Your Beliefs Create Your Reality: Part 8

Are “solid” people disappearing?

I know that if I choose to BELIEVE this, the universe will conspire to make this my REALITY so I fight this negative thought despite the overwhelming mounting evidence which seems to surround me. If I were to make this a personal belief, it could forever change me into someone I do not like. I could become bitter, resentful, and wary of the intentions of the people I meet. Truth be known, I am wary. I accept this about myself and simply view it as a defense mechanism―a result of living a long life among other humans.

What is a “solid” person?

Everyone will have a slightly different answer depending on their life experiences and their personal code of conduct which reflects how well developed their super-ego is. Freud first used this term almost one hundred years ago to describe the part of us that is supposed to moderate the wants of our id and ego. Some call it a moral center or compass, but it is also made up of the ethics and scruples taught to us which are also key components to a conscience. When we assess whether or not a person is “solid”, we are JUDGING them based on our own set of values.

People usually want to surround themselves with people possessing similar values but we cannot expect others in our social circles to live up to the standards we set for ourselves or else we set ourselves up for disappointment―a mistake I keep making.

I set very high achievable standards for myself, even though those standards often require a significant effort on my part in order to clear the bar. I have always wanted to be a good person―a “solid” person. When I was young and naive, just a couple of years ago, I actually thought most people wanted the same for themselves. However, life has a way of showing you just how wrong you can be.

Traits of “solid” people:

  1. They are honorable. Their word is their bond. It means everything to them.
  2. They care. They will drop everything to help a friend, loved one or even strangers.
  3. They give. They are grateful to be in a position to help.
  4. They remember everyone who ever helped them.
  5. They have your back. They know your worth. They stand up for you when gossips attempt to assassinate your character when you are not around.

I am fortunate to have a few such people in my life. Sadly, the number has dwindled over the years as the true nature of some fair weather types was finally revealed to me. If we are to use the above list to JUDGE others, we absolutely cannot fail someone for not achieving a perfect score. There are caring, giving, appreciative people who just cannot keep commitments they make, usually because they lack the organizational skills to keep track of their lives. While these good people may not live up to our Utopian expectations, they are nonetheless well meaning. They will frustrate us when they fail to come through on time, but the point is . . .  they do come through eventually.

Some say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

If we must KEEP SCORE in order to gauge the quality of these relationships, I believe we should measure intentions vs. deeds expressed as a ratio. You can very quickly separate the talkers from the walkers in this way.

If you are over forty and have to deal with millennials or younger people on a regular basis, you will be frustrated by what appears to be a total lack of honor―where their word means nothing. Give them time. Eventually they will see the importance of being honorable. Until then, keep an eye on their intentions vs. deeds ratio before you say they are not solid.

 

 

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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 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.

 

Why do books need to be returnable?

Answer: To protect the few remaining major traditional publishers.

ATTENTION INDIE AUTHORS! This one is for you.

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I am actually entertaining not being listed on Amazon because of their return policy.

I will not support their READ AND RETURN policy.

I will not support their PIRATE AND RETURN policy.

By rebelling against “the man”, it will hurt my sales by REDUCING EXPOSURE to my book in the world’s largest online book retailer.

AM I NUTS?

The jury is still out.

IS IT CAREER SUICIDE?

My career as an author never had much of a chance. I just did not know this when I began the journey. I thought I was getting into the business of writing.

When I finally gave up on finding an agent or publisher for my book, I began my journey into self-publishing which is a misnomer. You cannot successfully self-publish if you wish to be taken seriously. I wrote a serious book which delves into serious subjects—albeit in a non-serious way—that I wanted to be taken seriously. Ms. Creant had to come out in e-book, large print paperback and large print hardcover in order to have any chance of SUCCESS.

I re-labelled myself as an indie-author.

I was “thinking green”, and as such, I have a huge issue with the WASTE of returned books. I chose Print On Demand for environmental reasons, but I now see it for what it is–a way for the publishing industry to print a huge number of books without taking any responsibility for returns. They put this squarely on the poor indie-author.

THE SELF-PUBLISHING & INDIE PUBLISHING GAMES ARE RIGGED!

IT IS DESIGNED TO KEEP YOU FROM COMPETING WITH MAJOR PUBLISHERS IN THE STORES THEY CONTROL.

THE COST OF YOUR POD BOOK IS MORE THAN TWICE THE COST OF THE SAME BOOK TO A HIGH VOLUME MAJOR PUBLISHER.

The low initial pricing of my POD books to my readers has already eliminated any chance of my books being picked up by any mass merchants–GREATLY REDUCING MY CHANCE OF SUCCEEDING. The discount I offer to bookstores is deemed too low. If, on the other hand, I were to raise my retail price to accommodate their huge discount, it would price my books out of the rational book buyer’s price range and into the stratosphere–ENSURING TINY SALES NUMBERS.

Additionally, I would have to accept the retailer’s RETURN POLICY on unsold books; many of which would be dusty and damaged. I WOULD HAVE TO PAY THE SHIPPING COSTS to have the books returned to me, rather than trusting that those books would be “recycled”, which is the word they throw around, but unsold books from large retailers regularly end up in landfills. THEY REFUSE TO DONATE THEM TO SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES OR THE UNDER-PRIVILEGED because it would hurt the sales of the big publishers they are in bed with. Instead, they again put this on the poor indie-author. It is the same reason why food stores do not donate to food-banks. They want YOU to buy the food donations which the food store profits from. They further encourage you to buy and donate food by having a food-bank donation bin in their stores, but I digress. . .

Are e-books the answer?

NO!

  • As an e-book only author, you reduce your number of potential readers by 70%.
  • Your book will not qualify for prestigious literary competitions and awards.
  • Your book will not be reviewed by the most trusted literary critics.

So what is the answer to SUCCESS as an indie-author?

1) GIVE UP THE DREAM OF BEING A WRITER.

2) Set up a business to SELL your books.

3) Be conscious of your time and/or money invested vs. the REVENUES generated from the activity. Social media is the equivalent of a printed flyer delivered in your mail. You can expect only 3% of those followers you reach to buy your book.

4) You must TARGET book sellers, book buyers; reviewers etc. and REACH OUT to them.

5) You must INVEST in putting out a quality product. This requires: Editors, cover designers, interior layout specialists, ISBN management, Copyright management, royalty management, e-book formatting, Point Of Sale site management, social media site management, e-mail services, marketing strategies, merchandising specialists, publicity specialists and perhaps a mailing company. THIS IS WHAT GOES ON INSIDE A LEGITIMATE PUBLISHER.

6) IT WILL BE A FULL-TIME JOB!

I will pay for nine of the thirteen listed which leaves me to wear four hats without even considering the administrative side of any business. I am considering an online store of my own on ebay or Shopify at a minimum cost of $10.00 / month.

My twenty plus years as a business person tells me I have only a 50/50 shot at SUCCESS, and it will have little to do with my capabilities as a writer. My experience also tells me that it will be a long slow climb to a respectable sales level without those major retailers.

It worked for J. K. Rowling. It might happen for me.

Lightning might strike twice.

E. A.

P.S. Hello to my feeling forgotten friends on WordPress.

The book is about 30 days away from its release date so I have been swamped.

Look on the upside, if my book tanks, you will be the first to know as I will post my farewell here.

😀

 

“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.

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.