Thursday, October 29, 2015
Canada’s thanksgiving has been a national holiday since 1879. In 1957 a proclamation stated that Thanksgiving was to be “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest for which Canada has been blessed.” Thank you Almighty God. Thank you Canada. Apparently the first celebration of thanksgiving in Canada was in 1579 by Martin Frobisher when searching for the Northwest Passage.
My nephew Allan was here. We’d gone for hair cuts in honour of the occasion. But mostly because both of us seem so busy that we rarely have time for things like haircuts. He’s a psychologist and I’m a psychiatrist. We have a lot to talk about.
Velma and Melvin are Adell’s closest relatives here, both retired, one a former librarian and the other formerly with child protection services. I like them a lot. Educated intelligent ladies with lots of wisdom and that challenging Christian pleasant politeness and good manners. They remind me a lot of my beloved deceased Aunt Sally, my favourite Baptist Bible.
My nephew Graeme arrived with Elysse. Graeme is a chemical engineer now working in a nuclear energy plant. He’s also a photographer, moving maker and astronomer. Thanks to his telescope I’d get to see a close up view of Andromeda. Pretty exciting stuff for an old guy who grew up on Space flights, Star Trek, Dr. Who and NASA. Ellysse is a teacher. My sister in law Adell taught but retired a Principal. Allan was marking psychology papers this weekend. There was considerable talk of school related topics.
My nephew Andrew arrived with his wife Tanya. Andrew is now working on his masters and Tanya is doing advanced computer studies. It only seems yesterday that I was at their wedding wearing a Hunting Hay Tartan Kilt.
Gilbert and Eva had a marvellously exciting little dog bark fest and jump up and down a lot time as each visitor arrived.
Ron played guitar some. The young people played a couple of card games. Adell and the ladies ‘worked’ in the kitchen on an off. Melvin and Velma and I had some good books on the go. We discussed politics. We had a lot of negative things to say collectively about the Niqab and face coverings in Canada. No one liked the Troudeau pot smoking platform but some liked the Liberal Party. The NDP and Conservative pros and cons were laid out. One of my nephews wasn’t too keen on Canadian military spending. Quebec corruption was a topic. Aboriginal chiefs million and welfare fraud upset people. Everyone in the family is hard working. Everyone is going to vote. Mostly people were voting in self defence.
Adell’s Thanksgiving dinner was magnificent. Velma’s grace was a great prayer of thanksgiving. With Ron well I was fairly ecstatic. We had a close call earlier this year and every visit I find him healthier and well. It’s a miracle really. I’m so thankful tor the time we have together as a family. His children are so amazing. His wife is a joy. He started learning guitar a short while ago. Now with each visit he’s progresses light years. That’s my brother. If he puts his mind to something he succeeds. He had Allan and I digging dirt for him. Now that’s another miracle. Both Allan and I are desk jockeys but there we were slinging dirt in the wheel barrel.
I love the turkey. We had Elizabeth and Phil’s BC Cranberries too. We’d been to the Bath Market and I got pickled beets which always remind me of my Mother who always made these. I didn’t particularly like them as a kid but because of her and my fond memories of her I’ve grown to love them today.
Facing the Challenges of Aging and Dying, An International, Interdisciplinary Conference, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Catherine Dhavernas (French Literature, Theory, Queen’s University) and Janet Dunbrack (Board Chair, Hospice Care, Ottawa) organized a conference on Aging and Dying. I attended this conference noting that increasing numbers of my patients are considered aging. Indeed I’m considered Aging.
It’s been many years since I studied with Elizabeth Kubla Ross and increasingly I have patients dealing with dying parents. Personally I am feeling my age as loss. Once extremely fit and athletic a series of injuries in the last few years have taken far too long to recover from. The aches and pains remain and on top of that some fat old man seems to have invaded my body. Where once I’d love to run today I walk and actually prefer to ride. I’ve had the loss of some smell after a particularly severe sinusitis and added to that is thinning hair and some mild hearing loss. It has given new meaning for me personally to the classic Canadianism, “eh?"
My older brother, the rock of the family, the one who lead the way through childhood, the one who protected me in cubs and scouts, had a near death experience with a pulmonary embolism and subsequent discovery of pancreatic cancer. Queen’s University oncology department doctors have been the best. He’s responding to chemotherapy now. We only just buried the ashes of my father and mother who died separately these last few years. It was my brother who dealt with the bureaucracy of the funeral parlour and graveyard who tried to insist that only my mothers ashes, not a mix of my mother and father’s ashes were ‘reserved’ a space in their prestigious graveyard. It was my brother’s wisdom and patience that solved the problem waiting till the right time to stroke the outstretched palm, knowing that this was all it was ever about. Baksheesh, The trade in the dead. My suggestion, typical through life, that I’d add some more corpses to their precious graveyard had been tempered by my brothers understanding and acceptance. He’s been a voice of reason always.
As a psychiatrist who has helped stop literally hundreds from killing themselves I’ve been depressed with the Supreme Court’s new ‘physician assisted suicide’ stance. I took an oath to ‘do no harm’ and the weasel words of their decision seem less logic and more convenience. The UN Agenda 21 has invaded courts and bureaucrats like cancer offering death in the name of life wherever it goes. I was excited by this conference because it promised to address this topic. One of the leading lawyers involved in Quebec’s euthanasia program was to be a speaker as was the University of Toronto's leading medical authority on palliative care.
Nearly 25 years ago I’d been condemned for recommending ‘palliative care’ for a patient only to find that the doctor and nurse who were claiming to be more caring and more concerned than me and clinically wiser, were doing pharmaceutical company experiments on the elderly and demented for kickbacks without consent. As so many were making such big money I was lucky at the time to keep my license, finding no friends in the very places where people were on high government pay to protect the lives and dignity of patients. The practice stopped, I was ‘set free’, I was hated by those who had lost a prime source of income and considered stupid for not accepting the lucrative olive branch offered to me to turn away. I was thereafter designated a ‘non team player’ and suspect as ‘disloyal’. Palliative care meanwhile was what was appropriate for my patient and supported by her family. So in the end Palliative Care won out. It’s today a cornerstone of end of life care and thinking. Yet I know this wasn’t always the case from my personal horrendous experience.
The conference was held at the beautiful Isabel Bader Conference Centre at Queen’s University. A truly lovely location with wonderful views of Lake Ontario and state of the art facilities. Not surprisingly the symphony performs there which explains to some extent the elegance and sense of refinement that permeated the facility.
The originators of the conference , Catherine Dhavernas (French Literature, Queens) and Janet Dunbrock (Board Chair, Hospice Care, Ottawa)
opened the morning sessions.
“Aging and dying are a reality central to the human condition”. The greater significance of this now is that ‘with growing aging population…raising the awareness (with) sense of priority and care they deserve…and belief in multidisciplinary exchange with an awareness of barriers."
She saw that the arts and humanities could work with the health professionals ,noting that her own interest and awareness had resulted from her volunteering to assist in the palliative care unit.
She introduced the topic of “Narrative Medicine”, and described how ‘literary studies help develop awareness."
She quoted Rita Charon, Narrative Medicine, Honouring the Stories of Illnesss, 2005
“Does medicine have to overlook the unknown? was the question raised.
Drawing from works of Marguera Yourcenar the Abyss, the movement from ‘self to other’ was discussed with the origins of the essence of ‘palliative care’ underlined. “the patient in the throes of death….acknowledges the unknown and unknowable….nonverbal only viable way to care for patient - invisible inarticulable care."
“our society, aging, denies unknown….promotes youth in denial."
It was a deeply moving presentation that raised all manner of considerations for me a physician.
They stated ‘Our hope is to open discussion across various disciplines to recognise aging and death."
The conference certainly did this for me.
I was moved by the pictures of the events of dying, the changes in perception over time and culture. Each presenter was excellent. I had come to hear mostly the University of Toronto physician discussing palliative care in light of the new physician assisted suicide changes in law. There was a snag in the technology but I was delighted by how the planners rose above these post modern difficulties with almost medieval persistence. The presentation was all I could have hoped for. I had also been most interested to learn from the lawyer who spoke on the Quebec legal experience of euthanasia. What was so satisfactory to learn was that ‘Palliative Care’ was enshrined in the laws In Quebec. Euthanasia was not something to be offered to the poor while the rich got Palliative Care. The law demanded that the highest forms of Palliative Care be provided.
Now that said, I as a pragmatist and scientist was most impressed by the presentations by the ‘flaky’ arts faculty. Rather than ‘soft’ their presentations were hard and to the point. I was truly challenged by the presentation on Caravaggio discussing the actual sense of timing and time as it changed. We have used ideas in science of brain death and such but here was a truly enriching consideration of the history of this idea of time and timing as related to art history. Who would have thought!
- aging as beautiful -
- coming of age - art and science - show - heartfelt/dignified/beautiful
- rarely do we represent stigma - aging as sentimentalized
- artist who take more critical stance
- beyond stereotypical )
Finally , I loved Downar quoting Woody Allen, “I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there."
The conference was a day and a half. Unfortunately I had planned my flights originally flying out of Kingston but had changed to leaving Toronto so was unable to attend the morning conference. I did enjoy the lunch and breakfast time which in ages gone by we called ‘mixers’. There was a reception to and a celebration of the new courses and master program in Aging that had begun at Queen’s. I do hope they continue this conference and would recommend it to all those who work with an aging population or have an special interest in aging and dying. I’m very thankful to have attended
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
I personally am soured by Mr. Justin Trudeau. I appreciate his 'honesty' that he smoked marijuana while working. Was he smoking marijuana while a school teacher or just as a legislator? I hear he has perhaps minimized the times he smoked marijuana. Politicians aren't known for their honesty.
I am glad too that marijuana has essentially be decriminalized this last decade. I fundamentally don't agree with legalization because that actually means that marijuana can then be sold like bread or milk anywhere. I was very disturbed that the illegal marijuania distributions centres of Vancouver were offering free marijuana to anyone who voted.
What fundamentally bothers me though, is that I personally smoked marijuana. The last time was 17 years ago. I bought it from doctors, smoked it with doctors and saw a psychiatrist who recommended I smoke it. The trouble was, that I felt wrong about smoking marijuana and working as a doctor. It especially didn't seem right that I was smoking marijuana and working as a psychiatrist.
I was never 'impaired' at work. I wasn't an 'impaired physician'. I didn't present a 'risk to patient safety'. I just didn't think it was right that I was breaking the law. I also knew too many people who had suffered negative consequences of using marijuana, loss of employment, legal records and jail time. I have seen far too many relationships and families devastated by marijuana.
Justin Trudeau's mother was a marijuana addict. I have thought that Justin Trudeau must be in some serious denial about the effects of marijuana being the son of an addict himself.
I have mixed feelings about the process of my own recovery now. Personally I appreciate the spiritual benefits of the wonderful learning of recovery. I am so very thankful to have the clarity of mind restored that seemed somewhat lost the last year I smoked marijuana. Administratively thought the process was essentially 'punishment'. It was framed in different language but the process was still punishment. It was heavy handed, threatening, bullying, incredibly expensive, and shaming. There was and remains a 'double standard'. There are those who didn't get 'caught' and those who got 'caught' and people like me who sought help only to get caught up in the mixed message of a very sick and disturbed administration.
Now here I am today an addiction medicine specialist. I have patients who were like me. They have safety sensitive jobs. I see doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. I am expected to provide a rigorous treatment program with many random urine testing and onerous requirements because as I was told, these jobs are a 'privilege'. They're not a right.
Yet here the highest job in the country has gone to a person who has committed crimes without consequence. He's never been subjected to random urine testing, required to see psychiatrists, required to see addiction medicine specialists, required to attend counselling, had supervision in the workplace, or had the threat of losing his job if any suspicion fell on him. He has not had to be 'caesar's wife' in regards to his personal behaviour vis a vis the drug using crowd.
He hasn't had to deal with both the wonderful people in the recovery health care movement and the utterly sick and disturbed power weilding petty beaurocrats who holier than thou revel in their being above the law because they haven't been caught in their addictions. Being in the system I know so many people who have 'avoided' detection like the privileged who 'avoided' Vietnam leaving that war to be fought by the average joe.
Maybe my angst today is about the rich and privileged and the sons of the rich and priviledged. I don't like the double standard. Indeed I could have at any time 'avoided' the negative consequences that came from my seeking help when I was concerned that my failure to do so would eventually lead to a poor judgement. I held myself to a higher standard than those about me. I was 'offered' ways 'around' the 'system'. I was told I could 'deny, deny, deny, and lie, lie, lie' . Those close to me who had been 'caught' actually have used lawyers successfully to avoid consequences. Seriously people have told me over and over again what a fool I have been for my honesty.
I appreciate Justin's honesty therefore. I appreciate that the laws are wrong. There are many law which we don't agree with but there is a sharp division between the law breakers and those who don't. At least there once was. I don't appreciate that so many criminal drug dealers got rich by being smart and have 'cleaned up their act' by whitewashing their past. I know so many incredibly wealthy people whose wealth has come directly from the multi billion dollar drug crime industry. I'm a hopeless idealist and romantic. I have a horrible scar of cynicism.
There but for the grace of God go I. I am not here to "judge" Justin Trudeau. The country of Canada has accepted that a man of acknowledged deceitfulness and drug abuse is acceptable in the highest position. The former head of the Supreme Court of Canada was a roaring alcoholic or had a bit of a problem with drink (depending on what language one chose.) But he wasn't engaged in criminal activities. He wasn't a law breaker, that I know of. Unlike Justin Trudeau and his mother and a minority of Canadians.
I've been arguing for years that our judges need to be random drug tested if we're doing that to our athletes, doctors and pilots. There's a double standard. There's hypocricy that reigns.
I'm just struggling today wondering how I'm going to do my job. I'm kind of regretting too accepting the considerable abuse I experienced in recovery. The stigma and shame and being shamed so seriously by my superiors who I learned later were drunkards and did more drugs than I'd ever done. It's such a hidden epidemic. Meanwhile the minimization and deceit is rampant.
That's what I remember most about when I had the occasional toke. I didn't think there was anything wrong with it. I just thought everyone should 'lighten up'. Hell, I hoped everyone would 'light up'.
And it will get worse.
I see Justin Troudeau, not as others do but because of my own journey and the journey I have seen others on, I see the double standard. I wonder how I can cause people to lose their incomes and jobs and future and families by saying, it's because of the drugs ,when doing drugs has won Clinton, Obama and now Justin Trudeau their highest positions. How can I say to kids not to smoke dope. At least President Bush got recovery. Mayor Ford got recovery. Most of Hollywood got recovery. But not these guys.
It's confusing for me. It worries me. I'm struggling today. I don't really care that much if the Liberals beat the Conservatives because they're two sides of a very centrist coin. I'd rather the Liberals over the NDP but truthfully I'd really rather have had Mr. Mulcair Prime Minister over Justin Trudeau. Tom Mulcair wasn't creepy. But I'm probably wrong.
I did this silly little study and asked a hundred or more dope smokers and drug addicts and straights if they wanted their pilot or physician to be smoking marijuania. They answered unanimously that they didn't want him smoking marijuana.
Now I have the head of a multi trillion dollar business called Canada admitting to smoking dope, not once, not twice, but countless times. We don't accept the 'word' of a doctor that he isn't smoking dope. We don't accept the word of a criminal that he isn't doing crime. We drug test and find that countless, a very very high percentage of people who have ever used drugs, lie.
This is my personal problem. It's a problem I have with Canada today. It's a problem I have with our justice sytem. It's a problem I have with the supreme court. It's a problem I have with the police. It's a problem I have with authority. It's certainly a problem I have with the rich and privileged and those above the law. It's a problem I have with double standards. Its a problem I have with Justin Trudeau and his dynamic twisted family.
Maybe I'm just envious too. I've thought of that.
But this is why I didn't vote for Justin Trudeau more than anything else. That's the best I can get to the matter of why I will support him as Prime Minister but I don't think I'll trust him. I won't trust him even as much as I trusted his father. But I was younger when I voted for his father. I find it harder to trust today. I've been personally hurt by marijuana, drug dealers, tobacco companies, and especially drug addicts and twisted authorities and their sick double standard attitudes. I don't trust easily today. I don't trust Justin Troudeau.
I hope though that as Prime Minister he will earn my trust.But right now he has made countless promises. And I know drug addicts are the best people at making promises.
So I don't expect he will subject himself to random drug testing. Even the Supreme Court expects that of others but won't submit themselves to that. I would only ask that he make the one promise that really counts to me.
Justin, can you promise not to smoke dope any time during your reign as Prime Minister. Really, if you talk the talk, can you walk the walk!
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
The United Nations.
“Don’t you care about planet Gaia?"
Lots of ad hominem. “You’re a climate change ‘denier’"
“I”m not in denial you offensive little smegma. You’re misusing the language of psychiatry. I’m a psychiatrist. Biochemistry and chemistry were my pre medicine majors. I’m a scientist too. I’ve heard every department in the university demanding money by saying that the world is going to end if they don’t get more money. You’re not new. I’m just a little skeptical. It’s an admirable trait in a scientist."
“You’re in denial."
“No i’m not. Again that’s a word from my scientific vocabulary. You’re an offensive little shit for calling me and other scientists names. You’re a bully and a shit. So fuck off. That’s the language scientists use between scientists. Not this priggish political correctness bs."
1) Climate Changes….no one denies this. You dreamed up the whole denial business because you are a bloody wanker. There, wanker is a better term for you than denier is for me. There are seasons. Seasons are change. There are cycles. Cycles are change. There’s different temperatures throughout the day. No one doubts the ice age. Even the Bible talks about droughts and floods. So shut the fuck up with your obnoxious bullying thug language couched in political correctness as an attempt to conceal the utter evil chicanery. The greatest political correct spokesman of all time was Hitler. He called the extermination of Jews as the ‘the Solution’. Didn’t mention Auschwitz gas camps. Didn’t mentioned killing and maiming babies. Just called it ’the Solution’. He was the supreme wanker of his day. So yes I compare wankers.
2) Is the climate getting hotter? Probably. But heat isn’t too good but we’d better watch out if it’s cooling because the ice age something we really don’t want started tomorrow. Maybe if you live in LA it’s terrible to think of heat but I’ve lived in Winnipeg and the Arctic and I know an ice age would be more catastrophic, History says they really were.
3) Is Man ‘causing’ the presumed heating up of the planet? No one doubts that he contributes. Politicians and climate change activists and everyone else expells hot air. Even wankers know that when they fart they heat up the atmosphere around them. The question isn’t whether man and women are contributing but to what percent. The Sun is the major heater in the Solar System. I know there are Sun deniers a plenty. But the Sun is a particularly significant heat source. Galileo and the Pope were at odds before. The present Pope seems on board with one group of scientists, the UN lot. The Catholic church got it wrong about Hitler. I preferred Bonhoeffer to the Pope of that day. This fellow though seems a pretty jolly fellow. But to err is human. But lets be conciliatory with the paranoid arch evil climate change fanatics with their psychotic hysteria. Yes man farts. Yes man breathes. Yes CO2 is made by man and there is a need for less parking lots and more trees. I’ve written before I’m all in favour of cities being outlawed by the ecologists. The Pol Pot tried this. They only killed millions but their ideology was another kind of hysteria. Cities were bad. Cities are bad. Those who live in cities are the most wasteful and leave the greatest carbon foot print. So lets be serious about climate change and stop high rises. Universities have to stop building wasteful campuses. Climate change conferences have to stop so that fewer jet trails will occur. All the ‘hot air’ of the United Nations should decease and desist. It’s not just fossil fuels despite the take any sane person would have that this is more about an anti oil, gas and petroleum product political movement than anything truly concerned about the world future.
4) And if we admit that man contributes to climate change and his contribution can be changed by practical means such as limiting city growth then could the climate change hysterics admit that their projects are out by hundreds if not thousands of years. We heard 10 year. We were told we had 10 years to live. We then got 100 years but the latest projections, projections which have been repeatedly off by decades, is thousands of years. Science is about developing solutions and the solutions which can be developed in the next hundred years are light years further along than what we’ve done this last 100 years. There’s a science to this advance in solution resolving capabilities. The Science of Solution says that the capacity to solve problems scientifically outweighs the Capacity of Man to find problems. Calm down the sky is not falling and we’re not going to boil up off the planet. The prime and most expensive ocean side real estate shall lose value. This is a fact. All those who bought property close to the ocean are going to lose their shirts. Those poor folk with land in the midwest will see an increase in their investments.
5) Stop denying politics. With change in energy source, China will gain from selling cheap solar panels while Canada will lose because it’s major resource has been natural products not manufactureing. We need to make a cheaper solar panel than China and make our Candu Uranium Generators safer and superior to the competitors. That said wars are more likely to kill more people than heat. Wars and famine have always been killers. Migration now is causing a whole lot of death. One child was found washed up on a beach. That wasn’t climate change. That was war. If we want to stop war we can’t get there by marching for peace. I did that. It didn’t work. The greatest peace marches of all time were in the 30’s occurring as the Nazis were arming. Politics and power cost more lives than climate.
6) Now even when we agree that there is a problem. But climate change hysterics are the sort that could find a problem on a blank wall, what is the solution. What is the cost. How much money do you want? The Kiota accords mean everyone in Canada pays everyone in hot countries their old age pension. It’s about that much. Yet tit for tat, no one paid us in Canada for being in the undesirable cold marginal world space while everyone else was living it up in the south. The reason is that no one in the north was smart enough politically to come up with a reverse Kiota Accord. With the old logic of war our forefathers conquered and took the winnings. Every single nation today has forefathers and foremothers who used that logic. The new deconstructionist logic is that we should be guity about our forefathers success and give to the southerners more resources. Carbon tax is just ‘more’ tax by a a different name. I don’t want to give more taxes to a government that has proved it has no limit to it’s greed and waste.
7) The ecology department at the universities wants trillions of dollars. They have had millions and have been reduced to calling names because their science isn’t as sophisticated as the medical departments which literally wiped out malaria, the plague and all but cured AIDS> I’d rather give my money to medicine. I want to live a long life and I learned today that blood transfusions may be the answer against dementia. Politically the United Nations other than the WHO organization couldn’t agree to fight it’s way out of a wet bag. It’s contributions to history have been utterly appalling. Lots of cost and very little product for relative investment. Even the building has to be in the US because in most other places in the world the members would tear each other apart. Thanks to our forefathers the UN can exist but that doesn’t mean the tail should wag the dog.
8) I read a delightful book on Yellowstone National Park. It is the only patient that the Ecologists have so far had. I recommend everyone read this book on the history of the ecological interventions into Yellowstone National Park. It’s a nightmare. Every ecologist solution created worse problems All their bright ideas cost worst waste. If my colleague who refers to himself with the height of arrogance as ‘doctor to the planet’ then he should also admit that he’s about where modern day medicine was therapeutically centuries ago. Modern ecology isn’t even at the level of leeching.
9) So frankly I don’t want to give these clowns any more money. I know that ‘money’ and ‘grants’ are a pie and I know that they want the whole pie. The psychologists did too but have settled down into being a bit like the English department. Languages in general is amazing but they really don’t want that much money. They do wonders for taking a lot of the fire out of debates. When people actually learn to speak their alternatives language there’s less fatuous thuggery like calling people ‘deniers’. Accountants want to know what the climate change hysterics want in actual sums of money. The question is simply is this the best way to spend my money.
10) the fact is people like variety. I had a ride in the Tesla car. It was fashionable. I’m more likely to buy it because of the quiet and lack of noise pollution than I am because of the energy debate. As a scientist I know how much coal is used to produce the electricity the electric cars run off. Just because the exhaust is over a factory far away, and therefore politically correct, doesn’t mean the car doesn’t have a huge carbon foot print. Still it’s cute. So lots of people are going to buy cute. So when the strident ex hippy dope smoking loud mouths get off their soapboxes there will be diversity. It probably would have occurred because people like the colour green. We like paradise too. So since the industrial age we’ve been making great inroads in advancing technology with less destruction. War is still a bit. And ISIS continues to chop off heads and destroy tourist sites destroying the future of whole peoples. I’d rather see money spent on killing ISIS and Boco Harem wankers than giving it to the guys whose best product is the history of Yellowstone National Park. My total experience of the Climate Change folk is their strident hysteria and self righteous religious fervour but with little down to earth actual cash discussions. Their ‘Solution’ is to my mind as costly as the Nazi solution. I believe the planet will last a lot longer than the United Nations and the climate change financial orgy. I think the department of medicine would spend the money the climate change folk want better. I think the engineers in general could build a better NASA escape elevator and maybe devise an umbrella to block the sun to a considerable part of the planet. Maybe with more money spent on space flight we could pick up some ice from space and rebuild the declining glaciers. We don’t ever get around to discussing the ludicrousy of climate change projects because we’ve never got beyond them having great bitch fest talks and demanding more and more money.
I don’t like them. I don’t. There’s something about them that turns me off. In fact I find the climate change histerics a bit evil. I don’t trust them with the planet. I don’t trust the United Nations (period). I think the climate change hysterics are academic terrorists. And I think someone should tell the wankers to stop being greedy and to take their rightful johnny come lately place at the academic feeding trough. My money is on the robotic guys to come up with some incredible ‘solution’ and it will just happen scientifically without all that arty farty emotional hug fest and name calling Hollywood pissing contest. That’s what I think. I’m not voting for anyone who wants me to pay more money to some guys telling me they are going to save the world. Wasn’t anyone paying attention when these same wankers insisted the world was going to end with the ozone layer disappearing, or the world was going to end at 2000 because the computers would shut down.
Didn’t you just notice we had Blood moons in spades and eclipses. The Mayans prophecies and the Messianic Jewish prophecies and Nostradamus and the galaxy and Yom Kippur all happened and the planet did not disappear. The rapture didn’t even occur and all the Wiccan ladies had to continue on with their day jobs because the season of the witch didn’t do anything. That’s prophecy for you.
My prophecy is that we’ll survive. Some of us. The others will die. The human race will prevail. And this will look like a fart to a future race of historians who look through history with their noses seeking to smell a rat. Something stinketh this way cometh.
And one day the banks will disappear and lawyers and doctors and socialists and capitalists like the tribal leaders of a yesteryear. And children in a future year will have individual energy and fly with thought alone and maybe engineered wings. There will be heaven on earth and we’ll probably not notice because we have a tendency to focus more on things we fear than on things we love. I’ll end being thankful. What a great day this is. What a wonderful world. The future is bright. Maybe I’ll wear shades. Maybe I’ll not.
2) I don’t want terrorists.
3) I don’t want refugees who aren’t refugees but migrants wanting to jump the immigration que into Canada.
4) I don’t want radical moslems. I know countries who take more than Canada but the media has lied about them. Some countries like Sweden have taken a lot of orphaned children. Other countries have only taken Syrian Christians. Some have taken women. The question is who are all these strong young angry men who appear to be principally from Pakistan and the other Stans where Russia has been fighting them. I have read the news of black market identifications and passports being sold by the millions.
5) Canadians are fairly soft bellied. Travelling I’ve repeatedly met the gangs of young men who have killed in their military. They are not like Canadians, ’soft’. I was mugged by a Moslem gang of men who with military precision descended on me in the centre of Athens in a lighted tourist district, calling me “Infidel’ and ripping the gold cross from my throat. The world is a changed place. Millions of young girls have been raped by Moslem male gangs in England, 1400 in one English town. The power of political correctness and the utter fear of the entrenched radical moslem violence has caused these girls to go without justice. England and Germany have both declared multiculturalism a failure. What am I supposed to learn here in Canada. I was in Istanbul where the murderers of Charlie were being celebrated by the crowds of Moslem Brotherhood who thought it right a comic should be killed for drawing a caricature.
6) I’m old and my government is saying it’s going to take my pension and give it to strangers. Trudeau says he wants a hundred million dollars to bring in 20,000 Syrians. I’m sorry but I’d rather he distribute that money to me. I’ve given the government my left kidney in taxes and I don’t have hope for the future because Syrians as a culture don’t support democracy. These people are tribal and family based. They don’t know a secular society where we all contributed by our work so that when we couldn’t we would be cared for by pensions. Our pensions are being taken. We’re being told that we have to work another 2 or 5 years more to pay for all those who stopped working. We learned that first generation ‘refugees’ are a huge burden financially. But immigrants produce the second and third generation of Canadians that make this land powerful and secure. Refugees often don’t participate, but take, waiting for their chance to return or move on to somewhere better like the States. Immigrants are a different matter. They specifically come to Canada and want to come to Canada. Canada has always wanted immigrants. Except the First Nations. First Nations don’t like immigrants. They probably have their reasons. We might have something to learn from them.
7) I’m old and know change can be good or bad or worse. I’ve accepted so much nonsense from my government for decades and frankly I’m full up with the lies of parliament and the supreme court. The Liberals before the Conservatives disgusted me . The provincial NDP wasted my province and encouraged all manner of crime.. The national governments regardless of party haven’t helped me very much. I worked and pay huge taxes. My skills are taken for granted and all the charity I give to various causes results in the government taking credit but the money going to paying their cronies. Cronyism reigns in Canada. Jenny Kwan makes Mike Duffy look like a choir boy. Our media has become the greatest source of propaganda of all times. Goebels could learn a think or two from our CBC news. The disinformation is precious.
8) I want this election to be something. But mostly I’ve seen things get better. Different governments. More taxes. More corruption. And I get older and I work and I grow more and more tired. Dying looks more attractive each year. Yet in reality we're progressing. It really is getting better and better.
9) Agenda 21 is real. The United Nations wants to kill us. The communists broke up unions with scab labour Jews they could kill if they wanted. Jews have been a great scapegoat. Maybe the Moslems will be the new Jews. I’d rather have Hindus and Siks as refugees. I like moderate Muslims. I want someTaoists. I’d like best if we took the Christian refugees from the Sudan. The Moslems rode through their villages with machetes killing and maiming men women and children but like Rwanda it wasn’t a popular war. The media didn’t get involved. Who cares if a pastor is whacked. Christians don’t walk out of their countries en mass and invade others insisting they’re refugees. They’re trying to rebuild their countries. They’re still fighting. Last I heard the Chinese were moving into the Sudan. I think it’s unfair that the US gets Mexican migrants. I’ve studied Spanish. I like Spanish speaking people. Why can’t we take in Catholics. We once didn’t accept Catholics. Couldn’t we have catholics. Catholics women wear bikinis. I don’t like any religion that bans bikinis. I don’t want women going around with their face covered. I don’t want men to have to dress like ISIS killers either. I think we should send Mila Cyress to Syria. If they won’t accept Mila then we won’t accept them. We should give them the Kardashians too. I expect they’d want us to take a few thousand refugees if they’re going to get the Kardashians but it would be all in the name of fair trade.
10) I’m fed up with the CBC news. The news seems to be mostly propaganda. BBC remains the best of a bad lot but it's even packaged and sterilized for political correctness consumption. Info Wars and Ezra Levant are the only 'dissenting opinions' to the mass already digest talking heads effluence that passes today as News.
11) I feel sorry for the refugees. I feel sorry for those who have lost their homes. The media has caused me to feel sorry and guilty daily because the media is obsessed with tragedy voyeurism. I’ve seen too much tragedy close up. I’m a front line worker. I know the devastation in my family and neighbourhood. I know my family’s history. My grandfather’s were immigrants. I know the misery one left. I also know that a community can only tolerate a certain amount of change in a certain space of time without insanity following. My problem with the refugees is mostly my problem with the media. I keep learning that the story that they’re telling isn’t true. I keep hearing their bias and misinformation. Then I have a problem with people I know because they’ve swallowed hook line and sinker the propaganda of the party line.
12) I have trained for years in CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy. I know the danger of ‘emotional reasoning’. I have heard the hysteria of CBC news and the utter insanity of their journalism of emotional reasoning over this refugee issue ad nauseum. I heard that our government was methodically and responsibly doing the job of screening and bringing in refugees and immigrants. We’d just accepted 20,000 Afghans. We’ve accepted 5000 Syrians. Yet someone said, what about the “boat people”. And no one considered the ‘Boat People’ were our ‘allies’. The communists were killing the democrats so yes we accepted a whole lot of boat people. Yet Syrians were the ally of Russia and the Moslems were not accepting them and the Russians weren’t coming to their rescue. Why should we as Canadians? Especially when Justin said he wanted a hundred million dollars to bring in 20,000 refugees. Meanwhile the refugee problem is a product of the ‘human trafficking industry’ profiting off the crisis. Further it turns out that 80% of refugees aren’t Syrians but rather Pakistanian migrants. And if we’re considering taking migrants, personally I’d prefer Mexicans if only because they like Bikinis too. And if you think the Bikini versus the Niqab trivializes the discussion then you're a bit too concrete for adult conversation. Read a little Jung and Symbols and make a leap into 'abstract reasoning'. Think outside the box. Imagine a nation and culture that kills anyone who criticizes the ruler. Imagine someone who bans Bikinis. Imagine.
At the end of the day I trust all government little, our government the most and I especially trust our Foreign Affairs better than I trust the CBC news. Mostly I hate them and anyone implying or saying I don’t care and I don’t understand and I’m not being loving when I am all of those and have served and am relatively poor because I have served the needy and worked in the areas of greatest need with the most desperate people. I have also helped refugees and immigrants and love these people with true agape. I admire so many of my immigrant friends. So I don’t like this constant shaming and guilt mongering done by the media and capitalized on by political parties. When I raise my concerns I also don’t like being shouted down by thugs whose only tool of debate is emotional reasoning, threats, and ad hominem. What concerns me most is that we’re getting such skewed news about the Refugee crisis because lies appear to sell more than truth in media today.
This is the fundamental flaw in socialistic/communistic governments. The ancient feudal system involved a war lord getting in power and by brute force maintaining a relative slave class, serfs, ruled by him and his cronies.
Mr. Harper has made powerful enemies by trying to reduce the upper levels of this administrative class. He has attempted to maintain the front lines yet has been demanding evidence that layers and layers of bureaucratic cronyism are necessary.
Prior to the Conservative capitalist leaning government we were faced with years of increasing taxation and increasing layers of administration in government. We had regulators regulating regulators. Under Chretien and Mulroney we had the massive advertising scam with every aspect of government getting glossy photos and booklets that spawned more and more paper. Recently we’ve had the internet with the necessary map upon map to navigate through the layers and layers of government administration.
“Keep it simple” is not a slogan developed in government. The legal profession are masters at obfuscation. The more words the more money the more confusion the more need for more judges and more court rooms.
On a farm I plant x amount of wheat and sell it and because of demand I plant more and sell more to a point where the ‘market’ is ‘saturated’.
There is ‘no saturation’ point in the ‘service’ market.
I worked on a Indian reserve where the nurses hired to serve a thousand individuals were expected by the Aboriginal “Sultan" Chief of the tribe to provide daily massages. Beautiful young women were providing him this service once sometimes twice a day because he ‘liked’ it. I couldn’t get the nurses to provide respiratory care to child if it conflicted with the chiefs ’need’ for a soothing massage that day. The division between need and want has never before been so obscure.
There has always been taxation. But taxation was once related to providing roads and buildings and water and sewage disposal. There was a collective agreement of the needs for the community at large.
The beauty of architecture and the grand churches of medieval time was that architecture was the ‘art of the people’ . Everyone enjoyed it and the pyramids, castles or cathedrals were of benefit to all. Taxation served public works and it served to maintain armies that provided defence.
Now we have an endless ‘imposed’ legal system with laws upon laws governing and controlling every aspect of life. It’s Confuscean.
Maybe everyone would benefit from a massage. But Mr. Harper and the Conservative government showed that taxpayer money going to the First Nations was bottlenecked at the level of so many chiefs who had palatial homes, off shore accounts and took millions of dollar salaries while the lowest people, the sick and old and marginal in the reserve communities went without running water and heat. This was directly a consequence of poor monetary management of resources. Yet when the ‘transparency’ laws showed the tremendous nepotism through the north and in the Indian bands, the criticism of the government became focused where it truly belonged. Mr. Harper and the Conservatives had dared to do what no one else before for fear of political fallout. He shone a very bright light on the Jenny Kwans and the Mike Duffies of the Aboriginal people showing who was stealing money and where the slush funds were.
He made powerful enemies.
The executive of the CBC and his cronies make hundreds of thousands of dollars, more than doctors and more than parliamentarians. These leftist ‘marxist flag carrying’ hypocrites have long given up on journalism and used their office not for the benefit of truth and the people but solely for their own protection. Not a News item for months has presented a sound piece of journalism when it comes to the upcoming election. Yet CBC can produce the best of radio with Tapestry and White coats Black art and other world renowned programming. The News is worse than the worst of Pravda. It is pure disquised peckish retaliation against the gpvernment for questioning the administrations high salary and endless perks.
Mr. Harper and the Conservatives have made powerful enemies. Majority governments always do.
He has stood firmly behind American trade policy. We have a fighter plane deal with the US and countless NATO countries. The United States is our principal trade partner accounting for 80% of our exports. They take natural resources, meat, farming products and manufacturing. Our greatest musicians are marketed by their powerful industry. Our actors rise to world fame with their industry. We make movies with them here and there.
I remember when we had a childish government that essentialyl told our biggest contributor to piss off and tried to make a sweet deal with France. Yet France accounted for only a few percentage points of trade. And their leader came to Canada and screamed “Vive le Quebec Libre! Meanwhile the present boy Troudeau’s father had declared martial law and brought tanks into the city of Montreal pointing artillery at all the people of Canada because one terrorist had kidnapped a bureaucrat. Today Mr. Harper and the Conservatives are criticized by the pot smoking Liberals for ‘security’ concerns despite the fact that it was the son of a Tunisian Jihadist who shot the Engineering women en mass and recently a terrorist actually shot up people in our parliamentary buildings.
Meanwhile terrorism is on the rise around the world and is occurring in the very nations with the greatest gun restriction laws. And when the son of the Tunisian jihadist shot up the Engineering women we never heard about his racism and moslem origins but instead the Liberals turned their attention on ‘disarming’ women and outlawing guns as if ‘guns’ were the problem. All the while all the nations with the least guns in citizens hands have rising problems with terrorists. Criminals are always armed and they are today better armed than our RCMP who were shot en mass by one terrorist in the maritimes.
Mrs. Campbell as Conservative PM brought in the toughest gun sales and licensing law. The Liberals at a promise of a million dollars instead spent 2 billion dollars creating a massive bureaucracy for Liberal cronies to essential spy on anyone who had seen a psychiatrist. What the general population was not told was that ex girlfriends and ex boyfriends and divorcees and psychiatrists were being canvassed by droves of police like bureaucrats treating anyone who owned a gun or wanted to buy a gun as a criminal and an insane one at that. All of this travesty of justice was perpetuated to protect people from ‘suicide’ whereas I as a psychiatrist knew that countries without guns had equal suicide stats to countries with guns. Worse I’d worked in countries where people jumped out of coconut trees to kill themselves. These lies upon lies were perpetrated because people like the Liberal Mr. Ignatieff had never known a westerner or lived in the north or in rural regions to know that everyone owns a gun ,usually an old shot gun, or 22 simply because of animal pests. The Liberals with their history of alcohol association and now their pot for votes have always appealed to the uptown city crowd and well heeled elite not the rural and northern parts of the country where the NDP and Conservatives are better represented. The gun registry was just targeted taxation.
The taxation was the issue. Taxation gets jobs for party friends. It’s the horror of the senate at it’s worst but it’s seen in the courts upon courts and law school turning out masses of lawyers far beyond any societies need. In a civilized world they would be ‘philosophers’ and teach freely ‘enlightened thoughts’ but as lawyers they are another layer of social control. There’s the military that defends our borders and the police that maintain law and order within the borders. The courts no longer serve but have been wholly coopted as purely an instrument of taxation.
The pot legalization issue isn’t about health care but instead it’s purely about taxation, short term gain and long term loss. Taxation on cigarettes and alcohol has never recouped more than 10% of the cost to society that they have caused. Yes, we will get tax money from marijuana sales. Whoopee. But the cost in accidents, health care, motivation, and loss of youth will cost 90% in long term loss. The simple law of drugs of abuse, established in elegant research a quarter century ago at Harvard and always confirmed is that the more available, the more abuse. There’s a saturation point. 10% of the population consume 80% of the alcohol. 10 % of people roughly have major problems with drugs or alcohol. The same holds true with gambling.
Gambling is a major form of government revenue today. Canada is a casino, a booze hall and soon will be a drug haven. Already we have ‘drug pubs’ paid for by tax dollars at a million a year. The Hells Angels sell junkies heroin and occasionally they shoot up in the classy facility with nurse waitresses. It’s better than what Molsen’s provides their customers, only we pay for it.
Now all this leads to the Black Market. Years ago McGill University did a study that showed that the higher the taxes the more Black Market. It didn’t surprise me. I’d read the history of Scottish Culloden. I knew that the more the English demanded when they were rapacious war lords and killing my Scottish and Irish forebears, my greats took to hiding their potatoes. The English didn’t care if the Scottish and Irish starved in the winter. There will be no Truth and Reconciliation Commission for us. The Maga Carta was only for the nobles. It took the French and the Americans to free the word ‘equality’ from within the ranks only of those who were allowed to bear arms. The peasant classes throughout medieval times could not. Massacres occur en mass by the government when the citizens are disarmed. Russia killed 60 million in a few winters. China has killed a hundred million in recent past. The Pol Pot wiped out half of Cambodia in the 5 years of killing fields and millions dead. The United Nations has proposed Agenda 21. Atheists are the greatest killers of all time. Statistically the chance of me being killed by a rampaging lone gun man is next to nil but historically the likelihood of government greed stealing, starving and killing is a sure bet. Hence the American constitution.
Now in the US they take their constitution to mean that the local neighbourhood church and synagogue and temple can have howitzers and militias and the police there have tanks. In Canada no one cared because the country people had a 12 gauge shot gun for hunting. The vast majority of ammunition sales in Canada is for birdshot. Rural Canadians aren’t en mass waving AK47’s. So when our government gets its knickers in a twist about boys with bb guns, smart people wonder what the hell is going on. The answer is taxation. Targeted taxation.
And overnight I learned that Aboriginals and rural folk were burying guns and very very anxious about the urban government’s agenda targetting them. Because a gun is a necessary ’tool’ in the north and rural Canada. The 3 year old girl was killed 2 doors down from me by a cougar. I chased a hungry bear away from my dog. City activists love wolves but 4H country kids don’t like to see their calves killed by packs in their back yard so we all have guns. The city with it’s parking lots and high rises is the centre of waste and cause of climate change. The “hot air” problem is not just politicians but the density of people. Dispersion is a solution but stupidity grows in proximity.
Right now the taxation is at a cancerous high and as McGill said, the more taxation, the more crime. It pays more to break the law than to be a good citizen. All around me I know criminals who have broken the law. In fact the Liberals marijuana laws has as a secondary goal ‘sanctification’. All the drug dealers and growers overnight will become ‘right’ and all those who followed the law ‘wrong’. All those who made fortunes from ill gotten means will be safe. All those who paid the taxes that made the criminal life so attractive with health care and good roads and schools will be the duped ones.
So that’s what it comes down to. Taxes and the black market. I’m frankly libertarian. My friends are angry at me because I’m voting Conservative. The Liberals and NDP literally promise more government, more taxes and more crime. I don’t know who they’ll tax more. The government gets in by giving jobs to friends. In the old days it was giving a job to the slow cousin. Now we know that the health care system has 20 times the administration as Germany’s health care system. So we’ll get more bureaucracy and less actual product. I saw a very expensive advertising booklet and realized this was where the health care dollars went. Nobody read this silly book but ti cost a million or so. Meanwhile no one got to see doctors and nurses which is what health care was once about before the political spin turned it into something else.
My friends are all earth huggers and civil libertarians and ex hippies like me. But I’m a self employed businessman. I know the actual cost of things. I’ve always spent a lot of time fighting corruption and deceit and people that kill people in government. I’ve front line experience. I’ve seen the corruption daily first hand. I am burnt out and jaded. I am voting conservative because I want less taxation and less government. I know that whatever government does these days they do at premium cost. It’s like the department of defence in the US where a wastepaper basket cost $700. When government is going to pay for something the price goes up and the quality goes down. Yes some people benefit but I’m not one of them. I don’t benefit from the Black Market. I’m not on the government pay roll. I’m not in a union. I just pay more and more taxes and see that more and more people are getting free government hand outs while working under the table tax free.
I don’t trust government with my money and I don’t trust them not to turn guns on their citizens. I don’t trust that I won’t have to move north and live off the land as my friends told me they did in the last depression. “I fed my family with venison with a 22 rifle. Everyone else was starving.” he told me. I’m old enough to remember the tales of my grandparents. I think the young are naive and trusting.
Thankfully most people I know are good and good is mightier than bad. So Canada survives despite government because most of the people in government and elsewhere in Canada are good people. It’s not that way in the black market. Our criminal population is as bad as any. I know. I’ve worked in the jails. I think our judges are more afraid of the criminals than they are of citizens. I think judge cowardice these days explains why violent offenders have been repeatedly given light sentence. Increasingly the risk of crime is from a ‘repeat offender’.
Most of my friends also have never changed their votes. My communist friends have been communist since teen agers. My socialist friends have been socialist since teen agers. My liberal friends have always voted liberal. My NDP friends have always voted NDP. Even my Conservative friends have always voted Conservative. I’ve voted Liberal NDP and Conservative. I actually was a staunch liberal for years until I saw the corruption in that party. I felt deeply betrayed by the gun registry lies and the destruction of health care under the liberals. I was most disturbed when Paul Martin said he’d not register his boats in Canada and wouldn’t hire Canadians. I thought I’d like to be an elite Liberal. It’s what I heard when Troudeau was smoking pot and hanging with Mark Emory. I ‘m a doctor and I can’t do that. Every doctor has a political party regulator called by the pseudonym College of Physicians but here is their boss smoking pot and no one is urine testing him. Excuse me!!!!!
And Mulcair is a lawyer. I’ve seen parliament stripped of it’s power year after year by the courts making laws. yes. making laws. They call it ‘interpreting’ but the courts are making the law now in Canada and it’s principal function has been to serve them and increase taxation. So Mulcair frightens me. But if I was a union member I’d vote NDP because unions in Canada have become so strong. Government unions and private unions are Big Unions. They have clout. I envy them but I’m not in a union. So nothing the NDP are offering helps me. I want less taxes and less government , not more.
Mostly I want less Black Market Economy and less crime. The only way I can see moving in that direction is less governnment and less taxation. It’s a little twisted, I know, but government is a pretzel these days.
Monday, October 12, 2015
When I was groomsman at Kevin and Anna’s wedding I hadn’t realized I’d have to stand up at the altar with them. Now I see pictures of my long haired, aging pot bellied self in sports jacket, barefeet and sandals and think it’s not quite the ‘look’ of my ‘professional’ self. My hair is thinning too. This shows more with long hair. Vanity. I might soon convert to Judaism so I can wear a halmukah.
Allan said I looked like a farmer. Laura has suggest for a month or two a haircut would be in order. In fact it came up when I got Gilbert sheered, “Gilbert looks great with a haircut. Don’t you think you might get one two. “ she said.
“You’re supposed to be a young professional and you’re looking fairly scuzzy, yourself.” I told Allan.
We made a pact to get our hair cuts. He needed to buy some shoes. After the haircut we got him a Danier leather jacket. With haircuts and new duds he looked a close proximity to what a young academic psychologist might look like.
I stopped my haircut half way done for a selfie. I posted it to Facebook telling Annie McCullough whose distinctive hair cut is rapidly becoming a part of the Canadian Recovery movement, that I was joining her in solidarity. The lopsided cut looks very attractive on her. With her renowned sense of humour she texted laughter in return.
My stylist was a delightfully refreshing Polish Canadian woman who spoke of her love for Canada, arriving and not speaking English. Only 6 years here, and I’d not even noted an accent. “I think it’s respectful to learn the language and culture you’re moving to.” she said. I was impressed.
Now thanks to these great Magicut stylists, Allan and I are looking like professionals. I like that my ball cap fits better. Seeing the pictures, Laura texted me that we were " good looking guys,"
Allan says his girlfriend Meagan will like it. “She’ll like it even better when I shave off my beard.
Our dogs, Gilbert and Eva, didn’t care less. They were just happy to see us when we returned to Hay Bay from Kingston.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
I loved learning that people thought at the time of Columbus, 1492, that Europe was overpopulated. The scientific revolution, advances in agriculture, scale and even politics have lead to quite miraculous possibilities. The potential today for people as a whole and the planet in particular were unimaginable a generation or two ago.
Ownership of a bicycle alone can be critical to success in the Third World. Such a simple piece of technology transforms the impoverished to relative wealth by extending their household ‘import/export’ radius. In 1987 I learned of the revolution in transport and what it meant to civilization when I watched the Checkoslovakian Pavillion panoramic movie exhibit at the World Exhibition in Vancouver Canada. Recently this has been reviewed. Ownership of a car alone moves a person from the lower classes to the middle classes. The intermediary ‘stage’ between bicycle and car ownership was the ability to ‘rent’ a seat on a bus or car. Indeed those who had even travelled by motorized vehicles were superior in wealth and education to others. Some 7 billion had had access to bicycle and half that to cars and car ownership. A billion or more had flown while only millions or less had relative ownership of plane transport.
Amazing! I’m like so many in the first world. Ungrateful. Here I am flying yet again, for the countless time, irritated that tele transportation hasn’t arrived to reduce my frustration with the minimal lineups and security checks.
My parents were wealthy by world standards. They owned a car and a truck. We travelled back and forth across Canada as a family by train. My father who had been in the Royal Canadian Air Force made sure his sons had their first flight in the back seat of a Cub before they were even teens. I remember complaining in the back seat of that Piper Cub that my brother sitting next to me had a ‘better’ seat. Envy is a close second to Ingratitude among the rich and civilized. I’ve met many who I went to school with and they actually complain that they were ‘poor’. Some were definitely richer. But the whole neighbourhood I grew up in was rich in peace and stability and education. Parents had autos and kids had bicycles.
By my twenties I was taking jet trips across Canada to visit family. In my early 20’s I’d even fly from Canada across the Atlantic. I bought a bicycle there and bicycled Europe and bused in Morocco, Northern Africa.
Buckminister Fuller, the American genius, invented of the Geodesic Dome. I had seen this in 1967 at America's World Fair exhibit in Montreal. The Russian Sputnik was there. I grew up watching Star Trek on television. I witnessed the NASA space flights, the moon landing and the Soviet Space Station missions. Now I take my iPhone GPS app essentially for granted..
I was a fly - in doctor in Northern Canada using De Havilland Beaver Bush Planes and Cessnas as my weekly taxi service. Often I’d fly in a DC3 the great workhorse plane of WWII as well. Naturally I just did these things. Didn’t everyone? I’m still a little surprised when I meet someone who hasn’t flown in a plane, especially if I’m in Canada.
We take so much for granted. I so commonly live in pursuit of my next dream. I’m fixated on the future with memories more often of failures and resentments than the honest recollection of the amazing successes I’ve known, the extraordinary life so many Canadians have available to them..
I loved that Bill Gates, the American billionaire philanthropist, stated that his greatest fortune was being born in the Pacific Northwest.
Naturally I was equally blessed to be born in Canada to the parents I had with the incredibly brilliant older brother. I grew up in a suburb by the university. It was normal for my classmates to mostly want to go to university. We were middle class by Canadian standards but by world standards privileged upper class in deed. I’m often amused that Canadian ’standards of poverty’ would be considered luxury in some of the countries and regions I’ve visited and worked. My ‘homeless’ patients complain about the ’shelters’ they live in and the amazing meals that charity provides. When I’ve volunteered at church kitchens I’ve been glad to later eat the meals I was dishing out. Better than I often eat. The ’shelters’ are lacking by Canadian standards but I’ve been where 20 people shared a room smaller than the bachelor I had for myself in medical school.
Canadians as a class are the worst complainers. It’s the consumer society for sure. Television. Greed. Envy. The search for something outside to fullfil the inner lacking. The loss of community. The spiritual bankruptcy. There’s never enough.
I’m driving a glorious Mazda Miata M5 sportscar. I love this car. It’s utterly perfect for me and the fulfillment of a lifetime of longing. It’s the MG I couldn’t afford as a young medical student bought by the old man in his 60’s. The television and internet ever shows me more expensive sports cars. There’s a Corvette, a Porche, and a Aston Martin in the parking lot where I work. There are Honda Civics there too but who looks at those. By education, I’m in the top 1% of the world. The woman owning one of the faster more expensive cars I know is academically stupid by comparison. She was ’smart’ in marriage. I don’t compare myself to her by any more than her car . I am more likely to compare myself educationally with the fellow who is higher on the rung than me. Indeed I feel stupid compared to my younger colleague, a behavioural neurologist. I don’t even know what car he drives. I doubt he cares. Yet I know the other man who owns the richest fastest car in the parking lot is much older than me. He envies me my youth.
We all fly. We all talk about our trips across the country or overseas. Lots of friends fly to Vegas or Mexico without thinking it’s anything to write home about. They skip the air fliight and focus their sharing on the beach, museums or exotic restaurants. I share in passing which countries I’ve been too. We compare the long lists we’ve ‘collected’ . Country comparing is a bit like we compared the ’sports cards’ we collected as boys.
We haven’t a clue really about the Impoverished lives of others who grew up in crowded hungry homes not even fortunate enough to share a bicycle.
I just believe it’s hard for people who have flown to another country for vacation to realize that by world standards that makes them at very least upper middle class, especially if they’ve also ever owned a car. Most all of the Canadians I know are ‘upper class’ by world standards. They don’t know it. They’re too busy complaining.
Perhaps it’s this election year with it’s constant hyperbole and hypocrisy. I can’t help but hear the song, “You don’t have to dress like a refugee!” going round in my head whenever I listen to the professional ‘victims’ . CBC news is always there to help them hawk their wares. . They’re like the Canadian “beggars" who stand beside the street with dogs and Starbucks coffees ($5) and signs ‘begging’ for food. I work in the the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. The amount of food available for the poor at times appears like it would feed a small country. The food waste in the cities of Canada could feed a nation. Daily we disparage our lot and complain of our declining wages and increases costs. It’s true. Inflation is a bitch. I once wrote a lament for the billionaire who had to come home and tell his wife they were millionaires because he’d lost their fortune in the recent deflation.
I don’t drive a Corvette. My friend drives a BMW. She doesn’t eat out in restaurants. Everyone in Canada makes choices. We have a potpourri of choices. Even the immigrants who complain of not finding work in Vancouver or Toronto refuse to consider working in the north where Canadians such as myself did long and cold harsh service. When we moved south we found there was no affordable housing. Foreign speculators had stolen our heritage. But owning a house is a ‘luxury’ for most in the world especially those wanting a house in ‘prime’ locations. I simply can’t afford it and still have choice. My friends have become indentured servants (slaves) to their mortgages, praying their ‘investments’ hold.
When Canadians complain ad infinitum about their government, wanting to get rich quick and have Hollywood success, I remember that most people’s success I know is tied to family. It’s especially a product of discipline and hard long work. Half my medical school class were the children of doctors. So many of my friends, second and third generation immigrant, are a product of the sacrifice of the parents and their deep sustaining family values. We only bought my first car at 25 years of age. I couldn’t afford it alone. I didn’t buy my first ’new’ car till I was a doctor in my 30’s.
I spent altogether 24 years in education all the while having jobs to maintain my educational pursuit. My first job at 12 was shovelling snow. My payment was 50 cents. I was doing well when I made a dollar an hour which was better than delivering papers which my friends did at the same age. Baby sitting was 50 cents an hour and poor pay for the difficulties containing the little beasts till their parents return. Cutting lawns for an hour at 50 cents to a dollar was good child wage when minimum wage was $5/hour.
So I’m flying again across Canada. This will be bout the 10th time I’m accompanied by my Cockapoo Gilbert. He’s a a "Jet Cockapoo." Not a "jet setter". Even our dogs are rich by any standards. Regardless of who has lead this country of Canada we’ve been a rich nation. We’ll continue to be wealthy for a good time to come thanks to our natural resources and the competence and diversity of Canadians.
I just wish I had more gratitude and less envy. Ingratitude and envy are so intrinsically Canadian. We take so much for granted. People talk about Canadians as polite. But mostly we’re envious and ungrateful. We love to disparage Americans too.
I want to celebrate my country, celebrate this life and all the wonders and blessings I’ve known thanks in most part simply because I had the good fortune to be born in Canada. It takes another plane flight to remind me that those who have been blessed to be able to have flown are the annointed, the blessed, the privileged, the success stories.
I know it’s not the space shuttle. I don’t even own the plane. But I’m a Canadian. Poor me.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
I met Anna through my friend's Elizabeth (Dr. Feeley) and Phil. Elizabeth has all the Christian virtue of my mother with her strong will and the great warrior woman, Boudicea in her veins. Phil and Elizabeth are all that makes Christianity the living religion it is. They are two of my all time favourite Bibles. We all attended St. James Anglican Church together. Anna was their god daughter.
Anna epitomized the finest in young women, bright, beautiful, creative, thoughtful and spiritual. She’s the model of today’s Christian young woman. My mother would not approve her tattoos and piercing but would love her kindred soul. It was no surprise that Kevin fell in love with her. Who wouldn’t! What surprised us all was why such an amazing young woman would fall in love with Kevin. It’s not an uncommon thought for men in love. The love of a good woman has brought many a man to their knees in thanksgiving. For many a man it’s the true and humble encounter with Grace.
Kevin, my friend, is a good man. Not that he always was. What Anna loved about him was the love he had for his son, Izick, from his first marriage. She loved his spiritual longing and hard work and intellect. They dreamed family together.
I like his poetry. He’s a regular Carl Sandburg, a man who works with his hands then writes the most sensitive and moving thoughts of a fervent heart. Kevin and my life overlapped outside of church and we had many a conversation about God and life. It was so refreshing to hear his love of God, his love of Anna, and his love of family. He is so deep and real in a oftimes shallow and plastic society.
Kevin and Anna grew together. Then Alexander came along to celebrate their love, then Kendra, such wonderful gifts of God. Elizabeth and Phillip went off to Saudia to work and I felt that old man’s need to watch out for the young till their return. Next thing I knew I was a god father. Gilbert, my cockapoo figured Izeck and Alexander and Kendra were his brothers and sister. Families grow in church. The community of St. James Anglican does its things. Grace abounds.
The Phoenix is a bird that rises from the ashes of the past. Kevin was born again, once slated to be a preacher, he turned to heavy machinery and poetry instead. Now he was blessed by the fullness of new life and love.
What God had joined and the church had blessed was this day made one in Christian marriage. It was a beautiful wedding. Anna wore Elizabeth’s wedding dress. The brocade was lovely. Kevin’s suit looked so fine but it was a near disaster as no one knew how to tie a bow tie. Thankfully one of the women did. The pre wedding chaos was fun to be a part of. I was the groomsman. Laura sat in the audience. Gilbert stayed at my side because if I leave him he makes a fuss. So there was Kendra held by Kevin unwilling to be parted from her parents and Gilbert only quiet because he could lay happily at my side in the wedding party. Izek and Alexander were most mature, great young ring bearers. They look terrific in black suits emulating their father. Everyone was part of the wedding. It was a moving service. Rev. Canon Douglas Williams was the loving celebrant. Rev. Canon Kevin Hunt, priest in charge St. James, participated with reverence.
The maid of honour, Kathryn Smith and bridesmaid, Anna’s sister, Joslyn Bustin were truly beautiful. Little Kendra and Lisa were the flower girls one sprinkling flowers and the other crying loudly. Kevin’s Best Man Adrian was a lark. What a sense of humour and joie de vivre! I loved my fellow yellow rose men who work with Kevin too. Al Bustin and Phllip Feeley presented the bride. Anna was radiant. Kevin was suitably humble. Grace was present.
It was a beautiful ceremony. I loved the choir. I loved the choice of songs that included “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee’. The sacred was everywhere. Everyone was smiling. The wedding concluded after communion, a communion I felt so deeply in the presence of such love.
Gilbert was delighted to reunited with Laura as we headed off for the abundant potluck lunch in the hall. It is always fun to talk with Karen and see others like Father Matthew I know better in the church. But then the photographer wanted my old face as a contrast to the youth there that day. Phillip Elizabeth and I seemed surprisingly to be the elders. I still don’t know how this happened. But the photographer hopefully knows photoshop and will assist me. Kevin and Anna and the rest of wedding party would need no such assistance. They all fairly glowed.
I was shocked to be asked to give a toast and blurted out whatever good came to mind. Thankfully I got through that and everyone was so happy and smiling I didn’t detract from the joy of the occasion. Karen actually said I sounded just fine. Then others gave speeches, brief and celebratory. Father Matthew summed it up with the words family and community. It touched my heart deeply to be there.
Thank you Anna and Kevin for sharing your love and precious moments with us. May your family always prosper and God’s light shine on you and yours.