to  complain.

An alarming Headline, first published in the Ottawa Citizen: Canadian military wants to establish new organization to use propaganda, other techniques to influence Canadians – I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I AM READING – in no wise is anything but THE TRUTH acceptable. If you are caught in a lie by your employer, you are summarily fired. The trust relationship is broken.

Governments in democracies are employees of the citizen. You cannot lie to the boss, much less tell the boss you are lying to him/her; moreover, that it’s for their own good, or that there is nothing they can do about it. Were you to try it, you would be punted off the end of the boss’s foot squarely on your nethers to the Darkside of the Moon. btw, have a listen to the song, Us and Them. You can read the lyrics here.

Headline 2: Trail begins for Thunder Bay man accused in trailer-hitch death of First Nations woman – there are so many human tragedies in this story. I could not finish the story, for the tears. As I minimized the window for reading later, I heard myself saying, ‘how can one family be made to endure so much?’ Please pray for the daughter and for the woman and the ones she’s left behind.

As for the perpetrator, he is only a boy of 21. But he willfully and recklessly threw a trailer hitch at a woman who was just going along the street, minding her own business. What he did was terrible. What the woman and her family went through was horrible. Their lives are forever changed.

The boy’s life too. And his family’s. No one can imagine what those parents are going through. It must be hell for them.

All of this because of a thoughtless, random act of violence.

Should the boy pay for it his entire life?

Nothing anyone could do is able to undo what should never have been done in the first place, but people who are guilty of doing willful violence to others, forever changing lives, should, as part of the process of atonement for their crimes, be required to pay a portion of their earnings to the victim and/or the victim’s family –for Life; given that their victim’s lives are forever changed.

1 November 2020

It’s Sunday! Have a great day, whoever you are, wherever you are. Peace and Joy. There is nothing but these to share with others and to aspire to in the life our creator gave us. The Golden Rule.

Misery, on the other hand, is something our creator intended for us as a motivator; to give us something to turn away from; to show us the way to something better; to ‘move forward,’ this being the mantra of the Pope and of our own governing Liberals.

Progress…

…toward the future our creator imagined for us when he/she created us.

One step at a time.

p.s.

Headline: Suspect arrested after 2 dead, 5 injured in Quebec City sword attack – alright, when news of this sort of insanely random and pointless violence, perpetrated upon people who were simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time, becomes a regular headline, can anyone continue to believe we are not doing something very wrong socially? Spiritually?

It’s ego. Human ego. We are become so divided from one another, so inured by the daily litany of extreme violence perpetuated on an ongoing basis all over the World, our world, that we have lost all connection to others, that we are capable of doing to others the very things we would not want done to ourselves?

EGO is contrary to the Golden Rule. Ego was never meant to form the basis of human relations with other humans and the world we are part of. Ego serves as a barometer and starting point with respect to the individual’s external relationships. All relationships.

Ego is reactive. Never proactive. It can only invite more trouble for us if we allow our egos to form the basis of our interactions with the external.

For individuals to properly balance themselves and their relationships, they must use their ego properly, to wit: as something of a personal standard, a measure against which one judges the external, providing an ‘input’ to the mind, for the purpose of developing a response; never to per se be come the response because ego is reactive; not proactive.

Nuclear bombs do their apocalyptic damage on the basis of an out of control chain reaction; an explosive series of atom-splitting or fusion. No one who had lived through Nagasaki or Hiroshima need be told that those bombs had put them before the Gates of Hell. The fact that all of those innocent victims are now together in heaven (and waiting for us to join them, in our time) notwithstanding, the act of dropping those bombs was one of the darkest nights in human history. It was an act responsible for creating a sense of terror, even amongst children, more today than ever, with so many of the world’s nations having nuclear arsenals and threatening to use them. [Aside: when I was little, I had nightmares about nuclear missiles].

Now, with so many of us human souls going round with our egos close to the surface, we are all becoming dangerously reactive. To each other. The chain reaction of human egos is making the World, our world, a dangerous place for everyone, AND FOR NO GOOD REASON. Reaction is the absence of ‘reason’ and ego is only capable of reaction. Ego is what’s wrong with the World, our world. We need only fix the imbalance, the inordinate influence of such a small attribute of human nature upon the World, our world, and the solutions to the myriad existential challenges we face will become obvious, by reason.

For ‘reason’ you need to use the brain the creator gave us properly. To wit: to ‘think,’ to ‘evaluate’ (part of which includes evaluating our reactions), to plan, then to act PROPER TO THE SITUATION. Not to the ego. Period. You can find out more about ego right here.

Eckhart Tolle has posted a number of videos on YouTube with ego as the subject, including the Futility of Ego Reaction. I’ve not watched any of this series, but I have read a number of Mr. Tolle’s books.

I’m going to kick-off November by spending a little time today learning from Eckhart Tolle.

A Parting shot:

In All From One, One In All, I describe the ego as forming a sheath, an energy blanket, an insulator around the human soul; one that will grow thicker, obtaining more influence upon the human psyche, over time and as we age; as the World, our world, ages. The ‘blanket’ lay directly between the soul and the incoming light of the creator; the light which nourishes, replenishes, and REJUVENATES the human spirit.

As it thickens and ego takes over more of our consciousness, as it takes over a greater proportion of our focus, it  forms more of our psyche. Eventually, ego will block all incoming energies, the nurturing kind from the Universe/the creator as well as the toxic kind emanating from the egos of others, and we will become fully the prisoners in our own heads…while the World, our world, is falling apart all around us…and it is us who are responsible.

In two days, our American brothers and sisters will choose which world-vision they aspire to: the one of Light or the one of the darkness of ego, in this case, Donald Trump’s. My prayers are for them, their great nation, and for their rediscovery of the spirit that made them a great nation in the first place: the aspiration toward freedom and self-determination. They have already shown their bravery in the defense of other nations and peoples. They will need to muster all of the courage and strength they can in the defense of their values and their nation. God Bless America.

31 October 2020

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! Don’t let COVID-19 take the fun or the scare away from Halloween; especially for the young ones – Halloween is the fun-est celebration of the year for kids; at least that’s how it was for us, when we were little.

Stay home. Put out some treats. Take turns telling scary stories, and then hunker down with Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein, or Vincent Price’s anythingYouTube hosts an eerily large array of Halloween fare. The older movies are the best. Those folks knew how to scare the bejeezus out of you, without having to rely on GRAPHPIC violence and computer imaging to keep you interested. They knew how to engage THE IMAGINATION of the viewer. That is art. Because they manage to frighten, rather than to just gross folks out.

Headline 1: Indonesia condemns France attacks, but warns against Macron’s remarks – I believe the Indonesian president nails it. Excerpting his statement from the Reuter’s article:

“Freedom of speech that injures the noble purity and sacred values and symbol of religion is so wrong, it shouldn’t be justified and it needs to stop…”

President ‘Jokowi’ went on to say that, “linking religion to acts of terrorism is a massive mistake. Terrorists are terrorists.”

EXACTLY.

No sane person would conflate doing violence with religion. It is only those who seek to undermine god’s Message to Creation who do so. Their egos block them from the Light of the creator, and of Creation. Their ‘wisdom’ is only the reflection of their own pathological hatred…they do not really ‘see’ the World, our world. They are not actually reacting to the World; but rather to the reflection of their own angst towards it.

President Macron is not leading; he is reacting. I am disappointed. He leads a great people. The French have always had the courage to walk to the beat of their own drum; this is good for the French and also for the World, our world.

But, no nation in existence is fully reconciled to the creator’s purpose, and that is why nations need leaders to lead: to serve as guides along the way…to Peace. We already have too much of an existential nature to deal with, just by becoming so many and so ravenous upon Nature; we shouldn’t continue to insist on warring and destroying one another to boot -that in itself could lead to the end of the Anthropocene era; the curtain on humankind’s performance forever drawn shut.

Praying for President Macron to walk-back his comments; to say that this is the time to stand together, to watch each other’s backs, and to call out/shame those whose behaviour disrespects or does violence to other folks.

The Golden Rule. Our creator’s rule. One rule. A simple rule.

Were we to follow it en masse, this World, our world, would spontaneously morph into what our creator had hoped:

wherein, humankind makes an ‘about-face’ and embarks on the Great Return, the Grand Reconciliation of neighbour to neighbour, community to community, people to people, nation to nation, species to species…

…and our Present to the Past and to the Future, so that nothing was lost, and no human life or sacrifice wasted.

We are the leaves of the Tree.

The Tree is at the centre of the Garden…should be easy to find, since, as Chief Elk says, ‘that centre is really everywhere.’

p.s.

Check out this video. The speaker was inspired  by Chief Black Elk (and maybe Joseph Campbell) to make the study of Native cultures his life’s work.

Headline 2: Things fall apart in the United States – and Canada takes a hard look in the mirror – I am looking forward to reading what CBC’s Aaron Wherry has to say about the modern-era attacks on one of humankind’s oldest and most venerable institutions, democracy.

29 October 2020

It is with great sadness I read this:
Headline 1: Three dead as woman beheaded in France, gunman killed in second incident – another hapless victim in France was murdered in the most despicable manner by an individual, so invested in Darkness, he even invoked our creator’s name as he did this – as if the creator of Light would have anything at all to do with it, other than to cast the light of day upon it, exposing it for the sordid, diabolical act that it is.

His victims are martyrs; martyrs for Peace and tolerance, for knowing and respecting the will of our creator. The perpetrator was simply acting as the hand of Satan, or whatever the darkness is called by the World’s various religious traditions.

The murderer is very likely surprised, now, at who is there to meet and guide him to his ‘final destination’ on the other side of the Styx.

The victims now live in the Light and are biding their time until the Great Return; when all those who pass through this life will reunite.

VIOLENCE is NEVER the will of the creator. There is not  a single parent who wills their children to do harm to one another. GOD CANNOT BE PLEASED when we do harm, or incite others to do harm, to any of our brothers and sisters, human or otherwise.

WE WERE MEANT BY OUR CREATOR TO BE STEWARDS OF CREATION.

‘Babysitters,’  if  you will.

Well, soon the ‘parents’ are going to wonder how the kids behaved, while they were out, to be sure. But if they arrive to find the house in a horrible mess, what do you suppose will be the fate of the babysitter?

Humankind is the babysitter employed by god to look after the house god built. It is our mandate to keep the Peace. It is our moral imperative to ensure the creator’s children (of which humans occupy the position and responsibility of being the eldest sibling) are fed, sheltered, safe, content, and, most especially….IN BED ON TIME

There is no room for confrontation, for scarcity, for pressing the interests of one of the children ahead of and to the detriment of the other children.

IF ANYONE IS IGNORED, MISTREATED, OR LEFT BEHIND, the creator, very simply, will not be pleased.

We need only apply the Golden Rule, to one another, and to all the species we were put here by the creator, to ‘babysit.’ The Golden Rule is our handbook on babysitting for the creator.

When the creator comes home, let’s show him/her we know how to look after things while he/she is away.

Deepak Chopra: There is no way to Peace; Peace is the way.

Amen to that!

p.s.

I pray that President Macron does not react in a manner that further inflames religious tensions in France. If he does, he is simply playing into the diabolical intent of those who are intent on creating and perpetuating misery in the World. OUR WOLRD. Those people couldn’t be happier than to see the French president entrench even more. Satan’s way is to set one against the other. Cancer, once it invades, sets one or more of the body’s organs against the others. The World, our world, is afflicted with the cancer of hatred, intolerance…ego.

If Macron would stymy the spread of the disease among his great people, a people that has survived many existential challenges over the millennia, then he would say something like this:

We must stand together to defeat the cancer of hatred and intolerance. We must disrupt the avenues and operatives through which the cancer  is spreading. IN ORDER TO STAND TOGETHER WE MUST RESPECT ONE ANOTHER.

This means we should not make fun of one another’s most deeply held beliefs. We do not need to believe the same things. Our beliefs belong to us. We belong to the creator.

IF THE CREATOR ALLOWS FOR DIVERSITY OF OPINION, EVEN WITH RESPECT TO HIM/HER, WHO ARE WE TO DIFFER?

The Golden Rule.

p.s. p.s.

Reuters reported that someone on the French Council of the Muslim Faith called for the cancellation of the celebration of Mawlid in order to be in solidarity with the victims. The holiday of Mawlid is the Prophet Mohamed’s birthday celebration. That person knows…

Peace is the way.

Headline 2: Trudeau, EU leaders express faith in American people and call for return to multilateralism – let’s make a game out of this: How many times can the article’s interviewees say, ‘We want Biden to win’ without actually saying it? Alright, let’s not. Let’s pray instead.

In Canada, we do not have the Oracle of Delphi, but we do have Eric Grenier. You can read his latest prognostications, of the statistical variety, right here. The numbers support a resounding win for the Democrats this Tuesday; but it is really a resounding rejection of the likes of Donald Trump.

Nations are not businesses. Presidents and Prime Ministers are not CEOs.

28 October 2020

Well, let’s get used to it: for the next week, whatever is happening in the World today, it is going to take a backseat to the American Presidential election.

As it stands, the beleaguered incumbent suffers under a double-digit deficit in national voting intent, he has divided his country, one American from the other, like no one has since Robert E. Lee was a general; his re-election bid not only bears the ignominy of foreign assistance, as was claimed brought him to power in 2016, but is expanded to include attacks upon Trump. There is a group of former Republican election strategists siding with Biden only to get Trump out and keep him from doing even greater harm to the America.

It doesn’t look good for Trump. The World has been surprised before…

But how much value can we place on, how much faith can we have in, an opposition which is capable of resorting to the sordidness evinced by Donald Trump?

Putting aside the partisan political hyperbolae and fear-mongering of which ALL THREE SIDES (those who vote Republican, those who vote Democrat, and those who are voting AGAINST TRUMP) are guilty, for the moment, what irked me greatly was reading of an attack ad placed by the Lincoln Project (the aforementioned anti-Trump Republican group), wherein they state ‘Trump is not healthy’ while showing him struggle up a ramp to make an address at a military academy, or needing two hands to raise a glass of water.

That sort of cheapness demeans the objective. That sort of cheapness, emerging out of the mouths of folks who claim to be ‘for America’ is revealing of deeper issues on behalf of folks who would lead, the which will only come out after it is too late for voters to do anything about it. Garbage in, garbage out: if we have folks in government who are not above corruption of democratic values, then we cannot be living in a functional democracy.

Machiavelli observed in his medieval study of the acquisition and maintenance of power that ‘the end justifies the means.’ Well, attack ads of the personal variety are despicable. No parent would tolerate such behaviour among their children, much less FEEL PRIDE TO SEE SUCH BEHAVIOUR IN THEIR CHILD. No citizen would want to be led by a leader who resorts to despicability.

A man who predated Machiavelli by more than a millennium once told us, ‘It is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, but what comes out of your mouth.’ [ paraphrasing Mathew 15:11] With respect to what anti-Trumpers are doing, if we as voters allow ourselves to be swayed into voting against an incumbent, by folks who behave like the incumbent, why then we will get what we are voting for; and what we are voting for is for more of the same, to wit: someone who is spirited the same but dresses (and styles his hair ) a little different.

À la Orwell’s pigs, if the new boss walks and talks like the old boss, if it’s a question of ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss…’ why, things will end up being the same after the election as before, and, either way, the nation which is currently best positioned to institutionalize a sustainable and viable geopolitical environment in today’s World will have lost itself utterly.

The World, our world, may have lost its last defense against war and the corollary obliteration of the human species.

So, let’s keep it clean down below the 49th. Only those who are prepared to set their egos aside are qualified to lead others, otherwise they are given to  leading, à la Trump, Putin, Netanyahu, MBS, Un, Xi et al. with their ego.

Ego is not even qualified to lead the individual who owns it. It is only the will to act for the greater good and the moral imperative which qualifies one for leadership. As difficult as ‘the greater good’ and ‘moral imperative’ are to define in a universally acceptable way, the process of achieving it is quite simple and manageable:

THE GOLDEN RULE.

No matter how one prays, let us all pray together in our way for America to finds its way. So long as America trusts god, they will allow god to lead them and inform their President’s decisions, made on their behalf. They will leverage their strength to keep the Peace and not ever to oppress.

I have met folks from Iran, from Israel, from China, from Germany, from Congo, while I lived in Toronto. They were all fine folks…they all wanted to be able to earn a good living for themselves and their kids, to live safe and filled with happy hopes for tomorrow. That’s it! What is there in that, that should keep people divided?

26 October 2020

Today is a special day. Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, things could be a lot worse if you don’t have family or at least feel that you don’t belong to something larger and inclusive of more than yourself.

Today I would like to make a wee list of the things I am grateful for:

  • my mom, who brought me into the World and raised me, and was there for me, always, and through thick and thin,
  • my dad, who, even in his old age, continues to be an example and mentor,
  • my 3 daughters, who are engaging the first hurdles of adulthood with all of the courage and integrity a parent could ever want to see in their children,
  • my community, for the happy faces I encounter, and the warm helloes we exchange as we pass each other by, going about our daily business,
  • my country, which, even though uncertain of itself right now, has a government led by an individual who has vision to steer our nation through this ‘perfect storm’ and guide us (and by our nation’s example, the World, our world) toward renewal, and a bountiful, equitable future with no end in sight;  accessibility and participation guaranteed to all,
  • a Creator who, even when we humans behave in a manner contrary to its most profoundly heartfelt wishes (to wit: doing harm to one another, to other species, to our Earth Mother), lets the Sun shine down upon us every day, giving us, EVERY DAY, the chance for a collective renewal of spirit, and of purpose: the purpose for which we humans were created:
  • the opportunity to extend creation – not to destroy it, or replace it with something that imprisons the creative spirit, rather than liberating it and presenting humanity with endless opportunity.

What would be on your list?

p.s.

It is with great sadness I am reading this:

Headline: Calls to boycott French products grow after Macron backs Mohamed cartoons – all that this ‘leader’ is accomplishing by doing this is to create more misery. When one belittles or makes fun of another’s spiritual beliefs, one belittles the believer per se, something true believers feel to their core; to their ‘holy of holies.’

To then go around telling folks it is ‘our right’ to belittle others is only compounding the sin.

There is nothing to be gained in doing this.

Macron is simply, Trump-like, fanning the flames of division, within and outside of his own country.

NO ONE has the right to do à la Macron. Not a single devout is capable of wishing misery upon other souls. Whether your devotion is to Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, whatever…you are doing your Faith a great disservice when you wish or do harm to folks of other faiths, and belittle their beliefs. Moreover, you are doing your soul an even greater disservice, because EVERY SOUL MAINTAINING ITS CONNECTION TO ITS CREATOR KNOWS THE CREATOR’S WILL AND INTENT. And that intent is Peace, Love, Inclusion, Compassion, Tolerance…Joy.

No matter what your tradition, the message is the same. It is only the way in which it is presented, to different cultures at different times, that differentiates one faith from another; one soul from another. If we are truly connected with god, in our holy of holies, we aspire to be living in the same world.

Extremists, whether they be in government, à la Macron, or among Christians, Jews, or Muslims, are only about perpetuating misery: they aspire to destroy whatever good there is in the World, our world. They engage in a War on Peace.

Peace is the Way. Not war.

[In his book, Peace is the Way, Deepak Chopra says, “You will know when your are living the way of peace when three things are present: Seva: Your actions harm no one and benefit everyone. Simran: You remember your true nature and your purpose for being here. Satsang: You belong in the community of peace and wisdom.” ]

Where might you suppose leaders like Macron and Trump fall along the dimensions of Seva, Simran, and Satsang? I pray President Macron reconsiders what he is doing right now, and, rather than politicizing and popularizing misery, TAKES A STAND AGAINST PERPETUATING MISERY. Likewise, all of the European national leaders who are chirping their support for what he is doing.

The World, our world, needs less macro-morons and more folks of the ilk who stand for and perpetuate the peace of their respective faiths in the World, our world.

I am truly disappointed in Macron. I pray our PM will let him know that he is not helping the World; but rather deepening the hole out of which the World, our world, will have to crawl, in order to live fully in the Creator’s light.

In the way of a final ‘hat’s off’  to Deepak Chopra, another quote from his book, Peace is the Way:

There is no way to Peace. Peace is the way.

I do not know to which faith he belongs, but I am certain of this: when our creator spoke, Deepak was  listening.

Praying now for Macron and other leaders of his ilk to do the same.

p.s.p.s.

Perhaps Pope Francis will have something to say to Macron. Perhaps our PM too. Both leaders have shown their hearts and minds to be on the creator’s page.

there is no way to peace….peace is the way

24 October 2020

Donald Trump continues to fracture and divide the Middle East into its own version of ‘us and them’ to wit: in support of Israeli apartheid or against. It is not a ‘lasting peace’ that will emerge from DT’s horse-trading, but rather lasting misery. Apartheid against the Palestinians and the illegal annexation of Palestinian lands will continue, abetted by a nation which, only a few generations ago, was the World’s, our world’s bastion of freedom and self-determination.

But the unruly child that occupies the White House at the moment is not content with leaving a horrific mess of human misery and authoritarian oppression in the ME as his legacy…

…look what this man has done to innocent children brought by their parents to America in order to earn a chance for them to grow up safe, with prospects of making a new start, and to one day have a family of their very own. DT thought it good to separate the kids from their families and hold them – eerily echoing the motif of Canada’s residential schools.

Being well into my autumn years, I am still able to remember, as a six-year-old, crying to my mom over the telephone, when she was in hospital, having just given birth to my baby brother, ‘When are you coming home, mom?’

That was more than half a century ago. My mother would have only been gone for a few days…

Now, have a look at this Washington Post Opinion Piece, and imagine what the poor little boy who is running down an empty hallway, away from whomever brought him there, looking for his mom.

Recall the poor little toddler who, while having a sleepover at grandma’s, woke up in the middle of the night, went looking for his mom, somehow got outside, and ended up freezing to death? That little boy’s name is Elijah. He’d be eight right now. He was only 3 when he went to look for his mom.

Children at that age have no understanding, no experience, of being without their moms and dads. THEIR FIRST THOUGHT IS ALWAYS TO FIND THEM. They need to know they are there, close-by; even when they are playing with their friends or their toys; that they may feel SAFE.

Now imagine what that poor toddler the article depicts running down the hallway for mom is feeling today. That child might still be looking for his parents, asking for his parents…the while not understanding why mom and dad haven’t come to get him and bring him back home.

A generation of Canadian-Indigenous children, uprooted from their homes by Indian Services, remain afflicted with the after-effects of the Residential Schools. The migrant kids will carry DT’s mark for the rest of their lives, however long that ends up being.

My eyes are filled with tears while writing this entry. Children have such little voices. Who is really listening? With all of the mayhem and misery in the World, OUR WORLD, were I a child today, I would be frightened out of my socks during the daytime, and loathe to fall asleep at night for fear of the nightmares certain to follow, hard upon the heels of the Sandman.

What parent wants this outcome for their child?

This is not who we are.

It is not what our Creator intended for us.

It is proof-positive that Donald Trump is only the latest version of Machiavelli’s ‘Prince.’ If, as Machiavelli wrote, ‘the end justifies the means,’  what possible end could DT desire in separating kids from their migrating families? What possible good could come of doing that? It is nothing other than an attack upon children; upon innocence.

A CRIME AGAINST CHILDREN IS  A CRIME AGAINST SOCIETY;  moreover, it is a crime against Nature and against god.

Where might that place Donald Trump in the esteem of the Creator?

Sooner or later, Donald Trump will be held to account for his great sins. As great as the sin is, which he perpetrates upon migrant children, it is by far and away not his only great sin.

Between now and November 3rd, I intend to pray daily for the American people, for the poor little kids incarcerated and separated from their families, and for the World, our world -a world that tolerates the warlike, callous and rapacious ambitions of leaders like Trump; folks whose ‘higher ideals’ and ‘social vision’ simply boil down to money and power.

When the Roman Empire got like that, it could no longer hold itself together. Neither could it withstand threats originating from beyond its borders.

A lasting, sustainable peace cannot be bought with money or blood. It is bought with understanding, with tolerance, with respect, openness, and LOVE. Agape.

The Golden Rule.

23 October 2020

It’s FRIDAY! Alright, I planned to skip today and head right on into the weekend (something you can do, if you are semi-retired). Then I came across this:

Headline: AFN Chief calls for resignation of RCMP Commissioner as N.S. fisheries dispute continues – I’ve read the CBC article. I did not see anything there to provide cause for such an extreme measure. I do understand Chief Bellegarde’s anxiety and frustration, however.

Here’s what happened:

The Mi’kmaw set up a new fishery for themselves. The local commercial fisheries reacted to the new, ‘off-season,’ native fishery.

IF our Mi’kmaw brothers and sisters have not broken the law in establishing their fishery, then one must focus on the commercial fishermen’s reaction.

There is much I do not know. I was not there. But I can guess from what I heard and can imagine, that the commercial fishery folks were very upset and feeling wronged by the Mi’kmaw, even more so by their own government.

I can also imagine the Mi’kmaw being upset, frustrated, and frightened.

An explosive mixture.

The good news is, among those fishermen and those natives, apart from some shoving, property damage, and a lot of hard work destroyed, THINGS DIDN’T DEVOLVE INTO AN ALL-OUT MELEE. There could have been a lot of violence. BUT THERE WASN’T. There was, however, a lot of intimidation threatening violence.

I believe, under the circumstances, that ‘calling in the troops’ would have inflamed the situation even further.

Those people who threatened or did violence or property damage need to be held to account, including the leaders on the commercial side who should know better than to form any sort of vigilante group, HERE IN CANADA, and to organize a march on the Mi’kmaw fishery. That’s EXACTLY NOT WHO WE ARE.

Both sides, of course, should have sought resolution from the government.

All of the crap happening out there is not only UNNECESSARY, it is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.  Now, we have ill-will, threats of more agitation and mayhem, and a lot of scared folks/angry folks. None of which is helpful.

The best referee is the one no one notices; neither the players nor the fans. The ‘players’ are the Mi’kmaw v. the Commercial Fishermen; the ‘fans’ are the public. The ‘referee’ is the police presence.

Had the RCMP ‘taken over,’ they become the ‘referee.’ The more they become involved, the more they risk becoming a factor in the outcome of the game. The game could take a turn against one side or the other, and that ruins the game, unless you are on the ‘winning’ side.

NO ONE PAYS TO SEE THE REFEREE. They pay to see the players. AND THE PLAYERS PLAY BY THE RULES. This assures the best possible, fairest outcome.

If you are a Maple Leafs fan, you will not have gotten the bad taste out of your mouth over how the Gilmore-captained Leafs were denied a chance at the cup by a bad missed-call in L.A.

It is not the police which is needed. The Commercial fishermen are first and foremost Canadians. Mi’kmaw are first and foremost, Canadians. When Canadians dispute, they talk to each other [only the Cons default to ‘bullying and bullshit’ as a means of conflict resolution].

Having talked, and should they remain apart, we make our respective cases to the court. The court rules, based on its interpretation of the current legislation.

Next, the court decision sets the legal precedent, the standard by which future cases are judged. And here’s the rub:

All of this was fait d’accompli; 19 years ago. The hang-up is over the notion of ‘ moderate living.’ Too wishy-washy. The wiggle-room here was enough that the Mi’kmaw see the new fishery as being within their legal rights; whereas the established commercial fisheries perceive it as unfair business practice. The fishery, being native, could operate year-round.

The RCMP cannot define ‘moderate living,’ neither can they encircle the native fishery or the boats on the water.

It is for the government, elected by Canadians, to define it, within the parameters set by the numbered treaties and subsequent legislation, as interpreted by the Canadian courts.

But an all-encompassing definition of such an ethereal notion as ‘moderate living’ is, in my estimation, out of reach: what that term may mean to the Mi’kmaw is likely different to anyone that is not Mi’kmaw. It would be necessary to impose an arbitrary definition that the Mi’kmaw would have to live under, one which  would have to come of negotiations among the stakeholders, to wit: the Mi’kmaw, governments, communities, and fisheries. That is a big job and anything at all like a  successful outcome is far from certain.

The best solution could be to set up monitoring of lobster stocks to regulate against overfishing; in which case the DFO would determine how much harvesting needs to be scaled back.

BOTH SIDES would be obliged to scale back on a pro rata basis: i.e., if lobster stocks are known to be declining by, say 10% per year, and if, for the purpose of illustration, the commercial fisheries harvest 99% and the Mi’kmaw fishery 1% of the total annual harvest, then the commercial fisheries would be obliged to scale back their harvesting by 10 X .99 = 9.9% and the Mi’kmaw by 0.1%. Simple. No need for ethereal standards or for social upheaval or for the RCMP.

IN NOWISE is it proper (or Canadian) for fishermen of the native or commercial ilk to bypass the rule of law and resort to unilateralism or vigilantism.

Governments today must deal with myriad conflicting interests. More often than not, the sides are irreconcilable, unless both sides give a little, based upon the evidence. In this case, conservation has been cited as an issue, but the evidence appears to indicate that the Mi’kmaw fishery is too small to impact the commercial fishery business, even if they were all able to afford Cadillacs on the proceeds.

It is nobody’s fault, although many, and on both sides, are feeling miffed. Finger-pointing is a human frailty which leads only to more finger-pointing. WHAT WE ALL NEED IS A SOLUTION.

An objective solution. Monitor stocks. Establish a rollback formula, together with a viable monitoring regime, for imposing quotas on both sides.

The Mi’kmaw are my brothers and sisters. The ‘commercial fishermen’ are my brothers and sisters. Both are trying to make their way through increasingly trying times.

We need to be together to get through the trying times.

21 October 2020

Less than two weeks to go, before America and Americans choose to get back on their rails and once again take on the proponents of might, misery, and mayhem in the World, our world.

Once again, America will take on their role as ‘loving spouse’  to the international rule of law. They will desist from leveraging their military power to further their own interests. They will use their young people in defense of a universally held, humanistic ideal, in the way our own Mike Pearson would have them do, were he still with us, because the only PROPER USE OF FORCE is to serve and to protect, for self-defense –never to impose one’s will upon another.

The World, our world, can ill-afford another term with a child serving in the White House. What makes this particular child in this particular arrangement, particularly dangerous, is that it feels it doesn’t have to listen to anybody, or follow any of the established rules.

This child feels he has been given permission to do what he wants for four years.

That is about to end. It’s parents, our American brothers and sisters, are about to hold it to account for the mess in his bedroom, the mess he made of the ‘kitchen’ and ‘living room’ and all of the mayhem he ignited in the neighbourhood.

I look forward to the last debate. Ironically, the secret to Trump’s success is to dupe the Americans into believing he’s changed, to wit: he behaves ‘presidentially,’ with all of the decorum and moral imperative the Office of President demands of its incumbent. In that event, there may be enough folks innocent and gullible enough to give him a second chance.

He must out-Biden, Biden.

You can watch the debate here on CBC.

Headline 1: Biden, Trump gird for final debate – Interestingly, the organizers of Thursday night’s debate are reserving the right to MUTE a candidates’ microphone for the time the other candidate has the floor. This, WITHOUT MENTIONING ANY NAMES , is in direct response to the train-wreck Trump made of the first debate. Only the spoiled child keeps talking over whomever might already be talking, to it or to someone else, and THERE IS NO PARENT IN EXISTENCE WHO WOULD TOLERATE SUCH BEHAVIOUR IN THEIR CHILD FOR VERY LONG.

America’s parents, our American brothers and sisters, know what they need to do in November.

Here in Canada, we might soon face our own election. When you have a government that is actually sincere about change and progress, about the rule of law, and not just about hanging onto power, YOU HAVE GOOD GOVERNMENT.

Let’s see if the Conscience of Canada, our NDP party, will continue to provide the encouragement to do even better for the governing Liberals, or if they will choose to roll the dice in seeking an opportunity to increase power for themselves. For the NDP, right now, the choice is between doing the best thing for Canada and Canadians, vs. for the NDP.

I tire, as I am sure most Canadians are tired, of the unending litany of problems, followed by a lot of talk, resulting in more division and entrenchment. We know what to do. We need only look inside ourselves, then apply what we discover to our relationships with others, be they human, political, international.

THE GOLDEN RULE.

Headline 2: Why getting COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada won’t be ‘overnight solution’ to pandemic – alright, already. After developing a bona fide vaccine, the next hurdle is, ‘who gets it first?’ Of course, the roll-out is subject to material limitations. That cannot be helped. But the rollout will be hindered if we bog down over prioritizing distribution.

If prioritizing is driven by susceptibility and consequence, then the priority should be:

  1. Healthcare workers – with priority given to the eldest and frontliners
  2. Longterm care/retirement facility workers and residents
  3. Frontline public servants
  4. Daycare workers and children
  5. Frontline educators and children/students
  6. Everybody else, including business folks.

My reason for putting the economy in last place is that the economy will recover, so long as there are people to participate in it. Profit-generation and ‘the economy’ must perforce take a backseat to propping up the substance of the nation, to wit: its citizens, in order to end the crisis and TO POSITION OURSELVES FOR THE BEST POSSIBLE ECONOMIC RECOVERY.

Personally, that puts me at #6. True, I do have an ‘underlying condition,’ brought on by having been a smoker, however, if I were standing first in line, ahead of anyone in positions 1 through 5, I WOULD NOT BE COMFORTABLE WITH MYSELF FOR TAKING THE LAST AVAILABLE VACCINE.

…and so, I would pray for a positive outcome for myself, but yield and leave the vaccine for the ones most susceptible and/or vulnerable, and also for the kids; especially if their contracting the virus will leave them with a lifelong incapacity.

p.s.

Just back from my daily walkabout, accompanied by Vassy and the Gang on CBC’s Power & Politics, via podcast. You can listen too, via CBC’s Listen app.

VK is her customary self: she asks the right questions and her impartiality is salient. Good combination for a journalist of the ‘5th Estate’ ilk.

I find she often prefaces her follow-up questions this way: ‘With respect’ [politician’s name here], you didn’t answer my question. My question was [Vassy repeats her question, while trying to box the politician in so tightly in the re-phrasing that they cannot help but answer her question, if they reply at all]…

…to which the politician responds by repeating themselves, leaving Vassy’s question unanswered.

Finally VK says, ‘Thank you for your time, as always,’ before moving on to the next segment of P&P.

Here’s an alternative scenario (tongue in cheek), that assumes Vassy saw Braveheart and recalls the scene where the ‘Irishman’ comes to join William Wallace’s uprising:

Vassy asks a direct question. The politician talks for a long time, but leaves the question dangling.

Vassy responds, respectfully, ‘just answer the fokin’ question.’ Now, I have no idea what language produces an adjective like  ‘fokin,’ or what it might even mean, but it does ring exquisitely appropriate.

In closing, what dismayed me most about the October 21st podcast of P&P is that not a single politician answered a single direct question, directly. In any relation where either side finds the best answer is misdirection (the appearance of an answer without the substance of an answer), then the system within which they are operating is corrupt. That is already the case in Question Period.

Democracy is our nation’s and the World’s, our world’s, only purchase on social sanity. If we allow it to be corrupted, we are lost. If we allow politicians to flaunt the truth on national television by not answering the legitimate questions of our 5th Estate journalists, then our democracy is lost.

Democracy is of and for the people. If the people do not participate, then we hand over the franchise  to the egos of other folks. And we forfeit the opportunity to guide our nation into providing opportunity for fulfilment to future generations of Canadians.

We are better than that.

p.s. p.s.

Headline 3: NDP won’t give Trudeau ‘excuse’ for election, Singh says, ahead of confidence vote in Commons – I esteem this as pure (politicizing) genius: if the Liberal tactic is to force an election in order to create for themselves another majority, what better way to dance with a partner like that than to change the tune, positioning the NDP to lead, rather than to follow? When the Canadian electorate is looking for a dance partner, they will choose someone who will lead.

The NDP does not want an election now. They cannot afford an election now. They are low in popular support, relative to the other major parties, and risk coming out of an election in even worse shape than they go in.

But none of that is visible. As far as the public is concerned, the NDP want us to believe an election now is only about the opportunism of the governing Liberals and the would-be governing cons. The NDP is ‘above all that politicizing’ and simply wants to continue the business of government by ‘helping Canadians.’

It would help Canadians if politicians answered the questions put to them, and if not, for them to explain why not. Leave it to the listener (the voters) whether or not they are satisfied with the answer, but NEVER TRY TO BULLSHIT FOLKS INTO BELEIVING THIS OR THAT. In a democracy, bullshitting should be esteemed as a criminal act, because, if in a democracy, people are not openly, honestly, and respectfully engaging one another on the issues the nation faces, then the democracy is by definition, dysfunctional. If you don’t believe me, ask Pericles…oops, okay maybe not Pericles…well then, ask Pope Francis, who continues to be the right person in the right job at exactly the right time.

Headline 4: UK says China seeking biggest maritime fleet in the world – as a companion piece, and to provide context, check out John Kemp’s column on the U.S. – China trade war and the Thucydides Trap.

It has seemed to me that the U.S. has been provoking confrontation with China; but plainly China is not content to use the fruits of its economic expansion just so its citizens can ‘live better.’ They are using much of their newfound wealth to build their military into one on steroids.

Why, one might ask? In these days, no one is a threat to China’s borders. Certainly not the U.S.  But, CHINA IS SHOWING INCREASING BELLIGERENCE TOWARD ITS NEIGHBOURS, THE U.S., CANADA…as it unilaterally expands itself into the South China Sea. UNILATERALLY. Not asking anyone if it’s alright to build islands out there in international waters, in order to support Chinese military operations. Oh, is that why China is investing in the military expansion? …hello?

This is not the same China that built the Great Wall, that they may keep to keep to themselves and keep other folks out. This China is governed by someone who is addicted to power and does not want to give it up. In fact, he desires even more power. Since he already enjoys absolute power over the Chinese, he must go beyond its borders to garner more power.

But the U.S. has been all over the region since the end of WWII.

I once heard it said that nations like Canada should not be telling nations like China and Saudi Arabia to clean up their human rights record or we may not do business, because, in continuing to do  business despite human rights violations, we have opportunity to engage in dialogue towards improving their human rights records.

Well, we didn’t take a strong stand. Instead we traded and asked China not to be meanies. Here is what happened:

…nothing. Instead we will one day be facing off against massive Chinese platoons, aircraft carriers, and missile-capable submarines -all bought with money the Chinese made from doing business with the U.S., Canada, and other western nations.

We will likely go to war. If the U.S. engages China/Russia, we in Canada cannot leave our American brothers and sisters to their own devices.

If there is anything surviving afterwards, we should make human rights AND geopolitical participation  fundamental requirements of every trading relationship. Part of this would specify support for a U.N. military force of peacekeepers and the corollary reduction of the Chinese military to a token force. The U.S. too. Russia too. Everyone.

We might not be able to escape Thucydides’ Trap. But neither should we just step right into it. Until China is willing, the west should suck it up and disentangle itself from the lax morality of the Chinese business establishment. Do without doing business with China.

Given what has been done to the Uighur Muslims and to the practitioners of peaceful Falun Dafa (whose motto is Truth, Compassion, Forbearance) we should never have gone for the easy profits in the first place; ‘easy’ because China does not care for its workers the way Canada does, nor for the environment. [btw, Shame on Apple and on anyone else who made their fortune here, then uprooted and landed in the demesnes of folks who could intend to do us harm in a ‘competitive’ relationship, just because labour and business costs were cheaper, allowing investors to garner more profits].

Guess what? Businesses increase their business and profits against their competitors’ loss of business and profits. Businesses may even choose to reduce profit margins temporarily if they foresee capital investments now will annihilate the competition later, positioning them to be the only show in town, inviting a steady and unchallenged flow of profits to their investors.

That scenario applies not only to Chinese businesses, but to Chinese ambition. Clearly, they want parity with the U.S. But it is not the nature of business or of this Chinese regime to just leave it at that. They will seek to move beyond parity to monopoly. And we will have helped them with the costs of the transition.

First, nations must  vet the terms of engagement, before their wealthy enrich the folks on the other side to the point that they could one day turn and impose upon them their way of life, through military force. This should be clearly established before a single dollar flows that-a-way.

It does no one any good to be dead. Rich or poor. But it’s wealthy folks trying to become even wealthier that has put our nation and our World in one heck of a mess.

Like the cons of Canada, these folks can only think one-dimensionally. Profits up/profits down. China = profits up.

Guess what, if China’s regime doesn’t back off and we end up going to war with them, it’s going to end up with profits being severely down, and for a very, very long time. The human misery that will accompany the investors’ malaise will of course be indescribable .

Is this worth a ‘+’ today on the TSX?

Hello?

20 October 2020

There is no better facilitator of social control than low-wages, lack of employment opportunities, and payday loans, because these keep the working class in a state of constant desperation, and willing to do anything, tolerate anything (including long hours and not having a life or energy left for yourself and family). Folks can get used to anything; and then afterwards wonder that they are feeling stressed and in a constant state of heightened anxiety…then, after a time, they acquire mental health issues, then seek counselling to help them to balance their reactions to the World, our world…A WORLD WHICH IS OUT OF BALANCE.

Would it not behoove us better to focus on balancing the World, our world, rather than our reactions to a world that is OUT OF BALANCE? Hello?

Right now, folks need the support of their own families. That’s because people need to belong. Maslow said this. It is level 3 on the pyramid. But to get there, according to Maslow, you have to first acquire food, shelter, safety, security…look at how divided we are in our communities (look at Mi’kmaw and the commercial fishers confrontation), our nation (Québec, Wexit, First Nations), our World (take your pick on this one).

It is the ego of the state that permits the state to believe it can be all things to all people, where in fact it is the Spirit of the people comprising the state that impart the meaning of their relations to one another; the state institutionalizes these relations.

Right now the World, our world is in an existential crisis, of a spiritual nature. If we continue to allow our egos to compromise our relations to one another, our nation and world will institutionalize ‘us and them’ and ‘have – have not.’ The ego of wealth will ensure that poverty is always with us and will increase in proportion to the general populace, as the gap between the two sides expands.

N.B. Is anyone getting tired of how politicized everything is these days? Let’s face it, if in a democracy, while the one side of a given issue is talking (the hypothesis), the other side is not listening with the intent of providing a counter-proposal (antithesis), but is rather listening for OPPORTUNITY to pull the rug out from under the government, then the whole rhetorical process of hypothesis-antithesis-synthesis (H-A-S) breaks down. There is no opportunity to achieve synthesis (consensus) and the process (democracy) is, for all intents and purposes, broken.

What I have been hearing, for the most part, from the cons and, sadly, albeit somewhat less aggressive, from the NDP, is blatant politicization of everything. Politicization has only one purpose: to gain or maintain political power.

Right now, Canada faces some serious issues. What got Canada this far in its history is the ‘we stand on guard for thee [Canada]. ‘We’ is reduced to lipservice if ‘we’ in Canada resort to violence, rumour, fear…any departure from H-A-S does our nation and its democratic institutions a great disservice; it does the Canadians of the war generations a grave dishonour.

After having listened to Vassy Kapelos’ Power & Politics podcast on my walkabout this morning and afterwards the PM taking questions about COVID-19 and the Nova Scotia fisheries standoff on CBC’s Livestream, I am convinced that we Canadians have the best government in place already to steer us through the pandemic and into a new age; one featuring a sustainable and viable economy and renewable, green energy sources; one wherein humans are reconciled with one another and humankind with Nature.

The government says it does not want an election. Of course it would say that.

The cons want to form an ‘anti-corruption’ committee. The cons have obviously not learned anything from the Harper experience. Do you remember Kevin Page, our first Parliamentary Budget Officer? He was the bane of the Harper cons. Ironically it was Harper who created the Parliamentary Budget Office and installed Mr. Page as its first Officer. Now, it appears, the cons are ready to make that same mistake yet again – they are calling for the creation of an anti-corruption committee because they want to handcuff and bring down the government. They want to be the ones whose hands are on the wheel.

But the cons are, well,  CONS. They cannot help but cheat, fabricate, and rely on some sort of  fictional narrative to rationalize what they do or aren’t doing. If they are returned to power, their new anti-corruption committee would out-and-out CRUCIFY their government. But the cons cannot think that far ahead. Their egos won’t allow it.

And I doubt Canadians will allow their weak explanations to convince Canadians that we  would be better off with them governing rather than  the Trudeau Liberals.

How exactly would we be better off? Are the cons going to dig into their deep pockets and feed us when we are out of work? Are they going to stop the poisoning of our lakes, rivers, oceans, and aquifers? Are they even proposing the planting of $1B worth of trees to help fight Climate Change and help to restore the ecosystem?

Are they proposing anything apart from more strong-arming and policing to deal with protesters in order to ‘settle’ longstanding grievances? [Note that the Liberals are consistent in their application of policing as a measure of compliance: they balked at allowing the police to remove the Wet’suwet’en pipeline barricades and are now resisting calls to bring in the military to impose order between the commercial fishermen and the Mi’kmaw in Nova Scotia. The Liberals want the two sides to dialogue. H-A-S. is, after all, THE DEMOCRATIC WAY].

The Liberals have been, for the most part in our history, good stewards of the nation. A couple of them, Pete and Mike (aka Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Lester B. Pearson) even made their mark upon the World, our world.

Let me close by admitting that I am a ‘dreamer.’ I want things to happen, now. But even I know that the dreamer must awaken, have their coffee, then get  off their butts and get to work in order to make things happen. Things will not happen right away; therefore we must cultivate an attitude of perseverance and keep our eyes fixed squarely on the target as we navigate the bumps in the road ahead.

As Canada’s ‘Minister of Everything’ Chrystia Freeland indicated in today’s pandemic update on CBC, what occurred in Nova Scotia has been in the making for centuries. Talks have been ongoing since the landmark Marshall decision was rendered in 1999. It is going to take a while longer, one might think, to come up with a workable arrangement, no?

In the meantime, the intimidation tactics the commercial fishermen were using are deplorable, at the pier and on the water. We’re better than that, aren’t we? And, do we need to rely on the police, or the military, to settle differences between neighbours? They are better used than that.

As it stands, the Mi’kmaw have been granted, by law, about 350 lobster traps. The commercial fisheries have 350,000 lobster traps, this according to one of the P&P pundits. Conservation cannot be the issue here. Yet it is the notion that the new Mi’kmaw fishery is going to usurp the living of the commercial fishermen which is being given as the reason for the confrontations. This is, therefore, fear-mongering.

Who is responsible? Why are they deepening divisions between Canada and her First Nations folks?

…and why do they resort to fear-mongering? If what they claim is true, the evidence will back it up. We need only wait to obtain the evidence. No burning vans or lobster compounds. No busted traps. No broken bones or the feeling of being backed into a corner when you are out fishing in the middle of the sea. Just allowing the time for open and honest and  RESPECTFUL debate. H-A-S.

The venerable Greek nation has known this since Pericles  was on the podium – that’s even before Christ was a cowboy!  But among political parties in Canada, it appears the information has only resonated with the Liberals in Ottawa.

The NDP and the Liberals should be on the same side. The NDP functions very well as the ‘conscience of Canada’ and of the Liberals; they are the proverbial good angel perched on the government’s right shoulder.

The Conservatives, on the other hand (irony of ironies!!!) are on the left.

19 October 20

In case you are confused, the Washington Post has published a fine article to explain the American electoral process.

Here in Maritime Canada, there is conflict brewing between commercial fishermen and the Mi’kmaw. Likely, declining stocks and revenue are the basis of the dispute.

Let no one forget that the Mi’kmaw people exist within Canada under a special relationship which is defined and institutionalized by treaty. A treaty is an agreement between two sides and to which both sides are bound by honour.

We are an honourable people. We are a nation of honourable peoples. We have sent our young people off to fight and die in wars overseas in defense of the vulnerable and of freedom, out of our sense of honour. We have it in us to see this to a mutually beneficial end. Such an end is never obtained by resorting to violence and mayhem.

The House of Commons may invoke an emergency debate to try to settle the issue.

Rather than confrontation over the new Mi’kmaw fishery operation, why not first investigate and address the concerns of the stakeholders? They are neighbours in their community after all, and the Golden Rule applies:

  1. If the concern for conservation has any validity whatsoever, a scientific evaluation would provide the truth of the matter and should be called for; this rather than resorting to pushing, shoving, and arson, and police. No need for violence or ill-will. If the new fishery has minimal impact on stocks, no problem exists; however, if the new fishery is going to deplete lobster stocks, it’s going to deplete the stocks for commercial and native fisheries alike; it would therefore behoove both sides to come up with a viable and sustainable solution, TOGETHER.
  2. Dovetailing into this is the interpretation of  ‘moderate livelihood.’  Does it mean, on the one extreme, to harvest as much as possible, to make as much money as possible, so that everyone may drive around in Cadillacs? Of course not. Neither is it something easily quantifiable, because ‘moderate’ has such a subjective meaning. In fact, the Creator intended for us to have all of what we need to thrive and survive, but to take no more, because when one does take more from Nature than what one needs to survive, then one is generally robbing others of opportunity to acquire the minimum they need to survive. No other species, apart from us humans, routinely gathers and hoards more, from one another and from other species, than needed to survive.

The Golden Rule in action:

Commercial Fisherman: ‘I see you built a new fishery so that you can harvest lobster during the commercial off-season?’

Mi’kmaw  Fisherman: ‘Yes, that’s true. We want to increase our lobster-revenue in order to improve our quality of life. Our Treaty with the Queen Mother allows us to fish year-round in order to feed ourselves.’

Commercial Fisherman: ‘Oh, I totally get it. The trouble is, if the waters are fished full-bore, year-round, there will soon be NONE OF US will be able to fish for a living. What ever will we do then?’

Mi’kmaw Fisherman: ‘My White brother speaks truly. We should go and petition the government’s experts, the scientific community, to evaluate the situation, and to address these concerns. We do not wish to starve. Neither do we desire for our White brothers and sisters who fish for a living to starve.’

Canadian Society at large: ‘We will evaluate. If it turns out that lobster stocks cannot tolerate the new Mi’kmaw fishery operating in the ‘off-season,’ then the fishery will not be allowed to operate in the off-season. However, if so limiting the operation precludes our Mi’kmaw brothers and sisters from enjoying a quality of life comparable to ours (thereby violating the treaty arrangement), then we will financially compensate and/or provide other in-kind services to eliminate the gap between the Mi’kmaw’s current standard of living and a ‘moderate living.’

18 October 2020

Only one headline today: Donald Trump joue sur la peur lors de rassemblements dans le Midwest – shame on Donald Trump and anyone else, for that matter, who believes scaring people into doing things, or in order to get them to vote a certain way, IS EVER  A GOOD IDEA.

Fear plays to the ego. When one ‘plays on fear,’ they invoke the selfish, ‘me-first’ response. Those who use it as a political tactic know this. It results in an atmosphere of one being set against the other, of us and them…it is used by ‘haves’ who seek to keep the ‘have-nots’ divided and politically ineffectual.

It is division.

That way, if they can keep the majority of voters divided with respect to one another, they can sell various pieces of a dubious, disjunctive social vision to enough folks to actually cobble together an electoral victory.

Divided they fall…

But, the beauty of democracy is that it is by nature facilitative of unity.

United we stand…

When people come together in a common cause, great things can and are allowed to happen socially, nationally, globally…the reason that education, healthcare, and climate change are universal concerns is because democracy gave voice to the people who raised those concerns and these people encouraged others to get on board because of their passion and commitment.

Those concerns were not likely brought forward by the likes of Donald Trump; those who seek to control the money because money means power over all those obliged by ‘circumstances’ to live with a money-deficit. Again, shame on anyone who is able to do that to others; those ‘others’ being men, women, children, the elderly, the disabled, the chronically-ill, young families…

Anyone who stokes fear among the populace is creating and entrenching division among the populace. Those Blacks, White Folks, Muslims, Chinese, Christians, Jews, Palestinians, Arabs, Frenchmen, Englishmen…men, women…whatever one might style as ‘the others’ were standing shoulder-to-shoulder during the Great War and its sequels, and died TOGETHER to give our generation a fighting chance.

Now, it is our turn to provide a ‘fighting chance’  to our children’s generation.

We must turn our backs on politicians and social movements that pit one of its members against another.

We must return to civility, decorum, and the Golden Rule as the default mode of human interaction.

We must protect diversity, within and among nations, and also in Nature. Diversity is the Creator’s modus operandi. If it were not, there’d only be one kind of tree, of human, of bird…

In diversity, continuity is guaranteed, no matter the context.

17 October 2020

We are in dangerous territory when ‘politics’ gets too ‘political.’

Democracy is predicated upon the model of: hypothesis-antithesis-synthesis – in plain language, one side, Side ‘A’ say, tables an idea/issue; their opponents, Side ‘B’, say, say ‘nay’ to the idea/issue and tables a counter-proposal. Side A counters this, and back-and-forth things go until a majority consensus on the matter is reached and the process, resulting in an act of government, is able to move forward to completion.

What we have now is political parties playing bumper-cars with one another (or dare/double-dare, if you will) and with voters, and with no obvious purpose to benefit the public; but rather to keep or acquire political power by short-circuiting the system.

Headline 1: Why Parliament could be on the brink of a snap election – I’m going to read this with great interest. A quick scan reveals the issue to be that the Liberals are against the Conservatives’ calls to set up an anti-corruption committee to reopen the WE Charity investigation, and are actively filibustering in committee. The government’s political calculus may be to call a snap election if the NDP side with the Bloq (and with the Cons) to create the committee; which the Liberals are calling a ‘fishing-expedition’ designed to earn political points for the cons and help them bring down the government (and gain for themselves another opportunity to screw Canadians out of even more of their livelihood).

If you are a Canadian voter, pick a side. I want to believe the Liberals, because they generally fall on the same page with my own Canadian ‘vision,’ the one I thought Canada actually was, and the one I was living, while growing up during the Mike and Pierre years.

In a democracy, governments are as imperfect as in any other type; however, in a democracy, they must be accountable, or there is no democracy. Truth by convenience is a business operative, a ‘buyer beware’ sort of thing; it has no place in a democracy.

Meantime, to the south, our American brothers and sisters are embroiled in their own battle with  democracy’s enemy. The enemy has hijacked the GOP in the U.S. just as it has our erstwhile Progressive Conservatives, here in Canada.

The enemy is movement conservatism. It’s social vision is ‘country as corporation.’

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A CORPORATION CREATED TO END POVERTY. That’s something national/cultural societies would do.

CORPORATIONS ABET TWO-TIERING ON COMMUNITY, NATIONAL, AND INTERNATIONAL LEVELS –  corporations are the socio-economic structures wherein wealth is created and distributed between investors and workers; the operative being to pay the worker as little as possible while getting the most output (to wit: more value from the labour), to optimize profit-generating mechanisms for investors.

But I digress.

Headline 2: Supreme Court will review Trump’s plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from calculations for congressional seats – according to the article appearing in today’s Washington Post,

The unprecedented proposal could have the effect of shifting both political power and billions of dollars in federal funds away from urban states with large immigrant populations and toward rural and more Republican interests.’

Whereas in Canada, the cons are in opposition and perhaps ‘fishing’ for anything they can use to trump the Liberals’ chances to remain in power to advance their aggressive, yet timely and rational agenda (and are quite willing to squander Canadian taxpayer dollars to that end), our American brothers and sisters have to deal direct with democracy’s devil; perched on-high, vulture-like, using its advantage from the White House to espy new opportunities to take democracy away FROM THE PEOPLE.

America’s institutions have bought the American voters time to right their floundering ship. In only a few more weeks, the Donald Trump train-wreck will be history…

…else I feel democracy could end up the victim.

To end today’s rant, a lyric excerpted from Canada’s  Steppenwolf’s The Monster:

The spirit was freedom and justice

And it’s keepers seem generous and kind

It’s leaders were supposed to serve the country

But now they won’t pay it no mind…

’cause the people grew fat and got lazy

and now their vote is a meaningless joke

They babble about law and order

but it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told…

They were singing about America, but America’s affliction is everywhere. It has spread, infecting the World, our world, like the COVID-19 pandemic; but more murderously than the virus can.

Steppenwolf is praying for America’s return, to itself, to return to the vision and spirit of its founders, who were themselves trying to live free from oppression.

Those who live ‘free’ are free to create the World, their world, that they want to live in. ‘Free’ does not, however, ever imply the freedom to oppress others.

In a democracy, ‘free’ implies freedom to choose, between a world where strength, political power, tow wit: the egos of those with money rule, and a world governed by rule of law.

Democracy and the Golden Rule. These human operatives go hand-in-hand with one another, and with the hand of our Creator.

While we yet live in a democracy, we retain power. but it is power bourn of our wits, our resolve, our obeisance to the truth, to fair-play, to honour…to the Golden Rule.

  1. Our political leaders need not be perfect for democracy to function at its best, but they MUST ALWAYS be ACCOUNTABLE to the truth –always. Never b.s. anyone. Rather than fib or mislead, it is better to say nothing.
  2. Voters likewise need to be open-minded, open to discussion, and ever-ready to do their homework.
  3. Our politicians and voters alike need to adhere to the Golden Rule.

16 October 2020

It’s Friday! Alright, already! …it’s Fall, it’s mid-October, the leaves are seriously starting to drop, and our American brothers and sisters to the south are seriously getting involved with electing their next president.

Of course, one is tempted to predict a Biden victory, or more precisely, a referendum on the ‘presidency’ of Donald Trump. The pundits all say the election is ‘Biden’s to lose.’

Wasn’t that, more or less, the situation in 2016?

Come to think of it, how did Trump get elected even then? He should not have been, yet he was. The lack of a clear answer is what is frightening me now.

Last night, watching Vassy Kapelos and her pundits on CBC’s Power & Politics, I wondered that among all of their insightful analyses, no one thought to mention the obvious:

Trump’s strategy for re-election is simply to play upon peoples’ EMOTIONS. Why might that be? When folks become emotional, they check their ability to think at the front door. THEY CAN ONLY REACT.

That’s perfect for Trump: these folks WILL NOT do any facts-checking. They will accept everything Trump tells them, in particular, that he is the ‘victim’ of the left.

Ha! He is only ‘victim’ because his attempts to obtain absolute power for himself, akin to what he enjoys within the businesses he owns, have been stymied by the same democratic institutions that permitted him to gain the Presidency.

Truly, one might expect to be ‘master of one’s own castle,’  as the saying goes, however, when one is elected to ‘power’ in a ‘democracy,’ one is obliged to wield that power to SERVE the democratic society. Leaders in democracies are ’empowered servants’ of the democracy.

And there’s the rub so far as the Trumps of the World, our world, are concerned. With so much power surging through their veins, they fool themselves; allowing themselves to believe that they are the source of that power; that they own that power.

The truth is, the citizens own power in a democracy. They always have. That’s the point.

But there are, and always have been, folks involved in the  politics of nations who believe they can buy and bullshit their way into power, and once gained, use it to attack the system that elected them in order to consolidate and perpetuate their power (and, oh yeah, increase their wealth ).

Every time we elect a conservative government (progressive conservative was something entirely different), we empower the con-element to do what they opportunistically await on the sidelines: the chance to enact policies that deepen the pockets of wealthier folks, who, in turn, will reward them by continuing to supply them with dollars toward future elections.

How easily can we be bought?

Eventually, their pockets will be so deep (and their opposition’s, so shallow) they will able to up their media-airtime and message us to death, demonizing the left, while apprising us on how good our quality of life has become. In fact the squalor many citizens live in is deepening, their hold on solvency weakening, and the gap between ‘us and them’ is widening, growing comparable to that between the denizens of Mt. Olympus and the ancient Greeks.

This is all so very 1984-ish, oui?

Note that the Greek gods were a rather messed-up bunch, made that way by having been given too much power without the good sense to use it properly. That ‘good-sense’ is what is under assail in democracies around the World, our world. The proper use of power in a democracy IS TO SERVE the democracy. The institution of democracy is greater than any one government or style of government.

It is only our democratic institutions that  can save the day for us (for the World, our world, it is the rule of law) when modern conservative, aka ‘movement conservative’ governments are accorded power.

If those who live in a democracy want to keep things ‘democratic,’ they cannot be asleep at the wheel.

If we let folks like Donald Trump, Netanyahu, Xi, Putin, MBS…whomever…do the driving for the World, our world, then the World, god’s world, will remain hidden from us…

by the curtain of  human ego.

Our democratic institutions, meanwhile, for as long as they continue to exist, will cast their light upon the likes of such leaders -those who prefer to operate in the shadow, hidden from the light of day, as ego always does -foiling their attempts to effectively, if not outright, rob us of the franchise.

Here in Canada, our Liberals/NDP in Ottawa are winning the fight against the divisiveness of the ‘neo-right,’ movement conservatives. The cons have not yet succeeded in bamboozling Canadians (on the whole) into buying their ‘alternate political reality.’

I want to say the same thing about Trump’s chances of success, but I know if our American brothers and sisters take the foot off the gas pedal between now and November, it could give Trump the opportunity he needs to remain in the White House.

But when the two sides encounter each other, IT IS IMPERATIVE to resist THE COMPULSION to react. No pushing, shoving, window-breaking, tear-gas tossing…nothing whatsoever of the kind.

It was NOT the intention of the ancient Greeks to leave us a legacy foreshadowing an Orwellian world,  a two-tiered totalitarian nightmare, in the Myths, but rather to encourage us, and…

…to leave us with the certain knowledge that if we pull together, even the folks among us with egos so great as to permit them to think of themselves as belonging to another, vastly superior species, will no longer matter, will be of no consequence, because in democracies,

Power does not rule, rather,

The rule of law is power.

The democratically-elected leader wields it…the people are its source.

14 October 2020

Nobel Laureate Economist Paul Krugman has written a piece in his NY Times weekly column, What’s good for corporations isn’t good for America – I’ll be reading it today with great interest, as I do all of this man’s musings.

p.s.

The root problem the World, our world, faces today is not geo-political, it is spiritual. All of the World’s problems: war, poverty, pollution, climate change, racism, all derive from humankind’s departure from the ‘Truth.’

Were you to ask Google, ‘What is truth?’, Google would inform you ‘the Truth’ is ‘that which is true in accordance with fact or reality.’

Our ‘reality’ these days is that we have placed a barrier between ourselves and the Light of our Creator, so that our spiritual energy-stores are not replenished (the ‘give and you shall receive’ operative) and, as we slip further and further into the subjectivity of egoic self-consciousness, the barrier strengthens, blocking so much of the Light that we lose our sense of something greater in existence, than ourselves.

We are left with only our subjectivity, being the reflection of our own anxieties.

This is a terrible social development: as time goes on, more and more folks are being compelled to answer to the subjectivity of other folks. These days, it is safer to ignore other people, even when you think they might be in trouble, because you cannot know how the individual might react to your attention in such a subjectively perceived world, and at best, they make you feel like you did something wrong by taking an interest; at worst, you end up explaining yourself to the police.

In our topsy-turvy world, has anyone noticed the burden of proof shifting from the accuser to the accused? That is a prime indicator that the human spiritual perspective is shifting from the Light to the darkness of egoic subjectivity.

To close, consider how dangerous, how self-undermining, a perspective such as that afforded through the lens of ego really is:

  • 3 or 4 millennia ago, the Hebrews, newly liberated from slavery in Egypt, sought out the ‘Promised Land.’ There happened to already be men, women, and children living there. The Hebrew leadership instructed the people to slay every man, woman, and child, in order to make room for the Hebrews, telling them it was ‘the Word of God.’ Hello? Who could permit themselves to believe that god would want a child murdered? The ancient Hebrews apparently had, but they were rendered susceptible to the lies of their leadership because their egos were brought very close to the surface by suffering under the Egyptians for centuries. For all the bloodshed in those days, THE WAR FOR THE PROMISED LAND CONTINUES. If you study the scriptural authority that provides for the ‘Promised Land,’ you will find elsewhere in the text that the land was promised to all of the descendants of Abraham, which, Genesis implies, includes the Palestinians and the Hebrews. The ongoing misery over there may be characterized as ‘sibling rivalry.’ Time for mom and dad (god) to step in and restore peace to the household. In my understanding, JVP is trying to do just that.
  • only one millennium ago, the European Christian establishment ‘put’ Jesus in the frontlines as they breached the Muslim defenses of Jerusalem and proceeded to murder every man, woman, and child, Muslim, Christian, and Jew. The Muslims of the day, it should be noted, had permitted folks of every faith to come to the Holy City to worship, and were, in fact, defending Christians against the European Christian invaders, as well as their own. The Crusaders’ motto while going into battle? ‘God wills it!’ wtf? ‘Wills it?’ If god ‘wills’ destruction of what god made, why would he/she think it good to make us in the first place? Hello?
  • 2 millennia after Jesus, poverty is still among us. The Bible has Jesus saying that we will always have poverty among us. Well, if the Bible got the ‘Promised Land’ business wrong (that war is still ongoing, after all), then it could have gotten it wrong wrt poverty and to Jesus: perhaps Jesus never left us, and that he had actually said something to the effect that poverty should never exist.
  • If Jesus could have appeared, post-crucifixion, to Mary Magdalene and to Paul of Tarsus, then he has never left us. Again, it is human ego which does not see this. Neither has Mohammed left us. Later on in human history, their voices were heard through the likes of Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, and so many other good souls who sought out and chose to channel the Light of the Creator. These are, in their way, all calling for power to respect diversity, to promote inclusion, to be open to progress, as humankind tacks its way across the seas of the unknown, against oftentimes contrary winds.
  • The differences in the ways humans find to worship god, or even what they call god (I use smaller case ‘g’ because something so great as to create a species like humans; besides, when we chose to operate in and channel the light, we have done some amazing and wonderful things!), are cultural and time-dependent. The creator of all things likely reasoned that there would be little point in sending a message, until the recipients were ready to receive, and to understand it.
  • If you get a chance, watch The Message, starring Anthony Quinn. It is an amazing movie. The opening scene is revelatory. I was soon impressed, watching as someone having grown up in the Christian tradition,  at how the first Muslims were treated and martyred in the name of Allah and Peace, just like the first Christians were. It seems to me this is proof-positive that the fight ‘the people of god’ have CANNOT BE WITH ONE ANOTHER, because they all seem to share and have shared in, the same struggles. No matter what they call the god they worship, or how they worship their god, they have been made to suffer for it. Later on, they were often compelled to do great evil to other groups, in the name of their god. Here’s the truth: their leaders used their power to insert themselves between the creator and their people. More precisely, it is the EGO of leaders trying to block the Light of the Creator.
  • Bottom Line:  Anyone who tells you to do violence to others (except that which is incidental to protecting yourself, your community, and the vulnerable from attack, and does not extend beyond this) is putting their ego between you and the Light, because your own scripture tells you never to do violence, but rather to always seek Peace, à la Lester B.’s Peacekeepers.
  • anyone who tells you that you should worship their‘God’ rather than your own, or in their way rather than yours, is putting their ego between you and the Light. Some Christians even describe their ‘relationship’ with Jesus as ‘personal,’ then they tell you exactly how to worship, that any other way but theirs is leading you to straight to ‘Hell.’ Hello?
  • anyone who tells you that poverty is natural, is putting their ego between you and the Light. There are only ‘poor’ people and ‘working-poor’  people because other people control too much property and wealth, and their control snowballs.
    • Question:On which side of the Light is it proper to build fences?
    • Answer:only on the out-side. To wit: where the Darkness has not given way to the Light.

We need only resist our own egos, as individuals, whether we be ‘leaders’ or rank-in-file members of society, and the ways of our Creator will be made plain to us.

We will recognize that what we have in common is all that really matters, to wit: having been created by the Creator. So long as we worship, so long as we aspire to know the will of god with open hearts and minds, there will be Peace among us.

Recognizing this, we will look to one another’s needs and never be an impediment to the realization of other folks’ dreams.

The Golden Rule.

p.s. p.s.

I found a pamphlet in my door the other day from a pro-life organization. Along the top, it reads, Abortion is a human rights violation. Help end the killing.

Truly, abortion is a human rights violation. No argument there. The trouble is, god, not humans, gave to woman the ability to have children, and it is therefore not for other humans to dictate to woman what she does with her body, the one god gave her. To dictate to woman with respect to (wrt) her own body is a human rights violation too.

What to do….what to do….?

I explore the issue more fully here.

The bottom line is, if we defend the rights of those on the one side of the equation, we deny the right to those on the other side.  Personally, I believe that the two sides are reconcilable; that if humans can choose to spend trillions to go to Mars, not to mention being resourceful enough to actually accomplish the feat, then they can muster the money, technology, and political will to save ‘unwanted’ human fetuses from the garbage can; to have them brought to full-term in some other way. I doubt if any woman is able to forget having aborted a child, no matter how dire the circumstances were for her at the time, this cannot ever be an ‘easy’ decision for her. For her, having an alternative to abortion would be like tossing her soul a lifeline. She would not feel fear or guilt.

Having an alternative, we no longer face the dilemma of siding with woman (against the child) v. siding with the child (against then woman). The two sides, pro-life v. pro-choice, could come together, to form a united front to this end. Were they to do so, we would get to the solution much more quickly.

No more babies will die just as they are building and preparing themselves to go out into the World, our world/their world, on their own.

Many young women would be spared feelings of profound guilt and fear, while their right to control of their own body, is respected.

A win-win.

12 October 2020

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

…and hoping everyone is in a position to be thankful and to celebrate!

Headline 1: COVID-19: une nouvelle prestation disponible pour les Canadiens privés de revenus – to be completely honest, I do not know if I qualify or not? I became jobless before the outbreak. I had quit my current employ more than a year prior and moved closer to my nonagenarian father. He lives on his own still. I do his day-to-day shopping/errands, prepare most of his meals, light housekeeping, and of course provide some company.

But helping my out with my dad is not keeping what’s me from getting a job. Employers simply ignore my applications. THAT’S WHAT’S KEEPING ME FROM GETTING A JOB.

And, as slim as my chances of finding work were before the pandemic struck, they are significantly reduced after the outbreak, because of the subsequent tanking of the economy.

I could just apply, but I am loathe to do this, if only to be told I do not qualify. The ignominy I would feel having applied for help not intended for me is enough. But the money would certainly help.

The distinction between being in jail and living as if you were in jail becomes blurred by poverty. POVERTY IS AN IMPEDIMENT TO SOCIAL INCLUSION.

Yet, as little as I am able to accomplish on my income, as isolated as I am by it, my situation could be A LOT WORSE. There are many Canadians much worse off than I am right now.

Perhaps our Feds should instruct the Canada Revenue Agency to reach out to Canadians and inform them if they qualify for any new aid being proposed and legislated? The devil might just be in the details with this proposal.

The top-down approach is not the only operative here. Always take care of the needs of all of the ‘little people’ for they are the foundation of society, upon which society relies to pursue its aspirations.

Given that a wealthy person would likely view everyone of relatively lesser wealth as ‘little people,’ that makes nearly all of us ‘little people,’ with respect to the elites.  If we do not sit down together and engage each other in a heart-to-heart re-evaluation of how we do things; if we continue to choose to ignore that our current ways and aspirations are creating fault-lines of social division, weakening social cohesion; potentially leading to the utter dissolution of democratic society, society’s members will grow further and further apart and find themselves working increasingly at crossed-principles.

Like a rope formed of loose strands, under these conditions, Canadian society might not hold when then next major stress is put upon it.

There are folks across the nation who want power for themselves (over citizens) and who want to separate their regions/provinces from Canada and who would apply that stress. [Aside: Shame on them for forgetting Canada’s youth, of the War Generations, whom we remember and venerate on November 11th, for dying in the World’s defense against fascism and, ultimately, for the preservation of our nation].

Are the elites responsible for all of the division and misery in the World, our world?   À la Milton’s Satan, do they aspire to be master, atop their ‘own shit pile,’ rather than be a partner in something much greater?

Nowhere in Nature does anything akin to an elites group exist, save for among us humans. They do not have a care for the ‘little people’ save for how they can be used. But in a democracy, they need the votes of the ‘little people’ in order to acquire the opportunity to increase their PERSONAL power and wealth, at the expense of the people whose votes they need.

Doubling the tragedy being done to Canada, our wonderful nation, and to its peoples, is the fact that the elites may now live anywhere in the World, our world, because of international trade agreements designed to facilitate the business of multi-national corporations and render national policy subject to non-elected international tribunals. THIS MEANS NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS MIGHT NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENACT MEASURES TO HELP THEIR OWN CITIZENS IF SAID MEASURES COMPROMISE THE ACTIVITIES AND PROFITS OF CORPORATIONS (AND THEIR INVESTORS).

We have much to be thankful for. But for the sacrifice of the War Generations (WWI and WWII), we wouldn’t even be here.

We would not have the opportunity which stands before us today: to reconcile the world of humans with the intent of the Creator.

The alternative is the end of humankind, and, of human kindness.

To be replaced with, at the first, by a totalitarian nightmare, before the final inevitable collapse of human civilization.

We would go the way of the Doh-Doh and the dinosaur.

To avoid all of this, let us acquire for ourselves the mindsets of Piketty and Raworth, guided by the spirit of the Mahatma, Lennon, Lincoln, Pearson, et al. – folks spirited in the ways of the Creator.

As a Canadian, today, I am giving thanks for Lester B. Pearson, who, in my own experience, best exemplified the Canadian Spirit.

p.s.

Headline 2: As Trump stumbles, voters finalize their choices, and Biden’s lead grows – alright, now here’s something the vulnerable of America and the World, our world, can be thankful for. America’s Trump, like Canada’s Harper, Israel’s Netanyahu, China’s Xi – you name ’em – would never qualify for a position as a  Walmart Greeter, yet inexplicably became leaders of venerable nations.

We should know such men cannot lead nations nor national societies, because nations are not businesses. These folks will play with lives as if they were business commodities.

11 October 2020

Nobel Laureate Economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman has authored a fine piece in his weekly column on Trump and COVID-19.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Even if you do not celebrate it, I do wish to share the joy of the occasion  with everyone I meet and to express my gratitude to our Creator, who put the ‘Red Man’ here before us in order to welcome us as friends and to guide us while we tried to establish ourselves, in order to live free of oppression from European aristocrats and Popes.

To all of us here in North America: The Indigenous were content to share the land with us, but we proceeded to settle the lands and to build fences as we expanded our notion of private property, from one ocean to the other.

This is a bogus notion. It sets people with money to buy land, against people who do not have money to buy land. It puts constraints upon the quality of life of folks who hunt, fish, and harvest wild rice to make a living and to support themselves.

Today, have a listen to Mr. John Lennon’s Imagine. [Aside: If he didn’t believe in a Creator back then, he certainly does now that he lives there…]

People like that, you’d think, our Creator would notice!

He also sang, ‘Give Peace a chance.’ I have to wonder how it is that someone like him, or the Mahatma, or Martin Luther King Jr., or Abraham Lincoln, should end up begin assassinated by the World, our world. Is it as the Great Canadian Bard, Gordon Lightfoot, sang in his Sit Down Young Stranger?

‘…to wear the crown of Peace, you must wear the crown of thorns…

I think we humans need to re-imagine the World, our world, with a view to the Golden Rule. We shouldn’t be killing off the type of leaders that the World, our world, has always been in such desperate need of [Aside: and we might also consider not electing leaders like Trump or Harper or any of such ilk].

After listening to these gems, curl up with a good book: today, mine is going to be Their Home and Native Land, by Robert MacBain. Theirs (the Indigenous of Canada), is a story this generation of Canadians needs to hear.

Mr. Robert has done the job well and at exactly the right time.

10 October 2020

Humankind was recently gifted with a prophet. His name was Bob Marley. Among the many gems of wisdom he bequeathed us for his legacy was this song:

One Love / One Heart

Here also on YouTube, you can plainly see ‘the message’ coming from our Creator. What you may also notice  is that the folks doling out food  and clothing on 149th Street on Boxing Day do not appear to be much better-off than the ones coming for a meal. WHAT YOU DO NOT SEE are representatives of the wealthiest demographic.

Their donating dollars is as demeaning to Poverty and those imprisoned in it, as corporate programs to ‘help kids play hockey’ are.

For societies to be cohesive and sustainable, they must jettison the operatives of separation. Wealth v. Poverty is an intrinsically divisive and anti-social operative. Were there not such a gap between the wealthy and the poor, we would either witness:

  1. Wealthier people, being not so wealthy as to permit them to make large but nevertheless token donations, would, alternatively, man the tables right alongside the poorer volunteers, or,
  2. Poorer folks in the community are never so poor as to oblige them to go to food banks and ad hoc community services to supply their basic needs.

No species of animal denies its own the right to safety from other predatory species or the right to feed themselves.

HUMANS DO.

We are behaving unnaturally. We have departed from the ways of Nature and the Creator.

With reference to the situation Canada faces, our Liberal government is redirecting the Canadian ship toward RECONCILIATION – not only with Canada’s Indigenous, but with itself (to wit: the mitigation/annihilation of the operatives of social division), and with Nature and god (to wit: the fight against climate change, desertification, pollution and the eradication of the processes that sustain Poverty).

Headline: Philippines says it and China reaffirm strong relations – Is there anyone who can explain what’s going on over there? Duterte was kicking the Americans out, then there was alarm over China’s belligerence in the South China Sea and the eviction of the American military was rescinded (or so I thought); but now China and the Philippine dictator are now best buds once again…

When things are so hic-hac-ho reactionary, when friendship is based on convenience only, it is revealing of Ego’s hegemony in the World, our world.

In contrast, a World governed by the rule of law is an enlightened, comprehensible, equitable, and sustainable world, if it is a democratic world.

The U.N. is our bridge to such a world.

But perhaps in a different form: the Security Council should morph into a ‘Senate,’ somewhat along the lines of the Canadian version, with one salient difference: whereas Senators in Canada are appointed to life-terms, in the United Nations version, individual members would be selected by a vote taken among the U.N. General Assembly. The candidates would be drawn and elected from the Assembly. This process is akin to that of the Catholic Church selecting a new pope from among the members of the Curia. I wonder, what sort of world we would make together, if we all had a say?

Individual member countries would continue to provide their own representatives to the General Assembly. The General Assembly per se selects its Senators from among its members, as openings are created in its ‘Upper Chamber’  due to death, long-term illness, or retirement. The bicameral arrangement will provide a ‘chamber of sober second thought,’ to quote Canada’s PM Sir John A. Macdonald.

The UN General Assembly would also select, from a pool of candidates taken from inside or outside of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General.

9 October 2020

It’s Friday!

Headline: Ontario NDP releases plan to end for-profit long-term care – YAY! This is a quantum leap in exactly the right direction.

What Ontarians commonly need they should hold in common; these services and assets cannot be denied to any member of a society, neither may they be two-tiered, based on the ability to pay. Independent living and Assisted living should be available to all. Education and healthcare too, not to mention access to clean air, water, and the outdoors. If access to the best Ontario has to offer on any of these fronts is determined by the ability to pay, then Ontario is remiss.

Anything which permits one group of society to live better and have better opportunities than the other group (privatization, private education, etc.) is flat-out wrong, and no one should need to be told this (or to have to write about this). THAT IS ANTI-SOCIAL and should be anathema to any human society.

No other species of animal permits itself to deliberately fractionate into two subspecies, of haves and have-nots, but we humans do, and always have done. Save for the Indigenous, I do not know where in Canadian society our natural equality has not been painted-over by a false narrative, one manufactured and promoted by wealthy interests, wherein the fight to end poverty (and the corollary lack of opportunity poverty invites) is ongoing. We never seem to get there.

We never will, if we lack the political will to do the RIGHT THING.

Given how many folks are falling into poverty, that ‘subspecies’ one might observe sleeping on a subway grating in downtown Toronto could be anyone of us, a few months or years down the road. It could be any one of our kids, a decade or two down the road.

PERHAPS ITS TIME TO GIVE ANDREA AND THE NDP A CHANCE. I don’t even read about her in the news; but I have not been at all impressed with the Ontario Liberals. We need the political will to be game-changers, and continuing along on our merry way, as we have done of late, isn’t going to carve out a viable and sustainable future for Ontario and Ontarians.

There of course will be much to do for the NDP. It would require many mandates on behalf of a government with the political will to DO THE RIGHT THING.

We are a society. Does everyone calling Ontario home belong to Ontarian society, or do only some of them? Hello? 

Does Ontario need the participation of only some, or ALL ONTARIANS? Double-hello? 

The Social Contract works in two directions. From those who have (through taxation) to those who have-not (through benefits and services); while those who have-not contribute to their communities, rather than leave it all to those who have the money and time.

If the bi-directionality of the Social Contract is not upheld (it is a natural process, after all), then the glue of social cohesion weakens and you end up with a society preying upon itself, rotting from the inside, as the cancer of us-and-them spreads; culminating in its dissolution.

The equitable society we all desire for ourselves and for our children will be replaced by an intolerant,  totalitarian nightmare that spells the death-knell of human society.

Although I personally need more support from my federal Liberals, for the most part we are on the same page, and I am happy with what they and the NDP in Ottawa are accomplishing on behalf of Canadians. Not so for their provincial counterparts, unless they tack left and focus on social homogeneity and upon harmonizing human activity with the environment we draw breath and sustenance from.

I’ll be looking closely at the Ontario NDP. If they are serious about governing and about upholding the interests of all Ontarians, and not just about being in power, then they will have a plan to follow, and the political will to see it through.

They will require several mandates to make it so. They will need the support of those on the wealthier side of the equation, since the two-halves need to be brought back together into one cohesive group, and will be inviting criticism and skepticism from their own members for their apparent lethargy, because lasting and substantive change is not achieved overnight.

If you do not believe me, look at China and Russia – after all of the bloodshed and revolutionary bruhaha, they have totalitarianism, two-tiered societies, and justice appears to be subject to the whim of those in power, rather than upon rule of law.

Two-tiering cannot be a feature of any society, democratic or not, anymore than meat eating can be a feature among herds of plant-eaters.

Alright, that’s Triple-hello.

8 October 2020

Headline 1: Ontario faces ‘runaway train’ of COVID-19 cases if families don’t scrap Thanksgiving gatherings, doctor warns – WE BEST HEED THE GOOD DOCTOR’S ADVICE.

Only yesterday, I was thinking there would be no Halloween for the kids. NEVER IN ALL MY YEARS HAS THIS HAPPENED. As a youngster, when Halloween fell on a school day, we had our class party, after which we went home and mom would get us ready for the BIG NIGHT.

If we had school the next day, we organized our candies but mom made sure we got to bed at a decent hour. IF WE DIDN’T HAVE SCHOOL THE NEXT DAY, we watched Lugosi and Karlof spooky movies on the television.

Life didn’t get any better than that.

Because of COVID-19, the kids will likely not see any of that, until the vaccine rolls out. This year is certainly a wash, because there is a genuine, bona fide evil spirit on the prowl this Halloween, and it seeks victims, not candy, not thrills.

Very suddenly, most of the fun is gone out of Halloween.

Thank god we have teachers and schools. They are likely dedicating themselves to finding ways for their kids to have some fun without increasing the risk of transmitting the virus.

A warning: Despite all of our precautions, we must still rely on good luck to keep from getting and spreading the virus. I still get a sniffle now and then, despite practicing distancing, hand-washing, and double masking (a washable cloth mask overtop of a disposable, surgical-type mask), and keeping my bubble ‘tight.’ If I can still catch a regular cold despite all these precautions, then I can get THE COLD, and so can anyone else. Whenever, wherever we experience an outbreak, it is crucial that we do not confer blame on anyone, especially the teachers, because this can happen to anyone, anytime.

We can only lead by example. By providing a good example, we do ourselves and one another a great service.

The current American president is proving what leading by bad example can do. Many innocent lives have already been lost; many more will be lost before a vaccine is commonly available.

Contrast this with the ‘Weekly Update’ sent by MP Adam Vaughan of Spadina-York. You can enroll here, by selecting <Get Updates> from the main menu. Another Liberal MP, Julie Dabrusin, also provides very informative, regular email updates. I am not a constituent of either MP, but their emails are both concise and informative.

For democracy to be democratic, we need to do more than cast a vote. We need to cast an informed vote. The cons, whatever they call themselves nowadays -‘Conservative’ or ‘Republican’ or whatever – do not want folks to be informed, because most informed folks would conclude that a con-government would not be helpful to them or to their children, unless they themselves are wealthy or have the potential to be wealthy.

The cons of today are self-serving opportunists, plain and simple. They do not have a care for tomorrow, tomorrow’s generations, nor today’s vulnerable.

The Liberals in Ottawa and the Democrats in the U.S. appear to want to keep their respective nations going and growing on a trajectory toward a bountiful future-

-for their citizens and for the World, our world.

7 October 2020

CBC News features articles by Don Pittis that explore the notion of a post-pandemic, ‘K’-shaped economic recovery. The gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is expanding at an accelerated rate, as those with deeper pockets borrow money at low-interest rates and increase their investment holdings; positioning them to expand their wealth when the economy rebounds.

In the meantime, those living pay-day to pay-day fret as their economic security continues to erode.

Those not working, drop out the bottom.

We owe it to our children to live happily. If us parents are stressed, anxious, day-in and day-out, about our future prospects (even wondering how to pay the next month’s rent?), how can our children grow up to become happy adults? The Sun also needs to shine, more often than it rains, or the fields will produce nothing.

It is especially disconcerting to realize that teachers and doctors, for example, will continue to enjoy their economic good fortune, but the price exacted for this increasingly bourn by the families of the kids those professionals’ jobs exist to care for, and to prepare them for adulthood and the challenges their generation will encounter.

Neither teachers or doctors are ‘bad.’ It is natural that folks who are obliged to work and study so hard, in order to do their jobs properly, should ask for and obtain more pay and perks for what they contribute to society.

The trouble is, society generates a finite amount of income over a finite period; year-over-year, that difference is GDP growth (or decline). Teachers and doctors will naturally demand more from the economy for their services, with each contract negotiation –that in and of itself is not the problem.

The problem is that the economy must also pay investors returns on their investments and savings. If their money is being held in safe-havens, domestic or off-shore, awaiting better investment opportunities, it doesn’t matter. The investor earns interest. The amount paid to them in interest, year-over-year, subtracts from the increase in National Income, year-over-year.

When we encounter an extended period of low economic growth, over many years, say, the investors’ cut continues to increase, even as the total remains constant, or shrinks, depending on the change in GDP, leaving less and less to be paid out to wage-earners and salaried employees.

See also:The New Normal: Piketty’s Apple.

That is how we have come to invent the dubious social demographic identified as ‘the working-poor.’

The working-poor? If someone is working, contributing to national society, how can they also be poor? How is it society does not reward their contribution with security?

Humans have ‘experimented’ with that socio-economic model before. It used to be called serfdom.

Humankind experienced the Age of Reason after that. How could we ever have allowed a medieval socio-economic model to be the fashion? Hello?

This is where our segmented, highly-individualized world has brought us: those of us who belong to the wealthier group, whether aware of it or not, are effectively being set up by our economic model as predators upon the poorer group.

History tells us this always happens… Thomas Piketty has recently enlightened us by explaining how this happens.  [N.B. You can purchase the book here, obtain it from your local library, or watch it on Netflix].

…but we have done nothing. We have allowed the ‘upper’ group to detach itself from the ‘lower.’ The gap is widening, even as our government talks about rejuvenating the ‘middle class.’

The phenomenon of the middle-class exists purely as an attribute of a population that has no systemic impediments to opportunity. The bell-curve acquires its shape because there exists a fundamental equality of opportunity for the members of the population under study.

It is not because governments or individuals aspire or do anything special to expressly form a middle class -it is because society has not erected systemic impediments to opportunity; in the absence of which, individuals fall where they may, according to their abilities, resolve, and good fortune.

The only way for that to happen now is to disrupt the operatives of the current economic model. Governments need to tax wealth, in order to reset wealth distribution; then develop a progressive tax regime wherein the increase in individuals’  wealth, year-over-year, is never allowed to equal or exceed the rate of GDP growth.

We need to end systemic racism, where it exists. This is a worthy cause because racism excludes minorities from the opportunities which god intends for all souls, human and otherwise.

Poverty affects people of all colours, beliefs, and cultures. Poverty is the greatest impediment to inclusion. It means you can’t afford cosmetic surgery to get teeth (I am a ‘smiler’ with few teeth remaining; I even frighten myself when I am in front of a mirror, so I wouldn’t dare ask anyone out for a date ), it means you can’t afford to ask a friend or a potential love-interest to go for a latté at Starbuck’s unless they pay (and who would think to ask anyone to do that?), it means you cannot afford new clothes or a regular visit to the barber shop (and who would go out of their way to get to know someone who first gives the impression of being homeless and destitute, or who seems to not have a care for their personal hygiene?), it means you can’t go anywhere outside of walking distance, and that you have no protection from the elements if you could commute on-foot, and so your prospects of finding ANY WORK to improve your circumstances are restricted in the extreme – because we humans have finite soul-energy stores, if we never catch a break, it eventually means we give in to the isolation poverty facilitates; we will end up alone, depressed, and very likely going crazy.

Our current fix appears to be to add more mental health workers and for everyone to have a counsellor, to change our reactions to the untenable life-situations the world now affords us; a world we are actively creating for ourselves.

I suggest we do right by ourselves and future generations and create a different world. Hello?

Headline: Ottawa to unveil list of single-use plastics to be banned next year – this is evidence of a federal government with an eye to the future. If we do not have an eye to the future, why, we will never get to one.

Thank god we have Justin and Jagmeet in Parliament arguing for a better deal for our generation, and also for the next generations.

4 October 2020

It’s Sunday. What better day than today, for the Pope to make the headlines!

Headline 1: Pope takes market economy, nationalism to task as he addresses COVID-19 in new encyclical – the Pope calls it as it is. I love this Pope. I have always loved his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. The article features pics of Pope Francis praying at the saint’s tomb and of him having a smile with Greta Thunberg, who is presenting the holy father with a placard inviting him to ‘Join the Climate Strike.’ It is a happy picture: Greta and the Pope are exchanging a smile and a chuckle together, their joy in the occasion radiating outward; judging by the faces of the onlookers.

(CBC News – Vatican handout/via Reuters)

This picture exists in stark contrast with those of Donald Trump, if you are counting smiles.

The Pope’s attitude toward Greta Thunberg radiates happiness. The joy visible on Greta’s face is heart-warming.

This too is in stark contrast to the sort of reaction Trump commonly evokes, and small wonder: he criticized young Greta for taking it upon herself to do what he hasn’t managed to do in his 74 years – care for anyone but himself.

Sadly, this man was elected to fulfill the duties of a venerable public office (made so by the likes of Abraham Lincoln, and those of similar ilk), one for which his ego ill-suits him.

The Pope is right: we really cannot continue to elect bozos like Donald Trump, Stephen Harper, or Netanyahu…their divisive politics is the last thing the World, our world, needs, especially nowadays.

We need to put aside the bulroney of our egos and come together.

The children, like Greta Thunberg, are showing us the way…[Aside: Perhaps it because children are newer arrived from Heaven than we adults are; that their spirits and unconscious are still able to remember it and the direction in which it lies. It appears to lay, btw, in the direction opposite to where Trump and his ilk are leading us – just sayin’].

p.s.

I have often heard tell that the best way to prepare folks for management roles is to first have them work the jobs they will one day be managing.

According to the U.S. Census, 38 million, or 10.5% of Americans live in poverty. Many more are not all that far away. For anyone to lead effectively these days, they need to have experienced poverty, personally. Such people would not be lacking in the political will necessary to see an end to it. They’d know they are doing the right thing, that is, in the eyes of god.

But poor folks don’t often get to lead great nations.

2 October 2020

Headline 1: Trump’s illness rocks U.S. election, now on edge of uncharted territory –  on the human level, our wishes to Trump and the First Lady for a speedy and full recovery; on the socio-political level, we are much dismayed by the disconnect, between the actions and pronouncements of Trump and the political ‘family’ he leads, and the socio-political realities confronting them.

During the first ‘presidential’ debate, Trump made fun of Biden’s conscientiousness with respect to masking himself; protecting himself and others from COVID-19.

‘It’s like the rules don’t apply to these people,’  Tim Ryan, a Congressman from Ohio, is quoted as saying in the article by CBC News. ‘They don’t pay their taxes, they don’t have to wear masks…’

The rules don’t apply to these people because these people are movement conservatives. Their strategy has always been to ‘baffle ’em with bullshit,’ as they merrily cultivate pools of money from  the economy, which they use to increase their power over the rest of us.

Their power to legislate.

As for the dilemma Trump’s illness represents, unless Trump dies or is incapacitated to the point where he cannot ever resume his duties, the election should proceed. His VP is his backup and the nation’s recourse whenever this happens. Whether there is an election ongoing or not, the President is obliged to see to the duties of his office, and, when he cannot, why, that is what his VP is for.

Besides, if Trump can execute his duties as President from his home while convalescing, he can also conduct his campaign, albeit VIRTUALLY.

Given the outbreak of the pandemic, should he not have been doing that all along?

The Washington Post provides much fodder for further reading on this topic. Further reading: Trump’s infection is part of an ominous national trend as cases rise in most states.

We the people…aka…the soul of democracy, are now fully under siege. The movement conservative element among us, begun in response to FDR’s New Deal, is doing everything possible to divide us. Why?

Simple: United we stand. Divided we fall. This is true for any collective, whether it be a hockey team, a family, a community, a democratic nation, a fair, equitable, and sustainable world…

The Athenians of yester-millennia knew this. That is why they institutionalized the notion of democracy. The Greeks gave more to the World, our world, than a set of entertaining and enlightening myths, yes?

The movement cons above and below the 49th parallel aspire to take democracy away from the World, our world, while the ‘left’ aspires to institutionalize it globally.

The movement cons see everything in binary terms. Just as ego does. ‘Us and them,’ ‘haves and have-nots.’

The movement con vision of society is two-tiered. The activities, wealth, and lifestyles of the  upper group are supported upon the backs of the lower group. The lower group, its resources being siphoned off by the upper, grows enervated as the upper group fattens. The upper group grows increasingly unwieldy, and eventually, the whole system will collapse.

That is the inevitable culmination of the movement conservative vision. It can result in nothing other than a totalitarian nightmare presaging eventual social and environmental collapse. It is the end of everything.

Movement conservatism acquires credibility only because it is styled a ‘political movement.’ It is in fact the result of folks among us who are no better than spoiled children who were given everything and taught that other folks deserved to have nothing. For nearly a century, the movement cons have been pouting in their rooms, plotting to kick everyone else out onto the porch, including mom and dad, so that they can have free-rein of the household.

They are as ignorant of the consequences of doing this (who is going to pay the rent, for i.e.?), as they are passionate about acquiring the short term benefits.

We owe it to ourselves, and to future generations, to ground these bozos in their rooms, until they accept that there are other folks in the house with needs and that provide value to the house they all share together.

The ‘left,’ represented in Canada by the Trudeau Liberals and the Singh NDP, actively pursue inclusion and collectivism.

The ‘right,’ represented by O’Toole’s cons (Kenney’s cons, Ford’s cons, the Bloq, Legault’s CAQ) here in Canada, and by the ‘Republican’ Party in the U.S., actively pursue social division to fracture the vote, providing them with their only way to power, by leveraging the politics of fear: they want fear of one another to be our default reaction to the presence of others.

That is their ultimate goal. Fear of one another at the individual level is certain to keep everyone on-guard with respect to everyone else, never trusting anyone else but the government; which, were it a movement conservative government, would be as untrustworthy as the devil.

Shaking hands with the devil is a dubious prospect, but the only one offered by the movement conservatives.

The ‘right’ is no longer itself. It has been taken over by folks spirited to acquire control over us for their own benefit. That’s all they aspire to: power, now.

The ‘left’ continues to aspire toward social, economic, and technological progress, at the individual, community, national, and global levels.

The ‘right’ continues to dig a hole under their feet (where we are all living) to supply their wantonness and to maintain their power over us. They cannot see that without a proper foundation, their entire construct is going to collapse.

We and the World, our world, are doomed if we continue to elect folks who aspire to movement conservatism.

The ‘left’ is really just the modern centre. The cons are diligently progressing further to the right and to the political precipice; it is an approach as unsustainable as it is an extreme ideology.

They say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some pictures, taken from the Internet, which perfectly illustrate the difference between the social vision of today’s ‘right’ vs. the ‘left.’

If you want more of this, vote today’s ‘right:’

 

[N.B. The above images are taken from Phoenix News, Sky News, the Daily Beast, MSN, CBC News, and possibly other sources I have forgotten – I try to properly credit the originators, my apologies to any I missed]

BUT, if you want to help build a fair and equitable world, one that does not force people into, or keep them in poverty (the most socially alienating force in existence), if you want to live in an environment which is not poisoning you and your kids, if you want to give your children and your neighbour’s children the best start on their lives as you can and position them in the best possible way for them to achieve the best possible outcomes for their generation (and earn the eternal gratitude of the generations to come), vote ‘left.’

It is up to us. Because we still live in a democracy, we still have the vote. We can rid ourselves of the movement conservative pandemic right now. The vaccine is awareness.

Carefully consider what our leaders are telling us before we vote. Talk openly amongst ourselves. Exchange ideas and listen to other folks with an open mind. Debate.

Hypothesis-Antithesis-Synthesis. That is the basis upon which democracy operates, is maintained, and why it is ultimately better equipped than any other system of government to provide the best direction for our communities, our nations, our world. Democracy also of its very nature provides a system of checks and balances, so that society and the nation can never fall too far off of the rails when it is beset by anti-democratic forces such as we are witnessing today in the form of movement conservativism.

Our brothers and sisters of the Greek nation have always known this. Their legacy is still with us.

In Canada, the forces of movement conservatism threaten to divide us irreparably, so that those folks can maintain power over us as they enrich themselves, and live a life as unnatural as it is unsustainable and socially divisive.

I believe our Liberals and NDP understand this fully. So too the Democrats to the south of us.

Canada needs to be strong for Canadians, for our American brothers and sisters, and for the folks we share the world, our World, with. We will help America protect its northern border as they will help protect our southern border. And we will continue to uphold our democratic values on the world stage.

2 October 2020

First, IT’S FRIDAY!!! Those of us who are both courageous and fortunate enough to be working are given a few short days of respite. Many thanks to our healthcare and grocery store employees who work in two of the most critical areas to society – folks need to eat and folks need doctors/nurses when they get sick.

Second, A REMINDER  to:

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS often, including anytime you venture out of your living space, touch surfaces  in common areas which other people touch, before you do anything else after returning to your living space.
  2. WEAR A MASK in all common and enclosed areas (apartment hallways, lobbies, and laundry rooms; malls, stores, other peoples’ homes, and OUTDOORS, WHENEVER A DISTANCE OF AT LEAST 6 FEET/2METRES cannot be maintained). Because of the aerosol transmission feature of COVID-19, it can potentially be airborne for a long time (potentially for hours) and cover a wider area than that prescribed by the 6-foot rule. As much as possible, gather with others outside, or in unenclosed, well-ventilated areas. [Aside: I have recently taken to wearing a double mask: using a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask, both covering nose, mouth, and chin].

For today’s headlines, Donald Trump and the First Lady have tested positive for COVID-19. Trump’s cavalier attitude notwithstanding, there is no room within the realm of human decency to wish them anything other than a speedy recovery. The fear-based politics and acrimonious, disjunctive social vision this individual suborns is revealing of the worst of human nature, yes. But is was the voter who gave such an individual power over them.

Let us accept our responsibility, therefore, and resist compounding our own sin by wishing harm upon him after giving him power to harm us. If Donald Trump’s dream is to preside over a restive, social dunghill such as the one he has been actively fomenting, it is only because his spirit is already largely situated in Hell.

The American people and their democratic institutions have collectively taken it upon themselves to weather Trump’s tsunami against everything he doesn’t have his thumb on. That is not an easy task when one individual wields so much power. My thoughts and prayers go out to a most venerable people and nation; one which upholds the peace at the cost of their own young blood; one that has, in times past, acted out of selflessness in the defense of others.

That is the America which Americans and the World, our world, need.

America became ‘great’ because, unlike many other nations, they routinely embrace former enemies as friends. They are an eclectic nation. They allow former enemies to become citizens and contributors to their nation’s progress. They even help nations they have warred with to rebuild and set their own course, free of American interference, albeit at times, with strings – they would not be allowed to develop nukes, for example.

Now is not the time for them to suddenly close themselves off from the rest of the World, our world, as Trump would have them do. After two hundred-plus years as a nation accepting immigrants from all over the World, they are indeed a microcosm of the World, our world.

We stand with our American brothers and sisters as they engage the forces of darkness – the mortal enemy of democracy. To repeat the motto of the Washington Post,

Democracy dies in darkness.

No one knows this better than they, having lost Jamal Khashoggi, one of their own.

Donald Trump is testing America’s democratic strength and resolve. America became great because the spirit of its Constitution understands all of humankind to be equals. It closed its doors to NO ONE. On that basis, America allowed Itself to become the fortunate beneficiary of all the talent and wherewithal humanity possesses, rather than the talent and wherewithal of a subset of humanity.

Headline 2: Liberal government to spend 10B on infrastructure to help fuel economic recovery – yessirreeee! That is exactly the way to go. Without infrastructure, even the wealthiest corporations could not make a dime for themselves and their investors. No power lines, no roads, no clearings, no services…no presence.

Curiously, Canada’s cons are calling the Infrastructure Bank a waste of money.

The Cons are so ‘business-minded’  they can only see more tax as less profit (A – B = C). This is not a ‘business’ mindset, but rather a binary mindset. They do not seem to be able to wrap their ‘business-brains’ around the concept that infrastructure (I) needs to be in place before anyone can start building  enterprises and generating profits; that infrastructure costs money (A + I =C, If I >0, C > 0, Else C = I = 0). Money which can only come from taxation (A – B = 0 if I = 0).

For my money, I believe the Liberals understand business better than the Cons. Today’s cons only understand numbers. They don’t seem to be able to follow processes, methods, gathering and learning and forming policies from data.

Like Trump, for them it is enough that they want things to be this way or that way. They do not care a tittle for anything standing in the way of their wants.

That is too much like the child acting ‘spoiled.’ That is too much of their ego.

If we have learned nothing else from human history, we by now should know that the rule of ego is the beginning of the end of any nation or world so ruled.

The rule of ego conflates with ideology. That portion of the human spirit which is not ego operates in the ‘light.’ It is outward focused. IT IS SOCIAL. It conflates with the rule of law and evidence-based policy making.

Thank god we in Canada have such a government. Thank god we have the NDP to provide ‘conscience’ to the government as well as to prop them up against the nightmarish vision the cons would have Canadians live under.

30 September 2020

image from:  harvardbroadcasting.com

Today is Orange-shirt day. No matter who or where you live in Canada, or in the World, our world, you were, once upon a time, a child. You may, nowadays, be raising children of your own.

No where in the World, our world, should a single child be made to suffer because of the activities of its adults. We have sculpted a world that is otherwise.

During the time of the Residential Schools, Canada betrayed its responsibility to the children of Canada’s Indigenous. It took kids out of their homes, away from their moms and dads, away from what they knew and which formed the basis of their security; the starting point from which all children set out to make their way through life, ensuring they are properly equipped/prepared for what could happen out there in the wide, wild, world.

Those Canadians were communicating to Canada’s Indigenous brothers and sisters that they weren’t even good enough to RAISE THEIR OWN CHILDREN. This was in itself a crime against innocence and against the Creator, since the Creator had deigned these folks were good enough to raise their children, having allowed them to do it from the time the Sun first rose and shone down upon them, up to the time the ‘white man’ came.

It was the ‘white man’ who had decided otherwise and were therefore acting contrary to the Creator, even while they proclaimed they were acting in the name of the Creator. We’ve heard it all before. Europeans invaded the Holy Land, and, upon conquering Jerusalem, proceeded to slaughter Muslims, Christians, and  Jews, willy-nilly; but all in the name of the Creator.

As for those poor children, whether they were fortunate enough to have been placed under the care of kind instructors or encountered the misfortune of being placed with the other sort, very likely not a single one would have chosen to remain there, had they the opportunity to go home.

Have you ever been invited to a sleepover at your friend’s house, when you were little? Do you remember how excited you were at the prospect of a sleepover, and, then, when you were finally put to bed for the night and playtime was ended, you laid in your bed, in the darkness, just wanting to go home?

It happened to me several times. One time it was at a friend’s cottage. I would have been 10 or 11. It was late at night and I was now so lonely that my mom had to drive out to the cottage and bring me home.

What if you didn’t have a mom to bring you home from one of those residential schools? Not the first night you were there, not the second night, nor the third…

You are laying in your bed, scared, missing your home, and a hug from your mom. Your mom, meanwhile, is in her empty home, crying because it is empty. It is empty because you aren’t there.

Between two hearts, mother and child, there was the ‘white man.’

This is what Canada did to its children.

Canada’s heart is broken. Her Spirit is wavering. Why? Because we of this generation are fully aware of what previous generations of Canadians allowed to be done to the Indigenous of Canada. We have woken up, but the nightmare the Residential Schools visited upon those Indigenous, today’s Indigenous are still suffering the aftereffects of.

We have an obligation to remedy this. Before we can truly move forward, we must be free of the past, yes?

Louis Riel was in his day, treated by Canada as a criminal. He was hung by Canada. But now he is a Canadian hero.

.The acknowledgement of Riel’s heroism is proof positive the Canadian spirit has reawakened in us

Now, I expect, with our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds opened, we are gong to fully and successfully engage our Indigenous brothers and sisters, heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul; inaugurating a grand scale movement of reconciliation: Indigenous with non-Indigenous, Muslim with Christian with Jew, neighbour to neighbour, among and between all souls who call Canada ‘home.’ Between and among all nations, cultures, and peoples.

Imagine.

We are entering a critical phase in Canada’s and world’s, our World’s, history.

United we will stand. Divided we will fall.

We cannot fall. The World’s, our world’s future generations are relying on us, just as our generation relied on the courage and selflessness of the War generations, to position us well for taking on the future.

Together we will overcome.

28 September 2020

The CBC has produced another fine piece to update Canadians on COVID-19. According to the article, Ontario has registered its highest daily infections count (700 new cases) since the pandemic began, and doctors are urging the Ontario government to return to Stage 2. 60% of new cases are under 40 years old. According to the article, 36 are ‘school-related.’

It is critical that we don’t rush the return to ‘normal.’ The challenges we navigate through today are directing us along a path which leads to a viable, sustainable, and equitable future; one to which we all contribute, from which we share in the rewards. Something in the spirit of what Rousseau had proposed in The Social Contract.

Conversely, if we push the envelope too quickly, in the absence of a vaccine, the infection rates will grow exponentially, many more will die, and we will end up backtracking anyways. The difference is, Canada will have fallen further behind with respect to an economic recovery; likewise Canadians, with respect to their debt.

Our beleaguered healthcare and grocery store  workers are already over-stressed. They are in the front lines and relying on customers to mask, distance, and not show up if they are sick. They are extremely vulnerable. We all know how hard it is to not catch a cold during Flu season, if we are not vaccinated. What will we do if the Second Wave gets out of control?

It will do us and future generations much good to bite the proverbial bullet right now. We should listen to our doctors here in Ontario, a fallback to Stage 2, until we have the vaccine. Our economy will suffer in the short term; however, there is a tonne of taxable money sitting in off-shore tax havens.

Addressing tax avoidance and overly-favourable terms for multinationals will help to pay our way through the pandemic. The huge pools of money that sit idle while wealthy investors look for attractive returns would likely yield  enough tax revenue to pay our way out of the pandemic, if subjected to a progressive tax regime on wealth.

…and we will be planting trees, greening our energy sources and finding new ways to get around and power our activities. Staging for the Future. This is exciting. We are in the ‘worst of times,’ and this will be our springboard into the ‘best of times.’

We will still need to reduce the human footprint. Mother Earth cannot grow trees as fast as we can cut them down, for example, so we need to cut trees at a significantly slower rate. Conservation can only go so far.

We produce toxic waste and pave over the earth. We reduce the Earth’s ability to purify the soil, water, and atmosphere faster than Mother Earth can make up for what we’ve been doing to Her.

We need to gradually reduce our numbers globally by attrition, else, some existential-grade calamity, natural or man-made, will do the job for us.

23 September 2020

It’s Throne Speech Day in Canada. You can watch it live. CBC coverage kicks off at 1:30 p.m. EST. This article from CBC contains links to the live coverage.

We in Canada and the World, our world, are arrived at a point of inflection with respect to progress, along every human dimension.

The current state of the World, our world, is such that to continue along the current trajectory is to ensure for ourselves our utter destruction. We have been driving toward the precipice at full speed.

The point of inflection is a severe curve in the road. We are approaching the curve.

PM Trudeau is going to give us an opportunity to apply the brakes to our current path, successfully negotiate the curve in the road, and then cruise, straight and true and trouble-free, along the road leading to a viable, sustainable, and equitable future for the Earth Mother and all things engendered by Her.

Isn’t this wonderful?

I warrant my children all think so.

p.s.

I am watching the reaction to the Throne Speech. So far, the cons and Bloq behave true to form.

I am waiting to hear what Jagmeet Singh has to say. Whether he and the NDP choose to support the Trudeau Liberals’ plans for the future or no, he has the advantage of not being able to politicize things – he can only benchmark the Liberal plan against what the NDP knows is best for Canadians, all Canadians, and for Canada.

Why? Well, I believe his party is the conscience of Canada. They have always done well in this regard; having proved themselves again and again to be a boon to vulnerable Canadians and a mainstay in Canadian politics.

It was the NDP who whispered in the ear of our dear ‘Mike’ about things like the Canada Pension Plan and Universal Healthcare. Lately, we’ve been hearing about Pharmacare.

I am no expert; however I believe were we to compare what the Liberals are proposing in the Throne Speech is a point along the road to the future envisioned in the Leap Manifesto.

p.s.p.s.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has spoken and has not disappointed. Behaving very much like the ‘good angel’ on Justin Trudeau’s right shoulder, his position is to support the Liberal plan,

IF: 

  1. They provide/expand support for folks who cannot find work, and
  2. They provide sick leave for workers.

He and his party are acting, very much in the spirit of Tommy Douglas, as the Voice of Canada’s Conscience.

The Cons and the Bloq are simply political, power mongering opportunists. They don’t appear to care about Canada or the mess Canadians are struggling in; only power.

21 September 2020

Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau has penned a touching email for Canadians today in response to the news of the passing of former Liberal PM John Turner.

I could not find a way to link to the browser version of the email, and so I thought to reproduce the words of PM Trudeau here, on Canadanua:

 

I learned with great sadness on Saturday of the death of the Right Honourable John N. Turner, former Prime Minister of Canada and Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1984–1990. I wanted to take a moment to recognize some of Mr. Turner’s many contributions to our country.

John always talked about Canada with a sense of hope and optimism. He believed that Canada is a country where we support each other, and where equality isn’t just a question of laws, but “a state of mind”.

A gifted politician, lawyer, and athlete, John became Canada’s 17th Prime Minister after having served in numerous other capacities, including as Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Minister of Finance, and also served as the Leader of the Opposition. He was deeply committed to the law and democratic process, bringing about much needed reforms to the Criminal Code.

John was a humble man with a strong social conscience. He supported many charitable organizations, including Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He was also an honorary director of World Wildlife Fund Canada and an ardent advocate for the protection of Canada’s lakes and rivers.

He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1995, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Canada in 2012.

I had a chance to catch up with John just last year on his 90th birthday, and he reminded us that all Canadians must play an active role in our democracy. He knew just how lucky we all are to call this country home, and he never wanted us to stop working on making this country better for everyone.

On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to John’s family and friends. His contributions to Canada will not be forgotten as we keep working together to build a better future.

I remember those days…it was an era which produced many fine public servants in Ottawa, on both sides of the House, among them the likes of PM John Turner, PM Pierre Trudeau, Ed Broadbent, Joe Clark, Robert Stanfield…continuing the legacy of Canada’s most venerable PM, Lester B. Pearson, and of the times during which Canada made a quantum leap forward in social and global progress.

We and the World, our world, have taken a few steps backwards since then, with the incursions of Mulroney, followed by Harper; but we are now at a point of inflection in the affairs of Canada and the World, our world.

JT may, or may not have been, the ‘prodigal son’ in his youth, but nowadays he is certainly poised to lead Canada and the World, our world (by Canada’s example) toward a bountiful and universally equitable future. A viable and sustainable future along every dimension, guided, I pray, by Piketty and Raworth.

We Canadian voters may be given the opportunity, this Fall, to embrace this wonderful future, to begin building it, so that our children can take up the baton and keep it going forward…

…like JT seems to have taken up the baton from his dad.

Our American brothers and sisters will have the same opportunity later this Fall.

19 September 2020

On CBC’s The National, I watched the coverage of the protests against overcrowding on the TTC in the days of COVID-19. The TTC service will provide the impetus for a chain reaction type explosion of infections. Anyone who has ever commuted on the TTC already knows this.

Somehow, this awareness did not make it to the Ford government. Instead, they are too busy demanding more money from the Feds, which would increase the federal debt – come next election, their federal counterparts will use the deficit they would help create, to gain political points. Such is the way the cons of the World, our world, go about things.

One protester nailed things on the head as it were. She said that Ontario’s provincial politicians should be all over the crowding issue, that they too should be riding the buses back and forth to work just like the rest of us; that their newfound perspective would motivate them to actually do something about the overcrowding.

The government can do no less than to treat the issue as another number one priority. If there are those among us who are rendered more susceptible than other Ontarians/Canadians to catching and transmitting the virus, say, by having to use public transportation to get to work (and their kids into daycare), then, if follows the government should be as concerned with that as they would be with addressing other vulnerable demographics, such as retirement homes, if protecting citizens is their primary  concern.

As for the cons, it should be plain to voters that protecting citizens is not the cons’ primary concern; the ‘economy’ is.

THE ECONOMY IS VERY IMPORTANT, but never should one be required to risk one’s life so, just to make a living. Ontario’s premier and ministers aren’t.

The protester has highlighted the primary impetus for social division among modern Western nations, not only Canada. The folks making the decisions do not live like most citizens. The lifestyle of the ‘Premier’ and his ‘ministers’, say,  compares as well to that of the single mom or dad ,who must daily tote their kids to daycare on a crowded bus at 7 a.m. on their way to work, as a bird’s to a worm’s: the ‘worms’ must roil and struggle in the muck while the ‘birds’ go about their business unfettered, soaring high above it.

If the strands of the rope are not together, the rope cannot be strong. It is not the strength of the individual strands, but rather their ability to work together as one, that gives the rope its strength.

We simply cannot remain so divided, economically. Scarcity among many while there exists excess among a relative few is the greatest impediment to social unity. Poverty is the primary impetus for social exclusion. Inclusiveness, on the other hand, conflates with social cohesion.

This is nothing new: united we stand.

The cons of the World, our world, appear to have gotten things backwards, but not really: although it should be apparent to anyone with ears to hear with and eyes to see with that the cons of the world are bent on dividing folks along every conceivable social/cultural dimension, the cons are in fact united among themselves and recognize that if they divide voters enough, they will be able to bamboozle enough of them with false narratives that they will actually get elected to govern from time to time. [Aside: Eventually the World, our world, will progress to the point where the choice will be between the centre- left and the left. The cons will have gone so far off to the right, they will have dropped off of the political spectrum altogether; as their forerunners happened to believe would happen to ships of sail, were they to venture to close to the edge of the world].

When the cons are elected, they opportunistically take advantage of their power to enact policies favouring their ability to make more money for themselves, requiring them to share less of it with the financially vulnerable members of society, their own brothers and sisters.

They exhibit even less regard for future generations.

Headline: John Turner, PM and Liberal leader who battled free trade with the U.S., dead at 91 –  today, Canada lost one among its finest. Go with god, John Turner.

17 September 2020

If ever you think things have gotten so bad that you cannot go on…

I watched CBC’s coverage of the funeral for the four members of the Traynor family -murdered by another family member -who afterwards took his own life.

The mother, Loretta Traynor, survived. Her address at the funeral was the quintessence of courage and heart. Her life has, through no fault of her own, been forever turned upside down.

She has had her life take away. Her life was her family.

She saw ‘no good coming from this.’ She is right. There is nothing one can say or do that can make even the slightest difference in her life, given what she had taken away from her.

The fact she could give voice to her heart’s pain is testament to her strength. SHE IS A GOOD SOUL. The way my own mother was.

Of all the people I have ever known, my own mother was of the highest quality of humanity – I had been thinking the very thing, earlier today  – and now, after having watched Loretta Traynor, I know my mother is not alone at the pinnacle of what it means to be human, in the way our Creator had hoped.

Loretta Traynor will see her family again – only, not yet…not yet…

…and although I miss my mother terribly, she has never left me. If ever there was anyone worthy of a spot in Heaven, it is folks like my mother and Loretta Traynor.

…and because my mother and Loretta gave all they had to their families, their families being EVERYTHING to them, their loved ones will get there too (only, not yet).

…our Creator knows these two women would not call it ‘Heaven’ if it were any other way.

16 September 2020

Two headlines today:

Headline 1: It’s easy to point the finger at parties – but younger Canadians spread COVID-19 in all kinds of settings – an informative article featuring the latest information on the transmission and symptoms of COVID-19, and how to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbours.

Headline 2: Task force calls on federal government to spend billions on a ‘green recovery’ – the Liberal government in Ottawa is already all over this file. COVID-19 presents an opportunity to ‘green field’ our approach to the economy and to climate change. The two go hand-in-hand: if the current models for economic and energy development continue to guide our evolution, climate change is going to destroy the progress we make, and send us all back to the Stone Age.

Human activity exists wholly integrated within the larger purview of Nature and natural processes. Climate Change is a measure of how the impetus of human activity and that of Nature have diverged. The part is not greater than the whole and humanity is not greater than Nature. It is Nature that rules.

In order to advantage itself of the strength and resources of the whole, the part cannot exist separately from it. THE PART MUST BE FULLY RECONCILED TO THE WHOLE; integrated within the whole, à la Raworth’s Donut paradigm.

Among other headlines, the Democrats continue to hold their own against the Trump-led Republicans. Our American brothers and sisters have never experienced a ‘head-ache’ like Trump before. I pray for them: neither they, nor the World, our world, can survive another term with a ‘would-be’ demon like Trump at the helm of the world’s most powerful nation.

‘Power’  can be a force of good. Power concentrated in the right hands (as opposed to the hands of the ‘right’) can do a World, our world, a lot of good.

But for this to happen, ‘power’  cannot be treated as a commodity, as something to be bought and sold. That is a model belonging to business, and nations are not businesses.

Neither can we continue to elect politicians who claim to ‘know’ business. These types do not know business; they know how to plunder their nations and their citizens. They misrepresent themselves and their motives to voters, to gain positions of authority over them, and then use their new advantage to make it easier to increase their wealth.

They make a mockery of our democracy; but democracy is standing tall and firm.

Our American brothers and sisters are nearly at the end of their ‘trial-by-trump.’ Their courageous, non-violent protests in the streets of Portland and other American cities has been an inspiration to the World, our world.

November will soon be upon the World, our world. God bless America.

Here, in Canada, our Trudeau-led Liberal government is going to present a clear choice to voters, in the guise of the Throne Speech, when Parliament returns for the Fall session.

God bless Canada and the World, our world.

9 September 2020

The kids are back to school here and I’m certain they are all happy about that. The Ontario government provides a thorough guideline for the reopening of elementary and high schools. What is perhaps missing are tips for getting to and from school.

Kids tend to go to and from school in groups. Social distancing mandates against them walking so close together if they are not of the same ‘bubble.’ They should also be masked for the times they will naturally compress; at a crosswalk, say. And, as they are walking, they should go single-file whenever they encounter pedestrians going the other way.

While I was out walking yesterday, I encountered a few groups of kids coming home from school. I went off the sidewalk onto the grass in order to maintain the gap as we passed each other. The kids appeared oblivious to me. They made no effort whatsoever to accommodate me, or other folks, going in the opposite direction.

The kids have a lot on their minds these days. Regular gentle reminders with respect to ‘street-etiquette’ in the time of COVID-19 will go a long way…

God bless our teachers, our healthcare and eldercare workers, and keep our kids safe, healthy, and happy!!!

Amen.

7 September 2020

HAPPY LABOUR DAY!!! It is the official end of the Summer Holidays. The excitement for the kids must be double that of any recent years due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

But because of the pandemic, things will not be the same. Teachers are going in possibly with more trepidation than excitement, given that they must do their very best to keep their young charges distanced, masked, and practicing proper hygiene. The kids will likely queue-up every morning to be screened before entering the schools.

The younger they are, the more difficult the challenge for the teachers and staff.

There is much talk about outdoor classrooms. This will become more difficult as Winter approaches, but every day outdoors will make it more difficult for the COVID-19 virus to make its rounds just as every day indoors will make it easier. Until a vaccine is developed, we must do everything we can think of to retard the spread of this malicious virus.

Oddly enough, an institution from the olden days may provide a template for the future – the Drive-In movie theatre. All that is needed are tarps, ropes, poles, and a field. The field most schools already have. The ‘tents’ are readily available from suppliers or can be home-made. We who are not employed in the community can help with the setup.

Doing this, at the very least, would provide buffer capacity for distancing, reducing the number of kids inside of the schools at any given time, if not keep them out of the school building altogether.

Dual income families with kids under 7 years could be offered the chance for one to stay at home until a vaccine is rolled-out. This will keep the youngsters off of the buses too.

As infections ramp up again in Québec and the GTA and in Brazil, India, and the U.S., we are bound to get hammered by a new wave.

If we relax our efforts, we risk losing the gains we made. The price we already paid would become lost to us. The next cohort of the fallen will die because we let our guard down.

Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, and I imagine, Julie Dabrusin, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (all serving in the Toronto area) are putting out great reminders to stay ‘distanced, masked, and to wash your hands’ to their constituents on a regular basis. This is the way to do it.

Have a great Labour Day! Looking forward to the fireworks tonight!!!

5 September 2020

Headline 1: Peter Strzok writes in ‘Compromised’ that FBI pondered whether Trump was a ‘Manchurian Candidate elected – Washington Post – the upshot is, Trump is not a puppet on a string; however, he could be dancing to a tune choreographed by Russia’s Putin. Strzok is convinced that public knowledge of the President’s business dealings in Russia, prior to his assuming the Oval Office, may be a liability to his re-election; that he feels vulnerable, perhaps beholden to Putin, and is inclined to tippy-toe around the Czar, as a result.

At the end of the day, someone like Trump should never be able to get on the ticket. Anyone with a chance to move in to the White House, or head of state/leader of any sovereign nation, for that matter, should first be properly vetted; otherwise, with enough money and messaging, Satan might even get himself elected.

Headline 2: Chris Hall: Trudeau says he doesn’t want an election – but not everyone buys it – perhaps I am one who does not: though the strategy is fraught with risk, no one knows how things will play out a year from now. But there is no guarantee the NDP will return to Parliament in enough force to overwhelm the forces on the ‘right,’ should Canadians go the polls this Fall. The Trudeau Liberals could be returned with a tenuous minority, in which the Bloq holds the balance of power, instead of the NDP. That is not a good situation for Canada.

THE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE is shrinking. Everyone knows this by now.

But not everyone wants to admit it. The Cons don’t, because they have not bothered to develop a strategy to address climate change, apart from ignoring it.

The Bloq, meanwhile, are simply con-opportunists wearing different colours – they say they are for Québecers, but beneath the veneer of Québec nationalism, they are only for themselves. They are only for Québecer’s votes. Once they get ’em, why they’ll go on to screw the poor and vulnerable, provide less in healthcare and all other social services, remove worker protections, etc., while they make conditions more favourable to people who already have money, to make and keep more of it for themselves…

…while many of our Canadian brothers and sisters for whom la belle province is home, wallow in poverty and struggle to find services.

That’s politicizing.

It appears PM Trudeau tires of politicizing things and is coming to Ottawa for the Fall session, sword and shield in hand. He is prepared to fight. He understands the times demand a ‘tectonic shift’ in terms of environmental and economic policy; that all bets are off, if we do not soon alter course…

…not only for present and future Canadians, but for all of humankind. The problems Canada faces are also the World’s, our world’s problems.

Canada’s PM will bring that choice to Parliament and Canadians this Fall. Depending on the outcome, Canada will have either positioned herself to lead the World, our world, to a viable, sustainable, and bountiful future for all Canadians, no matter of what ilk…

…or continue along the cons’ primrose path to environmental and economic catastrophe.

MAKE NO MISTAKE – the cons DO NOT KNOW BUSINESS; but they do know how to opportunistically rape the land for its wealth, without a care; leaving behind a toxic and miserable mess. They use lawyers and opportunistically create legislation, while they are in office, to facilitate profit-making. THEY HAVE NO ALTERNATE PLAN FOR ANYTHING, much less a national vision.

As for a ‘global vision,’ it is the same for cons, wherever in the World, our world, they are found.

It is how demagogues like Trump get elected to lead a great nation; it is how thugs like Netanyahu are permitted to continue disenfranchising Palestinian families from their homes; it is how murderous folks like Putin and MBS continue to be tolerated; it is why Uighur Muslims and Falun Dafa practitioners are persecuted in China; it is why the children of the World, our world, have the Care-Bears vision of the world they enter the world with, stolen from them as they transition from childhood to adulthood [Aside: many of the World’s children are so unfortunate as to have the vision stolen from them the moment they enter it, just having arrived from heaven]…

…it is why the World, our world continues to settle its ‘differences’ with war and governments resort to violence to maintain order; spending trillions of dollars to defend or expand their borders, while their own citizens suffer from lack.

This Fall, Canadians will be offered a clear choice  in the ‘way forward.’ It is in fact an easy choice: no one can navigate the road ahead if they see only what is behind. No one can get the car they are driving to where they are going if they only look in the rearview mirror…

…UNLESS THAT IS THE DIRECTION IN WHICH THEY WANT TO GO.

That world no longer exists. The cons of the World, our world, simply choose to ignore the obvious fact.

Trudeau chooses not to ignore the obvious. Throughout the pandemic and the Wet’suwet’en crisis, he  adopted the logical approach.

Upon the resumption of Parliament, he will present an obvious choice to Canadians.

It is a choice between building a viable, sustainable, bountiful future, or a world beset with misery, pestilence, scarcity, and war.

The World, our world, is in perilous times. Canada is entering upon an existential phase. We not only have to reimagine the economy ‘green,’ but also provincial, territorial, and Indigenous relations within a Canadian scheme. We must reshape our communities to facilitate inclusion and participation, and this must of necessity include the abolition of poverty and homelessness.

The pandemic has created a point of inflection in the World’s, our world’s trajectory toward the future. We have an opportunity to track upwards and toward a bounteous future for humankind.

Or we can allow the ego of cons to drag Canada, our Canada, and the World, our world, down.

Fall fast approaches.

I’m praying for a Winter of content. Whereas Richard III would trade his kingdom for a horse, the Trumps of the world would trade every one of their citizens for a Kingdom.

The cons of today are at least as Machiavellian as Shakespeare’s Richard III was, but they lack his business sense. Had Richard been successful, he would have escaped his fate at Bosworth.

If the cons succeed, they’ll be left with nothing, for the people are the soul of every nation, and if you weaken and kill the soul, the body soon after dies.

PM Trudeau knows this. He wants to rejuvenate the Canadian Soul, not subjugate it to the whims of greedy people. He wants the Canadian Soul, aka the Canadian people, to flourish.

The cons only want power over the Soul of Canada.

The choice we voters face is obvious.

4 September 2020

Headline 1: Trump: Americans Who Died in War are ‘losers and suckers’ – The Atlantic [this link provided in the article, Trump said U.S. soldiers injured and killed in war were ‘losers,’ magazine reports – Washington Post]. I have no trouble believing these reports because I have seen enough of Trump’s ilk to know THEY ALL VALUE THE APPEARANCE OF TRUTH above the reality – because they can control ‘appearance’ by controlling the messaging over the media outlets (Internet and mainstream television, radio, newspapers, and perhaps Bible-Belt churches).

The movement conservatives actively (and with every breath) create an alternate reality for folks to vote upon. THIS IS HOW THEY ARE ABLE TO BAMBOOZLE FOLKS WHO WILL SUFFER UNDER THEIR RULE to vote for them and keep them in power.

The political divide in our times, thanks to the movement conservative politics (percolating up into Canada from the U.S.), in no longer the ‘right’ v. the ‘left,’ but rather the bamboozled v. the discerning.

It is no crime to be innocent, and the ‘bamboozled’ are generally folks who innocently believe in the leaders bearing the political stripes these folks traditionally vote for. They do not discern that today’s ‘right’  have departed in spirit, from the foundations of the right and have buried themselves in their own ordure – the dregs of fascism and populism. The crime, therefore, sits squarely and completely, save for the few who opportunistically foment racism, intolerance, and violence, upon the shoulders of leaders and public servants like Donald Trump.

NOT SO HERE IN OUR DEAR CANADA:

For our part, we currently enjoy a government that is firmly left of centre and trying to convince the entire country, wealthy or not, western or eastern or central, northern and southern, that we need to change course, to ply a new channel, one which leads to a bountiful and sustainable future.

The change in direction is not only desirable; it is inevitable. If we do not slow down, if we do not evaluate the road ahead of us, we will surely be driven off the road and might not have the opportunity to recover it.

The cons of Canada do not worry about that. They care only about the opportunity to make money, right now, right away, the times, the environment, the future be darned.

Thank god it is Trudeau’s Liberals in power:

Headline 2 – Ottawa likely to face pressure from Google, Facebook on news sharing rules following threats against Australia – whilst Trump indulges himself (and sadly, our American brothers and sisters) with appearances, Canada’s governing Liberals are fighting with Google and Facebook.

Apparently, these two behemoths are benefiting by posting content belonging to independent news outlets; through ad revenues, while keeping all of the ad revenues to themselves. This would detract from the ad revenues obtained by the original publishers, you know, the ones who pay the folks who write the articles, and that, in turn, means they have less to pay the folks who write the content. Google and Facebook do not seem to think the originators of the work they publish are entitled to any of the profits the media giants garner from material that does not belong to them.

Of course, the current setup is reminiscent of how the Trump’s of the World, our world, go about doing things: they set the conditions, reap the rewards, let others do the suffering. That is fascism.

Be it known that we have a government, right now, today, that is fighting fascism, whether it be in the form of corporate hegemony or political ideology. Liberals. Left.

Business folks, right. Google, Facebook, Donald Trump and all leaders bearing movement conservative stripes – these are the new ‘right.’ It is really just a political ideology which has adopted for itself classic business operatives:

  • Employees are told what they need to know in order for the business they are in to run smoothly, for the owners, and to make money FOR THE OWNERS,
  • Employees are paid as little as possible while they are pressured without relent to produce more and more.
  • Employees, particularly labourer-class, are loathe to complain over worsening and oftentimes illegal working conditions because they are desperate to feed themselves and their families. Some die now, some later, just to make a living, while their employers live happily and without care off of the proceeds.

I worked for a small business which did not behave that way, because its owner did not roll that way. I don’t know of many international corporations who operate and think as small, domestically owned businesses ‘think.’ Small businesses think like their owners. International corporations think like their investors. A wealthy Saudi or Israeli or Englishman does not give much thought at all to folks having to live in the squalor of Toronto tenements, trying provide for their families, their kids growing up in poverty, garbage-strewn parks, dirty water and polluted air.

Small businesses owned by individuals have a better chance at being a positive, enduring part of the community and retaining some element of community responsibility BECAUSE THEY ARE IN THE COMMUNITIES along with their employees. [Aside: I once worked for a man whom I often butted heads with (and whom I had adopted as my father, my own father being so far away). He was the environmental supervisor at our mill and had to deal everyday with employees who thought he was a company man and not at all serious about the lake the mill was discharging into. He would often say, ‘I fish that lake too.’ I retain the highest respect for this man].

A network of such communities, and individuals like Raymond Dupuis, is a fundamental feature of every strongly cohesive and sustainable national society; another is a normal distribution of income and wealth.

Corporations kick-in a token amount of their profits so that they may LOUDLY PROCLAIM THAT THEY HELP SOME POOR KIDS TO PLAY HOCKEY, while they quietly go about the business of over-working and under-paying their employees. As a consequence, employees cannot afford many of the things the children of corporations’ investors get. Employees are emptied of their energy-stores by the end of every shift, yet must somehow find the energy to be a parent to their children, a partner to their partner, a community member to their community. Investors in Europe or even closer to home do not care about the employees beyond the profit-margins.

They will not, nor have they ever, unless governments enact legislation compelling them to have a care outside of profit margins. Things like environmental controls, worker protections, or usurping the profits from ‘lesser’ businesses, enacted by governments, are responsible for anything corporations do beyond what directly relates to profit-making.

And all of the souls working in those corporations will prioritize profit over anything else, including theirs and their coworkers wellbeing, because if they do not, the corporation will divest itself of them, and they will have no opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.

Nations are not businesses. Societies are not labour pools. No international coven of investors will ever accept this. They engage investment to enrich themselves. Period.

Anything else, governments must compel them to do.

With respect to Google and Facebook: They threaten to block Australians from their platforms because the Australian government is forcing these corporations to reimburse content providers for the ad revenues their content generates for Google and Facebook.

Canada will not stand for these kinds of corporate shenanigans. It is predatory behaviour.

…that is all one might expect from businesses whose morality is determined solely by the investor, whose ‘morality’ in this respect is determined solely by profit potential.

The World, our world, if kept beholden to international corporations (facilitated in their predatory activities by ill-conceived international trade agreements), will be fast-tracked into the totalitarian nightmare envisaged by George Orwell, should we continue to elect cons, who will continue, willy-nilly and without a care, along the path leading to a two-tiered, us-and-them, fascist totalitarian cesspool.

We Canadians have a government which understands this. Setting the parameters to facilitate the normalization, regulation, and exchange of goods and services across international borders is a good thing. Handcuffing government policies with Trade Tribunals is not.

The CETA dispute resolution mechanism, for example, should not make provision for the settling of disputes between international investors and individual nations.

Rather, the investor can cease to invest in an individual nation if he/she does not like the deal and consider before they invest whether a particular nation is likely to change the original terms because of the need to resolve an emergent domestic issue.

Apparently, the current mechanism of dispute resolution is under review and a hybridized version is proposed.

3 September 2020

Headline: O’Toole promises ‘serious approach’ to Indigenous reconciliation – as is their custom, with the cons, the devil is in the details. In O’Toole’s case, the devil has the details, and is keeping them close to the chest, that is, if he has given any thought at all to the issues beyond the utterance of the appropriate political platitudes.

More often than not, the cons do not move past the rhetoric to provide us voters with the details of their proposed policy implementations.

What compels anyone to resort to such a strategy? It is because simply telling people what they want to hear still garners a lot of mileage. That is how so much snake oil got sold in the American ‘Wild West’ and how the likes of Stephen Harper and Doug Ford get elected to positions of high public responsibility. When we park our heads and vote only with our hearts, we vote on the basis of what is being said and upon the conclusions the candidates want us to draw (not ours, but theirs).

O’Toole says he is going to widen the ‘Blue Tent’ to include Indigenous people. He is saying nothing. Chief Bellegarde’s response was equally unhelpful.

Apart from imagining and talking about some ethereal nirvana within which Indigenous and non-Indigenous coexist in a wonderful ‘climate’ of never-ending GDP growth, there is nothing. When we next go to the polls, we will be voting on the basis of what is being said, and what is being said by the cons is NOTHING.

The cons choose to be a contrary lot. Same goes for the Bloq. Both exist at the pleasure of folks who have deep pockets and who want to purchase control over their respective purviews, purely for the sake of having their way over the folks living within those regions. The cons of today are simply the movement conservatives from the Southern U.S. whose ideology was imported by oil-wealth into our nation by way of the Western Alliance, and who have always been inclined to say what people like to hear without actually saying anything at all.

PM Trudeau nimbly guided us through a difficult situation with respect to the Wet’suwet’en pipeline protests. Scheer would have picked up the sledgehammer and sent in the troops right away. Can you imagine what a mess we would have today, given the pandemic, had Scheer been at the wheel back then?

What chance does one give Canada and Canadians, present and future, when the party behind the steering wheel pretends to know where they are going while driving with their mouths wide-open and their eyes wide-shut?

Whereas PM Trudeau et al. have shown they know when to slow down in order to negotiate the curve in the road up ahead, the cons always choose to proceed to drive straight through, petal to the metal, as if there is no curve, hoping the road will reverse the bend and return to the path the cons happen to have taken.

The cons will drive us right off the cliff.

The fact Canada is as well-off as it is today, given the mess the World, our world, is in, is because of the leadership of Justin Trudeau et al.

Bellegarde is simply playing politics by allowing O’Toole to steal any credibility at all. A predator remains a predator, no matter its outward appearance, it still wants to eat you. Bellegarde is trying to play one party against the other in order to come out with WHAT HE THINKS is the best deal for the folks he represents.

If Bellegarde can see any good coming in support of a party that vows to integrate the Indigenous into the economy, as if that were the greatest achievement and proper culmination of relations within a national society, he is being an abject fool, à la the cons: they feel that the purpose of life is to create wealth for oneself; the purpose of society is to allow this for those who will work hard. That is a society of egos. A society of egos cannot of its nature be a cohesive and sustainable society; neither does poverty conflate with ‘laziness.’ Rather, poverty limits opportunity and the limitation provides for idleness.

The fact is, the accumulation of wealth in some sectors of society renders other areas of society anemic, owing to the lack of opportunity created by poverty.

Rendering ‘business’ and ‘money’ as the context of reconciliation is only going to subject the Indigenous (save for the few wealthy among them) to the ‘almighty dollar.’ For most of the Indigenous, it will mean going further into poverty and the social exclusion and lack of opportunity poverty facilitates. They will be less free than today, and ultimately, replacing the goal of rediscovering and revitalizing Indigenous culture and way-of-life with business mores will remove any chance remaining to Canada and its Indigenous to undo the damage of the Residential Schools and the Indian Act.

The cons are a contrary force. They are a political force. They want power. Power over the rest of us, so that they may use us to grow THEIR WEALTH. That’s it. That is the con-vision.

That is the vision of O’Toole, the newest King-con.

p.s.

I am reading a fabulous book by Robert MacBain (who happens to be the husband of Maria Minna, a former minister in the government of Jean Chrétien and Liberal MP for Beaches-East York). In Their Home and Native Land, the author devotes a chapter to the Residential School system. Admittedly, I am struggling to get through this chapter – it is difficult to read through a veil of tears. What was being done to these children and their families is what NO CHILD OF GOD SHOULD EVER EXPERIENCE. Ever.

But it happened here.

Of note, there is discussion of the outbreak of tuberculosis in 1907. Mention is made of a headline in the 16 November issue of the Ottawa Citizen, “Schools Aid White Plague [tuberculosis] – Startling Death Rolls Revealed among Indians – Absolute Inattention to Bare Necessities of Health.” Five years later, the Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, Duncan Campbell Scott, admitted that half of the kids who had been sent to the residential schools did not live to graduate (MacBain, Robert. Their Home and Native Land. pg. 189).

It happened here, and it is still happening here. Nothing has changed. It is only that now, the  Indigenous of Canada are joined by the poor and the vulnerable: both are socially disenfranchised because they are kept on the periphery by poverty. Today in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, we read about the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities and upon the non-Indigenous poor.

Trudeau et al. aspire to inclusion. They aspire to inclusion because inclusion removes the impetus of division. The rope is stronger when the strands are woven together. The tighter, the better. The less space between them, the tighter they are and the more capable they are of supporting one another under any external stress.

The cons aspire to entrench division to the point where it will no longer be possible to be contrary to their vision. Money and the potential to acquire more of it, is what gains citizens entry into their vision of Canada. The rest are left to fend for themselves…and to the police.

But their vision of Canada is not sustainable. They exploit Canada for its wealth, in particular, the wealth coming from non-renewables. As for trees, and climate change, I don’t hear the cons saying how serious they are about undoing the damage we have already inflicted upon the World, our world (not to mention, our Canada), by deforesting her. The article linked to is about Trudeau stepping up to save Ontario’s tree planting program after Ontario Premier Doug Ford had axed it.

Bellegarde should know by now what to expect from the cons. The cons to the south of the 49th are responsible for the latest social unrest in the U.S. Nothing will be done by Canada’s cons to ensure that we do not import the social impetus for the protests from the U.S., because THE CONS ALREADY IMPORTED THE IDEOLOGY RESPONSIBLE from there.

NON-VIOLENT protests are the natural response to the ideology.

Let’s end today’s rant with a prayer that our American brothers and sisters will vote against Trump and give Americans, and the World, our world, a ‘fighting chance;’ turning our backs on violence, misery, coercion, and the spewing of untruths in order to keep us all guessing at what the truth is, while they go about the business of enriching themselves and increasing their power over us; until the light of democracy becomes utterly enshrouded in the darkness of totalitarianism.

Fascism/totalitarianism is the endgame of the cons’ social vision. It is a vision of control, of abject selfishness (ego), which uses the poor and the vulnerable as broom heads for mopping up the messes they create.

But the cons will keep their paws fixed firmly on the handle.

31 August 2020

Headline: Lessons of history motivate Jewish man to protests in solidarity with Uighur Muslims – He is an Orthodox Jew. He is protesting on behalf of the World, our world, against China’s persecution and exploitation of people because of who they are. Being Jewish, this man already knows about being persecuted just for being Jewish.

I have the deepest respect for this man, ‘Andrew.’ What has been perpetrated upon his people over millennia has not hardened his heart, but rather softened it; his love now reaches to the other side of the World, our world.

That is leadership. It’s what we need.

p.s.

Canada’s Trudeau has shown leadership…and the courage to lead. While the World, our world, produces leaders like this for its arsenal, we cannot fail. Neither will we end up behind the eight-ball. Trudeau drives Canada’s car looking to the future; his eye focused on the road ahead.

Canada’s cons have their eye on the past, the ‘good old days,’  as it were; their focus is in the rearview mirror, on the road behind; but they keep the gas pedal to the floor as time continues to march forward. They would rather spend their time con-ing us into believing they know how to drive, than to actually do the driving and get us to a good place.

If you are the passenger in the backseat, whom would you rather have driving?

30 August 2020

When Bob Dylan wrote Gotta Serve Somebody, it is hard not to think, while listening to his words, that he didn’t have Donald Trump in mind:

An excerpt from the song:

You may be a construction worker working on a home

You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome

You might own guns and you might even own tanks

You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes

You’re gonna have to serve somebody

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

-Bob Dylan/ from Lyric Find

Headline 1: Le grand pari de Donald Trump (The Big Bet of Donald Trump) – after the devil went down to Georgia, he apparently went to Washington to bet the House against the future of American and global security.

Trump’s bet is with god, not Americans.

American democracy, with a movement-conservative liar in the Presidency, is ‘the pot.’ Trump is betting the American people will fall for the false choice he is presenting them with: a vote for Trump is a vote for law and order; a vote for Biden’s Democrats is a vote for chaos and lawlessness.

All or nothing. Either/or. No middle ground. It is only ego (or Milton’s Lucifer) that sees things in such utterly binary terms; terms which in fact do not actually exist in fact. They are poles defining the range of a continuum.

The trouble is, what is leading folks to fall for Trump’s lying and hate/violence-inspiring rhetoric is, for the most part, innocent and child-like: they are afraid. They likely grew up afraid, thanks to an ongoing assault facilitated by movement conservative-owned media.

Donald Trump, the businessman, knows exactly how to exploit that fear: he styles himself as their protector. Trump wants people to be afraid; only, not of Trump. He wants American voters to fear EVERYTHING THAT GETS IN TRUMP’S WAY.

That’s it. That’s his goal. Power. Power over others. Power for HIMSELF.

Trump ‘protects’ folks from the very problems he creates, then exacerbates.

Just which side of Bob Dylan’s equation do you suppose Trump operates on?

Americans and the World, our world, should be VERY AFRAID of Donald Trump, were he to ‘win’ a second term.

Alright, I was going to end today’s rant right there, but then I came across this in the Washington Post. What one is prepared to do to obtain power reveals how one will use it:

Headline 2: Biden campaign sings are being stolen in key states, including Pennsylvania – Apparently, Trump-supporters are stealing Biden-supporter lawn signs. Anything and everything to win the election for Trump.

The end justifies the means. Machiavelli’s dictum is from the Prince: a Medieval Age how-to on obtaining and maintaining power. That is the businessman, ego-serving approach to governing. In this approach, ‘the people’ are simply pawns. There is no consideration given them by their government, apart from what value they represent to keeping the government in power.

The Democrats, on the other hand, have a care for the governed. They do not appear to want to build a society of zookeepers and the caged. They seem to aspire toward a ‘free-range’ society, wherein the citizen’s place in society is not coerced, but rather discovered and embraced BY THE CITIZEN.

That is where the work of the ‘left’ ends, having established a democratic foundation, and that of the citizens begins.

We need only practice the Golden Rule with one another, to get us there.

…to the place we left so long ago.

28 August 2020

First off: No matter where one lives, or what stage of the pandemic recovery your region/community is at, it is crucial to:

  1. Keep a six-foot gap between yourself and other folks you encounter whenever you are out and about, and outside your ‘bubble.’
  2. Wear a mask whenever you go into any common areas such as stores, malls, public transit (and, if you are in an apartment or condo, the laundry room/mailroom/hallways, games rooms, and lobbies), whether there are people around or not. Very important – avoid the elevators if you can walk the stairs; and certainly do not get on the elevator if someone else (especially an old person) is already taking it. Wait for the next elevator.
  3. Wash your hands often and for a count of 20 seconds or more – Keep them away from your face. Make it a point to wash your hands after coming in from anywhere outside of your own apartment/home.

Now, Headline 1: Father of Navy SEAL who died in raid in early days of Trump presidency issues a warning in ad: Washington Post – his boy was only 37. Several Yemeni citizens were also killed in the raid authorized by Trump, over dinner with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon.

According to the article, there was no vital American interest to protect in Yemen. Trump was just trumpeting himself to his support base back home.

I cannot imagine what it must feel like to bury your child. I do not know how anyone is able to contain the volatile mixture of feelings involved with being the proud dad of a boy who willingly put himself in harm’s way to serve his nation, while believing his son died not in his nation’s service, but rather in the service of a demagogue president’s ego. He will see his boy again, only not yet. In the meantime, the dad himself willingly suffers a wound reopened, telling his story in a political ad, warning folks about Trump…

…in the hopes the American people will see Trump for what he really is, and vote for the future in the Democrats.

I really don’t think the World, our world, will be able to survive another term with Trump at the head of the world’s most powerful military and economy.

Trump is an old man. He thinks like an old man. He aspires to rebuild a past glory which never existed in the first place. He knows he’s going to die sooner, rather than later…

Let’s pray for our American brothers and sisters to elect a president they deserve, rather than one who leads them, to be served by them…

…rather than to serve.

Headline 2: Global freedom would suffer grievous harm in a second Trump term: Washington Post – beginning with American democracy. First Manhattan…then Berlin (you know the tune)…and then the whole World, our world. Trump is just the American version of the sort of spirit responsible for all of the bloodshed and misery that has ever been perpetrated by one person upon another.

It is ego. It is the darkness.

How is it that leaders of this ilk are able to acquire so much power? It is only because they go after it. They are governed by ego, and ego seeks control above all else, save for SELF CONTROL. That quality is not in ego’s toolset. But it is that precise quality which drives them to acquire wealth, the power that wealth buys, and finally, power over the lives of others.

To what end, one might ask?

The end is misery, violence, with many folks, among them women and children, lacking in even the basic necessities of life. That is what has been happening in the World, our world, while the Trumps of the world continue on their merry way, ever on the lookout for new opportunities to grow their wealth, while they struggle to invent new ways to spend it on themselves.

Beyond the daily ration of bullshit the cons feed us over the media, they would offer us the proverbial ‘scraps from the table,’  aka Regan’s ‘trickledown economics.’

27 August 2020

Headline 1: Why Trump is betting his political life against ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests – this deplorable example of humanity knows about humanity’s ‘Achilles heel:’

We fear the future. We fear losing what we have. And we fear death.

Out of fear, we readily reject the ‘common sense’ the Creator blessed us with – to wit: the freedom to think for ourselves.

The more we feel threatened by something, the more readily we accept the words of any would-be saviour that styles themselves as our defender.

And the more readily we give such demagogues power over us.

The Internet, the 24-hour news channel, and the ubiquity of television monitors wherever people gather will ensure we are always conscious of something threatening: a street shooting, a murder, an abduction, a sexual assault…and then there’s the pandemic and the threat of war…and there’s always job-security and the economy and the rantings of politicians who seek power and will seize every opportunity to politicize things, to the detriment of their nations, to fill in the gaps and keep peoples’ anxiety levels near peak. [Aside: no wonder governments are putting money into mental health-the societies they have created are actively promoting mental illness].

But in Trump’s case, it is not simple opportunism; he is actively stoking fear while he positions himself as protector by sending in the troops to crush unrest wherever it erupts.

To sell a product, you must create a need.

Does anyone recall DT ever saying something like this on The Apprentice?

‘Business man’  Donald Trump’s movement conservative fascism is the product; fear is all that is needed to sell it.

The market is people living in fear of other people within their community.

That is the market Donald Trump is trying to create, on the backs of innocent men, women, and children.

Donald Trump seeks to divide and conquer the very people he is mandated by his office to serve. His pronouncements only serve to stoke disunity and entrenchment among our brothers and sisters to the south.

Donald Trump’s cure is the police and the military. He will embolden these institutions, enable their militarization, and, as the protests increase in frequency and urgency in response to the progressive militarization of the police, the police will react even more strongly in return. a strategy similar to what Israel has done to the Palestinians ever since I have been alive: rather than ‘eye-for-an-eye,’ it is a ‘life-for-tossing-a-harmless-firecracker.’

But Trump’s cure would not be necessary if Trump wasn’t creating the problem in the first place. I don’t think that any working American voter who is using their heads for more than just a placeholder for their hardhats cannot see through the bullshit Trump hides behind and understand his true purpose and motivation.

His purpose is to have power, power over EVERYTHING. Period. It does not matter to him whether or not he is sitting on a shit pile, so long as he controls it, à la Milton’s Satan.

Better to reign in hell than to serve in Heaven, Trump would say, of course, without realizing he is quoting  a literary classic.

MAKE NO MISTAKE: If Canadians elect a con government, they will do their best to mimic the likes of Donald Trump.

The cons have drifted into a fantastical ideological state, far beyond reason’s perimeter. The left has fractured somewhat along the lines of wealth but this is reconcilable and repairable with open and sincere dialogue, particularly with respect to the settling of longstanding grievances between the Indigenous nations and Canada.

Canada needs the Indigenous now; as much as when Europeans first encountered them, perhaps more. Their traditional wisdom with respect to the land could help us find a way out of the environmental and social mess we are currently in. The residential schools and the Indian Act have done great harm to Indigenous men, women, and children, for several generations. Canada must accept its responsibility and help the Indigenous to heal from this terrible ordeal, then move to create a new cooperative and collaborative relationship with them as partners in (and with) Canadian society.

Headline 2: Canadian COVID-19 clinical trial scrapped after China wouldn’t ship potential vaccine – politics again. This time, it is at the behest of a TOTALITARIAN REGIME on the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, and yet, the American President and the Chinese Chairman behave as if they were hewn from the exact same tree. To be accurate, neither of these two self-serving bozos retain any of the quality of having been fashioned from wood, though their brains likely were; given how they are being used by their owners. As for the soul and spirit, these have been, by the alchemy of their own egos, converted into ordure and corruption at 100% efficiency.

Canada, and Chinese-Canadians, must stand together against a regime that would subjugate our brothers and sisters in China. I find Xi’s conduct as deplorable and regrettable for the misery that ensues, as Trump, Netanyahu, Putin, MBS, all of them…

None of these are interested in creating a better World for folks to live in. They only want to mine the World, our world, for its wealth.

They are only interested in us to the extent we can help them to enrich themselves and further concentrate their power.

‘The rest can go to hell,’ they might say.  The hell the have been busy with creating.

26 August 2020

The World, our world, is in a state of transition. The pandemic will not so much precipitate a change in direction, as it would be capable of providing us opportunity to accomplish a quantum advance in the evolution of humans and the societies they form; that is, were we to ‘seize the day.’

PM Trudeau et al. could give Canadians the opportunity to do just that, should Parliament evict the Liberals from government, upon resumption in the Fall.

Humankind departed from the Garden and the intent of the Creator many, many years ago. Before we learned to write and record our doings and our ways of thinking.

Having the ability to develop the capability to read and to write is what separates us from the rest of god’s creations. It permits us to exchange information and to act in unity, or in mutual confrontation, universally. This can be very good, or very bad for us, depending on our collective spiritual state.

The degree of the separation of our consciousness from that of the creator is a function of the prevalence of ego in our interactions, among ourselves and the world we live in.

I have often observed in Nature that it is the female who is the leader at home and that the male’s primary role is to protect the female. In most human societies,  however, the status of the leader responsible for the domicile is relegated to that of service to the male, whose job, formerly, was to protect the domicile, not to rule it.

You do not need to be a social or behavioural scholar to know that by Nature, the male is ill-equipped in his nature, to rule the nest. That is because the male was equipped by Nature and the Creator with physical strength in order to actuate defense (to get what it wants done, done), rather than the perceptiveness that would facilitate awareness and understanding of the wants and needs of others. [Aside: Women are gifted with so much perceptive ability (beyond herself) that my mom even knew where I left my socks, even when I didn’t. What business, with all of the other business she was overseeing, looking after a large family, did she have of knowing the answer to that one? But she always knew, and it was because she was motivate in her spirit to know and understand others].

No one can argue that the way of coercion invites further entrenchment and reaction, whereas the ways provided through awareness and understanding lead eventually, if not immediately, to peaceful progress.

The former is the way of ego. The latter is the way in Nature/the Universe and is the intent of the creator. I have written extensively on the subject of ego.

This brings us to today’s headline: Why Haudenosaunee women are central to advocating for land rights, from Oka to Caledonia – a quote attributed to Ellen Gabriel, a Kanien’kehá:ka artist and activist:

The land is who we are…Women are the ones protecting the land, and the men protect the women.

That is the creator’s wisdom expressed; we can take it to the bank.

What we have lived and been unwitting accomplices to, since the beginning of recorded history, is the  inversion of the creator’s intent by the rule of ego. The fact we live in a male-dominated world, wherein strength, not knowledge/understanding, is the rule, is proof of this.

Humankind turned its back on the creator, before the written word. There are many examples to support this:

  • We took to disrupting and killing other living beings for food, and murdering neighbouring communities for their land and resources, rather than sticking to gathering and horticulture and collaboration.
  • We created multiple scriptural canons, each one declaring itself to be THE ONLY WORD OF THE CREATOR; each one declaring the creator’s will to be the destruction of everyone he/she created who does not observe scripture. With the situation as it is, the World of humans can never find peace within itself, IF each group is proclaiming its scriptural canon’s status as  THE ONLY WORD OF GOD.
  • Males used their strength to glorify themselves. Succession of authority was determined by strength; transitions in authority by violent overthrow whenever hereditary strength proved no longer sufficient to preserve the status quo.
  • Males used their strength to dominate at home as well; a direct affront to the creator.
  • Written scripture came to reflect ego, control, rather than the light of Creation. The god of the Old Testament in the Judeo-Christian tradition exhorts the Hebrews to murder their way into the Promised Land, this after having just freed them from oppression in Egypt; thereby facilitating the continuance of the very misery Moses was leading them away from, only this time the Hebrews were not the victims. The Old Testament God also determined that Cain’s offering of the first fruits of the Earth, the Earth the creator created, was unacceptable, but that murdering a young lamb and burning it to a crisp was. Cain murders Abel in reaction to the ‘heavenly judgement’ and God turfs him from the Garden.

Okay, that ‘God’ is unfair, if ‘he’ even knows what ‘he’ is doing…plainly, the Old Testament is full of contradictions and untruths, just as ego is. If it expresses the Word of God when that word is to do murder and violence and cause misery, then, at those times, it is not the  Word of God, but rather the word of ego we are getting. It is not ego that creates or has the desire to create, unless it has utter control over the creation. [Aside: Doesn’t that sound too much akin to what the ways and means of Trump, Netanyahu, Putin, Xi, et al. ?]

The fact that god gave us free will is proof beyond all doubt that the ‘God’ we know from the Old Testament is not the god who created the Universe and us along with it. [The Gnostics proposed that the creator of the world was itself created by a higher being and was as faulty as the world it created].

When we fast track forward to the New Testament, why, we see the same old ‘God’ is still in control. In actual fact, Jesus sought to overturn the rule of ego; reinterpreting the law to express the Creator’s better side – the Light – the side responsible for Creation in the first place. He wanted to replace violence and hatred with nurture and understanding. [Aside: Doesn’t that sound like he was trying to give the male spirit the boot from the World’s, his and our world’s, ways of doing things?] Jesus even went so far as to not resist the vituperations and deceits of the World, allowing himself to be captured, Kangaroo-courted, and brutally murdered. In response, scriptural authority overtook the life of Jesus, and expressed him in ego’s terms:

‘I am the only way…’

…setting up the World as it is today, because many folks of the World, our world, hear about god through the words of Mohammed (PBUH), who heard and was inspired by the words of Jesus (PBUH) and the Jewish prophets, who were, in turn, likely influenced by the Greeks and the folks and philosophers of Persia and India.

Ego everywhere attempts to disrupt the circle. But the circle remains unbroken. Even when humans act to break the heart of the Creator (such as what happens every time we inflict misery upon others and upon our planet), the circle spontaneously repairs itself and existence/Creation proceeds along the circle’s path.

The only question before the Creator remains because of the free will he/she imparted to humans. Will we choose to follow the path of the circle, one which is lit before us, and along which fair and proper progress is possible, simply by following the Golden Rule?

Or will we choose to allow ego to come along and taint every positive step we negotiate along the arc with strife and misery?

We would have had a very different Old Testament, a somewhat different New Testament, and we certainly would never have taken to fighting over religion or building weapons of mass destruction, had we not allowed ego to infect the progress of humankind and the World, god’s world -the world we were intended by god to be stewards over.

Trudeau will give us a choice  this Fall. The NDP will likely support the Liberals and sidestep an election, but if they do not, I’m going out on a limb to predict the Cons are going to get clobbered in the next election and the NDP could end up as the Official Opposition in a Liberal Majority parliament.

Trump will lose in November and likely go and hide in Russia (he’s probably studying the vernacular already).

The West will go back to the table with the East and settle all outstanding grievances, under the auspices of a U.N. and with the parallel creation of a globalized police force aka peacekeepers to protect the sovereignty of al nations. To encourage compliance with human rights, pressures gentler than military force will be leveraged and change will be inaugurated from within, not superimposed from the outside.

Eventually, we will have extended the Creation of god to include the peace and self-actualization of the individual human soul, which the Creator had intended when he/she formed the notion of Creation.

Think about it: Maslow showed us the way in technical terms. Jesus (PBUH), Mohamed (PBUH), Gandhi(PBUH), Martin Luther(PBUH), Martin Luther King (PBUH), Mandela (PBUH) – and, I’ll warrant, very nearly everyone’s mom, knows and shows us the way.

That way is not the way of ego, which has been the way of humankind since we left the Garden before the written word.

Ego, by way of scripture, is predicting a miserable end for humankind, or, at the very least, a period wherein those living will have no opportunity to experience anything other than misery and darkness.

But ego seeks control, even over the future, by creating a false notion of the future.

WE HAVE FREE WILL. That means we can choose our future.

The choice is between death and life; misery and joy.

PM Trudeau and the ‘left’ of the World, our world will soon present an alternative to the last 3 millennia or so. Their voices have always been with us, it is only that ego has made us deaf to them.

It will appear scary at first, and the folks at the top will never ‘enjoy’ the leverage over others that they now do, but, given the choice before us, the choice is simple and the consequences of choosing misery, violence, and death over life in the light should suffice to provide us with all of the political will we need to turn the corner.

It’s not Mother’s Day today, but let’s all take a moment to thank mom and thank god for making her. Mom’s and children are currently the very best of god’s creations among us humans.

If we males reengage with the Creator, we will be as the lion is to the Pride. We serve and protect it and its ‘queen bee,’ whether she is mom, CEO, PM (Freeland), or president (Harris), or someday even Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia.

It is not that men are bad. We were somehow convinced many years ago before the written word, that strength and wealth are the pillars of human quality and that by which the creator judges us. We need only reconcile ourselves with the Creator’s purpose in giving physical/material strength to males in the first place:

In the service and protection of the home/nest/community/nation/world (our world).

Simple.

I end today’s rant with mention of the plight of the Yemenis.

Headline 2: Displace Yemenis suffer as aid shortfall closes clinics – the article kicks off with a picture of young kids looking out through a wire fence. Homeless, hanging onto a thread, while ducking bombs. What a way to first experience the World, our world.

Read it and weep. I know the Creator weeps.

24 August 2020

It’s Monday. It’s not raining…but Canada’s cons have elected a new King-con to replace Andrew Scheer. Um, alright.

I have not read up on it; for me, today’s cons bear no relevancy to today’s World, our world. The only opportunity for  connection which remains to them is in behaving like playground bullies in Parliament; blaming the Liberals for everything that is wrong in the world, while they gossip and lie their way through a poorly-crafted, reactionary as it is opportunistic, socio-political narrative.

The cons regurgitate the same old problems and offer the same old solutions.

They stand on Canada’s tallest western peaks, and proclaim to all Canadians with ears to hear, along with ample time and money to waste on their particular, self-indulgent brand of political ideology, that they know the best way ‘forward.’

The trouble with ideology is that it is ideology. It has its basis in what is not. In the minds and hearts of the cons, ideology becomes the reality. The cons replace the real McCoy with the product of their own imagination.

And then the cons run with it. The cons of every nation create and support their narrative out of their own deep pockets. For them, it is an investment in the ‘long game.’ As time goes on, they will continue to build and expand their presence in the media, in ‘think tanks’ and other venues, so that they can further control what we see and hear every day. They aspire to burn as many bridges behind US as possible, so that, once they have pushed us to where they want us to be, we, the Canadian voters, will never ever be able to find our way back to sanity; a state of consciousness wherein it is REALITY THAT CREATES THE NARRATIVE to which we respond as a society.

The more the lie is repeated; the more the lie does the work of the truth. The cons’ narrative is intended to be the ‘reality’ we react to as voters. It is a virtual reality that bears no relevance, but to itself. It is a closed loop. When individuals ‘live’ in a closed loop, to wit: they perceive and react to things that exist only inside their heads, they have no connection to the World around them. The world around them loses all relevance. They are ‘insane.’

Some cons know what the game is. Some cons do not. All of them want voters to buy their story. They render the trailer enticing enough to get us to buy a ticket; but we are invariably disappointed the moment the curtain rises and wishing for four years that we hadn’t bought that ticket.

This is an effective approach to getting elected. The trouble is, lying your way to power does nothing to address the truth.

If the truth is climate change, for example, no amount of fictionalizing now is going to be helpful to the generation that will follow. What will the cons tell their children, when their children ask them,

‘Didn’t you know this was going to happen? Why didn’t you do something about it before we grew up, rather than leave this mess, your mess,  to fester, for us and our kids?’

Truth is the way. Peace is the way. The Golden Rule will get us there.

Interestingly enough, many of the cons must be acquainted with the Golden Rule, because they go to church every Sunday and are often active in the service of their respective parishes.

They do not appear to recognize the systemic hypocrisy movement conservatism has embedded within religious institutions. The salaries they draw, in exchange for the services they provide to the nation, handcuff the nation’s ability to provide for its vulnerable. I warrant the creator intended for us to abolish poverty, not keep it going. The politics of the right has become infected globally with the RNA of movement conservativism. It is fascism under a different label.

Perhaps the innocent cons among the current group will awaken from the fantastical, deep REM dreams the movement conservative ‘sandman’ sends them to sleep with each night, and at least acquire for their thought processes some of the constraints that accompany the non-REM phase, if they cannot manage to fully awaken…

…to reconcile themselves and their aspirations to those of the World, our world. If they do, Canada might recover something of what it lost: a progressive conservative vision.

We of the World aspire to happiness and to be all that we have it in ourselves to be.

All of what our Creator intended for us.

As it is today, we are obliged to subscribe to either of two polarized worldviews. If one is true, then the other cannot be true. A dangerous and potentially catastrophic socio-political rift is thus created, as the two worldviews move away from one another, pulling citizens apart and setting them at odds with one another when unity, tolerance, collaboration are the requirement of the day.

A real and bottomless pit is developing between the two sides of an imaginary equation. Both sides will fall into that hole when it becomes so deep, the sides too steep, for us to keep from falling into.

In our zeal for mastery over our world and over one another, we have forgotten that the World, our world, is master over us, and that we are equals under god and Nature.

We will know what to do if we keep our eyes and minds and hearts open. The Creator embedded the wherewithal to measure up to any challenge we face.

And we will recognize bullshit when we hear it; then vote accordingly, this Fall.

23 August 2020

It’s Sunday. In the Judeo-Christian sphere of things, it is a day of rest. Nevertheless, I cannot resist commenting on the latest breaking news about Donald Trump.

Headline 1: Trump est <<cruel et menteur>> affirme sa  soeur dans un enregistrement secret – ‘News reports’ like this are like traffic accidents: one cannot avoid looking, despite the unnerving carnage one is going to witness. Still we look.

Still we read.

The American administration is corrupt. It has been corrupt for a long time, to varying degrees. I believe Obama and Carter were the best ones of recent years.

Leaders lead. Some leaders lead badly. By their example, they cultivate behaviour among the populace that mimics their own. Trump leads for Trump. He cares only for himself. The people who voted Trump, likewise, care only for themselves. They know Trump ‘helps’ those who ‘helps himself,’ and imagined that to mean that Trump, the devil in a business suit, intends to make them – his base – better off, and cut away all of the chaff (meaning the vulnerable and those with no material opportunity to support themselves and their  children) in the process.

Ha! A snowball has a better chance in hell than his less-than-wealthy supporters do of getting any real help from him. They will continue to get lies and empty promises.

What it means is what it has always meant: Trump needs folks’ votes. Once he has them, he doesn’t need ’em (those voters) anymore, especially after being elected to a second, and final term, and he won’t care any longer what his erstwhile supporters think.

He is unafraid to screw with American Democracy – he is a businessman, and he would change the corporate culture and its process flows in order to better favour his ‘business’ activities. In corporations, CEOs do not share power- and Trump’s legacy will facilitate the overt replacement of American Democracy with the business mores of movement conservativism and Machiavellianism, wherein the ‘end justifies the means.’ [Aside: ‘Lying’ is one of those ‘means.’]

The ‘means’ of Donald Trump is lying to and cheating Americans. His ‘end’ is to win a second term. Power. Over anything and everything that attracts the attention of his ego.

He has as much respect for the privacy of his citizens as your boss might for your doings, while the clock says it isn’t breaktime. He/she might even be reading your emails. As an employee, whose reward is in drawing a salary, most folks accept this as a necessary invasion of individual privacy.

That is because the employer owns the business you work in and pays your salary. Your existence exists at the pleasure of the person who hired you.

That’s at work. Not away from work.

But that is how Trump and leaders of such ilk regard everyone, except themselves, of course. For themselves, they always resort to a much more forgiving standard of judgment.

Meanwhile, we citizens, in Trump-like fashion, do the same things to our own community members by spying and eavesdropping them, this abetted in quantum fashion by the modern ubiquity of smartphones. People are snapping pictures and surreptitiously recording video of everything and everyone, with abandon. This behaviour is patently antisocial and unethical. Anyone can do it; and, egregious though it may be, some citizens will do it, despite the consequences to other citizens.

Leadership candidates are having their election-runs torpedoed, being exposed publicly to charges of criminality or dubious conduct and having their reputations ruined.

Leaders, likewise. The way Mayor Rob Ford was brought down still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It all began with someone recording Mr. Ford while he was indulging in an illegal drug. A recording that was as illegally and unethically acquired as it was damning. Without that video, the mayoralty of Rob Ford would have likely taken a different turn, even if folks knew that Rob Ford sometimes indulged. The Star and Torontonians would have judged him on his efforts as Mayor (which is how it should have been all along), rather than on his private life. If anyone can claim that the public was better served by a man having to defend his private life during the day while he was supposed to be working for the city and its citizens, by the Star exposing the video?

Does anyone believe our nation’s jurisprudence was respected by the Star, when the damage is done simply by putting rumour into print? Furthermore, can anyone deny that, in any fair canon of law, the rule of law has primacy over all other considerations? Have we not cultivated the ‘rule of law’ precisely to avoid trials by kangaroo court, to wit: the court of public opinion, because we often get things terribly wrong and require well-trained, open-minded professionals to judge cases and keep us all on the straight and narrow?

If Rob Ford’s activities as Mayor invited no criticism, then, what is it of anyone’s business what he does on his personal time, so long as he wasn’t hurting anyone (but himself)? Public servants are not public slaves, therefore the public does not own them and has no business in their private life.

As citizens, we all form the expectation that our privacy is respected; yet we do not appear to always extend this respect to the privacy of others.

We are not following the Golden Rule.

If we do not extend respect to others, we cannot expect to be respected by others.

We certainly can’t expect to be respected by leaders like Donald Trump, MBS, Putin, Xi… Moreover, we are, as a collective, given to behaving more like Donald Trump than ever before, and that is how leaders like Donald Trump win: they insert their dubious morality into our spiritual DNA, and we begin to think and act like them, while they have all of our money and control over every aspect of our lives. Fascism. That is why the example of leaders is of the greatest importance. It can really shape WHO WE ARE.

The operative strategy of movement conservatism is to cultivate a society of folks behaving in a way THEY ARE NOT, by Nature. That is how these cons win. It was the same strategy of the leadership that convinced the Hebrews that it was the creator’s will that they murder all of the men, women, and children from the lands their leaders told them that the  creator had promised them. The Hebrews were not cruel. To do what their leaders wanted them to do, they had to behave cruelly. Their leaders knew it would be a tough sell. So they told their people, that ‘God’ wanted them to do it. That is fascism.

Gee whiz, I thought fascism died along with Hitler and Mussolini – at least, that’s what our teachers told us in elementary school.

The Trumps of the World, our world, have cultivated a shit-pile for themselves, with only their closest associates able to keep their noses above the smells of their ‘success,’ while their citizens, for the most part, wallow in the ‘muck’ the cronies of movement conservatism leave behind in their quest for more power, more money…

…entailing commensurately less, for more citizens, as more time passes.

The aspiration to lead national societies because one wants mastery over society is purported to have been what motivated Satan to attempt a coup d’état in Heaven; the reason he got punted out of Heaven and down to the Earth/hell).

It is clear how the world is dividing between the right and the left. The left is largely representative of a bona fide operative thrust into a new age and toward a sustainable future. The right, in its quest for power over knowledge as opposed to empowerment over ignorance, has already divorced itself from reality and pertinence.

Whatever pertinence it has is founded upon bullshit of the movement conservative manufacture.

Well now, if bullshit were a commodity, Trump et al. would already be so rich they would suffocate in it and do the World, our world, no further harm.

They are already building up stores for themselves, in that regard, in the place where the ferryman will, one day, convey them to.

The rest of us, meanwhile, will be living the life Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Gandhi, our war generations, and others dedicated themselves and their lives to permit and protect.

Headline 2: Iran official says sabotage caused fire at Natanz nuclear site – this report exposes the naked insanity of the ‘right.’ Here’s how it went down: the U.S. and the world do not want Iran to be enriching uranium for the purpose of manufacturing nuclear bombs. Iran needs to enrich uranium in order to generate electricity.

So, the World and Iran agree to a system wherein Iran may enrich uranium for use as fuel in power generation, but not for making bombs.

Obama comes along and helps the World to craft a mutually beneficial arrangement with Iran, wherein, they get to generate power and not bombs. The right cried foul, but the agreement was ratified BY THE WORLD, our world.

America passes gas and elects Donald Trump. The new ‘president,’ respecting no rule but that of his own ego, withdraws the U.S. from  the agreement  Twith Iran (Europe and other entities remained), moves the U.S. Embassy of Iran’s archrival, Israel, into Jerusalem, and orders the assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani, on Iraqi soil, further antagonizing the situation over there and steeping the entire region toward war.

Whereas Trump seeks to move the right forward along its preferred path, to war with Iran, Obama and the left had sought to bring Iran into the fold of the International order as a partner with the rest of the world’s like-spirited nations. In parallel, Obama was trying to facilitate a two-state solution in the Middle East to put the Palestine-Israel issue to rest and for all time.

Trump’s approach is one of coercion. Obama’s was one of collaboration. Which of the two approaches leads to a sustainable peace and a world without anxiety?

As it is now, the Iranian installation may have been attacked, illegally, by a foreign power. If proven to them, the Iranians are obliged to retaliate, just as Israel always does. [Aside: Except, where Israel is concerned, when anyone spites them with a peashooter, they respond with rifles and bombs].

So here is the situation that the Trumps of the World, our world, have created for its children, our children, to have to grow up in:

Trump:(to Iran, or to anyone else who gets in his way) I don’t like you. I will destroy you (um, using young American lives to accomplish the whims of a cantankerous old man).

Iran: If you try, we’ll hit you back.

Trump tries. Iran responds. The World, our world, goes to war and more misery is created and more people die than anyone living can ever possibly imagine.

Contrast this scenario with the one Obama might have pursued:

Obama: (to Israel’s government) You can’t take what does not belong to you, away from those to whom it does belong. [His thinking perhaps justified in his heart’s knowing that just because some folks interpret 3000 year-old stories as being the Word of the creator DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE. The creator desires peace. Happiness. It is only the devil that wants to kill in order to achieve its goals.

Obama: (to Iran) Alright. We get that you need to enrich uranium for your energy needs. We don’t want you to develop nuclear weapons with the uranium you enrich. If you can satisfy our concerns, we’ll let you provide for your peoples’ energy needs.

Iran: Okay.

…and that’s the end of it. Iran has energy. The World, our world, is comforted in the knowledge that a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel won’t happen. That’s all folks!

…or it would have been, except Trump got elected and the movement conservative right wants Iran to be annihilated. The right does not like anything (such as an ideology) or anyone who gets in the way of their acquisition of power and wealth.

Iran has always walked to the beat of its own drum. In Obama’s vision, there is room in the world for folks like that -liberal democracy is founded upon the notion. In Obama’s view, a nation’s independence is predicated upon the existence of an international rules-based order. With that, no one need build and sustain a military capacity beyond what is needed to protect its own borders and peoples. They can use the money to build and repair infrastructure and to feed and care for their people. In such a world, the U.N. Peacekeepers, supported by blessed nations such as Canada, would stand against any nation that may seek to subjugate any other nation.

In Trump’s world, there is no room for people who do not think like Trump. We already know what he thinks of the poor and vulnerable: he doesn’t even have a care for the folks who are vulnerable to COVID-19, including the ones who are working the front lines against it.

2020 is turning out to be a pivotal year for the World, our world. We in Canada may be forced to choose between Trudeau’s Obama-vision and the next King-con Trumpeter at the polls. Our American brothers and sisters will be choosing their next president; but also the World, our world’s future, because the world is in such a condition that it cannot survive the antics of Loki in the White House for another four years. I haven’t kept up with Netanyahu’s situation in Israel, but there too, our Israeli brothers and sisters have a huge role to play in what happens in the World -their world as much as anyone’s.

The world needs to have a Constitution, backed up by an international military organized under a mandate of peacekeeping.

The world needs to dismantle the power international corporations enjoy, style them as business entities under the law and not as persons, then tax them in such a way that they can no longer play one nation’s desperation against another’s just to achieve a better profit margin, and so they cannot pay investors at a greater rate than the world economy is growing.

22 August 2020

Yesterday, the Canadian government announced new measures of aid in the time of COVID-19. Apparently they will be providing $400 per week, for 26 weeks, to folks who are looking for work, available to work, but have been out of work for so long they do not qualify for EI or CERB.

I would want to add to the criteria, ‘available to volunteer in the community to address emergent  community initiatives.’

For example, I see in my own community that there is no one picking up broken glass and garbage from the boulevards and pedestrian pathways and parks, before the mowers go through and turn the garbage into mulch.

As a university student, I cut grass for my town in the summers. The first thing our crews did was pick all of the garbage and bag it. THEN WE CUT THE GRASS.

I recognize that mulching the garbage, rather than gathering it, is to save money because the mower-folks do not have time to pick the garbage before they mow.

Well, if we have so much unemployment, then we have folks (like me) who could be assigned areas (by a community organizer, for i.e.) to pick the garbage before the mowers arrive on the scene.

If I feel that my government/my community/my nation  is interested in helping me, I will, naturally, feel obliged (and happy) to return the favour in some way. 

The caveat to the aforementioned is that Parliament has been prorogued. I am not clear, as of this writing, if the new measures will be implemented immediately or are pending the Speech from the Thone and parliament’s support.

On that particular point, the best thing for Canada is that Parliament forces Canada to the polls and Trudeau’s Liberals are returned to the government with a majority mandate.

Or, is that the second-best thing?

Might the best thing be for the NDP to prop up the Liberals when Parliament resumes, and to continue to act as the conscience of the government. [Aside: For all I know, the new CRB benefit, intended to help folks in situations like mine, was because of Jagmeet Singh’s putting pressure on the government to do so]. The Liberals and NDP together in a minority Liberal government situation would create a de facto coalition government, one which the right could not prevail against; one which could dissolve anytime should the folks in power fall off of the rails, in reaction to this or that.

A de facto Liberal-NDP coalition might be exactly the best parliamentary configuration to provide the most Canadians the greatest number and quality of opportunities, and to effect the best possible outcomes.

21 August 2020

Canada’s first woman Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, was given a wonderful endorsement yesterday by Canada’s first woman Prime Minister, Kim Campbell. Essentially, Freeland’s experience as a financial journalist, covering the doings of the big players, the myriad hats she wore at the ministerial table, her work on the Trump-infected USMCA, and her efforts in the federal-provincial relations file, will provide her with just the right balance of abstraction and detail to navigate Canada’s way out of the pandemic; at the same time opportunistically inaugurating the Liberal’s planned economic green-shift.

Trudeau’s Liberals, in their ‘holy of holies,’ likely hope for a successful non-confidence vote on the resumption of Parliament in the Fall. They are riding a wave of support because of their response to COVID-19. Were they to regain their majority mandate, they will be able to move their aggressive ‘recovery’ agenda forward and give it some time to develop.

Their attitude appears to be, ‘To heal from the pandemic, we’re going to have to go through hell anyways, we might as well do some opportunity bargain-shopping along the way, and perhaps come out the other side with a brand new set of wheels and smoother ride for present and future Canadians?’ Why persist in driving a vehicle that is on its last legs, it being more than a hundred years old; no longer safe for us to go ’round in?

The vehicle we are currently driving in, is our petrol-economy. Trudeau’s Liberals want to take advantage of the times we’re in to buy ourselves a new vehicle to get ’round in; one that doesn’t spew a plethora of toxins in its wake.

Greening Canada’s economy will remove the impetus to enter into dubious trade agreements with  dubious partners to satisfy our appetite for oil.

Note that, in addition to making a quantum leap in the fight against human-induced climate change, greening the World’s economy will undercut governments who trade oil for weapons and to finance egregiously unsustainable, Vegas-like mega-projects.  Projects built on the sand, just to provide novelty and a place for the rich to disgorge themselves of some cash, since ending wars, famine, and poverty do not appear to provide them with enough incentive.

The economic model responsible for engendering wars, famine, and poverty is responsible for the concentration of wealth in the first place. One might think the folks over there, rich and poor alike, would want to change the channel. Note that Trudeau’s Liberals want to diversify the economies of Alberta and Saskatchewan away from non-renewable, non-sustainable, albeit ‘quick-cash’ oil, to sustainable green energy sources and other things. Tree-planting, followed by a reinvigorated forestry industry, some time down the road.

Oil stocks eventually deplete. The Middle East oil economies will eventually fall. They will seek to destroy each other in order to control the remaining reserves.

No one is going to win that one. But in a greener world, the World, our world, will support the Middle Eastern oil economies as they transition from oil-based to green.

The impetus to war over oil will disappear. With the oil left in the ground and under the sea beds, the ample cashflow oil provides nations will evaporate; the oil-rich nations of the Middle East will no longer be capable to support their militaries at an inflated level, if at all; obliging them, in order to avoid discontent and political upheaval at home, to stop bombing the bejeezus out of their neighbours.

Notes:

  • The Liberals are funding two safe-injection sites in Toronto. WHY? Because the King-con of Ontario ended provincial support for the program a few year ago. They choose not to fund it, even though the sites made a bad situation for folks demonstrably safer, and, were the program to be integrated with COVID testing and amelioration initiatives, would help disrupt some avenues of community spread.
  • The Liberals need to be talking Basic Income in the upcoming Speech from the Throne. There are many Canadians left behind by COVID, whose struggle is no less than that of workers and business owners, who do not qualify for any support under CERB or any other government programs. I received no response from my local Liberal MP or from LPC when I suggested this to them recently.
  • The Liberals need to roll out a new tax regime on individuals’ wealth. That would include corporations since they are treated as individual ‘persons’ under the law (seriously weighting all jurisprudence in their favour because of their huge cash reserves relative to true individuals). It was recommended by Piketty in some form. I recommend a progressive tax regime, so that small businesses and individual entrepreneurship are not adversely affected. [The idea is to have money circulating throughout society. Money is to national and global economies what blood is to humans. Blood cannot be allowed to pool in the human body or pathology ensues. Money cannot be allowed to pool in individual domestic holdings or offshore accounts, else economic pathology ensues. It really is that simple. It is only the lack of transparency and political will within and among national societies which permits this sordidly unethical, immoral, war-causing, misery-evoking, and unsustainable paradigm to continue. I had also received no response to suggesting a progressive tax on wealth.
  • The Liberals need to put in place a system of taxation wherein the returns on investment CANNOT EXCEED real GDP growth. Simply stated: if GDP growth is 2%, then returns on investment to investors cannot be paid at or above 2%. This will ensure that the bite taken by investors out of a nation’s annually-generated income will not get larger, year-over-year, in comparison to what remains to be paid out in salaries and wages to working folks. Among the many perks, the disappearance of the class of the ‘working-poor,’ commensurate with the revitalization of the ‘middle-class,’ will naturally begin and then sustain itself. [I don’t know if I mentioned that one to my local MP ]

2020 is indeed presenting itself as the year we must see clear. We need to accept that our current ways of going about things has brought us to the precipice. The madness with which the ‘right’ finds itself beset has brought us here as much as our insistence to not stand against those people has brought us here. The Trudeau Liberals may present Canada with an opportunity to accomplish beneficial and substantive change, and to be a global leader in this regard, come the Fall resumption of Parliament.

I believe that Justin Trudeau is making a personal sacrifice right now by serving as PM and not being around his kids and wife as he would be, if he was not so highly placed in the service of the Canadian public.

I believe that if Parliament forces and obtains a non-confidence vote, that if the Liberals lose the election that follows, that the PM et al. will just walk away, and with honour.

They will know they did their best to lead forward, but that Canadians chose to engage the past and follow those who would lead us to hell. That is the choice before us, and it is a clear choice. Moving in the reverse has never put anyone in a forward position on any given issue.

They would leave with heavy hearts, knowing what is going to happen to many of Canada’s and the World’s (our world’s) vulnerable and children under the cons.

I’m certain the Creator’s heart is heavy too; because he/she knows that joy, not misery, is intrinsic to the World, since that’s the way he/she designed it to be.

The Creator must also be shaking his/her head right now. We do nothing while wayward, ego-bound leaders bs their way into power and then continue the World’s (our world’s) progress along the road to perdition. We flood the heavenly airways with pleas for divine assistance and guidance, and ignore the Creator’s message: everything we need, he/she imparted to us when we were created. We are simply blind to our own capabilities. We need only open our minds.

By way of comparison, Trump et al. treat us as though we have the intellect of an amoeba and believe it is easier to close our minds to reality by baffling us with bullshit than it is to change their evil ways and heal the World, our world, before it is too late and we end up destroying ourselves in warring over dwindling resources.

It is the ego which blind us. Were we to lift the lampshade covering our souls, the light within each of us becomes visible to all. The light will reveal and actuate the way to humankind and the world’s wonderful and sustainable future.

Headline 1: Why homeless people are helping clean up pandemic trash in this B.C. community: all that I can say is, the folks out in B.C. may wake up later than the rest of Canada, but they are further along in the day than we are. This sort of initiative would be a feature of Basic Income: wherein the citizens of the nation give back to the nation, according to their abilities.

This is a natural condition. Remember that it is ego which created the world of humans today. All other species, even the predators, do not consume and hoard anymore than what they need; implying fairness of opportunity in Nature, for other individuals to do the same.

A strong ‘middle class’ is a feature of a naturally cohesive and functional population. A bell-curve  resembling a ‘u’, featuring an enervated middle, is symptomatic of a population experiencing a pathological distribution for some reason or other.

Headline 2: A second Trump term might injure the democratic experiment beyond recovery – an intriguing headline. I’ve been saying exactly that since early on in this ‘son-of-a-devil’s’ first term. I dispute the notion of ‘democratic experiment.’ Democracy has been with the World, our world, since the time of Pericles, and has been under assail by those who do not want to share power, ever since.  I have my reasons to be concerned for liberal democracy, and I look forward to reading the reasons in the Washington Post article.

btw, It would be nice if the good old ‘people’s post’ made more of their articles available to the non-subscribing public – their concern (and motto) that ‘democracy dies in darkness’ is easily surmounted if the money curtain is raised between publisher and the poor. If the folks at the top really take what they do seriously, that is, apart from enriching themselves and their shareholders, they would quite willingly absorb a financial hit. If the writers are equally serious, they might write for a wee bit less in order to get the message out?

In closing, an excerpt from the Washington Post article. It summarizes the Trump presidency, and the leadership of the King-cons of the World, our world, wonderfully:

But beyond the low unemployment rate he gained and lost, history will record Mr. Trump’s presidency as a march of wanton, uninterrupted, tragic destruction. America’s standing in the world, loyalty to allies, commitment to democratic values, constitutional checks and balances, faith in reason and science, concern for Earth’s health, respect for public service, belief in civility and honest debate, beacon to refugees in need, aspirations to equality and diversity and basic decency — Mr. Trump torched them all. ~Washington Post Editorial Board Opinion piece – 21 August 2020.

20 August 2020

I began this year by opportunistically naming 2020 as the ‘year we see clear.’ With the year 2/3’s complete, so much hangs in the balance, domestically and geopolitically, due to the politics of our day, it is better stated ‘the year we must see clear?’

Today, the World, our world, is obliged to acknowledge that the socio-political DNA of the political right has largely been replaced, in virus-like fashion, by the RNA of the movement-conservatives, a modern vintage of fascism.

Canadians in the Fall, will likely be choosing between the worldview of Trump, Putin, Xi (rendered more appetizing to Canadians by whomever ends up being ‘King-Con’ in Canada, but no less insidious a worldview) and that of Trudeau, Obama, et al., ‘the left.’

The World, our world, cannot survive a world where the biggest bullies have their way. It never worked in the playground, because, after the bullies chase all of the kids away, they amuse themselves by destroying the playground equipment, making it impossible for anyone to play, for a long time.

The aforementioned thugs in leadership appear to have forgotten what every kid knows: If you don’t play right, you don’t get to play at all.

They seem to believe that we all have to play according to their rules, rules they make up; moreover, to the beat of their drum, else they will ensure that no one else plays.

Trump shames his nation with every breath. He seeks confrontation with Iran on the basis of Iran’s lack of compliance with a nuclear arms agreement he himself withdrew from. ‘Do as I say. Not as I do,’ is the message from Trump. He unilaterally applies sanctions against Iran, inviting them to retaliate militarily in order to provide him with an excuse to clobber Iran with force. To him, the death and misery that would result is the result of making the ‘tough decisions.’

But I believe, in secret, he exhilarates in the arbitrariness of his power over so many lives.

He will not give those who die a second thought while he is marking his scorecard, preparing us and our world for the next hole. He will only wonder at how he might have achieved an even better score.

The fact someone like Trump is actively supporting Israeli apartheid and building a dubious geopolitical arrangement in the Middle East, based upon military expedience, should give any thinking human pause to consider, and to worry.

Even if his arrangements succeed in defeating Iran, does anyone really believe the murderous geopolitics of the Middle East, having been the way of humanity for millennia, will end there?

There are many, many folks in Iran, in Lebanon, in Israel, in Syria, in Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates (and in the U.S.A.), who want peace and who know war only begets war. [Aside: If anyone disputes this, they better not use the human record in their rationalizations].

We of the World need not follow those who seek to subjugate the World, our world, to the needs and whims of their own egos. Mandela didn’t. But he was forced to do a lot of jail time before his spirit won the day. He weighed the bitterness he must have felt over being in jail against the needs of his brothers and sisters and his life after jail demonstrates which side of the ego won in his great soul; ‘great’ because the light within it pierced the ego trying to contain it.

For us to be successful, we cannot run around kowtowing to our own egos. We need our lights, Mandela-like, to pierce our egos, allowing the light to be shared in the World while simultaneously allowing the World’s light to enter our souls, revitalizing us and sustaining us. That is why giving and receiving go hand-in-hand. We need only do this, and the World will rediscover its mojo and its sanity.

We must maintain the balance between the ego and the light of the World, our world, which is within us.

That is the wherefore and the why of the Golden Rule. By its very nature, its application ensures the balance between the ego and light: we use our ego to determine how others feel in a given situation, by giving consideration to how we might feel if situations were reversed. If we wouldn’t want to be treated a certain way, we can apply this knowledge and potentially emerge with a win-win.

We would know how others feel and they will know we seek to understand them rather than coerce them. On that basis, who would think to bomb, murder, rape, violate, or deny another soul’s opportunity to make a proper living…?

Can anyone find fault in this approach?

How many young lives must be sacrificed to ‘the God’ of the right? The self-styled atheist government in China worships the same ‘god’ as Trump et al.  Their ‘god’ is Ego. Self-aggrandizement. That is also the ‘god’ of business. that is why no business lasts forever, since every business is in the business of doing the exact same thing. That is why ‘business’ cannot hold primacy over national or global society. National and global societies are not businesses but rather the culmination of the collective vision of the citizenry.

The national and global vision of the movement conservatives (Trump, Putin, Netanyahu, Xi, yada yada) is their own personal control and aggrandizement. This inevitably leads to confrontation when the distance between them collapses as it has in our day, as ego à ego is a zero-sum scenario.

In this world of 24/7 ubiquitous connectivity, we who are not of the rapacious ilk (that being most of us), are able to act as one. We need to one with the Creator. To do that, we need to continually seek and maintain the balance between ego and the light in each of us. In doing so, the Golden Rule will acquire suzerainty in the lives of individuals, and by extension, the World, our world.

The moderates of the World, aka, those of Obama and Trudeau’s ilk; who believe in an equitable, sustainable world order, are leading in the right direction, though some tweaks may still be in order.

[Aside: we really need to find a new term to describe what has happened to the ‘right’ of the political spectrum. Their core values have experienced a shift so far away from centre it is necessary to define a new term. My suggestion would be, ‘over-the-edge,’ for this philosophy is no philosophy at all. It is a rationalization for the creation of misery by some folks who see nothing amiss in taking whatever fancies them, denying sustenance and opportunity from their own kind; hoarding their holdings even as their fellows starve and the children in their communities suffer].

19 August 2020

Dan Levy, the scion of CBC’s Schitt’s Creek, is urging Canadians to enroll in a free online course on Indigenous history now being offered by the good folks at the University of Alberta. In the article Mr. Levy observes, ‘If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we actively need to relearn history.’

Been feeling a lot that way myself, of late. YouTube features a considerable library of Indigenous historical documentaries and movies. I think later today I am going to have a peek at Canada A People’s History: When the World Began 15,000 BC to 1800 AD for starters.

On a less positive front, King Con Poilievre is on the television deploring PM Trudeau for his involvement in the WE controversy. I am given to wonder how an individual as intelligent as the PM could have chosen to hand so much fodder to his opposition, which happens to be the opposition to every single Canadian, Indigenous included, who want a fair deal from their government and their nation and are willing to contribute their fair share to their nation.

I am not given to wondering about Pierre Poilievre at all. He is able to sound so deliberate, matter-of-fact – prime ministerial -right now on tv. Whomever does his day-to-day scripting should get a ‘that-a-boy!’ from the party for today’s performance. However, the one who scripted his rantings in the House during the Harperite mandate is a candidate for the Rotten Tomatoes award. If it happens to be Pierre doing his own scripting, there appears to be a huge gulf existing between two quite diametric poles of behaviour within the confines of one individual’s head.

I still haven’t gotten out of my mind the deplorable conduct he  personally exhibited in Canada’s venerable institution of the House of Commons, and which was mirrored by many of his peers in the government of that day. Rona Ambrose was not one of those.

On the flipside of things, the PM’s explanation for the prorogation of Parliament is a good reason even if it isn’t the only reason, or even the primary reason: upon the resumption of Parliament, the Speech from the Throne will provide details on the government’s intention to embark upon an aggressive ramping up of the economy; incorporating a fundamental shift in one of its foundations, to wit: emphasizing green energy development and de-emphasizing fossil fuels. [ASIDE: the shift in one foundation will rain big benefits upon many others: forestry, agriculture, oceans and fisheries, and others].

COVID-19 has presented the World, our world, with an opportunity. The PM et al. know that an opportunity now exists to achieve a fundamental directional shift, a point of inflection. The calculus points to a green shift. The world we live in today was begun only a few centuries ago, beginning with colonization of everywhere during the European Metasticization.

The choice the PM is giving Canadians is a clear choice. The choice is between building a sustainable and equitable future v. continuing on the downward spiral we placed ourselves on by exploiting non-renewables. The focus on non-renewables is inviting scarcity and competition for dwindling resources as population grows. The upside is non-renewables generate, in the short term, generous returns on investments. The downside is we condemn ourselves to the throes of carbon-abetted climate change and of geopolitics, as nations war with each other to control the oil.

Trudeau’s Liberals are trying to negotiate a point of inflection. Points of inflection are not a reversal of fortunes, although some of the current players may be left behind, but rather a change in the direction of play. The Liberals interrupted the Cons’ rapacious initiative and now have the puck.

The PM is on a breakaway.  He is in a position to win the game for Canada, not only the game, the series!  and get us into the next round.

There is only the goaltender to beat. But the goaltender’s job is to keep things just the way they are. Resistance to change. Resistance to progress.

The PM is not trying to score on the Cons. They care only about themselves and their prospects. They only care about other folks if other folks get in the way.

Our resistance to change is the goaltender.

The PM means to put the question of non-confidence in the House to the Canadian people: Westerners, Easterners, Maritimers, the Indigenous, wealthy folks, poor folks, professionals and wage-earners, moms and dads…all to whom Canada is home.

The Liberals cannot say ‘we want an election,’ because that would be as suicidal as saying, ‘we want to raise everybody’s taxes.’

But, as the PM said yesterday, the Liberals mean to present the House of Commons and Canadians with an aggressive plan to begin a new direction for Canadians, for Canada, and for the World, our world.

We will vote and determine our own fate. That is exactly as it should be.

If we could include future generations of Canadians in the tally, I know the Liberals would be returned to the House, post-election, post-COVID, with a resounding majority. Even the cons of the future would want to vote for the Liberals of today, since they will have inherited a future too.

Let’s get it right: Pierre Poilievre is likely a decent human being. He very likely is neither the ‘B’-movie actor of Harper’s Question Period, nor the methodical ‘inquisitor’ we saw yesterday on television or during the virtual public appearance by the PM before the committee investigating the WE controversy. He likely views all of the goings-on and histrionics as a game, though the stakes are very serious for everyone in Parliament and, of course, the folks parliamentarians represent.

This is no game.

The PM doesn’t see it as a game either. When he was explaining his rationale for prorogation yesterday, his energy changed dramatically. For a time, it seemed the heart and mind of the PM were melded together with all sincerity and resolve, devoid of calculation. A window had opened and revealed what was in his soul.

He really believes in what the Liberals are trying to achieve, FOR THE LOVE OF CANADA, past – present – future; not for the love of power/money, which gives me reason to not doubt his sincerity with respect to the WE business.

He sees that we have a long way to go to get to shore and that the pandemic has actually given us an opportunity to find our bearings and get there.

18 August 2020 

On the morning after the resignation of our Minister of Finance, Can ada awakens beset with even more uncertainty.

‘Uncertainty’ is exactly what Canadians don’t need at  a time when war, rumours of war, pestilence, and famine, and personal loss on every conceivable dimension, is become the norm for so many of Canada’s and the World’s, our world’s, citizens.

I was not a fly on the wall during Monday’s meeting between the PM and Minister Morneau. I cannot add or take anything away from what is being written about all of that. We can read about the minister’s resignation and also a list of potential candidates to replace him, on CBC.

There is one Canadian whom I believe is admirably suited to stand for Canada in the position of Minister of Finance. He appears as honest and lacking in airs, as the day is long; if there is a politician in Canada who is able, 100%, to put Canada and Canadians (to wit: ALL CANADIANS, past, present, and future) ahead of party politics, it would be this Canadian.

If there is anyone in Canada, or in the World today, and who does not bear the name of Thomas Piketty or Kate Raworth, who understands what the World, our world, needs to do to capture its monetary mojo, its this guy.

Hugh Segal.

He very likely does not want to go into politics; however that attitude would recommend him even further for the role.

He knows what to do. He understands economics and monetary policy. He has the demeanour of a kindly old sage. He is intuitive, for he could not have received his convictions with respect to Basic Income from the Conservatives.

He was of Canada’s erstwhile PROGRESSIVE Conservatives. They weren’t perfect, but they presented a viable option to the Left for Canadians, because, in those days, the political party institutions of the right maintained an equal or higher regard for Canada and Canadians than they did for the power to enrich themselves and to craft a society and economy favourable to their doing so -to the detriment of the Many.

A Google or Bing search will provide lots of reasons to bring Hugh Segal onboard.

To bring in a minister who is not a ‘Liberal’ is an extraordinary step in extraordinary times.

I don’t know about you, but I am sickened and unsettled by the Royal-Family type histrionics coming to Canada. I don’t want to keep reading about intrigues on behalf of the folks who are working for Canada and Canadians (and the World, our world).

I want to read about how we are making inexorable, incremental headway, against the many challenges Canada and the World, our world, face.

p.s. For a chaser after reading about Hugh Segal and Guaranteed Income (Basic Income), how about having a peek at this:

The world can’t afford to be the same again after COVID-19, says peace and security expert |CBC Radio – the article highlights a quote from Professor emeritus Paul Rogers:

It’s not that the world will never be the same again. It should never be the same again, because we have to learn from this. [italics mine]

We can take that to the bank.

p.s.p.s. 

Just announced that Chrystia Freeland is Canada’s new minister of Finance. In addition, the government is said to be ready to prorogue Parliament until October, at which time, an opportunity will emerge in the form of the Speech from the Throne for Parliament to vote the government out.

Blanchet of the Bloq will opportunistically attempt to force an election, his calculus likely being that it will be the Cons forming the next government and, since nobody this side of the River Styx is able to find anything likeable or sustainable in the Cons’ slash and burn approach to garnering more of the World’s, our world’s, wealth for themselves and their wealthy supporters and would-be wealthy supporters, Québecers will turn to him.

Blanchet is an opportunist who offers nothing of quality and permanent value to Québec.

The Cons are opportunists who offer the wealthy and those who aspire to be wealthy, no matter what the cost to the other members of the community they share.

The NDP have performed well as the conscience of the government. Their role in Parliament has not changed since the time of Tommy Douglas.

Meanwhile, Québec’s culture, traditions, and ways form a part of who we are as a nation and society under god. Ditto for the Indigenous.

Ditto for the Liberals. Despite their current malaise, some personal choices, and perhaps some departures from the Liberal code, the party institution remains Canada’s natural governing party because throughout our history, they have used reason, guided by compassion, as the basis for governing. Since people are by nature ‘reasonable’ and ‘compassionate,’ the Liberals have lead in the direction favoured by most Canadians.

Let us not forget, in these troubled times, that the Liberals produced the likes of Mike Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, one right after the other, to boot!

We need them to produce more of that ilk.

So does Canada. So does the World, our world.

16 August 2020

Many years ago, our ancestors came to North America. In the beginning, they behaved as guests. They treated the folks already living in these new lands (‘new’ only to the Europeans) as their hosts and as equals.

They had different ways. The Europeans preferred to partition and box things in; they believed in private ownership and private property. The Indigenous folks did not, and so the two peoples made agreements to partition the New Worlds so that the Indigenous could live their way on their part; the Europeans could live their way on their part.

But, despite having given their word, the Europeans continued to expand their part at the expense of the part they agreed to respect as belonging to the native peoples.

That was an abject betrayal. And it was only the beginning of an orchestrated, protracted policy to neuter the Indigenous population.

In fact, the European colonial model involves the progressive erosion of the Commons, replacing it with private property.

Fast forward to today. The erosion of the Commons continues. Now, the burgeoning class of the poor/working-poor is under assail by the same people, and for the same reasons, as the Indigenous were: to control the nation’s resources in order to control the nation’s wealth.

Nothing about European colonization has changed since its hay-day. It has enervated the Indigenous cultures. These cultures continue to survive only because of their resilience and of their Joseph Campbell-like collective memory.

The dice-rollers during the European colonization of yesteryear are a class of people, to wit: the wealthy class. The names change but the song remains the same. The Commons continues to be privatized, in terms of land and public services. The Commons continues to be mined for resources and rendered unusable as the Commons for possibly centuries; while public services, such as healthcare and education become progressively more two-tiered, and quality of care and services received/offered becomes a function of wealth.

That is not the Canada or the World I want to be a part of. Does any sane person? It is also the world ‘leaders’ like Trump, Netanyahu, MBS, Putin, Xi, yada-yada, are actively creating.

Case in point:

Headline 1: L’Iran changera son attitude vis-à-vis EAU après l’accord avec Israel – Obama was trying to broker an arrangement to bring Iran back into the International order. The right in the U.S. back then were raising false alarms and btw, supported in their efforts by the likes of Canada’s First Con (at that time), Stephen Harper, the con-spawn Baird, et al. It worked, because the Americans then elected Trump, the latest presidential instantiation of these war-like elements-the first being Ronald Regan.

When I was a kid in school, we learned to call these guys ‘warhawks,’  and the Obamas, ‘moderates.’ It is now official policy to incite war with Iran, rather than bring them into the international fold, which is all Iran really wants. This is the legacy Trump wants to leave us.

I say this, because, were Iran to develop nuclear weapons secretly, to use them would mean the utter and irrevocable destruction of that venerable, historic nation. They know it. Obama must have known it too.

A sane world would destroy all nuclear weapons and desist from developing any means of mass destruction.

But with Trump and the like leading so many of the World’s nations, there now exists a preponderance of insanity in the World, our world.

The coercive policies of the right are doomed to fail because they are coercive. Coercion can only result in entrenchment. Obama must have known that too. The culmination of Trump’s approach can only be the continuance of war and misery. To his eternal shame, he already knows this. He simply does not care. The last 5 millennia of human history warns us to turn our backs upon our old ways and embrace a collaborative approach.

That is a lot of blood and destruction just to gain a little economically and politically at home. That’s a lot more of this:

and this:

taking away the hopes and dreams of our world’s children:

(photos from various articles appearing on MSN/CBC)

while the leaders responsible do this:

(photo taken from Golf.com)

And it will not end until we collectively recognize our collective problem.

Ego.

We can avoid all of the misery. We need only seek to understand one another, look to one another’s needs, see one another as ourselves and not as something or someone else and therefore candidate for exploitation.

To get the ball rolling for the Commons (meaning for everybody!), we need to stop falling for a narrative being created by the few. It has worked well for millennia: first the few used ‘God’s Will’ to get the people to do bad things to other people and to justify allowing bad things to happen to their own citizens and to the citizens of other nations, even to the point of inflicting violence upon them using their venerable police and military institutions. But that approach was undermined by ‘God’ him/herself because he/she is on record in all Scripture as being against doing violence to others.

So, over the years, the few abandoned the ‘God’-approach and decided to promote the self (aka ego-consciousness) to replace ‘God’ in society. If the self is the new ‘God’  then business is the latest place of worship and corporations are the new Bible-Belt mega-cathedrals.

Money replaces ‘Grace,’  and expedience replaces the Golden Rule.

We can change all of that for the betterment of everyone, including the wealthy and the ruling classes.

Reconciliation has its current template in the efforts of Canada’s governing Liberals. But these efforts must also apply to how we are kept isolated from one another by many means, chief among them being wealth-inequality.

And then Canada will be properly positioned to be an example to the World, our world.

There is only one way. It is the way of truth, the way of the Light.

Even as the Trumps of the world succeed in hiding their true motivation behind their bushel baskets, we can counter this by raising our own bushel baskets and allowing the light which is in all of us to shine forth.

Exposing Trump et al. for what they are.

Then the hopes of the World, our world, may be restored, and the World’s children no longer need grow up anxious and afraid, instead coming into the World, growing up, and extending the creator’s Creation, just as He/She intended all along.

It is not complicated. Rather than create a canon of law too large for anyone to fully comprehend, we need only promote one rule, the Golden Rule. The fact we have a Human Rights Code reveals the need to establish the primacy of the Golden Rule, because no one should need be told to respect other souls – ants don’t need to be told, how is it that we need to be?

If everyone followed the Golden Rule, violence, misrepresenting the truth, and taking more than what you need when your neighbours do not have enough to get by (aka wealth-inequality) will spontaneously disappear, with tolerance, inclusion, compassion, openness, and, humanity’s game-saver, diversity, filling in the vacuum.

Headline 2: House accelerates oversight of Postal Service, as uproar grows, demanding top officials testify at ‘urgent’ hearing: WP – Folks to the south of us are concerned the changes suddenly being wrought upon the U.S. Postal Service are going to create havoc during the vote count in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election. ‘Create havoc,’ describes a ploy used by some folks (or terrorist groups) against other folks (or societies), when they lack any sort of material or moral authority to achieve whatever it is they are trying to achieve. Trump and his ilk simply want to achieve power over everyone and are willing to share it only to the point of mutual convenience with like-minded individuals. For everyone else, they will pay as little as possible to get us to comply. If we ask for too much, they use the police and the military (upon their own citizens).

To borrow a line from Richard Harris’ portrayal of Oliver Cromwell:

‘Now we see in what contempt this King holds this House and this nation.’ This and other memorable quotes from the movie can be found here. I would update it to replace ‘King’ with ‘leaders of Trump’s ilk,’ ‘House’ with ‘democracy,’ and ‘nation’ with ‘the nations they lead and the world they are part of.’

15 August 2020

Spadina -York Liberal MP Adam Vaughan publishes a Weekly Update on the issues of the day and the government’s response/plans. The updates are pithy and thorough- if  you only have a few minutes to catch up, this MP’s Weekly Update is the right place for you. Follow the above link and choose <Get Updates> from the menu to get to the subscription form.

Headline 1: L’accord Israel-Emirates est une grosse erreur, dit L’Iranien Rohani –  the upshot of the Iranian leader’s complaint is that the agreement between these nations is accomplished on the backs of the Palestinians. I might be tempted to go further, because it appears that in the Middle East and in other places, nations are staging for war. They align themselves with the U.S.-Europe, or with China/Russia. Alliances made today are accomplished on the backs of the world’s unwealthy, who will be dying in the war of tomorrow.

War makes strange bedfellows. Any alliances forged today will one day devolve into a free-for-all due to the inherent weakness of alliances so-formed. Just look at the world today. Russia and the West were on the same side, albeit, after Hitler betrayed his alliance with Stalin to obtain world-mastery and decided to take on Russia too.

Oftentimes, I refer to the cenotaph at St. James Cathedral in Toronto. The spirit of the message inscribed on its pedestal cries out with all of the urgency and importunity the souls of millions of humanity’s young who witnessed and suffered the carnage of the Great War, one which, I believe, is still ongoing. It has only been smoldering, like arboreal forest peat, waiting for conditions to be right for an outbreak.

  1. JAMES CATHEDRAL CROSS

This cross commemorates the glorious sacrifice 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.

The ‘Christ’ is the Word of the Creator and is beyond label and description. The Word is for all peoples, of all cultures, for all times and is not owned by any particular faith.

The Word is clearly expressed by the folks responsible for St. James Cathedral Cross cenotaph:

UNITE – DO NO VIOLENCE – and,

Your enemy, my enemy, is our enemy – and that enemy is ego. Every single entity in existence has ego. But the ego of human beings and of the institutions/societies they form is a particular danger when it falls out of balance with the operatives of the Universe/creator – which are all of the Light.

That people worship differently, is a function of their culture and times; the god(s) they worship(ped) exists beyond time – time itself exists within the Creator.

The ‘art’ of those bent on continuing misery in the world, misery (and profitable -for the winners- wars) without end btw, involves demonizing those who are actually healing the World, our world. One example of this is Trump putting down young Greta Thunberg.

I can no more get over this, than I can over what MBS purportedly did to Jamal Khashoggiwho was tried and convicted according to the ego of MBS, and subsequently executed in the most ignominious way by one of the Crown ‘prince’ death squads.

At the end of the day, if the World, our world, continues in its warlike ways, it is the young poor of every nation who will continue to be maimed and killed; carrying the profound nightmare of Conrad’s distillation of the human soul with them for their entire lives. It will be the same for both sides.

All because of the angst of a few old men (Putin, Xi, Trump, Netanyahu…) and the darkness of spirit (combined with too much testosterone) on the part of younger leaders like MBS.

For the World, our world, to avoid fast-tracking itself to hell, we must backpedal to the era of Obama. The erstwhile American president brought Iran to the table and urged a two-state solution in Palestine. This is because Obama viewed people as equals, and he knew relations among ‘equals’ must be participative, inclusive, and collaborative.

Never exclusive and coercive.

Obama’s way, Trudeau’s way, and the way of like-minded leaders, is the only way to achieve a lasting peace. There will be winners and losers in terms of geopolitical clout and wealth holdings of individuals, but under no circumstances will anyone, especially our young people, be required to sacrifice their lives. Isn’t this the obvious way to go, despite the costs?

A world prosperous within its means (with no lifestyles/human activity supported beyond its means) is an enduring world; a world unlimited in its potential because it has chosen to exist within Nature and not outside of it.

As we might notice, if we cared to take the time, Nature is unlimited in its diversity and potential. It existed long before we did and, should we choose not to live within it, it will leave us behind.

But if humankind were to rediscover the spirit its creator blessed it with, the barriers to real progress that ego erects, will dissipate like dust in the wind, allowing us to clearly see our way forward. Humankind becomes reconciled with Nature and the creator, and like them, bears promise of unlimited potential.

We will, in time, change our ways, allow the Mother Earth to heal itself, while we develop the technology to cruise the stars with Elon.

We will end the current insanity of over-population, the insanity of belief in, and pursuit of inexorable GDP growth; these having been designed to fast track the concentration of power among self-styled elites, ego-bound beyond recall.

The world envisioned by global elites is what the likes of Trump and Netanyahu stand for. That is the world of ego and it is affecting/infecting some of the most powerful nations. These ‘leaders’ are happy to preside over a dunghill rather than to serve in the Garden, à la Spencer’s Satan.

This can only lead to war, misery, and death.

The likes of Mandela, Gandhi, the Dahli Lama, et al. knew of a better way.

It happens to be THE ONLY WAY to ensure the prosperity and continuance of the human race.

Human ego is the only thing standing in our way.

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of a hell, a hell of a heaven…” [John Milton, Paradise Lost].

By now, the World, our world, should know the mind of Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammed Bin Salman, Xi Jinping, and the rest.

The World, our world, must also know by now the mind of Mandela, Gandhi, and those leaders of like mind and spirit.

The former mindset will continue humankind’s downward spiraling toward misery and death. The latter ensures a wonderful future culminating in the return to the Garden we left so long ago, only the Garden, for humankind, will include the Stars as well.

The World, our world, must soon make a choice.

Do not leave it to Trump and his ilk to decide the fate of humankind. If they want to be masters over a pile of manure, let them:

The World, our world, has enough waste treatment facilities to put them in charge of, where they can feel happy and fulfilled.

And so will the rest of us.

Headline 2: Coronavirus update: Romney criticizes Trump administration pandemic responseWashington Post – Thought I was done for the day ?

Although the WP tilts to the left, the only reason governments that aspire to deal with climate change, the environment, poverty and wealth inequality, and who choose negotiation and economic penalties and peacekeeping over war as the means to achieve and preserve the ‘peace,’ are perceived as listing ‘left’ is because so much of the news media suborns the methods and madness of the media’s, for the most part, wealthy owners.

[Aside: As much as I get pissed sometimes at what the CBC, our national news  broadcaster, prints, it remains the best source of news for Canadians and the World, our world. My getting ‘pissed’ is complementary to the CBC, because I am also a big fan. It means they are doing an honest job of reporting the articles of the day, even if some of its writers’ views are anathema or counterproductive. I say ‘anathema’ because promoting division and entrenchment is contrary to social cohesion. I say ‘counterproductive’  because ‘news’ is supposed to promote awareness, and ‘awareness’ must always be the precursor to free will, as free will is to action. If the ‘data’ is ‘faked’ in anyway, our choices and actions are necessarily misguided, and the consequences to us and our world, untenable].

With the news otherwise, we are doomed to the dubious tradition of ‘the blind following the blind.’ The blindness of many of the world’s leaders is wholly due to their ego.

We cannot allow ego to rule our world, or to make decisions for us. That would be tantamount to the ‘tail wagging the dog.’

We have done so for as long as we have been on the outside of the Garden – the garden we left, voluntarily. We cannot afford to do this for much longer, I fear.

14 August 2020

It’s FRIDAY! Let’s down ramp to the weekend by enjoying another fine offering from CBC’s Eric Grenier – aka the ‘pollster’s pollster’ – What’s behind the Bloc’s election gambit – and, for a chaser, this by Aaron Wherry: The pandemic has created a historic opportunity for Justin Trudeau. Will WE get in his way? Lastly, the Washington Post features an article entitled, The coronavirus recession is over for the rich, but the working class is far from recovered – even if you are not of the ‘working-class’ or the ‘working-poor,’ the issue bears relevance. If we do not deal substantively with the mechanisms  abetting poverty, scarcity, and the erosion of the Commons, the structure of Canadian democracy and society will collapse in upon itself as surely as any newbuilt home lacking for framing and foundation.

Canada has a government that appears to have a perception on what needs to be done. We also have a political culture wherein ‘the right thing,’  and the ‘right stuff,’  appear to have acquired an alarming irrelevancy.

The question to be answered, therefore, is, ‘Does Trudeau’s government have the political will to do the right thing when the Bloq and the Cons are choosing the nuclear option in response to ANYTHING the governing Liberals do?’

The larger issue, however, is, will the Canadian electorate (that’s us) continue to allow our public servants in Canada’s Parliament to politicize the hell out of everything?

The easiest thing is to talk and blow smoke up people’s nethers, like the governments in Israel and the U.S. routinely do with regards to the Palestinian nation, say. They do not bargain with the Palestinians in good faith, thought they themselves pay lipservice to good faith bargaining. If Biden/Harris want to make a difference to the World, our world, then they will move to reinstantiate the process leading to a two-state solution, with both sides sworn to protect the integrity of the other side against all threats.

I saw Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Catherine McKenna, on CBC’s P&P yesterday. What came through was her perceptiveness. It plainly guides her in times of crisis, such as what happened at her constituency office.

Her ‘heart’ and her ‘mind’ are working together as they should: the heart guides the mind to decision, but does not make the decision on its own; that is arrived at only by way of a ‘compromise’ among mind, heart, and soul.

Conversely, if there is a disconnect among the tripartite human spirit (being comprised of mind, heart, and soul), then you end up with the likes of Netanyahu, Trump, MBS, Xi, the Harper Cons, the Blanchet Bloqs – all appear to pursue power simply to abet their own self interest.

In the process, they entrench the divisions among Canadians and do nothing about the plight of the impoverished, the future for Canada’s children, or the myriad illnesses the human footprint has put upon the Earth and all species who rely on it and upon one another for their survival.

All people have egos. All people allow their egos to come to the surface. When this happens, all other egos will entrench, and find a way to press for their own self interest without consideration for others.

To sport one’s ego openly, in the presence of others, is wrong. The sin is compounded when this happens in public service, because of the stakes.

Recall Mandela’s take on leadership. Gandhi’s take on leadership.

Give PM Trudeau his due: the Indigenous are off of the protests and back at the table. It is a start. Canada has very nearly survived the (as improbable as it is problematic) presidency of Donald Trump. Canada is still trying to sort out the difficult legacy that Harper’s bulldog Baird left to Canada in the Middle East – a far cry from how PM Mike left things for Pierre Trudeau and Canada.

The PM took a lot of flack over his role in the SNC-Lavalin/JWR fiasco. I do not imply that he went about things exactly right, or that he doesn’t deserve to have some mud on his face over that (if he does, I hope he will make peace with JWR and Jane Philpot et al., because that too would be the right thing to do).

Even so, the PM helped to preserve jobs in Québec. Blanchet’s appreciation, on behalf of Québecers, is apparently subordinate to his opportunism to obtain more power for himself – he is still #2 in Québec, behind Trudeau’s Liberals, and wants to be #1; no matter how many Québecers would suffer if the Cons, say, were to replace the Liberals in Ottawa.

Then there’s China. Canada is caught between two ‘warring’ factions: the America of Donald Trump and the China of Xi. Canada is determined to promote the international rule of law, despite the ‘personal’ cost to Canada. Canada is going this route because it understands that to sacrifice the rule of law to current geopolitical waves is to deny the World, our world, structure. Canada, under the Trudeau Liberals, is holding fast.

The Cons of Canada and throughout the World, our world, have never understood this. They have become, from Mulroney (who abetted his party’s transition to the new kind of Con in Canada by leaving the Progressive Conservatives with only two seats in the House after he completed his second term), onward, a gaggle of political opportunists whose knee-jerk approach to the management of emergent domestic and geopolitical issues is sure to take the Canadian nation and the World, our world, down into chaos and misery of biblical proportion.

To kowtow to the egoic whims of ego-encumbered political leaders of militarily powerful nations is to deny the World, our world, the chance to grow tall and true like the Oak toward its destiny, that being A New Earth, as envisioned by Eckhart Tolle. Instead, the world of humans would be doomed, by humans, to flounder and spread, willy-nilly, going nowhere; eventually choking itself into extinction through war, pestilence, climactic upheaval, and scarcity…

13 August 2020

It is a beautiful day, where I am. I’m wishing you the same, and all of the joy the day, and the World, our world, has to offer.

Our Creator did not intend misery for us. It is humanity’s ego that allows for it in the first place, and it is the Dark One who speaks to it, while disguising itself as every one’s best friend. That’s ego.

Ego is what is ruling the world of humankind. Civilization, in the way we have chosen to develop it, often takes on the functionality of a cancerous tumour. We invade, we kill, we expand ourselves to our own detriment, then something more powerful takes us over and we are finished. In the case of cancer tumors, it is death. We can delay its progress for a time with treatments, but the cancer inevitably finds purchase somewhere else and kills its unfortunate host.

The likes of Trump, Netanyahu, Putin, et al. house and provide the current impetus for the cancer’s metastasizing throughout the World, our world. For as long as there is room to spread.

But there is no more room.

The cancer afflicting the East is of the same construction as that afflicting the West. Neither will want to back off. Neither is able to.

Both will try to displace the other. Neither will be able to.

Both will die.

Here’s where the metaphor departs from the reality: whereas in the metaphor, the cancers kill their host, upon whom they rely for their existence, in humanity’s case, the cancerous presence we suborn, by allowing it to afflict our Earth Mother, will not succeed in taking down Mother Earth, but it will succeed in taking down humankind.

The trees will make a comeback. The birds will too. Perhaps the Indigenous will survive and become the next Adams and Eves, because they will remember how they lived before the cancer had metastasized from Europe and found purchase here in North America.

Headline: Israel, United Arab Emirates reach historic deal to normalize relations – Well, um, you have to know that anything the devil does is in the details:

  1. Trump is involved – don’t forget it was his idea to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
  2. Netanyahu is involved – enough said.
  3. The United Arab Emirates are involved – if you need a refresher on what that nation’s government is capable of, check this out:
    UN experts accuse Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. of war crimes in Yemen – need I say more?

There will be no peace in the Middle East, or anywhere else, in the World, our world, for as long as these types comprise the world’s leadership. If the mind is dysfunctional, the spirit will eventually be corrupted.

In societies, the leader is the ‘mind,’ and the people are its spirit.

If leaders ascribe to the notion that ‘the people’  exist to serve them, as if they were slaves, then they are insane. [Aside: those who believe the Creator wants us to sit and praise him/her are just as insane, for any soul capable of imagining and creating a universe such as this one, with so much life in it, could never have been capable of doing so with an aspiration like that].

I once watched Nelson Mandela answer the question of leadership. He said something to the effect that, ‘Some leaders think the people exist to serve the leader,’ then, waving a warning finger as he shook his head, ‘but it is the leader who is the servant of the people.’ [God bless Nelson Mandela]. I’m betting the Creator’s thinking is more akin to Nelson Mandela’s and Gandhi’s than to Netanyahu’s or Donald Trump’s.

Mr. Mandela did not seek for glory. He sought only to create a new world for his people, according to his vision.

There is not much glory in a jail cell, which is where his goodness put him until he was freed, for many years. Neither does the Creator want us to glorify him/her. The creator of the Universe would soon tire of listening to us ‘praise’ him/her, and return to the act of creation, which btw, is what he/she put our species here.

Because of our nature, we are able to create. Where we have wandered off of the path, as it were, is that we have been superimposing something of our own manufacture upon the World, our world, according to the image of the powermongers, the ego-bound. Where in fact, the Creator wanted us to be able to extend his/her Creation. To build upon an idea, rather than to cover it over with something else.

To tweak it, like beavers building dams.

Not give it a makeover, à la swathes of asphalt and new subdivisions, upon which nothing can grow, or developing technologies and lifestyles that denature the land for centuries.

Nuclear weapons, bioweapons, and inexorable GDP growth are the self-fulfilling operatives we humans engage in, inviting our own cancer-like demise. There is no rationale for their existence, apart from deterrence, and that is a specious argument at best: the moment a nation with nukes is on the verge of losing to the other side, they will use their nukes rather than be overrun by the enemy.

With submarines lurking undetected off of national shorelines with enough nuclear hardware to wipe out the Atlantic Seaboard, no one is going to win the next one.

We need to change. We need to wake up from the lull we have entered into. Governments need the support of the people. The people need the support of their governments.

Governments are wayward when they allow disaster to befall any of their citizens, when they have the means in hand to avoid it. The fact that we have found tonnes of money to keep the economy from floundering in reaction to the pandemic means that we could have beaten poverty a long time ago, but for the wealthy who support the government, but at a price.

Citizens are wayward when they do not hold their governments to account. The way democracy has been corrupted in our day is that our holding our government to account is simply voting them out and another taking over. The trouble is, corporations and the wealthy in the respective nations ensure the new government is just like the old government, or they take their money elsewhere and the government is stuck with a bunch of angry citizens who then vote them out at the first opportunity.

Nothing has changed.

Things, however, are getting worse for the poor, and more citizens are joining the ranks of the poor.

7 August 2020

Before diving into headlines, I want to offer a personal thanks to the folks at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, for their ample and timely assistance.

My experience, as a Canadian citizen, during the pandemic, has been such as to lead me to praise the efforts of our federal government and the parties supporting these efforts in the House; their work compounded by the antics of a derailed, but nevertheless opportunistic bunch of Cons, who seem more interested in obtaining power over Canadians to enrich their supporters than in fighting the pandemic for Canadians.

[Aside: Btw, Monsieur Poilievre! If you ever succeed in becoming PM, I’m jumping on the first rocket to Mars, that is, if someone didn’t already stow you in the cargo hold ]

This MP should devote his talent to positive participation in government, and ditch the cheap histrionics his bunch are given to. The House is a Canadian Institution and should not be debased by such behaviour. [Aside: Need proof? Watch QP when Harper was in power and compare it to how it is now, with Trudeau at the wheel. Notice the change in comportment among those sitting. Trudeau’s group is bringing back some of the sobriety and respectful conduct due this venerable and critical democratic institution].

Headline: Saudi crown prince sent hit squad to Canada to kill former spy, lawsuit claims – I have not gotten over what was done to Jamal Khashoggi, nor will I. This leader’s sins against humanity are compounding. I understand that war makes strange bedfellows but how can we be on the same side as someone who can do what MBS does with such apparent abandon, and disregard for the rule of law?  Hello? 

Any ‘friends’ of a leader like this guy, will soon find themselves on the wrong side of the daisies if you offend his ego in any way at all. He operates like Putin, Asaad, Xi, Netanyahu…and it should be clear to all that it is their ego operating them. The tail wagging the dog.

If these guys become typical of the World’s, our world’s, leadership and vision, we will be living a totalitarian nightmare of biblical proportions.

For your kids’ sakes, think well upon this, especially at voting time. If Canada elects a Con government, especially during this very critical phase in world history, the balance between the Light of the Creator and the Darkness around us might become tipped irrevocably toward the wrong side.

3 August 2020

Headline: L’armée israélinne dit avoir tué 4 “terroristes” à la frontière syrienne – For my entire life, I’ve been hearing about war and killing in the ‘Holy Land.’ I don’t know about you, but I see nothing ‘holy’ in the murder of children, young moms and dads, in killing anyone; but for the case where killing is incidental to self-defense.

If everyone were to all ascribe to this simple rule, there would be no more war, because there is no one who is going to hit first, if violence is only used in self-defense.

It is a great sin to use god the Creator as an excuse for war. It is as great a sin as to say there is ‘no god.’ Hello?

Let the ‘Holy Land’ be holy. The Holy Land should be, one would think, the happiest place in the World, our world, to dwell in; especially for kids.

It hasn’t been a happy place for as long as there has been ‘civilization’ amongst humankind.

It’s time. Let us agree together to end our common insanity, and, for the first time since the Creator sent the leaders of the great faiths to humankind, there will be no violence and the Holy Land will truly be holy, in the way the Creator had intended.

Violence and destruction has never been the Creator’s Way.

This is

31 July 2020

Headline 1: Les chiens pourraient détecter le coronavirus – the Germans are leading the pack in the right direction on this one, over there in Europe. There is also some great work in this regard transpiring on this side of the Atlantic. Pray for success. If dogs can reliably detect coronavirus infections, can you imagine the benefits to gatherings of all kinds? We could see dogs at turnstiles dutifully giving us a sniff as we pass through them to see our baseball game, the theatre, getting on the plane or the bus…I’d feel a whole lot safer.  Dogs really are a ‘man’s best friend.’

And it would remove a lot of the guesswork revolving around opening up, providing actionable data quickly.

Headline 2: 7 key moments from Trudeau and Telford’s WE testimony  – There is also a pithy, if not  a pander, to the anti-Trudeau sentiment, by Roy Green (Global News).

During the PM’s testimony yesterday, Pierre Poilievre made some good points -well presented because he wasn’t screaming- before devolving back into his QP-style histrionics. [Aside: I deplore MP Poilievre’s behaviour in the House during Question Period  (along with the rest of that crew).

But I noticed in the background that he had made room for a copy of Shakespeare on his bookshelf. A guy like that can’t be all bad!

Maybe he has it in him to restore the Conservative spirit to what it was before the movement conservative faction out West (originating from south of the border) took over Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party? Given how much tv time he gets, I’m certain that if the Cons don’t get anywhere in the next election, the Liberals et al. will be facing off against him in the one that follows.

Let’s face it. The optics were terrible but the PM did it anyways. I had deplored JWR’s way of going about things because it could have seriously  compromised the Liberals’ chances of reelection after we’d survived a decade of Stephen Harper’s group. Just when the Liberals were finding their legs and getting a move on.

Now it appears the PM is doing it to himself. The Aga Khan thing he shouldn’t have done. I don’t know what to think about the JWR file anymore. I think he should have handled WE better, i.e., I would not have been so easily convinced WE was the only way to go with the volunteer program, whether I had family working there or not, and would have sought alternative solutions, then perform a comparative cost-benefit analysis on the options before me.

I’m also scratching my head over how much his mom and Sophie were paid in ‘expenses.’ WOW! I could live for a whole year on their ‘expenses’  for a speaking engagement. It had to be on Mars  to cost that much.

Leaders need to be ‘of and for the people,’ therefore, they must live like the people. Leaders need to be accountable to the people, but only for how they cost the people.

They are not slaves to the people. Their personal business should remain private and respected. If someone wants a picture of the PM playing golf, say, they should ask him.

There should be no overlap either. What the PM does personally while on official business should not be paid for by anyone or anything but his own salary and savings. Therefore no Aga Khan trip, for i.e. unless he’s paying himself out of his own pocket. Therefore no potential conflict of interest. And it should be set out that for official engagements, the PM can go sightseeing or whatever if there is any time for that, and a certain per diem established. If he/she does anything costing more, being it is on their own time, it is on their own dime.

Whatever he does, personal or official, however, Canada will incur the cost of keeping he and his family safe. I don’t believe we can begrudge him that expense.

As a voter, I want to know what the government is doing for me, our community, our country, our world. I want to understand why public servants do what they do. I want to understand my government’s vision of Canada, because that is the Canada I and my children will be living in.

I don’t want to listen to weeks of WE headlines and things of that ilk.

Finally, I want to point out that the entire process yesterday was politicized. None of the participants were there to peel away the layers of the onion and come to the truth. ALL OF THEM were there to defend their version of the truth.

The Chair did a wonderful job of chairing, especially given how political everything was.

I pray that the PM just comes clean and that the voters give him credit for that. I pray that the PM will be the leader of the people that the people need him to be.

The Cons’ vision of Canada is the vision corporations have of the nations they operate in. Have a look at what is left of Lac Mégantic. Have a look at the tar sands. Have a look at young folks, old folks, middle-agers sleeping on subway gratings in downtown Toronto, the ‘great city.’

Toronto cannot be great if you are a homeless person.

25 July 2020

CBC’s Eric Grenier has penned another great article on political climate change, aka the latest polls. He rightly warns against the temptation to call an election, even when polls show governments have achieved unprecedented voter-support levels because of their management of the COVID-19 outbreak.

I note that the Bloq, supportive of the government’s giving the provinces more money last week, are this week threatening to take down the government if the PM and Finance Minister Morneau do not resign because of their personal involvement with WE. So long as the NDP supports the Liberals, the Bloq can squawk.

If the two are culpable somehow, shame on them. Their actions could result in the government being booted out of office. I once went off on JWR for the same reason.

They should have gone about things differently, guided by their sense of service to the nation, not by personal grievance or personal gain.

If there is resignation-level malfeasance attributable to Morneau and Trudeau, what will replace their government? The Cons? God help us and the World, our world. Those folks do not represent the interests of anyone but themselves. In a democratic system involving a large and diverse nation, their ways, means, and goals will only deepen the divisions existing among us.

The Cons live for themselves. They do not live for Canada, only in Canada. Rather they exploit what Canada can do for them, personally.

Whenever anyone in government acts out of personal interest, against the common interest, they ‘con’  the people who voted them in. The voter, meantime, has formed the reasonable expectation that the politicians they elect will act on behalf of THE VOTER. Hello?

The Cons are found all over the World, our world. They attach themselves to the land/society and insert their venom, virus-like, into the DNA of healthy societies, then ruin them in the pursuit of wealth and a hyper-elevated lifestyle.

They are in our day well on their way to establishing a globalized elite. After enough trade agreements have been established, democratically elected governments will not be able to do a thing without the approval of BUSINESS people, some living on the other side of the world.

Think of how corporations work. If a member of a corporation provides value to the corporation (the measure of value being profit), they move up and acquire more for themselves. If a member of the corporation happens to provide little value, they receive little opportunity to earn a living for themselves. If a member of a corporation provides no value to the corporation’s goals, they are kicked out the front door.

If you block the front door, or interfere with the corporation’s conduct of business, or try to get back in on your own, the security guard takes you away.

That’s what cons will make of whatever nations/ the world they occupy.

As for the Bloq threatening to withdraw their support from the government if the PM and his Minister of Finance do not resign:

The NDP has functioned well as the conscience of the Liberals when the Liberals are in power. I believe this relationship has worked well for Canada. It is what predisposed Lester B. Pearson to bring on universal healthcare and CPP. The NDP can prop up the government, if they so choose to. In that event, the government can continue to focus on the pandemic response and leave the vitriolic ‘politics’ of folks like Pierre Poilievre to the bars or any other venue where people can talk loudly, stupidly, and nobody cares.

Former PM Pearson was a great man. The World, our world, could do with another leader like him. My regret is, I was too young at the time he was leading our nation to be interested in anything but the swimming pool and the swings-monkey bars-teetertotters at the park.

I might just search YouTube for a video featuring the Nobel Laureate. According to the video, he gave Canada a makeover and found time to help save the World, our world, from itself, at the Suez Canal.

Mike walked on Earth, and he walked with god, in my book. I don’t know if he went to a church, but if he didn’t, no matter, because plainly, he was guided by a good spirit.

And he still leads. His peacekeepers are the best and most honourable use of a nation’s military, in conjunction with the defense of its own borders.

The video on YouTube ends with a wonderful summary of Lester B. Pearson and what he meant to Canada and the World, our world. It bears repeating here:

“…all of the things we can identify with being Canadian, we can trace back to Mike Pearson. Our flag, our Peacekeepers, our two official languages, OUR MULTI-RACIAL NATION, OUR TOLERANT AND ACCEPTING SOCIETY, OUR SENSE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE…we weren’t these things before Mike…but we are now. And yes, there were people who built this country out of bricks and steel, but it was Pearson who gave us our heart and soul…” [Pearson: Greatest Canadian, by William Mckeown]

Beautiful.

p.s. Have a look and a listen to Bob Dylan’s Murder Most Foul. After  that, revisit Steppenwolf’s Monster. Then contemplate the difference between the American President Dylan is lamenting the loss of, and the current one. If Dylan is correct to attribute JFK’s assassination to the beginning of the ‘Age of the Antichrist,’  then the presidency of Donald Trump could be its culmination and its end. America and the World simply cannot endure another 4 years of Donald Trump.

America is still the most powerful nation.

What better use to put such power and resources to, but to build peace? Not through coercion but rather in the way Lester would have it: by making folks out to cause trouble stay in their own backyards.

What better use for its wealth than to help heal the World, our world?

24 July 2020

Headline: The U.S. Has a Long History of Provoking Wars. Could Iran be next? – and China? For as long as I can remember, a Republican President has been at the helm. Reagan – Libya, Bush Jr. – Iraq, Trump – anyone and everyone (except Russia), Eisenhower – Vietnam (albeit support continued under a democrat president.

I suppose it is unfair to say that the ‘warhawks’  we learned about in Grade Nine history class are synonymous to the political ‘right,’ however the truth is the folks on the ‘right’ seem more ready to fish for a gun rather than an excuse not to go to war whenever someone gets in their way.

If all that the ‘left’ can do is talk, well, that’s a long sight better than shooting people dead or pressing a button, isn’t it? Even if talking advances nothing, it is functioning to keep an even worse scenario from developing. War. Many of the World’s migrants can tell us what living in a warzone is like.

The fact they risk life and limb and their children’s safety to leave home should tell us everything we need to know and to resolve to never resort to violence, state-sanctioned or otherwise, to resolve our differences or our angst.

Differing approaches provide for different prospects for Peace. Compare Obama and Iran (and Israel) with Trump and Iran (and Israel).

Only the insane resort to war to get their way. The insane have always been among us. They are the warhawks, and they tend to gravitate to the ‘right’ politically and socially.

N.B. The John Pilger film is provided by CGTN, which is partly or wholly funded by the Chinese government, according to Wikipedia. Note the information in the article is under dispute. This doesn’t mean the film conveys false information. However, it does mean the truth happens to be just what the Chinese government wants folks to know.

Will Pilger provide the other half of the story: to wit, what China is doing? Half-truths provide for half-lies. Folks need to know the whole story in order to know what to do.

The truth is the way Buffalo Springfield said it: ‘Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong.’ (duh)

Mr. Pilger needs to balance his greatly informative work on the U.S. with an equally informative work focusing on China and Russia. After that, I’d love to see him do one on Iran-U.S.

Next, I read that Trump was trying to use Meng of Huawei’s extradition to score points in his trade dispute with China:

Headline 2: Trump used Huawei CFO as ‘bargaining chip’ in trade fight with China: Documents –  Alright, Trump needs to be called out on this one, BIG TIME.

Perhaps PM Trudeau should whip out his CF-18s – and have the Snowbirds do a flyby on Mar-A-Lago  while leaving a jet trail behind, with the words,

‘Hey Donald! Maintain physical distancing. Keep 6 feet away from: A) Social media B)  Your cellphone and all other personal communication devices C) Putin D) The Oval Office E) Human Beings…and of course, F) the BUTTON. Leave matters of the World, our world, to bona fide leaders of the World, like young Greta Thunberg, for example. P.S. She would have done a better job for Americans and for the World than you are doing.’

Upon gaining the attention of this dubiously spirited president, our PM could then point out the lengths to which Canada has gone to uphold the rule of law, in the interests of all parties, both China and the U.S., and Meng Wanzhou, to ensure fairness under the law.

The Chinese government’s reaction was as dubiously motivated as, it seems, everything Trump does. They drummed up charges against Canadians and put them on death row. They drummed up complaints against Canadian canola oil and other commodities.

Xi and Trump appear to be like spirited, but sitting on opposite ends of the teeter-totter. The one will keep the other suspended in the air, unable to move, until they get too tired, then it’s the other guy’s turn to do the same thing. No one gets to have fun that way. Far better to just work together and enjoy the ride, making sure no one gets hurt.

Trump and Xi task Canada because Canada and PM Trudeau are trying to do the right thing by the U.S., by China, and by Meng Wanzhou. The PM wants to ensure that justice, and not politics, prevails. Trudeau is a leader. He is not letting his ego make the decisions that can affect many lives. He is not like Trump or Xi or their ilk.

Now we learn the U.S. president is playing his own game on this side, with Canadian lives and Canadian jobs on the table. While he sits in the criminally luxurious Mar-A-Lago. I say ‘criminal’ because no one, especially a leader of a nation, should live so differently from the people to which he has dedicated himself, as leader, to serve -a difference which could give folks cause to believe Trump is of a different species.

His species behave like the proverbial lord of the manor. It is an anachronism from humanity’s dark ages.

We can’t have kids playing in alleys instead of parks, or moms shopping in dumps instead of shoe stores and grocery stores. In some parts of the World, our world, they must even dodge bombs and bullets while they do so, while we have other people living like Trump. His ilk might not care or know how much suffering their lifestyles are responsible for, but that doesn’t help the ones growing up and living in such misery, and it is not an excuse to do nothing.

Let us build a world without guns. Lets use the money we save on developing new ways to wipe each other off of the planet to heal the planet, sustain the planet, and buy ourselves some time to develop the technology to surf the stars and see what’s going on with the folks who live on the next block, only a few lightyears away.

The Chinese aspire to establish a base on the dark side of the moon. Maybe, in the interests of the World, our world, they could build a resort up there for the likes of leaders like Trump, Putin, Erdogan, MBS, Netanyahu, Xi, Un (and with folks like Stephen Harper grandfathered in)? Equip them with all of the luxury they want, just keep them away from the world of humans – our World.

Elon Musk can develop one-way, single-use, biodegradable spaceships in which to convey them.

If I know Elon, and I don’t, he’s already working on it.

23 July 2020

Headline: Portland’s mayor tear gassed by federal agents – Here’s the situation in Portland: Black Lives Matter protests in Portland put the city’s mayor between constituents calling for major change in the city’s policing regimen, and the ‘federal agents’ sent by Donald Trump.

Mayor Wheeler, a democrat, was at the courthouse speaking to the protesters. He was also calling for  Trump to remove the federal troops from the city.

Team-Trump (police folks wearing armour, gas masks, shields, and billy-clubs), teargassed the mayor along with the other protesters but the mayor stood his ground and remained with the protesters.

Plainly, the forces of social division are going all-out in Portland. They appear to be as healthy in the U.S. as it seems they are in Canada and elsewhere.

Lucky for the folks in Portland, they have a democrat mayor willing to stand up against the latest demagogue-leader issued by the ‘right.’ After all, it has not been the ‘left’ preaching  ‘law and order’ at gunpoint.

But the good folks of Portland have yet another ‘trump card’ up their sleeves to deal with Washington’s buffoonery:

Headline 2: Women form ‘Wall of Moms’ to protect protesters after Trump sends troops into Portland – this is a wonderful stroke of courage, heart, and genius. Who would dare come between a mother and her cubs? The moms adopted the protesters. Not even Trump is so foolish to faceoff with them, but, lucky for him, he never has to get involved personally in the messes he creates.

He’s not at all like the Portland mayor wrt his constituents, or like moms and their ‘cubs,’ is he?

He’s much more akin to the likes of Putin, Xi, and some Middle East leaders, whose political opponents simply disappear with someone else’s finger on the trigger.

God bless the moms of Portland. In my book, moms and children are god’s best creations, no matter the species.

We’ve not much time to go until November. I pray the moms-movement will continue to work and to expand its presence into ensuring the evil ‘genius’ does not get a second term in the White House. I don’t believe the World, our world, can tolerate much more of that man [Aside: We here in Canada had to deal with Harper and his movement-conservatives for over a decade. No sooner do we dispose of that yahoo than America elects an even greater moron. Okay, I’m done. ].

America remains the most powerful nation in the world. What it and the World, our world, needs, is for America to use its clout to build peace in a ‘peacekeeping’ rather than imperialist context. If we continue with Trump, WWIII is inevitable, in my book. It may be anyways because of the imperialist ambitions of Russia and China and of other lesser lights.

As for moms, they are the direct link between the creator and the created. There is no one I would rather have in my corner, defending my rights, than my own mother.

I warrant it is the same sentiment for every human on the planet.

Again, god bless the Portland moms.

22 July 2020

There are some disturbing headlines today. One involves Canada’s Governor-General, the other, Canada’s Prime Minister.

Headline 1: Gov. Gen. Payette has created a toxic climate of harassment and verbal abuse at Rideau Hall, sources allege.

We are talking about a Canadian Institution. We are talking about a leader who has a set of accomplishments longer than the lineup at the Beer Store, or the Drive-thru at Tim’s.

These things should have been worked out behind closed doors. No married couple is perfect; none of their neighbours want to listen to their drama – work it out in the quiet of your own home and don’t let loose your angst into the community. NO ONE WANTS TO LISTEN TO IT.

In other words, get your act together at the Governor General’s Office. What Canadians need to see and hear from you is not the bullshit which comes of the collisions of egos, but rather a united front; else the security and normalization you help to provide to us rank-in-file Canadians is lost and our sense of value in the institution’s existence along with it.

Better, in light of such internal dysfunction, for the GG to resign or for the PM to deal with her, before we hear about it in the News.

The PM, when he/she appoints a GG, should do so on the basis of spirit and potential, not past accomplishments. As talented as GG Payette is, perhaps the skills of an astronaut are not transferable to the execution of the Office of the Governor General? The candidate’s demeanour might also count for something? Hello?

Having said all that, there are a few more articles on the topic of the GG on CBC. One is about the GG’s secretary promising to improve things at Rideau Hall.

Headline 2:  Finance Minister Bill Morneau set to testify on deal with WE charity – I have not shown a whole lot of interest in this file. People in government should know better. I was swallowing bile having to listen to Harper and his bulldog Baird’s shenanigans, which to mind, were embarrassingly bible-belt Americanistic and a betrayal of everything it means to be Canadian, but I am beginning to get a sense of something being rotten in the State of Denmark, even now. [Aside: I pray that I have not falsely maligned JWR, simply because of how she went about things. If the PM was egregiously out of line in his treatment of her and wrt SNC-Lavalin, then she should be given a second chance and an apology from the PM. As part of their reconciliation, she might consider apologizing for how she went about things, especially wrt to surreptitiously recording the Privy Council Clerk and others. And then all of us move on. As one of my favourite college profs told us, ‘It’s not the absence of conflict that defines a good family, it is rather how conflict is managed.‘] We simply want to hear the Truth and let the fallout be as is mete.

No one in government should have to be reminded of conflict of interest rules. I have a simplistic understanding: I believe whatever policy moves you engage in that could provide PERSONAL material benefit, you must be excluded from participating in.

Seeing as some folks, gifted as they are, cannot get their minds wrapped around this simple rule, a change in the process is mandated.

All candidates should be vetted, before running for election, from the standpoint of how they, their families, or their friends could potentially benefit from the candidate’s political office, and then attach constraints upon the candidate’s participation in areas of policy formulation respecting those quarters.

Candidates should also be vetted for criminal behaviour.

The RCMP should be involved in the vetting process because they are Canada’s national police force. Then, à la a wedding, they publish the candidates name/photo nationally with a broad request along the lines of: ‘If anyone knows of any reason why this person should not be considered for public office, speak now or forever hold your peace…‘ That’s it.

What was done, say, to Patrick Brown, was an offence to all Canadians. When someone accepts the mantle of leadership in a democracy, it represents a big personal sacrifice, as it is. The truth or falseness of the allegations aside, the emergence of such issues during the writ distract Canadian voters from the issues before them and upon which they are expected to responsibly vote [read about the follow up on the allegations here].

We might have had Patrick Brown leading Ontario right now, instead of Doug Ford, but for the allegations. I don’t know which would have been better (or worse) for Ontario. Based on their ‘politics’ and my level of disaffection with the province’s Liberals, and for the record, I would have preferred Horwath, just to give her and the NDP a shot at the helm.

No matter who you are, if you are in the public eye, there is somewhere a molehill someone will want to make a mountain out of [have a listen to John Prine’s Some Humans Ain’t Human] just to get their own way. When this is done to a candidate, we voters end up voting for what we heard the candidate is like, from folks who want us to think that way, rather than what we think the candidate will do for us, upon careful deliberation.

We vote like we worship. It is become subjective. It is become arbitrary. It has become reactionary. Meanwhile, the folks at the very top are having their way with us and the World, our world. [N.B. ‘Reactionary’ and ‘democratic’ are mutually exclusive notions, since ‘democracy mandates reasoned debate while ‘reactionary’ precludes it]. A voter franchise under these conditions is meaningless. We are simply reacting. We are not proacting. There is little deliberation, of the mindful variety, involved. And we do not have our hand on the rudder. Someone else is steering the boat.

We allow our lives and opinions to be shaped by people who do not live the lives they oblige the lower classes to live. They appear to be ignorant of the issues a growing number of Canadians are facing.

No one is winning.

We need to be able to vote proactively, to elect individuals who will work together to honour past Canadians and their sacrifices, uphold the rule of law, and safeguard our nation’s children, until their generation is ready to take over the reins from ours – the objective being to afford them the best possible starting point. We owe that to our children.

We are instead being conditioned to react in specific ways to specific inputs, by, I assume, the denizens of the wealthy class. Our brains are being hard-wired by constant, repetitive messaging on a theme, in many forms: the news, Twitter and other social media – even the shows we watch on TV. It appears some ‘elements’ among us do not want us to think -just react. They will provide the stimulus. If we react favourably(from their perspective), no problem. If we act negatively, why, there’s the police and a jail cell.

The widening disparity in wealth and power between richer and poorer deepens the trench between them (where the middle class once existed). Eventually the ditch will become so deep, the walls will collapse if not supported, and our national spirit is lost. A great tragedy: we could be the light of the World, our world.

The light of the World is freely available to all, and for all time. The might of the World, conversely, is always under threat. It is eventually replaced with something more powerful than the status quo, but just as self-serving.

The World, our world, needs better, more representative leadership. The leaders cannot be for the people if they are not of the people. In a democratic society, there can be no us and them, otherwise you can never elect politicians who are ‘of the people,’ since they can be taken from either ‘us’ or ‘them.’ (um, duh!).

So, for society to be truly democratic, you cannot have wealth disparity extending beyond 2 sigma of the mean. You cannot have such bifurcation, or you will have two populations, and when the walls of the ditch collapse, they will fight with each other in the mud. Nobody wins.

Unless I am mistaken, there is only one Canadian society. There is only one Canadian people. These are the folks who live in Canada and raise their children here. They happen to vary in colour, race, culture, age, gender…but THEY ARE ALL CANADIANS.  And all Canadians are citizens of the World, our world.

By eradicating poverty and constraining the distribution of wealth and power in society, we can remove all danger of social collapse, turn our attention away from infighting, then focus on the real threats to our nation and to our world. Emergent social, environmental, and geopolitical situations require ‘all hands on deck,’ as the PM says. This means the rich have to divest themselves of some of the control that improperly regulated capitalism has bought them. If not, our top-heaviness will take us all down, rich and poor alike. The inverted triangle cannot maintain such a precarious balance and simply topples over at the first hint of a breeze.

Too often, the Truth is created. But what lies under surface appearance cannot be denied forever, no matter how good the ‘tricksters’ are. If someone is telling you to watch their right hand while they are pummeling you with their left, you eventually smarten up?

‘The Truth’ appears to remain without relevancy in our day and age. It is how things look that counts, not how things really are. That’s how Shakespeare viewed things in his own day: appearance and reality was a visible theme in his work.

It was how Jesus saw things in his day. ‘Hypocrite’ was a word he often resorted to.

After so many millennia, time to give the Truth a chance? Let’s. Then we will be better positioned to Give Peace a Chance.

The way of Truth is not the way of violence. The way of Truth is not denying living beings their right to live or in constraining/outright denying their opportunity to make a living so that wealthy people  can own a bigger house(s) and maybe an island somewhere nice and pretty, to escape the mess their aspirations and lifestyles are creating at home, particularly in privatizing more of the Commons. and in two-tiering universal services. The way of Truth does not permit the expansion of the human footprint to the point of killing off other species.

We all know the direction in which the Truth leads. It never leads to coverups. It never leads to unfairness. It never leads to us electing people who later surprise us, the way Trump surprised America. It never leads to a world replete with angst, scarcity, and war.

And it never leads to a family, community, nation, or world, in conflict with itself, the way the body is when cancer invades.

A cancer has invaded the human race. It invaded a very long time ago, before the written word. It is not humans per se, because many of us love peace and look out for others, even ones we do not gain any personal advantage in knowing.

We must identify, constrain, and remove the cancer because by now the tumour affecting humanity has grown so large it is become a threat to our existence.

The West thinks it is the East. The East thinks its the West. In fact, the cancer is in both.

The cancer is EGO and it is in all of us.

Let’s change that. Let’s find the Light, and leave ego in the dark, between the ears, where it can never see the light of day nor do anyone any harm.

21 July 2020

The man who murdered two little angels in Québec has been found, dead, on the evening the family and community wished those two young souls, ‘godspeed.’

There is a family and a mother left with the sort of emptiness that not even the passing of time can fill.

What the World, our world, is showing its children, this time through a father, is something for which the adults of the World, our world, must shoulder the blame.

If we weren’t so selfish, if we were to simply ascribe to the Golden Rule, we would not make war on one another (where children end up as ‘collateral damage’); we would not allow families to be driven out of their homes (the child’s ‘halfway house’ between arriving from Heaven and adulthood and taking on the role of god’s stewards); we would not expose our children to conflict among adults in their homes and communities, for, if they cannot find peace, love, and security in the nest they were born into, where in the World, our world, can they expect to find it?

And does anyone dispute that peace, love, and security is what the creator intends for all Creation, children most of all?

The children are humankind’s Rising Sun. They bring eternal hope, joy in simple things, and the fullness of life with them to the World, our world; being newly arrived from Heaven.

During the funeral yesterday, they played one of the younger angel’s favourite songs: L’Amérique Pleure (America Cries).

All of Canada cries too.

The mom whose two angels were taken from her – she’ll see them again. Only not yet. Between now and that day, there lies an ocean of pain. Her life is forever changed by this.

***

The assail upon the World’s, our world’s children has been ongoing since our beginning. Even the Bible talks about it.

Over all these millennia, the thing that should not happen even once, happens all of the time.

Were we to succeed in taking the final step and escalating the current geopolitical climate to nuclear war, the epitaph on humanity’s tombstone would read:

Here lies the human race, because it never had a care for its future.

Humanity’s future is its children.

19 July 2020

Headline: City finds innovative solutions to funding reparations: marijuana – ‘systemic’ implies unintentional, but happening regardless of intent. What better way to say ‘sorry,’  than to provide material assistance to the folks your policies have hurt?

I cannot help to note our blatant inconsistency on racism: I’ve just read a leadership candidate for the Greens getting turfed for saying that he would do something very much in spirit akin to what this town is doing and being praised in the media for doing it (and rightly so). Hello?

Be your own judge. Here’s an excerpt from the ABC News article appearing on msn:

Over 70% of Evanston’s marijuana-related arrests were among African Americans, even though they are less than 17% of the population, according to Simmons.

“If there is going to be some benefit to the community from legalizing marijuana, then it certainly should be targeted to the Black community most damaged by this over-policing,” Simmons said.

The Green candidate had said something to the effect that he would like to see police officers give $20 to every person of colour they pull over and find no evidence of criminal activity, to discourage police from pulling people of colour over without first having detected bona fide hints of criminal activity. Someone’s  ‘being of colour’ is not reason enough to ‘investigate someone further.’

I believe the candidate had come up with a way of unraveling the damage that has been done to people of colour over the years, just like Evanston is trying to do. Both actions originate from the heart and are examples of fairness. They say, ‘sorry,’ with something of substance behind it. We need more people in leadership that care, not fewer of them. It is our leadership, over the years, that has permitted this current social malaise to develop and persist. I hope sanity prevails among the Greens, and that an apology to this candidate is forthcoming.

Perhaps the ‘rule of law’ need only be the Golden Rule. That is a rule humanity has always been privy to.

… but rarely lived up to, else the World, our world, would not be the mess it is.

p.s.

As it happens, I am reading a book written by Robert MacBain, Their Home and Native Land – I had no idea what had been and is being done to our Indigenous brothers and sisters. RIGHT HERE IN CANADA. This book is essential reading. No matter where the Indigenous call home, mercantile/political interests have taken their land and turned it  into something else.

European colonialism made the world small, but all through history the strong have come and murdered their way into expanding their territory. Will we ever change?

Have a listen to Steppenwolf’s The Monster.

This is not the Way. It is not how the creator of the European, the Indigenous, the Jew, the Palestinian, the Uighurs, the Chinese, the world’s children, the world’s women, the world’s elderly…no matter how we differ from one another, our creator intended for us to look out for each other and to be stewards of the world we were given to live in.

This dovetails naturally with the Way. If we are true to ourselves (in the words of the Great English Bard), we will cultivate the Golden Rule, and not be false to any one; not in the way the Bikini Islands negotiators were false with the inhabitants of the islands, or the way in which Israel’s government and its international supporters deal with the Palestinians, or the way in which the Chinese government is treating the Uighur Muslims and the practitioners of Fallun Gong.

Anathema to the Golden Rule is anything of the ego. If everyone bought into the Golden Rule, it would be the end of crimes against women and children. It would entail reparations being made for the crimes done by societies around the world, our World, to the Indigenous. It would mean the end of wars and of poverty.

It would mean the point of inflection has been reached and that the World, our world, is embarking on a phase of reconciliation and healing.

It would mean we have a future. A wonderful future; not the nightmarish vision of H.G. Wells, where the morlocks enslave the lower class Eloi, put them to work in the mines and eat them when they are hungry.

16 July 2020

I don’t feel safe, anymore.

Headline 1: SIU called in after OPP fatally shoots man, 73, following dispute over wearing mask in store – the details are still emerging.

There is a systemic problem. There is a spiritual problem. It is called ego, aka ‘self-interest.’ Self-interest is what drives, in modern times, the burgeoning disconnect between what an individual is, and does. The police exist to ‘serve and protect.’

Which part of ‘to serve and protect’ mandates the need for so many bullets and chokeholds?

But that is what policing is often doing of late.

As the Corner Store clerk indicated, had the man been left alone, he’d still be alive. He just went to pick up something at the store. He was obviously not in the best frame of mind.

I would have accommodated his behaviour as I always do: when people aren’t being considerate of the distancing and masking I do not confront them; I try to carve some space out somehow, and at the very least, don my mask if it is not already covering my mouth and nose, and compress myself to keep form brushing against them.

People are on edge as it is. We need to cut each other some slack. We are not doing the right things sometimes, but if there is a way to accommodate rather than confront, it will go a long way toward keeping the peace and lowering stress levels. Best to set a good example and leave the rest be.

That way, everyone can, as the clerk implied, ‘Afterwards get on with their day.’

What was that 73-year-old man’s backstory? How has he been affected by the pandemic? If he was normal, by then, he was tired of hearing about it all the time -even the advertisers are advertising themselves, using  the pandemic as a segue.

Doesn’t matter now. That poor man is dead. Unless we can make bullets travel backwards, he will remain that way.

I am sick at heart. To shoot someone down is wrong. To gun down an old man? Find a better way to neutralize threats. This man gets out of his car, sees two police cruisers show up, the officers draw their weapons for some reason. Is this now routine procedure when the police believe there is a potential for violence; that if they cannot blindside the ‘perp’ the way Officer Seguin did to Chief Adam, then they must draw their weapons (in order to protect themselves)?

Don’t put our police-folks at risk. But find a better way, god help us. When we allow killing as a method of conflict resolution, how much better are we than the evil fascists we learned about in History class?

We are seeing it, for real, all over today’s news.

I read about police-related fatalities and brutalities nearly every day. I rarely hear about the police deescalating situations the way the young Asian police officer had in Toronto. You can read about his heroism here.

Having said that, I personally have never had a bad experience with police folks going about their business; but I recall seeing a young black officer put an old black man in a chokehold after a TiCats game at Ivor Wynne stadium. I did not see what happened before or after.

I only recall feeling that it did not look right.

We need our police. We need them to get right with the World, our world. Ego is affecting the institution’s ability to serve and protect us.

If I happened upon a situation where a policeperson was in trouble, I would rise to defend him/her, no matter what the personal risk, as I would if I happened upon anyone in need of assistance.

That is because I am Canadian, my policepersons are Canadian, my neighbours are Canadian. Because everyone in Canada seems to be Canadian , whatever we do out of confrontation, we do to Canada, confrontationally.

This is not who we are.

There is only one path to reconciliation. Canada’s  reconciliation with the Canadian-Indigenous is but a part of the larger reconciliation with its own soul.

Diversity is a fact of life and a boon. Egoic entrenchment will only deepen the divides Canadian society experiences. No matter what dimension, national, institutional, or personal.

Business is an egoic pursuit. Businesses arise and exist to generate wealth for investors. As a sideline, business creates jobs (although our politicians tout this as the number one priority, it is rather enriching folks/expanding GDP that is their number one priority*). With respect to business, folks form the expectation that the business will endure a life cycle: rise-mature-decline-close up shop. All businesses experience the business life cycle.

Is that what we want for Canada?

Canada is not a business.

It is a country. It is a society of folks associated by common interest. It is being undermined by wealth interests, domestic and global. We will soon have no country left under our feet.

*I would warrant that Minister Morneau is doing the best he can to balance the goals of business with the needs of citizens who are not investors, but he will need to do more work, especially along the lines of wealth inequality. When I see what big vacuous houses some folks are building for themselves and living in, in parallel with so many folks sliding into destitution, I am sickened to my stomach. The wealthy individual is earning their living by offering public services to the people their standard of living is condemning to poverty and destitution.

The wealthy don’t mean for it to be that way, but it is that way.

At the end of the day, the wealth must be distributed, just as the responsibility for maintaining and cultivating Canada and its national spirit must be distributed.

This is what Rousseau means by his ‘Social Contract.’ Modern societies would do well to review the treatises of this Age of Enlightenment thinker, and of the others of his day. Thomas Paine, for example.

Headline 2: Two migrant children who died in U.S. custody could have been saved: doctor – well, isn’t it wonderful the face the World, our world, the world we adults permit, has shown to these two kids. The only face they will ever know.

The children of the World, our word, grow up in poverty and violence; their moms and dads uproot in search of a safer and better life, they try to go to where they’ve heard that the people live well. It is how the well-living people live that is contributing to their poverty – where they aspire to live, but also where they are running from. They are trapped.

They don’t realize that it is wealth causing their poverty. Too often, they are just going from the frying pan into the fire. Their respite, such as it is, is often confined to their hopes along the journey, that is, until they run into something like these two angels did.

If the World, our world, cannot treat its children any better than this, then shame on us adults.

I thought I was done for the day, until I came across this one:

Headline 3: Ousted Green candidate says he is sorry for comment but insists it was not racist – I wondered at what he said. He said something to the effect that the police should be obliged to pay $20 to every person of colour they stop. It was a silly comment, alright, and it did have something to do with race, but to extrapolate this into racism on the candidate’s part is absolutely ludicrous. I would have turned off the television after hearing Haddad cite her competitor for racism, had I been watching. I certainly will not vote for anyone who so irresponsibly bandies about the term.

p.s. Had leadership candidate Maxwell been a person of colour, would he still have been called-out for what he said? For us to be a cohesive society, we cannot have different rules for different people (duh).

The Greens kicked the candidate out; with an attitude like that, the Greens are off of my list. The Cons have been since Mulroney showed up. Both appear to care more for winning and power than they do about decorum or Canada the nation.

I’m not sure who that leaves me to vote for. If we the people tolerate the naked opportunism of our more aggressive types being perpetrated upon people who simply speak their truth and meant no harm in the saying (the ‘harm’ is subsequently manufactured by the listener), then the leaders who are of the people are going to be no better than we are. We all need to be better people.

Want to stop racism? Talk about and look for diversity, for different ways of doing the same thing, for discovering the cool stuff that other people do, but which never occurred to you.

A monochromatic world is death. That is ego’s world. Satan’s (or whatever you call it) world. Our creator knows this, obviously, or he/she/it would have thought to make only one kind of human, one type of tree…

To infer racism from the candidate’s comment is over the top making something out of nothing, and we are left to deal with our reactions to the somethings of our own creation. We manufacture problems and then have to deal with them.

What amazes me is how many people come out of the woodwork and go on the attack. I tire of reading intelligent professionals making stupid, unhelpful, comments, particularly when they aspire to be or already occupy positions of public trust.

Such people are only stoking the divisions among us rank-and-filers while at the same time ensuring the continuance of a dubious world order presided over by wealth.

We all need to focus on our commonalities, our similarities, and ditch the penchant for focusing on differences.

And we need to stop looking for people to do or say crap, it seems, purely for the sake of getting to call them out over it.

‘Seek and ye shall find….’  hello? Didn’t anyone attend Sunday School? p.s. I didn’t. I still get what Jesus meant by that, though…

p.s. p.s.

How many people would have paused to even consider if the candidate’s comment was ‘racist’ if the other candidate had not mentioned it during the leadership debate? As more folks and media engage in citing the racism they are looking for to further their own political aspirations, or to write the next article for their paychecks, we get further and further away from the inclusive and diverse society we aspire to as a nation before and under god.

But there is too much money involved in reporting on racism. There is too much money involved in making war on one another. There is too much of the Commons left undeveloped and GDP will suffer without bad things happening (to other folks) to keep us reading and watching (and doing nothing of value ourselves to make our communities better) and without nations like Saudi Arabia to sell armaments to.

I WOULD DEARLY LIKE TO UNDERSTAND HOW SOMETHING LIKE THAT COULD BE CONSIDERED RACIST when the comment was addressing the harm policing can do to people of colour. I WOULD LIKE TO UNDERSTAND WHY THE MEDIA IS PROMULGATING SUCH NONSENSE. ** Please email me admin@canadanua.com if you can explain this to me. What I have said here, if I were a public servant or high profile individual, would likely get me into trouble? Like the candidate, I want to see an end to racism, wherever it rears its ugly head.

For my part, when I am talking with someone, I am not conscious of their colour. I am deferential to their age and gender, of course, so as not to offend. It is not proper, say, to say the ‘f’-word around young people or elders -it’s universality of application notwithstanding, it remains a word best left to  conversation with your friends.

15 July 2020

God bless Canada’s Senate. Some years ago, erstwhile Senator Hugh Segal (PC) was making the case for a Guaranteed Annual Income program (GAI). The venerable Canadian has moved on since then, but his spirit appears to be alive and well among the Senators of today.

I say ‘god bless ’em’ because the Upper Chamber echoes my own sentiments on the matter, with respect to our managing the COVID-19 epidemic response. You can read about it here. A few years ago, the Huffington Post published an elucidating article on the subject.

I have a personal bias. I have been out of work since long before the pandemic. My chances were obviously poor before the outbreak. After, they were even poorer, but the response has remained the same.

If I were to benefit from a government backstop like GAI, I would be happy to do anything for the community I live in. I could pick garbage out of ditches, say. I could help with watches in neighbourhoods where there is crime, especially violent crime – I could plant trees, take shut-ins out for neighbourhood walks so that they get some exercise and fresh air, do grocery runs for them…yadda yadda. Community hubs could coordinate folks like me and produce value in the community.

The special needs of individual communities could be organized and delivered by folks living in the communities. A points system could be applied to determine the dollar value of community work, so that, if I were to get a paying  job, in which case I would be obliged to start to pay back the GAI benefit on a 50 cents-for-every-dollar earned basis, I will have already earned some credit. Conversely, if I do not find work, I am paying the community I live in with my time and effort.

Apart from being able to support myself (albeit in a very spartan way), an equally important benefit is inclusion. People my age have a hard time ‘starting all over again,’ after a divorce and the onset of old age. For me, work was always an opportunity to make new friends; at the very least, you had someone to talk to besides yourself or your dog (but you wouldn’t be able to afford a dog, even on GAI) while engaged in a common purpose, such as a work task.

12 July 2020

It’s Sunday, but not a happy one. Among the headlines today, th e search continues for the thing who murdered his two young daughters in Québec. There is also news that a mother stabbed her two children, here in Ontario.

There are no words which can fully encapsulate the loss of those two young angels, nor the misery that lay ahead for the two who survived the stabbing but will lose their mother.

Children need to have a mom and a dad. Children need to be able to love their mom and dad. Children need to feel safe and to feel loved and never have to wonder about these things. Ever.

Because if they do, it will affect them for the rest of their lives; just as anyone who fought in the Great Wars, witnessing the carnage firsthand, carried it with them their entire lives.

Among all of the positions of trust a person may occupy, that of being a mom or dad is paramount. When this trust is violated, the line of generations extending from the beginning through the parent to the children is severed.

The police detachment recovers from the malfeasances of a wayward cop, the congregation will heal after a wayward minister is punished for his crimes, etc., but how does a family heal after mom or dad does something to hurt the children?

There is no making up. The children are forever gone from the World, our world, or the world for them is forever tainted. There was so much waiting for them to do, to discover, to give to the world and to their families and communities, which is now lost to them, to god, and to the World, our world, forever.

When members of an institution violate trust, it weakens the institution; but, if the institution responds with an ‘open heart,’ it will heal and strengthen. Naturally. Not so for its wayward members: from their perspective, a fundamental disconnect exists, between their values and those of the institution. They simply do not belong in the institution.

But when it is the parent who betrays the trust in the family institution, what recourse do the children have?

There is none.

Children are born innocent and equal, but just look at what the World, our world, is doing to them. In Syria, they can be bombed into bits while playing with their friends outside; they can be toting rifles and fighting wars in Africa; they are purported to be working in Chinese factories, or trafficked in places like India.

Here, fathers and mothers disgruntled with their life situations somehow get the idea to kill their own children.

When something that should not even happen once, happens so often, the World, our world, it is communicating to us that we have a problem.

If a dog can discover kittens abandoned in midwinter on a country roadside and take it upon herself to keep the kittens warm with her own body, how can we find even a single human among us who is prepared to harm children? The dog reacted the way she did, precisely because they were children.

Because the desire to protect children is natural.

To think to hurt children is patently unnatural.

There is something progressing spiritually within humans that is not natural to us.

It is ego. The chokehold ego is putting upon the World’s Soul is of late facilitated by neoliberalism. Among the casualties of the world’s embrace of neoliberalism was the family. With the advance of neoliberal individualism, society has focused on inserting itself into the role of parenthood. Mom and dad are both required to work and someone else is raising their children. When everyone is home in the evening, mom and dad have suppers to make, domestic duties to perform, and before anyone knows it, its already bedtime for the kids.

There is very little time leftover from non-family duties to invest in the family per se. There is very little time to discover how to get along with other people who are as imperfect as you are -skills that will help you get along with other folks, like those at work and of course those in your own family, after you grow up. The family provided the perfect milieu for the development of social skills.

The social skills you learn while growing up afford happiness and security.

You can have neither if you do not have trust. You cannot have trust without honesty. You will not get honesty without tolerance. And you certainly cannot develop any of these virtues if you are for the most part away from the family.

Where is the opportunity to show tolerance, to feel accepted, to not have to wonder or worry about the intentions of someone you rely on, if not in your family?

If not there, where?

The State can only do so much at the family level. It cannot be the family any more than your well-meaning neighbour can replace you as the parent of your kids. Your kids may like your neighbours, and go over to play there often, but they will not like it if they have to stay there for very long.

Because the neighbour’s house is not their house; because the neighbours are not mom and dad.

Divorce and daycare are leaving a generation of children starting out with a major, life-altering uncertainty. They should not have to be worrying at such a tender age about mom and dad arguing, about being sexually or physically abused, about being murdered, about having to live anywhere else and with anyone else but mom and dad and siblings.

They should not be allowed to grow up scared and unloved. Or alone in the World.

Even a dog knows this.

How is it we do not seem to?

11 July 2020

It’s Saturday. And there’s some good articles among the headlines:

Headline: Seeing Nature through Indigenous ‘lens’ might improve environmental decision-making – have a read. To me, it only makes sense. The Indigenous, wherever they call home, apparently never felt much compulsion for giving the land a makeover; changing it into something else, according to their specifications. Rather they reconciled their ways to the ‘way of the land.’ There is a profound wisdom in this; one which the creator imparted to the Spirit of the Indigenous.

One that is alive today; albeit somewhat stifled under 200 years of colonization.

The past has bourn witness to either of two operatives: the pursuit of wealth or the pursuit of happiness. They are often at odds with one another. When happiness is the goal, folks tend to take only what they need from the land. On the other hand, when profit is the goal, ‘taking’ does not end until the land itself is bankrupted.

Here’s the question: which of these two ‘spirits’ affords economic, social, and environmental sustainability, and which leads to the cliff? Hello?

We are at the cliff’s edge. I pray the Indigenous elders remember and teach the Way. The World, our world, will need them to help find our way back to the Garden we all lived in, once upon a time.

8 July 2020

Yesterday it was with great pleasure I greeted the news that Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer has costed out a Guaranteed Basic Income program initiative for protecting folks from a pandemic ravaged economy. The PBO report covers a 6-month period, from the expected end date of CERB in October, to April 2021.

If you have been reading here, you know I have been praising Canada’s Federal Liberals on many things, but not on how they have helped me or the people in my particular demographic during the pandemic.

When I wrote to my local MP, I received no answer. I then wrote to an MP I respect and from whom I receive emails because I am on her list, probably after having attended a presentation she hosted. Someone at her office directed me to contact my local MP.

So: When I do decide to engage politically, I get treated like this by the folks I send money to; money which is in very short supply, and for all of that, I get no reply or a reply which was worse than no reply. So I stop sending them money…

My suggestions happened to be something along the lines (1) to implement a Guaranteed Income Program (GAI) to smooth out the disruptions in employment and the lack of opportunity for employment, (2) to implement a progressive tax on wealth, and (3) to tax returns on investment to keep them below the level of GDP growth, in order to prevent the economically and socially toxic conditions of wealth inequality and poverty (the two phenomena are intimately connected).

I had not been able to find a job for the last year or so. I did not qualify for CERB, much less find a job during the COVID-19 outbreak.

With the news that the PBO provided the analysis at the behest of a Senator (god bless our Senators), I feel some hope. I might even start donating again.

While I am unemployed, I am learning all about how life-limiting poverty really is.

Especially in this day an age of privatization and the erosion of the Commons, happening apace precisely because the Commons is disappearing as fast as the ranks of the impoverished and the unemployed are swelling.

On another front: I am praying the people of China get a leader and a political party that is worthy of the people of China. The ‘Peoples Party’ moniker over there is about as meaningful as ‘For the people’ is over here.

I say this because I am reading Zhuan Falun, by Hongzhi Li. There is nothing in what he says which would invite persecution, anymore than there was in what Jesus (PBUH) said, or what Mohamed (PBUH) said, or what the Buddha, via Master Li, is saying, and yet they and/or their followers were persecuted horribly.

China’s regime is persecuting the followers of falun dafa. Falun dafa represents the light of Chinese tradition. China’s own government is trying to kill China’s light – China’s soul.

The folks who want war with China are just as prepared to kill the light of the Chinese tradition, because that light exists in all traditions that uphold and promulgate the will of the creator. The will of the Creator is something no one has control over. It is for us to learn. Corrupt regimes seek to take over the messaging from the Creator….how stupid is that? How much more stupid are we if we listen? Hello?

Trump, Netanyahu, MBS, Putin, Xi… you name ’em – the World, our world, is as full of these types as they themselves are of the material humans leave behind or flush. We are not obliged to swallow it, however.

The Chinese tradition has brought much to the World, our world. So have the traditions of the Indigenous around the world. Not to mention the Jewish folks. Their wayward leadership, now, or back in the day when Abraham or Moses was out house-shopping, notwithstanding, the Jewish tradition has also given the World, our world, much. We don’t want to lose any of it. The World, our world, needs them all.

We veered off of the Way when we decided it was alright to go somewhere and takeover the lands of the folks who were already there. Very few of us have it within us to hurt innocent people because they are in the way of our making money or carving out a nation for ourselves to become profit centres for the powerful of the day, which is why some cultures invented gods who then dutifully told ‘their people’ to slaughter the ones who already called the ‘god’-promised land home -even its children. Who would argue with god?

I don’t know about you, but anyone who claims to be god, and is telling folks to hurt children, is not a god you should believe in.

For that matter, when anyone tells you to do violence to innocents, or for any other reason than to defend yourself or the vulnerable from an attacker, they are not expressing the will of the creator. They are channeling someone else and something else, and even more despicably, using you to do their dirty work for them.

They expand only the darkness.

In the World of Light, everything is known. No one is excluded. No one is kicked out of their own home or prevented from earning a living for themselves.

In the world of Darkness, there are many secrets. When the light is shone upon them, they will be known.

There was a time when this was the case. It will be the case once again…

We’ll see.

4 July 2020

To all of our American brothers and sisters, a Happy 4th of July! I pray each and every American citizen pauses today to reflect upon the sacrifices made by earlier generations to achieve and preserve their freedom. I pray they will prize liberty above all else, and continue to see to it that no one, in or outside of the U.S., need fret for the safety of their families.

For my prayer to be answered in the affirmative, we must all come out from under the shadow of ego, which we have allowed to overtake us.

In the world of ego, the few have power over the many. That is because ego motivates people to acquire. The luckiest and wittiest among us acquire the most. As they acquire, the unluckiest or lesser acquisition-capable among us simply fall off the edge of society’s dinner table.

Ego is responsible for creating a social structure and value system that is, by Nature’s standards, perverse: acquisition, while creating more opportunity for those who acquire, leaves less for those who do not have the means to acquire.

‘Commoners’ have only the Commons, and, as time goes on, more of the useable Commons is privatized for commercial development and for erecting new subdivisions and building incredibly large houses with few occupants.

As commoners fall off the other side of the table at an increasing rate ( the grade of the table is increasing, commensurate to the increasingly skewed distribution of national and global wealth), more of Canada’s, America’s, and the World’s citizens are bereft of all opportunity to provide for themselves and their families; to raise their children in comfort and safety. Instead they are martyred in the cause of feeding their own families

…all because of the neoliberal, ego ‘social’ model, which is anything but social. When you reduce society’s atomic building block to the individual, and you encourage the individual to pursue their own self-interest above all else, why, you end up with a socially-dysfunctional society. Hello?

In the context of the ego-based society, Nature, human nature, becomes dysfunctional. In such a milieu, subjectivity and appearance replace objectivity and empiricism. People react to and operate on the basis of what things look like, as opposed to what things are.

People are motivated to be ‘true’ to appearances, rather than to themselves.

Appearance and reality. A Shakespearean motif, very much alive and well in our day.

The effect upon the commoner is to make us wary of anyone we do not know, particularly if they are poorly attired and exhibiting poor hygiene. It keeps us rank-and-file citizens divided.

But it is also affecting the folks in our democratic institutions; particularly our public servants in policing and in government.

Like folks in religious institutions, these people work in positions of trust. If anyone working in them betrays that fundamental trust, it enervates the very foundations upon which these institutions are based. It therefore weakens democratic society.

We cannot tolerate anyone who is in any way a bona fide threat to the folks who rely on these institutions. Yet we read about them every day.

Headline: Colorado police officers fired after photos mocking death of black man surface – how can anyone think that to do this is funny? My guess is they were all drinking, and that right now, they wish they had that night back again.

We also have leaders of powerful and venerable nations behaving as thugs and not leaders.

And we have leaders of military powers who are playing a dangerous geopolitical game with very destructive weapons.

The World, our world, has entered a perilous phase. COVID-19 could represent an opportunity in  transitioning the national societies of the world from tenuous peace to all-out war, which in turn is ultimately the result of China’s economic ascendancy in combination with, and the result of, Western economic decline, relatively speaking. The pandemic could be helping to mask moves by nations as they stage their respective militaries and prepare. [Aside: There is also a positive aspect to the pandemic. Read what folks are saying about COVID-19 and climate change.

This isn’t about ‘cultural values,’ it’s all about money and the power to acquire more. That’s ego.

The cause of the pending war is  the ego of the wealthy classes of the ‘West’ clashing with those of the ‘East.’ China has peaked economically. It has fallen into totalitarianism socially. It is become a ‘belligerent’ on the world stage. Opportunism. They feel their time to garner a chunk of the diminishing global pie is now.

Despite all of the economic sanctions, Russia does not appear to be backing off either.

But neither is the U.S., particularly when it comes to the illegal annexation of the West Bank. In this case, it appears the U.S. is trying to provoke war; but this is only because there is a movement conservative yahoo in the American presidency.

This president very likely regards the new kid on the block as an existential threat to America’s global dominance. It sometimes appear that he’s provoking war with China also.

If either the American president, or the Chinese regime allows themselves to believe that anything but total annihilation can come of a war in this day and age, they are as demonstrably rendered stupid by their own ego as Obama was rendered visionary by an apparent lack of it.

Their last president was trying to fill moats keeping specific nations from joining the new world order, rather than deepen them like Harper, his Foreign Affairs bulldog Baird, or Donald Trump.

When I imagine the brutality of the altercation that played out in the Ladakh region between Chinese and Indian forces, then extrapolate the violence and hatred to what would ensue globally in the event of war, I can only pity those who survive the first week.

A divided World is an extension of a divided humanity which in and of itself flows out of a divided consciousness: the subjective (ego) and the objective (empirical). The widening gap renders one blind to the other. There is no ‘quality check’ on the imaginings of ego and a virtual reality is progressively substituted for the actual.

The trouble is, the objective does not alter itself accordingly. The ego can think what it wants and will do what it wants, but cannot avoid paying the price required by the real – what exists outside of the ego.

We can build anything we want to imagine on a foundation of clouds. But no matter how well-rendered, no matter how believable our egoic constructs, we build on clouds.

When war breaks out, the foundation of clouds society is currently built upon will dissipate and we’ll all fall out the bottom, not just the poor.

That’s the culmination of ego. If ego continues to represent the pervasiveness of spirit in the World, our world, then our world, the world our Creator created for us, is lost. And we will be lost to our Creator.

1 July 2020

 

           !!!HAPPY CANADA DAY!!! 

 

29 June 2020

It’s Monday, ugh. But it is not a rainy-day Monday. Still, the news continues to rain on the parade of every person who gets out of bed intending to make the most of the day’s opportunities. Catching my eye this morning:

Headline: China forces birth control on Muslim Uighurs to suppress population – according to the article, it includes forced abortions. The Chinese government is corrupt with ego. There is no salvaging ego.

All of humankind’s problems ultimately derive from ego. Ego is the home of mental illness. Should you resort to counselling, ego’s goal is fait d’accompli: the focus is kept on your self. You will be talking about your problems, to someone who is paid to listen, for the rest of your life.

It is not ‘the problems’ that are the problem: it is the disconnect and growing distance  between our ego and our truly conscious selves. This comes of our increasing preoccupation with our selves, our focus on how you or I react, our persistence in judging the world on the basis of how it affects only the perceiver. When we say ‘we’re all about this cause or that person’s needs,’ it is rarely without conditions or limits. There are exceptions, but in most cases, when someone promises the moon, the veneer is easily seen through. We fool no one.

The Chinese government fools no one. The ruling classes of national societies around the World, our world, are fooling just about everyone: the contributors to crime and to the overburdening of national healthcare and justice systems are in part the high salaries paid to our ‘professionals.’ Teachers, doctors, lawyers, police, public servants, yada-yada.

It is not the fault of these people. I never questioned what I was being paid to work in an industrial laboratory. But, in all truth, there needs to be a maximum a person should earn or own, or the distribution of wealth becomes pathologically skewed and pervasive misery replaces opportunity for most citizens, in time. Besides, no one can say that being paid a million dollars more a year will help them to do their jobs better.

A system of privatization which abets the concentration of wealth and the erosion of the Commons is creating a world of two kinds of humans: those who have and those who live under the thumbs of those who have (if they are of use, else they live under a bridge or in a jail cell).

Doctors need sick people. Therapists need stressed people. Producers need people to consume. Why? The more this happens, the more those people earn.

The more they earn, the more they can spend.

The more they spend, the more wealth the folks at the very top acquire.

Money is power.

Power over what? Power over you, me, the Commons. POWER OVER THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE MONEY.

Power to do what ever they fancy. That is why, for example, we find some of our Canadian brothers and sisters sleeping among strangers in shelters or wandering the streets and sleeping in alleys, with a sheet of cardboard and a dumpster for shelter, while grand houses in gated communities stand empty for an occasional overnight.

It is plain what needs to be done to right our floundering ship. No one, not even our Liberals in Ottawa, appear serious about doing the right thing. Despite all the talk about ‘inclusion,’ there is a wide demographic of Canadians differentiated, one from the other, over religion, ethnicity, colour, gender, sexuality, whatever…but are excluded from all opportunity and relegated to a life of misery because they share one thing in common:

POVERTY.

N.B. I twice communicated to two federal Liberal MPs about CERB. I received no response from the local MP, and got smoke blown up my rear by someone working in the office of the other MP. That person told me that I should be dealing with the aforementioned local MP. The one I had previously written to and received no response

I had asked them to consider including folks in the CERB who had been unemployed for longer than the CERB criteria, since our chances of finding work were even slimmer than the ones who were mothballed because of COVID-19.

The lack of a response was underscored by the unrelenting inundation of emails asking for donations to the Liberals.

It is a matter of principle. I’ve been donating money to them even though I cannot find paying work. Since the emails, I have stopped donating to them.

P.S.

Some years ago, I wondered how my very intelligent and grounded uncle came to be so cynical about politics. I would try to engage him in a discussion, but he would not get into politics.

I think at some point, you just give up, once you realize what many of the folks who get into government are all about (themselves – duh!). You realize that the system is rigged to favour the wealthy, just like it is rigged to favour Israel’s takeover of the homes of Palestinians.

You realize that, 100 years from now, we’ll still be talking about poverty, wealth inequality, and a two-state solution in Palestine…

…while those affected witness their prospects dimmed even further than they are today.

So long as we are talking about it, we can maintain the illusion that we are doing something about it.

That’s an illusion the ruling classes want us to keep believing.

But nothing will really change until we see we are one people, sharing the World, our world, with one another and with a plethora of non-human species.

28 June 2020

All-right – I was going to take the day off, and then I saw this:
China accuses Canada of ‘megaphone diplomacy’ for criticism of prosecution of Kovrig and Spavor – well, even kids at the playground aren’t stupid enough to tattle-tale on someone for playing in the dirt when they’re covered in it. In this case, it is but a matter of  accusing innocent folks of what you yourself are doing. It is a common tactic.

It will be Canada’s judiciary that determines the outcome of the Meng extradition trial, not Canada’s government. Were the government to influence the outcome in anyway, it would amount to a blending of two crucial institutions  into one.

We end up with a different Canada. We would be moving closer to what the Chinese have to put up with. Let us preserve the integrity of the estates.

 

27 June 2020

It’s SATURDAY!!! (YAY!). If that means something to you these days, much better than if it doesn’t; and also a BIG THANKYOU to those who are working grocery, dollar stores, and frontline healthcare and elder care.

Kudos to our teachers and support staff too: this has been a very stressful time for them; filled with uncertainty.

Among today’s headlines, a story published in a Indian newspaper about the clash in the Galwan Valley between Indian and Chinese military forces. You can read it here.

This article communicates the debacle and the heroism of the encounter. It shows the depths to which human nature can fall (in the horrific violence that occurred) and the best (when the Indian troops rallied to their fallen leader, and then afterwards, when the Chinese returned the Indian special ops soldiers they had captured). Members of India’s Ghatak troops had been in pursuit of the retreating PLA soldiers, ‘snapping their necks and smashing faces beyond recognition with rocks,’ as they caught up with them, when they were surrounded by Chinese soldiers.

Global war might be a done-deal if the ‘puppet-masters’ of the East and West have their way, but it doesn’t have to happen.

The World, our world, need only wait a while, and avoid kneejerk reactions. The geopolitical situation worsened dramatically with the election of right-leaning governments, which, being of the neoliberal, movement conservative ilk, relieved themselves of common sense, leaving themselves with only an anachronistic ideology (and alchemy, for how can anyone with any common sense vote for these bozos?) to base policy decisions on. Trump, Netanyahu, Xi, Putin, Erdogan, al-Asaad, MBS…all are warlike leaders who use violence and the threat of violence to further their agendas. They simply do not know what else to do. Their spiritual-mental infirmity dictates, for their nations’ and our World’s sake, that they should not be making decisions for anyone.

The aforementioned do nothing for Peace. As uncertain as Obama’s initiative was with Iran, it has been replaced by the current bunch of clowns with the CERTAINTY OF WAR AND DEATH for many, many people and children. I don’t know about you, but if that’s the choice, I’m all for uncertainty.

The way to Peace is uncertain. One of the operatives of peace is to roll with the punches whenever the situation is such that to punch back might escalate things into all-out war. Right now, the Palestinian government is serving the international interest. The Israeli government is torpedoing it.

Then there’s the U.S., Russia, and China.

My sense is, as belligerent as the current Chinese regime is, the U.S. is provocative. Witness Trump’s rhetoric with respect to China, and his moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Witness Netanyahu’s illegal annexation of the West Bank settlements.

Take an evening to watch John Pilger’s The Coming War on China.

In For What It’s Worth:

Battle lines are being drawn,

Nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong…

…based on what I am reading, the one’s who are right are not in power in the places that matter the most: Russia, the U.S., China. The World’s current instantiation of the  three stooges will take the World, our world, to the end of the Anthropocene era with their brand of slapstick.

People will fight for what they believe is theirs, if someone tries to take it from them. They will use what they have to fight back with. And they will fight to the death if necessary to protect their homes and loved ones. That is Nature. Human nature.

Sometimes, what leaders call ‘terrorism’ is just folks fighting back with all that they they have available to them. These are not ISIS and the like: ISIS fought for fighting’s sake, and they targeted the easiest victims. That is not honourable by any military code.

Question: Who funded ISIS? Wasn’t it private donors in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar?

Fighting war by proxy, whether as a nation or private interest, is not honourable either.

Whenever anyone’s fight harms innocent children and families, it is not ‘collateral damage.’ It does great dishonour to that nation’s military tradition (or to the cause of the organization, as the case may be) to exercise so little care, to have so little regard for the innocent; for those non-combatants and children caught in the middle.

It is the ‘political right’ in the West -what we as kids learned in History class were ‘the war hawks’ -who are provoking war with China in the Pacific sphere, with Iran in the Middle Eastern sphere, with Russia in the Eurasian sphere, although this is somewhat complicated by the history Putin and Trump share.

Obama was not a war hawk. He was trying to find a way to bring Iran back into the international global order the ‘left’ is trying to build. That’s called ‘inclusion.’ In a World of many ilks, ‘inclusion’ is a necessary operative. Coercion, meanwhile, ensures the violence and misery will continue.

An inclusive, international order would see Palestinians and Jews living side-by-side in their own nations as good neighbours. It would include China. It would be an order in which a nation’s borders are respected and protected by the World.

The rule of law does not allow for violence. In such an order, no nation will ever be told to war upon another nation, and all nations may expect protection from anyone who decides to run afoul of the law.

In such a World, there is no possibility of global conflict. We would need only concern ourselves with the existential threats presented by climate change, global warming, desertification, the collapse of fisheries and ocean stocks, and global pandemics…

That’s enough for us to worry about. We will earn ourselves all the time in the World to fly off to Mars, if we take the time and invest the money and resources to clean up our own backyard first. If we resolve, across the globe, to patch things up with our neighbours, so that everywhere, within countries and among countries, there are only good neighbours, why then the trillions the U.S., Israel, Russia, and China are investing in one-upping each other militarily can be used to fix the World, our world.

Can you imagine, all those trillions invested in feeding and sheltering the poor and in green technology? The World, our world, that is giving children nightmares will become Care Bear country in a wisp.

In the absence of war and the threat of war, the U.N. can decide which of the World’s resources need to be put where, just the way the human body knows where to direct nutrition and healing resources, and antibodies, in case some pathology gains purchase.

Our Trudeau-led Liberals appear to agree with this. They may call an early election or they may be brought down by a motion of nonconfidence. They could gain a majority, well-deserved, as a result. That will mean no con government or influence on Canadian policy; therefore a step in the right direction toward global sanity and World peace.

Trump will be replaced by a Democrat in the U.S., and perhaps that will be a step in the right direction, for peace in the Middle East. Inclusion, not strong-arming and exclusion, is the way to peace. War hawks never, ever understand this concept.

And then there’s Russia. The sanctions will continue until Russia backs off on its annexation of the Crimea and backs off on being the foil to the West. There is no ‘West.’ There are only nations and folks living in a world that got very small as we grew very populous.

Foils are no longer needed. We are one World.

What one does affects others, for good or ill. The rule of law, predicated upon god’s Golden Rule, is all that the World, our world, needs to thrive and survive and get to Mars and the stars.

It is all our children need to grow up strong, true, and above all else, happy; retaining the joie de vivre all children are born with.

Our children need not grow up in fear.

26 June 2020

In yesterday’s rant, I made reference to the dreaded ‘F’-word, fascism. Wouldn’t you know, today the National Post features an Opinion piece providing a case in point.

The defining operative of fascism is to set policy (maintain your control), but keep yourself at arm’s length from the fallout your policies generate  -that way, you cannot be held responsible, because someone further down the chain of authority has already been condemned for it.

Ontario’s Education minister Lecce has left it to individual schoolboards to decide for themselves how to reopen, post-COVID, in September.

He will leave it all to the school boards. Why would he do that? Didn’t the cons of QP shut the schools down when the outbreak occurred? They didn’t leave that to the schoolboards, and for good reason. Governments exist to provide leadership and to coordinate responses to emergent challenges.

BUT CON GOVERNMENTS DO NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR MISTAKES, and Lecce/Ford are cons. Things will go wrong when schools open, despite everyone’s best efforts. Ford and Lecce are only concerned with setting things up so that the blame does not stick to them; that it slides off of their backs and lands on the shoulders of hapless individuals serving on schoolboards.

In the business mindset, when something goes wrong, it is always the fault of the folks who cannot run from, or duck trouble, and who lack the financial and legal resources to bullshit their way out of a corner – to wit: the individuals at the lowest point of authority in the chain of responsibility.

That is why CEOs tend to get big payouts when they are removed for ‘incompetence,’ whereas some hapless underling is fined and could even do jailtime, for doing what the CEO has indirectly obliged them to do by leveraging fascist techniques (duh!).

That is simply the business operative of ‘lowest level of corporate responsibility,’ as it would apply when the ‘business’ is government. The existence of fascist principles in government is because there are business-minded people in government. (double-duh!) These people are in government because they care only about dollars, their dollars. They do not care about citizens so much, unless those citizens contribute to the dollar-pool of the nation.

What Kenney is doing to vulnerable Albertans and what Ford is not doing for those in Ontario is proof: they see governments as boards of corporate directors. Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman knows better.

They are hatchet-men, not visionaries. ‘Trimming the fat,’ ‘stopping the gravy-train,’ is for them, denying support to citizens who cannot pay taxes because there’s no work for them. Most folks want to work but cannot find work. How is that their fault?

It is society’s fault. And society’s are being led and fashioned by fascists wherever a con government is in power. These ARE NOT CANADA’S ERSTWHILE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVES, of the ilk of a Joe Clark or Hugh Segal. These are the Canadian instantiation of the movement conservative ideology begun by elements of the right in the U.S. in response to Roosevelt’s New Deal, then imported into Canada in the guise of the Western Alliance.

They eventually migrated to Ottawa after having taken on the brand of Canada’s Progressive Conservative party after subsequently jettisoning the ‘progressive’ element. The ones in Canada today are no different than the Trumps and Netanyahus of the World – our world/our Canada. They hack and burn and blow a lot of smoke up our ar$3s, but they do not know how to create; how to progress.

That is the fallacy of fascism. It leads its proponents to believe they are presiding over positive change, when in fact they know only how to destroy. History illustrates, time and time again, that it is the age’s visionaries who clean up the mess the fascists leave behind.

from https://mypostalcards.wordpress.com/

25 June 2020

In a topsy-turvy World, our world, do any of the headlines surprise?

Living in Canada, I heard something yesterday that surprised me, and it was happening outside my window. I heard a loud boom. I got up to look outside to make sure someone was not needing help. Turns out it was a young man delivering food to a tenant in my building. The young fella was wearing a turban.

I saw him rush past with a bag toward the main entrance. As he did, I heard one of my neighbours shout at the young man, ‘What was that noise? I thought it was a bomb!’ I heard him interject a ‘Sorry,’ before the woman asked, ‘What’s in the bag?’ He cheerily replied, ‘I don’t know,’  as he proceeded to the main entrance of the building.

From Institute of Research on Public Policy

‘What’s in the bag?’ At first, I couldn’t believe my ears. I felt so sorry for that young man. Who thinks it proper to ask that of anyone? The truth is, no one does. No one would think it to be their business – unless they were worried about their safety.

This woman hears a car trunk shut loudly, goes out to her balcony, sees a young man rushing along the sidewalk with a bag; sees he is wearing a turban, and feels threatened? Hello? Her tone was that of condescension, not fear.

She wasn’t afraid. She didn’t like the noise. And she didn’t like the turban.

I’ve lived my whole life in Canada. I have grown up loving Canada. I guess it is because I had such a wonderful mom. She accepted everyone.

covedisa.com.ar

She excluded no one. She did not seem to notice the brown, or the yellow, or the red, or the white, the turban or the burka, for that matter. She saw only human beings.

Human beings like her.

Folks don’t seem to be getting the big picture here. While more and more folks are joining the ranks of the poor in Canada, we continue to import temporary foreign workers.

While more and more Canadians are having to resort to foodbanks, shelters, and subway gratings, we bring in more and more immigrants to work paying jobs, rather than retrain our own citizens. When they’re done with the job, they remain here. If they, or their families are out of work, they are competing with folks already living here for social assistance.

Are they doing it all of their own accord? Of course not. Our governments explicitly allow temporary foreign workers; they allow skilled professionals to immigrate. Why? Because it is cheaper for employers and governments than to retrain folks. No one in government is talking about the longer term effects of filling short term employment needs.

Canadian federal and provincial governments are allowing immigration and temporary foreign workers while Canadian citizens, of all cultures and colours, are struggling. It becomes a spiraling downward of prospects for many Canadian citizens, regardless of culture and colour.

Canadian citizens are of every colour and culture.

Canada is a multicultural society. Even before the Europeans came with their guile and their guns (in case guile wasn’t enough), Canada was multicultural. The Indigenous folks were diverse already. Since then, many other waves of immigration have occurred.

Opening doors to migrants is another thing. We do not have to patriate them, but we are good neighbours of the World, our world, and we will welcome them and look after them until they are able to return to their homes and live in safety and security, or to become Canadian  citizens themselves through ‘natural’ as opposed to employer-needs driven immigration.

Immigration cannot be driven by employability, because that is providing temporary value at little cost to employers. Once the employment relationship ends, society is on the hook from then on. When a citizen becomes unemployed, they should immediately be funneled into retraining, based upon ‘best matches’ between their community’s needs and their individual aspirations.

We should not allow employers to recruit. Certainly a Canadian can do it too? Might have to toss a few bucks at training though…

Until then…

In the meantime, it boots none of us any good to fight with each other. If the aforementioned neighbour was expressing her angst over life in Canada these days, who can blame her?

At the same time, it is not the fault of the young fella who is working his job the best he can manage. He is fulfilling a dream, most likely raising a young family, and is willing to work his butt off for his dream.

Who wants to fight with someone who is doing that? It is what we would all like to be doing, or did do, when we were that age.

The young man is not the problem. The neighbour takes issue with the wrong person. He is only doing what we all want the opportunity to do: to raise our families with hopes for the future,  and to live in peace and security. That is natural. It is human.

We put good money after bad by continuing to fight with one another, when it is our governments we need to hold to account because they are creating the policies which affect our daily lives and are having the effect of setting one citizen off against another because of the scarcity of opportunity. Although I am a fan of the Liberals in Ottawa, there are some issues there. They’ve got the right line on the future with climate change and greening the economy. Only a fool can think otherwise…

Normal Distribution – Washington University in St. Louis – Jacob Montgomery

…but their notion of reinvigorating the middle class is bullshit, just like Harper’s Economic in-Action Plan was bullshit. A middle class is not something you can create, it is rather a feature of populations whose members exist in a field of equal opportunity along the metric of note. When all things are equal, the population, any population, revolves around a mean value and 95% of the population is within 2 sigma of the mean value. Anyone outside of +/- 2sigma is a statistical outlier and excluded.

Inclusiveness includes, but cannot be limited to, sexuality. There are millions of Canadians excluded from normal participation in society because they are poor. There are millions excluded in some form or another because of their gender or skin colour. There are likely millions excluded and relegated to homes for the elderly. These are the social dimensions to which inclusivity must also be applied.

If I got to know the fella wearing the turban, I would stand to learn a lot from him. He has life experience I will never have. He has knowledge I will never come to possess, unless I were to talk with him. It is that way for him with respect to myself. It is that way for all of us.

Minorities add to society’s toolset. That is where immigration has its value for the society. We have let employers ruin the value of immigration because they reduce it in value to their own profit.

Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim – Fandom.com

In a democracy, the citizens have control. The ruling classes in every democracy appear to know this and constantly invest in manipulating public opinion, playing off the one side on every issue against the other; while they exist above it all, making money, like good ol’ Ebenezer  Scrooge.

But midnight is fast approaching. It isn’t Christmas Eve, but the next months are going to pass as slowly for the citizens of the World, our world, as it did for Scrooge, in the imagination of Charles Dickens.

Let us pray that we come to meet ourselves the way Scrooge did, on that fateful Victorian Christmas Eve, to become ourselves -no longer the uncaring, callous, cantankerous sort that are responsible for the World’s turning the innocence of its children into the fear and angst of its adults.

p.s. Note that in parallel with the Commons becoming more privatized, governments like Alberta’s are simultaneously eroding benefits for their vulnerable. This is resulting in denying all opportunity for folks already denied basic needs such as food and shelter.

Where can they go to forage for food when everything is fenced off? Society leaves them only the garbage bins, to compete with the rats and racoons.

Where can they go to sleep? Society leaves them shelters(no place to call home), bridges, and subway gratings – not even rats and racoons feel safe sleeping among strangers or out in the open.

We treat our unfortunate brothers and sisters with all of the consideration we have for rats and racoons.

23 June 2020

On behalf of a daughter turned 26 today, today’s post is dedicated to her and to the happiness of her generation.

We bring children into the world and confer upon them all of the hopes and dreams we have for them. Topping the list is that they realize all of their dreams. We had dreams as children, most which are never realized.

We end up just struggling to survive emotionally/spiritually and to stay out of debt. If we grow old enough, most of us end up poor, alone, miserable…eventually, ‘crazy’ as we withdraw into ourselves and live the rest of our time out in our heads.

The World, our world, begins its assault upon its children as soon as they are born from heaven into it. It is true that Nature is hard on its children. In human societies, children are born with cancer. Children are born into poverty and violent conditions. Many children watch other children of wealthier parents play with toys they will never have for themselves.

Think back to when you were a child. Did you ever experience that feeling?

What do you suppose the kids who got sent to boarding school (as my own mother and her siblings had been) must have felt like? What do you think the Reservation Schools kids felt like?

As a teenager, you begin to acquire the self-image that other kids deserve the opportunities they have because they are better than you are. They are all better than you are.

That’s when ego steps in as your ‘friend’ and you spend more time alone and with your own thoughts for company. Some become angry at the whole world; others hide from it. Some commit suicide.

None of that helps. But it is nature’s emotional response to such conditions.

The World, our world, is creating mental illness, misery, violence, and a generation of saddened, anxious, emotionally overwhelmed and over-stimulated children because violence, the threat of violence is everywhere, and we are connected to it 24/7 with technology and the 24 hour news channel. Our children are exposed to it. They should not be seeing ANY OF IT. What they see going on in the world of today will warp their development. They will carry it with them their entire lives, just like our war-generation veterans have done. [aside: I once listened to a nonagenarian Canadian army veteran tell me about his experience in WW II…he got two minutes into his story, then he broke down and cried and could not continue – he’s carried that pain with him his whole life, from when he was just a young lad.

That pain goes to the very soul and becomes a part of who you are, just like poverty does, and the effects upon you are outside of your personal control. Is there anyone who wants this for their children? Is there anyone who thinks growing up in such a world, under such conditions is going to produce a happier generation? A generation of hope?

Unless the purpose of life is to create misery for yourself and others, we need to change a few things, before it is too late for our children. Hello?

There’s also peer pressure. More and more kids are growing up materially differentiated from their wealthier-family classmates. Then there’s an entire class of kids whose parents send them to private schools. [Aside: private schools, us-and-them, wealth inequality – none of these demographic demarcations are conducive to social cohesion and sustainability.

A scene from China’s oppression of Uighur Muslims – Human Rights Watch

This is why the cons want to build super prisons. Under the cons, we will one day see internment camps for the poor, just as the Chinese government hosts its Uighur Muslims].

The citizens of the World, our world, need to take the lead and work together because many of the leaders of nations (our Trudeau is a notable exception) have lost their way and become insane wallowing in their own ego.

For my child whose birthday my family celebrates today, my wish is for her and for her generation: let us all just ditch the ego, and look after and out-for, one another.

Neighbours watch each other’s backs, whether you be citizens or nations.

Here’s to the future.

p.s.

While researching today’s post, I came across an article at ranker.com, 12 Heinous and Terrifying Things that Happened at Boarding Schools – by Keith Burnside.

Residential school photo – Keith Burnside article

It has to do with how we treated an entire generation of Indigenous kids here and in the U.S. Be warned: I don’t thing a single one of us  can avoid crying.

Let us cry.

Then let us roll up our sleeves and get to work. Families must heal for individuals to heal.

Citizens must heal for Canada to heal. The nations of the World, our world, must heal for the World to heal.

We can heal. We can renew ourselves, the societies we make, the Nature we are a part of.

22 June 2020

Among today’s headlines: China to Trudeau: Stop ‘irresponsible remarks on spy case – the Chinese government isn’t fooling a garden slug. The Chinese nation continues their tradition of producing some of the finest minds we humans have to offer the World, our world; but those minds do not seem to be making it to Beijing. They appear to have a problem similar to the problem in Washington. Leadership. That is not a problem we in Canada are experiencing at the moment.

I pray for China to rediscover its soul. It isn’t easy but it is doable: we here in Canada are beginning our own journey back to the sort of nation we were, with the election of Trudeau’s Liberals. The previous occupants in Ottawa, the purveyors of the erstwhile Economic in-Action Plan, were only industrious in turning our nation into something unrecognizable to most Canadians…

We are, after all, a multicultural society. We are the future, that is, if the bozos of Beijing and Washington can manage to keep their pistols holstered.

21 June 2020

**A Happy Father’s Day**

Whomever you are, you are a father’s son or daughter. Our creator chose your father and your mother to bring you to the World, our world. Mom and dad are the two most important people in our lives, that is, until we become moms and dads and have children of our own.

Moms, dads, and children. There are no more important human relationships; nothing more crucial to the quality of the societies humans build, than how these relate to one another -for the family is the setting in which we learn to relate to ourselves and to the World. It is where we learn to build lifelong connections with folks who are not perfect, as we are not perfect.

Of the greatest significance to our own ‘hero’s journey,’ we learn to manage conflict – ‘What defines a good family/organization, is not the absence of conflict, but rather how it is managed.’ – this quote from ‘Prof Shelly’ while teaching an Organizational Behaviour course  I attended.

We lose our children  so soon to the world. As my x-mother-in-law once said, ‘Your children are on loan to you.’ 

Yes indeed.

When we celebrate Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, we acknowledge the miracle of our existence and the role of our parents in our lives. Our parents feel blessed having been given such wonderful children.

These are special days celebrating special people. We should add a ‘Children’s Day’ to the mix to complete things.

The social engineers have done much to undermine the family as a social institution, perhaps over embracing a neoliberal mindset, however that was a mistake. Today, as we celebrate our dads, let us ponder this. We have more crime against women and children than ever before. We have more random crime directed at no one in particular or directed at groups. We have war everywhere.

Replacing the family with the individual as society’s atomic building block has taken us further away from cultivating socially-adept individuals. Isn’t the promotion of the best qualities of individualism the whole point? Hello?

We need balanced individuals in order to achieve a balanced society. Hello? (again)

To get there, we must focus on educating adults to be parents, not on taking children away from their nest before they are ready. Only humans are guilty of doing that because only humans think they know better than Nature.

There are times when humans think too much.

20 June 2020

It’s Saturday! Here it is a beautiful morning. I hope it is the same for you, whomever you are and wherever you live.

Before diving into today’s rant, there is a very newsy-topical video here, featuring a song, Monster, by Steppenwolf (a great Canadian band with a great German-born lead singer) for accompaniment. Have a listen and a look.

CBC’s Newsletter features an article on how the Liberals allowed an MP to run in  2019, despite being investigated by the party after allegations of sexual misconduct. I do not know the details, but I do know that no one should be ‘fired’ from their jobs, and have their future prospects and reputation ruined to boot, without first having been accorded due process.

At the end of the day, the MP knows the truth, or falseness, of the charges against him. If there is truth in the charges, he is doing himself, the party, and his constituents, a grave disservice by not fessing up and beginning the process of atonement.

He compounds his crime. Does the MP care more for himself than his constituents? Public servants must possess the strength of character required to put aside self-interest – aka ego -otherwise, they cannot be public servants; they would be what’s wrong with our system of government.

I believe the Liberals did the right thing at the time by not firing the MP before a determination could be made on the charges against him. But, if their decision was in any way strategic, given that an election was in the offing, and they avoided exercising due process because of this, why then, shame on them for hypocrisy.

In today’s world, our Ottawa Liberals are a bastion for the international rule of law. They cannot simultaneously be hypocrites on such an important social dimension.

China’s government, responding to the Canadian judge’s decision to proceed with the extradition of  Meng Wanzhou to the U.S. in order to face fraud charges, has charged the two Canadians it has been detaining, with spying. China’s political strategy is simple: the nearer Western authorities come to sentencing Meng Wanzhou, the nearer the two Michaels are to death.

Do not mistake Justin Trudeau’s ‘disappointment’ for ‘softness.’ The PM recognizes the World has become a powder-keg and that the Chinese government is holding a book of matches, just like the government in Israel is holding a book of matches. Meanwhile, the U.S. has its own powder-keg; but a heavy downpour is predicted for November 2020 and that barrel of…gunpowder…will no longer be capable of throwing a spark; even less, of blowing up the world.

China’s government is become belligerent. They are China’s ruling class and their short experience with wealth has fully corrupted them, just as it fooled Europeans into colonizing the World by misleading, stealing from, and vanquishing the indigenous, rather than to humbly ask to be allowed to live alongside them in peace and cooperation, some centuries ago. Have a listen to the Steppenwolf classic, The Monster.

Steppenwolf

The China of today is doing what every other ‘great’ nation has done with burgeoning wealth throughout history: they use their newfound wealth to expand their economic and military reach in order to create and protect even more wealth. That’s it. That’s ego.

Everyone should see this as a formula for ongoing conflict, misery, and disaster. Is there anyone who can argue?

Is there anyone who can argue that the road to Peace is through collaboration; that humanity already faces enough problems of the existential sort to compel our eternal doom, without adding intra-human conflict to the mix? Hello?

PM Trudeau and the Ottawa Liberals know that bravado is dangerously counterproductive. This is because China and other countries, have become dangerously reactive, as well as expansionary. They know dialogue is only planting a seed, that both sides on so many of the issues besetting today’s world are already pressed up against their ‘red line;’ that any further advancement of their cause would therefore involve military conflict.

Therefore, the operative strategy under such geopolitical conditions is to make your case, but avoid saying anything inflammatory, which might encourage the other side to take that final, fatal step.

We are seeing this unfold in the disputed border region between China and India.

Source: Public Domain

Trump would call Trudeau ‘weak.’ That is good. If something like Trump decries Trudeau, it is complimentary to Trudeau. It is like the devil whining about Jesus: “Turn the other cheek? What kind of bs is that? How does anyone get anything done that way?”

Well, you can’t get anything blown up that way. Wars end before they even begin, that way. Is our PM the only one who was paying attention as a child growing up in Sunday School? Thank god he was.

Thank god the good folks at JVP and of Moslem communities striving for Peace around the World, our world, were also paying attention as children.

p.s.

When you bring your youngsters to the park, do you see how easily they befriend others and play together? It does not appear to matter to any of the kids that they are boys or girls, brown, yellow, red, or white, dressed in new clothes or well-worn issue -they play, they laugh, they lose interest, they find others to play with.

At the playground, ‘alliances’ are formed and reformed. The paramount concern for everyone is to play and to have fun. The odd friction might occur over ‘turn-taking’ and lineups for the slide – nothing existential –  a simple act from a ‘higher authority,’ in this case, the parents, is all that it takes to restore peace and balance to the situation. Easy – it is only a matter of time before everyone gets to have fun; it is just that it cannot always happen at the same time. Playground parents will ensure that everyone gets a turn.

Would that we humans had such parents presiding over our playtime activities. Our playground is the World, our world. The playground parents are the leaders of nations. They must behave like parents, just as all parents do at the playground, on behalf of their children. Parents at the playground never criticize one another, especially not in front of the children, and THEY NEVER THREATEN TO, OR COME TO BLOWS in front of the children, nor have I ever heard of children being caught up in a fight at the playground among parents. Parents know that would cause irreparable harm and anxiety to the children.

Everyone knows this. How do we come to have so many political leaders who do not seem to have learned what our PM learned at Sunday School?

Thank god we have Justin Trudeau acting and speaking on the Canadian family’s behalf at the playground. He happens to be there at a time when some of the other parents have ditched the parental attitude. We could have had Harper, Scheer, or, were we post-election 2020, O’Toole or MacKay. Given what I heard spewing out of the mouths of the latter two individuals during this week’s English-language CPC leaders’ debate, an affair which appeared to be as heavily orchestrated as it turned out to be inconsequential, Canada is dodging a bullet.

NationalNewswatch.com

It is Trudeau and Freeland that are doing all of the dancing on our behalf. It is a marathon dance. Neither of them will have much left to pick at when they are done serving, because they would have been required to leave most of themselves at the jobsite.

I don’t agree with all of their aspirations. They are not perfect parents. Even if they are not helping me (and folks in my position) personally, I recognize their struggle to keep things rational at the playground.

That at least will give the kids a chance to fix what is wrong…and to play.

As for the cons and likeminded playground parents, if you complain about their ways, they’ll tell you to go somewhere else or put you in jail if you won’t. If they don’t like you, they make you go somewhere else, even if there is nowhere else to go…that’s your problem, not theirs. That’s Trump, Netanyahu, Putin, Xi…

Thank god we have Trudeau.

17 June 2020

I have, in a previous post, quipped, should Donald Trump win re-election in November, I’m on the next ship with Ellie out of here to Mars.

Now, there’s another event that could spur my immediate departure, were it possible, and that is if PM  Trudeau does not win for Canada a seat on the U.N. Security Council.

PM Trudeau’s government appears to take U.N. initiatives seriously, upholding them on the international stage, when other nations do so only when convenient.

Witness Canada’s going to bat early for the refugees escaping the war-ravaged Middle East, or its fight against climate change; its garnering traction to green Alberta’s tar economy in support of the Paris Accords and while enduring rabbit punches from the uncooperative, politically opportunistic con-Kenney; its ongoing work toward reconciliation with Canadian Indigenous folks…

UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial (UNPKDM) – Vancouver, Canada

…then there’s Canada’s newfound resolve to bring PM Lester B. Pearson’s peacekeepers back to the World stage.

Canada, under Trudeau’s leadership, is as much concerned about its place in the World, our world, as it is for itself. Canada desires to be as much the ‘good neighbour’ in the world community as the caring parent to its citizens. Both relationships are paramount.

Canada’s election to the Security Council will do the World, our world, a lot of good.

Alas, it is not to be so. Canada  will not have a seat on the U.N. Security Council. I do not know by which measure the nations of the World decide whom is the better choice among the candidates. It is a significant accomplishment to hold a seat on the council. Former PM Stephen Harper tried and failed. I thought I could understand why. But my premises were all wrong; PM Justin Trudeau has also tried and failed.

As synonymous the Stephen Harper brand was with business, Justin Trudeau’s is with human rights. The nations of the World would want to work together to end poverty and to further advancements in human rights and climate change. It seemed to me that the U.N. vision matched up with Trudeau’s very well -as if they were best buds.

The voting was by secret ballot. If we don’t know how nations voted, we can’t know if it is politics. But we could infer politics, if we knew votes were not purchased through gifts of foreign aid, or favourable trade arrangements. The vote would have come down to: politics and world views in diametric opposition.

16 June 2020

Part of my daily routine involves helping my elderly dad with independent living. He has got to be one of easiest nonagenarians to provide assistance to, because he is as resourceful as he is independent. Still, he is visibly fragile and I worry that he might fall, bump something…at his age, the most innocuous of mishaps could have major repercussions.

This morning, I encounter this among the headlines: Witness video captures violent takedown of elderly Black couple at GTA hospital – I haven’t watched the video. I do not know what could cause a relatively young police officer to rain multiple blows upon the head of an old man during the takedown.

I did watch the takedown of Chief Adams, and at the time of the takedown he was not doing anything to deserve being punched in the head (but he was disputing the way the officer was manhandling his wife at the time he was tackled from the blindside), by an officer much younger than he.

I worry about my dad’s fragility because he’s fragile. He is fragile because he is old. Our police appear to not be of the same mind. I remember, years ago being at a Hamilton Ti-Cats game at Ivor Wynne. At the end of the game, to my left, I saw a young Black police officer engaging an septuagenarian fan, who was also Black, with a choke-hold. The fan’s eyes were bulging and he did not move. We were in a lineup and had to keep moving past as we exited the stadium. I remember the firm callous look of the policeperson in juxtaposition with the frightened look of the fan. I did not see what he did to be treated like this. Perhaps he’d enjoyed one-too-many while watching the game…

But it is wrong. And it appears that all police are being trained to handle things this way. They do not seem to be trained to recognize the difference between an adult and a young person or an old person.

There are many issues here, but I must point out the conditions existing in society bear a causal relationship to crime because criminality is often in reaction to said ‘conditions.’ Perhaps there should not be beer sales at sporting events, say. Then that poor man would not have had to deal with a police officer? Perhaps we could stop drowning people in angst-inspiring news as they go about their daily routines? Perhaps we could stop isolating the poor and the homeless and provide them inclusive communities to live in with a safe and clean home where they can live independently and without social stigma?

We pay lipservice to our war dead, but we do little to guard against losing the ground the purchased for our generation with their blood. They were of all colours and faiths. They died, together, as they fought shoulder to shoulder, so that our generation had a fighting chance.

We pay lipservice to ending poverty and violence. Poverty is perpetuated by a model that funnels resources away from the poor into the coffers of wealth and bars poor folks from foraging for the resources they need to survive.

On either side of an old rail spur, a thin sliver of wooded area – the last of the Commons – Private Property – soon the homeless and the poor will have only the subway gratings of downtown Toronto to call their home…

There is less and less where we can go and walk (or forage) than there used to be. People with money continue to buy land and privatize things. Eventually there will be no Commons left.

Our laws will protect this order of things. You will see more and more police violence perpetrated upon elders, upon people of colour, upon the Indigenous, upon poor young people, the homeless…

… all because we refuse to look after those whose lives were given or took a bad turn.

We do that because it costs us money. Money we wanted to keep to go golfing, to own a piece of land in the Bahamas, say, which lies empty most of the year but is there for when we need it, and the Bahamians who live there are kept away from their own beaches. We need the latest kitchen gadgets.

We want to leave money to our kids so that they can live safely and securely.

Hmmm. I wonder how poor folks feel about their children? No one wants to do violence. Some folks become so distraught and overwhelmed with their living conditions that they ‘act out’ and do things they do not want to do. A count to five might have been the difference between going home and going to jail or the hospital.

We are the people who are doing this. WE are the people it is being done to.

Yet, WE ARE THE GENERATION THAT DOES NOTHING ABOUT IT.

We cannot rely on our ruling class, because they are blinded to reason by ego and ego is blinded in their case by wealth and ignorance.

We cannot rely on our police folks in their current form. We need a new policing model. Most police folks abhor violence, as most citizens do.

Life Matters : Pexels.com

Harrison Haines : Pexels.com

There are those who enjoy violence, and there always has been that sort…but their accounting is coming. Does the fact they do not believe in an afterlife mean there isn’t one?

 

We cannot rely on the have-nots. Most of us are so overwhelmed and inured to poverty, or the struggle to keep our noses above the poverty-line, that we could not see the doorway out even it stood gaping-wide before us. Our social desensitization to poverty and its effects is going to take our society down faster than an testosterone-embroiled officer can take down an unwitting ‘suspect.’

There is also the headline: Senator calls on RCMP commissioner to resign after comments on systemic racism –  Commissioner Lucki has only spoken the truth, honestly, as she understood it. At the onset, she could not accept that there is racism in her institution. THAT IS BECAUSE SHE IS NOT A RACIST. Who among us would have reacted differently? As a parent, when you here about your child’s bad acts, is your first reaction not to defend your child? The RCMP is the Commissioners child, in a sense.

But instead of understanding, we are ‘graces’ with calls by a con Senator for her hapless Lucki to resign. Two things of note about cons, especially the ones in government:

            • they are the first to bring out the axe
            • they are extraordinarily adept themselves at ducking

Should Brenda Lucki be held accountable for not being a racist? So far, that is her only ‘malfeasance.’ She recognized soon afterwards that systemic racism does exist in the RCMP. Given her attitude towards it, I would think we do Canada and the Commissioner a grave injustice by even saying what that senator uttered. He should be ashamed of himself. He is only adding to the malaise with which Canadian society is beset. We need more Trudeaus and leaders of like spirit, even if not like politics, to accomplish our societal goals.

I agree with the Commissioner that racism of the ‘systemic’ kind is poorly understood, even by folks who should know. She was dancing on hot coals without anyone telling her where to step next, because nobody seemed to know. Her critics could only criticize her for continuing to dance on hot coals [as they tossed more wood into the flames]. Most of those criticizers can’t even dance. Hello?

There should be an apology extended to the RCMP Commissioner, by the Senator for talking such bullshit about other people which wouldn’t fly at the playground, much less a venerable institution such as the Canadian Senate must be and was, before the cons infected it with their movement conservative, neoliberal virus they themselves had been infected with by the the political movement in the South. Patient Zero in Canada was the Western Alliance.

In my own way, there it is.

I believe Canadians and the Canadian media need to cultivate the discipline of the ‘5-count.’ So much of what we are doing is kneejerk reactivity, without giving due consideration to the side effects. There are always side effects; some good, some terrible. We cannot keep firing people over every little word spoken. Yin and Yang implies imperfection.

We cannot form the expectation of perfection among beings who cannot be perfect. If we do, we only end up with folks who are adept at appearing to be perfect when in fact they are lower than low and do us no good in public service.

Commissioner Lucki showed herself to be an excellent dancer and this without anyone showing her the steps, in full production before a live audience. Far from criticizing her, she should have been praised and encouraged.

EGO knows only two ways to react to situations: flight or fight. Lucki didn’t attack her accusers nor did she run and hide. She faced the situation and the backlash of accusation.

She didn’t run and she didn’t attack. She staid the course.

The Cons would get rid of someone like that.

There is a wonderful elucidation of the Netanyahu-Trump ‘peace plan’ (certain to be the ‘clear and present danger’ to  world peace and the start of WWIII) by Ishaan Tharoor of the Washington Post; Jamaal Khashoggi’s erstwhile employer. You can subscribe to the WP newsletter here. It is worthwhile and free.

Lastly, there is news of fighting between the Indian and Chinese militaries. The World, our world, is progressing into insanity. Truly insane people have no idea they are insane. What does that imply about us, if the World, our world, in these perilous times, chooses war over collaboration, truth, honesty…humanity? 

Answer: Why, in the 2000 years between us and the advent of the faith inspired by the life of Jesus, we have reduced his sacrifice to a long weekend. The killing he gave his own life to stop, proceeds today with gusto, as does are ability to kill more with one shot. New opportunities arise by the second. WE ARE CRAZY.

We only need to be reasonable to survive. All people aspire to live and raise families in comfort and safety and happiness. There are a relative few among us who feel they deserve to have as much as they can garner for themselves, leaving others with only as little as they are able to hang on to.

Those people are patently and irrevocably insane.

The rest of us still have a ‘fighting’ chance, if we refuse to do violence to one another, and instead watch each other’s backs.

p.s.

Headline: Four-year-old child drives SUV into several stop signs in Toronto parking lot – my reaction went from ‘Oh no!’ when I began reading, to laughter: the child was unhurt; no one else was hurt, so, imagine the scene! And then finally to, ‘Those poor parents.’

I’m sure their first word were, ‘We only went into the store for a second or two…’

I remember crawling out the rear window of our station wagon while my poor mom was driving. We had just started out down our street. We weren’t going very fast and no one was behind us. I was unhurt, but,  MY POOR MOM! It probably took her a week to stop shaking over it.

A child of that age is capable of doing the worst things at the most inopportune moment…ask any parent. I don’t know where we get the idea to do exactly the wrong thing at the right time, but we do when we are toddlers, very nearly every time. My little brother thought it was cool to step on the muffler pipe of big brother’s idling motorcycle…not at all cool! He ended up at the hospital with a burned foot.

As for those poor parents in Toronto. I hope the investigators go easy on them. They have already been through a lot, a parking lot full, actually. I believe, like my mom who never left the read window down again in her life, they have learned their lesson.

We should be spending money on educating parents to be better parents rather than on training young kids who aren’t parents to be ECEs. PARENTS NEED TO BE THEIR CHILDREN’S EARLY EDUCATORS. This will be better for parents, families, and children (who will one day grow up to be parents).

NEVER leave children in a car unattended, even for a moment.  Bring them with you at all times or leave them at home with a baby sitter. Summer is here. It is too hot for them in the car when it is parked.

NEVER leave your pets in the car either.

14 June 2020

Headline: From laundry to cleaning, military willing to pay for creative solutions to pandemic problems – the Canadian military is reaching out to the public by offering a contest for ideas to help them implement rapid and thorough cleaning solutions for ambulances, aircraft, and vestibules. You can read about it here.

This would likely be some version of a UV light treatment, if that would work?. You can’t spray electronics with liquids or powders. You can’t spray uniforms, equipment, and office spaces with anything that leaves a residue.

That means you have to use some kind of energy source that destroys the virus with no deleterious side effects upon humans.

13 June 2020

The ‘rump parliament’ operating in Ottawa is being decried by some opposition parties and political pundits as opportunism in the time of COVID-19. You can read all about it on CBC.

This is not the first ‘rump’ in the history of the Commonwealth. Oliver Cromwell presided over the British rump parliament responsible for the beheading of Charles I.

Cromwell’s rump parliament was necessary for the Brits to establish, once and for all, the division of powers between the monarchy and the elected government. The hapless Charles would likely not have been beheaded had there not been a rump version of parliament. The full version would have been hung on the issue of the King.

Québec’s Blanchet, the Scheer cons, et al. could have cause to worry over the opportunities a truncated parliamentary body presents to the sitting government as it somewhat ties the hands of the opposition.

Parliament may soon be called to vote on a bill which provides for remote attendance and voting, providing access to Parliamentary proceedings for all 338 MPs. The Liberals are confident such an arrangement will safely and securely permit Canadians to be fully represented as we recover from the pandemic.

The concerns expressed by the cons and the Bloq over the ‘rump’ arrangement is that anything other than full physical attendance entails a reduction of the ways and means by which the Opposition can finesse information from the government; by calling witnesses at committee meetings, say.

That is valid. So is the NDP’s take. Jagmeet Singh says his party pressed to extend the CERB to students and seniors. The NDP garnered other improvements in the Liberal’s response to COVID-19 with respect to the rollout of benefits, to the immediate benefit of many vulnerable Canadians.

The Presbyterians sitting in Cromwell’s parliament would have stood in the way of ‘progress’ with respect to the division of powers in 17th-century Britain. They were evicted from parliament. Undemocratic.

Is that what is happening in Ottawa? Scheer and Blanchet’s crews are reduced, along with everyone else’s. Scheer’s argument is baloney: Whatever research tools his cons cannot avail themselves of, their fundraising apparatus, being as it functions as an ‘investment vehicle for the wealthy’ – to wit: invest in governments that will enact policies favouring the generation and accumulation of wealth- will draw enough support to makeup for the  temporary procedural dislocations.

Their goal is power, not service. The cons want to rule Canada. The Bloq aspires to rule Québec. Neither of them aspire to serve Canadians. Both groups aspire to power. And money is power.

More Canadians are have-nots than are haves. This is a compounding condition. This will not improve under the cons. They are totally looking in the opposite direction, when it comes to social policy. You cannot accumulate more for yourself without taking something away from someone else. In the grand scheme, more for one always implies less for another.

The Liberals and NDP are concerned about taking from those who already do not have enough. The cons don’t care about the poor because they consume too little to represent much value to the economy anyways, or they would care. The Bloq only cares about ruling Québec.

Cromwell did the wrong thing, for the right reasons. At the end of the day, all of his courage was ostensibly for nothing because the monarchy was restored after his death. But it wasn’t for nothing. His nation rediscovered its soul and a new relationship with its monarchy which continues through to the present day.

There may be some disadvantages to the Opposition in how parliament is currently running  in Ottawa. The Liberals may be opportunistic, but at the end of the day, this government can still be brought down, should they stoop to pass self-serving policies such as what the cons routinely do, whenever they are in power .

As mentioned earlier, a full sitting is required to vote to not require full sittings. Unlike Cromwell’s rump parliament, the sitting government is also operating with restrictions.

The real reason Scheer et al. are decrying Trudeau is because they want Trudeau’s chair. In Trudeau’s chair they can avail themselves of policies to enrich themselves and their supporters. They will never be satisfied with their gains, no matter how many homeless subway grate sleepers they have to step around and over, that being society’s yardstick of ‘success’ in the world (but not our world), of neoliberalism and market capitalism.

GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images

Given that Canada is comprised of both wealthy folks and unwealthy folks, the government of Canada must have a care to both groups, or it is not the Government of Canada. It is the government of the rich or of the poor. Neither extreme is conducive to social cohesion. Neither extreme is democratic.

However, bringing the two polarities back to within sight of one another is. Piketty knows how to do this.

12 June 2020

Before diving into today’s rant, the arrest of Chief Adams bears commenting on. I have also written a post on systemic racism. The PM’s comments do seem weak, given what the video shows. It is also ‘troubling,’  to borrow the term from Trudeau and Scheer, that the RCMP claims the takedown by Officer Seguin does not cross the threshold mandating an investigation. Hello? 

What disappoints me immensely is that neither Trudeau or Scheer mentions that ongoing harassment is a strategy by which enforcement folks get folks to act-up such that they cross the line and provide the opportunity for arrest. They want to arrest you for some reason of theirs, but what ‘troubles’ like-minded police folks is that the nation has been given no reason to arrest.

Paranoia strikes deep, into your mind it will creep,

It starts when you’re always afraid,

Step out of line, and the man come and take you away…

-Buffalo Springfield (For What It’s Worth)

It does appear Chief Adam’s grievance toward the officer was warranted. The officer appears to be harassing them. The officer pulled up behind their vehicle, kept his headlights on them and remained in his cruiser for several minutes.

This officer is a big boy. He was twice the chief’s size. Nevertheless, Chief Adams was so frustrated with seeing the officer pull up behind his parked vehicle, he took off his jacket to prepare for a fair fight. Of course you don’t do that with a police officer; but in the Chief’s mind, the officer was not acting as a peace officer but rather as a casino parking lot bully. Context is very important.

This officer later handled the Chief’s wife rather roughly and she hadn’t done anything, not even swearing, which was all the Chief was doing out of frustration and perhaps he had a drink or two inside the establishment. The Chief rose to his wife’s defense.

I dunno, but I wonder exactly whom the police are serving and protecting if they do crap like this to citizens, out there in the cold and dark. I would like to have seen the police do things another way, as I believe they were more inclined to do in the olden days:

Upon arrival, if they thought the person exiting the establishment was not in a condition to drive, they should just go to them and take a breathalyzer test. If they fail the test, the officer radios for a cab or offers them a ride home, not to the police station. 

People drink. Drink helps you to ‘lose your inhibitions.’ Everyone knows this. This would explain Chief Adams’ swearing. The officers know that. The legal system should ‘know’ that too.

To Serve and protect. At times, the police must protect citizens from themselves. When they’ve had too much to drink and are no longer making proper decisions, like the decision to drive intoxicated, don’t stick them in jail, bring them home. Require them to perform extra community service instead of jail time.

That’s better than hurting them, and more reconciled with their raison d’être.

Policing has changed. They are becoming progressively more militarized. That’s the world the likes of Donald Trump would bequeath to our children.

I wonder, is that the world Chief Adams or his arresting officers want to leave to their children?

I know the answer would be the same on both counts.

Today, there is a headline about someone who ‘leads by example.’ – Convenience store owner’s DIY food bank influences similar effort through social media – the owner was motivated to do this after watching a dad struggle with the choice between buying a loaf of bread or a chocolate bar for his little girl.

There are many reasons a parent may be obliged to say ‘no’ to a chocolate bar treat for their child, BUT THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. No parent should have to tell their kid ‘no’ for that reason; and no child should grow up thinking they cannot have what they see the other kids have.

Have and have-not is completely foreign and unnatural to a child’s way of thinking. It does not occur to a child that anyone should have to do without, so that they can have more.

You have to be an adult to think that way.

Jewish Voices For Peace is running a ‘connect the dots’ campaign. They make the connection between how Israel’s government is marginalizing the Palestinians out of their own lands, with what is happening to people of colour all over the World, our world. They are battling a systemic racism which has been in existence for millennia. The governance-canon containing elements of systemic racism, in this case, happens to be scripture. JVP recognizes the brotherhood/sisterhood the Jews of Israel share with the Palestinians and does not feel compelled to evict Palestinians from their own homes.

Many, many blessings upon the good folks of JVP, and of like-minded, like-spirited people, wherever in the world they are. Blessed are the peacemakers.

These are the ‘peacemakers’ Jesus would have been referring to in his Beatitudes. JVP stands for what Jesus stood for. They worship the same god Jesus worshipped. The same god Moslems worship. The god that created us and the Universe we are a part of.

There is no case in which anyone can use the ‘will of god’ to justify war, violence, or denying livelihood, safety, and shelter, to anyone. There is no case where anyone can use the separation of church and state to justify the conscription of an ever-increasing portion of the commons by ‘private’ rapacious interests, either.

These are unnatural conditions, suborned by unnatural laws.

How did we ever come to be governed by a set of rules which are constructs and would not otherwise exist if we had not invented them out of thin air?

It was our leadership. But not leadership by example, as was the case of the DIY food bankers.

There exist among us folks who are spirited in one way, and one-way only: by their ego. They use the egos of other people to gain advantage for themselves. They have to outsmart the others.

Through the lens of their ego, they see only opportunity for themselves, to aggrandize themselves. If you read On Being, you will understand how unbridled ego conflates with insanity. Insanity is false perception and also the source of lies; ego substitutes imagination/subjectivity for perception – ergo, unbridled ego amounts to the severance of the mind’s connection to the World, our world. It is the condition of unconsciousness. Only death is able to surpass ego in this regard.

These folks want power. To do whatever they want. They often remind us  that everything they are doing they are doing ‘for the people.’ They are doing it for our benefit, but, as soon as they don’t need us to work for them, why, we suddenly don’t exist. They do it to build bigger homes, drive cooler cars, wear fancier undergarments, and eat organic meats that do not contain toxins. They leave the rest to us (including the toxins).

 

[Image taken from an article by TVO’s Steve Paikin, host of the Agenda, and bona fide example of a media personality that is inerrant in the execution of their responsibility as our nation’s 5th Estate.]

The wealthy work to live. As for the rest of us, it does not appear to trouble them that we are dying to make our livings, or that so many of us do not have opportunity to do even that. We are just waiting to die, passing our nights on subway gratings and in shelters among strangers instead of with folks we know and love, because there are no prospects for improving our life situations.

Many years ago, thousands of young Canadians gave their lives to stem the spread of tyranny and oppression of the vulnerable. Their sacrifice is the reason we are here today.

But many of us are not free. Poverty is the greatest of oppressors.

Poverty is created. It is a social construct. It is tolerated only because if we do not tolerate poverty, there would be no big empty homes existing in communities where people have no home at all or are living in subhuman conditions.

Squirrels build nests. Some are much bigger than others. But no squirrel is left to live without a nest. No squirrel is prevented by natural law from building a nest in a particular tree because a squirrel living in Asia or Europe or Canada owns that tree.

For the body to pool more resources in one area, it must deny those resources to another area. The body uses the blood to move resources about. Societies use money.

If we decide to cut off the flow of blood to our feet so that we can increase the flow and inventory of blood in our heads, perhaps we would think faster, but how long do you suppose it will take before the whole body crashes to the ground, head and all, supported by feet with no life left in them?

In closing, there is another article here from JVP about our PM Trudeau’s inconsistencies with respect to his proclaimed love for the rule of law and his silence on the Israeli government’s apartheid. The author makes a valid point. Read it here. Be advised the author supports a one-state solution (which I do not, but I do believe they should back each other up against aggressors as if they were one state: the state of humankind), and that he might not be completely fair in his judgement of our PM: because of the  reaction to comments made by national leaders in their capacity as heads of state, the PM must sometimes opt for diplomacy until the time/conditions are right to make effective and lasting change.

Whatever the PM says to criticize Netanyahu will not change Netanyahu’s mind nor his policies. It will be used by the PM’s opponents to undermine him at home.

There is an international movement to create a two-state solution. There is also a neoliberal movement to annex. Annexers are of every stripe, not only Israel’s government. Right now China and Russia top the list.

That is ego and ego will take the world down as it pursues self-interest.

10 June 2020

Headline 1: Opposition parties reject speedy passage of COVID-19 aid bill – based on what the article says, there’s no reason the opposition can offer that is sufficient to keep money out of the hands of disabled people, or seasonal employees for that matter. But neoliberal movement cons will not understand. In the neoliberal philosophy, those who have need of support from the society they live in – why, the society has no need of them. For the neoliberal, you can ‘live’ on the street so long as you don’t cause trouble; if you cause trouble, why then there’s a super prison somewhere.

Too bad, because most folks just want a comfortable, safe home they can call their own space. Most folks would rather work for a living, than steal from those who do. Just sayin’.

The NDP are against the idea of fining and/or jailing folks who  use CERB fraudulently. I laud their sensitivity; but whereas in response to pipeline protest blockades, not fining or jailing protesters was highly appropriate to the situation, with respect to CERB, we are not talking about folks who should not have applied, but did because they did not understand the rules. Jailing and fining applies only to the opportunists who had enough to live on, but thought to finesse a little extra for themselves out of the government’s pandemic response, just the same. To criminalize that is a highly appropriate response.

The government still hasn’t addressed the fact that many folks, such as myself, have been unemployed for so long, we did not qualify for anything in CERB. True, COVID-19 has not changed my life; I did not have enough to live on before the pandemic, and it is the same for me during the pandemic. But another thing is for certain: it is even more unlikely to find work now than before.

….

I don’t believe any old person should be stuck in a shelter among strangers or living out on the street;  after having made it so far, one would think the state would want to take care of them -especially after replacing the atomicity of the family with the atomicity of the individual in society; thereby removing the support the family unit traditionally provided to elders.

In the post-Covid world, perhaps we should look at educating parents to be better parents; paying one of them to stay at home, rather than sending our children to daycares to be raised by well-meaning strangers. We should also look at educating children, after they’ve become grownups, to be caregivers for their elderly.

The state provides ongoing support for both initiatives AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL. Easy, because we’ll greenfield communities to organize and provide services after we implement a Guaranteed Minimum Income plan. That way, no one is excluded, no one suddenly becomes useless to society, and everyone shares in the perks of membership of society, as they share in the work that maintains  it.

Headline 2: Israel warned by Europe over land annexation plan – Netan-the-yahoo proverbially should have his butt handed to him. He and Donald Trunk are responsible for what happens next.  The Palestinians and Jordanians have let drop the gauntlet. If Israel’s government insists on taking land which the World, our world, says does not belong to them, then it is behaving like Putin’s when Russia annexed the Crimea and like Giddyup Erdogan’s, when Turkey annexed land from the Kurds. None of these ‘leaders’ give a hair for human life:

…somehow, what the believe in, justifies this.

This is the World, not our world, but one neoliberals like the aforementioned would make for us. That world is already upon us. We are at the precipice.

But the death of George Floyd and the solidarity of Canada’s Indigenous in support of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and Trans Mountain, show that the people are still willing to go to bat in defense of their democracy, its institutions, and their way of life.

That is encouraging news. Canada and America are full of really cool folks. Their silent majorities are finally expressing themselves.

We have much to do. If we can get more leaders like Trudeau, and fewer leaders like Trump, Netanyahu, Xi, Erdogan, Putin, why then, what could possibly get in the way between our children and their wonderful future?

9 June 2020

Economist Paul Krugman has written an interesting piece in his NY Times column today. Here is an excerpt:

“One way to think about the Covid-19 pandemic is that it poses a kind of marshmallow test for society.

At this point, there have been enough international success stories in dealing with the coronavirus to leave us with a clear sense of what beating the pandemic takes. First, you have to imposer strict social distancing long enough to reduce the number of infected people to a small fraction of the population. Then you have to implement a regime of testing, tracing and isolating: quickly identifying any new outbreak, finding everyone exposed, and quarantining them until the danger is past.

The strategy is workable. South Korea has done it. New Zealand has done it.

But you have to be strict and you have to be patient, staying the course until the pandemic is over, not giving in to the temptation to return to normal life while the virus is still widespread. So it is, as I said, a kind of marshmallow test.

And America is failing that test.”

The NY Times Columnist Paul Krugman

The Nobel Laureate economist has not lost his gift for explaining things in a way that resonate with people. Kudos to Mr. Krugman.

Let us all take what he says to heart. It is the truth.

The PM appears to be on this track already.

The premiers, many of them, appear to need more time for common sense to sink in…but these neocon premiers don’t seem to get it when Mr. Krugman explains economics. To begin with, his tract: A Nation is not a Business.

Mr. Ford says, ‘Huh?’ He still doesn’t get it. But neither do Kenney, Pallister, and Moe (now Legault stands with them; providing Mr. Ford a break from filling in for those three stooges. [p.s. They’re idea of comedy is in convincing us that we should vote for them – they’re only joking, of course, but we take them seriously, because of our voter disaffection, and start complaining about them the day after they take office. When you see the morning after reaction to a con victory, you are given to  wondering, ‘Who the hell actually voted for them?’].

=============================================================================

Given the racial tensions sweeping democracies around the World, our world, an article appearing at Truth.org should provide an interesting analysis: Racist Violence can’t be separated from the violence of neoliberal capitalism.

Well, now that the muffins are out of the oven, and the coffee pot is done brewing – time to catch up on some reading…

There is a fine elucidation of neoliberalism on Wikipedia.

Do not confuse neoliberalism with the Liberals in Ottawa.

8 June 2020

Happy Monday! Our PM continues to do a good job with respect to the pandemic, and is using his daily sessions to promote  caution and a measured approach to socially ‘new realities’ and to economic recovery. The provincial premiers are not quite so measured, in their approaches to reopening their respective provinces.

The fact is, without a vaccine, if you are an elderly person or someone with an underlying health condition, the best way to ensure your own safety and that of others, is to continue staying within your own personal bubble (those you live with), adhere as best as situations allow to the 6-foot social distancing rule, wear a mask when you are within 6 feet of other folks. Mask yourself whenever you  enter common areas like elevators, lobbies, stores -even the hallways/laundry room of your apartment building. Wash your hands often; especially immediately after you handle groceries, courier deliveries, and gifts of food from your kind and concerned neighbours.

Headline 1: Trudeau promises to push police body cameras with premiers – 100% on that one. Policing has got to be the toughest job going. Imagine having to be perfect when you are constantly dealing with emergent situations which are not perfect and often very threatening to the policeperson.

  • Body cameras will help to keep the policeperson from reacting improperly – everyone is better behaved when they know they are being watched. That’s ego. And that’s everybody.
  • Body cameras will also record the situation, including what people on the other side of a policing situation are doing/saying.

The cameras will go a long way in helping the police do their job while conforming with their institution’s raison d’être: to serve and protect. The cameras offer protection to both sides of the equation.

6 June 2020

For the first time in my life, I find myself waiting for Summer to end (and it hasn’t even begun yet) and Fall (my favourite time of year, along with Spring) to be nearly over – just so November may come and go; taking Donald Trump along with it. That man is living proof that wealth is not always accompanied by intelligence, heart, or any of the other human virtues.

Trump may be right about China only because China’s leader sees the World, our world, in much the same way that Trump and his ilk do.

I am tired of war. I am tired of violence. I am tired of people getting hung up with ego. I tire of hearing about the antics and profound lack of societal vision of  Donald Trump and the other movement conservative bozos, no matter which side of the 49th, or the line of Greenwich, they are on.

If Biden wins the election, the U.S. and the World, our world, might still go to war with China. That would be THE UNECESSARY WAR TO END ALL WARS.

It would mean the end of China, and of their venerable culture and history. It will likely entail billions of deaths because the whole World, our world, will end up getting drawn in. Nukes will come into play at some point. Given that both sides have them, WWIII will mean mutual destruction is assured.

All because of ego.

No one is threatening China with annihilation. China is threatening other countries, though. Their expansive belligerence is such that they will keep pushing, as Russia is doing. Russia will not stop at the Crimea. China won’t stop at the South China Sea either.

They use the proceeds from doing business with the West to build their military. Only a fool will allow themselves to think this Chinese government does not have diabolical, self-serving, coercive geopolitical designs.

They have become rich and powerful trading with the West. Why destroy the West? Why not just leave things alone, seeing as China has done well, things as they are? Besides, in the event China was attacked and its sovereign borders violated, the U.S. would certainly rise to defend China.

The World, our world, will not settle for anything less.

The venerable Chinese people need to separate themselves from Xi and his cronies; just as desperately as the American people need to separate themselves from Donald Trump; just as the folks in Israel need to separate themselves from Netanyahu…

These guys lead their nations toward death. I don’t know about you, but I think the World, our world, has a lot of life left in it still.

End the dominance of ego. Divorce from ego. It isn’t doing anyone any good, anyways.

5 June 2020

Headline 1: Lawmakers in Eight Countries Form New Alliance to Counter China – China’s government punishes Canadian expatriates and farmers over Canada’s involvement in the extradition of Meng Wanzhou to the U.S. to face fraud charges – Canada is going to great pains to ensure the rule of law is upheld and not just kowtowing to the whims of another nation. China’s government punished Norway for awarding a Chinese dissident with the Nobel Prize. China’s government is punishing Australia because of calling for an investigation into the role China’s government played in keeping news of the outbreak of COVID-19 from the World, our world.

So much for China’s government. The Chinese people and culture deserve much better than what amounts to a modernized version of thuggery. It is the Chinese people, not the government, which supplies the technical intelligence which permits China’s economy and military to expand apace.

This Chinese government is certain to take their  nation down, and perhaps the World, our world, along with it.

But you cannot conflate the will of the Chinese government with the will of the Chinese people and Chinese cultural traditions, anymore than you can the will of Donald Trump with that of the American people, or their culture and traditions.

In the case of the latter, we are now seeing how America’s democratic institutions and military are reining in the American president; in China’s case, that is not happening. Nor will it. That nation’s military is of the people, but not for the people; rather they exist for the government.

The Chinese government is spirited in the way Trump, Putin, Netanyahu, and most other leaders of nations, of the modern right-ilk. There is no understanding; only coercion.

The World, our world, will soon find itself engulfed in war if nations continue to elect bozos like these. Our children deserve better than this. We must use our privilege to elect our governments, better than we have.

We re-elected Justin Trudeau. Our PM is getting beaten up over taking 20 seconds to not answer a very loaded question. As PM, what he says is perceived to be what the nation says. After seeing how China reacts to every little thing, how can anyone wonder at the PM’s lack of response with respect to how Trump is behaving? Both Trump and Xi are given to the sort of kneejerk reactivity that creates more misery and dysfunction, could even kill millions; but accomplish nothing.

The lack of a response by the PM spoke volumes, regardless.

Jagmeet Singh did the calling out of Trump for the PM. Canada as a nation is not perceived to be speaking when politicians other than the PM is talking. Trump may be insane with ego, but he isn’t stupid. Trump knows Mr. Singh and PM Trudeau likely share the same opinion about him. But, apart from tweeting at Jagmeet, there’s not a lot else he can do.

Headline 2: Why military men are pushing back on Trump is an ‘extraordinary’ event in American democracy – a fine article, and very encouraging to know that the leaders and soldiers in the American military form a spiritual continuum with that nation’s military going back to the founding of their nation.

On that basis, the American people may be confident in their belief that the military will never turn against them. Their military, in its form and spirit, has not lost its connection to the American nation. Being as it is of the American people, it is natural for it to remain for the American people.

No individual’s ego is able to prevail against the natural connectivity which forms between the foundational principle  and its instantiation, generation over generation, anymore than religious demagoguery can pervert the continuum or replace the connectivity between the individual and the Creator with something else.

Though the umbilical cord is severed, the connection between mother and child remains throughout the life of the child, even after the mother has passed on.

Trump’s ego knows no boundaries. The institutions of the American people, because of the will of the American people, will withstand the assault this ‘leader and defender of the American nation’ is leveraging upon them.

God knows his true intent. How pleasing do you suppose it was, to the god you worship, to witness a man whose position obliges him to pursue the dreams and promote the solidarity of the American nation, using a place of worship for a photo op background? Hello? 

God might frown upon the separation of church and state (depending on how things play out), but likely wants nothing to do with that photo op.

Movement conservatism is a blight upon their nation and upon the World, our world. It is the politics of ego. It is the politics of folks who want things their way, even when the cost to others is their lives and livelihoods.

As a Canadian, I am comforted by the news coming out of America today. The  American people are being put through the ringer by their president and the movement he leads despite their aspirations. They are standing tall and strong, and together, for their nation. Brown and white and yellow; elders, young moms, teens, and children –together.

God will deal with Donald Trump; one way or the other, but we are all accountable to that which created us.

I stand with our American brothers and sisters. The American nation’s geopolitical ascendancy might be faltering in the face of emergent power centres, but the ideals which resulted in the American nation, the Canadian nation – all nations existing of and for their people – persist, thanks to the courage and indomitability of folks like those to the south of us.

Any of the World’s, our world’s, nations, that aspire to equality among their people, rather than the entrenchment of servitude and artificial social hierarchies (wherein the welfare of its citizens is kept beholden to the whims of a self-styled ‘ruling class’)  will stand with their American brothers and sisters and keep their national vision close to heart.

We are a World. One World. For humankind, it is the World. A world of ‘us-and-them’ is patently unnatural to exist. That is human ego, the which the Creator never intended for us to make decisions with, but rather to use as a barometer to gauge our reactions to the World.

We know humans are meant to be born, mature, raise families, work, laugh, love, and provide comfort to others when we can whenever there is need. We were never meant to do harm to each other or to the garden that god planted us in.

These truths we hold to be self-evident…

4 June 2020

Start your day with a nice coffee, because after you start to look at the news, your mood, if not your day’s prospects, will darken ominously.

Beginning with an article by Adam Taylor of the Washington Post: Trump Praise for Tiananmen Square is lived out decades later in Lafayette Square – featuring comments from then 43-year-old Donald Trump.

If that isn’t enough to cloud your bright morning sky, try this offering by WP’s Ishaan Tharoor: Is Trump a Fascist?

The plight of the Americans is set against a conflicted geopolitical background: this past February, the Philippines’ President Duterte, riding a wave of 10,000 murders at the hands of the police in his war on drugs, decided to end the agreement with the U.S. permitting American troops to be stationed there. Now, given China’s belligerence in the South China Sea, the World, our world, tilts toward war (owing to the abject addiction to power among some of its leaders), the Philippine president wants to be friends again.

That’s good news and bad news. The good news is, the current regime in China is a geopolitically destabilizing force; the nations in the region will need support from the U.S. to withstand China’s brand of ‘outreach.’ It is good that they are ‘friends,’  once again.

[BTW: China could, given the size of its economy, provide an anchor for the world’s economy and act as a shock-absorber. To accomplish this, China’s government must first reconcile itself with the aspirations of the Chinese people, whom, I am certain, share the aspirations which all of the World’s peoples hold in common: to raise their children and to live out their old age in comfort and safety (meanwhile giving back to the society which permits them and their neighbours to do so)].

The bad news is, the American people are stuck with propping up yet another corrupt regime as the price of peace in the World, our world…

All over the World, our world, the military support of superpowers, such as America’s, is being traded on to support corrupt governments in exchange for their being on one side or the other of the geopolitical divide.

The World, our world, cannot survive like this. If we support Netanyahu’s illegal annexation of Palestinian lands; if we support Saudi Arabia, given their government’s purported involvement in the 9/11 attacks (no connection was established with the highest levels of government) and in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi (again, no connection was established with the highest levels of government), if we make friends with Putin again, after he punched the World, our world, in the face with his annexation of the Crimea (not to mention purported Russian involvement in the downing of the jet carrying a Polish President and other Polish government officials)…(the list is endless)…

then we accomplish no real progress; we simply set the World, our world, up for another round of bullshit and misery – the names change, but the game remains the same.

Violence and coercion are tools of control over the free. Violence and coercion are as much anathema to sustainable societies, as they are an unnatural occurrence within societies. Violence and coercion are the constructs of ego, which is itself a construct of the mind.

Ditch the ego. Human ego, institutional ego, national ego. If we do this, we will see we are one another; at different points along life’s circle, if you will.

That means, we are also our young people;  only we got older.

3 June 2020

The opposition in Ottawa is making much of PM Trudeau’s silence with respect to the behaviour of America’s current president. It should be plain to everyone by now that Donald Trump is insane with his own ego.

Rule of law is anathema to Trump’s ego and Trump’s ego is anathema to the rule of law. Period. No way of getting around it.

I put to the opposition in Ottawa, if you were speaking on behalf of the nation, such as would be the purview of the PM, what would you say to a person who is floundering in their own ego that would actually make a positive difference?

Anyone who has had to live with, or deal with a person as taken by ego as this POTUS, will know that such folks insist on drawing you into their narrative, and that you leave your ego outside, on the porch.

If it did not matter whether I said the right thing or the wrong thing, if no matter what I said, someone would find a reason to be screaming bloody blue murder over it, I would likely learn to say nothing at all.

The PM said nothing, and he’s still catching heck.

It’s great to be able to criticize people who wield power in society; but, if we are not impeccable in the way the Four Agreements defines the term, what good does it do to be able to speak so freely? People will learn to just ignore you.

That is very bad, if you are someone whose job is to hold the government accountable and to provide policy alternatives to the government. You want the government to listen to you. The folks who voted you in want the government to listen to you.

If Canada elects another con government (with the cons in their current movement-conservative spirit) it won’t matter how the opposition conducts itself. If you have anyone else in power (Grits, NDP, Greens?), it should matter a lot.

We want our leaders to adopt the comportment and trappings of sober leadership. It is not a game. We can gather in Parliament today, because many Canadian young people gathered on Juno Beach in 1944 and placed themselves between the enemies of freedom and the freedom of future generations.

To show the profoundest respect for the institution of Parliament is to acknowledge our love for our soldiers of the past, for their sacrifice, and the opportunity it bought for us.

So, let us drop the tendency to try to score political points at every opportunity. If you can’t come up with a bona fide better idea to offer the government, be silent – don’t just be a nay-sayer for the sake of being a nay-sayer. If you oppose only for the sake of opposing, well, that sounds too much like ego and too little like what the war generation kids had in their minds and hearts.

It was what the war generation kids had that got us this far.

It was not ego.

2 June 2020

There’s this headline: Trump threatens military force against protesters across the U.S. – accompanied by this headline: Bishop, Joe Biden angered by Trump’s use of Washington church for photo op – this man will have much to answer for, when god calls him to account.

Will the World, our world, allow such egos to maintain the misery and angst that assails it? For how much longer must our children have to struggle emotionally, mentally, and physically, against a world they didn’t make, only inherited; a world they are not responsible for, but has rather been coerced upon them by the Trumps of the world?

That man will have much to answer for. He is a destabilizing element. He got his hands on a pretty big gun when he won the Presidency, and is a ‘clear and present danger’ to the World, our world.

Trump is a mean-spirited old man, drowning in the ordure of his own manufacture, and he is facing off against a few other mean-spirited, old men in Russia, China, and other places too. Toss a few extremely obnoxious and mean-spirited younger men into the mix, for good measure.

Meanwhile, here’s the response of Canada’s PM to Trump’s notion of inviting Russia’s Putin to the next G7 conference: Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to expand Group of Seven to readmit Russia – and, with respect to Palestine: Ex-ministers, ambassadors call on Trudeau to push back against Israeli annexation plan.

You may criticize Canada’s PM for being too gung-ho with trade agreements that befoul national democracies by inserting an undemocratic, Trojan horse into them: the dispute resolution mechanism (DRM). On the trade file a paradigm shift is necessary, such as that which Piketty and Raworth propose, because as they stand, trade agreements favour investors and only favour consumers/workers to the degree that doing so favours investors.

But with respect to how the PM is standing up to the Trumps of the World, our world, he is doing very well.

Case in point: Trudeau says Canadians watching U.S. events in ‘horror,’ avoids naming Trump after long pause – I believe he artfully dodged a bullet. Everyone knows what Trump is doing is terrible; everyone wonders what is going on between the President’s ears? No one needs to say what they think of using military force on citizens – that should be obvious to everyone.

Had the PM articulated what everyone thinks and knows about Trump’s antics (he loves to stir the pot, and then take a step back and watch the show), it would not have accomplished anything of further value, and would have invited only negative reaction from the American administration, creating more issues for Trudeau and Canada.

Trudeau knows that Trump’s day of reckoning is coming in November. Whatever criticisms he directs at Trump in the meantime would accomplish nothing positive and Trump would spin-doctor any call-outs by the leaders of other nations, to energize his support base. Trump is an example of a problem which, if ignored, will likely go away on its own.

Trudeau, being a parent, knows that the best way to handle a tantruming child is to leave him in his room to pout for a while. Leave Trump to pout in the White House until November. It is for the American people to take care of him and they will.

Once sanity has resumed its perch within the White House, the new President will have someone with economic and military power and the good sense to wield it properly.

Then there will be someone in the White House for the PM to have a rational conversation with.

Until then…

p.s.

Paul Krugman has written another wonderful opinion piece in the NY Times: Trump takes us to to the brink. Look at the photo. That’s Trump’s vision of America being great again?’ Hello? 

1 June 2020

It is the first day of the month. It is the first day of the week. Auspices of new beginnings aside, today finds the World, our world, floundering in its own angst. The death of George Floyd has triggered a reaction of protests across the U.S.

But the protesting is not limited to America. It has spread to Europe and Canada, where the wounds inflicted by police violence upon minority and poor folks scabbed-over,  but never healed.

The protests dovetail into the decades-old divide between Palestinians and the State of Israel, and between Jews who believe in peace with their neighbours and those who would use a dubious,  three millennia-old, religious narrative to justify to the World, our world, that oppression of other folks is sometimes justifiable. I don’t know about you, but I am of the mind that a thousands of years’-old political initiative might no longer be relevant in the world of today.

If it were, then there are enough outstanding territorial grievances to completely reshape the global geopolitical map into what it looked like before the age of sail and exploration.

In the Holy Land, the annexers still say ‘God wills it!‘ That is what the crusaders howled a thousand years before, as they rode to the slaughter of the innocent denizens of the Holy Land in those days.

There can be no god who wills the destruction of his/her own Creation, any more than there can be a parent who wills his/her children to suffer. Hello?

When it comes to violence, any sort of violence, don’t ever allow yourself to think that ‘god will it.’ I do not know what happens to people who claim to do violence in the name of the man who is purported to have said, ‘Turn the other cheek.’ But in my book, they are despicable.

The only crusade with which god might have been pleased, in my opinion, would have been the one which never made it to the Holy Land, the Children’s Crusade. God bless those dear, well-meaning kids. They never made it to the Holy Land; but if they had, the mere sight of them might have encouraged its Moslem tenants to put aside their swords and welcome this ‘enemy.’ As it was, I don’t believe the Moslems of that time were making a whole lot of trouble for Christian and Jewish pilgrims to the Holy Land; it was in fact the grownuppilgrims who made most of the trouble-the Moslems were generally tolerant of other Faiths. The Crusaders seemed to have forgotten what every Christian-raised child knows about Jesus: that he wanted his followers to turn the other cheek.

Violence, misery, and suffering -those are contained entirely within the purview of ego. It was the will of European ego, not the will of god, to bring violence to the Holy Land. It is human ego which continues the violence right on through to the present day. [Today, we have a choice to make, because we may blow each other to bits tomorrow. Let’s think twice about what Jesus said, and how the likes of Trump, Putin, Xi, et al. are perpetuating the misery, scarcity, and oppression with which the World, our world, has been afflicted for so long a time].

Unfettered ego is an imbalance of the human psyche. Because ego is able to warp  our perception of reality the way dark matter can warp the path of light, unfettered ego is conflatable with insanity. We end up believing our own bullshit, such as anyone who believes a god who created the Universe can will the Palestinians to be homeless because of a promise ‘he’ is supposed to have made to a man, called Abram, rechristened, Abraham.

The police are under threat from crowds of protesters. Peaceful protesters are by far the majority among the crowds. To quell violence/mayhem, the police are firing tear gas into the crowds. Just like dropping bombs, A-bombs especially, tear gas and other crowd control tactics do not differentiate between peaceful protesters and the few violent ones.

Rather than react with force, the police should see to protect themselves from the violence and act in these situations as monitors. Film the instigators among the crowd. Identify them. Then wait for the first non-invasive opportunity to safely corral them and bring them to the station.

The important thing at the moment is not the shop windows -the police cannot save those anyways. The culprits can be made to clean up and pay for all of the damage they cause. If they are obliged to do jailtime, they can be employed to do community work and the community can reimburse the shop owners. This will provide protestors who need to vent a way to do so positively.

THE CRUCIAL THING IS TO NOT ESCALATE THE ANGST. The peaceful protesters must distance themselves from the violent ones among the crowds, as best they can, so that the police can safely and effectively, WITHOUT VIOLENCE, go about their business of keeping the peace.

Protests are emotional, but they must be peaceful. I do not know what poisonous admixture of emotion resulted in the officer kneeling upon that poor soul’s neck for nine minutes, causing him to suffocate and die.

I wonder, had the policeman been wearing a body camera, if that might have forced him to have a care for what he was doing, and that George Floyd would still be among us. Ego can be as useful to encourage desirable behaviour as it is responsible for much of our undesirable behaviour, such a violence.

Violence is violence, no matter what quarter it emerges from. It is a destabilizing reactive force. No matter when or where it is applied, it has never produced anything positive and enduring.

Our entire history tells us so.

Protesters: Study satyagraha and commit it to your mind and spirit. Turn your back to anyone proposing or engaging in a violent reaction. Put distance between yourselves and them, then regroup to reengage your peaceful protesting.

Police: You are different from us only when you wear a uniform. You live among us. You are us. Do not be so ready to  hit back at us. Most of us have your backs as police folks and as neighbours. If ever you are under assault, protect yourselves but do not react with violence. You too must lead by example. Wait for the proper time to corral violent protestors without hurting them. See them as big tantruming children. ‘Ground’ them, but don’t hurt them. That’s not the way to produce enduring peace among citizens and between citizens and their national government.

God bless and have a great 1st day of the week on this 1st day of the month! Let it be the World’s, our world’s, first day of peace as the way. Let us begin a new tradition of peace and celebrate our beginning every June 1st, from now on.

Let our generation be first to abolish violence from the toolset of human interaction.

Addendum to today’s post:

https://www.bmcm.org/inspiration/passages/prayer-saint-francis/

This is the only version of the prayer where it says ‘dying to self’ that I found. The other ones just say ‘dying.’ I feel this site has the most spiritually accurate form of the prayer. It is the way forward, no matter how you roll spiritually-religiously.

If one does not exist in the light, then one exists in darkness, where there is only fear, anxiety, misery, regret…angst. You three deserve much more than that; we all deserve much more than that. Light is both energy and mass/ wave and particle.

From the Big Bang onward, beams of light emanated outward from its centre, eventually coalescing into matter and energy and forms. As forms, things are separate from the light beam that produced them. Beneath the boundaries of each form, light cannot penetrate.

In order for us humans to avail ourselves of the light of our universe, we must consciously tune into what is happening outside of our heads, and in so doing, we allow the light of Creation into our psyches and it revitalizes our soul-battery as it provides the spiritual/mental calming of the Now.

When we die physically, we leave behind the shell (the boundary of ego), and are free of its restrictions. The movie, Lucy, is all about this. I do not believe we actually ever leave the beam of creation we have been riding since the Big Bang, we simply misplaced our consciousness of it. Just because our umbilical cord is cut doesn’t mean we lose the benefits of our mother’s love. Neither is it because we have free will and able to operate independently of the Creator, that we must lose the benefits of our Creator’s love…

Rediscover ‘now-ness, ‘ ditch ‘selfie-ism,’ and all of your dreams and aspirations will come true. You’ll never feel alone. And you will be a good neighbour.

31 May 2020

A rare Sunday post!

Headline: Trump cancels summit but says he’ll invite Putin to later G7 event – ostensibly, Trump wants to discuss an economic response to China. I believe this is part of the package but not all of it, given the belligerence of both sides in the South China Sea.

But there is a variable in the formula mix. Depending on the value it acquires, the evaluation might prove extreme. That variable is the U.S. Presidency.

Going by Obama’s term, the American ‘left’ appears dedicated to finding a peaceful solution, resorting to economic penalties as a way to encourage compliance with America’s brand of geopolitics, to dialogue, and to understanding the other side(s).

Going by Trump’s term, the Bush’s terms, and Reagan’s -the movement conservative hijackers of American Republicanism – the denizens of the neo-right appear open to threats, armed conflict…obtaining what they feel is their due, BY FORCE, military force -nuclear if need be.

Harry Truman was a democrat, but he ordered the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, despite the admonitions of General Eisenhower:

Some people urged the president not to use the atomic bomb on Japan. General Dwight Eisenhower was the commander of the Allied forces in Europe, and would eventually succeed Truman as president. Eisenhower opposed the bomb for two reasons. “First, the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.

[excerpted from the article at Mr.Dowling.com].

Ike was a moderate Republican while Truman was a moderate Democrat.  Although Ike took the proper line with respect to Japan (the bomb should never have been dropped), he inexplicably permitted the testing in the Bikini Islands. I wonder, if after seeing the results of the H-bomb explosion, if Eisenhower had serious misgivings about that too?

Dropping the bomb created a karma for the U.S. which could give today’s generation of Americans cause to worry. But, if the American President can cultivate the same kind of attitude toward the role of the American military as PM Trudeau has inherited from the Canadian Spirit toward its military, why the World, our world, will hit a point of inflection with respect to geopolitical belligerence and become a place where its children are permitted to grow up with dreams instead of nightmares.

Peacekeeping is the Canadian way. It is an example for the World, our world, to find a way forward together. As it is now, the only thing standing between humankind and a bountiful, sustainable future, is HUMANKIND.

In all my years as a parent, I never once saw any of my children choose not to make a new friend at the park because they were black, yellow, red…a Moslem, a Christian, or a Jew…a boy or a girl….they just played. They just had fun. Why as adults are we running around hurting each other?

The leaders of the World, our world, would do themselves and the World a lot of good if they followed the example of children.

As it is, the result of the next U.S. presidential election will determine if the World, our world (not Trump’s, not Putin’s, not Xi’s) has any future at all.

If Trump is re-elected, I believe war with China is inevitable. Trump is an old man. He is reactive and used to getting his own way. He will not think twice, perhaps not even once, before he dukes it out with China….besides, it won’t be his kind who are in the front lines. He’ll be hiding in a bunker somewhere. We may end up going to war regardless, but with Trump, I believe it is a certainty.

He appears to want to bring Putin into the G7 discussions revolving around China, even though Putin is the ‘black sheep’ of the geopolitical family.

For Trump and Putin, China represents a thorn in the side, economically and geopolitically. China is becoming more powerful economically, which means they can develop more military hardware and use it to extend their hegemony into the World, our world.

The re-election of Trump will likely mean war with China because China may not find  the terms being offered by America and Russia with respect to their place in the international order acceptable, anymore than the Palestinians could accept the ‘two-state solution’ Trump dreamed up.

As a result of Trump’s ‘peace initiative,’ Netanyahu is emboldened and the peaceful Jordanians are threatening conflict with Israel if they proceed with annexing the West Bank areas. I don’t think Trump is going to be any better with China.

On the other hand, if Biden the Democrat wins in November, Putin might be disappointed. China will be obliged to deal with an America rededicated to the pax Americana (with or without an imperialist element). China will encounter economic sanctions in response to any geopolitical belligerence on their part, but they will not be fired upon unless they do an incursion into someone else’s territory, or violate the international rule of law, say, by unilaterally exercising control over the South China Sea.

The current Chinese government might just move along anyways, perform a major misstep, and take the world into war, but with a Democrat in the White House, America will not be a lone wolf but rather responsibly leading a coalition of sovereign states, acting in a common cause. They will talk first, rather than simply coerce. They will sanction, rather than shoot. They will first try to give peace a chance.

Under these conditions, the Chinese will be afforded the opportunity to think twice, three times, however long it takes, and decide it is in their enduring national interest to behave true to the Chinese spirit and walk to the beat of their own drum, let their cultural light shine, allow their neighbours and other folks the latitude to govern themselves.

The Chinese people are a venerable people. History proves. The future may provide further proof, if their government adopts a more geopolitically communal attitude. But so must the American government, the Russian government, the Israeli government, the Saudi government…otherwise, the potential for war will remain.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t care who my neighbours are, so long as they don’t tell me what to do in my own home, or make my own home unlivable because of what they are doing in their home.

Good neighbours. The Golden Rule. Collaboration instead of coercion.

What do you suppose would become of the World, our world, were we all to do that?

30 May 2020

I want to preface today’s blurb with a discussion of a headline I came across after writing it: Vietnam: How this country of 95 million kept its coronavirus death toll at zero – I spent my entire life growing up listening to news about the war in Vietnam. I did not know back then that the South Vietnamese government was corrupt; that its only grace was its stand against communist North Vietnam. 50, 000 plus young Americans were killed in defiance of communism; to prevent the North from absorbing the South into its evil brand of politics. I do not know how many South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese were killed.

I do know that ‘communism’ is not evil per se; whereas ‘capitalism’ is beset with systemic evil, since it is competitive rather that collaborative by nature. Competition is ultimately zero-sum. There will always be winners and losers in capitalism. The capitalists have conflated state-control and lack of personal liberty with communism with good success. The truth is, poverty is more controlling than state welfare systems.

The greatest evil I know of, is the support for lifestyles in any society, where one has much more than one needs to live comfortably and safely while others living in the same society, do not have enough.

How can such an imbalanced condition exist in the enlightened societies crafted by humans, when they do not in any other animal society (to which we believe ourselves superior)? Are we really that advanced? We should aspire to be more like animals and less like whatever you want to call a species that preys on its own and denies its own the right to sustenance and shelter.

Muhammed Ali – the ‘warrior’-philosopher-prophet, had his World Heavyweight Championship title taken from him because he refused to go kill Vietcong – ‘I have no quarrel with them Vietcong,’ said Ali.

After so many years, so much napalm, and so many, many, young lives lost on both sides of the border, we embrace Vietnam as friends and members of the World, our world.

What exactly did the Americans, and before them, the French, accomplish, apart from the deaths of many, and untold misery befalling many more? What was the war’s legacy?

WHAT IS ANY WAR’S LEGACY? The World, our world, has always been at it. We have had plenty of opportunity to see that war begets more war; apart from that, it can create nothing of lasting value. There has never been a war to end all wars. When there is, given our perverse predilection for war as a way of settling our differences with respect to ideologies or to advance Christopher Columbus’ notion of ‘trade,’ with the Third World, it will be the war that ends humanity’s prominence among species, as Einstein predicts.

We need to find a better way…for our children’s sakes. For the sake of our Creator, whose heart must be broken by the misery we humans seem all too eager to inflict upon other humans and upon our world, the World.

There is no way to peacePeace is the Way. These are the words of the mahatma, the man who composed satyagraha – a foundation of peaceful, non-violent dissent can move mountains; as ocean waves move shorelines.

Headline 1 – Fresh protests erupt across U.S. as ex-officer charged with murder in George Floyd’s death – yet another life ended by folks working in an institution that exists to protect folks. The  response is the same old- same old: commentary on how little things have changed, calls for reform…still, nothing really changes.

Nothing changes, because the problem is not the institution, it is because there are people in it, just as there are people outside of it, protesting. On either side of the issue, you will have people inclined to go on the attack in response, and others who will keep to their own and mourn the tragedy that befell George Floyd . This is ego’s fight or flight response. We humans will react one way or the other way.

Newton’s Third Law of Motion declares that, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is true of human inter-action as well. A violent/aggressive response invites further reaction from ‘Side B,’ which in turn mandates another reaction from ‘Side A,’  and on and on it goes…

…and so nothing changes. EVER.

To break the vicious interminable egoic cycle of action-reaction, Gandhi identified the seminal ingredient as ego. Once the cause of trouble is clearly identified, the solution becomes obvious.

Violence is not the way forward, unless one pursues disaster for oneself. When one does violence, one perpetuates violence, by example. Satyagraha is to lead by example.

Satyagraha expels violence from the interaction equation. Even if the other side continues to employ violence, no reaction comes from the other side of the issue and this undermines all perception of moral authority in enforcing ‘the law.’ Bereft of moral authority, in the policing context, is loss of all authority; for if the policing institution has no moral authority, it has no public support and its basis of existence is lost. They will spontaneously morph into zookeepers.

It is important to realize that the problem is not the institution of police, it is that police are people and just as given to ego as the rest of us are. I don’t know if the officer who killed George Floyd meant to hurt this young man or for him to die; ultimately the officer knows and will be accountable for it in the next level of human existence, if not by the law, in this one.

I do know an innocent person is dead and lost to their loved ones. Taken unnecessarily, without cause.

I know that violent protests will not help, because they haven’t helped in the past, if we are still having the discussion about racial violence perpetrated by the police today.

Violence is a human response

All police-folks are human. If you focus on repairing their ‘house,’ (the institution) what have you done to improve the behaviour of those who live inside? You can paint the walls a fresh colour, but if the home’s denizens continue to be slobs, the house will not look for long like it has been painted anew, and its old paint will begin to appear, as cracks develop in the veneer.

All protesters are human too. If you respond by protesting violently, you invite further violent reaction from the police. Even Newton tells us so, albeit he was talking apples, not humans (or oranges).

Gandhi was not a physicist, but he may be credited with his own Fourth Law of motion: If, for every violent action, there is no violent reaction, the impetus for violence is removed from the equation; but peace remains, and conditions are right for the creation of real and sustainable progress.

In Newton’s ‘Fourth Law of Motion,’ applied forces sum like vectors. As it applies to human relationships: if a violent force is met with a peaceful force, the peaceful force cancels out the violent force. Of course not right away, but in time.

We owe our freedom and democratic way to the sacrifice of our young people of the War Generations. They gave their lives for us and our children to live free, safe, and without care. To honour their sacrifice, some of us will be called upon to do the same-our own Indigenous have recently done exactly this with respect to the pipelines. The police involved acted properly as well: I don’t recall hearing about any violent altercations as  protest-lines and infrastructure were being dismantled. We may have to resist the challenges made to our freedom by enduring violence -but we can never react by doing violence, or we fail to honour our fallen.

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.

To ‘lay aside hatred and strife’ is Gandhi’s satyagraha.

Humans are able to learn and modify their behaviours. If we want to live in world of peace, we need to acknowledge Gandhi’s ‘Fourth Law’ (of human relations).

For effective change to be made, one must effect the change upon the proper target; among the folks living inside the house, the citizen, no matter the house or institution, or societal estate.

That means us. We need to teach ourselves to not be slobs in our own homes. We need to learn an alternative approach.

Gandhi provided us with the alternative approach, a long, long time ago. The World, our world, seems to have missed the point.

We can begin by ditching the political trending toward the right. It is a reactive ideology which the adherents of the right  continue to engage in. It will lead to war and death and misery, only to gain a relative few people more wealth and control over a heaping pile of ordure; which their kind and their ways make of national and international society.

Witness Trump’s removal of support for the WHO at a time the World has great need of them. Whenever and wherever these movement conservatives pop up in our politics, we need to send them a clear message that their buffoonery will no longer be tolerated among thinking, rational beings. Both types are everywhere in the World, our world.

There are more of the thinker-rational types than of the populist-ideological types, but the latter controls much of the money and can pay to be ‘louder’ in society than their numbers warrant.

Gandhi is the spiritual lead of  the rational, thinking sorts. It seems that, among today’s national leaders, only Canada’s Trudeau has a rationalization for the military that is acceptable to our Creator: as peacekeepers, not invaders and coercers. We are lucky to have Trudeau in the leadership of Canada during these times.

If a conservative and their current unprogressive ‘mindset’ were in power these days, there would be many Indigenous protesters sitting in jail right now. The nation would be beset with protests in solidarity. On this issue, both sides are talking and not entrenching. That is always good.

Ask yourself if this is not the truth.

27 May 2020

Ego is the problem of the World. Of our world. After watching (again) John Pilger’s The Coming War on China, I am as ashamed of my own ignorance as to what American governments have been doing since WWII, as I am afraid of the war that could very soon be upon us.

A war to end all wars.

A war which is entirely avoidable, except for the fact that both sides of the issue – the current America-sponsored international order v. a new China-dominated international order, appear to be mutually exclusive.

It is troubling that neither side can lay claim to moral authority. When ego is the prime motivator, things can never progress. Progress goes hand-in-hand with proaction; reaction always results in digging oneself a deeper hole to climb out of. Reaction and regression also go hand-in-hand. Recalls a line from the song, For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield:

‘…battle lines are being drawn, nobody’s right, if everybody’s wrong…’

What the World, our world needs, is a transparent, collaborative, non-belligerent world-order, where the World’s (our world’s) children can grow up in peace, and where young mothers never experience this:

 

(N.B. These pictures are taken from news articles on the web and are not public domain. My sincere apologies and also my thanks, if the owners will permit me to use them in this way – I earn no money from this blog).

and, where children may sleep safe and sound in their beds, dreaming the dreams children dream, and not murdered as this young angel was:

or abandoned and left to die by a distraught mother:

or, having to grow up like this:

or, this:

or, fleeing the carnage and violence created by adults, to end up like this:

or, on the verge of striking out to find your place in the World (our world), to have this blocking your path:

All of that because of leaders like these:

The World, our world, needs more leadership of the sort provided by this selfless young lady who braved bitter Winter cold gamely to perform an Indigenous dance ritual; in order to share with us and create a little joy in our hearts, I believe this was in response to the COVID-19 pandemic):

and more leaders like this:

instead of like this:

or this:

The Creator, our creator, will help us to see our way out of all that. We need only follow this little angel’s lead and do this:

Amen.

26 May 2020

Going by the headlines, it’s not going to be too long before the ruling classes of the World, our world, have it out with one another along the geopolitical fault lines of East v. West.

The modern liberal philosophy ascribed to the notion of the primacy of the individual and the commonality of humankind. These values are in direct opposition to the ego -in these times, the ego of the leaders of influential nations supporting powerful armies.

The leaders of the Eastern powers do not give a damn about ‘little people,’ meaning those who aspire to earn a living, make a home, raise a family, and play a wee bit. For these leaders, ‘the people’ are ego-fodder. These leaders are comfortable with how they ‘lead.’ They create a pile of misery for their own as well as for the ‘enemy,’ so that they may sit on top of a pile, any pile, that they may look down upon the rest and ‘lord it over them.’

As the rest struggle along…

The East appears given to brazen lying and misinformation. The Internet is besieged by armies of Eastern disinformation bots.

Sadly, I am not convinced that our own governments are completely forthcoming. The U.S. government is led by a political ideology that institutionalizes a bane to commonality, collaboration, and peace. Movement conservatism is simply a sophist ‘philosophical cover’ for ego.

Think Trump. Think MBS. The picture of Jamal Khashoggi’s son meeting with the crown ‘prince’ after his father was horrifically dispatched, purportedly at the behest of MBS, is chilling. Then there’s Jinping and Putin…

I want to believe that our PM is telling us everything; but I doubt that he even can. If, for example, COVID-19 is the result of gain-of-function experimentation, aka engineered, then he certainly cannot tell the people that, because the public outrage would be severe if China were found to be culpable and had been acting deliberately to cover things up. It would be hard enough to protect Chinese-Canadians from the buffoons who insist on conflating nationalities and ethnicities with the actions and attitudes of governments. If folks leave their country of birth and take up residence somewhere else, does anyone stop to consider that maybe they don’t like their government anymore than the we like their governments? Hello?]

But what if were found that the U.S. were culpable with respect to the outbreak? How would Canadians react to that? Their current leader notwithstanding, the Americans are our big brothers and sisters. We would stand with them shoulder to shoulder in defense of their homes and national boundaries if they come under attack; we cannot stand with them should they attack another sovereign nation. The Canadian Spirit is why, for example, we cannot support the Israeli government’s illegal annexation of Palestinian lands; but we can support the efforts of Jewish Voices For Peace.

It is the Canadian’s spirit to keep the peace. It is not the Canadian’s spirit to coerce others. When we do, we are not acting true to ourselves or to the Canadian spirit (the one which compelled the young folks of the war generations to put themselves between a bullet and our freedom).

If the Harperites were still in power  (these are the Canadian version of the movement conservatives whose perverse ideology spread eastward from Western Canada, after having first been imported into Canada from the southern U.S. in the form of the Western Alliance), they would be operating in lockstep with other con leaders (like Trump), and the world would already be at war with the cons of the East. In my elementary school days, these folks were called war hawks.

Leaders like PM Justin Trudeau, were labelled ‘moderates.’ Again, the difference resolves into ego v. reason; emotion v. rationality, Trump v. Trudeau.

I put to you the question: Which approach to geopolitics is most likely to maintain and facilitate peace? Which approach is likely to precipitate all-out war? There are only two choices before us: coercion or collaboration; misinformation or the Truth.

Case in point: U.S. withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty presents Canada with a ‘serious’ challenge, says expert – here’s the thing: Trump’s move not only keeps the Russians and Chinese from flying over American turf to satisfy themselves that the Americans are keeping up their end of the bargain, it keeps America and its allies from surveilling the Russians and Chinese. Trump has, once again, unilaterally disturbed the status quo just as he did when he moved the American embassy to Jerusalem. What possible reason could he have for either move, except to stir the geopolitical pot; and why would he want to do that? Instigate? 

And where does that leave Canada? We are peacekeepers by nature and spirit. We neither wish to be killed nor to kill. We only want to live free and secure. Isn’t that everyone’s wish? We could only ever become warlike as a nation in appearance, and that can only happen if we elect another con government. Everyone else in Canada’s political world to the left would seek to broker peace between the Chinese and the Americans for the sake of the world, our World. That is why we haven’t yet handed Meng over to the Americans. Before we do, we wish to ensure Meng contravened established rules of international law and not simply the whims of one nation’s ego.

China is playing dirty, on this and many other fronts, however. They hold two Canadians on death row as ransom for Meng. If we let her go, China will likely find an excuse to free the Canadians, perhaps by giving them credit for time served. If we extradite her to the U.S., China will likely murder those two Canadians in retaliation.

I believe war is a done deal; that right now, the various state actors are staging, maneuvering, changing political boundaries and pushing territorial claims -all with conflict (in the offing) on their minds. They are preparing and will act when they feel the time is right.

Given the rapid ascendancy of China, economically, militarily, and technologically, multiplexed with an American nation weakened by inequality, internal strife, and the cost of maintaining the pax Americana, if war is inevitable, then it is best for the West that it happens sooner rather than later. China will only get stronger militarily as time goes on.

For the citizen of the World, our world, it doesn’t matter when. Each side will end in vanquishing the other. The folks wealthy enough to build bunkers and survive the initial onslaught will not be lucky to survive it: the aftermath of the war will be even more insane. There will be no rule of law. There will only be survival of the fittest.

‘War makes strange bedfellows,’ so the saying goes, and the alliances which are thus-formed are weak at best. If any nations do survive the coming war intact, why, they’ll soon find a way to fight each other and in the meantime use the ‘threat’ of the other side to help keep their own people in line.

There remains a way through this mess, one which leads to a sustainable, prosperous future for everyone. One in which it is not a sin to be wealthy, but wherein poverty is a crime against humanity. [Our Human Rights Code must need an upgrade to include protections against denying folks the most basic needs as identified by Maslow, because Canadians are more unequal now than which has been the case for a long time. There will be established maximums and minimums outside of which no citizen lives].

It will be a world wherein the folks of various nations are protected from greed and imperialism, whether it be state-sponsored or corporate-sponsored. [Here I must express my one concern with Trudeau’s Liberals because of their apparent zeal for entering into trade agreements that neuter governments’ ability to enact policy to help their own citizens, should domestic policy interfere with corporate profits. Doing so is abetting a corporate takeover – of our World – and it is patently undemocratic: whenever we vote in a democracy, it is understood that we are not giving our representatives the right to give or take away our democracy – hello?]

A world of equanimity, fairness, universal justice, and based upon the rule of law, is one characterized by Kate Raworth’s doughnut.

24 May 2020

It’s Sunday! Yay! And it is a beautiful day to boot. I hope it is the same for you, wherever you are.

On today’s news, Premier Ford urges us to go get tested. Ontario’s infection numbers are increasing but the number of folks being tested is falling short of provincial targets.

The change in tone is of note: the Premier says, even folks who do not have symptoms should get tested. The Premier says,

“I’m asking the people of Ontario, if you are worried if you have COVID-19, or that you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, even if you’re not showing symptoms, please go get a test.” [Quote is excerpted from the CBC article].

That is good advice.

Now, having said that, in truth, given the latency of the virus between infection and becoming symptomatic, you risk exposure every time you step out the door, step into an elevator, walk an apartment building hallway, go to the grocery store -even with social distancing, someone could sneeze and the unlucky person could catch it.

I assume these targets are established based upon anticipated infection rates. We still don’t know enough about how the virus is getting around. We won’t have vaccine, if at all, for a while. The estimates are best-guesses only; over the next weeks our beleaguered researchers and health-workers could discover something new to affect the targets.

Given the uncertainty upon which the targets are based, I don’t think the targets per se are something we should get hung up on. We can use the targets to ensure we have the testing capacity to measure up to the current situation. I assume that is already the case.

The primary focus, meantime, should be on hygiene and disrupting the mechanisms of viral transmission. The other focus should be upon what different people, in different life-situations, must endure and do to manage. It is important to know what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes, to promote understanding, compassion, and reduce the angst everyone is feeling. The news has been very good at reporting what challenges different people face. To feel understood, is a blessing.

This is very important. Some folks are disabled in some way, others are slowed down a wee bit with age (like me ), some are too young to know better, and others are simply having a hard time taking it seriously. Give kids plenty of room, give us old folks plenty of time and we will all be grateful.

As for the folks who don’t take it seriously, there are a lot of reasons for that; the biggest one being that it is all so new to us. These folks are not about deliberately infecting you or me. Perhaps they reason that if one cannot protect oneself from the common cold (a virus), then how is all of the social distancing, mask wearing, etc. going to help?

I need not repeat the arguments the professionals make, nor the ones I have made on this blog. People who know anything about the coronavirus know these measures will be effective. They just don’t know, yet, how effective. WE ARE ALL LEARNING from COVID-19.

The most important thing is to know WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. It is of little use to argue, criticize, or react to someone’s apparent laxness. We must be leaders in our communities, the sort that Gandhi and Mandela were: they led by example. They did not force their ideas upon folks. They LIVED their ideas.

And others mimicked them.

Let your light shine. Be tolerant of others’ misdoings. Be pleasant. Look folks in the eye, briefly, if they cross the line of no-respect-for-COVID-19, but say nothing and do not glare. When they see you with your mask and going out of your way to give them room on the sidewalk, give them a COVID-19 respecting wide berth and just keep going. Even if they say nothing and do nothing, they still notice what you did and they’ll eventually start doing it too. That’s the goal.

To lead by example is a feature of The Golden Rule. No one likes to be told what to do. They like to be asked.

God gave us free will. We should not be so eager to take it from someone else. Make eye contact briefly with those who are brazen; when you see someone doing all of the right moves, be sure to give them the thumbs up and a ‘howdy-doody.’ They are buying time for the ones who need more time to get on the pandemic page.

We are in this together, after all.

23 May 2020

‘Crazy world – crazy people.’ This was the mantra of a former romantic-interest. I admire its pithiness. And it is as pertinent now as it was nigh 30 years ago.

Case in point: Potential COVID-19 vaccine shows promising early results – a lab in Wuhan, China, has found success in its Phase I trials and is now ramping up to Phase II. The vaccine is soon to be tested by researches at Dalhousie University.

Meantime, China could have been the originator of the virus; might have dragged their heels on containment and warning the world, once Chinese doctors and researchers identified it.

China is, at the same time, continuing its muscle-flexing in the South China Sea and its hacking into western websites, possibly focusing on government and infrastructure, but not excluding any internet presence.

There is also its strained relations with the U.S.

There is China’s peculiar relationship with the Russians – a sort of ‘war makes strange bedfellows,’  kind of thing.

And there is the issue of Canadians being held in China; put on death row in retaliation for the detention of Meng Wanzhou. The Chinese national is under house arrest in Vancouver  while Canada is determining whether to hand her over to the American justice system.

The upshot is, depending on the issue, China is at war with the West or China is in collaboration with the West. Crazy world-crazy people.

Hmmm….isn’t that a lot like after being married for many years?

The road to peace, for couples and nations, is patterned the same: accept the other person for how they are, work around their shortcomings, look to their needs, and, god help us with this one: try to understand the opposite ‘sex.’

Ego is how one independently operating entity is distinguished from every other operating entity. East v. West, male v. female, are just other forms of egoic differentiation.

Understanding may be impossible to achieve, but the fact that one even tries, if sincere, will go a long way with the other side. It will go a long way toward peace.

Geopolitics, à la domestic politics of the Mars-Venus variety, is about relationship-building, after all (duh!).

Here’s the bottom line: You cannot build a collaborative relationship without trust. You cannot build trust without honesty, and you cannot have honesty without tolerance. You cannot cultivate tolerance in an environment of competition, coercion, and control (double duh!).

In a few words, you cannot build lasting, peaceful, collaborative relationships OF ANY KIND WITH ANYBODY if you are directed by ego; if you see the world through the lens of ego.

Ego is not equipped to see itself as part of something greater. It is sensitive only unto its own desires.

Everything has an ego. Must have an ego. Because ego is what differentiates one entity in existence from every other entity. And so, for as long as the components of the World are ruled by ego, there will never be peace, and the misery and inequality with which the world is beset will compound.

The rule of law is anathema to the rule of ego. The rule of law has its basis in the self-evident; whereas, the rule of ego is entirely subjective, given to personal whim. The rule of ego cannot even be true to itself, because ego, by nature, is reactive and unreasoned. It is fad-driven. Changes from day-to-day, depending on someone’s mood.

The rule of law, is, in the human context, patterned upon the principles that operate the universe. Such ‘rules’ are neither ‘created,’ nor imposed, but observed and understood and characterized as natural processes. They are not strived against because they reflect and uphold whom we are by nature.

We are animals with two salient differences: we are smart enough to change our environment, but at the same time, stupid enough to ignore the repercussions of the changes we make. Neither do we respond to the obvious signs. Therefore, we must come together and identify the rules of Nature, specifically, human nature, in order to identify the operatives of human societies and produce a legal canon.

One such universal operative, in the human-society building context, is that of birth-maturation-decline-destruction-rebirth/renewal. This cycle is apparent in the life-cycles of all things created. Ego strives to preserve its current form and to impose its control on its environment. This is most unnatural and bound to end badly. In the geopolitical context, the environment is neighbouring countries. But neighbouring countries also have egos. Therefore the competition, coercion, and conflict.

When ego is set aside, why then, opportunities emerge for collaboration, as commonalities are identified. When we take a step back from ego and observe, we see that we aspire to the same things as the Chinese people and everyone else: to love, to raise children, to have a purpose, to live in comfort and safety, and to play. What else is there? Why do we need to live in fear of our neighbours? How f’n unnatural is that? I’ve come to know, albeit in an across-the-counter-at-a-food court sort of way, the nicest people ever and they were Chinese. While delivering mail too. they can be as mean as us, and as kind. Because they are us. I swear the light I have seen in the ones who dare let their light shine is the same light I see in others of different nationalities and cultures.

It is the light of the Creator. As for the rest of us, we need only lift the lampshade and our own ray of light will be just as apparent as the aforementioned.

If you love to play guitar, does that mean everyone else has to play guitar? If you wear a Maple Leaf cap, does that mean everyone has to? What about sitting lotus-style? Some people (like me) can’t!

Does the fact I cannot sit lotus-style mean anything other than I cannot sit lotus-style?

Of course not. Yet, how we worship god, whether as a Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, whatever, from the Creator’s point of view, likely amounts to as much import as my inability to sit lotus-style does. As long as I can sit, I can rest-that being the purpose of sitting.

So long as people worship, our relationship with our Creator is maintained and nourished. We extend Creation through the use of our imaginations, as god intended when we were given free will.

Ego is a filter through which we channel the light of Creation. Because each thing created is different, each ego will modulate the light of creation, in its own way. This is the source of diversity and the creator’s hedge against things going awry.

Things can only go awry if ego gets out of balance with its surroundings. Ego is a part of its surroundings. It was never given to it to be master of its surroundings, whatever Genesis says, notwithstanding.

We were meant by the Creator to be stewards. Ego somehow takes that to mean, ‘masters.’

The rule of law, anathema to ego, is the backbone of peace among egos. With respect to the human ego, the rule of law must be extended to the environment, of which the human species form a part. If we expand ourselves to the detriment of other living species, we are destroying ourselves in the process.

A universal, global jurisprudence does not necessarily provide rule of law. Rule of law can only be bona fide if it is based upon universal human principles, the sort which come of being human. It cannot be based upon the aspirations of humans inclined to impose themselves upon other humans.

Such a jurisprudence is based upon equality, liberty, tolerance, compassion, understanding…walking in the other guy’s shoes, as it were.

This happens to be the world children believe that they are living in, that is, until they learn there is no Santa Claus; until they are exposed to the news and to all of the security they must now endure because there are a few people among us diseased enough to actually represent  a threat to children.

Ego craves control. Ego cannot understand how this predilection is creating misery, even for itself. The need for the rule of law is wholly created by the existence of ego.

The golden rule is anathema to one’s ego when it gets in one’s way; but is, at the same time, most welcome when one is the beneficiary. Ditch the ego, and the World will suddenly and spontaneously come to its senses. We will canonize a rule of law, but we will hardly ever need to refer to it, because the text of the Golden Rule is written in the hearts of all things created by god. It is a part of us. It is only sleeping.

When it awakens within us, there will be no more ‘crazy world-crazy people.’ The world of humans will be reconciled once again with the world of the Creator, and humankind will find its way back to the Garden it left, once upon a time.

22 May 2020

A beautiful morning, except for COVID-19. On the brighter side, CBC has provided an article about how the pandemic has increased our trust in government. I believe they refer to Federal government, and not the provincial level, at least in Ontario and Québec (and Alberta). It is about leadership. Leadership does not politicize pandemics. It deals with pandemics, as proactively as possible, under the circumstances.

Are Ford of Ontario and Legault of la belle province (enough-already, about Kenney of Alberta) politicizing or leading? Worse, are they kowtowing to wealthy interests?

The wealthy of the world are the ones the government will borrow from in order to make up for the lack of tax revenue precipitated by the outbreak of COVID-19 and will earn interest; however, economically speaking, we will have moved closer to a precarious fiscal position when we emerge from under the shadow of the coronavirus, unless there is tax reform leveraged to pay our way out of it. The necessary tax reforms would reasonably concern folks who control property and wealth. It isn’t their fault they control so much, even if control is the goal, because anyone, even I, would acquire more wealth if given the opportunity. What I would do with it is another question.

Would I want to give away my second or third home, or the upgrade to a BMW convertible, just to keep one person whom I don’t even know, from sleeping on a downtown Toronto subway-grating, surrounded by a mound of garbage, in Winter? That is an internal fight between the ego and the ‘higher self’ that is difficult for most of us to win. We should not have to make choices like that.

The fault lay squarely on the shoulders of a socio-economic system that permits such concentration of power and wealth. It is not that the wealthy are corrupt; but rather that wealth corrupts. It is like smoking cigarettes: if we couldn’t get our hands on them, we would never be controlled by them. We would never be corrupted by them.

That tax reform must include a one-off tax on wealth. Progressive tax format, so that middle class and lower individuals and small businesses are not crucified in the name of government fiduciary responsibility to its citizens. Thomas Piketty knows how.

Kudos to our Prime Minister for his resolve and endurance. To Sophie as well for supporting him. I know his kids must miss him because his work takes him away from them for so long, so often.

Québec and Ontario are going to back off on their lockdowns before the Federal government is comfortable with their doing so. It is their call, but you can bet, if things go wrong in Québec and Ontario, these ‘premiers’ will find a way to blame the Feds, the federal stance notwithstanding (oh, how the spirit of Canada must at times like this, rue that word).

You can also bet, if things turn out well in Ontario and Québec, these yahoos will claim victory over the Feds. Politics when peoples’ lives are taken and being risked; in this case, many of them elderly and having already given the state its due and want only to wind down their golden years on Golden Pond and not in a cesspool of misery like the homeless often must. I am sorry, but I do not want politicians running society. If the folks we elect cannot leave politics behind them at the door to the House and especially during Question Period, then they should work somewhere else.

Never politicize except for at election time. In between, LEAD. BY EXAMPLE. PERIOD.

I believe our PM Trudeau is doing this.

A closing note: Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds (I often sing the Prayer of St. Francis to pass the time while washing my hands). Wear a mask when you go out and their is the risk of not being able to maintain physical distancing (in fact, our experts are beginning to believe that we should wear them all of the time.

I have been wearing mine in stores and lineups and when I go to my dad’s apartment building and in the hallway, laundry room, mailroom and other common areas of my own building. I haven’t been wearing mine or keeping it with me, when walking along the street or when jogging because I am able to easily stay clear of passersby.

Recently I was occasioned, while jogging, to assist someone who drove into a ditch with their scooter. In order to help them get out, I was obliged to compress the distance. I ended up removing my sweatshirt and wrapping it around my face as we worked to get the scooter out of the ditch, but the mask would have been better protection for all of us, so, FROM NOW ON, I am taking a mask when I go jogging or walking, and putting it over my mouth well before I cross paths with other folks.

This is a learning experience for us. For our governments too, seeing as they are us; unless of course, they insist on politics in the time when leadership is requisite.

Politics only has a place in society and government (society’s watch) at election time.

There is no place for politics and its ways in the conduct and defense of the nation and our way of life. If you do not believe me, just think how politically motivated the young Canadians of the war generations must have been. It wasn’t a ballot they were casting; they were putting their young lives in the line of fire. Many of them never came home. Many of the ones who did were maimed. All of the ones who survived the wars carried memories of the carnage with them, the rest of their lives. I recall the nonagenarian veteran who wanted to tell me a story about the war, but after a few word, broke down crying and could not continue. He’s bourn a burden I cannot comprehend, because I didn’t live what he lived- and all thanks to him and his mates in our military.

Lets keep politics out of the pandemic. That is how we can thank our war generations and preserve the value of their sacrifice on an ongoing, never-ending basis.

The sacrifice they made on behalf of ours and future generations.

21 May 2020

It is a beautiful Spring morning here. Begin your day as I did, with a nice cup of coffee and a very enlightening read: 20 ways the coronavirus pandemic is exposing inequality in Canada.

On another front, Alberta’s current ‘leader’ Premier Kenney is warning that U.S. Presidential candidate Biden will have a hard time justifying his stance on Keystone XL to the American people. Well, that’s about as much consideration as a movement con can give to the ‘democracy of the little people.’

To the American voter, in case you missed it: PREMIER KENNEY SAYS BIDEN WILL HAVE A HARD TIME EXPLAINING THE CANCELLATION OF KEYSTONE XL TO YOU. Alberta Premier Kenney has  your best interests at heart, and so you should take the hint and not vote for Biden. Vote for Trump. Kenney likes him. He thinks you all should too.

Ditching the sarcasm, I wish people, particularly people in government, whose behaviour should reflect Canadian values, would govern themselves in the Canadian way. We aren’t pushy or muscle-flexing. We are sensitive to the needs of other folks, particularly other folks who come here to make a new life for themselves, because that’s how all of us, save for Canada’s First Peoples, got here. We tend to govern ourselves by the Golden Rule. We certainly do not deliberately lie about one another -bear false witness, as it were. WE NEVER INTERFERE IN THE POLITICS OF OTHER NATIONS.

With the coming of Harper and the movement conservative ideology he imported from the Southern U.S., the rules of proper conduct in government and geopolitics got tossed out the window. A new entity was created: the con-cast-as-public-servant (CCPS) – a cheap cover for the Machiavellian hero. The acid reflux their behaviour evoked over the Harper years during Parliament’s Question Period is renewed in the next-gen cons cast as provincial premiers (CCPP). Things have gotten out of hand. We need to send a strong, clear message to our political leaders that this sort of behaviour is not tolerable.

Politics is not a game. It has the effect of changing lives. Real people. Real lives. Politics is not a game.

20 May 2020

We are gifted today with another gem coming out of the mind and through the mouth of Kenney (of Kenney, Pallister, and Moe fame -with Ford as a stand-in). The Alberta premier is threatening to take the Americans to court if Biden trumps Donald in November and follows through on cancelling Keystone XL.

One thing is for certain: Kenney is not doing this for those Albertans he already plans to leverage austerity upon, in order to save the wealth of the people with money, many of whom do not even live in Alberta or in Canada.

Another thing certain is that Kenney values the will of the American people about as much as he values the vulnerable in Alberta (except for those whose vulnerability is in their investment portfolios).

If the American people want clean air and land for themselves, what has the premier of Alberta or any other person, anywhere in the world have to say about it? You can bet, the wealthy Americans (they represent the minority in the U.S. just as they do in Alberta and everywhere else), will experience little compunction when they are occasioned to return the favour one day upon Albertans. And that day will come, some day.

So now, Kenney is involving himself on the international geopolitical stage. He antagonized China and now involves himself, à la Poutine, in the election-politics of a foreign nation. Next thing you know, he’ll find a reason to take a shot at Iran and send kudos to Netanyahu for inciting war in the Middle East over his plans to illegally annex the West Bank. [Aside: Netanyahu is pushing the envelope now, because, if Biden trumps Trump in November, all bets on the annexation front are off for Israel. Netanyahu will lose political support at home because he doesn’t have the American military backing him up on the annexation, and he will likely do jailtime for corruption when he is no longer the Prime Minister of Israel].

To be certain, Kenney is stoking the old movement conservative mantras, as he is parroting Trump, Harper, Netanyahu, MBS, and those leaders of our World who ascribe to the Fight Club mentality. He should talking to the PM, and not using the newspapers to send postcards to other nations.

Enough talk of baboonery. The business mindset is a binary, us-and-them mindset. If anyone needs to have it explained how such an attitude is anathema to human relations, or intra and international relations, there is little point in trying, because they are buried in ego up to their eyebrows. The Kenneys, Harpers, Trumps, Netanyahus, MBS’s of the World only value money, because in the world they are trying to build, with enough money, they can do anything they want. Or so they think.

We cannot have those people or those ways, running the World, for it is a world of coercion, not collaboration and cooperation, that they aspire to. They will create a paradise for themselves, buffered from the misery they are creating for everyone else.

Why would anyone want such a world? Well, it is because most human beings would not want to live in the world the wealthy few are creating. It is a world of scarcity, of fear, of misery. These leaders and their supporters aspire to power and therefore need to control the money supply because money is power. That means they are always looking to garner more; implying less for wage-earning and jobless folks. This while they bring in poor folks from other countries desperate to work; for low wages, under poor conditions.

And so, the governments of the World kowtow to the wealthy of the World and not to their own citizens. The poor of the World become a labour pool from which souls are drawn as they are needed, to which they are discarded when they are not.

And now we are back to Kenney et al. He sees a world of corporate investors and labour pools. ‘Us,’  if you are wealthy; ‘them’ if you are not. He is democratic only when he has to be. After election, he is busy undermining democracy with obfuscation and political legerdemain, just like the other movement cons.

Be advised that the Commons belongs to the people: to the Webster’s Dictionary ‘us’ and not to premier Kenney’s ‘us.’ Nor does it belong to the other yahoos of the World which happen to be ‘leaders’ of nations.

The world is placed under siege by corporate imperialism. Corporations are vehicles which concentrate wealth and power as they marshal resources. With the legal status of individuals under the law, their operations and needs are heavily favoured over other individuals in society. That is why we now have a world of a few rich folks and many poor folks. It is two artificially separate worlds.

Kenney could be playing the long game. He might believe that the cons will not be able to muster enough bullshit to convince folks to vote con next election; that the leadership will be open for him. If that doesn’t play out, why, there’s still WExit, eh? In fact, 2020 has seen Wexit Canada set itself up to run in the next provincial elections out West. If those provinces decided to fall for membership in the Kenney Club, how long do you suppose it will take before they get absorbed into the U.S.? The cons would like nothing better. It was a Liberal, Herb Gray, who warned about the impact of American investment in Canada, not a con. In fact, in those days, they didn’t exist as a political party. Progressive Conservatism is quite a different animal than the movement-Kenney-cons of today.

Kenney would put the poor on the sacrificial altar to gain favour for the wealthy. Kenney would put democracy on the sacrificial altar of USMCA, but then again, the Liberals would be remiss here as well if they don’t protect the democratic will of the people, regardless of where they live in the world, from trade tribunals.

Free trade is not inherently free. It is a system. In its current form it will favour investors and private ownership over wage earners and the Commons. You are in if you have enough money; out if you don’t. Simple. Us and them. But the demarcation between us and them is an artifice maintained by law. Law created by wealthy folks. Free trade agreements will institutionalize this artifice. It will have the support of the rule of law; but if rules are generated by egos of individuals the rules will favour certain people and their aspirations over other people and their aspirations. That is patently NOT rule of law. It is rule of ego dressed up to appear as the rule of law. One time, when I was little, my mom turned to her younger sister and said, ‘Were we ever stupid, eh Madelene?’

I wonder if she was referring to how as children we all form the assumption that the World is fair? That right is rewarded and that evil/greed gets its due? I don’t know. I was too little and having too much fun being a kid to worry about stuff like that.

We don’t want a Canadian version of the Boston Tea Party, though it must have been great fun to toss all of that tea into the harbour. Folks who believe like Kenney and his ilk have no perch in today’s world, so they wish to bullshit us into making one for them. That’s the artifice being maintained.

We and our children deserve and were given a much better world than the one Kenney wants for us. Not so long ago, Albertans and Ontarians, Canadian from the Pacific to the Atlantic to the Arctic stood shoulder to shoulder against the tyranny of foreign oppressors. These days, some of our leaders are opening their arms and their provinces at the expense of many of their citizens, to foreign oppressors who will develop our lands, employ a few people, then take the money and run, leaving the people with a huge, cancer-causing mess, and no jobs. And with the police as kettle-keepers for those who ‘get out of line.’

Actually, Kenney doesn’t want a world of misery for us; he wants a marshmallow world for investors/wealthy folks. The misery just happens to be all that’s leftover, after the marshmallow is scooped up.

That’s not his fault, is it?

15 May 2020

There is a headline today on the Guardian: Newborns among 40 killed in attacks on Afghan hospital and funeral – the most egregious act is to do harm to children because they themselves are innocent of all wrongdoing. It is tantamount to ‘blaspheming against the Holy Spirit,’  as Jesus admonished, and for the same reason: if one has it within themselves to perpetrate harm upon children and/or to condemn in any form at all, the spirit of love such as what the Holy Spirit is, then how much of that Holy Spirit, which is in all things created, can be left in the speakers and doers of such abject maliciousness?

What is left to these individuals of the life-sustaining quality of the Holy Spirit -for it was god the Creator’s love which was responsible for the Creator creating us in the first place- is recoverable only by god the Creator.

What can we do? Creating more laws and stronger sentencing does not seem to be helping. There is more misery now than ever before. Besides, no one with a brain in their head need be told that murder is a crime. There can be no reason, and therefore, no redress to be obtained, for the murder of and violence of any kind (inclusive of collateral damage, btw) perpetrated upon children. We need to stem the spread of this cancer among humans and leave the rest to god.

God (whatever you call him/her) knows what to do.

We need only call upon god. The matter to be dealt with is within the purview of the human spirit. It is precisely the Holy Spirit who will light the way for us all to a wonderful prosperous universality of humankind and the human spirit.

The separation of church and state has not helped us, for ‘the church’ (or whatever you call your institution of worship) is only the outward vestige of the spirit of living which underpins everything we do.

The Indigenous are our brothers and sisters. The Jews are our brothers and sisters. The Muslims are our brothers and sisters. The Hindus, the Buddhists, Fallun Gong practitioners – all are our brothers and sisters.

We must not look away and ignore one another. If nothing else, COVID-19 has shown us that, as a species of creature created by god, there is still some of the Holy Spirit remaining within us, and is salvageable.

We need only resolve to not allow our EGOS to rule. Ego is reactionary. It’s purpose is to provide ourselves, with helpful feedback. It feels. It cannot think.

We have brains to do our thinking with.

We are being called upon to reengage our hearts, in order to keep egos in check and balance.

Migrants are coming to Canada for a reason. A very good reason. It would have to be, for families to uproot and subject themselves and their children to the perils of migrancy. We need to counter the processes that are motivating people to leave their homes foreign lands, head-on.

How? Economic sanctions make the poor suffer even more. War kills. Neither of these is the way.

There is only one way. Just as the individual must choose to change themselves, to wit: change from the inside, national societies must change.

10 May 2020

As the World grapples with COVID-19, information and disinformation is compounding, and things are taking on a life of their own. The U.S. has created its narrative and China has another. Each blames the other for the outbreak. In addition, elements within each country are standing up, at their own peril, to denounce their own government’s official narrative.

wtf?

How does anyone know what to believe when experts and governments contradict one another? If governments know but deny, where does that leave citizens?

And if reporters do not report the truth to which we and our governments are wholly accountable, we are sunk. Only the truth can set us free. The lie only increases the illusion. Operating on the basis of illusion can lead to no good end.

From what I understand of the news, you can pick any version of the COVID-19 origins narrative you want, but that most ‘experts’ say that COVID-19 was NOT engineered.

That being said, a report published in Science Daily in 2015 indicates that naturally occurring viruses are sometimes subject to ‘gain of function’ experiments as a way for us to ‘anticipate’ viruses that don’t yet exist; so that we might buy time to create vaccines before such viruses, yet unborn, strike.

Bullshit.

No one, anywhere, has any business conducting research by creating a problem that doesn’t exist and might never exist.

One thing we know for sure, if they didn’t exist we wouldn’t have to worry about them. Now we do.

Given this information, the best case scenario is that COVID-19 was engineered with the goal of developing a vaccine against emergent pandemics, and that through mishandling, the virus escaped from its in vitro habitat in Wuhan(?) or possibly the university research facility in North Carolina(?), accidentally.

The worst case is that COVID-19 was released deliberately  by China’s government as part of its ongoing strategy to destabilize and enervate the West. I have a hard time believing this one, simply because that would constitute an act of war: as powerful and muscle-flexing as China currently is, I doubt they want a military conflict right now. If they were responsible for COVID-19, you’d think the whole world would be angry with them. China cannot take on the whole world.

Nobody can.

A war could come, however. What the world’s nations learned in response to the pandemic could be valuable if the world does devolve once again into war. With the biological and nuclear weapons available today and modern remote technologies to apply them, no one anywhere in the World is safe. We have to know what to do if something like that happens.

What is certain and deplorable is that the American administration and the Chinese government are opportunistically politicizing COVID-19. American Republicans vying for election, along with Donald-Headspace-Trump (DHT), are already placing ads blaming China as the galvanize support for themselves with the approach of November 2020. The Chinese government, meanwhile, is blaming the Americans for the outbreak to shore up support for the regime at home and among the World’s nations, and to weaken American influence globally.

For our part, we can only keep doing what we are doing and wait for the truth to emerge, or rather, for the bullshit and politicizing to stop. Now that we are keeping 6 feet apart, we are noticing the others in our community, because we are consciously keeping 6 feet away from everyone we encounter. We don’t feel comfortable openly avoiding folks, and so we say ‘hi’ or wave and offer a smile. Some among us even bother to ask, ‘How are you?’

The benefit to this is, we are communicating. With each other. Communication of the honest variety is the way to getting to know others.

Before COVID-19, you got noticed for greeting strangers as you pass by because these days it is ‘normal’ albeit unnatural, for folks to ignore each other.

Now people greet each other, more often than not.

And they see that the ‘stranger’ in the community is not so bad at all.

p.s.

I’ve come across sites which are publishing articles of the conspiratorial ilk. These days, it’s hard to tell if even the regular news is completely forthcoming. When I come across an article from a new source, I google to see what people are saying about the source.

Take everything you read, including what I write, with a grain of salt. The truth is available to us.

Sometimes, it is like the layers of the onion.

But we’ll get there.

 

 

 

1 January 2020

Let’s make 2020 the year of seeing things clearly: who we are, who we aspire to be; where we are,  where we need to be; how we behave, how we should behave- all with 20/20 clarity.

Our Creator intended for us to be this world’s stewards. We were meant to look after the Earth, the species living on her, and each other.

But, too often we are plunderers; we are exploiters. We are also very smart. Our ingenuity allows us to ‘tame’ Nature and increase our numbers, but the state of the World today, environmentally, socially, and geopolitically, is in direct reaction to this.

Let’s make 2020 the year we see clearly, then act rationally.

December 2019

The days are already getting longer! As the New Year approaches, let us all consider:

First, our Earth Mother’s prime operative as a Life Factory. Wherever you look, from whichever angle you look, you see life: from austere deserts and frozen expanses to the profundity of the rainforests. It is everywhere: even on the margins of ocean floor fissures, life has found purchase. Second, how we are everywhere inhibiting the Earth Mother’s Life Processes: we build upon and pave over the surface of the Earth, making it less capable of renewing itself with the processes of exchange between the soil and the atmosphere. We dump our waste into the Ocean, poisoning it and rendering it less capable of sustaining life. Water pollution has a compound impact because the presence of ocean biota affect climate and therefore the land’s ability to produce food; the biota produce oxygen and nutrients for other sea life, and they provide a carbon-sink for the atmosphere in order to regulate global temperatures and climate patterns. We are obliterating the trees that refresh our aquifers by cycling deep groundwater up to the surface and surface water down into the aquifers to be purified, relegating the survivors to tiny concrete vestibules lining our city streets.

As we have expand our numbers and impact upon the Earth Mother, we are pushing other species to an existential abyss.

As we compete with one another for the resources the Earth Mother has been diminished by us in her capacity to provide, we will come to war with other nations. We will fight with the poor among us when their struggle for survival interferes with our ‘quality of life;’ our hold on what is ‘ours.’

Trudeau’s Liberals, the NDP, the Greens, the Left, are looking to the future of humankind. Humanity’s common future. The right is a reactive mess with no direction apart from their common desire to enrich themselves, no matter how other humans or the Earth Mother is made to suffer. They think the poor are poor because they deserve to be poor.

The Truth is: the hoarding of wealth, nutrition, and  property is outpacing society’s ability to provide, while poverty excises an increasing proportion of human souls, through no fault of their own, from society. What humans do to Nature, they do to their own kind, even their neighbours.

The Left is not faultless, however. I have not heard any of them talking population reduction. We are too many. We cannot replace Nature with our own version. We ourselves are a product of Nature, and the part cannot be greater than the whole.

The fact that we do not recognize this is symptomatic of unbridled ego. Rather than learn to work with Nature, we are trying to remake it [Aside: for our ‘entertainment,’ we are working to substitute a ‘fictional reality’ for the actual, with virtual reality, television, movies, the news (keeping everyone afraid, including our young), video games/social media and smartphones, to distract us from forming positive bonds with our neighbours or the folks we ride the bus with-to wit: the members of our community]. Left or Right, if we are governed by our ego, we are ‘ideologues.’ Our perspectives and rationalizations are subjective. We are governed by desire, as individuals and as societies. This inevitably results in scarcity for others. How cohesive can societies be with so much self-interest and so little interest in commonality?

Let us change all that. No matter who we are and where we are, we remain members of the Earth Mother Community (EMC). We share membership with all other living species, whether they talk or not, walk or not; plant and animal. We are responsible for what we do in our community.

For millennia, humans were small enough in numbers that our waywardness, while oftentimes disastrous to others of our kind, allowed the EMC to remain relatively unaffected. But we are now too knowledgeable and too many. ‘Too knowledgeable’ because we are smart enough to provide Nature a makeover, but too careless with respect to the side effects. We have ‘evolved’ into plunderers. The Creator had intended for us to be stewards.

Let us change all that.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year (and New Beginning) to everyone.

25 December 2019 – Christmas Day

Today we celebrate humankind’s highest awareness: that we are man and woman, wealthy and poor, young and old, black and white (and every shade in between), Muslim and Jew and Christian and Hindu and Buddhist and every other Faith, Canadian and American and Chinese and Russian and Arab and Jew and all other sorts of human.

The reason Jesus said to ‘love one another as you love yourself,’  is because we are one another: both as similar and as distinct as the leaves on a tree.

The tree is the Creator. It is the Tree of Life. We are the leaves of the Tree. In all of my life, I have yet to see two leaves fighting with one another over what the Tree provides freely to all of its leaves (and the bark and the roots). That’s because they don’t fight –duh!

The fact we humans do is really ‘double-duh!’

Let’s make this the year we humans finally get with the Tree’s program.

A very Merry Christmas!

 

24 December 2019 – Christmas Eve Day

Today Christians and the World celebrate the eve of the birth of Jesus. Jesus is the seed of the Christian faith. He stood for tolerance, compassion, peace among humanity, and also between humanity and all other living things created by god. Jesus preached love, understanding, truth, and right-action.

Seems to me these are also the virtues elevated to the pinnacle of human aspirations  by Mohammed (PBUH), Gandhi, Hinduism, Buddhism, and any other faith- all faiths share the same basic principles because they worship the same god, albeit in a different way (according to their hearts and cultural traditions) and call god by a different name.

Our differences matter not to our Creator. Think about this: mothers and fathers around the world are called by their children, by many different names: ‘Ma and Pa,’ ‘Mom and Dad,’ ‘Mama and Papa,’ ‘Ammi and Abbu,’ ‘Ima and Aba,’ ‘Nanay and Tatay,’ ‘Mama and Baba’…Kids call their parents according to their spoken language and to where and when kids are living.

There has never been a single parent who did not respond to their children because they had not recognized their name being called. How much does anyone think the Creator of everything is liable to be confused by the myriad names humanity has called the Creator by, over the millennia?

I warrant our Creator is more likely confused by all of the misery some souls created by god are inflicting upon other souls created by god; often coming of our callousness toward the needs of our fellow humans.

To my mind, John Lennon’s Christmas carol best expresses the Spirit of Christmas, which isn’t dead, and which belongs to humanity; to all faiths, each expressing the Spirit of Christmas in their own wonderfully human and unique way, at the time of year of their choosing, in the way they choose:

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong

And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

War is over over
If you want it
War is over
Now

Amen. Thank you for the gift, John Lennon. I know you are watching. And celebrating Christmas, in your own way, with those you love, wishing everyone on Earth peace, love, and happiness, and the end of war and of hurting one another/allowing one another to be hurt.

Let this be the year love, respect, tolerance, and watching out for one another replaces wholesale callousness, violence, misery, exploitation, and wilful neglect.

For John Lennon to see his Christmas wish to humanity come true, we humans must define a new theatre of operations and draw a new ‘red-line’  in the sand: the war we humans are engaged in is the war with our own ego-not with one another. The ‘theatre of operations’ is the human soul.

Win this battle, and watch  just how fast the World’s problems evaporate into nothing at all.

Bob Marley, another modern prophet à la John Lennon, gave this to our world:

One Love! One Heart!
Let’s get together and feel all right
Hear the children cryin’ (One Love!)
Hear the children cryin’ (One Heart!)
Sayin’: give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Sayin’: let’s get together and feel all right. Wo wo-wo wo-wo!

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love!)
There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart!)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?

One Love! What about the one heart? One Heart!
What about – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One Love!)
So shall it be in the end (One Heart!)
All right!
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Let’s get together and feel all right
One more thing!

Let’s get together to fight this Holy Armagiddyon (One Love!)
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One Song!)
Have pity on those whose chances grows t’inner
There ain’t no hiding place from the Father of Creation

Sayin’: One Love! What about the One Heart? (One Heart!)
What about the – ? Let’s get together and feel all right
I’m pleadin’ to mankind! (One Love!)
Oh, Lord! (One Heart) Wo-ooh!

Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Let’s get together and feel all right
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Let’s get together and feel all right

And finally, in the words of Tiny Tim:      God bless us, everyone.

Merry Christmas, everyone – to my mom, my dad, brothers and sisters and kids; to John and Bob and all the others now celebrating in Heaven, and to those not yet born, that they may live the blessings our Creator (remember, there is only one) intended for all that is created.

21 December 2019

Recommended post: Insanity and Ego – We all have Donald Trump’s problem; it’s just that he happens to be president of the most powerful nation on Earth. To be leader of anything means the individual has to check their ego at the door.

Donald Trump’s militarization of space announcement prompted me to go a-googling, only to come across a documentary entitled The Coming War on China. This is an honest and open approach to China, the U.S., and the World. John Pilger’s work is a must-see. There are no pretenses here. It makes one wonder if our governments ever took the mantra which emerged from the ashes and the fallout of WWII, Never again!, all that seriously. I know the folks who actually fought and suffered (75 million of them dying) in WWII would have uttered this oath from the deepest part of their souls, regardless of the side they were on.

Never again.

Watch the movie. Wherever you are in the World, the enemy is not your neighbour. Your enemy is ego. Make no mistake: whether it be personal or national, while we are led by ego, we cannot escape the ills of the World. It is human ego responsible for creating the majority of our problems in the first place.

It is only in recognizing, in seeing ‘the child’ in each and every living soul, that we are able to ‘confront’ the doorway that leads out of the world’s malaise and into a future as endless in its bounty for humankind, all of humankind, as it is in time.

Let this be the Christmas where ‘Peace on Earth’  becomes our way of life and not just a seasonal mantra. The One who created the Americans, the Chinese, the Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu would be as happy as newly-weds under a Mistletoe.

20 December 2019

As we begin Christmas week, I would like to share my joy in the Christmas celebration with all of my Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu brothers and sisters all over the world.

We were created by the Creator. We are all children of god, no matter what we call god or how we worship god. That makes us all brothers and sisters. I don’t know about you, but my parents never tolerated fighting in the family home. The Creator’s family’s home is Earth (perhaps other places too). Let us make this year the year we finally stop fighting with each other and ransacking the living room.

We left the Garden many, many years ago. We never looked back, and so we did not notice that the Creator had left the door open for us to return, once we realized our mistake in leaving.

It is now time to realize our mistake. Let us take advantage of the Season to heal ourselves and one another, to turn around and go inside.

A very merry Christmas everyone!

Headline 1: Liberal’s sex assault trial reforms run into trouble as more judges find Charter violations– I can see how this might meet with trouble: to start with, it undermines the right of the accused to face their accuser(s). There is a reason for such a provision in jurisprudence. Another one is: the onus of proof is borne by the accuser-you are innocent until proven guilty. In our day both tenets are under assail.

It is alarming to realize the Liberals are not seeing this: if the accused does not have the right to face the accuser, then the accuser is not held accountable beyond convincing the authorities. But authorities do not always get it right; therefore you hold a trial wherein the accuser and the accused present their sides to the judge and the judge determines which version is the truth and if there is guilt. The judge’s ability to do so is compromised if the accuser(s) do not appear before the judge during proceedings, along with the accused.

 

19 December 2019

Headline 1: After year in political turmoil, SNC-Lavalin gets most of what it wanted in plea deal – at the end of the day, the company pays a big fine, agrees to a period of ‘probation,’ and is not excluded from competing for government contracts for ten years.

At the end of the day, the company acted falsely in paying bribes and is guilty as charged. The trouble is, were the company to be treated as prescribed by existing law, they would have been banned for ten years from tendering to the Canadian government, and the penalty would have been bourn on the backs of Canadian workers in Québec, and by the Québec and Canadian economies. The investor-owners of SNC-Lavalin, meanwhile endure a relatively small hit on their profit margin-hardly enough to cause them to change their behaviour.

The upshot is, under the law as it was before the invention of the DPP agreement provision, the wrong folks would have been penalized-those who were innocent of wrongdoing, but condemned to pay the price just the same, for the wrongdoing of others in the company.

Neither should companies be forbidden from pursuing contracts: too many innocents get hurt and the notion is badly counterproductive-it does little to change corporate behaviour because the ‘spirit’ is pushed by investors (who only want to earn profit on their investments) but actioned by employees. It is the employee who chooses to do the lawful thing, or the unlawful thing in any given situation. The profit context never changes. What is situationally-dependent is whether the gains are ill-gotten or fairly-gotten, from the law’s point of view.

Here, the employee must decide whether to do the right thing or to do the wrong thing. If he or she is penalized for doing the right thing, the law should provide effective recourse. If the employee chooses to do the wrong thing, abetting corporate malfeasance, then the employee is penalized and the investors will take a hit on their profit margins in the way of fines. Big fines -while the employee serves jailtime. Jailtime – that should make most folks think twice; and then opt for the safety of the rule of law, even if it results in a career-setback.

Corporations are not individuals and should not be seen as individuals under the law. Corporations should be on the hook for addressing the damage they cause the environment and communities financially, but they cannot be put in jail; therefore, whether they choose to abide by the rule of law or not reduces down to a business decision. You cannot have a price tag on observance of law. Hello?

But the CEO, his direct report- all of the direct reports between the CEO and the employee who did the dirty deed– should face jailtime. Now, folks in the chain-of-command will want to make sure the folks who report to them are telling them everything; while the folks who are reporting make sure they have told their bosses everything. Business law should mandate complete electronic records of all business strategy meetings, in case government investigators encounter differing versions of events(LOL). The record must clearly show guilt or innocence. There can be no more ‘he said-she said.’ As a matter of doing business, records must be unequivocal with respect to who said what.

In the case of SNC-Lavalin, the fine is good, the fact the company is not banned for ten years is good too. But we need to focus on keeping employees honest, because investors don’t really care beyond how much profit they make, the lipservice they all pay to addressing the social evils of the world (which they are often creating) notwithstanding. We must protect employees from bosses, investors, and even from themselves: if everyone stand for the law and tells the truth, profits may lessen, but no one ever goes to jail…or gets fired.

We need to reward the honest employee, who no doubt feels the internal tug-of-war between the self-serving and doing-the-right-thing. That is where our focus should be: encouraging honest people to be honest. It is the folks who work in the corporation who are the soul of the corporation, since the corporation per se has no soul. The soul it appears to have is borrowed from the employees.

Forget about the investors’ interests in all of this, because it is not relevant. They want only to increase their wealth, or they would not invest. There is no ’cause of humanity’ in what they do, no matter what Canadian Tire, Tim’s, or MacDonald’s would have us think (LOL). If you work at Canadian Tire, you are likely not paid much; if you are a customer there, try walking in with a backpack. In either case you quickly find out what value the investor and employer sees in their employees and their customers.

But do not fear: it is corporate greed that will permit corporations to survive the rule of law’s placing society’s interests above the wealthy investor’s. Investors are about profits. They’ll find a way to profit within the rules and without doing social harm to today’s or future generations. They will contribute to the economy, and the economy will be reconciled with society and continue to support the aspirations of society.

Corporations will no longer own us or dictate the form democratic societies take. Corporations are not individuals. Corporations are not democratic. Apart from helping societies to make a living, they have no more place at the ministers’ table than they do at the  kitchen table. If you want to see what to expect when national societies become corporations, you need look no further than Russia, China, N. Korea…they style themselves, ‘socialist,’ but what people meant by this when they first created them no longer describes what they are. They are business: with a CEO, a management group, and workers. Their citizens have no rights beyond what their ‘bosses’ allow them.

In their acquisitive passion are sewn the seeds of their eventual demise. This is what we call the ‘business cycle.’

‘Cooperative’  and ‘Collaborative’  must replace ‘acquisitive’  for humankind to survive. But we continue to expand our populations and humanity’s footprint on Mother Earth, stepping harder on the gas pedal, with a curve coming up, beyond which we cannot see.

If we do not slow down enough, even stop, to have a peek around the corner, we will drive ourselves, full speed, over a cliff. We are not lemmings. In fact, not even lemmings are that stupid. But the myth is applicable to us humans, if we do not change.

17 December 2019

Headline 1: Ontario cancels Hamilton LRT in chaotic announcement; mayor calls it a ‘betrayal’ With the federal election past, our Ontario m-cons are once again front-and-centre in the news; daily convincing us of their abject lunatic approach to government. Now, it appears, they are as likely to clamber up the nearest tree or scurry into the deepest hole, as to hold a news conference they scheduled. Yesterday, Transportation Minister Mulroney dodged the engagement after a cluster of Hamiltonian folks gathered at the spot to protest the sudden cancellation of the Hamilton LRT project.

Provincial government folks ‘whisked her away’ with a police escort in order to avoid having to explain themselves to the people in Hamilton. Instead, she left Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger holding the bag; the hapless but game mayor also in shock, abandoned onstage by our Ontario’s artful dodger, to explain the situation with the LRT (and the minister) to a crowd of folks who were equally dumbfounded by the minister’s sudden exit (stage right).

Of course, after the dust of unprofessionalism and kneejerk reaction settled, Caroline and the M-cons  let it be known it was all the Liberals’ fault.

The ‘head’ is now separated from the ‘body.’

The gulf is widening between the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ as the left becomes more evidence-directed in its approach to government while the right becomes more ideological. The left uses what they see as the basis of their policies: the ‘what is.’ The right uses what they want to see: but it is the ‘what is not.’

For the sakes of Ontarian workers, families, and children, we cannot allow the bi-polarization of our politics to continue. Each time we experience a change in government, the new government overturns the table on the previous government’s efforts-undoing everything. As the centre-left and centre-right build distance between each other, they open the wound and leave Ontario to bleed: economically, socially…weakening the quality of opportunity and of life we enjoy, present and future.

The cons of today do not care at all for what the progressive conservatives of yesterday were. Yesterday’s progressive conservatives had a different approach, but they were, like everyone else, Canadians first. Canadians know that money is not the highest social virtue and society’s measure of success and that, if we think it is, we doom ourselves and Canada to failure. The means of creating and distributing wealth are more important than the actual amount so long as there is enough to spread around; were it not so, the world and its nations would not be in the mess they are in. The cons’ measure of virtue and value is in dollars and cents only – even the TRUTH has a price for them, and it is dirt-cheap. The truth is a small price to pay when the lie can make for an increase in returns-even a 1% increase will mean a nicer home, fancier car, and a few extra weeks in Winter where it’s warm for the folks that matter to the cons and vote for them. That’s the cons’ idea of a cost-benefit analysis.

And they pride themselves in knowing how to ‘do business.’ LOL. They only know how to keep their hands in the cookie jar, and keep everyone else’s out.

When I was six, I thought it was a good idea to steal a Cadbury’s Milky Way bar from the corner store, and then brag about it the next day at school. I was grounded by my mom, but first had to go back to the store, apologize, and give Mr. Nutt the ten cents for the chocolate bar. I was so scared and ashamed, that it was a lesson I took with me the rest of my life – 57 years later, I still remember it!.

I don’t recall ever having stolen anything since.

The voter in a democracy, Ontario’s and every other, would do well to follow my mother’s example. Only, we cannot expect our wayward child, the Ford version of m-con, to fess up about a Milky Way bar or anything else they wish to keep hidden from us. No parent is going to walk away and accept this child’s ‘alternate version’  of events when they have chocolate smeared all over their mouths.

In the coming provincial election, us Ontarians need to draw a line in the sand for politicians who choose lies over the truth, preferring a dishonest living to an honest living. We need to ground them for 4 years and they need to know why. The government we do elect, whether it be Green, Orange, or Red, Black, and White, will do equally well to behave as adults: determine what is, then what is needed. Then do it.

Show, don’t tell…or you will never do it.

That’s my 10 cents.

Headline 2: Lesbos Migrant camp children ‘say they want to die.‘  Don’t the mcons have children of their own? If you do not cry at reading this headline, you are soulless as well as antisocial. Only the society of ego / every-man-for-himself  is made up of antisocial citizens. Humanity has produced societies like these all through its history.  These are societies of coercion and convenience, depending on your status. The mcon-populists are taking things to a new extreme. Children saying they want to die. This is so wrong, for crying out loud.

None of the societies humans create last. Neither will the ones we live in today survive, unless we adopt a truly social perspective, particularly toward one another and the environment.

Gandhi once said, ‘a society’s measure is in how it cares for its most vulnerable.’ Society’s most vulnerable will always include its children. It is every generation’s highest life duty to raise and protect them.

When will we do something? Before, or after we drive ourselves off of the cliff?

Headline 3: Trump warns: If Democrats impeach, they’ll be ‘declaring war on American democracy.’  If you have read The Prince, you may recall Machiavelli’s advice to folks who expect opposition to their plans: Accuse your opponents of doing what it is you yourself are doing. Simple, and effective, or it would not have made it into Il Principe’s repertoire.

Truth underpins democracy. Democracy is predicated upon informed debate; informed debate, upon facts. Democracy begins with the truth or ends before it can draw first breath.

If our leaders are not truthful with us, they are not democratic leaders. Our American brothers and sisters will soon decide which sort Donald Trump is. I believe most of us already know.

16 December 2019

Today’s Headline: Citizenship Amendment Act: India PM Modi appeals for calm as protests grow – wtf?  India gave birth to my lifelong hero, the Mahatma who spoke in Islam’s defense, though it was not his faith.

But India’s government is not following in the tradition of the man who brought self-government to India; in fact, they sure messed things up, didn’t they?  India is offering citizenship to folks escaping religious persecution, but not if they are Muslim. In their attempt to fill one hole, they mean to dig another. If you enact a humanitarian law (and fill the hole of religious persecution), you cannot say there are certain humans to which the new law does not apply, or it cannot be a humanitarian law. There is, after all, only one kind of human-the human kind. If you say there are two kinds, one to whom the law applies and one to whom it does not apply, then you make another hole which needs to be filled, therefore the protests in India.

Gandhi was expert at filling holes without digging new ones. Satyagraha – passive political resistance – was all about accomplishing positive change without digging new holes and creating new problems. If you do not dig a new hole in order to fill an existing one, then those who created the hole you are trying to fill have nothing to push you and your ideas into.

I hope Canada’s government will let India know we are not happy with what the government of this venerable nation has just done, and urge them to walk it back and extend god’s protections to include all of god’s worshippers. The fact that folks worship, trumps how folks worship, every time. How we worship god is a reflection of ourselves, of our language, culture, history, and aspirations; does anyone really think the Creator of everything -there is so much of existence we humans don’t even know about- yet) is going to bog down on differences we humans ourselves created?

Just love god and love what god has created  (which btw, includes other people and other species), do right by them (which we will always do if we love), and god is happy.

13 December 2019

Today’s Headlines: Brits give Boris a majority; Ontario introduces the ‘Smarter and Stronger Justice Act;’ Conservatives face an awkward question: ‘What if Andrew Scheer wasn’t the problem?’ 

Pop Quiz!

Question: What do today’s three headlines have in common?

Answer: Why, they are all about the cons, and the latest conning of conned-voters. We in Canada cannot decry the Brits’ reckless use of the franchise because we gave the cons a majority here not too long ago. We more recently accorded their attack ads enough credibility while we ignored their lack of clear policy to permit the cons to weaken the federal Liberals’ mandate to a minority position. As it stands, we will be blessed with headline after headline of Brits marching in the streets in protest of the government they just freakin’ elected for the next four years; not to mention having to look at  a deplorably incongruous head-hair combo that would give Trump’s a real go in the race to the bottom. A second benefit is that the Brit media can expect to be gainfully employed during the con majority mandate, as they report on the economy, Brexit, and an increasing number of jobless Brits falling through the widening fissures in their social net; this abetted by the combination of tax cuts for the wealthy with service reductions to the poor, and the children of the poor, in order to pay for the tax cuts.

The Ontario cons are smart enough to have read Orwell’s Animal Farm but too stupid to realize that they must distance themselves from the image of the well-dressed pigs who sit around the dining room table, the vantage from where the pigs ran the farm. As for us Ontario voters, which end of the horse who peered into the dining room window and saw the pigs for what they really were, will we do our thinking with, in the next provincial election? Depending on the options we are presented with next time around, it might not even matter. Still, Ontario can no longer afford to pay lipservice to the issues we are facing, socially, economically, and environmentally. We will need to reimagine the role of taxation in the economy, how tax revenues are distributed, and the distribution of wealth, with the situation, not ideology, determining the details. As it stands, Ontario’s sitting government has modelled itself à la the post-revolution Animal Farm, wherein the pigs represent the needs and aspirations of the pigs, not of the farm animals who elected them as their representatives. When the ‘head’  becomes separated from the ‘body,’ it is never a good result for either. I pray that enough voters will know Orwell’s pigs wherever, whenever they crop up, be it at the local library or the parliament/assembly, and that we will also be presented with a viable voting alternative-if not, democracy will continue to elude us; which happens to be, btw, both the cons’ and the Orwellian pigs’ operative strategy for obtaining and maintaining power. They appear to have already written the sequel to Machiavelli’s The Prince. It is a serial publication taking on the form of the daily news.

Lastly, CBC has blessed us this morning with a fine article about the resignation of Andrew Scheer as CPC party leader. He remains as interim party leader; um…anyways…

I found Andrew Scheer to be performing in his role as party leader just the same as any boardroom denizen, or Orwellian farm pig would: he was doing what his bosses wanted. What his bosses wanted was the power, through legislation, to further enrich themselves; the way they thought Andrew could best accomplish this was to pour their millions into personal attack ads directed at Canada’s sitting prime minister. Personal attacks directed by public leaders, at the leader of their own sovereign nation. How this kind of behavior demeans us as a sovereign nation! Does anyone, anywhere in the world, harbour any sense anymore, of the sombre commission and conduct which being a public representative involves? It is the same sort of personal transition we face when we first become parents: we can no longer behave as children because we now have children of our own to take care of. The children’s needs always come before the parents’ ‘would-be-nice-to-haves.’ Furthermore, as parents, we know that kids mimic what they see parents do. They will learn and apply the behaviorisms and values they see in action. The movement conservatives, just like Orwell’s pigs, ascribe to the Machiavellian precept that ‘the end justifies the means.’ The unstated wisdom here is that the end also determines the means: if the pigs esteemed the farm animals interests and the raison d’être for their positions above their zeal to further enrich themselves, they would not need to hide anything from the other animals, nor would they want to. Why did the federal Liberals not engage in personal attacks on Scheer during Election 2019? Because they didn’t have to. They campaigned on the issues of the day, such as climate change and the economy; they campaigned on policy and planning, their approach in stark contrast to the cons’ lack of policy and planning.

The pigs hid their motives because they had to. If the farm animals knew the pigs’ true motivation, the pigs would not have been elected to run the farm. Because the animals weren’t stupid; they were only trusting. They were not comfortable with lying to each other, and so they were inclined to believe what others, including pigs running for  the farm’s leadership, had to say to them.

Enough Canadian voters saw through the cons’ strategy in 2019 to keep Canada from making a serious mistake.  Now the con bosses need to have someone’s head roll to pay for their own mistake. Therefore the clamour to blame Andrew Scheer. But it is really their fault.

Put it this way: If a family of wolves decides to take up residence in a chicken coup, how long do you suppose it will take for the chickens to realize something is up with their new community members? Do you suppose it will take that long for Canadians, Ontarians, Saskatchewanians, Albertans, Manitobans, Québec, and the Atlantic provinces to see the wolves in their communities for what they are? They are no longer progressive conservatives; they are become movement conservatives. The ideology arrived here after Mulroney’s two terms decimated Canada’s  Progressive Conservative Party, leaving a vacuum to fill on the right. The American-born ideology first found purchase as the Western Alliance, which then expanded its purview nationally by absorbing the remnants of the PCPC and then dropping the word ‘progressive’ from the party brand.

The weaker chickens would start disappearing right after the wolves move in. The chickens are not so stupid as to not make the connection. It is not Andrew Scheer’s fault Canadians are not stupid. It is the ‘bosses’ in the CPC who are at fault for believing that we are.

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 1Dogs 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.

Amen.

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.

ps:

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:

Young people speaking their minds, are getting so much resistance, from behind….

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.

ps

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.

ps

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.

ps

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.

ps

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

One Tick:

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.

Two Tick:

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.

Another Tick:

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.

An Observation:

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.

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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?

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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.

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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