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.

 

 

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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.

😀

Your Beliefs Create Your Reality: Part 2

Parenting:

Do you ever stop to ponder:

  • why human beings have never put a stop to waging war with one another even after 5000 years?
  • why criminals have always existed?
  • why sexism and racism never go away?

Generation after generation continue to fail to resolve these most basic human issues.

What a parent believes is passed along to their child.

Before a lynch mob of pissed off parental units forms, I will give you an out. You do the best you can with what your society and your influences gave you. Your parents, your role models, and your teachers only prepared you to work within the confines of your society. None of them ever suggested you could do or be more than you are, because they themselves were a product of the same dangerous idea which has kept human growth in check for +/- 166 generations. The idea that change is not worth the effort because it will not last is a primary component of the defeatist mentality which the vast majority of humans share.

This might be by design.

Parents create a Mini Me—a little person who ends up possessing all the same attitudes, behavioral patterns, fears, anxieties, hopes, and dreams as the people who raised them. A parent who believes changing the world is impossible, creates a child who will not make an effort in that direction. A parent who never took the road less traveled will not endorse that road for their child, and unless the child has a rebellious streak in them, the child will not explore beyond what they have been CONDITIONED to be curious about. A parent with an incomplete education will not fully understand the value of a well rounded education so they will not teach their child the value of learning to learn. A religiously indoctrinated parent will allow their children to be indoctrinated to teach them morality, but this just teaches the child to put all hope for mankind in the hands of some deity rather than striving to make a difference in the world themselves.

We endlessly condition children to be just as their fathers and past generations always have been. They follow our example.

Conspiracy theorists will tell you it is all a part of a plan created by the elites to give the average human just enough to keep us from participating in their overthrow. If they were smart enough to continually execute this plan for so many generations, they would also be smart enough to know that the house of cards they have built is about to collapse within the next two generations.

  • Criminals beget criminals.
  • Drug users beget drug users.
  • Welfare families beget welfare families.
  • Laborers beget laborers.
  • Warriors beget warriors.
  • Public servants beget public servants.
  • Academics beget academics.
  • Soulless CEO’s beget soulless CEO’s.

If you as a parent can remain open to ideas other than those you were CONDITIONED to BELIEVE, you have a chance to break the cycle. Show your child only the best parts of you and they will become more than you.

It could be said that by changing your BELIEFS you can change your child’s REALITY.

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, wellbeing, 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.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

This book was created for everyone, from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new-found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything that influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow, and change—at any stage of life.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

https://www.facebook.com/MsCreantTheWrongDoers/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58727166-e-a-barker

 

A Holiday Message. . .

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 on-line world. This also implies that 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 tend to treat us a little better at this time of year. They might smile as they hold a door for us when we have both of our hands full of shopping bags. Our preoccupation with finishing the damnable shopping, so that we can jump back into the hustle and bustle of the season, might make us overlook this tiny kind gesture. Seize the moment to look them in the eye and 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 color 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.

This almost certainly will be my last blog post for a while.

I wish to extend my gratitude to all of you who follow me on social media. To you, and everyone you care about, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

E. A.

 

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

This book was created for everyone, from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new-found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything that influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow, and change—at any stage of life.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

https://www.facebook.com/MsCreantTheWrongDoers/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58727166-e-a-barker

 

Blog 18: 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