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no•et•ic: From the Greek noēsis/ noētikos, meaning inner wisdom, direct knowing, or subjective understanding; “states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect. They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance, all inarticulate though they remain; and as a rule they carry with them a curious sense of authority...” – philosopher William James in 1902

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VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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PHOTOS

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WINTER 2016-17, VOL. 30, NO. 2

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A word from the publisher and editor… Dear Reader, This Winter 2016-17 edition continues our 30th year ~ with another experiential twist! You will notice that the arrangement of the issue is reversed from its traditional sequence; so if you are looking for the political news and commentaries, please begin in the middle of the issue – and enjoy all the inspiring and heart-warming stories, poetry and philosophical ideas that come first! Maurice, Janet and Penny In our ‘trip through the alphabet’ for our cover themes, we have arrived at the letter ‘N’ – and lots of words were suggested – actually, there are over 48 ‘N’ words featured in the issue… (see p.5). The ‘word’ which has attached itself to the front cover – albeit non-verbally! – is “noetic,” which philosopher William James defined as “states of insight into depths of truth unplumbed by the discursive intellect. They are illuminations, revelations, full of significance and importance, all inarticulate though they remain…” This issue is blessed with, not one, but two beautiful cover images, each in its way with a compelling message for today: Sherry Leigh Williams’ playful creation on the front, and Susanne Hare Lawson’s dramatic one on the back. (More about Sherry’s on p.12; and Susanne’s on p.17). Perhaps you might try an experiment… look at Sherry’s creation on the front – or at Susanne’s on the back – and see what it communicates to you, not in words, but in other ways… Perhaps you will glimpse the meaning of the word, noetic… And one other suggestion: please take a few minutes to sit quietly with Susan McCaslin’s essay, pp.6-7, so you might have the opportunity to experience the wisdom, passion and relevance of her words. We hope you will enjoy all of the contributions in this issue, from the offerings of art, poetry and stories – both dramatic and humorous, through the range of political critiques and exposés, in the second half. If you enjoy Dialogue, please consider ordering a Gift Subscription for a friend ~ or your local library, or a waiting room or a café? [see p.58.] And Thank You very much if you are able to help with a donation at this time, so we can keep our subscription rate affordable for everyone but still meet expenses. Our very best wishes ~ to you and your family and friends ~ for a Joyful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Maurice

volunteer publisher

Janet

volunteer editor

…& Penny & Lucky!

P.S. A Special Thank You to Paul Bowles for the gift of his calligraphic art, a volume of Ancient Verse from the Chinese Astrological Zodiac (p.2) IMPORTANT: If you wish to continue receiving the magazine, please ensure your subscription is paid up! PLEASE LOOK AT YOUR ADDRESS LABEL ON THE BACK COVER of this issue to find your RENEWAL DATE. If your subscription is

due, you should find a renewal slip enclosed in this copy of Dialogue (See p.58). www.dialogue.ca

dialogue is... …an independent, Canadian volunteer-produced, not-for-profit quarterly, written and supported by its readers – empowering their voices and the sharing of ideas. Now in its 30th year, dialogue provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and an antidote to political correctness. We encourage readers to share with others the ideas and insights gleaned from these pages. If this is your first issue, please let us know what you think of it. If you would like to share your ideas and become a writer in

dialogue magazine Consider this your personal invitation to participate! We also need your support as a subscriber, to help us continue (See P. 86 for details) We receive NO government funding and no advertising revenue. We rely totally on the generous support of our readers & subscribers.

dialogue

was founded in 1987 and is now published quarterly. Maurice J. King, Volunteer Publisher Janet K. Hicks, Volunteer Editor Date of Issue: Dec. 4, 2016

Annual subscription: $20.00 [including GST, # 89355-1739] Canada Post Agreement No. 40069647 Registration No. 08915 ISSN: 1184-7042 Legal Deposit: National Library of Canada (409731)

The views expressed in this publication are those of their individual authors. Reprints of published articles are included for their educational value. 6227 Groveland Drive Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9V 1B1

Tel: 250-758-9877 Fax: 250-758-9855 E-mail: dialogue@dialogue.ca WEBSITE: www.dialogue.ca

Deadlines: Sep. 1st - Dec. 1st March 1st - June 1st

VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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The Christmas Table

Ramblings

Randy Vancourt, Toronto ON

Every year during Christmas dinner I remember my father making the same toast. He would lift his glass of wine and say, “I’m glad we get to spend another Christmas all together.” It didn’t resonate very much with me during my younger years when I thought of it as merely a token of his appreciation; being thankful for our family gathering at another holiday celebration. I never considered that there might be a time somewhere down the road in the far distant future when we’d no longer be able to share this feast. Such thoughts have no place at the Christmas table. I grew up as a complete fanatic of the Christmas holiday; I loved every moment of it. From writing cards and picking out the tree, to caroling door to door and reading Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” cover to cover every year. My love affair with Christmas started early. I well recall the year I was about 4 years old, and I woke up on Christmas morning to discover that someone had left a pile of presents for me. I couldn’t believe it! For weeks thereafter I got up early every morning and returned to our living room to see if this miracle had been repeated, despite my mother’s best attempts to explain that I had to wait another entire year. I loved the Christmas music on the radio and all the holiday TV specials, from Andy Williams and Bing to Charlie Brown and Rudolph. Decades later I became friends with Billie Mae Richards, the woman who actually voiced Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on those TV specials. We performed live shows together a few times and when she passed away in 2010 I had the great honour of writing an article about her life for the SUN newspapers all across Canada. As I got a bit older, nothing beat walking to church on Christmas Eve (walking always somehow seemed more festive than driving), seeing all our friends and neighbours there and singing the wonderful carols. 4 dialogue

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One strange tradition I have followed from the youngest age is to lie down underneath the Christmas tree and look up through its branches, seeing all the twinkling lights and tinsel from a very different angle. I don’t recall why I first began doing this and certainly nobody suggested I try, but as long as I can remember I have done this every Christmas. Of course the time comes in all our lives when certain people we love are no longer at the Christmas celebration. It’s inevitable that as we grow older first our grandparents, then our parents, will slip away from the table one last time. I’m at the stage of life where I no longer have any relatives of my parents’ generation with me to share the joy of the season. What I do now have is a wonderful wife and a beautiful son who is just beginning to experience the magic of this season for himself. Only 2 years old, he cannot pass a Christmas display without pointing at every inflatable Santa and saying, “Ho, ho!” We didn’t teach him this – it seems to have started spontaneously. Last week he was thrilled by the Santa Claus parade here in Toronto, tonight he marveled at the Christmas tree that just arrived in our living room, and soon we will pay a visit to the local mall where he will meet the great man himself. The sheer joy that this little boy brings to the room is a wonder. Everything he sees is brand new and he is overwhelmed with the magic of the simplest things. He can laugh hysterically at a game of peekaboo, or run around the house for no apparent reason until he’s breathless, or shout, “Choo choo!” a hundred times a day whether he sees a train or not. This will be his third Christmas and no doubt the first where he will understand a little bit about what is happening. On Christmas Eve, he is set to help light the candles at the beginning of church service (keep an eye out for news stories about a church fire). When he wakes up the next morning the avalanche of toys that Santa brings him and the abundance of sugary treats available will no doubt overwhelm him. …/ www.dialogue.ca


Then we’ll sit down for the traditional turkey dinner. He’s too young to understand the significance of the toast that I will make as I carry on the tradition of my father’s words, but perhaps as the years pass he’ll come to value their importance.

And yes, I intend to teach him how to lie beneath the Christmas tree and look up through the branches, because hopefully he will also see the magic that waits up there. www.randyvancourt.com ♣

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Feedback re Dialogue Magazine +

David Foster, Port Perry ON

Dear Janet, I’m still plodding through the issue... Incredibly rich material... Made me wonder if a ‘one/two punch might be possible? I love the grey tone insets of poignant humour that no longer sit collected on a humour page, but are scattered where they provide thought provoking counter point. The one on the mixed flowers delivery prompted this notion... Rather than simply asking readers to find new readers and supporters, see if we can provide a more personalized way of crossing boundaries. How can the reader who cares really motivate a new recipient to act, read, enlist, support? It needs a ‘coupon’ of some sort, i.e. ‘Dear Marjorie I attach a coupon for a (…free tooth brush/bar of soap/cup of coffee/helium balloon…), for you to redeem at your local retailer. That will tell me if I have your friendship still, and your interest. ‘Dialogue’ is truly a necessary part of every adult Canadian’s on-going awareness. It gives mature thought to what has recently passed through other media. Mind Matters.

(Usually!) The front part of the magazine tends to be for men (whom we all know are from Mars... the latter part for women who of course are from Venus). But both make voyages into each other’s planets. Pass old copies on to your local Library.’ Thinking of you, Eunice (or Roger, or whomever). Excellent issue. I’m wading slowly through it. I do prefer the paper version. Valuable insight from some pretty impressive people. Best to Maurice. And Penny… Thank you. D ♣ *** Susanne Hare Lawson, Tofino, BC Love the magazine and beautiful job of editing and layout you do, remarkable!! Love to you from Susanne ♣

***

Gladys Freer, Baden, ON

Thank you for publishing such a great magazine. Keep up the good work. ♣ *** From Iris Yawney, Daphin MB

I enjoy your magazine and appreciate your work on it. God Bless! ♣

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N is for …

Some 49 “N” words in this issue

No such thing as normal

NAFTA, Naïve, Name, Nanaimo, Nasty, Nation, Native, NATO, Nature, Navigate, Near, Necessary, Need, Nefarious, Negative, Negotiations, Neighbours, Neoliberal, Nervous, Nestlé, Nets, Never, Newcomer, News, Next, Nice, Night, Nightingale, Nihilist, Noble, Nobody, Noetic, Noël, Noisy, Noose, Normal, Northern, Not, Nothing, Now, Nowhere, Nuance, Nuclear, Number, Numerous, Nunavut, Nurture, Nutrition, North West Territories…

“The concept of ‘Normal’ is a mathematical abstraction. Try to find a ‘normal’ dog, a ‘normal’ human being, a ‘normal’ Irishman, a ‘normal’ Portuguese, a ‘normal’ American. You can’t find them – there is no such thing. But everything turns out to be uniquely itself and uniquely individuated from the ‘norm.’” “The normal is that which nobody quite is. If you listen to seemingly dull people very closely, you'll see that they're all mad in different and interesting ways, and are merely struggling to hide it.” – Robert Anton Wilson, Masks of the Illuminati

From June Ross, Nanaimo BC: I like NOW >>> NURTURE.... meaning nurture

our planet, nurture nature, nurture human kind – and Do it NOW! ♣ www.dialogue.ca

(1990), author of the Cosmic Trigger Trilogy VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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“Resonance”

Femmes Fatales and the Female Muse: John Keats and the Feminine by Susan McCaslin, Fort Langley BC

I first discovered the poetry of the Romantic poet John Keats (17951821) in high school when a teacher read us several of the poet’s great odes—“Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” and “Ode to Autumn.” I didn’t know exactly what Keats meant by “ ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ —that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know,” but the lines spoke to some inner sense that beauty and truth couldn’t be separated. Certainly I was engaged by the pastoral scene and the ecstatic figures dancing on the urn. Reading these and other poems by Keats made me feel as he must have felt when he first read Chapman’s translation of Homer and later wrote a sonnet comparing his reading experience to that of the explorer Cortez when he first gazed at the Pacific. Keats’ poems opened me to mystery. I didn’t understand, but wanted more. Then I studied him again in university, and again in graduate school at SFU beginning in 1969 when I read a biography of Keats by Walter Jackson Bate. I was at about the age of Keats himself when he wrote many of his early poems; so he became for me a sort of ghostly, imaginal lover. For me now, in my late sixties, Keats has morphed from Romantic boyfriend to perhaps the son I never had. Given that he died at the age of twentyfive, he seems not just like a son figure, but a wisdom singer. How did one so young achieve such heights of poetic expression within only a few short years? As a poet who has had the privilege of crafting my work for nearly five decades, I realize that what he accomplished in his lifetime was nothing short of astonishing. Rereading Keats, I see a shift in his work from explorations of the “femme fatale” portrayal of women, to a deep identification with female wisdom figures. Keats’ treatment of women hints at how we might begin to shift from paradigms 6 dialogue

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rooted in fear of the feminine to ones that embrace and respect it. For many, our deeply grounded, instinctual love of beauty has also been displaced, and replaced by a culture of violence, not only toward women, but toward each other and the natural world. At the end of Keats’ long poem Endymion, the protagonist wakes to the recognition that the moon goddess Cynthia (Selene) he encounters in a visionary dream is one and the same as the very human and earthy Indian maiden he meets afterwards in a wood. The young seeker comes to know experientially that the human and the divine, the transcendent and the embodied feminine, are one. In Keats’ ballad “La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” the poet examines the long-held stereotype of woman as vixen, siren, and temptress—a witch-like figure luring men to their death. Yet it is unclear whether the beautiful woman leads the knight to disaster out of malice, is herself subject to the control of dark forces, or is a projection created by the knight’s fear. At first, the dire ending for numerous naïve knights seems to suggest she is a femme fatale. Here the knight speaks: I saw pale Kings, and Princes too Pale warriors, death pale were they all; They cried, La belle dame sans merci Thee hath in thrall. Yet we can’t assume that the speaker shares the views of the author. After probing cultural stereotypes of the feminine in earlier poems, Keats subverts them in Lamia, where an alluring woman has been transformed into a serpent. She then strikes a bargain with the god Hermes, who agrees to turn her back into a woman, so she can woo and win the young man Lycius with whom she is in love. Lycius’ teacher Apollonius, a Greek philosopher, finds Lycius’ love of Lamia a threat to his control over his young student; so he “others” the female out of a need to retain his own power and ends by destroying them both. Keats presents Lamia as a tragic figure, …/ www.dialogue.ca


blocked and destroyed by Cartesian reason. The narrator comments at the end: “Do not all charms fly/ At the mere touch of cold philosophy?” Here, Keats is not attacking philosophy per se, but a narrow, circumscribed form of reason—philosophy abstracted from nature and from the feminine. Keats’ last poem “The Fall of Hyperion,” is his second effort to write an epic poem about the heroic masculine god Hyperion, one of the older generation of Titans in Greek myth. Instead he ends up writing about his last muse Moneta, daughter of Saturn, a goddess of the underworld. Because of his worsening health through tuberculosis, Keats was unable to complete the poem. Yet what remains is a mournful hymn to dignity and beauty shining through loss and defeat. Moneta, whose name is associated, not only with “warning” and “instruction” in Latin, but with the goddess Greek goddess Mnemosyne or Memory, provides the dying poet with access to the realms of death and to the collective memory of the tribe. She is the embodiment of what Keats calls “Negative Capability,” a state where a person “is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason –” (letter to Benjamin Bailey, Dec. 1817). The poet climbs to the altar of the goddess of loss, by labouring through his own grief. Her eyes speak from a place within and beyond death, a place of mourning for the destruction caused by the warring gods. Moneta’s question to the dying poet addresses the value of the “tribe” of poets and poetry itself: “What benefit canst thou do, or all thy tribe,/ To the great world? Thou art a dreaming thing…” Then she distinguishes between the “dreamer” and the true poet, the latter of which “pours out a balm upon the world,” rather than “vexing” it. Keats studied to be a healer, a doctor; yet gave up that profession for the vocation of poetry. For me and generations of readers he is a healer through words. Keats’ “Fall of Hyperion” laments how war-like power, greed, and desire to control have displaced the beauty of the more ancient order. Yet even in defeat, the older gods and goddesses remain www.dialogue.ca

grounded in the wisdom of Gaia, the earth. This poem is Keats’ courageous way of coming to terms with his personal, imminent death and with the ruins of a civilization. This late work he called “a fragment” was written in the context of the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. I sometimes think that Keats himself embodied aspects of the maligned feminine in his culture where women were often seen as the smaller and weaker of the species. His most vicious critics attacked not only his writing, but his person, taunting him for his relatively short stature, calling him “little Johnny Keats.” Even his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley in his elegy to Keats, Adonais, depicts him as a sensitive flower blown away by a bad review, as does Lord Byron in his satiric poem Don Juan. Recent biographers have corrected this false impression of Keats by providing evidence of how he proved remarkably resilient, courageous, and dedicated to his craft. After digesting some negative reviews, he rebounded and continued writing. Keats wrestles with western culture’s fear of the feminine, a construct that continues to haunt our contemporary world. One only has to consider the recent American presidential election, where misogyny was clearly a factor in the defeat of the more qualified and experienced candidate. Keats’ nuanced and positive views of women clearly have continuing relevance. Keats’ insistence on the transforming power of beauty—natural, moral, and spiritual beauty— reminds me of Dostoevsky’s enigmatic remark, as quoted by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his Nobel Prize Lecture (1970):

Beauty will save the world. So called “dead poets” live on in their words, and words have the potential to wake us up, to heal, and to inspire. Rereading Keats reminds us that poetry matters even more in a dark time. I woke this morning with these words in my head: “The other side of now, is now.” It was as if Keats were standing at the door. Susan McCaslin VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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From Wilma Housty, Victoria

“Home” Is Where Our Hearts Reside by Wilma Housty, Victoria BC

As we journey through our lives, we are continuously reminded by our intuition to trust ourselves. Our inner voice beckons us to be alert to the emotions that reside within our bodies. The feelings provide a signal by which we may listen and respond appropriately to whatever we may be experiencing during a particular moment. We do not have any control over how others may react or respond; yet it is crucial that we remain truthful to ourselves and others by honoring the essence of who we are as unique individuals. Our physical bodies hold the sacredness that resides within the depths of our being, as well as the intimate space that immediately surrounds us. We instinctively become aware of this at the beginning of our lives when we are in our mothers’ wombs. As fetuses, we were introduced to our “dance of life” through the exploration of physical movements as our bodies developed. We moved and expressed ourselves freely and joyfully within the amniotic fluid that safely protected us while we were connected to our mothers via our umbilical cords. Within this lifesustaining environment, we learned to know our bodies, minds, and spirits through our innate ability to explore and to be unified within our physical selves. After our mothers gave birth to us, our ability to trust the freedom of exploring our relationships with our bodies continued to be invigorating and stimulating as we expressed awe and wonder because they were our kindred spirits. Have you ever had an opportunity to observe babies wiggle, stretch, and gurgle with pure happiness as they enthusiastically wave their arms and kick their feet? We were confident in our sacred wholeness as infants; yet often we forget our confidence and experience a sense of disassociation from ourselves as we encounter treacherous places in our personal journeys. Such disassociations may occur during traumatic events that result in earth-shattering effects that shake us to the depths of our inner core. We may have experienced the death of a loved one; emotional, physical, sexual, and/or spiritual abuse; loss of a job, health, or a home; or the end of a relationship. During these painful, fragmenting times of hardship 8 dialogue

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in our lives, we may unravel like a ball of wool and feel tattered and torn because the shards of pain cause us to throb with questions that swirl in our thoughts and leave us full of doubt, fear, guilt, anger, resentment, hatred, shame, disgust, and anxiety. The pain and tumultuous thoughts destabilize us. Our bodies feel numb as a result of our confusion, loneliness, disorientation, and detachment, and we lose a sense of who we thought we were. As a result, our sacred existence gets hidden from us, and our bodies become restricted by our uncomfortable dread, heaviness and sadness. We experience our bodies as rigid strait jackets, and we become robotic and graceless in our stiff and unyielding movements. We feel trapped as our emotions wax and wane like the cycles of the moon that push and pull us through the depths of our living hell. We desperately try to free ourselves, yet we still feel trapped somewhere inside and outside of our bodies. We hear ourselves repeat words like “should”, “could”, and “would”, and we live the same story over and over again. Unfortunately, as we try to free ourselves of self-abusive and self-sabotaging tendencies that possess our lives when we least expect it, self-torturing feelings of non-existence steadily erode our souls and exhaust us. There is only one way through this hell, and it is to allow ourselves to surrender to the truth of our pain and to fully embrace the unrelenting, inner battles and to trust ourselves that we will not lose our way. Until we attend to our personal needs and allow ourselves to heal, we will remain disoriented and fragmented from our bodies. Undeniably, our bodies intuitively know how to come “home” to themselves. Although we sometimes stubbornly prevent ourselves from acknowledging the capacity for our personal empowerment to take control of our lives, we are able to hear the rhythmic beating of our own hearts as they steadily illuminate our way “home”. Our bodies were born whole and sacred, and we are continuously provided with opportunities to be reunited within ourselves and be returned to the state of freedom and joy that we experienced in the safety of our mothers’ wombs. ♣ Wilma Housty www.dialogue.ca


The Bright Radiance of Your Soul by Wilma Housty September 2016 When the sun shines through your windows early in the morning, how does it make you feel? Do you feel like stretching every muscle in your body from your toes to your head? Does the brilliance of the sun flooding into your room increase your heart rate and cause your lungs to expand with deep breaths? Does the joy of the breaking, new day flood through every vein in your body as you wake from a restful slumber? This “break-of-day” joy is similar to what it is like when you wake up to your soul, as your soul holds the light that pulses deep within you. As you rise every day to meet the new day, do you ever take the time to feel the radiance of your soul? No matter what shadows may be casting themselves through your mind because of swirling, anxious thoughts, disengage from them by pulling the plug of your mind’s control and surrender to your whole body – just as you do in sleep. *** Your body’s wisdom knows how to take care of itself, if you choose to trust it. Your body does not function in separate modalities – your mind, body and spirit are interconnected as one. *** Let your soul’s rays illuminate every cell of your body until it passes in all directions through each cell wall. As the rays quiver with delight, they will begin to dance and sway with the beating of your heart. The natural rhythm of your breathing will trigger the awakening of your soul and every part your body. Soon the essence of your soul will burst through the flexible membranes of every cell and fill you with the attributes of your awakened beauty – the beauty of wholeness and love that long to radiate from deep within you. *** Gently beam the light of love outside your physical body and illuminate the space around you. The sacred brightness and warmth of your internal life will fortify you from the dawning of your day to its closure. No matter who you are, we all have a rightful place on earth. The sacredness within us can radiate soul-power into our world. We are all part of creation, and the earth’s wisdom lies like a seed in every soul that walks the pilgrimage of life. ♣

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Poems by Soonoo Engineer Dear Dialogue, You published a poem by my mother Soonoo Engineer in your summer issue. Thank you! … In case you'd like to add in any others, I'm sending some more for you to consider. Thanks, Rukshana Engineer

DREAM, MY CHILD DREAM Dream, my child dream, though violence and strife Rent, sever and tear asunder life. Though years may yet lie ahead, When hatred and war prevail, And nightmares cloud our skies, Dream, my child dream. Know that beyond the sunlight, Perpetually, the heavens brighten. Believe in that light, The source of light abundant; So dream my child dream. The greater the gloom, the greater the need to envision, Tranquil fields and sunlit oceans; And nations striving together, climbing together, To reach that resplendent height, to realize The noblest aspiration of the human mind – The joyous unity of all Mankind.

PHOTO ABOVE: Penny Stirling (left) on her 92nd

birthday in July 2016, & Soonoo Engineer, 90 (right).

Two poems from Soonoo’s friend and fellow-poet Penny Stirling follow, next page. Thank you to Rukshana Engineer for forwarding them.

THE LAST REVOLUTIONARIES By Soonoo Engineer

They shall be the last revolutionaries, And they shall come, Not flying banners and wielding swords, Nor with frenzied words, the world to inflame; But freed from the web of grab and gain. Quietly, unrelentingly, they shall pursue their gentle path, Seeking justice through justice, peace through peace, And change through a change of heart. 10 dialogue

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And there shall be about them a joyousness, a calm, And courage that disdains the use of arms. Then, awakened, others will follow, then more and more, Until the bastions of wealth and power crumble and fall. For how shall power wield its force? On whom all force power denies? And who shall entice them with baubles anymore, When those baubles despise. ♣ www.dialogue.ca


From Penelope Christine Stirling of Vancouver From Refugee to Release By Penny Stirling, Vancouver

This is a story that I wish to be told Of the bond between a man quite young And a woman rather old. For three long years the man had been "The prisoner in the Church." Many came to know him and all joined in the search For justice and his liberty. Yes, hundreds came to love him for his courage And the sweetness of this soul And prayed that justice and compassion From the bureaucrats would rule. The woman came with others To write letters for his case And then it was she first shook hands And looked at his young face. How was it that this woman On the first day that they met – Sensed the depth of his despair Beyond his gracious smile of welcome For the deepness of his fear. The fear she knew was haunting him Day after lonely day That the bureaucrats in government would never let him stay That when the night crept in, she knew Thoughts of torture wracked his brain He who had already felt the lash And known the terror and the pain She hoped he let her visit him And asked him if she could "Of course" he said and later on he told her That he had hoped she would That he felt some kind of kinship which defied The difference in their years And this is what he told her as he whispered in her ear: "It's not about the wrinkles or the texture of your skin www.dialogue.ca

What I've divined about you was the honesty within I am psychic and I'm aware of people When I look into their eyes I know the ones that cover up the truth With their unconvincing lies." And so, my dear, I like to think I helped to ease the burden of your life To always be there for you and help you through your strife To regain your freedom and return to normal life. And then it came, this marvellous day The bureaucrats had so decreed That our prisoner should be freed And was being allowed to stay The shouts went up, "He's free, he's free" We're ecstatic at this victory At last he's got his liberty! And so this is the story I wanted told Of the bond between a man quite young And a woman rather old. It's not about the years we bear Or the wrinkles on our skin It's all about the youthfulness And the honesty within.

Walking in Stanley Park How deep among these stately August firs In ancient forest land I quietly walked, Where long ago with firm and fearless tread The native bands once lived and stalked their prey. In the subterranean silence of the leafy forest floor In the tangled age-old bushes covering unknown sacred graves, No longer can be heard the mighty cries of war, Nor seen the painted faces of the warrior braves today. ‌/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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As on this primal forest ground I softly tread Within my heart I seem to hear the screams, Of angry anguish to their ancient gods Who let the treacherous white man in to stab their dreams And steal away their heritage and pride of race And stilled their awesome myths and mystic tales, And stomped upon the history of their former time and place. Shafts of brilliant sunshine slanting through the trees Like swords of glittering gold they pierce the leafy gloom Where once the tribe gave praise to gods of Sun

and Moon And thanked their Brother Deer and Sister Fish for food. In days before the days that came to be the end for good Emerging from what's left of this once mighty wood, The roar and stench of modern madness marred my mood And I lamented, trying to understand The rape of noble people in their beloved land. * * *

Originally from England, Vancouverite Penelope Christine Stirling has led a life rich with diverse experiences and has had a life-long passion for writing and poetry. ♣

Forwarded by Rukshana Engineer, Vancouver BC **************************************************************

CREATIVITY

From Sherry Leigh Williams

Sherry Leigh Williams, Sidney BC

Back to writing, digging up bones Pen to paper, fingers to keys Creativity is the dance, Between wounded heart and eternal soul Like a puppet, the muse pulls the strings Laughing at my feeble steps My awkwardness, loss of control grips me What is there to fear? That heart, locked up for years Like an old woman’s house Stockings collecting dust as they lay Where she tossed them Like her last wild love affair Hair gnarled from the night before Her heart shattered like fine bone china Lay across the darkened kitchen floor. Muse, you have no heart Or wait, perhaps you are only feeling Non linear, lack of logic Gorging yourself, through me Yet I will meet you Like a lover in the graveyard 12 dialogue

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Surrounded by old men’s bones Stolen kisses, filtered through dust I remember the first time The great mystery touched me I stood transfixed between what is And that which cannot be explained Yet again, and again I come, tasting the honey Fearing the fire so close to my wings Closing my eyes, limiting the senses Bear it for me, he said I want to feel the weight of your suffering Through you, in you, for you I am life pulsing, beyond the mundane *** About the painting on the cover By Sherry Leigh Williams

“Between Here and There” is an acrylic on panel, mixed media painting. My favorite way to work is to lay the foundation in fabric, bits and pieces of history, mine or found, and then to slowly build layers of paint. I let the images appear, and work intuitively, allowing feeling and movement to occur. I don’t dictate the outcome, but am more of a participant …/ www.dialogue.ca


in exciting process known as “Free Expression.” This way of painting is a style and way of working that I learned after my studies with Caroline James, a fabulous artist and former Professor of mine who became frustrated with the way that art making is taught, and so launched her own workshops that allowed artists to pursue this way of working. Thanks, Sherry, sherryleigh.williams@icloud.com Sherry Leigh Williams is a multi-faceted artist, writer, singer and songwriter was born and raised in the rural community of Shining Bank, Alberta. She ranched in Little Smoky, AB and Chetwynd, BC where she raised her family. A self-taught artist during those years, her work was awarded in the Images and Objects juried shows in Fort St John, BC and toured the province. In 1998, Williams relocated to Salt Spring Island where she continued to pursue her artistic development. After much deliberation, she relocated to Victoria, BC to follow a lifelong dream of becoming a visual arts professor. She currently resides in beautiful Sidney by The Sea! Graduating in 2004 with a VCA Diploma in Fine Art, Sherry was ranked in the top two percent of any student ever taught by Robin Mayor, director of Victoria College of Art. From 2004-2008 Sherry was immersed in the Bachelor of Arts program at the University of Victoria. Sherry maintained top academic standing, and was inducted into the prestigious Golden Key Honor Society. An unfortunate car accident that resulted in chronic pain delayed her academic goals. Sherry was actively involved in numerous art related events and her work has been featured in several media reports. Her photography The 'Magna Carta Tree' has been

featured in The Times Colonist as part of a campaign by The Land Conservancy to protect the forest surrounding Royal Roads University. Commissioned by The Bay Center in its downtown location in 2004 to paint a historical motif on her Orca as part of The Orcas In The City project. “Deschamp's Quest was a wonderful opportunity to share my own family history as a Métis person, and as a descendant of the rugged Métis Sherry Leigh Williams Voyageurs,” said Williams. Williams was community artist for Luminara Victoria where she created larger-than-life-sized sculptures for the community lantern events. In 2003, Williams wrote and illustrated two children's books A First Step and Parent Guide, a project that was designed to combat racism. As an initiative of Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Society, Williams took the books and spoke to children kindergarten to grade 7 in the public schools in the greater Victoria School District 61. 1990-96 Sherry and Angelique Prince with the support of Yvonne Eldon of the Chetwynd Community Art Council created a Hands on Art program in the public schools. As an educator, and author, Williams taught in many public schools in Alberta and British Columbia; she also taught jewelry making at Northern Lights College, Chetwynd, B.C. See more of Sherry’s work at: LINK : http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sherrywilliams.html?tab=artwork and: https://www.facebook.com/sherryleigh.williams ♣

Laughter & ‘Lightenment!

Male or Female?

From Sammy Camilleri, Sault Ste. Marie ON You might not have known this, but a lot of non-living objects are actually either male or female. Here are some examples: FREEZER BAGS: They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

PHOTOCOPIERS: These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons. TIRES: Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated. HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt. www.dialogue.ca

SPONGES: These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water. WEB PAGES: Female, because they're constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on. TRAINS: Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people. EGG TIMERS: Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom. HAMMERS: Male, because in the last 5000 years, they've hardly changed at all; and they are occasionally handy to have around. THE REMOTE CONTROL: Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying. From Sammy, salvu1@hotmail.com ♣ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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“Stirring the Soup”

Retelling the Native American Story Marie Gaudet, Edmonton AB

I recently joined a diversity group that hopes to facilitate human bonding between our neighbors of all colors, shapes and forms, cultures, religions, socioeconomic stratum, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and any other fascinating difMarie and her Xmas tree ference. Our first event was geared towards a better understanding of the Indigenous communities of Canada and we approached this by way of a mass Blanket Exercise. Our group, the Strathcona County Diversity Committee (SCDC), had never actually organized such an event but we had a script that was given to us by Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton (RISE) and we had determination. The generic script has been tweaked over several years and has become a very powerful tool being used throughout Canada for informing people and supporting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We invited Heather Poitras, an Elder from the Cree Nation of Edmonton to say an opening prayer and guide us through the event, as well as Donita Large, a Cree teacher of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students from Edmonton Catholic Schools who is also a well-known singer in the Indigenous community. This powerful duo helped us to harness the group power of intention for intercultural peace. The number of attendees surpassed what we had hoped, totaling over 100 in the gymnasium of Silver Birch Lodge in Sherwood Park, Alberta, a venue which had been lent to us free of charge. With Elder Heather’s opening remarks, a hush fell on the crowd and a sense of gravity descended upon the room. Residents of the Lodge passing by in the hallway were compelled to come in 14 dialogue

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to see what was going on… and stayed till the end. Donita’s first song, performed with clear and deep emotion, reverberated across the room, uncovering the beauty of an ancient culture and its traditional music sadly suppressed for far too long. The room was crowded when nearly 50 participants stood on the blankets which represented Indigenous lands. Others sat or stood on the fringes. All participants were quietly attentive as they observed events unfolding from their assumed roles of Native Americans. They witnessed the change over time from friendly settlers to overbearing oppressors, watched as access to their own lands dwindled rapidly, their communities died of unprecedented illnesses and their children were ripped from their arms and sent away to be indoctrinated. They grieved when they were forcibly evacuated to small reserves by the settlers they had assisted to survive and thrive – all of this interspersed with personal readings from affected Indigenous people still living today. It’s said that, sometimes, truth is shocking and the sensation in the room was just that. There were gasps at the very recent dates that some of these atrocities were finally rectified to a degree (ex., the last Indian residential school closed in 1996). Some participants had been completely unaware of this part of our country’s history. University students and other young people, of whom there were many, were subdued after hearing for the first time about the historic events that shaped the Native American peoples’ assimilation into our society. Elder Heather spoke again at the end of the exercise, sharing her own personal story of trauma stemming from a past that shadows her people still and …/ www.dialogue.ca


illustrating how long-lasting and life-altering such experiences can be. In order to make peace once and for all, Indigenous peoples have chosen to take the first step towards reconciliation and are using their tradition of storytelling to leap over cultural walls and cross the barriers of time to form a bond that will foster healing. With their stories, they are not only preserving their culture, honoring their past and healing their spirit but they are attempting to repair the relationship between the two cultures and are slowly bridging the gap towards that goal. Donita’s closing song reflected this spirituality and the healing that is being encouraged with this exercise. It brought a lump to my throat, as it seemed to do for others. It was hard, after this event, not to think of how we’ll go forward into the future now, knowing the true events of the past. It will be up to everyone, all of us now a global race, to nurture this growing seed of hope and walk side by side along the path of sharing a country the way it should be done – respectfully. There’s much to be learned from this part of our history, especially when considering the many more cultures that continue to arrive in Canada. Will we learn from our mistakes, treat newcomers with the esteem they deserve and make friends of them, now that Indigenous peoples have bestowed upon us the ultimate gift of forgiveness for our own past sins?

After our event, instead of rushing off home as people often tend to do after a workshop, participants sat and talked quietly together for more than an hour, taking refreshment while considering the enormity of the Indigenous experience. This was extraordinary to me, judging by every workshop I’ve ever organized or attended where the premises were abandoned within minutes of closing. It showed that people had really absorbed the message at a very personal level and needed a companionable breather in which to recover from the pain of the story before coming back to the present, enlightened but recovering. With the help of Elder Heather and Donita, we were able to paint a very real picture that touched the hearts of more than 100 people that night. The Committee was incredibly blessed to be able to be a part of this retelling of the story of the Native American peoples of Turtle Island or present-day Canada as it is now called. If any of our readers ever hears of a Blanket Exercise being held locally, I would strongly urge you to attend. You will come out a changed person. Thank You! Merci Beaucoup! Hai Hai! (Cree) Marsee, Miigwech! (Michif) Miigwech Chi-miigwech! (Ojibway) Qujannamiik! (Inuktitut) Wela'lin! (Mi'kmaq) Marie Gaudet, Edmonton ♣

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The Basketball Nets Project Hi Janet & Maurice, You will like this story from my friend Andrew Drake in Ottawa. He gave me his permission to send it to you for Dialogue. Enjoy. Mike Nickerson Andrew Drake, Ottawa ON

The "Basketball Nets" project began about five years ago. I was living in Carleton Place, and I noticed that the lines on the basketball court in the park at the end of my street had faded almost to the point of disappearing. So I set about to re-paint the lines, with an eye to perhaps ultimately doing the same thing on other courts. Not being very handy - and with inadequate research I took an amateur approach: I made a template out of a piece of Bristol board, and used spray paint to re-do the court lines. This actually worked better than you might think, but it was a tedious - and hot! - project in the middle of a summer heat wave, and I eventually abandoned it with about one-third of the court's lines left to paint. www.dialogue.ca

Lo and behold – and much to my delight – someone else in the neighborhood noticed my project in progress, and completed painting the lines. This warmed my heart, and spurred me to keep going: one of the court's two hoops had a dishevelled old net on it, and the other one had no net at all. So I completed the project by borrowing a friend's ladder, and buying and installing a couple of new nets. A few days later, I noticed some kids happily playing basketball on the "new" court, and I was hooked! Since I really didn't know what I was doing, and painting new court lines is quite time consuming and relatively expensive, I decided to shift gears, leave the line painting alone, find other basketball hoops with "net problems," and concentrate on replacing the nets themselves. Because the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith, grew up in Almonte, I decided to start …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Andrew Drake, Basketball Nets Project, contd.

by taking out a map of Eastern Ontario and drawing a grandsons pitched in by creating initial mock-ups for circle on the map with a 25-mile (40 kilometre) rathe illustrations. dius, centred on Dr. Naismith's boyhood home. DubThe book tells the story of a little girl who notices a bing this territory "Basketball Land," I then set about lonely-looking basketball hoop in the park across the to identify and replace missing or dishevelled nets on street from her house, where she and her dog love to public outdoor basketball hoops within this area. play. The hoop has no net on it, and she figures this My thought was that - at least where it all began for must be why nobody plays basketball there and the this wonderful sport of basketball - hoops should be hoop feels so lonely. So she enlists the help of her properly "dressed" with funcgrandparents to knit a new net tional nets. and install it on the hoop. Concentrating first on the Noticing this, other people in the school playgrounds and parks in neighborhood find in Andrea's the eight major towns in "Baseffort a reminder that the park is ketball Land" (Perth, Smith's worth caring for, and pretty soon Falls, Franktown, Carleton they start to ask themselves what Place, Almonte, Pakenham, they can do to make the park a Arnprior and Renfrew), I was little bit nicer. One person desurprised to find approximately cides to plant flowers next to the 150 hoops in all. So I prosandbox, another one re-paints ceeded to set out on Sunday afthe park bench, someone else ternoons, pick a different porpicks up the trash, etc. Working tion of my hoop route each time, individually, with each person and replace whichever nets doing his or her small part, pretty there needed replacing. soon they find they have collectively enriched the community Five years later, I continue to they share. And all because one enjoy my hobby of replacing little girl was inspired to take the missing or dishevelled nets on initiative to make a change. public outdoor basketball hoops Anyway, at this point we have wherever I come across them. Andrew and Mary Ella completed four or five "draft ediMy wife Mary Ella and I now tions", but the book has not yet been published. We buy the nets in bulk online, which keeps it affordable. do hope to get around to showing it to a publisher at This summer I expanded my range to include Brocksome point soon, and also in finding an illustrator to ville and Prescott, so it was so wonderful to learn of help us visually create Andrea, her dog, and all the interest in the project coming from Napanee! wonderful characters, including the 'lonely hoop'. I am currently working on a basketball hoop map of Andrew Drake, Ottawa ON Ottawa, working my way out from our home, in expanding radii of 2.5 mi (4 km) increments. Among ******* other things, this allows me - and Mary Ella when I Note from the editor: am lucky enough to succeed in pulling her away for a Mike, thank you very much for sending Andrew short break from her Master's program at Saint-Paul Drake's story about his Basketball Nets project and University - to indulge this passion whenever the his soon-to-be-published children's book. mood strikes, without such a long commute. Perhaps this story – and Andrew’s book, Andrea and Figuring that a project such as this could use a "poster the Lonely Hoop – will spur the interest of an artist child" – and feeling that I may not be the ideal and someone who knows a publisher! candidate – in 2014 Mary Ella and I wrote a children's Received from: Mike Nickerson [sustain5@web.ca]♣ book, titled "Andrea and the Lonely Hoop." Our 16 dialogue

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From Susanne on the Wild West Coast

Some words for you... from Susanne Susanne Hare Lawson, Tofino BC

I’ve seen better days But I’ve also seen worse. I don’t have everything that I want But I do have all I need. I woke up with some aches and pains But I woke up. My life may not be perfect But I am blessed. ....lessons learned in life 7 Cardinal Rules in Life... 1. Make peace with your past 1. So it won’t screw up the present. 2. What others think of you is none of your business. 3. Time heals almost everything, give it time. 4. Don’t compare your life to others and 5. Don’t judge them...you have no idea what their journey is all about 6. Stop thinking too much, it’s alright not to know the answers. 7. They will come to you when you least expect it. 8. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. 9. Smile, you don’t own all the problems in the world. Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets... So love the people who treat you right and forget the people who don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. No one said it would be easy. They just said it would be worth it. – Harvey McKay www.dialogue.ca

In the end, only 3 things matter o how much you loved o how gently you lived o how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. – Buddha

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change, And wine to accept the things I can’t And a bit of clarity to know the difference. Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, And today? Today is a gift, That’s why we call it The present. Life has no remote, get up and change it yourself! ******* This winter, Susanne has a hanging of her artwork in the Comox Airport on Vancouver Island. A Special Thank You to Susanne for her beautiful creation on the back cover – a drawing called "Winds of Change." Susanne notes, “some people don't like snakes, but in the old Indigenous images, the serpent or sea wolf was a snake-like being that was controlled by the thunder being and it was a dance of opposites... when the serpents faced each other, truth was forthcoming and couldn't be hidden, when it faced away from itself, lies were perpetrated and untruths reigned. It is a common theme of the thunder being and serpent in both Mexican and Egyptian ancient knowledge and symbolism as well as elsewhere.” – Susanne ♣ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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“Intimate Details”

Falling in Love with Paul Cézanne Book Review of Susan McCaslin’s Painter, Poet, Mountain: After Cézanne By J.S. Porter, Hamilton, Ontario

A character in Woody Allen’s Manhattan says you need eleven things for a worthwhile life, among which are “the second movement of the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony, Louis Armstrong’s ‘Potato Head Blues,’ Swedish movies, A Sentimental Education by Flaubert, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, and of course those incredible apples and pears by Cézanne.” How do you fall in love with a great artist? Especially one who has been deeply loved by philosophers like Heidegger who wrote a poem about him and poets like Rilke who wrote a book of letters on his life and work. In Susan McCaslin’s case, you don’t intend to. You do it slowly. Her Painter, Poet, Mountain: After Cézanne unfolds slowly and the whole is greater than any one individual part. You go to Aix-en-Provence in early October 2013 with your daughter to study and practise French without knowing that it is the birthplace and long-term residence of Paul Cézanne. You go to the Musée Granet in town and see some of his work. You read the new biography by Alex Danchev, entitled simply Cézanne: A Life. You walk around Aix where Cézanne’s presence is everywhere and you see, and walk up, his mountain – Mont Sainte-Victoire—which he lived in sight of, and walking distance from, for most of his life. Even though Susan thought she knew something about post-impressionists, she was, little by little, “getting it…a whole new way of seeing the world.” It felt to her “like beginner’s mind in Buddhism. I was lost, confused, dazed, blown away, but in a state of rapture and wonder.” Cézanne is a painter of apples and skulls, still lifes and bathers, of portraits and self-portraits, landscapes and mountains – and of one mountain in particular, Mont Sainte-Victoire, which he painted over 80 times, in oil and watercolour, in detail and outline. 18 dialogue

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He was so familiar with the mountain he could have painted it blind. So how did Susan fall in love? This way: by trying to do in words what Cézanne did in paint. She has worddabs that emulate the paint-dabs of the master. Small gestures –in her, words, in him, paint—build towards a harmonious structure. You see her technique in her mountain poems, studies of Cézanne’s paintings of Mont Sainte-Victoire, his holy mountain. The more he tracked, traced circled, retraced her traces the more she seemed to move away almost to disappear That’s what Susan does: she tracks, traces, circles, retraces Cézanne in much the same way Cézanne does these things in the entry and exit points of his painted mountain. As he gaped into her sun the limestone quarries fractured her ochre morphed to a glimmering field uncertain web of trackless vibrating points— violet within of cells The more she vanished the more she seemed to offer entrance Susan captures the tug and pull of Cézanne’s creative process—re-enacts it in language. In her “mindheart-soul-clench with Paul Cézanne,” the lines between poet and painter dissolve in a common mission to see a mountain, its thereness, its presentness. The “poetry” of the mountain—its mystery, its untranslatability—nudges both poet and painter towards a profound recognition: the more elusive her poetry the more it was utterly clear At the point of failure, “the gaps opened.” and when he resigned completely the gaps opened

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This is why Susan fell in love… here’s a man who never quits, who starts each day afresh believing that today he can remake the universe, or his small part in it, his mountain. He can see it, paint it and thereby help others to see it. Cézanne’s mountain paintings increase furiously between the time of his mother’s death in 1897 and his own death nine years later in 1906. He keeps going back to the site of his boyhood inspiration and McCaslin in her own studies (études) keeps going back to when she first fell in love with a French artist. With the use

of spatial gaps (silences) in her poetry she draws near to the father of modern painting. Her words speak to the silence of a painter and a mountain. Her achievement is to show the movement of being as it manifests itself in a painter’s quest to paint a mountain. * * * * For purchase of Susan’s book, visit her publisher at quattrobooks.ca/books/painterpoet-mountain-after-cezanne. J. S. Porter, www.spiritbookword.net ♣

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A Book Review : B.W. Powe’s “Decoding Dust” [Seattle, WA: NeoPoiesis Press, June 14, 2016]

By J.S. Porter

Dust is one of the Bible’s primal words, occurring and recurring throughout its pages along with other foundational words such as light, bread, wind, sky, earth and water. Genesis 3: 19 has this powerful verse: “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” B.W. Powe attempts to decode dust; in other words, to decode us. He invites the reader to Come quietly with me to decode the dust in the speck of a single word how we could be breaking breathing through He follows the human life cycle from birth to marriage and children, to their leaving, to the loss of parents and friends, to rediscovering love. The wind – the breath of God in Hebrew scripture—blows us into being and blows us away again. The leap of faith “is belief in the wind,” Powe writes in “Incautious.” What came once may come again. In a poem simply entitled “Dust” the poet remembers that …everything begins in sacred expulsion and that “All crave a return.” Some of the most moving poems in Decoding Dust www.dialogue.ca

have to do with the poet’s mother falling into dementia and her final passing: I hoped my mother would have more life This reclusive woman unfazed by chaos who’d thrived inside the hem of her reading her children her piano and her husband Like all dust-made creatures, the mother falls back into dust, but not without a son’s blessing-prayerhope: Mother A rose in dust turns into leaves at your touch Mother I’m trying to read you to read the dust The poet seeks to do what the mother did throughout her life – turn dust into leaves, into life. Later in one of the poet’s “Dream Pieces,” he reaches out again: this is my psalm not so pure—it’s— my song of losing you death breath this is a psalm of loving you breath death The death of the mother is a major event in the …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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book as the death of anyone’s mother is a major event in life. The ripples keep expanding. As the Russian poet Yevtushenko said years ago, when someone dies, a planet—a constellation of connections—dies too. But, then, alongside death is perpetual rebirth: “She is pregnant/with heart/and gives birth/to the earth.” When reading Decoding Dust, you don’t forget that dust is the primal human element and the motherchild bond is the archetype of human life – how one being gives birth to, and shelters, another. And, what I call “the mother poems,” are the book’s most heartpiercing in their poignancy and heartbreaking in their longing. In his mother-words—words about his mother—Powe links himself to a long and broad tradition, memorably expressed in our time in film by Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy, in the mother-andchild sculptures of Henry Moore, and in David Rieff’s memoir- tribute to his mother, Susan Sontag, in Swimming in a Sea of Death. There are of course other voices in Decoding Dust aside from a poet-son’s heart-cry. This being a book by Powe, how could it be otherwise? The shaman makes periodic appearances, for instance, and her voice in the book reminds the poet and the reader that the dying and the dead “added their shudder/to the

world.” And: “They’ve helped to knit the world together/into the great weave of sympathy.” Love notes are exchanged when a husband tenderly says to his wife: “live our moment if only for a moment.” And the reader instantly returns to the poet’s beautiful dedication to his wife Auxi: “Wherever I walk without you I keep an open space beside me that is yours.” The poet sings throughout the book, which is a strange mixture of the elegiac and the celebratory— a cacophony of voices, murmurs, whispers. (I’ve seen halos since I was a kid— rings of light—being that sings “Being that sings” might be an alternative title for Decoding Dust so central are voice and voices to the text. In fact, all of Powe’s books, in prose or in poetry, incarnate being that sings. The poet sings the dead back to life by remembering details of their existence that only he can remember; that is the light, the sacred fire, a child carries for a parent, a husband shares with a wife, and a poet carries for all of us. J. S. Porter, www.spiritbookword.net ♣

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“Ideas”

David Foster, Port Perry ON

david.foster2@powergate.ca

Talking with God – “Morning” ‘His lonely walk to the gravel road was the start of his structured day, And today it was Spring and doubly hard with his thoughts along the way. His walk was almost an early prayer (like an inward talk with God) With the morning chill like an Abbott’s cell from the damp of the grass he trod.

He sought relief from his tortured mind in the sounds and smells of the morn, The cricket’s call and the twittering birds with their young that had just been born. Perhaps you’d envy his lot in life, his land, his home, his youth, But he felt anger stir inside, (it must be said in truth).

His clothes were thin for the early hour (for he dressed for the heat of the day) But the cold was something he had to endure, a penance he had to pay. He darkly thought in his solitude of the work that he hadn’t done, And the work that he had… was it good enough? And the work that was yet to come…

Without control of the life he led, to others his will must bow, He had to follow a furrowed path laid down by another’s plow.

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The river beckoned beyond the hill. The grasses waved in glee. The insects glistened in marvelous hues, independently …/ www.dialogue.ca


He wanted to climb the chestnut tree, and visit the newborn calf, And stalk the turtle in Gilbert’s Pond, and the otter that made him laugh. The dopplered roar of the passing cars lent a sadness to his mind. He wanted to ride away with one and discover what he’d find. But he knew he had to bide his time, as he did this day, and then Be free to follow his private star, but now he was only ten.

He had to do what his parents said. For boys it was ever thus. So he stood by the side of the rural road for the morning school bus. (I suspect the roll of rhyme in my head is a form of my talking with ‘God’). So this is why I say ‘enter the child’s life at about age 10.’ David Muir Foster, Port Perry ON 15 Nov, 2016

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“Homo Deus” – book by Yuval Harari David Foster, Port Perry ON

In my opinion, this is a companion book to ‘Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus’ (by Douglas Rushkoff). TVO ran an interview (Nov. 22) with author Yuval Harari. His book ‘Homo Deus’ has been read and praised even by Obama. You can see a 15 minute interview if you call up TVO ‘The Agenda’ Archives and then see the podcast at 21.02 Nov 22, 2016. The futures of Humans, because of the rise of algorithms and artificial intelligence superior to our own. Doesn’t bode well for the NDP or any current political party. Only those of us with some depth in understanding history can ‘get it.’ And we’ve pretty well let the public school systems walk away from history. Professor

Harari stresses the need to grasp ‘ethics’ to help us work our way through the possible futures. David Foster, Port Perry ON ♣ [448 pages, Sep. 8, 2016; Originally published in Hebrew: 2015 (448 pages); Author: Yuval Noah Harari, ISBN-13: 978-0771038686. Dr. Harari envisions a not-toodistant world in which we face a new set of challenges. In Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between. Dr. Harari has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in World History. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, published in 2014, has become an international phenomenon and is published in nearly 40 languages worldwide.]

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Thoughts on the Creation Myth Paul Bowles, Fruitvale BC

When reflecting on the origin of the universe, Big bang or not, the ancient Veda portrays it as a sacred act. From the passive eternal, proceed the active energies, subtle invisible forces that call forth the visible universe from its first ideal conception. The self existent manifests itself by revelation, making its glory visible, sending forth from its essence, unbounded force in its first manifestation of light. Worlds emanated from the void, non-being, the imperceptible, incomprehensible unrevealed matrix. The eternal and uncreated self existent substance produces all; while everything that is of its essence, produces itself out of its own nature such as the evolution of worlds and species, the transformation of material form. www.dialogue.ca

Snippets of light from ‘Isis Unveiled’ by Madam Blavatsky:*

“This world was unknowable, without form, beyond reason and perception as if utterly asleep. Then, this august and self existing entity, who had never unfolded, unfolded the universe in the form of the great elements and others and showed his energy, and appeared to scatter the shades of darkness. This Being, subtle, without distinct parts, eternal, including in Himself all creatures, appeared, spontaneously. Wishing to draw different creatures from His body, He first created the waters and deposited his seed into them. This seed became like a golden egg, brilliant like the sun from which He, Himself was born, Brahma, the first Lord of all the worlds.” “At the expiration of each night, Brahma, who has been asleep, awakes, and through the sole energy of the motion, causes to emanate from Himself the spirit …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Paul Bowles, Quotes from “Isis Unveiled,” contd.

which in its essence IS-and yet is not. Prompted by the desire to create, the spirit (first of the emanations) operates the creation and gives birth to ether, which the sages consider as having the faculty of transmitting sound. Ether begets air whose property is tangible, and which is necessary to life. Through transformation of the air, light is produced. From air and light which begets heat, water is formed and the water is the womb of all the living germs.” “From earth, heat and water, are born all creatures whether animate or inanimate, produced by the germ which the Divine Spirit drew from its own substance. Thus has Brahma established the series of transformation from the plant up to man and from man up to the primordial essence... Among them each succeeding being (or element) acquires the quality of the preceding; and in as many degrees as each of them is advanced, with so many properties, is it said to be endowed.” “When the world had emerged from obscurity, the subtle elementary principles produced the vegetable germ which at first animated the plants; from the plants, life passed through the fantastic organisms which were born in the illus of the waters, then through a series of forms and different animals, it at length reached man.” “The Veda is the first book of the Aryan nations. In it is a period of the intellectual life of man to which there is no parallel in any other part of the world. In the hymns of the Veda we see man left to himself to solve the riddle of this world. “He invokes the Gods around him, he praises, and he worships them. But still with all these Gods...beneath him and above him, the early poet seems ill at rest within himself. There too within his breast he has discovered a power that is never mute when he prays, never absent when he fears and trembles. It seems to inspire his prayers and yet listen to them; it seems to live in him and yet to support him and all around him. “ “The only name he can find for this mysterious power is Brahman; originally meaning, force, will, wish and the propulsive power of creation. As soon as it is named it grows into something strange and divine. It ends by being one of many Gods worshiped to the present day. And still the’ thought’ within him has no real name, the power which is nothing but itself, which supports the Gods, the power which supports the heavens and every living being, floats before his mind, 22 dialogue

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conceived but not expressed. At last he calls it ‘Atman,’ for Atman, originally breath or spirit, comes to mean ‘self,’ the ‘I am’ the still small voice.” “Being was born from ‘non- being’ says a verse in the Rig Veda. From spirit into generation, through infinite transformation, nature becomes the gradual product of spirit. “Originating all beings, I pass like a breeze above this Heaven, beyond this Earth and what is the great one that I am but the power of awakening. This world within the infinite universe is the microcosm of the macrocosm. It is from within this nature that proceeds all the great saviours of the universe, avatars of the invisible deity.” “Visnu/Krishna spoke to his disciple in the Bagavadgitta, ‘I am the soul O’ Arjuna, I am the soul which exists in the heart of all beings; and I am the beginning and the middle and also the end of existing things.” “Plato defines ‘soul’ as ‘the motion that is able to move itself.… Soul is the most ancient of all things, and the commencement of motion.’ Soul was generated prior to body, and body is posterior and secondary, as being, according to nature, ruled over by the ruling soul. … The soul which administers all things that are moved in every way, administers likewise the heavens.” “Soul then leads everything in heaven, and in the sea, by its movements---the names of which are: to will, to consider, to take care of, to consult, to form opinions true and false, to be in a state of joy, sorrow, confidence, fear, hate, love, together with all such primary movements as are allied to these.....Soul, being a Goddess herself, she ever takes as an ally ‘nous’ (mind), a god and disciplines all things correctly and happily; but when she is without nous it works out everything to the contrary.” “From the days of the primitive man described by the first Vedic poet down to our modern age there has not been a philosopher worthy of that name who did not carry in the silent sanctuary of his heart, the grand and mysterious truth. If initiated he learned it as a sacred science; if otherwise, then like Socrates repeating to himself, as well as to his fellow men, the noble injunction, ‘Oh man know thyself.’ Just as Jesus expressed, ‘Ye are Gods.’ ” * Above quotations are from the book by H. P. Blavatsky (1831-91): Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology; Cambridge University Press (2012) ISBN-10: 1108052606 ♣ www.dialogue.ca


A REVIEW OF THE BOOK ‘COSMOS’… Paul Bowles, Fruitvale BC

The book CosMos, by Ervin Laszlo and Jude Currivan, could be said to be an informational field, a multi faceted view of the source of life and its effects. Roll over Darwin and listen to these rhythm and cues. No longer are we the products of blind chance and random adaptation with no recourse but to struggle to survive, harnessed to our selfish gene. No longer are we to be led up the garden path by those who would limit our knowledge of an expanded world view. This book unfolds with layers of insight gleaned from the science that is breaking boundaries of limitation both of our perception of reality and the solidity of matter itself. This book informs us of our power as creative agents in a paradigm of expanding consciousness, the matrix of power from which we draw, and that is the source of all things, although unidentifiable; that source flares forth within us, through a spirit within that is connected to all things. We must claim it by stepping out of the delusion of separateness to realise a connectedness with each other and the universe which spawned us through the atoms of coherence and potentiality, atoms sparking with consciousness informed by light, the plenum of creation, the Great Breath, The Cosmic Mind, the Informational field. ‘CosMos’ enlightens us with a vision that opens our awareness and presents the nature of energy and matter at subatomic scales, with pertinent theories and histories of progress in unravelling the physical ‘Theory of Everything’ for a rational audience. Yet, ‘CosMos’ uses a logic that is awakened to spiritual knowing. It moves beyond the brain to acknowledging higher mind within the universe. This we can tap

to reinvent our capabilities to breakthrough and realise our ‘cosmic mission.’ Who would have thought that atoms of an extremely heavy isotope of carbon called Buckminsterfullerene showed wave/particle attributes, thus revealing the potential, capable of being non-locally entangled. This apparently speaks to ‘Integral Reality’ – that this universe is innately whole. Further to this quantum view is the correlation that our minds are also connected on a non-local basis. Telepathy/Remote Viewing is an example which research supports, although still seen as revolutionary by mainstream science who appear lodged in a fundamentalist dictum which chooses to ignore the question of consciousness. ‘CosMos’ sees energy, matter, space and time as manifestation of a coherent entity, which Einstein once referred to as ‘Cosmic Mind,’ a holographic principle as the means by which information infuses the world. “We can no longer separate mind from matter, body from soul, and ourselves from a reality that is intrinsically integral.” Within a world conflicted, and which accepts so casually destruction of our environment, in exchange for material wealth ‘CosMos’ sets out our need to turn from competition to cooperation to embrace a new dawning of understanding and brotherhood that we all may celebrate our realised coherence with each other and the heart of the unfathomable life source, seed of the Infinite, universal nature. Paul Bowles, Fruitvale BC scribepoet@hotmail.com CosMos by Ervin Laszlo and Jude Currivan Paperback: 264 pages, Publisher: Hay House (July 15 2008); ISBN-10: 1401918913 ♣

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This space is for You – any ideas you have… or the ones you didn’t get around to send to dialogue@dialogue.ca yet. _________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ♣

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VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

dialogue 23


Justice and the Indigenous Peoples of Canada PART 5 – It’s not just about the men… Norm Zigarlick, an itinerant senior based in AB/SK [Series began in the Winter issue, Vol. 29, No.2]

There is a saying that behind every strong man there is a strong woman. For the most part that has been true throughout history. It pretty much has to be true because without women there would be no men at all. There is also a case that could be made for the statement that behind every babbling man drowning his sorrows in the poison of his choice, there is also a woman. Of course, in our modern world of what now might be called “expanded genders” it has become very difficult to generalize these formerly profound utterances. I`m not well enough equipped with grey matter to go deep into the new realities, but I am old and that gives me some sort of seniority to write about the history I have witnessed. As far as my observations of fairly recent aboriginal history are concerned, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that women were an absolutely essential part in the lives of the men that, in many ways, were the heroes of my past. There is no particular order of importance to the notes I am about to pass on but, having said that, it does seem to make sense that I mention when I first became aware of the quiet, determined intelligence that I saw manifest itself over and over again for the next sixty years or so. I was in third grade in Uranium City, Saskatchewan; it was in the early days of the Uranium boom. There was a young girl in my class, her name was April; her mom was Aboriginal, her dad English. He had very little imagination when it came to naming his kids. April had sisters May and June and a brother August. April was quiet, very pretty, thoughtful and was always in the top 5% of the class in anything we did that didn’t involving hollering or disrupting the proceedings. My older siblings were in classes with the other girls and they were of the same ilk. They sure didn’t get their serenity from their dad. Gus was a local legend who made a ton of cash with mining claims and insanely expensive products at his general store. In 1953, he loaded up most of his kids and flew to England (a very big deal in those days) to witness the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Had Ritalin been invented in 1953, Gus would have been the adult poster boy for ADHD, and the stuff would have had him too drugged up to walk. 24 dialogue

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Brother August was a bit above that; there wasn’t enough Ritalin on the planet that would have even slowed August down. No shortage of intelligence with either of them, but the term “high energy” doesn’t cover the rest of it. April and an over-achieving little blonde kid named Lena were the teacher’s pets. This was 1953, when an Aboriginal kid that hadn’t been beaten by a teacher, but did pass a grade, was considered unusual. It was confusing to us regular folk that this could happen because John Wayne certainly didn’t explain it that way. I spent 3 years in classes that April was in; she never changed. It doesn’t sound reasonable but by age 8, this kid was already displaying intelligence, wisdom, kindness and a certain belief in herself that a lot of adults never find. I didn’t know what any of that meant at the time I just knew she was very cool and smart. April wasn’t alone in the world. When I was nineteen I met a bunch of people in a small town in the NWT. I was surprised at how welcoming the young people were to a stranger that just showed up to work in a nearby mine. In theory they were in the sticks and out of touch with the real world. In reality they were at least 20 years ahead of the rest of North America with regard to the genuine social acceptance of individuals no matter the race creed or colour. One of the people in the community was a tall good looking girl of seventeen. Her parents were Métis and two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. He was a hard-working commercial fisherman and she raised a large family of eight kids, all of which fit the mould for what humans should be. The first thing that struck me was how well they all got along and how much laughing went on. It wasn’t giddy, giggly stuff; it was witty, topical and hardly, if ever, harmful. In the middle of that was the seventeen year old, she had that same sense of where she fit in the bigger world that April had shown me a decade earlier. She had the nickname “Deeds” and everybody in town under the age of fifty knew her by that. The reason for it? She was a tall, good looking, smart and funny high school sweetie that by all counts should have been a smug, demanding, selfimpressed cheerleader like the ones in American movies. www.dialogue.ca


Deeds was short for Good Deeds, she was always doing somebody a favour. I last saw her a few decades back and nothing had changed. She could still make hello sound like there was a joke in there somewhere, the smile was still genuine and the twinkle in her eye had not faded a bit. I don’t think it ever will. Linda was nineteen when I met her, she came from Cree roots. She was stunningly beautiful and absolutely loaded with talent, humor, intelligence and that inner wisdom that somehow gave her a much clearer picture of the world than the one I had. Serenity was not a word that one would have used to describe her. Had she been from a generation later, there isn’t even a little bit of doubt in my mind that all of you would have known her from the screen or stage or somewhere else in the public eye. Sometimes, just for the hell of it, she would burst into song, while never losing a big grin or that ever-present twinkle in her eyes – and you had no choice but to listen, she had a terrific voice. Linda and the education system parted ways pretty early in her life. That didn’t hinder her at all. She was one of those people who could master pretty much whatever she tried to do. In the 1960s, for young women who dropped out of high school, “hair school” was often the alternate choice. It was a choice Linda made. Her inherent creativity, her good looks and her natural sense of humor turned out to be very valuable assets in that work environment. After only a year or two experience in the trade, she found herself as a hair stylist at Jasper Park Lodge. At the time, this was possibly one of the most expensive places in Western Canada to get a hair do. She thrived in it, sometimes getting tips equal to what a heavy equipment operator would earn in half a day. At heart she was always a northern girl. After a year or two of life in the south she went home. She started her own business and succeeded. When she was about twenty years old she shared something with me, and she did it in a matter of fact way and with a smile. She told me she did not expect to live to be very old because of an illness she had experienced in childhood. Sadly, she was right; it claimed her in her early forties. It explained why she lived life at near supersonic speed; she didn’t have time to wait for the due process of what the mainstream thought was correct. I`d been at many events, functions or, parties that she was also at and alcohol was there in abundance. I`d seen her drink, I never once saw her drunk. I saw her disappointed but never angry. In spite of her accelerated life program, she had that very same core sense of wisdom that April and Deeds had shown. It was some kind of inner comfort that could www.dialogue.ca

not be harmed. In my own way I believe it was people like Linda that pushed the door open just a bit and showed the world the stereotype was horribly wrong. She was breaking down the standard barriers long before there were government agencies designed to do that. I never met anybody that knew her that didn’t like her – and that ranged from little kids to the elderly. She was good at what she did and she never intentionally harmed anyone I am aware of. She took the hand she was dealt and made the most of it. Mrs. O. Was the mother of three girls that were good friends of my older siblings. She was Status Cree. She ran a fair but strict home, a home so spotless that it could have without danger been used as an operating room. She was very quiet, very organized and somehow built a highly functional bridge between cultures. In the 1950s, this was not an easy thing for an aboriginal woman to do. She earned the respect of the entire community just by being who she was. This was a boom town that had people show up from all over the world and brought all of their biases with them. Mrs. O was not at all pretentious, not demanding, never loud, always considerate and just to complicate things had three good-looking daughters. They followed her example, as adults they were two accountants and a pharmacist. During my bush flying days, I did a fair bit of work with Parks Canada in and around Wood Buffalo National Park. It is Canada’s largest, at almost 45,000 sq kilometers. In summer it used to be a flurry of activity, mostly because in winter it was too flippin’ cold to do research, development and infrastructure construction. On several occasions I had a young lady as a passenger. She was obviously Aboriginal and was extremely well spoken. She also showed an inner wisdom and soft spoken manner but her humor had more of a sarcastic tone than I would have normally expected. She had some sort of technician job with Parks Canada and my job, from time to time, was to take her somewhere in that 45,000 sq km that she needed to go. I never got to know her much. Her name was Cecille, she was a summer student employee and her family was from the local area. I learned more about her later. She had gone from high school to law school. Some place called Osgoode Hall, an upitty law school that evidently trained the gentle sense of humor right out of her. I have no idea how that turned out but she`s had over thirty years to get funny again. There is an old movie called Love Story. I could write one called Love and Patience Story. …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Norm Zigarlick, contd.

I've had a twisted interest in politics ever since Joe ‘Who’ Clark won the Conservative race in 1976. I had a flu and had nothing better to do than watch the convention on TV; we only had one channel. At the outset I didn’t have a clue who these guys were and I didn’t care who won. Then I started cheering for the underdog and was happy as hell when he won, not because of his policies, just because he wasn’t supposed to. Years later I got to meet Mr. Clark, a guy who was much bigger than I expected. I found him to be very genuine and likeable. Nice guys do finish first sometimes, they just don’t get to stay there. Don is someone I met about 50 years ago he was an arrogant, belligerent kid in his early teens. His vocabulary was limited and most of his sentences started with a crude word that started with the sixth letter of the alphabet. When he got a little bit older he changed, he got worse. Drinking, fighting and insults were a way of life for him He always earned good money and kept none of it. There were only a few people in his life that mattered to him, at the top of the list was his mother and below that his sisters and brothers. When he was sixteen, not a bookie in the world would have given you even odds on him living to age twenty. Those of us that knew him also knew that if he was going to survive it was only going to be because he was incredibly intelligent. It wasn’t because of his education, he left school before he could spell education. Somehow he made it. He went quiet for a while I hadn’t seen him in quite a while then one day he showed up at my door wanting to charter an airplane to go caribou hunting. Don is from Cree roots, this was in the NWT which has primarily a Dene population and as legend has it, they are traditional enemies. One of the reasons for the hunt was that he had married a Dene girl. In her town he wanted to get caribou meat for himself and to share the rest with elders in the community. He wanted to “make his bones” and gain acceptance. It went well and when the meat was being distributed was when I met Gladys. From then until now, there is not a thing about this small town northern girl that has ever been out of place. This was ‘opposites attract’ taken to the extreme. She was and still is attractive, highly intelligent, organized, well-spoken and soft spoken. My first impression was how the hell did this happen? Over the years Don flew with me quite often and, as the age gap became less important, we became trusted friends. He and Gladys started a family and a family business; they made a living building log homes, trucking and general contracting. Don, always the dreamer; 26 dialogue

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Gladys, always the anchor. 12 years after his caribou hunt event, Don phoned me early one morning and asked to meet. He knew I had a skitterish interest in politics; he simply, without any real lead-in, asked me if I thought he would make a decent MLA. I couldn’t see why not he certainly was more likeable than most politicians I had met until then and when he laughed I knew he meant it. I was once told nobody can fake a smile or a real laugh, watch for that. He ran for office and won. I got to play a small role in the campaign. A few years later he did it again and won again and then next time round he became the Premier of the NWT. Politics is an ugly business and in the NWT where there is no party politics at the territorial level, it really is every man for himself. Through thick and thin, Gladys stuck it out – and there was plenty of thick swamp and thin popularity. She did this while raising four boys that had fairly even genetic distribution. In other words, half the time the behavior was - ummm - interesting. Gladys went from a small town that defines the word ‘remote’ and right up to visiting world capitals as part of a government contingent. She dined with the Chrétiens and hung out with Colleen Klein, when her husband Ralph was the best known and most popular premier in the country. I got to watch all of this unfold. Never did Gladys ever let it go to her head. She too possesses that inner wisdom and humor that allows her to see the world with clarity I could only hope to have. She can go from dinner in Hong Kong to frying fish on Great Slave Lake and never have to change who she is. I`ve been to their home many times I was never treated any different from the time of the first caribou hunt until my last visit in Yellowknife a few years ago. It has always friendly, funny and a place where you slept well. I once travelled with them on Great Slave Lake when a wild summer storm blew in. We were on a 29 foot cabin cruiser. By time Don and Gladys collected the folks from a bunch of little boats not suitable for the weather, there were 17 of us on board for the night. There were four steaks and a few odds and ends for a BBQ the next day. That turned into a beef and potato soup for seventeen. No one even thought it was unusual including Gladys – who, three days later, was in Ottawa with Don to announce the go ahead of Canada`s first diamond mines. Don would be the first to tell you that without Gladys there probably would have been an early end to Don; his lifestyle was not sustainable. He would agree that it was her that kept his ideas under control (sometimes barely) and allowed them to prosper. She was the quintessential strong woman behind a strong man. She was his anchor www.dialogue.ca


every time he started to drift, a life in politics provides plenty of opportunity for drifting, right on to the rocks. Forty years later they are still a team and she is still the stabilizing force that keeps it all together. Sixteen years ago, Don left politics and with nothing planned for the future he decided to set out in a new direction. As always Gladys was there to make sure he stayed between the ditches. They went into the tourism business right out their front door. Aurora Village is now one of Canada`s most successful Aurora viewing sites, they handle thousands of visitors every year. It’s still a family business and now there are grand kids involved. From April in Uranium City to Gladys in Yellowknife – and many, many others in between – I have seen, these strong but gentle personalities influence the shape of world around them. They went about life with a belief in themselves that allowed them to beat the odds of the

times. Most of these ladies grew up in the north, they were well ahead of the efforts to level the playing field we see now yet they thrived and they did so in decidedly acceptable ways. Besides the strong personalities and inherent wisdom, I believe there were two other things that made a difference. For as long as I can remember, in the north social acceptance of all stripes was always at a much higher level than in the rat race cities and towns of the south. That acceptance allowed opportunity without having to abandon the culture they were born to. Opportunity that is genuine, gives with it a sense of purpose and purpose takes away the need to find meaning or to search out things that will make painful boredom go away. – Norm Zigarlick, (normzig56@gmail.com) SERIES WILL CONTINUE IN THE NEXT ISSUE ♣

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“Observations from Lithuania” Grandma, Smuggler

(conclusion)

by KR Slade

(If you have forgotten Ken’s description of his grandmother, re-read Part I… She looked as a grandma should look: old…) CONTINUED FROM THE AUTUMN ISSUE

However, she had the smuggling habit. In addition, she had sixteen factory-hours per day to think how she could beat the Soviets, half-a-world-away; and, she had half an hour per day to pray at church for help. As time passed, her smuggling changed from silver-metal coins (lightweight US dimes) to paper US silver-certificates: good old American ‘greenbacks.’ Single dollars were the best; easy: to hide, to fold, to sew into clothing; and, highly-negotiable, as well safer than a twenty, which although could buy food for months, could also get the holder murdered. It seems that from the day when she had set-foot off the boat, she was preoccupied and became obsessed with sending things back to the Old-Country. In her first years, she sent silver coins -- always American dimes -- quarters were too big and heavy; the dimes fit easily into hems of garments. Since the end of World War I, the Russian Revolution boiled, spilled, and flooded into everywhere in Europe. The interwar period was Eastern Europe's turmoil – of, first: White Russians, Red Russians, Ken Slade

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Ken Slade, Vilnius Cossacks, Bolsheviks, and Communists; then in World War II, the Soviets, then the Nazis, and then again the Soviets. Before the two world wars, there were the memories in Lithuanian history of the old days when there had been invading Imperial Russians, Prussians, Swedes, and Teutons / Germans. The Soviet period is when any remaining shopkeepers became extinct. There was no need for shops because there was nothing to buy or sell. The shops were shut, and the shopkeepers were shot. I first became aware of her smuggling when I was about eleven years old, during a routine visit, on one particular Saturday afternoon, to ‘Bauba.’ In Lithuanian, which was standardised in the 1920’s and 1930’s, the term for ‘grandmother’ is ‘bobutė’, or ‘močiutė’, or ‘senelė’. Moreover, in standardised Lithuanian, ‘bauba’ means ‘old lady,’ in a rather disrespectful way; I suppose that if a grandmother were unloved, she’d be called ‘Bauba.’ However, since Dominyka was originally from the village, and she left Lithuania before World War I, all of her grandchildren called her 'Bauba;' this fact can be rather shocking to current-day Lithuanians. Every month, there was always much cargo from our car to carry up her back-stairs to her second-floor flat. Sometimes, whenever I had new jeans, my old …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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jeans went to Lithuania; jeans were highly-valued in the USSR, and unimportant if the jeans were old. My Father would bring large burlap potato-bags, and transport from the Lithuanian church the recent collections of old clothing and shoes. Since she was nearly deaf from those many years working in the noisy factories, my Father never knocked on her rear-door; he always used the skeleton-key, from under her doormat. One particular month, with my Father making such a delivery, I saw Bauba's enterprise. Surprisingly, she had a guest: a colleague from her church organization, 'the Order of Saint Anne' -- elderly ladies who performed functions at the church, such as cleaning, and also collecting clothing for the poor. Another function, never mentioned, was smuggling money to Lithuania. Bauba, nearly blind, and with her unsteady arthritic hands, was using a razor-blade to rip-open selected seams of old clothing. My Father took the razor-blade, and did what she wanted to do. There was an ironing board that held the recentlyironed US one-dollar silver-certificates, after they had been rolled as-small-as possible, and were now held with clothes-pins. Her friend was inserting the money into seams; and re-sewing carefully, or making tacking-stitches for later finish-sewing. The thick seams of heavy-fabrics were only tacked into place; Grandmother would go tomorrow to the shoe-repairman, who had a sewing machine to sew thick fabrics. He knew also how to insert money into the sole of a shoe, to re-stitch, and to make his new sewing look old. Dad began packing the burlap bags, which were large -- former 100 pound potato bags -- so that they would be more difficult to steal during their long future voyage. In each bag were: one shoe (never two in any one bag); a sleeveless shirt, or some shirt-sleeves without their shirt (never both in the same bag); pocket-less pants, or some pockets without their pants (never both in the same bag). Otherwise, if any items appeared useful, the Soviet inspectors / workers would steal it!! In fact, there was no doubt that the bags were going to be opened, likely more than once; the bags were packed loosely, to facilitate repacking of all contents; the bags were tied in such a way as to facilitate opening and re-closing, to discourage ripping-open the bags or deficient re-tying. More surprisingly, our Lietuviskas (i.e., Lithuanian) 28 dialogue

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priest arrived. He kissed his own fingertips, and then his fingertips touched the crucifix and the framedphoto of Pius XII hanging on the walls. Then, he kissed each of us, on our foreheads, as only my godparents had kissed me. He had the news of his boat voyage to Lietuva. He had a special gift for Bauba: a photograph of her sister with some other relatives who had each written their name, and some other Lituanici who wanted to be in the picture. Bauba flashed a onetime-ever smile, and became hysterical. She never had one photo in all those past years. However, her sister looked exactly like Bauba-in-a-mirror. There was also the news that her sister’s husband, the language teacher, had refused to teach the Soviets, and he had been shot. Moreover, there may be no further word of her sister, if she therefore were going to be sent to Siberia. We three males left the two crying females, and we carried the completed burlap bags to the trunk of the priest’s car. The bags always were sent from the Saint Casimir’s Lithuanian church in Providence (RI) to various churches in Lithuania. In the US, we never knew where the bags would arrive. Bauba could not send any parcels to relatives in Lithuania; she did not know where they lived, and more importantly someone in Lithuania receiving a parcel from the US would be subject to investigation and discrimination, if not worse. In fact, not even mail was exchanged; the only communication was the rare short-note that was personally obtained and delivered by a priest. Bauba completed her lifetime of blind-faith and seemingly-absurd hope of the impossible, in prayer and works for conversion of the heathen empire half-aworld-away . . . a willing worker without reward; never knowing the effects of her work. She would not live the three more years that would be necessary to witness the fall of the Soviet Union, and the re-independence of her Lithuania. She would be buried wearing her cherished tiny-pin of the Order of Saint Anne. All her life had been spent so that the superpower Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would allow her Old-Country of four million to be free again. And, for some of heaven’s suffered souls to smile. Ken Slade, Vilnius, Lithuania All Rights Reserved: 2004 kenmunications@gmail.com ♣ www.dialogue.ca


“The Vagabond Writer” THE GOOD WEEDS By Wayne Allen Russell, Clearwater BC

I hope the readers enjoy these stories; they will bring laughter and a few tears to you. Taken from truth, but the “Family Weed” is fictitious. Please enjoy my stories. (Continued from the Summer 2016 issue)

The family: Archibald (‘Pop’) & Mary Elizabeth/Loretta (‘Mom’) George (‘Donkey’), Aug. 17, 1930 Ben (‘Shooter’), Apr 2, 1932 Bob (‘Stretch’), Oct 10, 1934 Adam (‘Flyer’), Jul 30, 1936 Tom (‘Weasel’), June 4, 1941 Marian (cousin), Aug 21,’ 25 Sam (cousin), December 26, 1931 Bobby (cousin), May 3, ‘35 Ray (my buddy) Joe (Ray’s brother) Shirley (Grouch), May 19, 1925¨ Juniper (June)

FIRST DATE June and Marian were fifteen years old the first time they were allowed on a date alone with boys. The boys were Donald and Peter. Donald was seventeen and Peter sixteen. Donald got into Mom’s good books by taking the girls to church one Sunday, even though they only went this one time. (Mom left this decision up to the children.) In Mom’s eyes he was a Christian, and therefore, a good boy. He had been visiting George quite often and Mom had liked him. Even so, it took a lot of pouting, crying, and convincing before Mom agreed to let the girls go for a ride, no place special, just riding around the gravel roads. So the girls climbed into the backseat of Donald’s car, both with red noses from crying, but it had worked, they got their own way. This was the forties and the girls were wearing their best dresses, they did not leave the farm unless dressed this way. The four teenagers just toured around the countryside getting acquainted with each other. It was not long before June was in the front seat and Peter in the back. The boys pulled out six bottles of beer and offered one to the girls. Both girls refused. The boys offered cokes instead, which were gladly accepted. Mom’s rules were that they had to be home no later than nine o’clock, so they were trying to make the best of their time. As darkness was approaching, so was a big www.dialogue.ca

thunderstorm. The rain beat the darkness, and it came down like a waterfall. The darkness came faster because of this. The gravel roads, ditches, and fields turned all muddy. About three hours of this rain and three bottles of coke later, June had to go pee. She asked Donald to pull over. She got out of the car and into the rain. Peter got out for the same reason but June told him to go down the road, out of sight. Peter did this and yelled back, “Is this far enough?” June yelled, “No I can still see you.” She heard him yell again, and replied that it was okay as she couldn’t see him now. June yelled, “Don’t come back until I tell you.” By now they were getting very wet from the rainfall. Donald and Marian were still sitting in the comfort of the car. The windows were well steamed up, so June was not concerned about them seeing her. June had her dress on with long cotton stockings that were held up with a corset like thing called a garter belt. This belt was about six inches wide, elastic, pulled up over her underwear and sat tightly on her shapely hips. Two hang’y down things with snaps down the front and two of the same down the back. These were used to hold up her stockings. These garter belts were used even when nylon stockings came into use. The girls had to struggle into these like some girls do with blue jeans today. After explaining all this, we will get back to June and her pee. She had to struggle to get this gear and her panties down over her hips in order to go pee. She got everything down, and as luck would have it, as she tried to squat down, she slipped and fell back into the mud on her bare butt. She let out a scream, Peter started running back to her, the doors to the car came open, Marian and Donald jumped out. With her screaming, they all thought she was in some kind of danger. June had no choice. She realised she would be seen like this, so she pulled her underwear and garter belt all up as quickly as she could, over top of the mud. She was mud from top to bottom. (No pun intended.) Her clothes and hands all mud, and by now her hair was soaked and stuck to her head and face. A mess for sure! The other three teens realised what had happened to her and started to laugh, except for June. Donald was …/ laughing so hard, he sat down on the car’s VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Wayne Russell, First Date, contd.

the girls’ place. running board with his head between his legs. He was All the way home the girls were fretting about what laughing uncontrollably, and with this, he lost his par- Mom would do to them. There was no possible way tial plate into the mud. He had lost both front teeth could they get into the house unnoticed. June said, playing hockey. His laughter stopped and he looked “Well! Mom said if we got into trouble, the truth was up, saying, “Damn, help me, I lost my teeth in the the best answer, so we’ll tell the truth.” The rain was mud.” When he looked up, the others having seen stopped when the girls reached home. The boys ofnothing but his big beautiful smile before now saw a fered to go into the house and explain to Mom. The big black space where his front teeth had been. Now girls insisted the boys go home to dry out, as it would he was on his hands and knees in be better if they explained to the mud searching for his teeth. Mom themselves. The other three were laughing at Mom really couldn’t notice him. This was the 1940s, who Marian's wetness but she could afford a partial plate, let surely couldn’t miss June’s alone to lose it? The others clothing. The time was ten to were now in convulsive, nine, so they were okay this uncontrollable laughter. Fortuway, but Mom said a plain, nately, he found his teeth, and he “Well?” poured beer over them and June said, “Mom, please popped them back into his June and friend at the homestead don’t get mad, it was an acmouth. This causing more laughcident, you told us to always tell the truth, so here ter. goes.” While June was telling what had happened, All were slowly calming down from the laughter Marian's head was unconsciously bobbing up and when Marian, holding her lower tummy and crossing down in confirmation, sometimes giggling at the her legs said, “Oh please, no more, I’m going to pee myself.” This was the wrong thing to say, and now all funny parts, this didn’t go unnoticed by Mom. …/ When the story was over, Mom said with a big sigh, four were laughing at full throttle again. Marian squealed through her laughter, her legs crossed tightly, “June, not even you could make up a story like this, so I believe you.” “George, bring the big tub, fill it with “Oh no! I’m peeing my pants, I can’t hold it.” I sure hope you can picture these teenagers, June, mud water from the stove reservoir, then take your brother from top to bottom, inside and out, Donald, mud to his upstairs to bed.” The boys knew the routine and went upstairs. waist. (Nice smile again.) Peter, soaked through and Just as June was placing one foot into the tub, Marian through, and Marian, driest of all, with wet panties said, “Aunt Mary, I’ve got something to tell you.” and stockings. What a mess they were! Donald didn’t The girls got off easy (this time). ♣ want to mess up his car seats but had no choice. They Wayne Russell, Clearwater BC got back into the car and Donald headed straight for

Witty Quips…

Laughter & ‘Lightenment!

1. Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. - Victor Borge

4. I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. - Groucho Marx

2. Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain

5. I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap. - Bob Hope

3. By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. - Socrates

6. Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you. - Winston Churchill

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From Vera Gottlieb and Stephanie McDowall ♣ www.dialogue.ca


Tales from My Travels ~ Don Parker The story of my travels around the world on the working cargo ship, MV Rickmers Jakarta By Don Parker, Georgetown ON In November 2005, at the young age of 77, I embarked on the trip of a lifetime, lasting in all about six months ~ as a passenger on the working freighter, MV Rickmers Jakarta, [First chapter in Vol.28 No.1-Autumn 2014, p.43]

Chapter 9, Part 1 (continued from Vol. 30, No. 1)

Sat., Dec. 17th: What has the North Sea got against me? (When the “ISA” left Antwerp in 2003 to head down the Shelde River back to the North Sea, the Captain advised us to strap ourselves in for the journey. It was at night, at much the same time as the Jakarta, this night in 2006.) The J departed at 23:00. The wind was strong and it was raining. The shore lights were once again brilliant and a pleasure to see, but I had seen them before so I opted for bed. It takes about 8 hours to make it to the mouth of the Shelde and on into the North Sea. At around 05:30, I was awakened by the sound of a drawer under my bunk, which I hadn’t properly secured, slamming open. Next came the sound of some of my goodies, which I had stashed in a cupboard, starting to slide about. I tried to ignore the racket they were making; I wanted to go back to sleep. No such luck. I had to get up and re-store them so the noisy ones couldn’t move about. With that done, I peered out the window and saw clear skies and relatively high seas., not as high as in 2003, which were Force 9, but roughly Force 5. Ferdinand, the 3rd Officer, confirmed this when I went up to the Bridge after breakfast. We are in the central part of the English Channel at this time of writing – 16:00 – and things have calmed down a bit. There has been no chance of a hike up to the fo’c’s’le – too windy, wet with spray, cold, and dangerous. Instead, I spent the time preparing another e-mail to take to the Bridge for the C. to send when he gets a chance. He is probably sleeping now after having been up all night and most of the morning. I spent the time reading, doing laundry, and now, writing up to-day’s account. Our Steward, Freddy, is a very congenial and helpful chap, but sometimes he can be a tad annoying, at least to me. For instance, at mealtimes, he often stands www.dialogue.ca

beside me with his hand on the back of my chair to chat with me while I am eating. To get him to move to someplace else, I asked him, “When are you going to put up the Christmas tree?” I didn’t know he had one, but that was the key to getting Freddy to move. He went over to a corner cupboard, began pulling cartons and bags out, and lo and behold, one of the items was an artificial Christmas tree. Yes, the idea got Freddy to move, but it started him down another annoying path: singing “Jingle Bells” in a phony falsetto voice. Shortly after we boarded the J., the crew in their mess room started singing Christmas carols at such a loud volume we couldn’t hear one another at times. This racket, along with the banging of pans in the galley, prompted the C. to get up from his seat and go and close the door between our mess and the galley. I think the C. must have said something to Freddy and the Cook because there was no more carol singing until today. The C. didn’t come down for lunch to-day so we will see what tomorrow brings. I am skipping dinner to-night – more fried stuff. At any rate, Freddy had a grand time assembling his tree, singing away in his phony falsetto, and then he started whistling! Believe me, a whistler he is not! I took that as my cue to find saner quarters, thanked Freddy for my lunch, and came up here to my cabin. Later, I went back up to the Bridge to check on our position, and to sit and read. By now, 16:30, we should be abreast of the Isle of Wight. The sun is shining brightly as it slides towards the western horizon - it will be dark in Hamburg now - and the ride has smoothed out considerably. The engineers must have greased the shocks! Ho! Ho! Ho! Speaking of engineers, the Chief Engineer has promised me a visit to the Engine Room one day soon. I am looking forward to that. This ship is just over two years old. How much will it differ from the “ISA” which was about seven years old when I sailed on her in 2003. We shall see. 17:50: The sun has set, there is a rosy glow to the western sky with a few splotches of clouds, and Venus is shining brightly above it all. This should auger for another beautiful day to-morrow. …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Went up to the Bridge to check our position just after 20:00. We are between the Guernsey Islands to our port side and Spawle Point, England, on our starboard side. The moon is bright and beautiful and the wind has gone down with he sun. We have something less than 2,000 nms to go before we reach Genoa. The estimated time of arrival (ETA) is 05:00, 12 22. Let’s hope the immigration people get up early. Several yachts are to be loaded onto cradles placed on the deck for transportation to Dubai. There is no indication at this time how much, if any, shore leave we will get in Genoa. Keep your fingers crossed. Sun., Dec. 18th: One week to go until Christmas and, except for Freddy’s tree in the mess hall, there is nothing Christmassy about the J. It is now 11:00 and we are in the Bay of Biscay with nary a white cap to be seen. There is a slight roll to the ship, but no pitch. The sky is overcast, but that is rather thin to the southeast, with the result the sun is casting beautiful silvery rays through the clouds and down to the surface of the water. So far, no other vessel has placed itself for an interesting silhouette. An aside: At various times in the past, I have encouraged people to see the Canadian Documentary, “THE CORPORATION.” I bought the book upon which the book is based. As with the documentary, I encourage all caring people to read this book. The following is a bibliography to consider: * BAKAN, Joel; The Corporation (The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power), Penguin Canada * CALDICOTT, Helen, Dr.:(Nuclear Madness (What You Can Do) W. W. NORTON * ibid. The New Nuclear Danger, The New Press * MOYNIHAN, Ray & CASSELS, Alan: Selling Sickness (How The World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients) Greystone Books

If you read these books, I am sure you will come to realize that they are interconnected. Whether I can get this off to you in my current series of e-mailings in sufficient time to help you make an informed decision for the federal election in January, only time will tell.

In my opinion, our country is going to hell in a handcart. (See: www.dialogue.ca, 2007, Oct/Nov, Pages 7 & 8.) because of corrupt politicians and equally corrupt CEOs of corporations. From my readings, I have come to believe that it is all but impossible to find an honest politician or an honest corporate CEO. The combination of a politician in high office who was once a CEO is NOT a good thing for a country; e. g., Martin and Bush. So, again, I urge you to read the aforementioned books and, if you arrive at conclusions similar to those that I have, then I urge you to recommend them to others. The Canada in which I have grown up in and come to enjoy, will not be the same Canada that the generations after me will be left with UNLESS we all do something about it; that ‘something’ starts with becoming informed.] The sun is burning through the overcast stronger now and that should auger for a hike up to the bow this afternoon, but first, there is this little matter of nipping down for lunch. After lunch, I went forward to the bow. It was good to be able to go back up there again, but it was a bit on the cool side so I didn’t stay very long. There are things on board in the way of cargo that I can’t recognize. One item is about 24 paces long and about 2 metres in diameter. It is covered by a tarpaulin. I shall ask about it to-morrow. Roast chicken for supper to-night so I went down. Freddy’s tree is all lit up with flashing lights. Now if the C. and his officers were to get in the mood a bit, we might have a joyous Christmas yet. … At 20:00, we are due west of the northern corner of Portugal. What a difference from roughly 5 years ago. It was in this general area that a tanker, loaded with molasses, split apart between the housekeeping section and the holds. Both sections stayed afloat but 6 to 8 crewmen were drowned. The seas were very heavy at the time. To-day, even Lake Simcoe would have a tough time beating these calm seas. That does it for to-day. Ciao! To be continued. ♣

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“Preserving the essentials for life” Inge Hanle, CDSAPI, Vancouver

As a country and as a civilization we seem to have lost the concept of "preserving the essentials for life". Corporate profits is not one of "life's essentials". If it were, the early pioneers would have gone under. 32 dialogue

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Preserving the ESSENTIALS for LIFE never used to be a "leftist concept" – it was the basis of solid " conservative thinking". Above all else – Conserve the Essentials! ♣ [More from CDSAPI on p.57, 59] www.dialogue.ca


“Soft and Hard Edges”

CLOSE VOTES REVEAL DIVISION, NOT DECISION By Jim Taylor, Okanagan Centre BC

A mere 27 votes defeated West Kelowna’s plan to build a new city hall. A three per cent shortfall squashed B.C.’s 1995 referendum on electoral reform. Last June, fewer than two per cent of British voters pulled the plug on the European Union. Do these kinds of figures reflect a clear mandate for action? If just 14 people had voted differently in the West Kelowna referendum, the city council would now be negotiating $15 million in funding, instead of licking its wounds. That’s democracy, some will say. If you give the people a vote, you have to accept their decision. But do a few votes either way genuinely reflect the will of the people? The 1995 referendum on Quebec sovereignty failed by less than one per cent. The margin was tiny; the consequences massive. A figurative handful of voters could have broken up a country of 30 million people. CONTINUING HOSTILITY Narrow margins reflect not the people’s preferences but their deep divisions. In West Kelowna, Ian Graham, a leader of the No side, said the vote had created a split in the community that he does not believe the current council will be able to heal. The coming (at time of writing) U.S. election is a classic example. Does anyone seriously believe that whoever wins the presidency, the other half of the American electorate will gracefully accept the people’s choice? Hardly likely. The losers will fight the incumbent for at least the next four years. I suspect most people would agree that the present system is not perfect. But they can’t see any alternative. IDEALS AND REALITIES We need to distinguish between the principle of democracy, the ideal that people are capable of governing themselves, and the voting process. If you consider democracy a sacred cow - exempt from any criticism - you probably won’t like Winston Churchill’s comment: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Churchill was no idealist. He also said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with www.dialogue.ca

the average voter.” Ideally, as an instructor in parliamentary procedure once taught me, the voting process is supposed to “let the minority have their say, and the majority have their way.” Except that when voters can choose only one option, the process inevitably sets up winners and losers. Like our law courts and our labour negotiations, it assumes an adversarial system. It does not, and it cannot, build unity. CONSENSUS MODELS Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that there are any alternatives. There is, in fact, a process that can unify rather than divide. It’s called consensus. Consensus is not just unanimity. Indeed, some organizations treat a unanimous decision as flawed, requiring reconsideration. The consensus model deliberately tries to identify, to draw out, and to pay attention to, contrary viewpoints. Then it provides voting options. Several congregations in the Okanagan Valley have practiced consensus decision-making for years. Here’s how it works, on a small scale. A proposal gets discussed. Sometimes it fades away. Other times, it moves towards a decision. But here’s the key. Members don’t just vote for or against. They vote their level of commitment. * One finger held up means enthusiastic support. * Two fingers means moderate support. * Three fingers indicates uncertainty, but not active opposition. * Four fingers means moderate opposition. * Five fingers means total opposition -- a veto. Yes, one person can “block” a whole proposal. In conventional voting, the majority would ride roughshod over the dissenter. In the consensus model, the group takes time to hear more clearly the objections, to consider their wisdom, perhaps to amend the original proposal. Or even to agree to defeat it. Often though, having been heard, the five-finger blocker will move to reluctant acceptance. …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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The result is always better than a straight majority vote, because it gathers commitment for action. LARGER SCALE Variations of that system work in larger settings too. According to Wikipedia, about half of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions are reached by some kind of consensus. The Nunavut legislature uses consensus. So, I understand, do several large Protestant churches - such as the Society of Friends, the million-member United Church of Christ, and some Mennonite and Anabaptist denominations. In multi-candidate elections, preferential ballots allow a consensus of sorts - the person eventually elected has support from at least a full majority of voters. Would it work everywhere? Probably not. Right now, I can’t see anything working in the U.S. Congress. But the consensus model tells me that there are alternatives to what many believe to be the only possible way of reaching decisions. A few of the responses Jim received to this Sep. 25th column

Some interesting responses to last week’s column on making decisions by consensus. Here are some of the letters: Art Hildebrand sent the column to his Member of Parliament and also to his church council. He called the article, “really good, insightful and helpful.” Mary Sweet had used a different consensus model in a United Methodist congregation: “The consensus model I was taught, ‘fist or five,’ went the other way; five was full agreement and fist was adamantly against. There was also an option for those less than five to 'better it up,' to gain consensus. It worked very well in that location.” Cliff Boldt happened to be reading a book, I’m Right & You’re an Idiot (James Hoggan, ISBN-10: 0865718172) Cliff wrote, “It's about the toxic level of public discourse out there. It is slow reading because there are so many good points that I want to highlight with my felt pens. And many points that make me stop and think. I commend it to readers who are interested in the consensus process. And for those who long for ‘adult’ discussion rather than emotional rantings.” Isabel Gibson worried that the consensus process might be “Slow. That's the first (and maybe the last) objection I have. I just don't know whether we have time to use 34 dialogue

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that method. Of course, as one of my friends says in another context, ‘Why is there never time to do it right the first time, but always time to fix it?’” Wesley White recommended “this consensus flow chart [http://seedsforchange.org.uk/consensusmice.pdf] from among the other resources at: http://seedsforchange.org.uk/resources.”

Ted Wilson applied the consensus model to his dogs: “There is a saying among retriever aficionados that ‘You tell a Lab. You ask a Golden. You negotiate with a Chessie.’ In response to your latest column, I suggest we all own a Chessie at some time in our lives, [and] we learn to negotiate. Having never met your Phoebe I cannot attest to her independence of thought or insistence on having her opinions taken seriously, but I just received my 4th Chesapeake Bay Retriever as a birthday gift from my children. I have learned to negotiate! Sometimes the dog IS right. It has saved me a few times, including a confrontation with an angry black bear. “Consensus demands negotiating skills and being willing to compromise. It is also not always the final solution. I have seen people not willing to compromise derail the process. Our church board adopted the total consensus approach for a while and the time demands drove people away. To make it work, you need an impartial Chair… The situation where I saw it work the best was on a government advisory board where we usually had multiple options that we had to rank… Most votes required listing the options in order of preference. It was surprising how often the option that was the first choice of very few ended up with the most points because it was high on most peoples’ list. The process also started to bring us together. Once people had vented their initial opinions on issues, conversations quickly turned to the points or perspectives that had commonality and we could put forth recommendations that… usually the entire board could support. It was a good learning process that, unfortunately, ended too soon with a change of government.” Jim Taylor, Okanagan Centre Copyright © 2016 by Jim Taylor. Non-profit use in congregations and study groups, and links from other blogs, welcomed; all other rights reserved. To comment on this column, write jimt@quixotic.ca (and a copy to dialogue@dialogue.ca too if you like!) ♣

www.dialogue.ca


A REPRINT RECOMMENDED BY HERB SPENCER:

“The desire to fit in is the root of almost all wrongdoing” By Christopher Freiman – assistant professor of philosophy at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He is interested in democratic theory, distributive justice and immigration. [Reprinted as a public service]

What makes people do things that are wrong? Imagine that one morning you discover a ring that grants you magic powers. With this ring on your finger, you can seize the presidency, rob Fort Knox and instantly become the most famous person on the planet. So, would you do it? Readers of Plato’s Republic will find this thought experiment familiar. For Plato, one of the central problems of ethics is explaining why we should prioritise moral virtue over power or money. If the price of exploiting the mythical ‘Ring of Gyges’ – acting wrongly – isn’t worth the material rewards, then morality is vindicated. Notice that Plato assumes that we stray from the moral path through being tempted by personal gain – that’s why he tries to show that virtue is more valuable than the gold we can get through vice. He isn’t alone in making this assumption. In Leviathan (1651), Thomas Hobbes worries about justifying morality to the ‘fool’ who says that ‘there is no such thing as justice’ and who breaks his word when it works to his advantage. And when thinking about our reasons to prefer virtue to vice, in his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751) David Hume confronts the ‘sensible knave’, a person tempted to do wrong when he imagines ‘that an act of iniquity or infidelity will make a considerable addition to his fortune.’ Some of history’s greatest philosophers, then, agree that wrongdoing tends to be motivated by self-interest. Alas, I’m not one of history’s greatest philosophers. Although most assume that an immoral person is one who’s ready to defy law and convention to get what they want, I think the inverse is often true. Immorality is frequently motivated by a readiness to conform to law and convention in opposition to our own values. In these cases, it’s not that we care too little about others; it’s that we care too much. More specifically, we care too much about how we stack up in the eyes of others. Doing the wrong thing is, for most of us, pretty mundane. It’s not usurping political power or stealing www.dialogue.ca

millions of dollars. It’s nervously joining in the chorus of laughs for your co-worker’s bigoted joke or lying about your politics to appease your family at Thanksgiving dinner. We ‘go along to get along’ in defiance of what we really value or believe because we don’t want any trouble. Immanuel Kant calls this sort of excessively deferential attitude servility. Rather than downgrading the values and commitments of others, servility involves downgrading your own values and commitments relative to those of others. The servile person is thus the mirror image of the conventional, self-interested immoralist found in Plato, Hobbes and Hume. Instead of stepping on whomever is in his way to get what he wants, the servile person is, in Kant’s words, someone who ‘makes himself a worm’ and thus ‘cannot complain afterwards if people step on him.’ Kant thinks that your basic moral obligation is to not treat humanity as a mere means. When you make a lying promise that you’ll pay back a loan or threaten someone unless he hands over his wallet, you’re treating your victim as a mere means. You’re using him like a tool that exists only to serve your purposes, not respecting him as a person who has value in himself. But Kant also says that you shouldn’t treat yourself as a mere means. This part of his categorical imperative gets less publicity than his injunction against mistreating others, but it’s no less important. Thomas Hill, a philosopher at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, notes in Autonomy and Self-Respect (1991) that servility involves a mistaken assessment of your moral status. Crucially, the servile person is guilty of the same root error as the person who deceives or threatens others – namely, denying the basic moral equality of all persons. It’s just that the person you’re degrading is you. But servile behaviour neglects the fact that you’re entitled to the same respect as anyone else. Now, maybe you’re thinking that lying about your opinion of Donald Drumpf to placate your parents so you can eat your cranberry sauce in peace is no big deal. Fair enough. But servility can cause much graver moral transgressions. Take the most famous psychological study of the 20th century: Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments. …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Milgram discovered that most of his subjects would deliver excruciating – and sometimes apparently debilitating or lethal – electric shocks to innocent victims when an experimenter told them to do so. In ‘The Perils of Obedience’ (1973), Milgram explained that one reason why the typical subject goes along with malevolent authority is because he ‘fears that he will appear arrogant, untoward, and rude if he breaks off.’ The subjects’ commitment to politeness overwhelmed their commitment to basic moral decency. And a lot of us are more like Milgram’s subjects than we’d care to admit: we don’t want to appear arrogant, untoward or rude at the dinner table, the classroom, the business meeting. So we swallow our objections and allow ourselves – and others – to be stepped on.

The pernicious consequences of servility aren’t confined to the lab, either. Indeed, Milgram’s experiment was motivated partly by his desire to understand how so many ordinary-seeming people could have participated in the moral horrors of the Holocaust. More recently, the military violence at Abu Ghraib has been explained in part by the soldiers’ socialisation into conformity. These examples and reflections on our own lives reveal an underappreciated moral lesson. It’s not always, or even usually, the case that we do wrong because we lack respect for others. Often it’s because we lack respect for ourselves. READ THE ARTICLE ONLINE AT AEON.CO/IDEAS: LINK : http://tinyurl.com/aeon6621 ♣

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How to speak up for yourself TEDxNewYork, Sep 2016, 15 min.

Speaking up is hard to do, even when you know you should. Learn how to assert yourself, navigate tricky social situations and expand your personal power with sage guidance from social psychologist Adam Galinsky. LINK: http://tinyurl.com/ted19046 ♣

When your beliefs are being challenged… (5 talks)

What do you do when your understanding of the world has been challenged, unraveled or even destroyed? Take a deep breath and learn from TED’s best on how to approach these moments with grace and fortitude. LINK: http://tinyurl.com/tedbeliefschall ♣

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Addressing the social impact of increasing ‘automation’ of jobs From: John C. McCullough, Richmond ON Sep 5, 2016: To: Rob Snow, CFRA-AM (580, Ottawa’s News Talk Radio) rsnow@cfra.com

How can we create a social system to "share the wealth" when machinery, increasingly controlled by ever-smarter software technology, comes on line, so that everyone gets to enjoy the benefits? This, in spite of the obvious fact that the advancement of computer technology, and intelligence, will eventually overtake us mere humans in many facets of what we today call "jobs." If we are to be put out to pasture, let us ensure that it benefits all humanity and the earth.

Let us consider a hypothetical case:A small company is managing quite successfully with a staff of ten workers. From earnings, the employer pays salaries, taxes, employee health insurance, CPP, employment insurance, plus other incentives to the ten workers, e.g. a bonus for increased productivity... Things are going well. The employees in turn, pay income and health taxes to the respective government agencies, spending their earnings in the local economy, creating a community, etc., where everyone in that locale benefits from their employment. 36 dialogue

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The employer decides to commence an automation program, which, after the initial capital cost and setup, works very well. The mechanized production line can operate seven days a week and profits increase. The downside is that only six people are now required to run the whole operation. Hence, four lose their jobs. The employer wins further, by a forty percent reduction in payroll cost, plus that which had to be set aside to be remitted to government on behalf of each employee. A 40% reduction The laid off employees must look to EI for support, hoping to find alternative employment. Their company benefits have also gone, so that is an additional burden. They must turn to government for possible retraining if jobs are not readily available. How has government fared? Income, through personal earnings taxes and mandatory deduction (CPP, EI) has been reduced, and yet the demand for government assistance is going up. Government income (through taxes, etc., has gone down, just at a time when there is increased demand on their services. How about the company? Production has increased, with a forty percent reduction of labour and associated www.dialogue.ca


costs. Profits have increased significantly. More in the corporate pocket. That's how it works to date. Should we be assessing companies who find it advantageous to mechanize to the maximum? After all, machines don't care about overtime hours, vacation or sick pay, etc. Is it time that some corporate earnings (with respect to the number of people automation has displaced) be put into a public welfare pool, so that government will have the wherewithal to maintain infrastructure, public services and perhaps re-employment of people, who have

become otherwise redundant. To conclude: This, UNDER THE GUISE OF DOWNSIZING (& “EFFICIENCY”), has been played since the early eighties, but our politicians have done very little to come to grips with the issue to date, or to even attempt to set new rules. We are in a new industrial revolution as serious to the population, as was that of the nineteenth century. We cannot be LUDDITES and try to prevent modernization, but new ideas of what to do with people who are displaced must be addressed. ANY IDEAS??? John C. McCullough, sjmccullough@sympatico.ca

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“Your Health Matters”

Mitochondrial disease Exploring the nature and role of mitochondria in cellular health Dr. Derrick Lonsdale, M.D.

Most people are familiar with the word mitochondria. Few, however, are interested in knowing what they are or what they do in spite of the fact that the information is readily available in Wikipedia. The human body consists of between 70 and 100 trillion cells. Each cell has a special function and the number of mitochondria contained in each cell varies from zero to several thousand, depending on the tissue. For example, our red blood cells do not have any mitochondria. Mitochondria are invisible under the light microscope unless they are specially stained and their structure can be seen only with the electron microscope. In spite of their size, this structure is incredibly detailed and they have their own genes apart from the cellular genes with which most of us are familiar. They have many functions in the body and perhaps the most important is synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the currency of energy metabolism. Energy metabolism To understand how ATP works, a simple analogy may help. Using Newtonian principles, if a stone is rolled up a hill it is said to be imbued with “potential energy”. If and when the stone is allowed to roll down the hill it is called “kinetic energy,” the ability to do work. The useful work done by the stone, for example, might be to produce a break in a wall where a farmer wishes to place a gate. The synthesis of ATP involves storage of electronic energy, rolled up www.dialogue.ca

against an “electronic hill,” rather like a battery. This is the equivalent of potential energy. Consumption of kinetic energy is used for function, whether it is in the brain, in the body for walking or running, or organs within the body. Use of energy The word “energy” can be misleading. We often will call an active person “energetic” or will say that he has plenty of energy, without keeping in mind that physical and mental activity require the production of energy and its consumption. We tend to forget that a thought process, a mental activity, or kicking a football, a physical activity, both require the driving force of energy. It must be clearly understood that energy production, even if we take it for granted, must be sufficient to supply the needs for both mental and physical activity. It is in fact an equation. This is what mitochondria do. They are the engines of the cell. The engines of the cell A useful analogy is an internal combustion engine. It requires fuel that contains potential energy. It is ignited by a spark plug that consumes energy from a battery. The combination of fuel with oxygen causes an explosion that is passed through a series of levers to the wheels. Mitochondria use glucose as the fuel and it is consumed by combining with oxygen. This is called oxidation, Selected vitamins are the equivalent of a spark plug. All of this goes on in the mitochondria. Then the energy is used, in the biochemical equivalent of a transmission, to produce cellular construction and mental/physical function. …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Mitochondrial disease Mitochondrial genes are passed to all her children by the mother. Those from the father are lost at the time of conception. So if there is an abnormality in the mitochondrial gene complement, not only will it affect the health of the mother, it will be passed to her children. It is one example of maternal inheritance and an extremely important one. Ever since the discovery of mitochondrial genes, it has been thought that mitochondrial disease is purely genetic in origin. There is increasing evidence, however, that mitochondria can be damaged by environmental factors after birth. Whether it is genetically determined or acquired, the result is inefficient energy production and any part of the body or brain can be affected, since every cell in the body requires energy to carry out its functions. It must be fairly obvious that the tissues that have the fastest metabolism require the most energy and oxygen is consumed. Since the brain, the nervous system and the heart are those demanding organs, they are the ones most likely to become sick when energy deficiency occurs. If there is a genetically determined or acquired fault in mitochondrial genes, function begins to change and is felt at its earliest by the brain. The initial result of this might be relatively superficial changes in behavior or symptoms that indicate deterioration in function. Thus, an affected patient may visit a physician with the complaint of palpitations of the heart and unusual sweating. That sounds odd as a brain dysfunction unless it is understood that heart acceleration and sweating are produced by stimulating signals from the lower part of the brain. Because it is only a functional change, laboratory studies are negative and it is labeled as psychosomatic, or worse yet, “it is all in your head”. A rapid heart rate is an adaptive mechanism

that instructs the heart to increase its speed. This normally happens when a person is in danger and it is called a fight-or-flight reflex that prepares that individual to kill the enemy or flee. A mild energy deficiency in the brain is sensed as being dangerous and it will fire this reflex in an attempt to escape from the danger. It is a survival reflex. In this situation, the brain is merely acting as a sensory organ. It is equipped to sense that lack of oxygen is dangerous and thus fires a survival reflex by activating the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. Oddly enough, “it is all in your head” is absolutely correct. The trouble with that is that the mechanism is not considered, so the connotation is incorrectly perceived as being “imagined or invented” by the patient for personal gain. That seems to me to be an accusation of malingering rather than seeing it as energy failure in brain from mitochondrial dysfunction. – Derrick Lonsdale, M.D., Strongsville OH “Everything is connected to everything else.” Dr. Lonsdale retired in 2012 at the age of 88 years; he is a retired Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Website: www.prevmed.com/ Blog: http://o2thesparkoflife.blogspot.com/

Dr. Lonsdale is author of: “A Nutritional Approach to a Revised Model for Medicine – Is Modern Medicine Helping You?” [ISBN: 978-1-61897-092-3]; and also “Why I Left Orthodox Medicine” ISBN: 1-878901-98-2, 1994, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., (available from amazon.ca)

“I believe nutritional medicine to be the mandatory medicine of the (21st) century. It is extremely effective, particularly in the early stages of disease, where modern orthodoxy fails miserably. Its preventive approach is a guaranteed benefit; and last but not least, it is economically effective.” – Derrick Lonsdale. M.D. See also: http://sbpra.com/DerrickLonsdale

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The Future of Medicare Letter to Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun From Herb Spencer, Surrey BC [spsi99@telus.net]

Thank you for your article in today's "Sun" about the future of Medicare in Canada. The issue here is not “stranding people on medical waiting lists” or “people dying due to delayed medical access.” Unfortunately, no one (especially Sun Editors) wants to talk about the real elephant in the room: namely, the underfunding of Medicare across Canada. The real 38 dialogue

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issue here is that few governments, at all levels, wish to admit that they have given massive tax breaks to the richest people in Canada. Thirty years ago, income tax rates were much higher than now and there was plenty of cash to fund the ever growing costs of medical treatment for an ever-aging population. The tiny minority of Super-Rich knew they could never take on Medicare at election time, so they played their usual game and had quiet chats with their pals (they fund) in government. Soon, …/ www.dialogue.ca


‘Balancing Budgets’ and ‘Reducing Taxes’ became the political mantras of the ruling class and their minions in the media. Meanwhile, our telegenic premier prattles on about keeping taxes down (implying on everyone) while failing to mention the Rich. So, let’s get back to funding Medicare by those who can afford it and stop this smokescreen of “freedom of

the rich to jump the medical lineups”. If the NDP had any sense, they would see that this is a landslide issue for them at every election. Ian, please keep writing about these social problems; perhaps your efforts will help wake people up and avoid the collapse of our increasingly selfish society. Sincerely, Dr. Herb Spencer ♣

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Article: “More Liberal duplicity – Plans to privatize public infrastructure will disproportionately benefit corporate elites” [Article at Citizen Action Monitor, link from Derek Skinner: http://tinyurl.com/camlibdup ]

A few of the headings in the article: • Trudeau uses “phony progressive rhetoric” and other deceptive tactics as smokescreen for neoliberal agenda • Liberals called on to concentrate on privatization, both in the form of PPPs and the outright sell-off of government assets • Calculating Team Trudeau frames proposals as pro-middle class; reality is they’re pro-business elites • Trudeau’s talk of “improving worker productivity” is a euphemism for exploiting workers by reducing labour costs • Right-wing CD Howe Institute counsels Liberals on how to sell their pig in a poke to skeptical public • Establish an Infrastructure Bank to recruit Canadian and foreign investors in public infrastructure projects • Investments in public infrastructure will rake in billions for corporate elites, increased fees for working people. Comment from Dee Nicholson: Thanks so much for raising the info on PPP’s, Derek… it’s most important that people understand what they are and what they're for. They're called P3's... they've been around for quite a while. The goal (under UN Agenda 21) is to privatize everything under the sun. All crown corporations, all municipal or provincial agencies (think liquor, hydro, water utilities, etc. but also Canada Post and the CBC) are to be privatized, but that is not an announcement the government wants to make (It's too much information to reveal without an uproar), so the P3's get snuck in on the grounds that they "allow for progress beyond the capability of the company to achieve on its www.dialogue.ca

own"... in other words, "save them from total wrack and ruin".... which is why we see so much unrest at Canada Post and the fund-cutting at CBC. If they look bad enough, the public will be happy to see them privatized and off their financial backs. That is, until the new private owners start kicking in the price increases... The real reason is that under Agenda 21 publiclyowned companies are viewed as "subsidized" and so private competitors could not enjoy a level playing field. This is a "barrier to trade." So they need to go private, one way or another (and they boil this frog slowly as well, notice). The first NAFTA loss in that area was UPS vs. Canada re Canada Post's part ownership of Purolator Courier, which the court agreed was an unfair advantage over UPS and awarded UPS over a quarter BILLION bucks of taxpayers' money to correct that small error. I remember when Harper signed that Basel 3 Banking Agreement in 2010 and admitted that it was a loss of sovereignty: the media interviewed all party leaders and every one of them said exactly the same thing, which was "It's nice to be on a level playing field with our trading partners..." P3's are VERY dangerous. What's behind them is absolutely nefarious. All part of the same game.... Dee Nicholson, shrunkshrink@gmail.com ♣

Without any mandate, Trudeau pushes privatization Larry Kazdan, Vancouver BC Comment re: ‘Liberals bait-and-switch on infrastructure’ by Tom Parkin, Nov 06, 2016, Toronto Sun [LINK: http://tinyurl.com/ts-Tparkin-11-6] and also: ‘Without any mandate Trudeau pushes privatization’ even further: [LINK: http://tinyurl.com/ts-Tparkin-11-20] Larry’s comments follow …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Trudeau Pushes Privatization Classical economists wanted to free industrial capitalism from the surviving feudal privileges of absentee landlords and predatory finance. They railed against monopolistic rentiers who, as John Stuart Mill said, “get rich in their sleep.” But today, instead of insisting on publicly-owned infrastructure operated at cost to prevent gouging, the federal Liberals plan to use private capital that will be fully compensated by continuous "revenue streams” from user charges. Is the new Canadian Infrastructure Bank just a Trojan horse for Liberals to reward their friends and financial supporters? An examination of the list of each nation’s richest people reveals that a large segment made their fortunes through insider dealing to obtain land, mineral rights or monopolies that provided rent-extracting opportunities. – Larry Kazdan Footnote: Parasites in the body economic, the disasters of neoliberalism, M. Hudson: http://tinyurl.com/cp-MH-10-15 ♣

Folly and betrayal… Folly and betrayal is the Trudeau legacy in BC. The Kinder Morgan expansion threatens British Columbia and will not provide long-term benefits to Canada nor Alberta. The federal government should be underwriting the transition to a new economy through clean energy technologies and by supporting robust measures for better public transit, housing and building retrofits and other conservation measures. This would provide many more jobs than temporary work burying pipes prone to rupture. Unfortunately, rather than championing the future, the Liberals have chosen to divide the country and to risk the health and livelihood of urban and coastal Canadians. From British Columbia, expect fierce resistance on all fronts - in the courts, in the legislature, on the water and land, and in the streets. British Columbians will not be crucified on a double-cross of oil. - Larry Kazdan, Vancouver – lkazdan@gmail.com Footnotes: 1. William Mitchell is Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia LINK: http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=34479 2. We are Coast Protectors, "With our voice, in the courts or the streets, on the water or the land. Whatever it takes, we will stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion." LINK: http://www.coastprotectors.ca/ ♣

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PM Trudeau on Canadian identity… From Ernest Semple, with his comment: Once

more I agree with Justin Trudeau on fundamental principles. Taught by his father and to me by both parents. By the way, these things should be taught in a normal school curriculum everywhere, not just by enlightened followers of Mohandus Gandhi. Canada's post-national prime minister Joe Oliver in the National Post (2016-11-04)

A year ago, Justin Trudeau mused to The New York Times Magazine that "There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada." Can you image the head of the U.S., France or China making such a statement? Is there a national leader who could survive such an astonishing repudiation of his or her country's identity? Undeterred, Trudeau then asserted that "Canada is the world's first post-national state." All of which caused the reporter to characterize his comments as radical. Got that right. While extraordinary, his comments have not elicited much critical reaction at home, other than typical navel-gazing about the eternal question of what it means 40 dialogue

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[REPRINTED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE]

to be a Canadian. Nevertheless, they go to the essence of what Canada is and should become. Interestingly, they are relevant to the Conservative leadership debate about whether we should require immigrants to ascribe to certain core Canadian values. Indeed, the broader identity issue has emerged as a defining difference between several candidates and, therefore, the future direction of the Conservative party. Returning to Trudeau's remarks, what could they possibly mean? "Identity" is defined as who or what we are and "core" refers to the central part. Therefore, according to the prime minister of Canada, the central part of what Canada is simply does not exist. Since Canada does, in fact, exist, he must mean we have no centrality, that whatever we are is peripheral and comprised of many things. Presumably, he is affirming our cultural diversity, negating our binational history and asserting a deep suspicion of nationalism. Virtually every French Canadian would consider denying the existence of our founding narrative to be an existential negation of who they are. The rejection of the www.dialogue.ca


French contribution to Canada's identity would be a godsend to the Parti Québécois and could generate a resurgence of sovereignty sentiment. Canadians of British origin and aboriginal peoples would likely feel marginalized. Many new Canadians were drawn to our democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law, even though they also hoped to find a home that would accommodate their traditions. At the end of the day, to assert that our history, traditions, democratic institutions and underlying principles do not occupy a central role in defining who we are, goes against common sense and a collective feeling of belonging. Are we witnessing a progression from multiculturalism, proclaimed by Pierre Trudeau about 45 years ago, to Canada as "the greatest hotel in the world," according to author Yann Martel? I doubt Canadians would have been as welcoming if they thought that Canada's identity would disappear, along with our existence as a nation state. Of course, that has not happened, but our PM apparently believes it has, and welcomes it. He is also reflecting a reverence for cultural and moral relativism, and multilateralism, the "progressive" perspective that our values are no better than anyone else's. That we must not denigrate other customs, even those incompatible to beliefs otherwise unassailable in today's politically correct environment. That we are part of a bigger world and it is a higher calling to show fealty to the United Nations and other multilateral bodies. Without a core identity, Canada has apparently evolved as the first country to partake in the global community as a non-state actor without the

national baggage that constrains countries to their narrow interests, rather than the global interest, whatever that is and who defines it. That may help secure a non-permanent seat on the Security Council. The question will be at what financial and political cost? The European Union's attempt to achieve a supranational vision in Europe has crashed on the shores of Brexit, a rejection that reflects profound resentment of intrusion in citizens' lives by unelected foreign bureaucrats. What does this mean for Canada? A state that is no longer a nation renames Foreign Affairs as Global Affairs, to convey the department's role in participating in the world and explaining it to Canadians. No core identity, yet a triumph of identity politics. The values we revere are no better than any others and there is resistance to asking newcomers to adopt Canadian values. In spite of a deep consensus about the equality of men and women, if a cultural group holds a fundamentally different perspective, that is acceptable and must be defended. So far Canadians are ignoring comments that reflect a profoundly different perspective than their own, perhaps writing them off as yet another instance of the prime minister speaking meandering thoughts aloud. They shouldn't. Canada deserves a national leader who believes there's something unique about that nation - something worth standing up for, or at least acknowledging. National Post Joe Oliver is the former minister of finance. LINK: http://tinyurl.com/NP-JO-pnpm ♣

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Liberals, Monsef make a mockery of MPs and Canadians who worked for electoral reform By Michael Stewart, rabble.ca | Dec 1, 2016 EXTRACT/LINK: The Liberals, who designed and chaired

the committee, disagreed with the conclusion of their colleagues and then Maryam Monsef, the minister of democratic institutions, lied about it. First, Monsef said in Question Period that the committee hadn't reached a consensus. It had. Then she said she had directed the committee to develop an alternative voting system. She hadn't. Then she chastised her colleagues for not making a recommendation for a new system, when in fact, that's exactly what they've done. "This is huge," said a clearly frustrated and smarting Elizabeth May, Green Party leader and committee www.dialogue.ca

member, in a press conference. "We've recommended that we move away from first-past-the-post and towards proportional representation." They "did not complete the hard work we expected them to," Monsef said. The committee started its work in the summer. It heard from 196 witnesses all over the country and received 22,500 responses online. "Stop it." NDP MP Nathan Cullen said in the scrum afterward. "People aren't stupid." Cullen also had nothing for scorn for Monsef's followup plan, a "postcard" campaign for Canadians to send in their thoughts on electoral reform, despite the fact that was the exact mandate the committee had …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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just fulfilled. It's a "dating service," he said. Most comical, however, was when Monsef claimed that the committee had recommended "Gallagher's

index" instead of an electoral system, which is simply false. Read in full: http://tinyurl.com/rabble-mockery ♣

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Welcome to CETA and the Liberals' faith-based reality By Murray Dobbin | November 25, 2016 (EXTRACT & LINK) While

you were going about your daily routines this week, the Trudeau Sunny Ways government was rushing Bill C-30 (the act to implement the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement -- CETA) through the House. Thirty of its 140 pages are devoted to amending The Patent Act, amendments which will increase annual drug costs for Canadians by up to 13 per cent. We already pay more for drugs than any other country except the U.S. Unless the rewards of CETA are very impressive, this "free trade" zealotry qualifies as a special kind of madness. Faith over fact In observing the Trudeau government and its media cheerleaders regarding CETA, I am reminded of U.S. journalist Ronald Suskind's revelations about how the George W. Bush administration justified their decisions. One of Bush's senior aides chastised Suskind for being part of the "reality-based community" in contrast to Bush's "faith-based community."

He told Suskind: "[You] believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That's not the way the world really works anymore. … when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality …we'll act again, creating other new realities." If those contrasting realities ring a bell, they should, because we have lived for 10 years with such thinking under Stephen Harper and there has been an almost seamless transition to the Trudeau government's dissembling on international treaties. When it comes to trade and investment deals, the facts mean nothing. Chrystia Freeland simply refuses to answer questions and calls the deal "the gold standard" of trade agreements -- full stop. As in the U.S., we have assertion rather than authenticity, claim rather than fact. […] – Murray Dobbin Continue reading at rabble.ca: LINK: http://rabble.ca/columnists/2016/11/welcome-to-cetaand-liberals-faith-based-reality ♣

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Comment: CETA not the progressive agreement it claims to be Ed Goertzen, Oshawa ON

If my reading of history is any guide, the long term plan by "The Network" (ref 'Tragedy and Hope 101") is to have a two class system, Rich and Poor with a minuscule middle class of managers (Ref 'Brave New World') to monitor the computers.

Rulers never forget lessons: The middle class (those with property that was independently owned and gave them a living, i.e. mixed farm) were the New Model Army that defeated the authoritarian Royals and the R.C Church in England's Civil Wars. Rulers cannot abide that the people be represented: therefore political parties are needed to emasculate egoert@interlinks.net ♣ those we elect.

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Re: NATO announces largest troop deployments against Russia since Cold War From Gerry Masuda, Duncan BC RE article at LINK : http://tinyurl.com/ich56809

I am really concerned about what I read about NATO/US's deliberate provocation of Russia. It does not make any sense to me except for the heavy handed threat in the last sentence "If you want (nuclear) US protection from Putin, you must either pay us more money or re-arm yourself.” This is now the nuclear era where a nuclear first strike can be decisive. Mobilization of troops on the ground 42 dialogue

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is WWII strategies/tactics and totally inappropriate now except for its political impact. I am concerned of how NATO has been transformed from a defensive alliance to a military arm of the US Empire in its vain dreams of establishing global hegemony as it is rapidly declining in the face of the growing economic strength of the BRICS nations. It appears that the faulty US strategic "linear" thinking is leading up to a nuclear first strike by the US. This www.dialogue.ca


could not be carried out without including China. This war-making is directly related to the US dollar losing its role as the global reserve currency, in my opinion. It appears to me that the US is using its only

high card, its unquestioned superiority in nuclear weapons and delivery systems, for a purpose which I cannot understand. Comments? Gerry Masuda, Duncan BC, gerry.masuda@gmail.com ♣

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Robin Mathews Uncut

Robin Mathews, Vancouver BC

I have been so sickened (truly sickened) by Justin Trudeau going to Africa with a message at Liberia and Madagascar to ‘liberate’ sexual behaviour – when Liberia has 65% of people and Madagascar has 85% BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL because foreign Corporations are ravaging the countries (Liberia

has more direct foreign investment (in %) than any other country on the globe! ! ! ) And since Canada’s Mining Corporations are raping the “undeveloped” world, Trudeau is shilling for them, taking a false cause to Africa. So I wrote this ballade. – Robin

The Ballade of Justin Trudeau There stands the Starlet, Justin Trudeau, Bathed in a Rose-Coloured Media Glow. The World, it seems, sends him homage and praise The sign of the end of ‘The Old Fascist Days’. But wait - have a look! He’s not what he seems. He’s not there to ripen Democracy’s dreams. He’s a blue-eyed boy – you might say ‘Heaven Sent’ To do what he’s told for the World’s ‘One Per Cent.’ Watch as he ducks from our own Central Bank To pay billions in interest to “lenders of rank,” Meaning privatized, globalized, foreign-based elves Who ‘take over’ our wealth to fatten themselves. Watch the Starlet smile on Brutal, Rich Thugs Who traffic in minerals (as well as in drugs)… Enslaving native people … and even much worse – Killing and maiming to fatten the purse That buys puppets and princes and stooges in place … Then vacates the scene, leaving nary a trace of Good. But disease, disaster, a people in pain (And GOLD to fight the next major Trudeau campaign.) In Liberia he charms the Harvard-trained lady Who sells off the place to anyone shady. Justin seeks full freedom for women (and others) and men – www.dialogue.ca

To have sex as they please – wherever and when…. But he doesn’t see they all rarely even dine... Living miles down below The Poverty Line. In Madagascar he pushes open gender consent (and foreign ownership as well – the real reason he went). He champions having ALL sexes under one Common Tent That would shelter (in Madagascar) (Below the Poverty Line) Eighty-Five Per Cent. BLIND to their poverty, their desperate need, He throws sand in their eyes – his wrongly-placed Creed – That to free them in sex and in gender relations Will help them build just, fair, free, happy nations. The word ‘Starlet’ rhymes with ‘Harlot’ – and so it should, For he smiles and pretends he champions the Good While playing ‘ponce’ to the wealthy (for adequate pay), Finding for them globally, desperate, suitable prey To make slaves of and lackeys to build the One Per Cent’s wealth ... While the Starlet runs their errands (And builds His Own Pelf!!) Robin Mathews, Vancouver ♣ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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“Have Computer Will Write”~ Jeremy Arney

Open Letter Honorable Bill Morneau, Finance Minister for Canada By Jeremy Arney, Victoria BC (Sent to wire service)

On Wednesday 12th October, I watched a program on CPAC from the Growth Summit and was once again amazed and disgusted at what you said during your interview with Amanda Lang. The subject of an infrastructure bank came up very quickly in the interview and you made no bones about the fact that you wanted your new infrastructure bank to be financed by “heavy hitting” investors, with lots of money to spend. In other words, the Infrastructure Bank of Canada will be a new private bank, controlled by private interests both domestic and international to give you more credit that is created with a computer key stroke, but no new money. What absolute economic and financial gibberish Mr. Morneau. You already have, through the Bank of Canada Act, the mandate and the ability to use the Bank of Canada for just this purpose, and much more, and yet you stubbornly want our public bank – yes the Canadian peoples’ bank – to simply be an inflation watchdog! Simply astonishingly and blindly foolish. Why can no politician in Canada comprehend that our national debt is growing by leaps and bounds partly due to the compounding interest rates being charged to carry it. A simple research shows that the largest single payment the Ministry of Finance has to cope with is in fact the interest on our national debt. Surely even you know that! Yet you want to increase this national debt with compounding interest to a new collection of credit-granting bloodsuckers! You even mentioned that this new bank could well be subject to contravening trade agreements. I can only assume you are referring to the investment agreements signed by the Harper government which did nothing for trade. Your fellow Cabinet Minister Freeland should be able to help you with the deficit figures as a result of all those so-called free trade agreements. You obviously realise these investment agreements will dictate who we can borrow money from unless we want to be taken to a tribunal, or in the case of CETA a mock court of unknown jurisprudence. 44 dialogue

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You also talked of educating Canadians on how important trade is to us, when we already know this and are very frustrated with ‘trade agreements’ that have little or nothing to do with trade but everything to do with corporate profits and the loss of Canadian Sovereignty. Pease desist in insulting our collective intelligence about trade when it is not trade you or your government are interested in at all, rather it is the complete corporate takeover of Canada’s sovereignty which your government is seeking. You do not have that right, Mr. Morneau. Mr. Morneau, just where is your mandate to NOT use the Bank of Canada as opposed to the mandate granted by the Bank of Canada Act? The frequently used excuse of causing inflation is simply disproved by what happened between 1935 and 1974, the period of Canada’s greatest growth and prosperity. Your obvious intention to run up our national debt owed with compounding interest rates to international banks and investors instead of using our own Bank of Canada is very clearly announced with your new privately owned and financed Infrastructure bank. Between you, the Minister for Trade and our Prime Minister it is blatantly clear that you are completely disinterested in sound management of our affairs; indeed you are breaking all records established by Harper to turn the country into one controlled by investment profits for international corporations by this immensely foolish bank and through CETA, TPP & TiSA investment agreements you wrongly call trade agreements. Canadians welcome real trade but despise agreements under that name which are a sham. You have not been able to show anyone where your government was given a mandate to do this to Canada. A majority of seats in the House does not give you that mandate to throw Canada to the corporate wolves of this world any more than it did for Stephen Harper. So Mr. Morneau, when and where and by whom were you given this mandate for the continued destruction of Canadian Sovereignty, illegally started by Harper’s hatred of Canada and Canadians? May I remind you that on page 19 of the new Canadian passports there is a quote from the Rt. Honourable John Diefenbaker which reads this way: www.dialogue.ca


“Parliament is more than procedure; it is the custodian of the nation’s freedom.” - John Diefenbaker

You and all other MPs currently sitting in that place appear to have forgotten that, or are simply ignoring it; and I have to wonder why. Do your really represent us or something else? Is it really too much to hope that we will ever have a real parliament for the people before our parliament and government become irrelevant? I continue to be angry, frustrated and bitterly disappointed in all those parties and MPs who are supposed to represent us in the House of Commons, who are, instead, blindly following a golden apple being dangled in their faces. We collectively threw out Harper’s government – with many Canadians believing that things could not be worse than he promised they

would be in 2006; and yet here you are fulfilling his destructive dreams and we are on the verge of complete submission to corporate greed. Considering the actions of your government on these two issues alone, I have to wonder: Why did we even bother with an election in 2015? In complete disgust, Jeremy Arney Interim Leader of the Canadian Action Party PO Box 52008, RPO Beacon, Sidney, BC V8L 5V9 / Tel. 250-216-5400 http://actionparty.ca/ Email: iamjema@gmail.com

“What is physically possible, desirable and morally right, we can make it financially possible through the Bank of Canada.” ♣

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“That’s My Take On It” – John Shadbolt

Lessons to be learned from Brexit From John Shadbolt, Acton ON

The BREXIT vote seems to have shaken up the establishment, lots of wailing, etc. But these are the reasons (in the link below, right) which most people know nothing about, and they should. If you like to make your own decisions, which most people in Canada would like to do, then you have to get the control of the country back in your hands. Canada has long been sold out by all political parties and by most politicians. Canadians voted Harper out, wanted change. Did they get it? No, C-51, TPP, etc. are still there, and we are still giving Canada away. We just saw the three amigos: all smile, while figuring how to give our country away. Take the Bank of Canada. NOT ONE party has the integrity to remove the need to be paying some $5billion monthly in interest to – who? Do we know? That represents some $60 billion yearly, money which, under Canadian law, does not have to flow out of Canada. In fact it could flow into Canada – by borrowing from the Bank of Canada instead of private banks. Does Mr. Trudeau – or any of the other leaders – know? You bet they do, but will not talk about it. But I suppose that’s the Canadian way. I call it creeping genocide. Eventually, Canada will be stripped of all of its treasures, and become a 3rd or 4th world country. Think about it. Consider supporting The Canadian www.dialogue.ca

Action Party. We deserve your support. We WILL change things. Your kids will thank you. John Shadbolt, Vice-president of the Canadian Action Party (CAP) CAP: The only party standing politics on its head. Website: http://actionparty.ca/canadian-action-party/

LINK to Fred’s blog at TheGuardian.com: http://tinyurl.com/tg-81841

(Extract) Anyone who thinks the EU is good for British industry or any other business simply hasn't paid attention to what has been systematically assetstripped from the UK. Name me one major technology company still running in the UK, I used to contract out to many, then the work just dried up as they were sold off to companies from France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, etc., and now we don't even teach electronic technology for technicians any more, due to EU regulations. I haven't detailed our non-existent fishing industry the EU paid to destroy, nor the farmers being paid NOT to produce food they could sell for more than they get paid to do nothing, don't even go there. I haven't mentioned what it costs us to be assetstripped like this, nor have I mentioned immigration, nor the risk to our security if control of our armed forces is passed to Brussels or Germany. ♣ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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The. U.S. Election – Diverse Perspectives Regarding Election Results Trumping Reality

“The Fifth Columnist”

Michael Neilly, Dunrobin ON

“We are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an ‘us and a them,’” Mr. Obama said just recently. Of course U.S. President Obama was referring to Donald J. Trump’s election victory. He wouldn’t say it but the “crude form of nationalism” he was referring to, I suspect, was fascism. There IS something about Trump’s theatrics that puts me in mind of certain dictators from the 1930s and ‘40s and it’s tempting to think this is what America voted for. What exactly did Trump tap into? Never mind the mistakes the Democrats made, people voted for him. Was it merely a Hobson’s choice, i.e. no choice at all? There were independents on the ticket (and shame on the media for not giving them more coverage). More likely, though, is that we can all feel the economic decline of our country as jobs and factories have fled to China and along with them, prosperity. The big factories that made washers and dryers, cars, small appliances, clothes, etc., have been shuttered and turned into swish condos. Our standard of living is now buttressed by debt. The conservatives will also point to a sort of decadence, gay marriage, the destruction of the family and that a lot of us no longer believe in a supreme being, a nihilist sentiment that we just consume and consume, not knowing what it’s all for. It’s in this atmosphere of decline and decadence that somehow Trump has cast himself as the underdog, the maverick fighting against the establishment. Not the 1950’s Maverick, the amiable gambler who, despite his protests, always managed to do the right thing. Not the 1986 Maverick epitomized by Tom Cruise, a Navy pilot in the movie Top Gun who rallies at the last minute and triumphs against the black fighters. But instead a sort of benevolent, beleaguered king gesturing wildly from his balcony, recalling that we could all be great again, and 46 dialogue

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achieve our destiny in spite of “them.” It’s as if, harkening back to when we were “great,” that just buying new cars and houses in the suburbs, having kids, that we held jobs for decades and then retired – that this somehow gave us a purpose and place in the universe. Our Trump, a billionaire apparently sympathetic to the working man’s plight, stands there, pumping his right arm in the air, making the letter ‘L’. Will this incite us to dark deeds or to strive for “truth, justice and the American way”? Recalling the 1930s and ‘40s, when a government tacitly approves of discrimination, it would seem to give licence to the public to likewise discriminate. Here we all are on the hero’s journey, walking the same path in a valiant, existential struggle against the “dark breeze of the future.” In Joseph Campbell’s Power of Myth, we have the heroic act: departure, fulfillment and return, played over billions of times. Who are we? What is our purpose? I can’t believe it’s the 1960s’ “car in every driveway, chicken in every pot” – that this is our fulfillment, our grand return. Or, by making America “great” again, is this the balm we rub on our uneasy existence, the opiate we all consume? I have an idea that the American election was just political theatre, reality television for the masses, a diversion. It’s a story we tell ourselves around the camp fire to make sense of our existence, of who we are. The goal for those in power is to consolidate their control of our resources, water, air and land. Trump or Clinton, the noose tightens on us all. To see this, all we have to do is turn our backs to the fire and peer into the darkness. Sphere by Allida M. Neilly and M. R. Neilly: A mysterious island with a shadowy past. An awesome discovery made decades earlier. Three young teens stumble onto a secret of astronomical proportions. Relentlessly pursued by the military and corporate interests, they must elude capture and find a way to save their friends from a maniac before it’s too late. Paperback: 218 pages, Aug. 12 2016); ISBN-10: 1533516812; or Kindle edition July 22 2016) ♣

www.dialogue.ca


CRY A RIVER – THEN GET OVER IT PETER GOLDRING, Edmonton AB

Neither of the choices were good. But the lesser of the two “evils” being democratically elected by a wild margin of states must and should be respected and then all should move on united for the country. Trump’s transgressions being criticized by the Clinton campaign was pure hypocrisy as Clinton had stood mute on the transgressions of her husband, the then-President. For one of CTV News Channel hosts to support as “good news” on Clinton’s success at 8:05 PM winning Illinois simply underscored the continual bias of the Canadian media towards Clinton. The CBC even went as far recently during the election campaign as to rerun Clinton’s campaign commercials as “news” knowing full well that CBC is broadcast well into the United States. Then as depression set in by television panelists with the late evening results coming in favour of Trump, media panelists and pundits outrageously surmised that the campaign had been high-jacked by uneducated white persons. Today this is just being referred euphemistically to as “whitelash”. Of course all highly educated scholarly media, political prognosticators and pollsters do not apologize or even care to admit to their colossal error as they

scramble to delete emails, tweets and negative comments to Trump’s candidacy so that they do not lose favour with the new administration. CBC panelists decried disappointment and that it was depressing that only 18% of Latinos turned out to vote. However, the system works. Trump’s supporters have obviously greater vision for their future than ivory tower elitists, pundits, reporters, Canadian and American, stalled in a morass of liberalism that has killed jobs and prosperity for average families while they themselves being enriched by White Water and other schemes. Now, for the first time in nearly 100 years, United States has clearly elected a business President, who has a clear Republican majority in its Congress, and, who has a clear Republican majority in its Senate. Remember, Obama killed Keystone Pipelines and Clinton mirrors Obama. Cry a River, small and large “L” liberals in United States and Canada. Then get over it! The majority, tired of a lackluster government, wanted and got a change. Get behind the overwhelming democratic resolve and work towards mutual prosperity for Canada and United States. Peter Goldring, Member of Parliament 1997-2015 (Edmonton East) petergoldringmp.retired@shaw.ca ♣

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The stage is set for dramatic changes… Richard K. Moore, Ireland

In my earlier posting, Some thoughts on the upcoming election, [http://tinyurl.com/cj-rkm-oct16] I concluded this way: The stage has been set for dramatic changes, of one kind or another, in the world order. It may seem we’ve stumbled into this situation through ‘failed policies’, but that would be mistaking theater with reality, rhetoric with strategy. We are at this juncture precisely because the oligarchs want to bring about a shift in the world order. As to whether nuclear war is part of their transition plan, as a depopulation mechanism, we can only guess. As for ‘this damn election’, it ‘just happens’ to come at the same time as the pivotal challenge from Russia. One of the two clowns will be the designated story teller for the coming shift. It would appear that Hillary www.dialogue.ca

would be suitable for war, and Trump for a multi-polar world, but what do I know. As it turns out, Trump won, and he has already confirmed to Putin that he intends to follow-through with his campaign pledge to build better relations with Russia, and in particular to work together to defeat ISIS in Syria. I suggest that this commitment to Putin is a significant development, one that says much about what we can expect from the Trump presidency. For one thing, it indicates that his campaign promises were more than just political rhetoric. I’m sure some of them were rhetoric, as with all politicians, but if he’s serious about a more cooperative foreign policy, then we may assume he’s serious about following through with some of his other big proposals as well – some of which we may like and some of which …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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we may not. (I like the one about reversing globalization, but I hope he forgets about the wall.) Second, he is indicating by this action that he intends to be a buck-stops-here, hands-on, decision-making President. We can tell this because he had his talk with Putin before he had even appointed his cabinet, and before he had time to work out some kind of relationship with the new Congress. He’s declaring that he will be in charge, that he has an agenda, and he’s moving ahead with it – essentially saying, “the rest of you can catch up with me later”. Whereas Obama came in saying he wanted to build a consensus, and ended up going along with the neoliberal momentum, Trump is coming in like the new CEO of a failing company, hired because he claims he can turn things around. If a coherent change of direction is to be achieved, he is exhibiting some of the leadership qualities that will be required. Third, reflecting again on the goals of the oligarchy, Trump’s outreach to Putin suggests that the path to a multi-polar new world order is likely to be a peaceful one, rather than one imposed in the aftermath of nuclear conflict. At the same, we must recognize that Trump has been appointing people to his cabinet who are aligned with the neoliberal establishment, or even further to the right than that. How do we reconcile these choices with the signs above, that he intends a real shake-up? There is a two-part answer to that question. The first part of the answer is that we can assume Trump has the covert backing of the oligarchy. As Woodrow Wilson said, having learned it the hard way: Nothing in politics ever happens by accident. That is to say, CEO Trump is being brought in as a vehicle to implement the oligarchs’ change-agenda. He knows his back is covered by the Godfather himself, so to speak. The word will soon trickle down to Washington insiders that it is not nice to mess with Boss Trump; he’s been ‘named’ by the mob. The second part of the answer is that his cabinet is not about helping him develop an agenda, rather it’s about advising him on how to promote an already existing

agenda. What Trump needs around him are people who understand his political opposition. From that perspective, his establishment appointments make a great deal of sense. As to the nature of the oligarchs' agenda, apart from rapprochement with Russia, we need to wait for a few more signs before much can be said. I don’t think we’ll need to wait long. Meanwhile, here are a few perspectives that I recommend to your attention: I Would Love to Share in Your Incredulity by Thomas S. Harrington: http://tinyurl.com/ds-tm-incredulity Fear and Loathing Inside The Deep State: http://thesaker.is/fear-and-loathing-inside-the-deep-state/ Ralph Nader: The Biggest Divide And Rule Tactic Is The Constant Drumbeat That We Are Highly Polarized: http://tinyurl.com/ds-rn-polarized

R.K. Moore, Ireland Postscript (in response to feedback received) With the memes of ‘conspiracy theories’ and ‘fake news,’ the program seems to be divisiveness (as noted by Helen Basinger in her feedback): the awake vs. the hypnotized. We need to accept that people will always see things differently from one another. What divides us is not the difference in our beliefs, rather it is giving too much importance to beliefs – the trap of identity politics. If we want to overcome divisiveness, it won’t come from the awake talking to the awake, and it won’t come from the awake converting the hypnotized. It can only come from all of us finding common ground together. And that can only happen if we include everyone (the 99%) in the conversation, and listen to everyone’s concerns with respect. Helen suggested that there may be a cosmic battle going on between the forces of good and evil. That idea has been around at least since the time of Zarathustra, over a thousand years ago. But according to Zarathustra this battle goes on in our minds. It is about the choices we make, not about an external struggle between a God and a Satan. If we externalize the struggle, we give up both our power and our responsibility. Richard Moore ♣

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The Election was Stolen – Here’s How by Greg Palast, Nov. 11, 2016 LINK: http://tinyurl.com/Palast-Nov11

Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives. 48 dialogue

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Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans www.dialogue.ca


of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states. The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report, “The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters,” 8/24/2016. Crosscheck in action: Trump victory margin in Michigan: Michigan Crosscheck purge list:

13,107 449,922

Trump victory margin in Arizona: Arizona Crosscheck purge list:

85,257 270,824

Trump victory margin in North Carolina: North Carolina Crosscheck purge list:

177,008 589,393

On Tuesday (Nov. 8), we saw Crosscheck elect a Republican Senate and as President, Donald Trump. The electoral putsch was aided by nine other methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-

American voters, methods detailed in my book and film, including “Caging,” “purging,” blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to “provisional” ballots that will never be counted. Trump signaled the use of “Crosscheck” when he claimed the election is “rigged” because “people are voting many, many times.” His operative Kobach, who also advised Trump on building a wall on the southern border, devised a list of 7.2 million “potential” double voters – 1.1 million of which were removed from the voter rolls by Tuesday. The list is loaded overwhelmingly with voters of color and the poor. […] Continue reading online: LINK: http://tinyurl.com/Palast-Nov11

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Greg Palast, Nov. 11, 2016 ♣

The Sceptical Scholar

Truth in the Trump Era Addressing the fundamentally central question: What do we do now? Wilfred Cude, Cape Breton NS In my previous article for this journal, which explored many of the diverse social, cultural and intellectual factors underlying democracy-threatening tendencies behind such scary developments as Brexit in the United Kingdom and the conceivable presidency of Donald Trump in the United States, I closed with one thought regarding what was then only a possibility but has now become a dismaying reality: the ascension of Donald Trump to the highest political office in all of our Westernized democracies, with his stubby little fingers on the nuclear codes. “Be afraid,” I wrote, contemplating that prospect: “be very, very afraid.”

Seated here at my keyboard, after more than a day of serious reflection on stuff like this, stuff that has also happened repeatedly in many democracies recently, I’ve concluded that fear – even in the face of this last instance of things that can go crazily wrong, this genuinely most terrifying twist in American political life – fear is undoubtedly the wrong response, at least to sustain over any span of time. Far better to address, squarely and without flinching, the fundamentally central question: “what do we do now?” Indeed, even more focussed, is the related question: “what can any of us do now?” Well, for openers, what our entire culture must do, and what each of us can do www.dialogue.ca

immediately to start the process rolling, is to insist that everyone start telling the truth. Everyone, dammit. Each of us, first of all, as a very practical and clearly workable beginning. Remember that lately much-disregarded practice? The one central to the Judaic Ten Commandments, currently also supposedly central to the same Christian Ten Commandments: “Thou shall not bear false witness?” Enough, already, with the vile backwash of nauseous mendacity sweeping out of the internet and tabloid press, all too often contaminating the mainstream public media, even occasionally seeping, oozing, through often wellintentioned family and friends into the intimate recesses of our private lives. Nobody has to accept that, and each of us has both a private and public duty to reject it. And there should be no problem with doing precisely that. What is wrong in our culture with quietly saying to each other, first privately and then publicly, that any given demonstrably false statement is patently not correct? And yet, as the campaigns for Brexit and Donald Trump both so scandalously illustrate, that quite simply didn’t happen, either in the United Kingdom or the United States. Both campaigns equally resorted to painful, egregious and indisputably flat-out lies, and both campaigns got away with it. Totally got away with it, ensnaring everyone in each of those two countries thereafter in an ensuing web of continuing malignant deception, leaving everyone there not only ensnared but also presently confronting the devastating consequences of what …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Wilfred Cude, Truth in the Trump Era, contd.

occurred. That’s the truth, the tragically undeniable truth that dishonours everyone involved, directly or indirectly, so we should start right there. Throughout the Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson toured his country week after week in a bus painted flaming red, with this statement in huge white letters on each side: “We send the EU L350 million a week: let’s fund our NHS [National Health Service] instead.” That was a lie. Full stop. And throughout his entire quest after the presidency, Donald Trump repeatedly attacked the concepts of global warming and climate change. “The concept of global warming was created by the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacture non-competitive.” Tweet, 2012. “Global warming is bullshit because it’s cold out now.” Tweet, 2014. “I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax, and a lot of people are making a lot of money.” Fox interview, 2016. Arrant nonsense, offered deliberately as serious thought. Again, those are lies. Full stop. So how might we deal with all this dangerously subversive swill? Let’s commence with an essential overview of history. Across the millennia as our species evolved, right from the stone age to the nuclear age, we contrived (very often against powerful resistance) to develop socially, culturally and intellectually enough to formulate and practice a spectacular mechanism for the objective pursuit of truth. And it is marvellous how well it can work and how much faster and more efficient it can become. Though it functions best in mathematics and the physical sciences, it is also increasingly reliable in the social sciences, and in disciplines like philosophy and history, and even in the creative arts. Consider the classic scientific example, our progress towards understanding our place in the stellar universe. Claudius Ptolmey around 100 AD proceeded from earlier Greek studies to suggest a mathematical model of the solar system placing the earth at the centre. It worked satisfactorily until 1543, when Nicholas Copernicus proposed a theoretically better model placing the sun at the centre. The two systems then vied for acceptance until contributions from Johannes Kepler (in 1609 & 1619), Galileo Galilei (in 1632) and Isaac Newton (in 1687) established the Copernican system as indisputably sound. Note two things here. First, each development was based upon, and improved upon, earlier findings: and second, as more scholars contributed, the resulting picture became far more precise much faster. And each development thus moved along, facilitated by expertise in necessary technology as well as theory. Expertise, from 50 dialogue

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people who have devoted their lifetimes to careful study of relevant problems. All of this matters tremendously, because that’s basically how we get to the truth – in everything. And we must use this mechanism, exploring both Brexit and the ascendency of Donald Trump. What are the relevant facts? And how may we legitimately construe them? Take Brexit first. Readily available official British statistics were fully accessible to anyone, private individual, media journalist or campaigning politician, and they demolished the Brexit bus claim. Well over half of Britain’s EU contributions are instantly returned as public sector rebates from Brussels, while the rest are clearly explained and more than offset by the tremendous fiscal advantages British businesses have achieved through EU membership. Crucial economic enterprises such as banking, medical and pharmaceutical research, automotive manufacturing and (yes) even agriculture have flourished since Britain joined the EU in 1973.* But prominent Brexit advocates, especially senior Conservative Party politicians like Michael Gove, Liam Fox and Ian Duncan Smith, maintained that official statistics were either insufficient or open to misconstruction; and their views received widespread dissemination through the country’s media, the mainstream press as well as the volatile tabloid papers. So confusing was all this back-and-forth that Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, protested: “Given the high level of public interest in this debate, it is important that official statistics are used accurately.” He was the expert voice, the reasonable voice, and he was tuned out. Instead, Nigel Farage, slippery spin doctor of the alt-right UKIP (UK Independence Party), doubled down on Boris Johnson’s fatuity, insisting the actual figure was “higher than that, possibly much higher.” Then the Brexiteers diverted the debate into nonsensical fulminations about British interests subverted by Brussels bureaucrats, about a nonexistent threat of EU immigrants taking British jobs, and about a “Leave” vote mystically restoring Great Britain’s longgone glory days. Massive misinformation, reported supposedly even-handedly yet hopelessly jumbled about in a tide of false equivalences with inadequately explored snatches of truth, swept the thoroughly perplexed nation to the morning of Friday, 24 June, 2016. And what a morning it was, and what a genuinely messy situation the United Kingdom awoke into, following the vote in favour of Brexit. Prime Minister David Cameron, after a lamentably feeble leadership of the “Remain” campaign, immediately announced his resignation. Then www.dialogue.ca


Nigel Farage popped up on the BBC immediately thereafter to confess, shockingly and shamelessly, that the entire Brexit bus claim was “mistaken” and that there would probably not be any money reclaimed from the EU for the NHS. Ian Duncan Smith and Liam Fox wasted no time in walking back from their own support of the Brexit bus claim. And nor were the next few mornings any the less shocking and shameless. Both Boris Johnson and Michael Gove abandoned their ambition to succeed Cameron, to slink off briefly into embarrassed ignominy. And even Nigel Farage, having achieved his life’s ambition, soon resigned from the UKIP and left that shambolic crowd devoid of any direction. As indeed the entire nation found itself. A series of squalid internal convulsions within the Conservative party seated Theresa May, a pathetically unimaginative wanna-be Margaret Thatcher, as Prime Minister; and she instantly demonstrated her unsuitability by appointing Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, intimately involved with negotiating the very Brexit debacle he had helped create. And slowly, the nation began to grasp the immensity of what mass falsehood had accomplished. Vital industries are planning to relocate. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, which had voted “Remain,” people are contemplating separation: the former could become independent, the latter could join the Republic of Ireland, and the Great Britain of yore would collapse into England and Wales. Moreover, the EU itself is in no mood to play nice: if Mrs. May invokes Brexit, the United Kingdom must accept strict European terms for any continuing economic engagement, or it could just plain get lost. So here we are. Enormous disruption for Great Britain, for Europe, and even conceivably well beyond. It doesn’t look good for anybody. Nor does it look good for anybody when we next turn our attention to the arrival of Donald Trump, a matter of far greater consequence to people everywhere on this tiny blue dot of a planet. Begin by considering certain hyperenthusiastic media support the Trump campaign elicited, unreservedly fervid endorsement from three main sources: The Crusader, official newspaper of the KKK; the radical alt-right website Breitbart News; and – most prominent of the bunch – the National Enquirer. Pause to ponder that. These aren’t reputable news media, by any standard. They are right-wing purveyors of bizarre fantasies disconnected from reality, but also now purveyors weirdly and recklessly empowered to disseminate those fantasies on a far broader scale, penetrating and subverting mainstream media in a frighteningly effective way. On 20 April, 2016, National Enquirer published a grainy www.dialogue.ca

1963 photograph of a man in New Orleans distributing pro-Castro leaflets with Lee Harvey Oswald, identifying that man as Rafael Cruz – the father of Ted Cruz, then Trump’s principal rival for the presidential nomination. The headline was “World Exclusive! Ted Cruz’s Father – Caught with JFK Assassin;” and the story remained quiescent until it got very long legs on 3 May, when Trump told Fox News that Rafael Cruz “was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being – you know, shot.” As Cruz indignantly spluttered in denial, Trump piled on, repeating that contemptible innuendo and praising National Enquirer. “This was a magazine that frankly in many respects, should be respected,” he intoned, as a magazine worthy of “Pulitzer prizes.” After all this had rolled on and on through the regular media, Ted Cruz was finished. Meanwhile, much later on 18 October, 375 members of the National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel laureates, published an open letter about Trump, warning voters that his policies on the environment constitute a serious world menace. This story had no legs at all. That cutting contrast between the media reception of the two items reveals, in a nutshell, the essence of Trump’s media-mangling march into the White House. And as awful as the outcome of Brexit has proved to be, a Trump presidency outcome must prove to be far worse. The freshly-appointed chief White House strategic counsellor is Stephen Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart News Network, “the platform of the alt-right,” an individual properly denounced as racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and ultra-nationalist. Trump’s right-hand man, tucked by Trump himself snug into the haven of Washington power. David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of the KKK, exulted that the appointment was “basically creating the ideological aspects of where we’re going.” To which John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight retorted: “This is not normal. This is fucked up.” Nevertheless, as appalling as the selection of Bannon must be to most Americans, it is a choice largely affecting only them, whereas yet another Trump choice is even more disturbing, reaching well beyond the USA to adversely touch everyone on the planet: Myron Ebell, heading the transition team to dismantle the US Environmental Protection Agency. Ebell, who directs environmental and energy policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a lobbying group largely funded by the coal industry, has a master’s degree in philosophy and is contemptuous of environmental scientists. “A lot of third-, fourth-, and fifth-rate scientists have gotten a long way” defending climate change, he sneers. …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Wilfred Cude, Truth in the Trump Era, contd.

Now stop right there. Here’s the truth: Ebell is no scientist, no expert. He is just another coal industry spin doctor with an irrelevant academic degree, thoroughly unqualified himself to assess the qualifications of any scientist. Nobody should ever listen to him on climate change: the man lacks all relevance. Instead, everybody should have listened to the 375 members of the National Academy of Science, telling the truth about Trump. However, too many voters ignored the scientists, so Ebell is entrusted by Trump to shred the regulations controlling polluting industries, reverse the progress Obama has made with climate control, and withdraw America from the recently achieved Paris Accord on climate change. And that really matters to everybody, because it will gut the Paris Accord by encouraging other nations to also renege on their commitments, sending us all freewheeling towards climate catastrophe. With that said, there is still one glimmer of hope, because reality can make itself known, sometimes even in politics – as the latest developments in the Brexit mess might indicate. The political reality in the United Kingdom is the nation’s High Court, which ruled unanimously on 3 November that the Conservative government could not proceed with its plans to formally initiate Brexit without first obtaining approval from Parliament to do so. That ruling rests on the political bedrock of the 600 year history of British common law, which mandates that no government might change any law without first obtaining Parliamentary permission to proceed. The Brexit referendum is, under the law, only an advisory statement, nothing more: and because so much of EU law has been incorporated into British law, and because a formal binding move to leave the EU will automatically mean sweeping changes to British law, the government must receive authorization from Parliament to take that step. Which now opens the prospect of the government somehow changing course: a new election, a second referendum, or a detailed proposal spelling out what a Brexit must mean. There is a chance, based in political reality, for further reflection here; whereas, in short, a chance for something similar in the American perplexity with Donald Trump is sadly just not possible. The reason is that government in the United States has evolved since the American Revolution around a complexity of checks and balances, in which administration resides with the President, legislation with Congress, and interpretation of the law with the Supreme Court: and each branch is expected to somehow exert its powers to intervene, 52 dialogue

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should one or the other or even both veer into disruptive behaviour. However, once Trump nominates a rightwing candidate to replace the existing Supreme Court vacancy, and the Republican majority in the Senate confirms that nomination, the Supreme Court will have a right-wing majority, swinging it into perfect alignment with the right-wing majorities in both Houses of Congress and the right-wing administration of Donald Trump. The system of checks and balances has lapsed into complacent conformity, and the newly-elected president has a free hand to do whatever he wants. Including unleashing Myron Ebell to wreck the Paris Accord. But reality has many facets, and the most implacably unyielding of all is physical nature. Trump and his buffoons can repeatedly deny climate change: but during the actual campaign, Trump visited Louisiana on August 19 for a photo-op as that state was drowning in a cataclysmic flood. Surrounded by cameras, he was filmed unloading 12 boxes of Play-Doh from the back of a truck and passing them to Mike Pence, before the two of them faded away. Nobody mentioned climate change, then or later, despite the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s description of the event as “a downpour of an estimated likelihood of once in 1000 years.” And the NOAA went on to argue there was a 20% increased likelihood of such events hitting the American south further on. Moreover, the NOAA reported that the Louisiana tragedy was only the latest of 12 weather-related disasters – 4 flooding events and 8 severe storm events – by September 2016: the toll that far has been 68 deaths and $26.9 billion damages. In less than a year! In 2015, drought, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, winter storms, 155 deaths and $22.8 billion damages. In 2014, drought, floods, tornadoes, winter storms, 53 deaths and $17.3 billion damages. In 2013, drought, tornadoes, floods, severe weather, 113 deaths and $23.2 billion damages. In 2012, drought, wildfires, hurricanes Sandy and Isaac, tornadoes, severe weather, 377 deaths, $121.7 billion damages. Less than five years, 766 deaths, $211.9 billion damages! But figures like these go back beyond 2012 all the way to 1980: check out the NOAA “Billion Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters Table of Events,” the carnage is mind-boggling. How much longer can Trump and Pence shrug off such bleak statistics, stark numbers demonstrating reality crashing down upon us, by flaunting packets of Play-Doh and walking away? Because they’re not just walking away from Americans. They’re walking away from everybody sharing this tiny blue dot of a planet, and that’s a concern for us all. We’re all on Easter Island today, and there’s nowhere www.dialogue.ca


else to go. And the climate change wreaking havoc across America is doing the same everywhere else. Remember the Calgary flood and Fort McMurray firestorm? Remember the stories of drought, floods, wildfires, massive tropical storms blasting and blighting Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, Australia? It’s time to rally around truth, time for us all to reject the surreal realm of whacko internet and National Enquirer. And to reject the world that Trump and a manic out-of-control right-wing American polity would impose upon us. It’s past time to listen up to scientists, social scientists, economists, historians, teachers, honest journalists, informed experts everywhere who are truthfully striving to tell everybody what we need to know. For our collective survival, it’s just that simple. Back in 1915, in the state of Utah, the labour activist, poet and song-writer Joe Hill was sentenced to death for a murder that most informed observers felt he did not commit. Days before he faced his firing squad, he sent

this message to a colleague, Bill Haywood of the International Workers of the World. “Bill,” he wrote: “don’t mourn! Organize!” So if you’ve read this far in this piece, go one step farther. Go to Youtube, select “music,” search “song joe hill” and listen: listen to Paul Robeson, or Pete Seeger, or Joan Baez, or Bruce Springsteen sing that imperishable hymn to resistence against brain-dead power. Then reflect upon how you might go out and organize, how you might somehow place yourself – yes, you, out there – in the presently unfolding and fearful fight for truth in the Trump era. See you at the Union hall. Wilfred Cude, BA (RMC), MA (Dalhousie) WEBSITE: www.wilfredcude.com ♣

* It was the EEC, European Economic Community, that Britain joined on January 1, 1973. The Maastricht Treaty established the European Union in 1993 and introduced European citizenship. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. (Wikipedia) ♣

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Links from Stephanie McDowall

From S. McDowall, Nanaimo BC

Fidel Castro defies US Imperialism even in death By Finian Cunningham, Dandelion Salad, crossposted from Strategic Culture Foundation, Nov 27, 2016

At age 90, Fidel Castro passed away after decades of heroic struggle for social justice, not just for his native Cuba but for all people around the world. Even in his final decade of illness, the iconic revolutionary was still actively fighting; writing articles on international politics and upholding the cause for socialism. One measure of his historical significance is expressed in the fact that he outlasted 10 US presidents by the time of his official retirement from politics in 2008 due to declining health. Counting incumbent Barack Obama, Fidel’s political life spanned 11 US presidencies. All of them oversaw a barbarous policy to economically strangle Cuba with a trade blockade on the tiny Caribbean island nation. Several of these US leaders sanctioned criminal plots to assassinate Fidel and incite regime change. They all failed. Castro beat them all and died peacefully in his bed having lived his life to the full. As news of his death reverberated around the world, even Western countries which had conspired to varying degrees to thwart the Cuban revolution were compelled to acknowledge Fidel’s towering legacy. www.dialogue.ca

News channels were interrupted with “breaking news” of his death. America’s CNN and Britain’s BBC immediately ran biographical portraits of the man and his revolutionary past. Among the predictable slights referring to an “authoritarian figure”, even the Western propagandists had to admit that Fidel liberated his people from squalor and poverty, bequeathing Cuba with immense social development, and, probably more importantly, giving the world’s people monumental inspiration to continually strive in order to make this world a place of justice for everyone. To the end, he championed socialism, while denouncing capitalist exploitation, destruction and its imperialist warmongering. […] LINK: http://tinyurl.com/ds-241128 ♣

Trump Won Because Democratic Party Failed Working People, says Sanders 11 Nov 2016: Former Democratic candidate (Bernie Sanders) said he will not rule out another presidential bid in 2020. Adding his voice to the chorus of condemnation heaped on the Democratic Party in the wake of Donald Trump's election victory, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday attributed the Republican win to the failure of the liberal elite to represent working people. […] Continue reading at CommonDreams.org: LINK : http://tinyurl.com/cd-dem-failed ♣ STEPHANIE’S LINKS CONTINUE …/ VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph

filled by those who know what they want. […]

George Monbiot in The Guardian: How a ruthless network of super-rich ideologues killed choice and destroyed people’s faith in politics

“Fake News” is nothing new!

“The paradoxical result is that the backlash against neo-liberalism’s crushing of political choice has elevated just the kind of man that Hayek worshipped. Trump, who has no coherent politics, is not a classic neoliberal. But he is the perfect representation of Hayek’s “independent;” the beneficiary of inherited wealth, unconstrained by common morality, whose gross predilections strike a new path that others may follow. The neoliberal thinktankers are now swarming round this hollow man, this empty vessel waiting to be

LINK: http://tinyurl.com/tg-gm-dt ♣

Zuckerberg Just Revealed Facebook’s 7-Point Plan to Censor “Fake News” and It’s Chilling, by Claire Bernish, TheFreeThoughtProject: “Therein lies the greatest threat to a free press and free speech this country has seen since Red Scare McCarthyism — Facebook, backed by a polarized public, will be the arbiter of acceptable thought — and those who dare question or criticize that thought will pay with their livelihoods. Far worse, everyone will pay the price of lost access to information. We’re already starting to.” […] Read more at LINK: http://tinyurl.com/tftp-fb-fake ♣

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Tragedies unfolding in India – and the U.S. bring back the amount of withdrawn currency into From Countercurrents.org Binu Mathew, based in India

IN INDIA: Demonetisation has wrecked rural India. They are selling their perishable produces at a loss. They are accepting old notes since they fear that if it is transferred to the bank, the bank officials will withhold it for repayment of old loans, one thing I predicted in my first article after demonetisation. Jaideep Hardikar reports the plight of farmers from Vidarbha. […] LINK: http://tinyurl.com/cc-16-11-30

Dec. 1st, 2016: It was pay day today in India – that is,

for the salaried class which makes up about 20% of India's population. Still it was total mayhem today. Long queues, no cash in banks, long waits, road blocks... many went home empty handed. Mind you, it was a big day for just the 20% or less of India's population. The government came a cropper in the first pay day after demonetisation. Things are going to get worse in the coming days. How does the other half of India, NO, the vast majority of India's population live? They have no fixed salary. 70 % of them live on less than $2 a day. Without cash, their lives have come to a stand still. Without cash, their lives will not move. India is moving towards a great calamity. No media is reporting this emerging calamity. Mirza Yawar Baig says that what India faces is an 'empathy vacuum’. In this mad ambitious "Digital Revolution" that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading these 70 % are left behind. Nobody is showing empathy to these people. Financial experts including former finance minister P. Chidambaram have said that it would take at least seven months to 54 dialogue

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circulation. If this government has a tinge of empathy left in them they should at least bring back the now withdrawn 500 rupee notes to increase cash circulation. If not... I hate to make a prediction. We, in India, are living in a state of anesthetized anarchy. We seem to have lost it in more ways than one. In the days of the sabretooth tiger mankind needed to be totally in touch with reality if it wished to avoid being the tiger’s next meal. Since we made the STT extinct we seem to believe that being in touch with reality is not required or at least, is optional. The fact is, that it is neither optional nor unnecessary. It is as critical as it was then, with the only difference that the one who eats you now has changed; not that you will not be on the menu. […] UPDATES AT LINK:

www.countercurrents.org/2016/12/01/demonetisation-ananesthetized-anarchy/

IN THE US: Water protectors at Standing Rock face imminent threat of eviction. Irwin Jerome takes a historic view of the struggle of the indigenous people and says that "the underbelly of America’s story of empire, greed and expansion, at the constant expense of Indians, Mexicans, former Black slaves and poor whites, is the same ol’, same ol’ constant in 2016 as it was at its birth in 1776 or at any point in-between then and now. To put it more succinctly, America’s real story is an ugly tale of the three ‘M’s’: Murder, Mayhem & Misery!" LINK: http://tinyurl.com/cc-nodapl In Solidarity, Binu Mathew, www.countercurrents.org ♣

[SEE P.59 for UPDATE ON STANDING ROCK] www.dialogue.ca


“One Man’s Opinion”

Old-fashioned Democracy Ken Clark, Fergus ON

This article stems from an opinion that appeared in the Toronto Star on Feb. 14, 2016. The opinion was that of John Honderich, chair of the board of Torstar Corp. and a former editor and publisher of the Toronto Star. His opinion is captioned under the heading “You can’t have a healthy democracy without well-informed citizens.” To my mind there could not be a truer statement because true democracy is a partnership between the politicians and the people of a country or a province, in the case of our Canada. As stated, “The functioning of a healthy democracy is predicated, on a well-informed population. You can’t have one without the other.” Two main questions remain relative to the above statement: 1) where does a person get that information? and 2) why are people in general so reluctant to seek such information, analyse it, determine its accuracy and use it in judging politicians and their intentions? The answer to the first question for most people would be: the news media, providing it is complete and clear enough for the average person to understand. The answer to the second question is far more difficult to determine until we understand why people are so disinterested in politics generally. Why is yesterday’s baseball or hockey score more important than how the government wastes our tax dollars? Why is the Canadian dollar so low in

value? Why does the price of gas at the pump vary so often; sometimes more than once in a single day? Why are some government promises so difficult to realize, such as how many refugees we are able to process in a given time frame? Why do we not hold politicians directly responsible/accountable for their misuse of the public purse? The mistreatment of Indigenous people first occurred in this country over a hundred and fifty years ago and some of the problems that arose as a result are still waiting to be corrected. Granted, all successive MPs are not responsible for the original problem, but sometime, somehow, some current MPs must step forward and begin this task. The question is When; but one thing is certain, the longer they wait, the higher the price tag will be. Whether we want to admit it or not, we have reached the point in time where our interest in and knowledge of government affairs is insufficient to enable us to play the ‘peoples’ role in the governing of our country. If millions of Canadians cannot, or will not, attempt to control the actions of some three hundred MPs in Ottawa, then our system of government is no longer a Democracy. While the people alone did not cause this problem, they certainly have allowed it to happen. Never has the following adage been more truthful or appropriate: “He who is silent consents.” ♣

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Ontario’s Wynne/Hoskins Team Wants Injustice Spread Evenly Rather Than Not At All By G. Joubarne and C. Massey, Ottawa, ON

often their livelihoods.

The Wynne/Hoskins (premier/health minister) dictatorship has created great economic distress in Ontario, but worse, has caused the most innocent among us devastating healthcarerelated hardship, while actively eliminating the holistic, traditional and spirGrace Joubarne itual care industry that can help in a humane, low-cost manner without dangerous drugs.

Wynne’s latest travesty ensures that seniors lose their drivers licenses over a discredited and fraudulent ‘dementia test’ promoted by a business couple who have profited in the millions from Christine Massey this scheme and who actually sit on the government committees that award contracts. SEE:

According to Health Canada, losing one’s driver’s license at any age increases isolation, depression and substance abuse. This is especially true for rural seniors and their families who, after a life-time of independence, lose their mobility overnight unjustly, and

The reasons for this unlawful government action against Ontario seniors: (a) a big tax grab, (b) assurance that a new crop of patients is ready for psychologists, psychiatrists and registered …/

www.dialogue.ca

LINK: www.StopElderDriverAbuse.ca

VOL. 30, NO. 2, WINTER 2016-17

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psychotherapists to label and drug, LINK: www.open-pharmacy-research.ca/research-projects/emerging-services/deprescribing-guidelines (c) satisfaction of the UN Agenda 21 provision to end private property ownership as soon as possible, and www.insideottawavalley.com/news-story/3799199beware-of-agenda-21-says-goshen-resident

(d) unjust enrichment of the people behind this scam. The so-called ‘dementia test’ is often secretly given to perfectly healthy seniors by their ‘trusted’ doctor, even though this test has been repeatedly discredited across the world by ethical researchers and experts on aging. This of course is in violation of the Health Care Consent Act. Before you think that it’s best to get these old geezers off the road, know this: (a) The couple who has built a multi-million-dollar enterprise defrauding seniors has falsely promoted on CBC that as soon as a person hits 65 years old, they become the most dangerous drivers on the road. Yet, researchers around the world have proven that seniors are the safest driving group of all (which is why they get insurance premium discounts)--and get safer as they age. LINK: http://www.stopelderdriverabuse.ca/driving-statistics

(b) The ‘dementia test’ is designed to fail at least 50% of those subjected to it, has nothing to do with driving ability, and only if the senior can pay many hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, to repeatedly take the test until they pass, can they recover their driver’s licence. (c) Saskatchewan, like many jurisdictions all over the world, have refused to test seniors as a separate group, but rather to test all drivers more stringently. Uber now encourages senior drivers to join, given their safety record and experience. Many seniors cherish their spiritual care and community activities. LINK: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/arthur-gallant/personal-mentalhealth_b_4393900.html Since spiritual care now comes with a mental illness diagnosis once the Controlled Act of Psychotherapy is proclaimed and no spiritual care can be provided unless it is first approved by the College of Registered Psychotherapists, one can easily see this age discrimination and disgusting scam is designed to force people into ’stack and pack’ living arrangements and the usual over-prescribing of pharmaceutical drugs. Here’s a sad story of how a senior was preyed upon… 56 dialogue

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first, subjected to the humiliating dementia test and then preyed upon by the ‘tester’ who kept failing him in order to keep collecting testing fees. My father failed Drive Again after Neurologist and Eye Specialist said he was ok to drive. My father S.F. lost his licence in January after a very minor stroke. 5 months later a neurologist, who had just met my dad and who did no independent tests, reported to the MTO that his health and cognition were just fine but his field of vision was affected. His field of vision was then reported to MTO by an actual eye specialist to not have been affected by this stroke at all, and that it was an existing condition and that he was fit to drive. He was then ordered by MTO to repeat said eye tests and again the Specialist said yes he has the required Visual field of 120 degrees. MTO staff, who has no training in this field whatever, did not agree and sent him to DriveAble rehab to be tested. He was so nervous that he lost a lot of weight and got an ulcer. He paid $675 and was asked to do multiple tests on a computer some of which he could not complete because he was so nervous and some because they are just ridiculous drawings that no one could interpret! He then did a road test and was ordered to make a right turn on a red light in a construction zone. He was told he failed. My father is almost 81 and was a real estate agent for 45 years and drove every day. He has only had 1 accident that he was not at fault in, and that was 30 years ago. He is devastated and depressed. I am trying to appeal the decision. How can a private enterprise that stands to make profit from my father, make decisions that supersede a medical doctor? Here's another who was targeted to become a longterm customer of big pharma… My father has been a victim of this god dam scam! He has worked in collision work all his life and never had an accident at all! He was not told about the Dr's sneaky "ART TEST" at all! The Dr. just out of the blue started to ask him the stupid "clock" questions and my poor dad was stumped! He is now so depressed because they took away his freedom and his joy of driving not to mention his independence. This crap needs to be dealt with now before they totally ruin people’s lives! For more information on the Wynne government scam against senior drivers visit: LINK: www.StopElderDriverAbuse.ca

…/

www.dialogue.ca


Friends, freedom isn't free, and neither is defending it, so please consider making a regular, recurring donation to support our mission at: LINK: www.StopPsychotherapyTakeover.ca .

These corrupt provincial actions are the template being used right across Canada. YOU and/or your loved ones will be affected…the only question is HOW SOON ?

The Stop Psychotherapy Team, Grace Joubarne and Christine Massey Contact Info: Grace Joubarne and Christine Massey are Holistic Practitioners and Co-founders, Stop Psychotherapy Takeover admin@stoppsychotherapytakeover.ca LINK: http://tinyurl.com/sptt-ca - Tel. 613-422-7027 Email: graceplacewellness@gmail.com ♣

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The illusion called medical journalism: the deep secret From CDSAPI – Citizens Demand Academic, Scientific, Political (and Media) INTEGRITY, Inge Hanle, Vancouver

Inge’s comment: Well worth reading and reflecting on. By Jon Rappoport (extract & link)

Some of the greatest illusions are sitting out in the open. They are bypassed for two reasons. People refuse to believe they are illusions, despite the abundant evidence; and the professionals dedicated to upholding the illusions continue their work as if nothing at all has been exposed. Medical journalists in the mainstream rely completely on studies published in prestigious journals. This the rock. This is the science. This is also the source of doctors' authoritarian and arrogant advice to patients. "Studies show..." Well, that wraps it up. Nothing else to prove. The studies in the journals are the final word. Medical reporters base their entire careers on these published reports. But what if higher authorities contradicted all these studies? What if they scrutinized more studies than any reporter or doctor possibly could – and came to a shocking and opposite conclusion? This very thing has happened. And the conclusions have been published. But medical reporters ignore them and go their merry way, as if a vast pillar of modern medicine is still intact...when it isn't, when it has been decimated. Buckle up. Let us begin with a statement made by Dr. Marcia Angell, the former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, perhaps the most prestigious medical journal in the world – a journal that routinely vets and prints thousands of medical studies: "It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two www.dialogue.ca

decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine." - Marcia Angell, MD, The New York Review of Books, January 15, 2009 You might want to read that statement several times, to savor its full impact. Then proceed to this next one, penned by the editor of The Lancet, another elite and time-honored medical journal that publishes medical studies. By Richard Horton, editor-in-chief, the Lancet, in The Lancet, 11 April, 2015, Vol 385, Offline: What is medicine's 5 sigma? : "The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness… “The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. “Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of 'significance' pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale... “Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent...” Still standing? There are several more statements. They are devastating. The NY Review of Books (May 12, 2011), Helen Epstein, "Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies"… Continue reading online, at LINK: https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/theillusion-called-medical-journalism-the-deep-secret/ ♣

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Contributors in Arney, Jeremy, BC …………..44 Bowles, Paul, BC………2,21-23 Canadian Action Party…...44-45 Camilieri, Sammy, ON………13 CDSAPI, Inge Hanle 32,57,59 Clark, Ken, ON……………….55 Countercurrents.org…………54 CPAC:Public Affairs TV……..44 Cude, Wilfred, NS ……….49-53 Cunningham, Finian (link)…...53 Dobbin, Murray (link)………...41 Drake, Andrew, ON……...15-16 Engineer, Soonoo, BC………10 Engler, Yves, (Book)………...59 Foster, David, ON …..…5,20-21 Freer, Gladys, ON…………..05 Gaudet, Marie, AB ………….14

dialogue, Vol. 30 No. 2

Goertzen, Ed, ON……………42 Goldring, Peter, AB…………..47 Hare Lawson, Susanne 5,17,60 Hiebert, Ken, BC……………..59 Housty, Wilma, BC……….…8-9 Joubarne, Grace, ON……55-57 Kazdan, Larry, BC……….39-40 Lonsdale, Derrick, M.D…..37-38 Massey, Christine, ON…..55-57 Masuda, Gerry, BC…….........42 Mathew, Binu, India (links)….54 Mathews, Robin, BC………...43 McCaslin, Susan, BC… 3, 6-7,18 McCullough, JC, ON……..36-37 McDowall, Steph, BC 30,53-54 Me:___________________ 23 Moore, R. K., Ireland……47-48

Neilly, Michael, ON…….……46 Nicholson, Dee, ON………..39 Nickerson, Mike, ON……….15 Oliver, Joe (Reprint/link)…...40 Olsen, John (back in next issue) Palast, Greg (extract/link) 48-49 Parker, Don, ON……………31 Petrik, Denny, BC…………...02 Porter, J. S., ON………....18-20 Powe, B.W., ON (book)….....19 Rabble.ca (extract-link)….….41 Rappoport, Jon (extract-link) 57 Ross, June, BC…………...5,59 Russell, Wayne, BC….…29-30 Semple, Ernest, QC………...40 Shadbolt, John, ON…………45 Skinner, Derek, BC…………39

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P.59

A Propaganda System – book by Yves Engler How Canada’s government, corporations, media and academia sell war and exploitation (Published Sep. 17 2016) Ken Hiebert, Nanaimo BC

Yves Engler is a passionate writer and a passionate speaker. And if it is possible to be a passionate researcher, he is that as well. In mid-November Engler was on Vancouver Island, speaking in Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay, before heading over to Powell River. He was touring with his new book, A Propaganda System. See LINK: https://yvesengler.com/

Engler is not bringing to light secrets, but rather information that is on the public record. Typically this information is out of reach of the average citizen, those of us who do not have hours to plough through reams of documents. How many of us knew that the Canadian military spends hundreds of millions on public relations and then makes an effort to obscure this fact? How many of us knew that Canadian Press was set up by the Canadian government during World War I to generate support for Canada's war effort? His books are full of such revelations and I am happy to recommend them. ♣

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