Climate Crisis Strikes

How asleep we must be to need children to wake us.

Bless Greta Thunberg and our lesser known Canadian activist Autumn Peltier for somehow managing to accomplish what adult activists only wish they could.

I’ve spent the better part of five years attempting to awaken the sleeping masses to a number of very real concerns without success. I even wrote a book which I hoped would get parents and young adults thinking about big picture issues. It did not fly because nonfiction must either be written by a PHD or a celebrity for it to have any value in the publishing world. David Suzuki has the whole package and yet the masses, politicians, and corporations somehow continue to ignore his words as well, despite the fact he has won awards, written 87 books, and has been talking about all this for about 60 years.

If David Suzuki couldn’t stop the insanity, I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for failing miserably as well.

He was a participant in what I call the golden age of activism: the 1960’s and seventies which laid the groundwork for the equal rights and equal opportunities which we enjoy today. This same generation also taught the American government that high body counts and collateral damage in their endless conflicts would not be tolerated.

Why is it that environmentalists were not as impactful?

Oh sure, various anti-pollution measures were a direct result, as was the green movement, but these were not enough to save today’s young people from what is to come in their lifetimes. Sadly, it takes a crisis with an impending disaster before people will get off their asses and do something about it. We all should know what was going on in the American South in the sixties, unless our education systems have completely failed. There was a public outcry and outrage; the only things politicians worry about.

Where did all the hippies go and why aren’t we living in a loving, clean, sustainable Utopian world fifty years later?

Some “dropped out”; many joined “the establishment”, but most ended up working for “the man” absorbed by society: having babies, buying houses and cars. . . leading busy productive successful lives—living the unsustainable consumerism dream.

Their grandchildren are doing it all again.

Hopefully, these so-called kids will get it right by seeing how we all failed.

You go, girls.

P.S. If you have any advice for me or David, we’re all ears.

Friday the 13th with a Full Harvest Moon is the perfect time to blog nonsense.

I believe next to nothing. However, I am open-minded enough to consider ANY possibility to establish its probability.

I have looked lizard people square in their dead eyes. They don’t like that. They know you know, and they would prefer no one knows of there existence; particularly people who might out them, like me.

Are they human?

They are born in human form and have a human lifespan, but they are devoid of many of our better “human” qualities. When examined solely with medical diagnostic technologies, they appear quite human, complete with susceptibility to injury and disease, just like us.

How do they differ from real humans?

If you believe in such things, you would describe them as soulless: only able to feign caring, compassion, love, sympathy, and empathy while being completely baffled by human traits like: giving, gratitude, and self-sacrifice. In their view, they believe themselves superior because they lack these human burdens plaguing the rest of us. While we lose much time being fully human dealing with all these feelings, they can maintain focus on their goals, achieving above average success.

Where do you find them?

They were created for the patriarchy’s economic machine. They are the administrators, evaluators, and the judges who, if their track record proves them to be free of morality, scrupulousness, and ethical constraints, will rise to the level of policy-maker occupying a chair in a board room somewhere around the globe.

What do they do?

Yeah, I admit that last one has tin hat time written all over it until you ask the question:

Why is the World Bank interested in birth registration?

How does it profit them?

They are not known for altruism, despite what their propaganda machine’s press releases might want you to believe. Here is a sample from the link above:

“The international development community is increasingly recognizing the multifold advantages of expanding birth registration coverage. When the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted last year, they introduced a new agenda for the field of development and birth registration for all became a specific development target. What is more, the World Bank went on to argue that “providing robust means of identification,” such as birth certificates, “will fundamentally support the achievement of at least 10 other SDGs,” in areas such as social protection, women’s empowerment, health, and even fighting terrorism.”

The international development community, huh. I’d be very interested to see who is on this list.

Sustainable Development Goals, huh. This is my question:

Sustaining the development of what for whom?

Before we encourage our children to join the so-called honourable professional ranks listed above, perhaps we should rethink the alter we’ve been worshipping.

 

Leaving is never easy, even if it’s only Facebook.

I do feel lighter though.

It’s no secret I despise the flawed technology everyone else seems fine with. Even while writing this blog I had to deal with a sketchy Internet connection which wasted the better part of an hour of my life; an hour I cannot get back as with all the hours spent online doing what we authors are told is necessary.

This Sunday I will be pulling the plug on facebook forever; not merely deactivating—not just taking a break—but deleting my account.

Why would an author or writer ever do this when “experts” tell us we should be on social media to create a following which may lead to people reading our blogs who then might decide to buy our books? Should, may, and might are words used by politicians and other con-men to dupe the unsuspecting, the uninformed, and the gullible. I am none of those any longer. I did however willingly join in the lie of social media five years ago, and stayed two years longer than I planned. Perhaps this was out of a false sense of loyalty to relative strangers on the Internet, or it’s possible I’m more of an egotist than I thought. Maybe solitude finally got to me? Nah. I’ll let you know if and when I figure it out.

Many of the people I’m leaving behind were kind and supportive and they have all been thanked for their encouragement along the way.

Some shared my warped sense of humour and we had some laughs. These people will be missed. Just like childhood friends, former co-workers, or old neighbours, they are genuine when they say you will be missed, but they will get busy with their lives and soon forget about you. It is the way of things.

I have been a harsh critic of social media and facebook a.k.a fakebook a.k.a. flakebook in particular, for its practices i.e. privacy, data collection, and mental conditioning algorithms. I realize now my preaching abstinence there was as effective as a priest giving a sermon on morality in a whorehouse.

It felt hypocritical and it’s time to cut the cord.

I hope my remaining facebook friends, who might stumble across this, find the peace and joy I once had and am attempting to get back in touch with again.

I wish you well.

Bureaucrazy

The only business that has never seen a downturn is government.

Public servants my ass!

Government employees are a special kind of crazy—similar to academics—in that they are completely incapable of functioning in the real world.

You need only look at a ditch digging project where the white and blue hats outnumber the yellow hats—the only ones with tools—to see how far removed from reality they have become. Collectively, one blue hat, two white hats, and three yellow hats are costing the taxpayers about $350.00 per hour as they stand around talking while looking at the ditch.

two man holding white paper

Productivity and efficiency mean nothing to these people.

None are motivated to work hard or to get the job finished as fast and cost effectively as possible. Their jobs are secure for as long as they want them, and a significant pension awaits when they have had enough. In addition to their generous top-of-scale salaries, they and their families enjoy complete short and long-term disability insurance, medical, drug, and dental plans. . . all paid for by the taxpayers.

The blue and white hats decide to have lunch to discuss the hole in the ground further so they jump into three separate government vehicles which they pay nothing for, and they expense their two-hour $120.00 bistro “business lunch” back to the taxpayer. In a bizarre rationalization, they consider themselves to be taxpayers because they pay taxes, so they feel entitled to such expenses. To them, it is as though they are paying for their own lunch. With only an hour or so left in their workday, they all head home early to beat traffic.

Meanwhile in the real world. . .

Somewhere out there right now is a young guy with a family to support, driving a ten year-old pickup truck which he bought; paid to licence; pays insurance on; pays to maintain; pays to put fuel in, and who also bought the pick and shovels in the back with his own money.

yellow pick up truck on grey concrete road

He is digging a hole too.

He estimates one hard day of ditch-digging should get the job done. His hands will be blistered and his back will be sore come lunchtime when he gets to eat his brown-bagged mid-day meal, lovingly made by his wife from last night’s dinner leftovers. On completion, the customer, which he had to find by making calls and sending emails each night after work, will pay him $200.00 for a day’s work. He will set aside 30% for income tax; 11% for business taxes, and 20% to keep his business operating. He and his family will attempt to live and build a secure future on the remaining $78.00. He worries about how long he can keep up this pace. Last month’s dental bill for the kids wiped out their savings. Regular dental checkups for himself had to be shelved in favour of keeping up with his workers compensation insurance payments.

He has been called the backbone of America.

Sadly, this hypothetical taxpayer’s back only lasted into his forties. He called up the government-run workers compensation department for help when doctors said he could not return to his job. The bureaucracy seized the opportunity to kick him when he was down. To them, with every denial and penny-pinching move they were saving the government money while simultaneously justifying their own continued employment within the bureaucracy. They do not acknowledge who pays the government they work for. ‘Claimants are the enemy. We are not accountable to the taxpaying general public.’

These bureaucrats had the audacity to question HIS integrity.

They are oblivious to the hypocrisy which is all around them. They even went so far as to accuse him of being a scammer before finally sending $680.00 each month.

Pull your heads out of your asses America.

This level of inequity is not sustainable.

Why be a starving writer when you could be a starving naked artist.

I am so sick of computers and everywhere they take us.

Being a writer means being married to your computer. Things are made worse if you are a published author because you also have long term commitments to social media and publishing sites. My almost one-year-old Dell is an evil wife. She has melted down twice in the short time we have been together; a RED FLAG if ever there was one. So why continue to put up with the daily torment of weak WiFi, boggy performance due to updates and background processes, and the general stupidity of the online world when there is little or no money in it?

I can do other things.

The real question is: What other things can I do which don’t involve computers? I could reinvent myself once again as a post modernist painter. I might use my initials to create a new artist identity: Ethan Alfonso? It has an artsy ring to it. I could add a hook as well: All Alfonso’s are painted in the nude. Post modernist erotic portraits of lonely housewives and  divorcées, painted by a still pretty hot naked guy, should get me laid more than writers do. The fee for such commissioned portraits would certainly exceed what I make as a writer; perhaps several times over. For a tiny initial investment—far less than book publishing—I could whip off a bunch of samples to lean against the walls of my apartment for prospective clients to peruse; perhaps over wine, if they are hot. I could sell some works beach-side while working on my tan. Once summer ends here, I can move into a spacious van and travel to various beach communities down South, chasing the warmth of the sun, and making Canadian winters something I don’t do anymore.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s possible I might be killed by a jealous husband, but this has always been my preferred check-out plan anyway.

Sounds like a worthwhile endeavour to me.

Where is that art supply store?

I’d Google it, but this hunk of junk Dell—soon to be ex wife—sucks harder than the vacuum of space during a hull breach on the Enterprise.

Turkey News

Dinner conversation for know-it-alls:

croissant bread on clear glass cake stand
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Contrary to popular belief, tryptophan induced turkey comas are not a result of turkey containing a greater quantity of the amino acid than other foods, but only our overindulgence at this time of year. You most likely do not go back for seconds when you eat other poultry, nor do smaller birds allow for days of leftovers in sandwiches and soups or stews.

Enjoy your holiday.

Gather ’round kids, so cocky uncle E. A. can tell you a story.

Cocky? Cockier? Cockiest?

pexels-photo-58902.jpeg

While I don’t live in the United States of America, Canada and most countries in “the West” do share common legal approaches. My OPINIONS should not be considered legal advice, but should make for a good starting point for those of you who have been witness to the latest travesty in indie-authordom. Unless the reprobates currently running the U.S.A. have completely flushed America down the proverbial turlet, then what I am about to share with you will probably still be upheld in their courts.

What is a Trade Mark?

I rarely use Wikipedia as a source, but they did offer a sound definition in this case.

“A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings.”

IF some poor misinformed soul did want to Trade Mark the word cocky, they are completely within their legal rights to do so. HOWEVER, as no person or corporate entity may hold title of a commonly used word, the Trade Mark office requires that the word in question be presented in an original form, a.k.a. artwork and even a custom font or in an existing font USED WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION.

You can Trade Mark a LOGO containing a word, but not the word itself.

We might as well cover all the bases while we are on this ridiculous topic.

What  is a Patent?

“A government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.”

So unless the individual in question INVENTED the word, they can’t go down this road.

What is a Copyright?

“The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.”

Every time a writer PUBLISHES, they are protected by Copyright law. HOWEVER, we live in an age where everyone sues their neighbor over the slightest thing. Thanks for that America. This translates into a shit pile of lawyers making money on every tiny fender-bender or slip-and-fall. Authors would be well advised to actually get Copyright protection in their own country at the very least, as it carries a bit more weight than a mere publishing date.

Can you Copyright a word?

Yes, if it is the title of your work and no one has ever used it before. HOWEVER, this only protects the Copyright holder from having others use the EXACT SAME TITLE. It does not give the Copyright holder EXCLUSIVE rights to the word.

pexels-photo-726478.jpegWhat is a frivolous lawsuit?

They are not called “sharks” for nothing.

“Is the practice of starting or carrying on lawsuits that, due to their lack of legal merit, have little to no chance of being won.

Yes kids, this is probably what is going on here. Some law firm is exploiting this poor author knowing full well the case has no chance.

So why is Amazon allegedly pulling down books with the word cocky in the title or in the key words?

There are any number of possibilities. But first, why am I not worried about using the word Amazon in this piece? It’s simple, they don’t own the word—just the presentation of the word as a Trade Marked corporate logo in context with a certain type of business. The Amazon river was there long before the company, and it will be there long after the company is gone.

  1. Indie authors are not that important to Amazon as they represent only 16% of the company’s total book sales. (See the Publishers Weekly article.)
  2. Lawyers are expensive; even to a corporate giant. There is no upside for Amazon to challenge the alleged letter sent from this author’s law firm. It is easier, and w-a-y cheaper, to just piss off a few inconsequential indie authors than it is to wage a legal battle on their behalf.
  3. A less likely, but plausible reason might be that some middle manager panicked when the legal notice arrived on their desk, causing them to make “an executive decision” without running it up the flagpole first.

Smashwords and Ingram Spark are looking better and better, aren’t they?

document-agreement-documents-sign-48148.jpeg

If and when . . .

. . . I get a cease and desist order telling me to take down this blog because it contains the word cocky, I will have my lawyer fire one back telling them what a cocky prick I am, and that I suggested ‘they should all have intercourse with themselves’. Of course what I would actually say to my lawyer in this hypothetical instance would be: Tell them they can all go f*ck themselves.

And here kids is the moral of the story.

A frivolous lawsuit is there to incite an EMOTIONAL RESPONSE. My lawyer is there to START A NEGOTIATION, as is the lawyer of this author. My lawyer will water down my message to make me appear more reasonable so A RESOLUTION CAN BE REACHED.

Both authors pay.

Both law firms get paid.

Amazon was the only one to make a good business decision.

As usual, my mind is questioning the motivations involved here. Is this a PR stunt? Did the-powers-that-be create a new distraction just for indie authors so we won’t pay attention to a US administration just itching for a war with anybody? I guess time will tell. Until then, stay cocky everyone.

 

 

Of Squirrels and Airplanes

It’s been a long, long, long time since I have had a day like this-literally years since I published a slightly impaired blog titled: An Intoxicated Tirade, or words to that effect. A conscientious blogger would create a link, but I don’t care.

Life as a struggling author is tough, and full of duties and obligations. Today was different though; I fulfilled all those daily tasks by 2:00 p.m. on a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon which allowed me a shopping trip including a visit to the liquor store.

1

It should be noted that I mark the return of warm weather with a cocktail we Canadians call a Caesar-made from tomato/clam cocktail, vodka, and spices, including salt, pepper, celery salt, Worchestershire sauce (Did you seriously expect me to spell it right?) and Tobasco sauce. (Ditto.)

I spent TWO magical hours alone with my thoughts (and the booze) in direct sunlight which has always been my drug of choice when I needed to re-energize and refocus. There was a part of me who screamed I should have a book with me or what will the neighbors think? F*ck ’em.

ancient-arched-window-architecture-532902I moved to this neighborhood to be amongst the poor and down-trodden. Granted, houses in this area sell between one and two million dollars, but that does not mean the people here are rich; they just have good credit. As property values have gone from ridiculous to insane while I have been here, it led me to think about the retirees on a fixed income being displaced because they could not keep up with their property taxes as their property’s value exploded, forcing many to take out equity loans just to keep their homes.

After the second drink, I noticed a deep exhalation that I am certain has not been a part of my existence for some time. Some people meditate to accomplish this state-of-being, but I have not been making the time for any spiritual journeys of this nature lately. I am just too damn busy.

adorable-animal-brown-356547

So, about the squirrels . . . Ever notice the squirrel who is busting his (or her) ass (Who can tell?); digging up chestnuts and running across a busy street to bring home the bacon? He/she is unlike the other squirrels who have trained humans to feed them, and who unknowingly have become reliant on their trainees. I respect the hustler’s choice. I hope he/she doesn’t get squished by one of the vehicles travelling much too fast in our school zone.

It occurred to me upon sipping my third drink, I could really use more days like this. This prompted a revised want ad stolen from my book.

animal-close-up-cute-71328

WANTED: A good woman.

  • This old dog is tired and in need of a porch to sleep on.
  • Please send photo of your porch.
  • Applicants with a wrap-around-porch will automatically advance to the next round.
  • A porch swing will score bonus points.
  • If you have both a wrap-around-porch and a boat, you are gold. Please send photo of the boat as well.
  • If your porch overlooks a unicorn ranch, it is important you include this information.

Dinner Update: One part is burnt, and one part is still frozen. Balance is key.

aerobatics-aeroplane-air-672664

On to the airplanes-you can’t help but notice them while you are positioned to be face-first into the setting sun in the West, which coincidentally, is also where our airports are, relative to where I live. There are fast-movers, a.k.a. military stuff, at serious altitudes leaving twin contrails. Those are our F-18s. I did however see a fast-mover with a single contrail; I hope we didn’t buy one of those piece of sh*t single engine F-35s.

FYI: The texture of my chicken patties can be best equated with cutting cardboard with your standard cutlery. And again, I don’t care. Two hours of direct sunlight and four cocktails will do that to a person.

My man-bun-daddy neighbor with way too many health issues for his age and I just talked about using some of our more useless neighbors as food when the apocalypse comes. I suggested a barbecue sauce.

adult-beard-beggar-256621

What are the passers-by thinking as they acknowledge my smile, nod, or wave as I sit in my lawn chair basking in the sun? Are they jealous of my leisure time inactivity, or do they think I am hurting property values in the neighborhood? At the moment, I can confidently state I don’t give a flying f*ck about what others think.

One neighbor who regularly parks her car in front of my house chatted about her court day with our street’s bandit parking cop, and how she was kayaking on a river today. She does lead an interesting life.

autumn-beautiful-blur-658945I chatted briefly with my hot neighbor about how confusing this time of year was for her when it came to choosing what to wear. She was in sandals and a sweater coat. I suggested she remove the coat.

I saw some kids playing road hockey while armed with squirt guns. I guess I didn’t get that memo.

Birds chirping; the sounds of motorcycles and children at play; and the guy with saws. Dude, give it a f*cking rest already.

I thought up a killer book idea, but I’ve thought that before . . .

Much can happen in two hours if you go outside to figuratively stop and smell the flowers.

I admit I have been neglecting this blog, but sh*t happens. My Ms. Creant site blog has kept me busy with a ten-ish part series on the book publishing game. If you are a soon-to-be-published author not picked up by the big 5, you would be well-advised to tune in.

It’s now 10:30 p.m. and my nightcap is almost gone.

Ever notice how I only use contractions when I’m drinking?

Talk soon.

Radical Christian extremists are active in my neighborhood—A Christmas Story

I just witnessed an act of Christian terrorism on my street.

While many of us were erecting ladders to put up Christmas lights, others had even more politically incorrect intentions.

A woman with her three girls from a few doors down, just skulked passed my house carrying a large standup carboard cutout of Jesus which they covertly placed in front of another neighbor’s house, a few doors up the street from where I live. I am guessing this mom is an artist, and the girls all participated in this craft project. I do not know either of these neighbors, but I grinned as the perpetrators ran by in a full retreat. A short while later, the terrorist leader mom walked by again to take a picture of their evil-doings; presumably to be used in a propaganda victory speech which would undoubtedly be posted on their radical facebook page tagging the victims. As she returned from her photo recon bomb damage assessment mission, she commented to me, rather matter of factly, “He hates religion.”, to which I replied, “Oh my.”, still wearing my amused grin but laughing hysterically on the inside as this woman had no idea who she was talking to. To me, this Sunday was quickly becoming more entertaining than any of the ones spent in the hundreds of Houses of Worship I have visited in my travels. It would not take long before a woman, who I presume is the wife of the aforementioned “He”, would walk by looking a little embarrassed as she carryied the big Jesus back to the terrorist’s encampment. I suspect this was just a good-natured prank among neighbors as big Jesus was leaned carefully against a tree in the yard of the terrorist’s command and control bunker, and no hostile words were uttered or shots fired as she departed.

This is how battles of religious ideologies should be waged.

We must now look at the victim of this atrocity who was targeted by these extremists because “He” believes differently. “He”, who apparently “hates religion”, could be an atheist, and if this is the case, we should be respectful of his choice of belief system. But what if “He” is not an atheist? What if “He” is like me? What if “He” has come to despise most religions as I have, because they have corrupted the messages of God and their various prophets in order to amass wealth and power—often promoting division, hate, the subjugation of women, and even violence. Am I next? How long before I can expect big Jesus in my garden? I  think it’s time to pick a religion just to be on the safe side.

So. let’s see what comes up when I google: What religion should I follow? Oh look, Belief-O-Match; they should be able to tell me. After taking their quiz, they decided I am a Seventh-day Adventist? I don’t know this one. Let’s find out what they are all about.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-seventh-day-adventism/

Oh, I don’t think so.

Not even close. So much for Belief-O-Magic.

Back to the drawing board. I will eliminate all religions with significant wealth that don’t spend most of it to feed starving children. Let’s see what google has to say.

https://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/the-10-richest-religions-in-the-world/

Well that really shortens the list of possibilities.

Let’s try googling the most charitable religions. It is interesting that this search netted little of substance; just a few articles about do-gooders, putting Muslims, Agnostics, and Buddhists well in the lead. You would think that some of the other major religions would step up and single-handedly save a famished nation just for the bragging rights, but none do or have.

Although I could probably squeeze my beliefs into the Agnostic box, as a historian, I feel as though I should be able to find something—and I did—but unfortunately it is in decline with just 190,000 followers left. Maybe it is not about the popularity.

Zoroastrianism worships a single deity: Ahura, The Lord Creator, and The Supremely Wise. This religion predates most all of the best known prophets with its roots going back to 2000 BCE. (I like that.) It has no major theological divisions. (I like that.) In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to: “Be among those who renew the world; to make the world progress towards perfection”. (I like that.)

Its basic maxims include:

  • “Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta,” which means: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. (I like it.)
  • “There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.” (I like it.)
  • “Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.” (I like it.)

I am now a religious man, safe from big Jesus.

I am a Zoroastrianist . . . I think.

I have much reading to do, and perhaps I should check my terminologies while I am at it, before telling everyone. Once I have confirmed that Zoroastrianist is actually a word, I’m going to go tell the neighbor up the street—maybe he is one too, and just doesn’t know it yet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism

 

This is it for a while.

To everyone, regardless of your philosophies, faiths, beliefs, and indoctrinations, I hope you all enjoy a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta.

I like it.

😀

The Holiday Vibe

I knew I would be spending Christmas time away from family and friends this year but I was very determined to FEEL festive. I started playing Christmas music and posting nothing but holiday related things on Facebook. I rejected thoughts of posting about serious topics in favor of spreading some laughter and joy.

IT WORKED! I got the Christmas spirit or the holiday bug, whichever you prefer, and I did not have to buy or receive gifts in the traditional sense to achieve this state of hope, well-being, and willingness to smile at strangers.

I awoke this morning thinking about all the children who would be excited about Santa’s visit and how they would either wake their parents or creep quietly to the tree to see what was under it. I forced myself to dwell on the POSITIVE.

For those readers who do not know me, I am more aware than most about the plight of humans around the globe–especially children. I know there are many who did not have this experience this morning, but for today at least, I will not dwell on this as I do during the other fifty or so weeks of the year.

This is not an act of selfishness, but one of self-preservation. Your spirit, soul or chakra, whichever you prefer, can become tired and you need to take some time occasionally to recharge it. Some do this through religious practices while others explore their spiritual side through the development of a personal philosophy of life–whatever works. The key is to acknowledge that you have this part of you, and to listen carefully to it in this world full of craziness which is designed to test this part of you.

Early this morning, I went outside for some fresh air just as a woman was passing by walking her dog on the sidewalk out front . She looked at me and said, “Merry Christmas.” I smiled and returned those same words back to her. Both our days will be better because of this moment. This is the KEY which we need all people everywhere to get back in touch with.

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD but you have to be aware of them when they are happening, and acknowledge each and every one of them.

This chance meeting created a moment of clarity within me which I will share with everyone here.

This “Christian” holiday which has its roots in Pagan rituals, need not be yet another reason for division, because the FEELING of joy to the world and goodwill toward all humans is a global, if not universal constant. The FEELING transcends the labels we mere humans use in our feeble attempts to quantify, understand, and compartmentalize everything in and outside of this world. The FEELING of Christmas will fade only when we let the evildoers of the world engage us and affect us. This does not mean you can live inside a bubble of obliviousness and remain happy in there–quite the opposite in fact–you must go out into the real world to influence it with the VIBE you project.

The evildoers on the planet are a dedicated group who work really hard to spread NEGATIVITY in the form of lies, hate, deceit and propaganda to illicit a response that will give rise to fear. Only our worry and fears can lead us into violent conflicts–something they know all to well.

In 2017, those of us around the world who want peace, freedom, and security for all people, need to start anew to beat them at their own game. Smiling and wishing people well, no matter what the circumstance or how difficult it is, will undo them because of their lust for attention. Self-important egotists are shattered when they discover they no longer have an audience. Let’s turn off their media. Let’s disengage from their debates which are just another form of conflict which only serves them. Their use of these tools has conditioned us to believe we live in a state of perpetual conflict which is simply not true unless we allow it.

FEELING, carrying, and spreading peace and joy is a CHOICE which does not have to be reserved just for the holiday season, and it is the most powerful weapon ever created to wage a war against war.

To all who wish for Peace on Earth, just show goodwill toward men.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year; Saint Nicholas Day; Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe; St. Lucia Day; Hanukkah; Three Kings Day/Epiphany; Boxing Day; Kwanzaa; Omisoka; Yule; Saturnalia–whichever you prefer–we are not so different.

I know I had previously posted that I probably would not be writing again until the New Year but let’s just say the spirit moved me.

 

A Holiday Message

My present fron Kat

Times are tough.

There is a great deal of uncertainty, at the very least, if not fear or outright paranoia in our world at the moment.

Please try to reign in these thoughts, especially over the holidays.

If you are able to read this on-line, it most likely means you can afford devices and services which connect you to this online world. These are luxuries you should be conscious of. This also implies your immediate security needs of shelter, food, and clothing have also been met. Be grateful for what you have as there are a great many others who are not as fortunate and who will not be able to read this.

The holidays are a time for giving—our way of expressing love, caring and thanks to people we know.

Even strangers sometimes treat us a little better at this time of year. They might smile as they hold a door for us when we have both hands full of shopping bags. Acknowledge these small kindnesses. It’s too easy to be self-absorbed—preoccupied with finishing the damnable shopping so we can jump right back into the hustle and bustle of travelling to parties and family gatherings. We might overlook this tiny kind gesture which is really what this season is about. Seize the moment to look them in the eye, smile, say thank you, and wish them a happy holiday. It might be the only present they receive this year.

The holiday season puts increased demands on our time because of all the commitments we make to family and friends. This causes us to be stressed and possibly irritable. We need to remember that we are fortunate to have those friends and family members with us as many others may not.

Some people will not be able to travel to see their friends and family this year. They may feel very alone. They can change that by volunteering their time to a cause they believe in. Many worthwhile causes do not close during the holidays and spending time with the other volunteers will almost certainly turn into new friendships.

We pick up the holiday spirit by being compassionate. Give some canned goods to the food bank, give some blankets to a shelter or contribute to your local toy drive. The smallest things make a difference in this world. We often forget this. We do not have to solve global warming to improve the planet; the kid who receives your toy this year might be destined to do that, if they are not emotionally scarred by Santa missing their home. This is how we are all connected.

Goodness spreads like a virus through all walks of life, across all religions, and it does not see the colour of someones skin or their gender. By spreading that which we know to be good, we spread hope. The hope we create can alter the path of another, and they in turn influence the 10,000 people they will meet in their lifetime.

I wish to extend my gratitude to all of you who have followed me online—both past and present. To you, and everyone you care about, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

E. A.

 

12 tips for a Merry Christmas or Holiday Season or what have you.

This is my Holiday Greeting Card so pay attention!

. . . he wrote, amused by the overt slap he had just given everyone.

The holiday season, like every day in your life, is what you make of it. You have the choice to make it special or a time to be unhappy. I choose the former.

The best messages of the holiday season may help more than ever this year, so here are some of my favourites:

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Charles Dickens

“As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”Eric Sevareid

“Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; teach us to be patient and always be kind.”Helen Steiner Rice

“He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree.”Charlotte Carpenter

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!” Hamilton Wright Mabie

“Christmas is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both.”Phillips Brooks

“Christmas is not a time or season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”Calvin Coolidge

“Christmas is not as much about opening presents as opening our hearts.”Janice Maeditere

“Do give books- religious or otherwise- for Christmas. They’re never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.”Lenore Hershey

“For the spirit of Christmas fulfills the greatest hunger of mankind.”Loring A. Schuler

This one is perhaps the most needed now.

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” – Oren Arnold

Is the glass half empty of half full? Either way there is only half of a glass, so top it up to the brim with cheer and read on. Yes, it is okay to augment your positivity with some artificial peace, love, joy, and goodwill . . . just don’t drive.

My “half full” view of the world works like this:

Recent world events have brought to the surface the best traits of mankind.

In the darkest places on Earth where the most inhuman acts occur, there are acts of selflessness and compassion which continue to shine through the bleakness. The media pays little attention to these stories as it appears to be in violation of their directive to sell fear and despair all year round.

In response to this, I have locked the cable box so only the fireplace channel, Christmas movies, and Christmas music stations can be played.

My “half empty” view looks like this:

Recent world events have also brought to the surface the worst traits of mankind.

There is sadness, hate, calls for retribution, racism, fear, paranoia, isolationist thinking, and divided opinion in most countries of the world. It has wormed its way into my circle of friends and even my family so I may choose to spend my time elsewhere this year.

In social media, I have fought many losing battles in an effort to bring balance and rationality to hotly debated issues. Apparently, rationality is not in high demand these days; lesson learned. It has left me drained emotionally and thoroughly disappointed in my fellow man.

When the going gets tough, strike out in an attempt to find people who are doing for others; whose hearts are full of joy. Staying home alone with the news won’t help you or the world.

Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night.

 

November 11th: Remembrance Day In Canada

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, World War I ended.

Ever since, each November 11th at eleven o’clock Canadians honor those that fell in that war as well as ALL who have served since.

This blog contains elements from Blog 6.1: The FEAR Lessons but has been SPUN to be more respectful and appropriate for this day.

On this day, all Canadians but especially the youth of Canada need to understand that their privileged lives that are so full of opportunities are a direct result of the sacrifices of those that came before them. Young people, in their late teens and twenties were, and are, being wounded or killed in the defense of our way of life.

Those of you that grew up in large cities may not fully appreciate the hardships faced by your fellow Canadians that live and work in more difficult conditions in rural Canada. It is out of these small towns, from coast to coast, where most of our servicemen and women have traditionally come from. Small town life creates soldiers that are physically tough but it also instills them with compassion and a willingness to help their neighbor.

Today our Canadian Armed Forces are loaded with young people that are committed to preserving our way of life whatever the cost and they have a proud heritage.

We Canadians have the respect of much of the world as peace makers and peace keepers but there is another side to us that needs to be understood and remembered by people who are not Canadian and those whose educational system did not tell them about us.

Just a few summers ago, I made a new American friend who was working in Canada as an executive for a large aerospace company. After several drinks one night sitting at a fire lakeside, he stated how lucky we were to have our way of life but proceeded to suggest that we should not involve ourselves in global matters that would be better handled by the United States on our behalf. It was then that I began to understand how misunderstood we Canadians have become even by our closest neighbor. I suggested that until he became better acquainted with our history that he should not continue this line of conversation. I POLITELY let him know that he was about to cross a line that should not be crossed.

It has become apparent that we must define a Canadian for all to see because many do not REMEMBER or know our history.

The world has trouble with this.

Our politicians have trouble with this.

New Canadians have trouble with this.

Our media has trouble with this.

We are a small country in terms of population. We are hugely OUTNUMBERED ten-fold by our neighboring countries like the U.S.A. and Russia. A country that does not understand a Canadian may think that we are just pawns in the Soviet / U.S. chess match.

They would be grossly mistaken.

We have the respect of both of these Peoples and we are neighborly to both but we back down from neither. In fact, the Russian people and Canadians share a similar knowledge of hardship and resolve because of our similar geography and that is what created our common thread. Regardless of the global political climate, it was Canadian wheat farmers helping out Russian wheat farmers in times of need that cemented a long-standing relationship. Helping a neighbor in need is how farmers continue to succeed in Canada. It is this character trait of Canadian farmers that best exemplifies the Canadian people. I hope this will never disappear in the modern world where corporate greed is spreading like a cancer.

To a Canadian, global politics is just not that important to us. We have more important things to attend to like working hard to feed our families. We have a simple global outlook: if you do not bother us; WE WILL NOT BOTHER YOU.

We are not isolationists, we invite everyone to come and stay; if they can handle it.

As part of the British Commonwealth, we adopted a bit of their “stiff upper lip” mentality coupled with a RESOLVE that stems from our fierce living and working conditions.

We can relate well with the Northern European countries, because they again have tougher living conditions.

You see, we do not have a sun-belt. We do not have a California, Florida, Arizona or South of France but we like going to places like those for a break.

It is tough where we live and it makes us tough: mentally, physically and emotionally.

We should never dominate any sport because of our limited funding and small population BUT WE DO.

This comes from our resolute nature once we set our mind on an objective.

It should also be noted that we have a national pride that is best seen through our national pastime: hockey. It is a tough game for tough people. Our style of hockey is being watered down to accommodate growing interest in the game outside of Canada but we are always a team NEVER TO BE UNDERESTIMATED.

This Canadian national pride and stubborn resolve stems from HARDSHIP.

We are survivors.

We have a rich heritage of succeeding where others fear to tread.

In World War One where my grandfather participated in trench warfare, 100,000 French soldiers were killed or wounded at Vimy Ridge. The Canadians were brought in after training specifically for the task of taking this important German-held position. The Canadian soldiers showed such incredible RESOLVE and feats of bravery in accomplishing their mission that the French government gave that little piece of France to Canada forever.

It seems that these soldiers kept on ADVANCING when their officers were killed and perhaps most bizarrely of all; when they ran out of bullets. Yes, there are TRUE STORIES of Canadian soldiers charging machine-gun positions with bayonets.

There is another WW1 story that you should know of: Flanders and the town of Passchendaele. Imagine walking on a rain soaked muddy narrow dock with only one board every 16 inches carrying a 24 kilogram (or 53 pound) anchor while machine-gun bullets flew over your head and artillery shells fell all around in the rain with your clothes soaked with mud. If you slipped off that little dock you would probably drown- not in water… but mud; and your pals were ORDERED not to help you. That was the reality of Allied soldiers that were there.

Over 300,000 British, Australian and New Zealand casualties were recorded before the Canadians Corps would be called in. After 14 days of continuous battle, Canadians did what some thought was impossible and paved the way for the allies to make a run into Belgium.

Try to picture one million water-filled muddy shell holes in a one square mile area. Only the surface of the moon comes to my mind, but this was even more concentrated.

15,654 Canadian casualties were the cost of this victory. 1000 are still there in Flanders fields. A relatively small number when compared to the British losses but a lot for a country with a small population that was just under eight million at the time.

Other lesser known places that you should  be aware of are: Gravenstafel Ridge- 6064 casualties, Amiens- 9,074 casualties and Canal Du Nord and Cambrai- 13,672 casualties.

These were all success stories; Canadian victories; with a cost that Canadians were willing to pay for FREEDOM.

619,000 young men enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW1.

233,000 were casualties; or almost 37%.

Almost 10% died in service to this country IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM.

No town or village across the entire country was unaffected by the losses.

My Grandmother told me of my Grandfather’s return from the war. It was anything but the romantic reunion that film-makers like to portray. She was surprised to find him sitting outside one day, as she had not received any notification as to when to expect him. He had not even knocked. It seems that he was upset and embarrassed by having lice in his uniform and did not want her to see him like that. He did not want to go in the house like that. She undressed and bathed him outside giving him clean clothes to put on and then he burnt his uniform in the yard.

Just 25 years later, the world would be at it again.

Within a month of Britain’s declaration of war with Germany in WW2, the Canadian Army would grow from 5,000 to 70,000 people- not men. We have a proud tradition of Servicewomen in this country that goes back more than 100 years.

Both of my parents served in World War II: my mother in the Royal Canadian Air Force and my father in the Canadian Army Corps. My mom outranked my dad and never let him forget it.

In World War II, we Canadians again were the ones who did “the impossible”. A mountain top fortress named Assoro in Italy had to be taken in order for allied troops to advance. Canadian soldiers climbed a 900 meter (or nearly 3000 foot) mountain to take this mountain top that would allow Canadians to have a high-ground position that would lead to a German retreat from the area.

My father landed on Juno Beach. It was one of the most heavily defended beaches of the five allied landing sites in the invasion of Normandy. “STIFF RESISTANCE” as it was termed, was overcome and the Canadians were THE ONLY UNIT of the five, to achieve their Normandy landing objectives. But bad weather left those Canadian soldiers advancing inland without tanks against the German’s 21rst Panzer Division. Our Canadian soldiers ADVANCED anyhow.

Allied commanders would recognize the value of the Canadian Army and would employ them as “SHOCK-TROOPS” in tough places throughout the war.

At Breskens Pocket, Canadians would again fight in mud as their fathers had… AND WIN. In order to take the port of Antwerp, Canadians launched a frontal assault across the heavily defended Leopold Canal.

The last World War would end, but unfortunately smaller conflicts would continue to take the lives of Canadian soldiers.

A short time later in Korea, a Brigade of Canadians and Australians fought a delaying action with desperate defensive battles in a place called Kap Yong while surrounded by an entire Division of the Chinese army trying to take the city of Seoul. They stalled the advance and won a U.S. Presidential Unit Citation; rarely given to non-U.S. forces.

Tremendous acts of bravery and sacrifice continue to this day.

So what was the point of this little foray into Canadian history?

Remembrance Day is about history.

George Santayana is credited with the following quote: “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

To some in Canada and many in the world, we Canadians are misunderstood. We are thought to be no different from our much larger allies.

Unfortunately in this modern technological era, the most visible people on television all too often appear weak, scared and even stupid and we Canadians are wrongly thought to be like them.

People not familiar with Canada and its citizens need to realize that the portrait of a Canadian painted by modern-day politicians and the media IS NOT who we are as a people.

The people of France and Holland in particular, remember us fondly. They appreciate their freedom and our sacrifice. They continue to REMEMBER. They continue to learn history.

Yes we Canadians are tolerant. We tolerate weak politicians and misinformed media because we are too busy dealing with the hardships of our land to sort them out.

Yes, we Canadians are polite.

Yes, we Canadians are friendly.

Yes, we Canadians help those in need.

Yes, we Canadians would rather keep the peace than allow a war because we know the cost of a war IS NOT PAID IN DOLLARS AND CENTS.

Yes, we Canadians try to avoid a fight for as long as we can.

However, we Canadians do not run from a fight.

We Canadians are very good at fighting.

We Canadians do not scare easily.

We Canadians do not concern ourselves with PARANOID THREAT LEVELS or WATCH LISTS.

If you force Canadians into a conflict, you should know that we have a long history of accomplishing the impossible and advancing where others could not.

While a Canadian will be the last person to start a conflict… we are best known for FINISHING THEM.

This is a Canadian!

So on our Remembrance Day each November 11th, we Canadians pause to thank those military people, both past and present that served our country and made us a proud people.

E. A. Barker

“We Are Gonna Need A Bigger Boat.”

Fishing tips from a good Ontario fisherman who no longer likes fishing.

Just another day in the Great White North. . .

A thirty something friend really wanted to go fishing. As an Irish immigrant who lived most of his life as a musician out on the prairies of Canada, this is a new thing for him, and he enjoys the short breaks he gets from his hectic life. He is a new father and business owner who is often overwhelmed; and of course, is short on sleep.

How to get “mommy and me” time when camping with the kids:

I, on the other hand, wear the “Been there done that.” shirt; having started fishing at around eight years of age with my Dad. I remember even earlier, my sister and I using willow branches with fishing line tied to the ends which led to a cork bobber holding the hook and worm about two feet below the surface. We would fish from an old gas barge and catch Perch, Rock Bass, and Sunfish any time of day.

A good fishing boat:

I was learning to fish even before we got our first boat—a little 12 foot tri-hull with a 9.9 horsepower outboard that would eventually become my first freedom machine. It rode on top of the car to and from our summer holiday camping destinations. From age ten, I would learn my boat piloting skills with my father sitting up front, on a lake in the Trent Severn waterway. There, cabin cruisers would create some massive waves our little boat would have to climb on one side only to surf down the other. I was fearless, but Dad was visibly nervous at times. The boat was stable enough to allow you to stand up in it when the lake was not that rough. It was anything but tippy. Its light-weight construction meant the hull flexed at your feet when you were heading out on a choppy day.

Catch more fish:

We fished often, sometimes with all four of us crammed into the little boat. Dad liked trolling so he could see changing scenery as the day went by. Mom and I liked still-fishing or drift-fishing as we always caught more fish that way.

Finding the bottom:

The “fish-finder” had not been invented yet. We checked the depth of the water by attaching a big home-made weight to our line and then dropping it over the side while watching how much line came off of the spool of the early “trolling reel” as the weight travelled to the bottom. When your line went slack you were on bottom.

Where to find fish:

Pickerel, now called Walleye, liked weeds so we dropped our baits down into loose weeds close to the bottom or just above heavy weeds to get them. We found fish by looking for the mouth of a stream or river as well as weed beds near shore where humans had not yet developed. Bass were easy to find near Bulrushes, fallen trees, and under docks.

Good fishing line:

The fishing line back then was quite thick and anything but invisible. I do not remember ever breaking a line, and I had caught some three to four-foot-long fish weighing as much as twenty pounds on a few occasions. One Muskie in particular pulled the boat, motor, gas tank, anchor and me about a half of a mile up a shoreline into the wind before he tired himself out enough for me to get him to the boat. On that occasion I found out we were going to NEED A BIGGER NET. The total weight it dragged would have been about three hundred pounds and the line did not break. When you got snagged on a submerged log you would have to cut the line if you could not pull the lure free.

The other meaning of leader:

We learned that using a steel leader when fishing for the large toothier varieties of fish like Muskie, Pike and Pickerel was better than watching them chew through your line, usually just as you were trying to get them in the net.

When to fish:

We learned the best time to fish was from dusk to dawn. We also learned bad weather means the best fishing. Worse still, if you are getting eaten alive by flying insects, the fish will be biting.

Rods of steel:

In my childhood, fishing rods were about five feet long and made of steel. They were a one piece design, or in other words, they did not come apart in the middle as they do today. We could feel the fish nibbling at our worm, even with little Rock Bass, Sunfish and Perch. Those rods stayed in the family for about thirty years until rust got the better of them.

We never stop loving our first:

The little boat also stayed in the family for many years. Even when I owned much bigger and more comfortable power boats, I would take out my Speed Racer (mostly just to entertain my friends) bouncing across the lake with its blinding twenty-three mile per hour speed. I met many girls and found a bunch of all-night parties in that boat.

Fishing is not always about the fish:

I fished very little as a young adult. About once each year I would take out one of my power boats, anchor it in some quiet little bay and just recline on the plush upholstery in the sun, often reading, and not caring whatsoever if I got a nibble. It was more about the rest and relaxation the outing offered than it was about fishing.

The two happiest days in a man’s life and catching the fishing bug:

By forty, I had parted with all of my boats; a story for another time. Suffice to say there is truth in the old saying: “The two happiest days in a man’s life are the day he gets his boat and the day he sells it.” Oddly, it was at this time my then new significant other told me how she loved to fish. Her excitement about catching even a little one became infectious, mostly because I would have to get out of my lounger on the resort’s beach and go take the fish off the hook for her. It had me wanting to catch some again.

Girls fish differently:

We would frequent fishing gear stores where she would buy the craziest lures for ridiculous money. Fifteen dollars for a lure with a light in it IS JUST NUTS!

Tips from the pro’s:

We became caught up in the Sunday morning fishing programs on television that left the impression you were not a fisherman unless you had a $50,000.00 bass boat, a half-dozen different rods with different reels, and a tackle box the size of a beer cooler containing a virtual treasure trove of every type, size, and colour of lure, for every species of fish, in any depth of water. Oh yes, we cannot forget the high-tech fish-finder which shows pictures of sunken boats on the bottom.

As with all things “modern” and “high tech”:

Expensive rod designs claiming to be: THE ULTIMATE IN SENSITIVITY, FLEXIBILITY, AND STRENGTH never quite measured up to the advertisement. I had a one-hundred-dollar rod break at the handle with a five pound Large Mouth Bass on the line. Its replacement split at the two-piece joint with an eight pound Lake Trout on the line. The one after that kept damaging the line when casting; causing many lost fish, lost lures, and a ridiculous number of line changes per season. I am convinced it was DESIGNED THAT WAY just to increase sales from really stupid fishing fanatics, like me. Its replacement was billed as “INDESTRUCTIBLE” yet only carried a one year warranty. It kinda makes you utter: hmm.

During this foray into “modern day” fishing, I discovered the more money you spent on gear, the less fish you caught.

99% of the fancy lures and artificial baits DID NOT WORK nearly as well as a minnow or frog on a hook, or a worm on a three-hook worm harness. The 1% that do is a secret I thought about taking to the grave in order not to bury a thriving bullshit industry, but then it occurred to me the Sport Fishing Industry has sold me a pile of over-priced over-hyped crap for years, and I OWE THEM NOTHING! Screw the lying marketing bastards and their poorly made off-shore products.

I like to be kissed before I get f-cked:

By publishing this I hope to tear down their empire built on the exploitation of the desperate weak-minded fishing fanatics who are so addicted they will purchase every shiny new brightly coloured thing the manufacturer PAID TO HAVE ENDORSED by a guy who makes a living by fishing on TV.

The three lures that actually work:

You only need three artificial lures or plugs and all are “split” or “jointed” Rapala models. For Bass you want a 3 inch floater with yellow on top and silver/white on the bottom. For trout you want a 2 inch deep diver with blue on top and silver/white on the bottom. Lastly, for Pickerel and bigger game-fish you want the biggest shallow to medium diver they make—five or six inch, I think—that resembles a Perch. It is greenish with black stripes on top and has a silver/white bottom.

A fishing tale of woe:

This brings us to the other day when I took my friend out to prove to him there were indeed fish in this lake, if you know how to fish, and contrary to what he has been told by a frequent guest at his cottage.

With new “INVISIBLE” 8 pound test line in my “old school” casting reel mounted to my “INDESTRUCTIBLE” graphite rod, and the tiniest tackle box money can buy, I headed off to meet this enthusiast who, by the way, has severe fish allergies.

Mistake number one: You will need what you don’t have.

As we were loading up his boat, he asked if we should bring a net to which I replied: “No, we are just going after Small Mouth Bass.”

Mistake number two: The fishing gods were speaking but I didn’t listen.

The wind was gusting to 40 miles per hour creating 3 foot high waves with white caps so we had a bite to eat and made a couple of old school worm harnesses hoping the wind would settle down. It did not. His boat might not survive conditions such as these. It is an old twelve foot aluminum fishing boat powered by an eight horsepower engine that is prone to stalling. This boat is also as tippy as any canoe so we donned life jackets. I piloted the craft to the nearest good fishing spot which only meant about five minutes of pounding waves with spray from the bow hitting me in the face before we would get to calmer water.

Mistake number three: Anchors away!

Even in the sheltered bay, his little boat was being blown all over the place from one shore to the other. I asked if he had an anchor and he said there was one back at the cottage. Retrieving it would require another ten minutes out in the surf so I started looking for alternatives. To get him started, I baited his worm harness for him so he could see how it was done. I then set us up to drift-fish and let the wind take us back through the choppy conditions almost to his dock. He found the anchor as I removed knots from a rope and we set out again to pound the waves and my kidneys. Upon returning to the fishing spot, I anchored us so the changing winds would let us fish both shores.

Action!

We started getting little fish under six inches almost immediately. He snagged a tiny Perch while I had a succession of varieties including a Rock Bass and a Sun Fish before getting a Small Mouth Bass that might have been all of nine inches.

Fishing etiquette is a thing:

My fishing com-padre had his worm picked clean by some others and then expected me to bait his hook once again. As he was not nine years of age, I explained that fishing etiquette dictates you bait your own hook—momentarily forgetting his well-known weak stomach. Upon losing his second worm, he would switch to artificial baits for the remainder of the day.

Next, I too would get a tiny Perch that had been picking my worms to bits for some time without my being able to hook the little bastard despite many repeated attempts at setting the hook.

This is where the story gets interesting:

Instead of removing the little douche bag, I said to my fishing partner: “Watch this.” and cast the little worm thief out into deeper water where I knew some big Large Mouth Bass had lived in the past. In only a couple of minutes something big ate him.

You should know your local fishing regulations.

It may be illegal to use a Perch as a bait fish, but I rationalized he got on my hook more or less by himself. I did not technically put him there.

Karma is a bitch.

I set the hook a couple of times and I could sense it was a big fish, but it was not peeling off line. Still thinking Bass, I thought it was just swimming toward the boat where the fight sometimes really begins. I did not want the fish to run too far in case it found the anchor rope to wrap my line around. I slowly kept winding him in closer, and then lifted my rod to get a look of what I had on there.

It did allow a glimpse.

I saw a flash of orange from a fish with a large girth. I never really got a full view of its length, but the orange area I saw was about two feet long.

Cascading problems:

I was now thinking I had a big Pickerel; with NO NET; an inexperienced fishing partner who could not handle fish without wearing gloves; and we were in a very tippy boat. As my brain was just beginning to wrestle with these problems, Karma took over once again. The fish did a violent side-to-side head-shake like a Large Mouth Bass or Lake Trout would, but it never broke the surface. It did however break my “INDESTRUCTIBLE” rod and line about a foot from the tip.

A rod; possibly a near record Pickerel; the Perch; and my custom worm harness were all gone in that instant.

Quietly sitting staring at my broken rod, I lit a smoke and wondered what I could have done differently. Nothing came to mind,

I did remember why I do not fish anymore:

  • Sitting in a crappy little boat sucks.
  • These days the fishing equipment is garbage.
  • Worms crap all over you.
  • You get bitten by mosquitoes.
  • You get sun-burnt.
  • You get rained on.
  • There is NEVER A BIG ENOUGH NET when you need it. Additionally, when someone asks if they should bring a net, ALWAYS SAY YES!
  • The biggest fish ALWAYS GET AWAY!
  • The only fish you remember are THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY.

It is a sport for masochists.

My best fishing memories are of the times I did not get a bite—no torment—just relaxing alone listening to the waves fighting a losing battle against the substantial hull of my cushy boat. From now on when someone asks me to take them fishing, they better have a $50,000.00 Bass boat with a canopy, 6 rods, and a selection of nets or I will say: THERE ARE NO FISH IN THAT LAKE!

I may try spear-fishing next. I have a score to settle.

My BIGFOOT Encounters: Three Spooky Tales For Camping Out

Fear not parents or camp counselors , the myth is dispelled at the end so they will go to sleep.

Stories of huge hairy bad smelling apelike creatures are told all over the world in remote areas. In North America, we mostly call them Bigfoot, or Sasquatch as they are known to some ancient native peoples. In snowy mountain ranges as far away as Tibet, they are called Yeti or Abominable Snowmen.

These creatures are always eight to ten feet tall, super strong, known for throwing rocks, and are capable of driving humans out of their territory—even humans with guns, it is said. Apparently they have a nasty pungent odour, and make high pitched blood-curdling screams certain to make your blood run cold.

There must be some truth to these stories or else why would grownups keep talking about them for hundreds or even thousands of years?

Living in Central or Northern Ontario in Canada, means you live among the local wildlife. You get used to birds waking at dawn; the fish feeding on the glassy lake leaving little dorsal fin waves, as well as those creating a surface splash and the ever expanding rings in the calm water to mark their location.

The crack of dawn is most likely your last chance to see larger animals as they go into hiding deep in the woods as man gets busy with his day. Around here, deer, foxes, rabbits, and even moose are commonly seen at this time of the morning.

During the day—not in tourist season—the lake is a playground for aquatic mammals like otters, mink, and weasels; water foul like ducks, geese, and loons, as well as reptiles like frogs and snakes.

But at night, BIG DANGEROUS THINGS are on the prowl. ‘Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my.’ . . .  well lynx, and bobcats, and bears at least, with the unproven claims of cougars. Wolves and coyotes should not be forgotten either; nor should potential attackers from above like bats and owls that feed mostly at night. NIGHT-TIME IS WHEN HUMANS SHOULD BE INSIDE. WANDERING OFF ALONE AT NIGHT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

On weekends, from May to October, the number of humans in the area can swell by a multiplication factor of ten or more. Where there are many humans, there is little wildlife, so you are safer, but never totally safe. YOU MUST BE CAUTIOUS;  ALWAYS AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS; especially when you are camping out in the wilderness and NIGHT COMES.

If you go deep into the forest, or are here after tourist season, you can have unexplained encounters with wildlife or something FAR WORSE, and they usually happen when you are ALONE IN THE DARKNESS.

Last night I had my third Bigfoot encounter and this was a close one; just fifty feet or fifteen metres away.

It was 9:30 at night and THE AIR WAS DEADLY STILL; meaning there was no wind to stop me from hearing everything. I live up here year-round so I am used to most of the sounds of the wilderness. There was a clear sky with a half-moon casting DARK SHADOWS EVERYWHERE.

SUDDENLY, in the blackness, I heard a loud KER-PLOOSH, and a splash like the sound of giant boulders being thrown into the lake in front of me. I WAS FROZEN WITH FEAR. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up because THIS HAD HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE.

My first thought was it could be a bear going after a fish. But only seconds later it happened again. The sound of these huge boulders hitting the water told me no human or bear could lift them and be throwing them into the lake so fast and so far. This was obviously A HUGE INTELLIGENT CREATURE that did not want me around.

It was time to HIDE INSIDE until whatever it was went away or CAME TO GET ME. I was lucky this time as it decided to go away. I survived the night to tell this tale.

As mentioned, this was not the first time I had encroached on the territory of a BIGFOOT.

A few years ago, I went fishing in the evening on a little secluded lake without any cottages on it. The fishing was good so I did not want to leave, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS GETTING DARK. I built a big campfire at the edge of the lake so I could see better, and the fire is said to keep wildlife from coming too close.

I was concerned about bears being attracted to the fish I had caught and eaten. I did not have a toothbrush with me, and I had heard stories of people being attacked by bears because THEY HAD NOT BRUSHED THEIR TEETH. It is said the bears could smell their breath.

It was a moonless night. I could not even see my car parked just a few steps away. Everything became very quiet as though something had scared the birds and frogs into hiding. It was TOO QUIET; EERILY QUIET.

In the BLACKNESS, just past where my fishing line disappeared into nothingness, I heard something HUGE hit the water with a loud KER-PLOOSH! Although it did not splash me, it sounded very close. I was the only human for miles around, and it seemed like something was throwing giant boulders almost all the way across the lake . . . and this thing, whatever it was, did not seem to be afraid of fire.

I told myself to calm down because a really big fish could have charged out of the water to try and catch a low flying bat or dragonfly which could cause such a sound when it landed back in the water.

But then it happened again. Now I was SCARED. I did not want to fish anymore. I reeled in as fast as I could, picked up the fish I had caught, and ran for the car. The boulders were landing every few seconds now, SO THERE HAD TO BE MORE THAN ONE CREATURE throwing them. Whatever it was, it could have the container of bait I left behind on the beach.

After frantically trying to find the door-handle, I quickly threw all my stuff, including the fish, inside the car; then I got in and closed the door as fast as I could. There was no time to put things away in the trunk. It was then I had a thought: If these THINGS could throw giant boulders across a lake, then they could destroy a car if they attacked with smaller boulders that would fly farther.

There was a big problem. I couldn’t just leave and speed away. I HAD NOT PUT MY CAMPFIRE OUT. I would have to go BACK OUT THERE.

I searched the car’s glove box for a flashlight and turned it on, only to see a dim light because the batteries were weak. It would have to do. A dim flashlight is better than NO FLASHLIGHT. I got out of the car, shining the flashlight around at all the nearby trees, but it was too weak to light up the area. I quickly retrieved a bucket from the trunk intended to transport the fish now lying on the passenger floor of my car. Nervously, I proceeded to make my way back down to the water’s edge, and BACK INTO RANGE OF THE BOULDER-THROWING CREATURES.

It was quiet again; too quiet; DEAD QUIET.

Just as I had completely doused the fire, THE NEXT ATTACK COMMENCED, but now the splashes sounded even closer than before, and I was SPLASHED as the boulders continued to land in the water. Whatever it was, it had moved in closer, now the fire was out. I ran for the car and tripped on a tree-root dropping the flash-light. IT WENT OUT!

IN TOTAL BLACKNESS, I had to feel my way ahead; back to the relative safety of the car. If I wandered off the road into the wilderness, I could be LOST FOREVER. I expected to feel a giant fur-covered CREATURE in front of me blocking my path, but instead I banged my knee on the bumper of the car. I felt my way along the side of the car and found the door-handle. I quickly got in and drove away; never to return to that lake again AT NIGHT. I survived to tell this tale.

My very first encounter with a BIGFOOT was the most TERRIFYING of all.

I had just moved from the city into a friend’s cabin while waiting to get a place of my own. His cabin was on a lake without any neighbors. It was a long drive on a winding dirt road just to get to a highway, and longer still to find people if YOU WERE IN TROUBLE.

I was getting used to living like people did in the 1800’s. I carried in wood for the fire. I brought water in from the lake for washing, and I was catching fish for dinner right off the dock.

The dock is where this terrifying story took place. Bigfoot would not be throwing boulders from across a lake as in the previous two stories. No, this time he would be RIGHT BEHIND ME; waiting for me on the beach while I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK.

As the sun set, the fishing from the dock was really good; I was catching a fish with almost every cast. It quickly became DARK AND FOGGY; a dense soupy fog had rolled in but the fish were still biting. I was having fun SO I STAYED OUT LONGER THAN I SHOULD HAVE. That was my mistake.

Because the fog was so thick and close, I could not even see the shore behind me. I might as well have been adrift on a raft in the fog. That is what it felt like. Later, I would wish I was afloat on a raft, and not near shore.

My first WARNING SIGN was the sound of crashing trees up in the hills behind the cabin. I thought it was probably a moose, and kept on fishing. My second WARNING SIGN was the sound of a large animal exhaling and then it made a snorting sound. I was convinced it was a moose or maybe a bear so I stayed quiet hoping it would wander off. My third warning SCARED ME TO DEATH. It was a blood-curdling scream followed by a high pitched YIKE, YIKE, YIKE; which sounded like it came from the cabin.

So there I was, with whatever it was, between me and the safety of the cabin. I was TRAPPED ON THE DOCK with nowhere to go except into the cold lake. I knew I would not last long in the frigid waters of spring WITHOUT A LIFEJACKET—a lifejacket I never thought I’d need.

I had a flash-light in my tackle box which I thought might warn off this CREATURE if it continued to come after me. In the dense fog, the flash-light beam came to a stop about six feet or two metres away. I worked my way slowly down the dock, hearing every creak of the old boards with each step. I WAS STOPPED DEAD IN MY TRACKS after only a few steps by an awful smell. It was like the smell of honey but not so sweet or nice. It was a sickly-sweet smell which seemed to be all around me, just hanging in the fog. THEN THE WORST HAPPENED. The dock boards nearest the shore started to creak with me standing still. IT WAS COMING FOR ME!

I did the only thing I could think of. I tried to communicate with the creature by screaming as loud as I could and following it with YIKE, YIKE, YIKE. Before too long, the smell went away. I CAREFULLY made my way back to the cabin and safety. I guess I had said the right thing in its own language. He, she, or it never returned. I survived to tell this tale.

Myths and legends are merely enthralling stories people keep telling through the ages.

Being scared can be fun because it’s exciting. A good story lets our imaginations go to work to make you feel like you are in the story . . . and sometimes a scary story can get the better of us causing our imaginations to runs wild. This is why reading is so much fun. Stories help you use your imagination to entertain yourself. When we encounter something new that we do not understand, we are naturally a little afraid of it. Even grown-ups do this. When it is dark, we can no longer see so we pay more attention to what we hear. Everything seems louder, bigger and closer. It goes back to the time of cave-dwelling humans when there really were giant creatures trying to get them. Those early people learned when to fight, and when to run and hide. This instinct is still with us to this day.

Now here is how stories can be made to scare us:

  • You were told the writer had encountered a Bigfoot in the title but did he? He HEARD things, SMELLED something, and even was SPLASHED by something, but did he ever see it? No.
  • You were told about a legend. A legend is just a REAL SOUNDING story or tale. We call it fiction. There has never been pure scientific proof of the existence of Bigfoot. That requires much more than shaky videos or out of focus photos.
  • The writer set out to scare you with CREEPY WORDS like: snakes, big dangerous things, lions, tigers, bears, cougars, wolves, bats, owls and how they all come out at night.
  • The writer TOLD YOU this was the third time he had run into Bigfoot so you thought it could be true.
  • You were told A GROWN-UP WAS SCARED AND WENT TO HIDE, but nothing actually came to get him did it? No.
  • Did he ever see any giant boulders? No. He just HEARD SOMETHING his imagination associated with a sound.
  • In all three stories he tells you HE SURVIVED THE NIGHT to tell you the tale.
  • In the second story, the writer essentially told us to build a fire because HE WAS AFRAID OF ANIMALS.
  • He told us a story he had only HEARD about bears, so we don’t know if it is true.
  • HE SCARED US WITH WORDS like: no moonlight, eerily quiet, dark black night, something huge, he was alone, scared, and something was not afraid of fire.
  • The writer told us there must be more than one creature throwing rocks to play on our FEAR OF BEING OUT-NUMBERED.
  • He could not run away. HE HAD TO FACE HIS FEAR to put out his fire. All that happened was he got splashed.
  • He tripped because he was scared. He broke his flashlight and imagined bumping into a fury creature but did he? No. He just bumped into his own car.
  • THE WRITER SCARED US SOME MORE, when he spoke of being alone and far away from people.
  • Did the writer ever see an animal or creature? No!

Here is the not-as-exciting truth behind all three tales:

While startled and leaving after the KER-PLOOSH sounds began , mostly because it would scare the fish away, the writer looked up what he had heard at the library and found out beavers do this when you are too close to their lodge.

  • So in stories one and two there were not any Bigfoot monsters with giant boulders; only beavers using their tails.

In the last story, a moose came through the forest crashing trees.

  • We know this because the writer found tracks the following day.
  • The horrible scream COULD HAVE BEEN ANYTHING from a barn owl, to raccoons fighting, to a lynx or bobcat, or possibly even a fox.
  • The huffing, the loud exhale sound, and the bad smell was most likely a bear attracted by the smell of the fish he had caught.
  • The writer now knows: If you are going to fish after dark, you should do it wearing a lifejacket with a fire on the shore; or better still, fish from a boat.
  • He always brushes his teeth before going to sleep in a tent, just in case the bear STORY has any merit.

WE ARE ONLY AFRAID OF THINGS WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND, whether it is animals or people.

A note from the author to parents:

Please do not help to make your children live in fear. There are trying times ahead for future generations and we must stop passing irrational fears along to our children.

  • Being afraid to go into a lake is ridiculous.
  • Being afraid of thunder and lightning is ridiculous.

HAVING RESPECT FOR THE POWER OF NATURE IS PRUDENT.

  • Your children learn how to manage fear from you.
  • How you handle your fears will have a directly impact on them.
  • If you fear something, research it. Knowledge is the key to overcoming any fear.

 

Flashback To Naivety: Part 2

This is part 2 of my first written rant about Canada and politics from 1991 addressed to The Spicer Commission: Citizens Forum on Canada’s Future.

“Talk about job creation; Batman!”

Recycling:

Currently, we can recycle aluminum, some plastics, glass, news-print, and corrugated cardboard.

________ Draw a light-bulb in the space provided.

We can create and manage STORAGE SITES for Styrofoam, rubber, used petroleum products, paper products and plastics that cannot be broken down with our existing facilities. These products are still in abundance in our land-fills, and most unfortunately, in our lakes, streams and oceans.

“YOU HAVE TO SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY!”

Spend $25,000,000.00 (I wonder where that number came from?) {Ed. note: The cost of the Spicer Commission.} on the plan below, and no Canadian with a conscience will object to spending that amount or even more, every year from now on.

1) There will be A NEED FOR neighborhood containers for all the above mentioned recyclables with sections to allow the public to do the sorting- enabling more efficient collection.

2) True or false? Municipalities will more readily welcome a RECYCLABLES STORAGE FACILITY far more quickly than a landfill.

3) DEVELOP the recycling TECHNOLOGIES right here in Canada for those materials that are not easily broken down with our existing technology.

4) When new processing methods have proven themselves, BUILD the FACILITIES in various municipalities, districts etc. as large as necessary based on the recyclables produced in that area now, and in the years to come.

5) TRAIN people to operate these waste management plants. Many people, who are on UIC because of plant closures, may be well-suited to these new jobs.

6) Once the system has proven it is efficient, we could OFFER to take sorted recyclables from other countries that are DESPERATE enough to rid themselves of waste any way they can. Ocean dumping is popular among these countries.

7) SELL the recycled RAW MATERIALS to the highest bidder.

8) SELL the system to other countries as we would sell high technology or nuclear power. Unlike nuclear power stations, recycling plants cannot melt down.

Word Scramble:

Take all the upper-case words above and write them down.

Reads like business doesn’t it?

How the jobs are created:

1) Local plastics, fibre-glass and metal fabrication companies can BID for the work of making the collection and sorting containers.

2) Universities and laboratories looking for FUNDING could develop the processes needed to break down what we currently consider non-recyclables.

3) Building trades from architects to painters would be needed in the CREATION of these new plants.

4) Manufacturing people, laid off as a result of companies closing or moving, can be RETRAINED to collect, process, and manage these recyclables in the new facilities.

5) Trucking would be needed to bring recyclables from the USA if a DEAL can be struck.

6) Canada can hire out consultants to countries that are PURCHASING our new waste management systems.

Now was that so difficult?

{The governments set themselves up as “watch-dogs” for ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION rather than getting their hands dirty. Everything to do with waste management has been PRIVATIZED where it cannot be easily REGULATED.  The government sells LICENSES to a handful of firms. The biggest of which is an American company worth 30 billion dollars. They missed a huge OPPORTUNITY, and continue to spend money South of the border. When did we decide governments must be a COSTLY enterprise rather than a PROFIT generator? I must have missed that referendum.}

Education and Who is Alvin Tofler?

With few exceptions, the majority of our current educational system in Canada was designed in a post-world-war era to supply people for manufacturing jobs in a budding “industrial revolution”. Like the “agricultural revolution” before it, the “industrial revolution” has run its course. Due to our lack of DECISION MAKING, (more on this later) or outright laziness, we have allowed the Japanese and Germans to take over high-technology markets that could be dominated by Canadians. If you do not believe me, check their money against ours on world markets.

It is not too late. We are now in the early stages of a TECHNOLOGY BASED society and must NOW strive to NOT take a classroom filled with potential, and prime our youth for industrial jobs. The fact that many plants are leaving Canada for “greener pastures” in the USA and Mexico soon eh, {Free Trade reference.} could prove to be only a minor setback if we start exploring the INDIVIDUAL TALENTS of all young Canadians NOW! It is time we tapped Canada’s greatest resource: our youth, and STOP THE EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTION LINE that is our present school system.

Example:

Imagine if Wayne Gretski was raised in India, his talents would most certainly have gone un-noticed.

Those people in charge of developing a better educational system for Canada, (Are there such people?) should read Alvin Tofler the author of Future Shock and The Third Wave, available at enlightened book stores everywhere. No, we are not related. However, I stole most of my ideas for this section from him. Thanks Alvin.

{Well, change is slow. Today Canada’s high school kids rank in the top ten in the world. Not bad, but never above sixth in any one subject. We can do better. Also, there is NO SIGN WHATSOEVER we are working towards a system that IDENTIFIES APTITUDES at a young age. Most of our young people head into their post-secondary education without a clue as to what they truly want to be doing in the near future, nor do they know where their gifts and passions lie. Canada has embraced the high-technology sector which has helped the economy a little as we continue to wave goodbye to manufacturers.}

The Little Country that Could!

Part A: Foreign Policy

There is no time like the present to strengthen the U.N. so “super-powers” are not calling ALL the shots. The majority of nations COLLECTIVELY should be able to “police” conflicts anywhere in the world.

Problem 1:

The quote-unquote “super-powers” are some of the worst AGGRESSORS in the world, yet they are the countries with the power of VETO in the United Nations.

Problem 2:

Canada must stand on its own two feet and NOT blindly follow US policy and initiatives. If memory serves correctly, we used to do fine without the US holding our hand. However, since the Free Trade deal, they seem to be able to “pull strings”. WHY IS THIS?

Problem 3:

If Canada is going to survive—literally—we MUST NOT follow the US policy in the Middle East because we have ALREADY SEEN their foreign policy is governed ONLY by a multi-billion dollar “defense” (“offense” more correctly) industry that will sell arms to the highest bidder with little regard for how they will be used.

It is my feeling Canada acted correctly in the FIRST PHASE of the Mid-East war, but it is “not over ‘til it’s over.” DON’T KID YOURSELF, WE WILL HAVE TO GO BACK AGAIN.

That region of our world is so volatile, and the policy to deal with it so wishy-washy, we haven’t heard the last from the Middle East. I recall Israel telling the world that “they reserved the right to strike back at Iraq” after the first SCUD attacks. Is the war over for the Palestinians? I think not.

Why didn’t “The New World Order” do anything about:

  • Syria invading Lebannon?
  • Turkey invading Cyprus?
  • Tienamin Square in China?
  • Russia invading Afghanistan?
  • The US invading Panama or Guiana?

Perhaps the “peace-nicks” were not so wrong when they said THE WAR WAS ABOUT OIL.

The Persian Gulf war propaganda machine made a big deal of the oil slicks in the Gulf, but I don’t see anyone stopping the US from dumping garbage into “their part” of the World’s oceans for countless decades.

“What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.” should be the new policy of the UN and perhaps Canada can play a constructive part in bringing this about.

Part B: On the Home Front

Problem 1:

“Tell you a secret.” PUT A STOP to “closed door” bargaining sessions on ANY topic that could dramatically affect Canada’s future. The Canadian public HAS THE RIGHT to be consulted on matters of VITAL importance to the country.

Problem 2:

“I’ll scratch your back if you will scratch mine.” Environmental Regulation CANNOT come from a GOVERNMENT APPOINTED OR RUN AGENCY. “Interference” is almost certain. The same is true of government audits, and just about ANYTHING that can be BENT to appear “rosy” at election time.

Yes, I could fill a book about the problems we and the world have; but who would read it?

{24 years later, I look prescient. The simple fact is that everyone in my age group felt the same way at the time. A girl I had dated took a copy of this to a writer friend at The Globe and Mail but was told “The paper would never run a piece like this.” She insisted this was exactly how young people felt, but it made no difference. We were young and naïve without any idea the news agencies we trusted were a part of a societal control and conditioning mechanism.

  • We wanted the UN to be a global government. We did not know who owned it.
  • We were tired of our spineless leaders doing the bidding of the US.
  • We hated US foreign policy; in the Middle East especially.
  • We knew the war was about oil.
  • We knew that Saddam was calling us cowards for stopping at the Iraqi border and that it was not over.
  • We saw secret deals, a.k.a. Bills, being put into law when the opposition party was not paying attention.
  • We saw that Environmental Regulation was corrupt.
  • We saw that politicians will say anything to get elected.

I wrote that book about the worlds’ problems, and I’m still wondering if anyone reads anything meaningful anymore.}

Government Leaders: A Definition

WIMPS too worried about losing their positions and the associated POWER that comes with those positions TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE.

Opinion: History favors people who make positive change over dictators, and yes, even Prime Ministers who used to talk to the dearly departed.

New Governmental Theme: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few {Ed. note: or the one.”}  – Milton I don’t know if there is a Milton, but the Star Trek episode where I first heard the name, was quite good. Two thumbs up, and yes, I will steal from anybody.

{I blew it on this one. The quote was incomplete and the author cited was wrong.  I was thinking this quote, made famous by Star Trek, was attributed to Milton when in fact it was Dickens. The upside is it is doubtful the readers at the Spicer Commission would know better. This is laughable in retrospect. At the time I wrote as though the P.M. might actually read it.}

Closing Snide Remarks and Apologies:

The intent of all this nonsense was, and is, to draw attention to several areas of concern for Canadians. My attempts at humour through sarcasm are there in the hope more people will read my letter, thus making them aware of their own feelings towards Canada and what lay ahead in our future. My feeling is IF Canadians look at themselves lightly, and FAR LESS conservatively, without losing site of our goals and aspirations, then there IS hope for this country yet.

We should face the fact that the only times in history that a government has turned to its people for advice or opinion, have been in times of great difficulty.

{I am pretty sure this is the line used in a Mulroney televised address.}

The Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future should not be taken lightly as it sounds like a CRY FOR HELP. Our present government should be EXTREMELY CAREFUL to heed the words of Canadians, and should recall the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I love our country; however, there are plenty of reasons for concern.

Formula:

Concern squared = Worry.

Worry squared = The need for a good gastrointestinal specialist.

To anyone who found this work offensive, insulting, or belittling . . . my apologies.

To the government leaders I slapped in the last section I can only say: PROVE ME WRONG, I’D LOVE IT!

D. T.

Of course I used an alias. Where does it say “stupid” on my forehead? I have no wish for sudden audits from Revenue Canada; or to be “black-listed” by the R.C.M.P. as a “commie pinko” sympathizer; or WORSE YET . . . they ask me to work for them.

{I believe it is the line above in bold type that later came out of Mulroney’s mouth on TV to my shock, horror, and amazement. That guy had never had an original thought in his life—a talking head—and hearing my words come out of his mouth made me feel like I had been shot in the stomach. My naivety and innocence were lost in that moment. It would open my eyes as to how bereft of intelligence our puppet world leaders really are. In point of fact, I believe I was careful not to give them a set of finger-prints as well. I was a silly naive youngster.}

24 YEARS LATER, I AM STILL CHALLENGING HUMANS TO DO BETTER.

Science Fiction writers give us a multitude of possible outcomes when we are finally confronted by superior beings from another planet, galaxy, dimension, or universe. If the last 2000 years are how humanity is to be judged, then it does bode well for us as a species. WE ARE NOT IMPROVING.

We are a terminally petty and manipulative species lacking forethought and conscience.

Despite our leaps in technology and minor improvements in civilization, we are little more than a plague on this planet, and it is time for a more worthy species to take our place.

I am rooting for dolphins.

The reason I no longer follow politics and current events is I have always been Utopian in my hopes for humanity. I am still trying to reach humans with a message of hope and change twenty-four years later, in a world that has lost hope and is resistant to change. You get tired of swimming against the current.

I hope you enjoyed this “blast from the past”. Go out and make a difference this week. Take a case of canned goods to the food bank, and then go get to know a dolphin.

 

Flashback To Naivety: Part 1

I had never been serious about writing before this, and my grades proved it.

In January 1991, the Canadian Government asked for my input. Well not me specifically, but all Canadians were invited to submit their ideas and concerns to The Spicer Commission: Citizens Forum on Canada’s Future. Only 400,000 of 20,000,000 did so. Since the 1950’s and Diefenbaker, Canadians have lost faith in government, seeing politics as pointless, corrupt, stupid, and wasteful. This explains why only 2% of the more NAIVE types, like me, participated. I genuinely thought they were trying to make the country better.

In 1991, you could cave in the skull of a mugger with your cell phone. NAFTA would not be ratified for two more years, and the internet would not be born for a few more months.

If you were wealthy, you had a home computer with a price tag of at least $3000.00. On-line dating did not exist.

WE WENT OUTSIDE.

Bars, restaurants, parties, laundry mats, shopping, and playing sports were how we met other people. The Gulf War had just ended. WE DID OUR FACT CHECKING AT THE LIBRARY actually seeing printed facts in BOOKS.

As a young bachelor, living in a Miami Vice inspired beach apartment in Toronto that all too often smelled like sewer gas, I sat down to write my ideas and vent my frustrations to this Spicer guy who claimed to be trying fix Canada on behalf of the Brian Mulroney government, or so I thought. In a previous article somewhere, I mentioned how the P. M. ’s speech writer had ripped me off, and I will bold that section for you, if I can remember it.

This was the first time in my life that words poured out of me faster than I could write them down.

Apparently, I had much to say about being Canadian and where the country was heading. I remember papers everywhere. The living room floor and furnishings were almost completely covered in notes, headings, sub-headings and rants. I did not have a typewriter or a home computer back then, so everything was hand-written.

Upon discovering this relic and giving it a read, I found that as a first time writer, I was “a little rough around the edges”; but I also found out my sarcastic humor has been with me longer than I thought. I sometimes have to work to be less serious these days because I have become jaded by the years, but back then it came more naturally. Now, I consider the potential ramifications of my words; however back in the day you got the “full Monte”. I may have been better then than now. You be the judge.

I AM NOT UPDATING THE BODY OF THIS REPORT. I am however, giving it a minor line-edit as I go, as it seems in my haste I did not pay much attention to punctuation and grammar. You will see it (in italics) more or less as I sent it, so many years ago.

WHAT IS TRULY FRIGHTENING IS A QUARTER OF A CENTURY HAS PASSED AND NOTHING OF CONSEQUENCE HAS CHANGED.

This is why I have no respect or use for government types, and why I am so sick of their lies, pandering, and self-serving nature. The idea of politicians being Public Servants is a joke. The public now serves them.

Politicians and government employees DO NOT appreciate that:

  • it is the tax-payers who employ them.
  • it is the tax-payers who own the country.
  • it is the tax-payers who own and build the country’s infrastructure.

Politicians and government employees are PUBLIC SERVANTS who need to remember:

  • they are only there because WE PAY.
  • their house of cards can be brought down if WE DO NOT PAY.

Spicer Commission

Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future

The Tuesday Report

Dear reader or is anyone in there?

Enclosed is a personal vision of Canada that encompasses past, present and future which originated in my heart and then was edited by my remaining grey matter.

I have taken great pains not to “candy-coat” my feelings, ideas, or observations while openly displaying contempt for non-productive government. This could pose a problem to closed-minded individuals or to a reader who believes in earnest that ANY government in this century has been truly effective at anything other than riot control.

Though I have many more topics I could have addressed; consider the ones found herein as the greatest hits. The underlying messages contained in the section headings to follow are intended to be positive in nature as I have endeavored to identify problems, solutions, and benefits in overview so as not to be considered “just another whiner”.

I must confess a few “cheap-shots” are taken in the interest of humour for which I will apologize later. People become more humorous in direct proportion to the money they DO NOT have.

A few late nights were spent on the pages to follow. It is my sincerest wish they not “fall on deaf ears” or become condensed so the fun is squeezed out of them or (horror of horrors) they find their way into your waste basket.

I wish you well in this open forum style of government.

May you enjoy reading these pages as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Contents:

Canadian First: What a Concept.

Foolish Behaviour:

Taxation: the Unemployed and the Military?

Brain Dead.

“Talk about job creation, Batman!”

Education and who is Alvin Tofler?

The Little Country that Could:

Government Leaders: A Definition.

Closing Snide Remarks and Apologies:

 Canadian First: What a Concept.

Immigration and Multiculturalism

I cannot believe I am about to write this next sentence. Canada can learn from the American system of immigration. There I did it.

The American system, while allowing a person to maintain their religion, heritage, and customs, leaves little doubt of the fact that: where ever you came from YOU ARE AN AMERICAN NOW!

Most people of ethnic origin I encounter say they are Italian, Greek, Chinese, or from virtually any other place in the galaxy EXCEPT Canada. If Canada is to continue, we need to increase our level of national pride. The people who want to live in this country should feel a sense of pride in saying they are CANADIANS of Italian, Greek, Chinese, or Martian descent.

By creating a Canadian immigration system where incoming people are ORIENTED SUFFICIENTLY to allow them to LEAVE ANIMOSITIES BEHIND due to their partially severed ties with their former country or planet; we will have fewer race related problems when they settle in Canada.

The importance of immigrants KNOWING Canada’s history, our heritage, our direction for the future, and what part they are expected to play in that future, CANNOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH. Once done, new Canadians will be able to live together HARMONIOUSLY in the years to come.

BE A CANADIAN FIRST.

It won’t hurt a bit.

{Well they did not listen to me on this one. We let “THE TAIL WAG THE DOG” and now we have a country full of people who take no pride in saying they are Canadian; if they even think to mention their citizenship at all. We have different sections of our cities for each “distinct society”. The new Canadians are pandered to by government people. Reverse racism is everywhere, and it is the predominant weapon of choice in our ridiculously politically correct tolerant society.}

Foolish Behaviour:

Quebec

The “Quebec Question” can be equated to looking for an answer to the question “WHY” or trying to find the last digit of Pi (π).

Here is a textbook example of what happens when a small group of people are not (and perhaps never were) Canadian FIRST.

Canadians of French descent are constantly coining the phrases “French Canada” and “English Canada”. They refer of course to the languages spoken predominantly however they leave out one small aspect: that being neither France nor England has anything “real” to do with our country or government any longer. Nor do I imagine they want anything to do with our country or government.

If a group of Canadian citizens living in the Canadian Province of Quebec want so desperately to be French; we should arrange for their ship to sail immediately. In France, home of the guillotine, guilty until proven innocent, and “Let them eat cake.”, I am certain these EX-PATRIOTS will find the life they so richly deserve.

This “Pandora’s Box” (of which I believe we have already broken the seal) can easily be compared to existing problems in the Soviet Union and the Middle East. For fun get a fifty or one-hundred year old map of the Middle East; you will not recognize very much.

Quebec has had countless millions of CANADIAN DOLLARS not French Francs dumped in its lap for years, and now some Quebecers decide they want a distinct society with or without sovereignty association.

Didn’t a war decide this once already?

It is time the rest of Canada explained to Quebec they have to PAY to acquire CANADIAN ASSETS as they have NO RIGHTS to the lands of Canada.

Enough about Quebec. . . what action do you suppose a STRONG GOVERNMENT would take if Native Canadians decided to reclaim their rightful lands and oust some newer Canadians doing it? Well that is another story; or is it?

{This was written prior to the Quebec referendum. “English Canada” was pissed off and we actually considered the possibility of a civil war. It is interesting I foretold the Native land claim issue though.}

Taxation: the Unemployed and the Military?

Consider: A Canadian citizen who drives a car, smokes cigarettes, is a social drinker, and earns less than $40,000.00 per annum (gross), pays in excess of 50% of his or her earnings in one form of tax or another.

Government Position: ridiculous, absurd, preposterous etc.

Check it out! IT IS TRUE.

The rich are still getting richer and the poor are still feeding the wealthy.

The people who work in the only busy departments of government: the tax section of Parliament Hill, should be tied to chairs and forced to watch Robin Hood (the Errol Flynn version) until they scream.

The “well-to-do”, unfortunately, are the policy makers in Canada. The same people election after election talk of tax reform but inwardly know that fair taxes for all Canadians would mean the new Jaguar for the Mrs. would have to wait. We cannot have that now, can we?

A publicly APPOINTED group is needed for effective tax reform. Meaning other than the publicly ELECTED group now “addressing the situation”; if you get my drift.

STOP TREATING THE SYMPTOMS AND CURE THE DISEASE.

Formulae:

Work + Productivity = Good Economy

Inflation + Unemployment = Bad Economy

The unemployed are living comfortably on U.I.C. and Welfare to the tune of $40,000.00 for a family of four at a maximum. Why am I eeking out a living on my own?

What do you imagine would happen to the unemployment figures if it were to become law that: ANY able-bodied person without dependants under the age of forty be inducted into the Canadian Armed Forces after receiving the appropriate above mentioned benefits for a period not exceeding 120 days?

They could provide an inexpensive work-force, and learn a skill at the same time.

Another human resource that is costing incredible amounts every year, and is being wasted, is the convict guilty of non-violent crimes. These people, given a choice, may even prefer the C.A.F,. and may participate in road building or some other necessary project. God knows our roads need work.

The RECOVERED REVENUES should be allocated to the Canadian senior citizens who made this country what it is (or was) with their blood, sweat and tears—great cliché and great band. These people’s old age pensions would have them living near the poverty line. This, I find embarrassing as a Canadian.

Besides, if everyone is working, then even people on assistance and convicts cannot help but be productive which will net us a good economy; if my formula is correct,

“Out of the mouths of babes.”, oh never mind.

{This was too totalitarian for the weenies in power. My theory that being a “productive citizen” means you remain FREE to choose your destiny; while the “non-productive” types would lose their freedom, did not sit well in the weak government of the time. Today there are generations of welfare recipient families, criminals have far too many rights, our armed forces are under-manned, and our roads are still f-cked.}

Brain Dead.

G.S.T. and Canada’s Manufacturing Sector

IF the Goods and Services Tax is a necessary evil (and the jury is still out on that one), then why not take a lesson from any kind of sales professional who can readily overcome an objection. I objected to the G.S.T. and was overcome. Turn a negative into a positive (integers), and MAKE BUYING CANADIAN MANUFACTURED GOODS G.S.T. FREE.

When the tally was taken January 1, 1991: products from Japan, the USA and U.K. all had prices down 6% to 16% while Canadian built goods generally were HIGHER than their pre-G.S.T. price. Was the intent of the G.S.T. to STOP people from buying Canadian or was that what Free Trade was supposed to do?

Let us use our brains shall we. Work with me on this one.

Should a company wish to MANUFACTURE in our country (rare these days), EMPLOY CANADIANS and SELL their product in Canada; would it hurt to encourage them to STAY in Canada by making the purchase of their raw materials G.S.T. FREE?

If a wholesaler wants to SELL this CANADIAN MADE product across Canada, would it hurt to make his cost G.S.T. FREE?

When a retailer decides to MERCHANDISE this CANADIAN MADE product for SALE, would it not be an added incentive to make the retailers cost G.S.T. FREE?

Envision if you will, a consumer confronted with a product tag which read: “BUY CANADIAN AND SAVE: GST FREE!” Do you not think he or she might SHOP CANADIAN and quit spending millions across the border? This plan might even encourage consumer spending, which “I believe” has a positive effect on the economy.

I would like to thank my Basics of Economics & Marketing 101 instructor and the Academy.

{Well some credit is due, as there was a push created to “Shop Canadian”. However, the GST (now HST) was a nightmare for Canadian businesses to adapt to, and it created a taxation imbalance provincially. It did generate A SIX BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS the government “LOST” somewhere, and I am not certain if they ever reported finding it.}

Blogus interruptus… to be continued.

 

 

 

 

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 4

The Myth of “Living the Dream” in the Country: The Northern Ontario Experience.

ADDITIONAL POINTS OF INTEREST:

For those of you who have not yet changed your mind about living fulltime in The Great White North, and called a time-share real-estate agent somewhere down South, I will dispel a few more myths of the Ontario North country.

“YOU WILL MEET INTERESTING PEOPLE.”

“Interesting”, if you are a sociologist writing a book perhaps, but you should expect to meet uneducated, unwashed, unkempt, alcoholic, drug using scammers, and gossips anywhere you go.

The area’s “best and brightest” have left for greener pastures and better lives, and they rarely return.

THIS SHOULD BE TELLING YOU SOMETHING!

The locals left behind have a huge inferiority complex that makes them jealous and envious of “citiots”; a term they often use that refers to anyone who left the confines of the area or who is new to the area. They will take your money when you hire them, but will gossip endlessly about you as a “thank you” for employing them. They will always happily take your money in their shops, but will not reciprocate by supporting your business.

The rampant morbid obesity is a tell-tale sign of their low self-esteem and self-worth issues. Anxiety and depression are also common, and of course made worse by alcoholism, illegal drug use, or going off their prescription meds. The closest town has two methadone clinics servicing an area population of only 20,000. This says a great deal about area residents.

YOU CAN BUILD A NEW LIFE IN THE COUNTRY.”

If this means working at a career or job requiring the support of the locals; forget it. If you did not grow up there, they will resist employing you or supporting your business. They think that by hiring you, they are taking food out of the mouths of a local boy’s family. If you bring specialized skills that are unmatched in the area, they will hire several locals before finally caving in and hiring you to fix their problems. They will try to negotiate your invoice AFTER the work is done, so be careful who you work for, and don’t trust a hand-shake deal.

If you think your big city experience is marketable, you are sorely mistaken. They do not embrace knowledgeable people; they envy and ostracize them. Women and minorities will have it even worse as the local folks are about 100 years behind in their thinking. THEY ARE LEARNING TO HIDE IT though, thanks to the societal movement towards political correctnessTheir sexist and racist ideas have been a part of their upbringing and are subtly evident in how they do business.

You will hear things like: “We have tried all this before.” even though they have not. You may even hear my personal favorite: “That’s not how we do things up here.” which shows how they cling to ignorance and resist change. This, of course, is why they struggle so. If you attempt to “raise the bar” they will reject your ideas in favour of continuing to crawl under it. Their inferiority complex makes them petty and small-minded. New ideas that did not come from one of them just makes them feel inferior. They ask for suggestions but view answers as CRITICISM. Their idea of success is survival; NOT GETTING AHEAD!

ALL BAD THINGS HAPPEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT:

  • You will run out of propane at 3:00 am.
  • Your furnace will quit at 3:00 am.
  • Pipes burst at 3:00 am.
  • Trees fall across your driveway at 3:00 am.
  • Drunk, crying women will show up in your driveway at 3:00 am.

“THE FRESH AIR WILL INCREASE YOUR APPETITE.”

You may be hungry but where can you go to eat? Restaurant quality may be my biggest reason for getting the hell back to civilization. Roadside converted service stations selling DEEP FRIED EVERYTHING with “Home Made” GOOD SOURCES of FAT and SODIUM litter the area. You will have to drive some distance for a truly good meal. The smell of the forty-year-old grease and oil impregnating those old concrete garage floors “pair well” with the grease and oil these “greasy spoons” are cooking with.

“LIVING THE DREAM”:

If you think you are headed to a place of serenity, then most of you will find you were WRONG unless you buy acreage away from lakes, trails, roads, and PEOPLE. With ownership, you are simply TRADING city stressors for country stressors.

GIVE ME SMOG, IDIOT DRIVERS, AND BLACK SNOW-BANKS ONCE MORE AND I PROMISE I WILL NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT CITY LIFE AGAIN.

I will rent or buy a condo and let someone else handle all the maintenance. I miss restaurants, spare time, movie theatres, income opportunities, and women who look after themselves. If I never see another snowflake or pine needle again, I would be just fine with that too.

The new dream is of sand beaches, palm trees and warm temperatures.

I wonder how long their bug season is?

See you there!

P. S.

If anyone has a large estate on a tropical island or a huge yacht you rarely use and you want someone to watch over the place, please get in touch. FYI, I am very experienced with boats and would make a good motor-launch pilot. I could probably get used to “hanging” with women named Missy and Muffy.

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 3

A “living the dream” in the North Country rant.

Do you know why most tall strong men are gentle giants? If we weren’t, there would be none of you mouthy little f-ckers left! It must be wonderful to be five-foot-six and sixty-five years of age or more, and be able to say anything to anyone without there being much of a chance of getting a badly needed wrap in the teeth.

Here is the background dirt I dismissed, AS I ALWAYS DO, as gossip. People who gossip are usually a waste of skin, but in this case they were relaying accurate information. I believe you should judge people by their actions rather than what you HEAR. Some people are trying to change and improve. I am someone who encourages those who SEEM to be making the attempt. I have hired ex-cons, reformed alcoholics, and former drug users, and some made the transition back to productive members of society. Some did not.

My former neighbor has a small horse farm he runs on a pension. He is a total country boy. He was born here and he will die here. He traps, hunts, has a vegetable garden, mills lumber, and slaughters his own livestock—a very self-sufficient guy. These are traits I admire. I have hired him on several projects and found him to be reliable and hard-working. I have been invited to his yearly barn party that was a very “rural” thing to do, while not really my thing. When he had a heart problem, I offered any assistance I could give.

I had heard alleged reports of spousal and animal abuse. A good friend said simply: “He’s an a–hole.”, though I never knew the reason. I do know he has children who never visit. I recall he was always grumpy, even twenty-five years ago when I first encountered him at a local bar’s pool table. He was a bad loser who would get angry and leave without uttering a word that might have gotten him knocked out. It was that kind of place.

He exhibited the classic Napoleon complex—possibly abused, probably picked on or bullied, and unhappy his entire life at the hand he was dealt.

A couple of years ago when he was stressed about his health issues, he had been snarly with me. I let it pass because he is much smaller and too old for someone like me to bother with.

Strike one called.

Recently, I introduced a young friend to our little Napoleon to get some chainsaw chains sharpened; bringing him still more business. A couple weeks later, the same young friend had brokered a house trailer sale between his client and Napoleon. His client, whose wife was in hospital with terminal cancer, asked us to retrieve some blankets from the trailer which had sentimental value so off we went to Napoleon’s to get the keys. When I asked if we could get the keys to retrieve some items, he flatly said NO. I asked if he was kidding to which he replied NO and told me to F-CK OFF as he closed the door on us.

We left, a little stunned by what had transpired. My young friend was enraged. I was still in a state of disbelief. My rage would bubble up later. I explained to my young friend that this little twerp would gladly involve the police were he to do anything, and any judge who saw the age and size difference would not rule in his favour.

I was the voice of reason for a change.

I, on the other hand, am only ten or so years younger than Napoleon, but would not consider pounding him into the ground like a tent peg for the same reasons. I explained he is likely a sociopath, and punching him out will not fix his condition.

Strike two called.

I know the readers were hoping for the strike three call to see what I would do, but we will ALL have to wait to find out. Even I am not sure what I might do. I may be writing that segment from a prison cell.

What do we do in our tolerant and overly-policed society with a provocative prick who uses his small size, age, and the law to run his mouth, and who is such a piece of shit that he would keep f-cking blankets from a dying cancer patient?

I got nuthin’.

WE CAN ONLY HOPE KARMA IS A REAL THING.

 

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 2

The Myth of “Living the Dream” in the Country: The Northern Ontario Experience.

PEACE AND QUIET:

For most people considering a move to the country, peace means SECURITY—worry free living. You can leave your door open. You will be moving to a place where neighbours get together to help each other out, just like “the olden days of barn-raisings and quilting bees. Right?

There was a reason that EVERYONE CARRIED A GUN BACK IN THOSE DAYS. Some guns were actually named: Peace Maker. Back then, just as today, about 33% of the people you met were good people who would help their neighbor. Unfortunately the other 66% are people you must keep an eye on. 33% are out to screw you over. The remaining 33% are either indifferent or could waffle from one side to the other on any given day.

If you think there is no crime or less crime in the country, THINK AGAIN!

You are moving to the POT GROWING CAPITAL OF ONTARIO which means organized crime. While exploring trails on your ATV, you may cross paths with a biker-type carrying an automatic weapon. When he tells you: “You should not be here.”, LISTEN TO HIM and go back the way you came—QUICKLY!

Add to this the local teens with little to do to kill the boredom, who will get drunk, high, or both, and come up with some really bad ideas as to how to keep the party going.

Lastly is the saddest group, the alcoholics, drug addicts, sociopaths and schizophrenics displaced by cut-backs to the Ontario health system. They too are here for low-cost living. THEY ARE YOUR NEW NEIGHBOURS. They are easily managed if you BUY A GUN AND FIRE IT OFTEN to make them think twice.

The “QUIET” will make up for these other minor negative points, so long as your idea of quiet includes logging trucks that literally shake the place when they go down a nearby highway, chainsaws and gunshots just like in The Red Green Show, ATV’s every weekend for 8 MONTHS, snowmobiles the other 4 MONTHS, plus heavy power boat traffic for 2 MONTHS, and the never ending over-flights of commercial, military, and police aircraft THAT WERE NOT THERE TWENTY YEARS AGO. Oh yeah, do not forget your neighbour who is building a mansion with diesel powered heavy equipment.

FRESH AIR AND SUNSHINE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS:

If by “fresh” you mean COLD, then yes. Northern Ontario has some of the freshest air short of the Arctic Circle because THAT IS WHERE MOST OF OUR AIR COMES FROM.

The winter of 2013-14 was horrible everywhere in the province, but here are some statistics from my area:

  • In each of the 8 months beginning in October and including April, it snowed.
  • In that same period, the temperatures NEVER HIT POSITIVE DOUBLE DIGITS. In other words +10C or 50F was not seen for an 8 month period.
  • For 4 consecutive months the temperatures NEVER WENT ABOVE FREEZING.
  • For that same period the typical night-time temperatures were -20C to -40C or -40F (they are the same at that point on the scales).

For most of 6 months, “dressing up” meant putting on your “good” long-underwear and snow pants.

Sunshine happened occasionally for 30 minutes a day, if you were lucky, and you may have had to travel to see it. In winter sunshine comes with a price. Clear skies often mean extreme cold. There were entire weeks that went by without seeing the sun. A favourite joke when it did come out was “What is that fireball in the sky?” SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) runs rampant without the sun and its natural vitamin D production. In December you will get four hours of sunlight, if you are lucky, and you will not want to be outside. “Feel the burn” is usually a phrase associated with a work-out, but here it means frostbite or sunburn due to the giant hole in the ozone layer overhead.

BEING SURROUNDED BY NATURE:

The fantasy of having rabbits, foxes, and deer playing in your yard was my reality. So was the more disturbing unwanted less cute critters like bears, wolves, fishers, skunks, raccoons, snakes, and what some people thought was a cougar.

YOUR FANTASY OF RUNNING NAKED THROUGH THE FOREST MIGHT GET YOU KILLED BY NATURE.

Being surrounded by nature means GOOD HUNTING: BUG SEASON is open all year round!

Black fly season begins as soon as the snow melts and lasts for 2 TO 3 MONTHS! For those not familiar, this is a CARNIVORE about the size of a flea that does not like their homes being disturbed by anything; especially raking. A distant relative of the piranha fish, they will attack in great numbers and devour ANY EXPOSED FLESH. Working outdoors means covering up or using massive quantities of CANCER CAUSING AGENTS a.k.a. bug spray to keep just some of them away. Locals like to make black fly season even scarier to tourists by making jokes like: “The black flies are so big this year I just saw one humping a partridge.”

Some years you will be given a choice between bleeding bites from black flies and lumps from the West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes. Mosquito season can last for 5 MONTHS and it begins with the heat of summer that will kill off most of the black flies. However, the mosquitos will only be killed off by cold.

In July, the mosquito will be joined by other man-eating species like deer flies and horse flies. Deer flies are about the size of a house fly, but they are a fast delta-winged biter that lives in wooded areas.

The horse fly likes, you guessed it, horses, but have now adapted to eat other mammals as horses are not as common as they once were. Horse flies appear as an over-sized house fly until he takes a chunk out of you. They are relatively slow which means you can often swat them with your hand. They do not drown easily and yes, I have done this experiment. The horse fly loves a sunny day at the beach, especially when humans are on the lunch menu. If you want a high kill ratio, then wait until they start to bite before swatting. Like a human eating a good steak, they are savouring the taste of your meat, and are not paying attention.

Dragon flies, bees and butterflies are often COLLATERAL DAMAGE when using insecticides. Though they are beneficial, sometimes they are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I never used these products as a camper, but once you live in the woods fulltime, your views on environmental impact change.

Just there to piss you off are June bugs, moths and ants. Enjoy the hunt and the kill. FYI: moth season is open year-round as somehow they will last into December when all the others have died or are in a cryogenic sleep.

Spiders, ants, and house flies are available for hunting year-round without having to go outside.

The stinging varieties are many:

Wasps, especially ground wasps that nest under rotting logs, hornets and yellow jackets are like ISIS members: TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY. It is them or us. In late summer or early fall, many of the stingers cannot cope with the idea their lives are about to end so they act insanely and commit suicide by attacking you for no reason . . . the suicide bombers of the insect world.

Enjoy your week. I have to go kill something.

Blogus Interruptus… continued next week.

 

Lost in the Wilderness: Part 1

The Myth of “Living the Dream” in the Country: The Northern Ontario Experience.

“MOVE TO THE COUNTRY.”, they said.

Your unknowing weekend guests will envy the VISTAS you wake up to each day. On the surface, life in the country appears to offer: low cost living, time to enjoy the simple easy life, peace and quiet, unlimited fresh air, and the beauty of being surrounded by nature.

I moved to the country near the southern-most tip of Algonquin Park to write a book. After TWO YEARS getting settled, I began writing a book. I met a woman. I stopped writing the book for another TWO YEARS. She finally left and I continued writing the book until I finally completed it after another TWO YEARS; which begs the question:

Why does everything take so long in a lifestyle that was advertised as slow-paced?

The simplest answer is: ENDLESS HARDSHIPS!

For most of us here, with the exception of the very wealthy, there is an endless list of daily chores that must be dealt with just to avoid catastrophe.

Once you have taken the plunge, just as with marriage, you will post these incredible photos of your amazing life on Facebook in an attempt to LURE OTHERS into the same NIGHTMARE.

There is a reason alcoholics and pot-heads flourish here; and that is because alcohol and drugs help you to forget how much IT SUCKS TO LIVE THIS WAY.

snow-11

PICTURE POSTCARD SETTINGS: VISTAS come with a price.

Snow on evergreens means two things: you can make your own Christmas cards and when the wind blows in the middle of the night and that snow falls out of those trees onto your roof; it will sound like London during The Blitz.

photo0339

In summer those same trees will secrete a super glue-like substance all over your car, skylights, garden furniture etc.

Nov 11

For ONE WEEK each fall, hardwood trees will have their leaves brightly coloured creating a magnificent splendiferous display, and then for the next 24 WEEKS they will look like a POST ATOMIC HORROR.

Pine trees are the bane of my existence. Their needles seem to fall endlessly as does their sap. If nature has a smart-weapon, it is the pine needle. They build dams in your eves-trough as well as any beaver could and they can worm their way into every nook, crack or crevice in a 150 foot radius from the base of a single tree. The pine needle is like a leach that loves to travel- hitching a free ride on vehicles by attaching themselves semi-permanently to rubber seals, wiper blades, carpets and air-vent holes in order to travel the countryside with you.

Murphy’s Law of the North Country:

The wind will not blow the snow out of the trees until you go outside.

There really is nothing as “refreshing” as having pounds of fine powder snow land on your head completely filling your coat collar as it makes its way down your back.

LOW COST LIVING:

Property in general is cheap to purchase but less so for lake-front property.

Property taxes are cheap for acreage zoned agricultural but is absolutely ridiculous for water-front property zoned recreational. $5000.00 to $8000.00 annually is not unheard of. MPAC (our tax assessment organization) is like a black helicopter black-ops group that covertly looks over your property and figures out how to charge the MOST they can. If you have a large puddle in view then they will mark your property as having a water-front. If you have a wood-shed, they will call it a garage. If you have a dog house, they will call it a guest house.

They never talk to the property owner because they might get shot for their obvious attempts at over-taxation. They get away with their tactics because people with recreational properties are either oblivious or too busy to spend an entire day in a cottage country MPAC office trying to sort out the monkeys working there.

Just as with Hydro ”ESTIMATING” your usage, the government will get INTEREST FREE MONEY by over-assessing a property until the owner gets around to making a fuss. I know of one case where two, nearly identical lake-front properties that were side by side had a $3000.00 per year taxation difference. One owner fought and one did not. Oh yeah, if MPAC have had it wrong for years, THEY WILL NOT REBATE YOU. They will merely credit your account.

The governments like to keep their ill-gotten gains.

On the subject of Hydro, your Hydro bill will be MORE THAN DOUBLE that of the city due to the low population density, the number of tree and weather related emergency outages, as well as aging infrastructure. $3000.00 per year is not uncommon.

If there is a planned Armageddon as conspiracy theorists claim, then Hydro is leading the charge to herd people from the country back to the city with their ridiculous rural rates. At least once they release the pathogens in the cities; you will not have to pay your cottage Hydro bill again.

DIY: Your maintenance costs will be higher than most high-end condos in a major city unless you do most of the work yourself.

If you choose this road, you will become a full-time maintenance person and contractor with an endless list of things to do seven days a week. You might get some time off when it is blowing, cold, and raining but because your production schedule will be set back by the bad weather, you will work ALL the nice sunny days that follow. This is how you can become a slave to your property and the reason you will not have any time to enjoy the simple easy life.

SIMPLE and EASY:

There is nothing SIMPLE or EASY about life in the country other than many of the people you will meet.

  • Using an outhouse at -40 is not simple or easy.
  • Not having running water in the winter is not simple or easy.
  • Having drains back-up because the septic tank froze is not simple or easy.
  • Cleaning up after multiple daily snowfalls is not simple or easy.
  • Plugging your car in for at least 60 nights is not simple or easy.
  • Dealing with a deer-hit car insurance claim is not simple or easy.
  • Cleaning splattered insects off the front of your car is not simple or easy.
  • Getting pounds of sand out of your car interior is not simple or easy.
  • Keeping your propane flowing below -30C is not simple or easy.
  • Getting suitable work is not simple or easy.
  • Keeping from being eaten alive by bugs is not simple and easy.
  • Going weeks without seeing the sun is not simple or easy.
  • Having cold feet for a third of a year is not simple and easy.
  • Priming the water-pump and keeping it going is not simple or easy.

Becoming “countrifiedmeans: You will let most of the above list slide in favour of getting drunk, going fishing or both.

On the subject of running water; if by RUNNING you mean:

  • It RUNS down the drain and freezes there- then yes.
  • That a pipe burst in the middle of the night causing water to RUN all over your new finished basement- then yes.
  • When the snow melted quickly in the spring, it created a moat with RUNNING water around your home- then yes.
  • It RUNS everywhere except into the cottage where you need it- then yes.

Blogus Interruptus … continued next week.

 

The FEAR Lessons: Part 3

EVIL WORDSMITHS ARE PREYING ON YOUR IMAGINATIONS!

Blah, blah, blah. So where are you taking us E. A.?

In part one I defined the true Canadian spirit as I see it. We are NOT A FEARFUL PEOPLE. We are not interested in SACRIFICING OUR FREEDOM IN THE NAME OF SECURITY. In part two, I did my best to learn about the Muslim population of the planet, in order to offset the propaganda machine created by political pundits and main-stream media FEAR MONGERS. This final part of the series will take you into the dark world of fear mongers; main-stream media and political speech writers, or as they are better known: SPIN DOCTORS.

To understand ANY human, you must first understand that EVERYTHING we do is selfishly motivated if you look closely enough.

Although I could not find the origin of this philosophical idea, it very much applies to the West’s dealings in the Middle East. If you help an old person cross a street; are you doing it for them or are you doing it for the nice feeling you get from doing a good deed? So with this in mind, I will take the few advanced and enlightened humans on the planet on a journey into main-stream media, politics, propaganda, and manipulation.

The words used previously to describe how my children’s story MANIPULATED those young minds by appealing to their BASE FEARS can be applied to ALL TV news broadcasts, ALL radio news broadcasts, ALL large newspaper stories, ALL political speeches, and MOST of what you find on the internet.

These word-smiths earn a living by writing, ergo, they are selfishly motivated to follow “editorial guidelines”.

But who is the real Editor In Chief that mass media bows to?

The more money they make, the more corrupt they become, and the more easily their words can be DIRECTED to comply with an agenda. Most top political speech writers have six figure salaries, and those who do not, have every PERK imaginable in lieu of salary. Unlimited expense accounts and private jets are not off the table.

How important is a speech writer to a politician trying to manipulate a population?

“Ask not what your country can do for you . . . ask what you can do for your country.”

This famous quote was DELIVERED by President John F. Kennedy, but was WRITTEN by a guy named Ted Sorenson.

ALL WRITERS ARE STORY TELLERS!!!

I am one; but I CHOOSE to attempt to create AWARENESS with almost everything I write, and I assure you, my writing has not yet given me a five digit income let alone a six. Perhaps I suck at this, or perhaps there is no money in peddling the TRUTH. Time will tell.

It is because mainstream media does such a bad job of reporting events and telling ACCURATE accounts these days, that the world now views the North American populace as BACKWARD AND FEARFUL like our media.

Whatever happened to fact-checking sources?  In their haste to be first with “Breaking News” the media will run any loosely-sourced bit of information, and sell it as TRUTH until they retract it later . . . quietly and without all the hoopla.

Most people remember the headlines but never see the retractions.

In the epitome of sensationalized news “entertainment”—I no longer call it journalism—every evening for weeks, Wolf Blitzer found a missing plane, and then, apparently, he was astounded each night when he discovered the debris turned out to be only a Styrofoam cup or something equally ridiculous to claim as plane wreckage. The producers at the very least knew what had been found, but they needed a headline.

This is dangerous.

While I am the last person who should be lecturing readers about staying on top of current events, I encourage readers to DIG DEEP into the facts of a story which interests them, and not to believe anything they read, hear, or see, until there is UNDENIABLE PROOF.

Our populace is sold MISINFORMATION through headlines.

It seems that North American societies, and most humans for that matter, believe well-written and well-told stories without ever checking the facts. WE ARE GULLIBLE! You must question the credibility of everything you hear and most of what you see in a news report. Beginning in Vietnam, the staging of live-fire events for news cameras began as the military did not want reporters in active war zones where they could become casualties, prisoners, give away positions, or see “things best be kept secret” and out of the watchful eye of the public.

Here is how main-stream media tells a story:

Instead of a title they call it a headline.

The media now sells:

  • the seemingly plausible,
  • real sounding,
  • unknown,
  • unexplained,
  • and not understood,

from sources who:

  • heard,
  • interpreted,
  • and told stories

to reporters who were:

  • afraid,
  • cautious,
  • alone,
  • out-numbered,
  • and far away from people,

using words like:

  • big,
  • huge,
  • and massive,
  • in the darkness,
  • in the blackness,

all in an effort to move you emotionally, engaging your most BASIC FEARS.

You are now OPEN TO MANIPULATION because they triggered your mind to not only imagine this fearful setting, but to remember and compare it to a time when you were as scared and/or worried as these people appear to be.

Whether you are eight, eighteen or eighty years of age, you can be manipulated by the presentation of seemingly factual information disseminated by an authoritative figure like a news anchor, a politician, or a religious leader, if you are not cognizant of their agenda, and a vigilant fact-checker.

The vast majority of us, including myself, WANT TO BELIEVE.

It is natural. Belief brings HOPE. Hope brings a continued EFFORT in the worst of times. Mankind is the dominant species on the planet because of our ability to continually STRIVE through hardship. Without belief and hope we would not succeed as a species.

I, as a child, would hang on every word Walter Cronkite ever spoke. Rightly or wrongly, I RESPECTED AND TRUSTED HIM, but now I fear this former influence may have simply been a PRESENTER OF CAREFULLY CRAFTED WORDS, either as a willing or unsuspecting participant in a propaganda machine.

As stated previously, I am spiritual, but I am not religiously affiliated. I do listen to major addresses by the Pope when he is seemingly sending a message of PEACE. I now wonder about the Church’s motivations in our modern world, and I wonder about his speech writers. Long ago I RESPECTED AND TRUSTED THEM, never thinking even the Pope may just be a DELIVERER OF CAREFULLY CRAFTED WORDS.

Most humans are not interested in fact-checking, so they are easily herded and marshaled by words.

Most humans are more interested in gossip, or in other words, an interesting plausible tale.

Most humans are no better than the scared children hearing a spooky story in the dark.

We must change this. By undertaking a STUDY IN FEAR, we can teach our children to recognize manipulation strategies in an instant. Future humans may well need this as a survival instinct. How fear was created by this writer was explained to children in the second part of this series. Now we will see how some of those SAME SCARE TACTICS are used by the main-stream media TO SELL FEAR TO ADULTS.

When we cannot see, we tend to rely on what we hear. Everything seems louder, bigger, closer, and more dangerous.

In the Gulf war, did the TV cameras only work at night?

Examples:

  • The SAME downtown Bagdad night time anti-aircraft fire footage was used again and again.
  • SCUD missile attacks and Patriot missile interceptions were a night-time thing.
  • Planes lighting after-burners as they raced down a runway into the darkness were featured daily.

It made for exciting coverage, but IT WAS THE DARKNESS THAT PLAYED ON OUR FEARS.

‘The night is dark and full of terrors.’ – Game of Thrones

When trying to interpret sounds, we use our imaginations; our brains create possible pictures in our head of what we might be hearing, and then we choose one TO BELIEVE IN based on our knowledge and experiences.

Iraqi launched SCUD missiles were unlikely to land anywhere near their intended target, in fact 20 miles away was common. However, THE WORLD WAS SHOWN A LOOK OF FEAR AND PANIC THAT WAS NOTICED BY ALL OUR ENEMIES when an air-raid siren at a forward airbase had American reporters and camera people scrambling for shelter and gas masks.

Psyops – abbreviation – Psychological operations (PSYOP) are operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.

Who benefits from controlling the minds of the populace?

Just follow the money.

We need to put someone with balls on camera for the world to see, and not some scared over-paid coward running for cover. It will send a different message.

The air-raid siren conjures up memories of London during the blitz in our adult minds, whether we were there or just saw it in movies. As a youngster in school in Toronto, they would test the air-raid siren on the school’s roof, and we kids would be hustled down into a basement boiler room shelter.

We were taught to FEAR THIS SOUND.

Somewhere on that air-base near Riyadh, there were aircraft ground crews working while the siren sounded, and this is what needed to be shown by the media. A couple of Canadian boys would have looked up and said: “No biggy.” and went back about their business. This is why western civilization is viewed as being WEAK, and why these enemies think we are VULNERABLE TO TERRORISM. I would bet my last dollar that Stormin’ Norman would not sweat that moment. He was the last “real” guy with a pair I have seen on TV since. It is possible I was manipulated into thinking this by his evil word-smith. This is the danger of mass media.

If you do not BELIEVE anything, you will likely create FEAR based in paranoia.

If nothing is REAL, and there is no TRUTH, then you cannot BELIEVE, which means all HOPE is removed and continued existence becomes pointless. I have enough of a belief system (I hope) to offset this potential pitfall because STRIVING to find and expose TRUTH is a worthwhile pursuit in my estimation.

“The title made you believe in something imaginary. You were told the writer had encountered these things in the title when, in fact, he had not.”

WMD’s: Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

I refuse to call this clown by his office title. G. W.’s SPIN DOCTORS went to work to CONCOCT A FICTIONAL STORY that would be used to SELL FEAR to the American public and to other nations in the West in the wake of 9/11. THEY CREATED THE AXIS OF EVIL. THEY INVENTED WMD’s. G.W. wanted to equal his father’s legacy and came up way short, unless his sole purpose was to remove freedoms from Americans. He embarrassed the office; destabilized the Middle East region; created new enemies for all Western countries, assuming terrorists are not a construct of his cronies; wasted money; wasted lives; had his dirty little hands in the stock market crisis, and has been linked to the bin Ladin family. THIS IS HIS LEGACY.

In his time in office, he opened the door to TERRORISM by making the West seem WEAK AND INCREDIBLY STUPID.

“The writer began to scare you with creepy words like: snakes, big dangerous things, lions, tigers, bears, cougars, wolves, bats, owls and how they come out at night when it is dark and you cannot see well.”

WMD’s, anthrax, mustard gas, nerve agents, Sarin gas, blister agents and yellow-cake uranium were hot topics in the STORIES being spun.

IF they were ever used, then the military hushed it up as directed by political leaders in order to avoid an escalation of the conflict.

“The writer told you this was the third time he had run into this, so you thought it could be true.”

Saddam had used chemical weapons years before in the war with Iran.

The frightened fear-mongering media never let you forget this.

“A grown-up was telling you that he was scared and went to hide, so you would think the thing must be real and it scared you.”

The next shell or SCUD missile MIGHT BE THE ONE that had a chemical or nerve agent, or so the media was telling us.

They were selling an unfolding drama filled with suspense while creating anxiety.

“The writer told us there must be more than one of the things, to play on our fear of being out-numbered.”

How loudly did the media, military, and politicians play up Saddam’s 1,000,000 man army in the Gulf War?

A one-million man army that was SCARED, under-trained, and under-equipped, and hungry had little hope against the World’s best soldiers.

Here are some FACTS for you to mull:

Middle-Eastern civilization predates Western civilization by a “few” years. Sumer was around 4000 years before Christ. That is 4826 years before the first English monarch. People from the region view us as unruly children who cannot be controlled, and we continue to prove them right.

However, turn-about is fair play.

Christianity appears to have produced The Old Testament up to 150 years before Christ, and the individual stories appear to have been created up to 10,000 years before that, depending on who you talk to. Muhammad’s life was chronicled almost 700 years after Christ. That makes the Islamic religion MUCH YOUNGER by comparison. Christians did HORRIFIC things to their fellow man in their FORMATIVE YEARS. In the early years of Christianity, the Church was very POLITICALLY ACTIVE; there was killing and conquering in the name of Christianity; there was bickering among the Church’s top officials which led to today’s 41,000 Christian denominations; there was MASS MIGRATION of early Christian peoples to escape persecution, and the good words of the BIBLE were twisted by EVIL DOERS to suit their own agendas.

Does any of this sound familiar?

The West has had much longer to put our religions IN PERSPECTIVE in our personal lives; within our modern society, and we have mostly separated religion from politics.

Islamic followers are mostly born into their faith. Most do not know they have been indoctrinated, and some are content with the idea. Some Muslims will argue their way is SIMPLER and EASIER than ours. That may well be true, but it requires an individual to become a FOLLOWER, and to give up many of their rights as an individual in the process.

This does not sit well in the West where we have paid a very dear price for our personal rights and freedoms.

I harbor ANGER towards all those evil word-smiths who participate in fear-mongering.

I harbor ANGER towards all those who use religions to manipulate the masses.

I harbor ANGER towards all those who spread terror.

A FEAR MONGER IS THE TERRORIST WE SHOULD FEAR!

UNTIL WE ELIMINATE FEAR; HUMANITY CANNOT UNITE.

Postscript:

The topics of politics, religion, and propaganda are soul crushing to me. I struggle almost daily with humanity’s right to succeed as a species, yet I continually search for HOPE.

This is why I rarely venture into world events, until a guy like our Prime Minister (Harper) tries to write himself into a history book by wasting young Canadian lives in a place like Afghanistan, while taking away rights our parents or grandparents paid for in blood, all in the name of FEAR and SECURITY. He is G. W. incarnate.

They are all in it together.

It is time to shelve our differences and work collectively to figure out what the puppet masters are up to, before it’s too late.

The FEAR Lessons: Part 2

EVIL WORDSMITHS ARE PREYING ON YOUR IMAGINATIONS!

“FEAR IS THE MIND KILLER”- paraphrasing Frank Herbert author of Dune.

Terror; terrified; terrorized.

My latest re-examination of this topic began with me “ACCIDENTALLY” writing a children’s story based on my personal adventures living in the wilderness.

Public Relations work aside; I have never written fiction before. All I did to create this story was to think back to how I was startled, by the then unexplained happenings, and how my mind raced for answers at the time.

THIS IS HOW TO STRIKE FEAR IN A HUMAN.

As I wrote, I was smiling and even laughing aloud as I envisioned scaring the crap out of some kids in a tent with a flashlight held to my chin, recounting these tales as though they really had some other-worldly explanation.

A thought occurred. These kids would never get to sleep without them knowing the TRUTH of what had happened. If I released these scary stories without teaching children about the IRRATIONALITY OF FEAR, I would have dozens of e-mails from angry parents and/or camp councilors, “thanking me” for a sleepless night or nights. I was not writing this to give kids nightmares. I am not Steven King. I was writing it to show children how interesting and entertaining reading can be on a rainy night, perhaps without power, whether in a tent, a cottage, or in a city.

So after regaling them with three, SEEMINGLY PLAUSIBLE and VERY REAL SOUNDING scary stories of the unknown and unexplained, I added an epilogue instructing the parent to continue reading.

In simple terms, I explained how I had intentionally MANIPULATED the readers and listeners to make their imaginations run wild.

What I did not tell the youngsters, was I had covertly scared them into: not going anywhere alone, going inside when they should, wearing life-jackets, and brushing their teeth.

I explained in non-grownup words, the fear-threat response that is genetically wired into us, courtesy of earliest man, and the fight or flight mechanism which creates the feeling of fright, thanks to our adrenal activity.

I walked them through all the stories to show them how I had SCARED THEM WITH WORDS.

The messages went something like this:

When we cannot see, we tend to rely on what we hear. Everything seems louder, and bigger, closer, and more dangerous. When trying to interpret sounds, we use our imaginations. Our brains create possible pictures in our head of what we might be hearing, and then we choose one to BELIEVE in based on our knowledge and experiences.

The title made you believe in something IMAGINARY. You were told the writer had encountered these things in the title when, in fact, he had not. He said he heard things, smelled something, and even was splashed by something he never saw.

You were told about a legend. A legend is just an old story. Stories can be fictional, or in other words, made up in someone’s imagination.

The writer began to scare you with creepy words like: snakes, big dangerous things, lions, tigers, bears, cougars, wolves, bats, owls, and how they come out at night when it is dark, and you cannot see well.

The writer told you this was the third time he had run into this, so you thought it could be true.

In the first story, the writer used more scary words like: alone; the air was deadly still; dark shadows everywhere; and suddenly in the blackness.

A grownup was telling you he was scared and went to hide, so you would think the thing must be real, and it scared you.

The writer never saw a thing; he just heard something his imagination associated with a sound he had heard before.

He used lots of scary words. He told us a story he had only heard about bears so we don’t know if it is true.

He scared us with words like: no moonlight; eerily quiet; dark black night; something huge; he was alone and scared; and something was not afraid of fire.

The writer told us there must be more than one of the things, to play on our fear of being out-numbered.

The writer scared us some more about being alone and far away from help.

He used scary words like: right behind me; trapped; dark; foggy; could not see; boards creaking; and a bad smell.

So why did he make up a scary story? Scary stories can be exciting and fun if we do not BELIEVE TOO MUCH of a story.

We are only afraid of things we do not understand, whether it is animals, or people who are different from us.

It is here where I realized I had completely explained fear-mongering to children.

If there is an argument for total honesty with children in the world of psychology, I come down on the FOR side, and I may be alone over there. We want our children to have an INNOCENT, happy, blissful, and care-free childhood which is unrealistic even in the smallest rural area. As much as we would like to, we cannot create a bubble around our children. Their natural inquisitive nature will take them outside of any bubble parents create for them, and what the child finds outside the bubble, will lessen the child’s opinion of the parents who appear FEARFUL of it. The child loses respect for parents exhibiting irrational fear.

I finished with this note.

A note from the Author to parents:

Please do not help to make your children live in fear. There are trying times ahead for future generations, and we must stop passing along our more ridiculous fears to our children.

  • Being afraid to go into a lake is ridiculous.
  • Being afraid of thunder and lightning is ridiculous.
  • BEING TERRIFIED OF ANYTHING IS RIDICULOUS.

Having respect for the power of nature is PRUDENT, so long as you are not putting rubber boots on the bed-posts in a lightning storm, and then hiding under it.

When we encounter something new that we do not understand, we are naturally a little afraid and cautious of it until we UNDERSTAND it better.

I cannot believe there is a need to discuss religion in the year 2015. I thought that humanity would have grown past this by now. As always, mankind continually disappoints. The West is being told to BE AFRAID of unfamiliar religions and peoples, by the media and North American politicians who have shit for brains.

Are we as stupid as the people on TV?

The media cites the worst interpreted examples from the Qur’an, and the most radical denominations of Islam, leaving the peace-loving MAJORITY of followers of that faith to try to repair the damage . . . and it NEVER happens on main-stream media.

WHO IS CONTROLLING MAIN-STREAM MEDIA CONTENT?

He, she, it, or they are the EVIL we need to be fighting.

I will attempt to clear up some “misconceptions”, a polite Canadian word which in this case means: MORONIC STUPIDITY.

  • Islam is the second biggest religion in the world next to Christianity. NEITHER PRESENTS “A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER” until we throw in some LOOSE INTERPRETATION like King James did, and like Islamists do; so we have this in common.
  • There are apparently 72 sects or schools—what we call denominations of Islamic followers. The largest is the Sunni sect and globally they even outnumber Catholics.

Generations of Catholics have been “at odds” with Protestants in Ireland. I have been to their pubs and drank with both sides. I heard their explanations, but never really got it. Both made good arguments, but neither showed me the necessity for violence, but this is what happens when you mix CHURCH and STATE. My conclusion was they were raised with FEAR, hate, anger, and intolerance, and know nothing else. (I can hear the facebook UN-FRIEND buttons clicking now.) Generations of Sunni have been at odds with Shias in the Middle East, so we again have something in common.

In researching this paper, I found out there are 41,000 Christian denominations—which is just NUTS—so you can bet your ass there are Christian radical extremists out there somewhere.

What is a radical religious extremist?

It is ANYONE who TWISTS THE WORDS of ANY “book of faith” TO DO EVIL, or SANCTION EVIL, and it has been going on for thousands of years IN ALL RELIGIONS.

I HAVE AN EQUAL DISTASTE FOR ALL RELIGIONS. Here is why: ALL of them rely on a fallible human student of theology, to ATTEMPT to interpret ancient texts in order to create A VERSION OF EVENTS, that sends a message to followers living in modern times. This CREATIVE WRITING ASSIGNMENT is not always done well, nor is it without bias. A political slant or conclusion is often added to appease whoever was paying the writer. Centuries later the same bad writing assignment will be misinterpreted to suit another political agenda, AND SO IT GOES . . . CENTURY AFTER CENTURY.

  • Most religions practice EXCLUSIONISM. “If you are not ONE OF US you are not welcome here unless you convert.”
  • Most religions tell their followers that they are “THE CHOSEN ONES” making them think they are better than other humans. YOU ARE NOT.
  • Most religions sell you FEAR. Fear of others who do not have the same faith as you, and fear of an afterlife where you will be punished for your sins.
  • Each religion promises that it can save you if you are faithful and PAY.

So, here is my best INTERPRETATION of the Islamic faith and its significant sects, for the brain dead politicians and media types, who just cannot seem to get a handle on the subject:

It can be very confusing, as we in the West separate church, state and law whereas Muslims tend to merge them. THIS MAY BE SINGLE BIGGEST DIVIDING FACTOR as historically, we in the West view this as dangerous. Anytime someone has controlled all three, it led to corruption, totalitarianism, and usually wars.

View Muslims NOT as being part of a singular Islamic religion, but rather as being one of 72 possible Islamic nation states, trying to live within the borders of your nation like an embassy. All 72 have their own take on government, society, and a legal system, whether we in the West agree with it or not. The local Mosque should be thought of more like an Embassy than a house of worship.

Our next problem in the West is we like to pick a team and stick with it. YOU CANNOT DO THIS WITH THE ISLAMIC SECTS. Every one of the 72 has a different take on religion, societal governance. and jurisprudence. They evolve as well, with some new “up and comers” that leave others in decline.

The West was introduced to Islam for the first time in Iran, when the Shias assumed power after the Shaw was ousted, and those people had a dislike for the Shaw because he was backed by the West.

THIS WAS NOT A GOOD INTRODUCTION.

A picture was painted of ALL ISLAMIC PEOPLES based on Iran in 1979 which was not flattering. I am trying, 36 YEARS LATER, to spread a gallon of paint on a canvas which has become miles wide; but try I will because I am Canadian.

In Iraq it was the Sunnis who backed Saddam, and that also explained, to a large degree, the Iran / Iraq war.

Before we go any farther, we need to clear up some misconceptions:

  • Most Muslims live in Asia and not in the Middle-East.
  • Only about 20% of Arabs are Muslims.
  • 93% of Muslims do not support extremist views on terrorism. There have been far more acts of terrorism against this peaceful group than all the non-Islamic peoples combined.
  • Their books are comparable IN CONCEPT to Christianity’s Old and New Testaments.
  • ON THE SURFACE it appears Christian people, Jewish people, and Islamic people all worship the same GOD, but they all have VERY different takes on prophets, disciples, and the power (if any) attributed to each. Beyond “the Commandments” there is little common ground in those various INTERPRETATIONS of events.
  • Islam is the religion of Muslims.
  • Muhammad is their prophet and Allah is their word for GOD.
  • The Qur’an is their book of faith with the Hadith which teaches a Muslim how to lead their day to day lives in the way of Muhammad.
  • They know much more about Jesus than most Christians know about Mohammed.
  • Islam is the name of a faith. This term is in the Qur’an.
  • Islamic means relating to Islam. This term is in the Qur’an.
  • Islamism means POLITICAL Islam. These terms are NOT in the Qur‘an.
  • Islamist means POLITICAL ACTIVIST with beliefs supporting Islamism. These terms are NOT in the Qur’an.
  • A Muslim is “anyone who submits to the will of GOD” – a follower of ANY interpretation of Islamic faith. This term is in the Qur’an.
  • Iman means faith.
  • Imam is a prayer leader.
  • Jihadism is a Sunni Islamist armed struggle that describes sectarian conflicts with Shia Islam, Sufi Islam, and Ahmadi Islam. These terms are NOT in the Qur’an.
  • Jihadist or Jihadi is a person who believes that ONE ISLAMIC STATE GOVERNING ALL MUSLIMS must be created through violence if necessary. These terms are not in the Qur’an.
  • JIHAD is a word that is found in the Qur’an that SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN REFERENCED BY THE WESTERN MEDIA. It is an INFLAMMATORY word and subject, even among Islamic peoples of differing sects.
  • Jihad has multiple INTERPRETATIONS and therein lies the problem. It means “the cause of GOD.” The literal definition is “striving to achieve a goal.” It also is referred to as “fighting a non-believer in the fields of battle”. I read a story about a man who approached Muhammad and asked simply: What is Jihad? The response he was given made him ask the same question a second time which resulted in the same answer. The positive message Muhammad seemed to be attempting to pass along was that THE MOST IMPORTANT STRUGGLE IS WITHIN A MAN, and less important are the external struggles he faces in his life. Even in the time of Muhammad, Jihad was a difficult concept.

Now, let us be PERFECTLY CLEAR: I am not a theologian. I am not religiously affiliated. I DO HAVE STRONG PERSONAL BELIEFS WHICH ARE NOBODY’S BUSINESS BUT MY OWN. I am conveying my take on what I read FROM AN ALREADY INTERPRETED TEXT THAT WAS THEN TRANSLATED! It is best Westerners do not attempt to weigh in on this conversation.

  • Do Muslims view Westerners as non-believers or infidels? MOST DO NOT.
  • Many do however think the West has “lost its way” with our endless uncaring exploitation of the planet, and they may well be right about this as are the millions of other people, both religious and non-religious, who think the same.
  • Christians and Jewish peoples are viewed as having a SIMILAR faith by many Muslim peoples. Christians, Jewish people, and Islamic people ALL view people of other faiths as infidels. In fact infidel is a term first used by Christians to describe anyone who did not have THE EXACT SAME FAITH OR DENOMINATION. Now there is a small component of Islam that DISTORTS the term the way Christians once did. So we have this in common with them as well.
  • About 10 to 20% of Islamic peoples fall into the category of Islamism or Political Islam or Activist Islam or Militant Islam; four names meaning the same thing. These people hold to a totalitarian belief where all aspects of life: social, political, and personal are to be “guided” by their ideologies, that were interpreted and delivered by their leaders. Ancient Sharia law is rigidly held to. They want to remove all Western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influences from the Muslim world, as they believe these to be incompatible with Islam. In other words, they want to be left alone to live how they wish. They are isolationists. THEY VIEW NON-INTERFERENCE AS FREEDOM.
  • Sunni Islam is the largest group of Islamic followers with more than 50% of Muslims. Claims have been made the number could be as high as 80%. This group can be termed the “orthodox” version of Islamic belief. The name is derived from the word sanna meaning “smooth and easy flow” describing (if my INTERPRETATION of an already interpreted and translated document is correct) an easy path to Heaven. They believe their caliph (judge) to be just a man.
  • Shia Islam represents about 13% of Islamic followers and they focus on the teachings Muhammad’s cousin Ali. Sometimes referred to as Shiite, this group considers their Imams (law givers) to be infallible and not mere men.
  • ALL DIVISION BETWEEN SHIA AND SUNNI MUSLIMS BEGAN WHEN MUHAMMAD DIED in 632 A.D. and they have been getting farther apart ever since.
  • The Shafi are the Official Schools of the Brunei and Malaysian governments.
  • The Hanbali school is followed by Muslims in Qatar and most of Saudi Arabia. The Salafist movement claims to follow these teachings.
  • The Zahiri school was once followed by the majority of Muslims going back to Mesopotamia, but now it is a minority community in Morocco and Pakistan.
  • The Salafi sect is about LITERAL INTERPRETATION of the Qur’an.
  • The Wahhabism sect is the dominant Creed in Saudi Arabia.
  • The Ahi al-Hadith is a Sunni movement started in northern India that are considered Salifi.
  • Then there are the political movements within each.
  • Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimun or Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Sunni movement in the Arab world. They wish to “order the life of the Muslim family.”
  • Jamaat-e-Islami is the oldest Islamic political party in Pakistan and India. The J. I. wish to form Islamic governments in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They oppose all things Western.

I could go on and on.

Muslim leaders squabble among themselves and always have, as did Christian leaders. It is their nature. It is human nature. It is the SAME OLD ONGOING PROBLEM with all humans involved in religion:

NO ONE CAN AGREE ON INTERPRETATION!

The Muslim world can best be described as splinter group after splinter group. I doubt there is a Muslim who has a handle on all of the sects, just as a Christian could never adequately describe each of the thousands of denominations available to a church-goer. Perhaps this is the biggest reason we in the West have little understanding of the Muslim world.

THERE ARE FEW RELIABLE SOURCES WITHOUT A POLITICAL AGENDA.

The only thing almost all sects in the Middle East can agree on… IS THAT ISRAEL HAS TO GO. THE ARGUMENT HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT RELIGION. It is about a questionable claim to ancient RELIGIOUS lands. Religion has just been USED BY ALL THE PARTIES INVOLVED to justify their positions. It has never been made clear why the U.S. backs this nation. All I see is “the haves” kicking the “have-nots”.  I see South Africa all over again. In the 1950’s when Israel backed by Britain and France invaded Egypt, the U.S. sided with Egypt and forced a withdrawal. I view the U.S. as hedging bets to maintain the oil flow. Years ago, they needed Israel to ward off communism in the region. They also needed Egypt to have a moderate Arab voice in the region, and they had the Shaw of Iran to lend a moderate Islamic voice. Those were the “good ol’ days”.

All out war with Israel means NUKES, NO MORE OIL, and an end to the West’s way of life. We can see why the U.S. protects Saudi Arabia. OIL and a moderate Arab voice combined with a moderate Islamic voice in the region.

THE SAD TRUTH:

Maintaining some semblance of peace in the Middle East means a continual flow of OIL. It has little or nothing to do with religious ideologies.

Are there many assholes in the world who would like to nuke us?

ABSOLUTELY.

Can they pull it off? Few Islamic nations could, and even fewer Islamic terrorists would be capable without SIGNIFICANT OUTSIDE HELP.

Why are so many Islamic peoples emigrating to the West? For most it is fear of terrorism. Some are people just seeking a better life for their children. The most FEARFUL and paranoid among us believe it to be a covert invasion strategy, but they also believe guns are not a problem in the USA. Should we in the West be concerned about Muslims wanting to be somewhere surrounded by Westerners who have ideologies Islamic peoples are told to reject? Yes, CONCERN is warranted.

HOWEVER, WE CAN BE VIGILANT WITHOUT BEING FEARFUL.

HUMANS ARE CAPABLE OF GROWTH THROUGH EDUCATION AND NOTHING ELSE. MISINFORMATION is the key to successfully manipulating the minds of a FEARFUL ignorant populace.

It has a synonym: PROPAGANDA.

Starting in childhood we become suckers for well-presented fictitious stories.

Blogus-interuptus:

To be continued…

 

 

The FEAR Lessons: Part 1

EVIL WORDSMITHS ARE PREYING ON YOUR IMAGINATIONS!

‘FEAR leads to hate; HATE leads to anger; ANGER leads to the dark side.’ – paraphrasing George Lucas from his Star Wars movies.

I will be taking you on a long round-about journey with this blog series, but please stay with it, as there is a fascinating destination.

In this blog, I believe I EVENTUALLY managed to achieve a balanced discussion of some very hotly contested issues facing the West, but you must wade through some passionately written parts to get there.

I struggled with this blog and the potential ramifications of my own words.

I am FEARFUL my words, and the meaning of those words could be twisted by some to incite violence. As with most of what I write, the intent is to create awareness; to make busy often oblivious people stop and think. WHEN YOU WRITE PASSIONATELY, you sometimes cross a line or two (or three as I am known to do). There are professional considerations as well. I write these blogs as part of a publishing platform for a book that I hope to have published. I do not wish to be considered “a cowboy” writer. I also write these blogs as articles to pitch to a media I often have little respect for, but they pay some bills. Perhaps this is why our political leaders appear so wimpy and wishy-washy. Twenty years ago, I would not have given any of this a second thought. Perhaps I am FINALLY growing up. (Don’t bet on it.) It could be all the social conditioning about political correctness and responsible journalism is affecting me. (I doubt it.)

Should we speak from the heart and let the chips fall where they may, or should we temper our words to be less provocative?

As always, the readers can leave their comments on how I did.

For those of you who do not follow twitter, I have recently tweeted many times on the topic of fear. Young people use twitter and I want to reach them with this message.

The most significant to me was this one which summed the game up nicely:

“With greater understanding, there is less fear; ergo WITH TOTAL UNDERSTANDING THERE WOULD BE NO FEAR.”

The cultivation of fear, hate, and anger allow the masses to be more easily manipulated and maneuvered. The problem I have with the growing “global consciousness” is FEAR IS SPREAD FASTER THAN EVER BEFORE.

Canadians are working very hard at leading the world in the adaptation of the “tolerant society” concept. We are not always good at it but we are trying. There are people in this country who will test our resolve to be tolerant. They come in three forms: visitors, citizens, and people in public office. I will later demonstrate for all why testing the RESOLVE of the Canadian people is NOT A WISE MOVE ON YOUR PART.

A recent news event here left me both saddened and concerned.

Not so long ago, an UNARMED Canadian soldier was killed in a place of honor in Ottawa. This is the tragic part of this story. All Canadian’s hearts went out to his family and friends, as did my own.

The CANADIAN good for nothing f-cking piece of shit who did this was killed. I hope he died slowly and in severe pain after being shot in our Parliament building a short time after murdering our soldier.

YOU SEE, WE CANADIANS ARE NOT ALWAYS SO POLITE.

In fact we can be nasty when PUSHED and history proves this. We have the respect of much of the world as peace makers, but there is another side to us which needs to be understood and remembered by the readers who are not Canadian, and those whose educational systems did not tell them about us.

HOW TO DEFINE A CANADIAN:

The world has trouble with this. Our politicians have trouble with this. New Canadians have trouble with this. Our mainstream media has trouble with this.

We are a small country in terms of population. We are hugely OUTNUMBERED ten-fold by our neighboring countries like the U.S.A. and Russia. A country that does not understand a Canadian may think we are just pawns in the Soviet / U.S. chess match. They would be grossly mistaken. We have the respect of both of these peoples, and we are neighborly to both, but we back down from neither. In fact the Russian people and Canadians share a similar knowledge of hardship and resolve, and this is what created our common thread.

To your average Canadian, global politics is just not that important to us. We have more important things to attend to like working hard to feed our families. We are not isolationists, we invite everyone to come and stay, if they can handle it. We have a simple global outlook: if you do not bother us; WE WILL NOT BOTHER YOU.

As part of the British Commonwealth, we have a little bit of their “stiff upper lip” mentality coupled with a RESOLVE stemming from our fierce living and working conditions. We can relate well with the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh because they have tougher living conditions than English people. Most Canadians would happily trade our snowy winters for the rain and fog of England. You see, we do not have a sun-belt as our Southern neighbors do. We do not have a California, Florida, or Arizona but we like going to those places for a break.

It is tough where we live and it makes us tough: mentally, physically and emotionally.

We should never dominate any sport because of our limited funding and small population, BUT WE DO. This comes from a stubborn RESOLVE once we set out mind on an OBJECTIVE. It should also be noted we have a NATIONAL PRIDE that is best seen through our national pastime: hockey. It is a tough game for tough men. Our style of hockey is being watered down to accommodate growing interest in the game outside of Canada, but we are always a team NEVER TO BE UNDERESTIMATED. This Canadian national pride and stubborn resolve comes from HARDSHIP. We are survivors. We have a rich heritage of succeeding where others fear to tread.

The Swedes, thought to be the most physically fit lumberjacks in the world, were brought to Canada by large lumber companies to teach our Canadian boys a thing or two about hard work in the B.C. forests. It did not work out too well for them. They had trouble with the altitudes and insects, and took home a new found respect for those Crazy Canucks.

Our crime rate here is quite low, outside of drug and alcohol related incidents. Our sober assaults on each other are very infrequent compared to most countries. We turn the other cheek until we reach a breaking point and are FORCED INTO A CONFLICT. The reason is simple, once a Canadian is in this headspace, we are dangerous.

In World War One where my grandfather participated in trench warfare, 100,000 French soldiers were killed or wounded at Vimy Ridge. The Canadians were brought in after training specifically for the task of taking this important German-held position. The Canadian soldiers showed such incredible RESOLVE and feats of bravery in accomplishing their mission, that the French government gave that little piece of France to Canada forever. It seems these soldiers kept on ADVANCING when their officers were killed, and perhaps most bizarrely of all, when they ran out of bullets. Yes, there are true stories of Canadian soldiers charging machine-gun positions with bayonets.

There is another WW1 story that you should know: Flanders and the town of Passchendaele.

Imagine walking on a rain soaked muddy narrow dock with only one board every 16 inches carrying a 24 kilogram (or 53 pound) anchor, while machinegun bullets flew over your head and artillery shells fell all around, in the rain, with your clothes soaked with mud. If you slipped off the little dock, you would probably drown, not in water, but mud, and your pals were ORDERED not to help you. This was the reality of Allied soldiers who were there. Over 300,000 British, Australian and New Zealand casualties were recorded before the Canadians Corps would be called in. After 14 days of continuous battle, Canadians did what some thought was impossible, and paved the way for the allies to make a run into Belgium. Try to picture one million water-filled muddy shell holes in a one square mile area. Only the surface of the moon comes to my mind, but this was even more concentrated. 15,654 Canadian casualties were the cost of this victory. 1000 are still there in Flanders fields. A relatively small number when compared to the Allied losses, but a lot for a country with a small population of just under 8,000,000 at the time.

Other lesser known places that you should  be aware of are: Gravenstafel Ridge: 6064 casualties, Amiens: 9,074 casualties, and Canal Du Nord and Cambrai: 13,672 casualties. They were all success stories; Canadian victories; with a cost Canadians were willing to pay for IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM.

619,000 young men enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW1. 233,000 were casualties, or almost 37%, and almost 10% died in service to the British Throne and this country. No town or village across the entire country was unaffected by the losses.

Just 25 years later we would be at it again.

Within a month of Britain’s declaration of war with Germany in WW2, the Canadian Army would grow from 5,000 to 70,000 people; not men. We have a proud tradition of Servicewomen in this country going back more than 100 years.

Both of my parents served: my mother in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and my father in the Canadian Army Corps.

My mom outranked my dad and never let him forget it.

In World War Two, we Canadians again were the ones who did “the impossible”. A mountaintop fortress named Assoro in Italy had to be taken in order for allied troops to advance. Canadian soldiers climbed a 900 meter (or nearly 3000 foot) mountain to take this objective which would allow Canadians to have a high-ground position that led to a German retreat from the area.

My father landed on Juno Beach . . . one of the most heavily defended beaches of the five in the invasion of Normandy. “Stiff resistance” was overcome, and the Canadians were the ONLY unit of the five to achieve their Normandy landing objectives. Bad weather left those Canadian soldiers ADVANCING inland without tanks against the German’s 21rst Panzer Division. We ADVANCED anyhow.

Allied commanders would recognize the value of the Canadian Army, and would employ them as “SHOCK-TROOPS” in tough places throughout the war.

At Breskens Pocket, Canadians would again fight in mud . . . and win. In order to take the port of Antwerp, Canadians launched a frontal assault across the heavily defended Leopold Canal and got the job done.

An all too short time later In Korea, a Brigade of Canadians and Australians fought a delaying action with desperate defensive battles in a place called Kap Yong, while surrounded by an entire division of the Chinese army trying to take the city of Seoul. They stalled the advance, and won a U.S. Presidential Unit Citation; rarely given to non-U.S. forces.

So what was the point of this little foray into Canadian history?

IT IS TIME THAT A MESSAGE WAS SENT TO EVERY COUNTRY ON THE PLANET.

We are Canadians. We try to avoid a fight for as long as we can. We do not run from a fight. We are very good at fighting. We do not scare easily. We do not concern ourselves with THREAT LEVELS or PARANOID WATCH LISTS. If you show up here with bad intentions, we will beat you in the streets with hockey sticks if we have to. WE WILL ADVANCE ON YOUR POSITIONS AND YOU WILL LOSE.

While a Canadian will be the last person to start a conflict . . . we are best known for FINISHING THEM.

We are always OUTNUMBERED. We are used to that. In WW2 our kill ratio was 1:25 or one of ours for twenty-five of theirs. Additionally our capture ratio was 1:235 or one of ours to 235 of theirs.

Do not provoke us to test our RESOLVE.

You have NO IDEA who you are messing with. Do not judge us by our politicians and media; those are poor examples of real Canadians. Do not become an OBJECTIVE. We quickly and efficiently dispatch obstacles. Do not light a fuse that ignites our NATIONAL PRIDE as it will not end well for you.

A Canadian should NEVER BE UNDERESTIMATED.

We deal with HARDSHIP every day. A Canadian FORCED INTO CONFLICT is not the nice friendly person projected by our media. ADVANCING is in our nature. Retreating is not. The few times we have were usually a delaying tactic because we were outnumbered, and WE ALWAYS CAME BACK AND WON.

Canadians have paid a high price for FREEDOM. There is nothing we value more. ANYONE who messes with our freedom, whether foreign or DOMESTIC, is in for a nightmare. This includes our politicians. They should NEVER consider themselves impervious to the wrath of angry Canadians who are aware of the daily erosion of FREEDOM in this country. To understand the term SHOCK-TROOPS, think of it this way: If you think you are safe . . . THINK AGAIN.

Do yourself a favor and pick on someone you have a chance to actually terrorize. IT IS NOT US.

Now, let us circle back to the beginning where I said I was “both saddened and concerned.” My concern over this tragedy is what happened politically, and in the media, in the wake of the news item.

  • It was confirmed this was an attack by a single individual BORN IN CANADA. A “home-grown terrorist” on October 22, 2014.
  • We were told he had drug and mental issues from a reliable source: his mother.
  • We were told he had a long criminal record.
  • We were told he had converted to Islam in 2004.
  • We were told he had links to jihadists.
  • We were told he was KICKED OUT of a Sunni mosque in Vancouver.
  • We were told he was living in a homeless shelter in Ottawa.
  • We were told he was helped by two other men who wore suits.
  • We were told he was back on drugs three days before the attack.
  • His body was released (quietly) to be buried in Libya by his family.
  • It has been suggested, although not proved,  he received a blessing prior to this act of cowardice.

The President of the United States of America called (presumably) to express condolences and offer any assistance we might need. This made me scratch my head. Does our Prime Minister make such calls every time there is a school shooting by some drugged out mental loser in the States? I think not. Lots of innocents die down there on a regular basis.

SO, WHY DID THIS STORY GARNER INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION?

One innocent man died and one asshole got what he deserved. Yes, there was uncommon bravery involved in bringing the gunman down. We are Canadians. WE EXPECT NOTHING LESS FROM OUR PEOPLE.

Was this asshole another Lee Harvey Oswald—a drugged patsy?

THERE WAS ANOTHER MORE RECENT PARALLEL EMERGING.

During the last Bush administration, South of the border, executive powers were granted after 9/11 IN THE NAME OF SECURITY to fight the war on terror, which led to us becoming aware of FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been managed since by the then new U.S. Department of Homeland Security; both of which have EXTRAORDINARY POWER any time an imminent terrorist threat is declared; which is ALL THE TIME NOW.

Has our federal government used the event in Ottawa to help convince Canadians we are vulnerable to terrorism?

ABSOLUTELY.

Has our federal government used the event in Ottawa to help convince Canadians that bombing ISIS was the right thing to do?

ABSOLUTELY.

Opinion polls AFTER THE OTTAWA EVENT suggest 66% of Canadians are now in favor of a continued and prolonged effort.

THE THEN “UNPOPULAR” LEGISLATION WAS PASSED JUST 15 DAYS BEFORE THE OTTAWA INCIDENT.

Our defense minister said “ISIL constitutes a CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER to Canada and our allies.” The Harper government’s decision was not popular with Parliamentarians, nor was it popular with the Canadian public when it was first introduced. The “clear and present danger” cliché from a Hollywood movie, was a nice added touch though; it RESONATED in the Canadian psyche.

Anyone else feeling manipulated?

Has our federal government used the Ottawa event to launch its new SECURITY BILL just 5 days after the Ottawa incident?

ABSOLUTELY.

Has our federal government used the Ottawa event to attempt to give CSIS and law enforcement even more power to ABUSE in the name of SECURITY?

ABSOLUTELY.

Conspiracy theorists have even gone one step BEYOND WHAT I WANT TO BELIEVE, suggesting a soldiers life was sacrificed to accomplish the goals of the Harper government, and whoever is pulling his strings.

Let us get something straight here people; this was a tragic shooting incident, NOT A NUCLEAR DETONATION. Our response does not fit the crime nor the threat.

We are being sold FEAR and being asked to give up FREEDOM for SECURITY.

It is not a good trade.

To whoever is pulling the strings of North American politicians I say this:

Stick your THREAT LEVELS and WATCH LISTS where the sun never shines because they are not welcome here in Canada.

Spreading FEAR and PARANOIA will not work here like it has elsewhere because we Canadians DO NOT SCARE THAT EASILY. Until I see ISIS on the streets of a Canadian city, I will not be AFRAID. If it happens, I will get ANGRY and this broken-down old Canadian will lead a charge with a bayonet into a machine-gun emplacement, and WE WILL TAKE IT from the f-ckers. This is the Canadian way of solving problems.

When G. W. came looking for help with his war on terror, we passed. We had good sense then so WHAT HAS CHANGED? Leadership comes to mind.

My Grandfather FOUGHT for the freedom we are being asked to give up.

Both my parents FOUGHT for the freedom we are being asked to give up.

I am too old and broken to fight this with anything other than words, but I AM A CANADIAN and we do not like to be PUSHED! We will not tolerate being PUSHED by people outside this country nor will we tolerate being PUSHED by elected officials inside the country.

IT APPEARS POSSIBLE OUR FREEDOM IS BEING ATTACKED BY HOME-GROWN TERRORISTS WE CALL OUR GOVERNMENT LEADERS AND THEIR MEDIA.

Blogus-interuptus.

To be continued.

 

The first signs of spring: an intoxicated tirade?

Drinks on the deck!

I just had a large two-fingered scotch on the deck today. The temperature was fifteen degrees Celsius or almost sixty degrees Fahrenheit at lake level with a bit of wind.

Thirty-eight words in and I have used spell-check twice and a dictionary once. This does not bode well for the rest. Undoubtedly, my first attempt at impaired blogging will be a challenge so we will see how it goes from here.

I remember many years ago making recordings in my recording studio when the band was impaired. We thought we had “rocked out”, but the taped evidence reviewed the following day proved otherwise.

I can hear kids in a playground not far away. I just saw my first chipmunk. There are song birds again. I just came back from a long walk, and am rewarding myself for some achievement not yet apparent or accomplished.

My day was mixed with both failure and success; having lost an important paying gig, but also having very few issues with my ever expanding network of social media addicts.

It was a null day.

My twelve year old liquid friend and I sat out there for some time… mostly listening. Kids and birds aside, I noticed an ever-present high pitched whine or ringing in my head. I have not been near anything loud for some time, so I am not sure of its source or cause. It could be the universe down-loading these ideas into my head.

There is a damnable kid on a dirt bike interfering with the sanctity of my happy hour.

I think I will pour another.

The air is heavy with ozone. It is a Thursday afternoon. I do not typically touch “the stuff” until Friday evenings, so what is the deal?

I have had two verifiable concussions in my life to date; perhaps that explains the ringing. Perhaps it is a brain tumor, or perhaps it is just the result of an elevated heart rate from the exercise mixed with alcohol. I really do not care.

My back pain which has been nagging at me all week has magically disappeared, temporarily at least.

A friend just dropped by on his ATV to swap a few stories about vehicles, their manufacturers, emissions, the government, and run-ins with the law. It was a nice diversion.

I just processed a thought: just 200 more words and I’ll have a blog post.

Do I really have some unspoken warped sense of responsibility to put out a minimum of 500 words each week to a group of people who do not really know me, in order to garner some form of favor with some publisher that has yet to make their presence known?

I am having trouble spelling words, or at the very least, typing them.

If TV and movie stars can get into hot water by tweeting when they are impaired, then why can we not allow a relatively unknown author to write a blog in the same condition?

Who is he hurting?

An appropriate answer would be: himself, his reputation, his professional credibility, and the impeccable reputations of all “Indie Authors” around the world.

I don’t think so.

We writers, as a very large group, do not get noticed because WE ARE ALL TRYING SO DESPERATELY TO CONFORM to some theoretical ideal of what a writer should be, in order to gain the interest and APPROVAL of an agent or a major publishing house that in all likelihood will never read this crap anyway.

At 575 words, I have done my duty. Now 577- now 579. FYI, it is impossible to publish an accurate word count while continuing to write.

We authors should be celebrating and promoting our individuality.

I assure you that you will get the attention of publishers as a non-conformist. Have a sharp edge. Have a style. Be bad. Be special. Be different. Be unique. Be noticed. Be a ROCK STAR! I have known several throughout my life and I assure you there was not a single ORDINARY thing about them.

I am sure this blog will get me on a list of sites which are NOT KID FRIENDLY, and some code writing dork will be more than happy to keep this away from the impressionable minds of our youth. So be it.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY otherwise there would not be thousands of pictures of nude actresses on the internet that, “coincidentally”, are “leaked” just prior to their film release.

Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Poe, Williams, Chandler wrote under the influence fulltime and they still sold books, so I should be forgiven for my minor lapse. Besides, it could be worse, I could have followed in the footsteps of writers like: Cocteau who did Opium, King who did Cocaine, Dick who did Speed, Burroughs who did Heroine, Kerouac who did Benzedrine, Stevenson who did Cocaine, and Thompson who did Acid.

I would like to thank the unofficial sponsor of this blog: George & J. G. Smith Ltd. makers of The Glenlivet and other fine products.

I see an endorsement deal in my future.