VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
WINTER 2018-19, VOL. 32, NO. 2
A word from the publisher and editor… Dear Reader, This Winter 2018-19 issue of Dialogue is also the “V”-themed issue, in our voyage through the alphabet that began in the Autumn of 2013 (note on p.59). As this week marks the 50th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton, we dedicate this issue to his memory. And many writers do indeed draw upon their memories of the words and spirit of this much-loved prophet and visionary. [See pp. 25, 31, 33, 34, 59]
Whereas the Autumn issue of Dialogue set a record for the longest delay to publication, this Winter edition has set a record for the shortest! We have come to think of this issue as the quintessential “PotLuck” celebration – although the same could really be said of every issue! A wide selection of offerings is ‘on the table’ – providing you with lots to choose from, including some in-depth essays that will require extra time to ‘digest!’ Enjoy the many Voices raised! We Thank You – the dedicated writers, artists and readers who are pursuing your dreams of a better world – for the great privilege of pulling this together for you! Without You there would be no Dialogue. And we are profoundly grateful for subscribers and for the small number of readers whose periodic donations enable Dialogue to continue. Would you like to order a Gift Subscription? As this is the Christmas edition, we will be happy to mail a copy of the issue (with your greetings) and the rest of the 2019 issues to any readers on your gift list ($20 annual gift subscription in Canada, p.58)
We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year! (See Paul Bowles’ special
…& Penny & Lucky!
IMPORTANT: If you wish to continue receiving the magazine, please ensure your subscription is up-to-date! PLEASE LOOK AT YOUR ADDRESS LABEL ON THE BACK COVER of this issue to find your RENEWAL DATE. If your subscription is due, you will find a renewal slip enclosed at p.58 of the print magazine. THANK YOU! P.P.S. And Thank You to Thrifty Foods and to Dialogue readers who are
making use of the Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program – which enables friends of Dialogue (in B.C.) to have their grocery purchases at any Thrifty Foods store to support the magazine. The program donates five percent of purchases to Dialogue, at no cost to the shopper. [If you would like to receive a designated “Smile Card,” please let us know (250-758-9877).] ♣ www.dialogue.ca
…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 32nd 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.
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VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
From Near & Far
200th Anniversary of “Silent Night / Stille Nacht” John Woodsworth, Ottawa
LINK : https://tinyurl.com/yt-jw-sn
Dear Friends, This morning on CBC Radio One's "Ottawa Morning" host Robyn Bresnehan interviewed someone from the Austrian embassy on the 200th anniversary of one of the world's most beloved Christmas carols, "Silent Night" (in German, "Stille Nacht"). You can listen to the 8-minute interview at: LINK : https://tinyurl.com/cbc-47195 I invite you to listen to my improvisation on this beautiful tune, uploaded four years ago to my You-Tube piano channel (including the German text in captions):
You might like to listen to the many other Christmas carol improvisations I have uploaded over the past several years (2013-2017). Go to LINK: https://tinyurl.com/yt-ottaworth-pl and click on any of the playlists (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).
Merry Christmas! John ("Ottaworth") Woodsworth email@example.com ♣ [MORE CHRISTMAS STORIES, pp. 42-46]
Trump has, in effect, declared economic war on Canada David Bond, Kelowna BC
[Column, Dec. 4, 2018] It is obvious to me that President Trump has, in effect, declared economic war on Canada. Trump, however, probably doesn’t see it that way. For him everything is a zero sum game and all he cares about is claiming he has somehow “won” in his dealings with any nation, friend or foe. If anyone criticizes his actions, Trump’s instinctive reaction is to either denigrate or attempt to discredit the opposition. Remember when, at the close of the Group of 7 meeting in June, Prime Minister Trudeau said Canada would not be pushed around. Trump’s immediate reaction was to claim that Trudeau was “very dishonest and weak” in his discussions with the other leaders. No one else outside of Trump’s closest advisers agreed with that statement. The first broadside against Canada goes all the way back to the US election campaign of 2016 when he Trump characterized the NAFTA Treaty as the worst trade deal the United States ever made and complained about Canada running a consistently large trade surplus with the US. Never mind that the socalled surplus was nonexistent. Accuracy, as we have learned, has never been important in Trump’s rants. After Trump was inaugurated, the chief US negotiator for the new NAFTA presented a list of demands that were both insulting and structured to discourage foreign investment in Canada. Why would any rational business invest in plant and equipment in Canada to access the US market when, as Trump proposed, the new agreement would only run for five years. As 4 dialogue
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StatsCan has reported, foreign investment in Canada dropped. As negotiations progressed, Trump continued to denigrate NAFTA, set unrealistic deadlines and threaten to rip up the treaty even though to do so would require congressional approval (which there was no certainty Congress would bestow). Trump also kept up a constant critique of the supply management in the dairy sector even though the dairy industry in the US is heavily supported with government subsidies. Then, in order to put increased pressure on Canada, the US and Mexico reached a separate agreement and Trump threatened that Canada would be excluded from the new deal unless we accepted the text as it stood. We refused to sign since the US-Mexico agreement changed the dispute settlement process to one favouring the US rather than being neutral. Trump then imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, using national security concerns as the justification. This was ridiculous because Canada has a unique common defence treaty with the US: the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD). When Canada continued to resist the American belligerence, Trump announced he was considering imposing a 25% tariffs on Canadian manufactured automobiles. He boasted that would “ruin” the Canadian economy. What a wonderful way to treat your closest neighbour and partner in the defence of North America. When at last the tri-partite agreement was signed last week, did Trump lift the tariffs? Not on your life and moreover, he tried to change the wording of some www.dialogue.ca
portions of the draft treaty at the last minute without the agreement of Canada. So the President is a bully but what can we do about it? The US market is more important to Canada than the Canadian market is to the US so I would never suggest a policy of open hostility. Rather some judicious foot-dragging might attract the attention of the US private sector. There any number of trans-border commissions we jointly administer. Why not delay replacing Canadian members when their terms expire?
Why not transfer the Canadian armed forces working at NORAD headquarters and then take six months to replace them? Why not dramatically increase the paperwork associated with any US-based carrier using Canadian air space? And why don’t Ottawa officials take a while to return calls from the US ambassador and decline a few invitations to the American embassy? They’ll miss the Californian wine, but they’ll get the message across. David Bond, firstname.lastname@example.org ♣
From Eva Lyman, West Vancouver:
And there are days aye, there are days When darkness reigns from ground to sky and all men’s evil deeds hold sway, and Creation wears a crown of thorns. On days like these defeat seems certain people’s hearts -a tiny shield ‘gainst massive swords -but love will conquer, yes, love will conquer. Life is a force produced by love that passes on, yet never dies. A blade of grass a drop of water immortal atoms: you and I! email@example.com (Not all my poems are dark!) ♣ www.dialogue.ca
Yellow Vest protests in France RE: 260+ injured & over 1.7k detained across France in Yellow Vest/ Gilets jaunes chaos, Dec. 8th "The number of those detained in France’s nationwide Yellow Vest protests on Saturday, has reached a staggering 1,723. In Paris, the major hotspot of unrest, scores were injured as rallies continued even after sunset. LINK: https://www.rt.com/news/445996-franceinjured-protests-chaos/
Comment from Stephanie McDowall, Nanaimo Re the Yellow Vests/Gilets jaunes protests Dec 10, 2018, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I wonder if this will spread to North America ? Listening to an interview on CBC program this morning. More people are now hungry in Canada and they (CBC) are saying prices for vegetables and fruit will increase fairly significantly in 2019. Prices for meat will drop. I think Canadians care about other Canadians far less than in the past.* Have we been deliberately socialized to care less about other Canadians. This makes it easier for our Governments to do far less for the disadvantaged than they should. Why hasn't the Federal Government ever come down hard on the very wealthy who hide their money in off shore accounts? – S ♣ Comment from Vera Gottlieb, Germany
Just as the French are the ones here in Europe who have the stomach to go out and protest for as long as it takes, so too it’ll be the French Canadian who will start a movement when ‘enough is enough.’ The Anglo Canadians just don’t have the stomach for this. Pity. – VG, email@example.com Reality is the leading cause of stress for those who are in touch with it. Lily Tomlin ♣ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Insights from Ed Curtin
Sometimes A Pair of Pants Can Give You Vertigo Edward Curtin, Massachusetts
“Between the experience of living a normal life at this moment on the planet and the public narratives being offered to give a sense to that life, the empty space, the gap, is enormous. The desolation lies there, not in the facts.” – John Berger, “A Man with Tousled Hair” in The Shape of a Pocket A few days ago, as I stepped into my pants to start the day as is my habit, I happened to notice the label at the waist band. It read “Gap,” and the sight of this word sent my mind spinning into a whirling contemplation of this void that lies at the center of life today, a subject that has disturbed me for a long time. I had earlier that morning made the mistake of checking the news headlines on the computer. This too is a habit that I no doubt share with millions of other people. It is a dastardly habit no sane person should inflict on oneself. To rise from one’s night dreams and step into a litany of hyperbolic headlines shouting doom and gloom at every turn is to inject oneself with a poisonous drug before the sap of life has a chance to rise in one’s veins and one’s imagination might give birth to new possibilities. Standing in my pants, I felt as though I were hovering over Berger’s enormous empty space, and if I didn’t wake up, I would tumble endlessly away. Thoreau’s words floated up: “To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?” So I stepped over the hole at my feet and tried to shake the monotonous clatter of the monstrous media’s messages from my mind. In my vertiginous state I dared not look in a mirror. So many of the media’s lying words that I had already 6 dialogue
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ingested with coffee seemed to float around and within me in an unreality disconnected from the actual world, even the world they were ostensibly reporting on. I too had written many words about the drastic condition of our world today, thinking somehow my words, different from the corporate media’s, could move the world by pulling back the curtain that the powerful have created through clichés to conceal the sordid reality they have made of this beautiful earth. Yet the presentation of facts seemed to make no difference. Very little, if anything, made a difference. Most of those who read my words more or less already agreed with me. And many, even friends and family, just ignored them, anticipating that they would disturb them. And the mainstream publications shunned them like the plague. Between my desire for a changed world and the world that seemed to change only for the worse lay the desolation Berger identified. Many people feel it, I know, especially dissidents who fight in various ways against the powerful. But we prefer not to go there, to see what it consists of and how we may transmute it into acts and words that might make a difference. We prefer to make believe we are making a difference by repeating ad nauseum the same prefabricated responses, usually directly political, to the atrocities committed daily. We are caught in what Czeslaw Milosz, writing in a different context, called “ontological anemia” – “among this illness’s symptoms is the nothingness sucking from the center in.” We try and try but seem to devour ourselves by repeating the same approaches, as if all the slaves know is what their masters have taught them. Milosz knew this because he was an artist and a spiritual seeker, not just a political analyst, and also had personal experience with the totalitarian mindset that is descending on the West. www.dialogue.ca
The twists of history can make one’s head spin.
will free us from their clutches.
In writing about Vincent Van Gogh, whose hunger for reality drove him to produce works of achingly loving beauty, John Berger, the quixotic Marxist, writes:
I look to my right and on a shelf I see a vividly painted Matryoshka doll. It startles me into the thought that like Matryoshka dolls, so many of our personal habits that deaden us to imagining a way across the gap to a better world are nestled within social habits of thought, speech, and action. We are so often encased like tiny cloned dolls in the social clichés that make us smaller versions of the powers that we say we oppose but which we mimic. We are carved and painted in their likeness, and caught in the habit of reacting to them in ways that reinforce their control.
Reality, however one interprets it, lies behind a screen of clichés. Every culture produces such a screen, partly to facilitate its own practices (to establish habits) and partly to consolidate its own power. Reality is inimical to those with power. Yet while Van Gogh sought reality by breaking the mold, the rich and powerful have devoured the results of his efforts and have transposed them into commodities. Last year, his painting, Laboureur Dans Un Champ, painted from an asylum where he had committed himself, sold for $ 81.3 million at Christie’s after a frenetic auction. A humble peasant working in a field becomes a trophy for the rich, who keep the working man slaving away. Words and deeds are turned upside down on desolation row where
We must disrupt our routines. We must find new ways, not to just respond, but to take the initiative. When we react according to habits, although we may not realize it, we are being controlled and not in control. Habits, like the word’s etymology reveals, may reassure us that we have, hold or possess a position of strength from which we can move the world in our direction, but the only Archimedean lever and fulcrum capable of that is inspiration. That involves a new way of seeing, not vertiginous but visionary.
Between the windows of the sea where lovely mermaids flow And nobody has to think too much about Desolation Row (Dylan)
I think I’ll change my pants. Edward Curtin,
We need to think again. Imagine! Today we are caught in a void of clichés and in the clutches of rapacious elites. Only acts of creative imagination
This article first appeared at Global Research. The author’ website: http://edwardcurtin.com/ ♣
The Coming of Light Mark Strand
Even this late it happens: the coming of love, the coming of the light. You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves, stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows, sending up warm bouquets of air. Even this late the bones of the body shine and tomorrow’s dust flares into breath. Mark Strand, b.1934, Prince Edward Island, d. 2014, Brooklyn NY. Photo Timothy Greenfield ♣ www.dialogue.ca
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PM Trudeau should appoint a war cabinet to tackle climate issue, says Green Party Leader May Larry Kazdan, Vancouver BC
Instead of pouring monies into declining and polluting industries that polarize the country, the federal government should ramp up its investments in transit, building retrofits, renewable energies, clean technologies, and community programs that ensure full employment across the country. A comprehensive Just Transition program would support both workers and businesses in all regions as our economy reduces reliance on fossil fuels. While this would require the warFootnotes: 1. ‘Jobs vs. the Environment’: How to Counter This Divisive Big Lie https://www.thenation.com/article/jobs-vs-environmenthow-counter-divisive-big-lie/ "Mobilization for World War II provides an even more dramatic illustration of rapid economic transformation that created massive employment while halting production for some purposes and radically expanding it for others. Such a shared program would end the “jobs versus environment” conflict because environmental protection would produce millions of new jobs and expansion of jobs would protect the environment." 2. William Mitchell is Professor in Economics & Director of the Centre of Full Employment & Equity (CofFEE), University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=34479 "A just transition in any threatened region or sector requires government intervention and community partnerships to create the regulatory framework, infrastructure and market incentives for the creation of well-paid, secure, healthy, satisfying environmentally-friendly jobs with particular attention to appropriately meeting the needs of affected workers and their communities. Government support in a progressive world must include: • Assistance for both displaced workers and for contractors; • Adequate notice of workplace change and closures; • Consultation with & full engagement of relevant unions; • Support for innovation & partnerships for new local industries, research, development & infrastructure investments; • Training and alternative employment tailored to local and individual needs and opportunities; • Special targeted support for older, disabled and less educated workers; • Relocation assistance for displaced workers; • Income maintenance, redundancy entitlements and retraining allowances; • Cheap loans & subsidies for new industries & employers; • Compensation and equipment buy-outs for contractors; • Assistance programs extended to workers employed by contractors; • A just transition requires investment in training programs and apprenticeships to create a highly trained ‘green’
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like mobilization that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May calls for, such a plan would benefit all provinces, Indigenous peoples, the environment, and the economy. This initiative would create many more jobs, stimulate new industries, decrease carbon emissions, and result in fewer chances of coastal spills, land contamination or deadly explosions. No province need suffer. A country with genuine risk-taking entrepreneurs and with visionary political leaders would embrace a positive future and not cling to a fading past.
workforce; • The introduction of a Job Guarantee to provide continuous employment for all those without work." 3. Jim Stanford: Is Slow “Growth” Inevitable? http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2016/07/21/isslow-growth-inevitable/ "New talk of ‘helicopter money’ strategies (whereby a central bank would create new credit and directly inject it into the real economy, to support investment, government programs, or consumption) confirms that if we collectively decide we need it, and enforce our will on our political and monetary leaders, we could create all the money needed to finance real, productive work. So long as millions are languishing without a job, there does not appear to be a good argument against doing so. To the contrary, if it helps us put an end to pollution (including greenhouse gases) and poverty, an all-out war-like mobilization seems like a no-brainer. Living standards would grow, taxes would be paid, the environment would be protected, and real GDP would grow rapidly..."
Larry Kazdan CPA, CGA, firstname.lastname@example.org P.S. Modern Monetary Theory in Canada: From the http://mmtincanada.jimdo.com website:
A Sovereign Fiat Currency System "In 1971 the Nixon administration abandoned the gold standard and adopted a fiat monetary system, substantially altering what looked like the same currency. Under a fiat monetary system, money is an accepted medium of exchange only because the government requires it for tax payments. Government fiat money necessarily means that federal spending need not be based on revenue. The federal government has no more money at its disposal when the federal budget is in surplus, than when the budget is in deficit. Total federal expense is whatever the federal government chooses it to be. There is no inherent financial limit. The amount of federal spending, taxing and borrowing influence inflation, interest rates, capital formation, and other real economic phenomena, but the amount of money available to the federal government is independent of tax revenues and independent of federal debt." ♣ www.dialogue.ca
My briefing to the BC Assistant Attorney General regarding the financials of BC Hydro & Site C Erik Andersen, Gabriola Island
[NOV. 2, 2018: If you would like to read this briefing to the Ass. AG, I will send it by mail if an address provided - Erik] After a visit with Robin sometime soon it is my intension to write to the Min. Energy in an open letter. This will allow an interpretation to be made of the relevant data for someone making a Site C decision and a plan to bring BC Hydro's financial affairs into a better state. It is expected that this will not be pretty but after reading The Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis, it is now one last thing I must do. Too much financial obligation was and is Greece's problem. The money supply side (lenders) never accepted any responsibility for this toxic condition developing. The imposed solution from Europe's bankers was to asset strip, including the pension plans of the citizens. Yanis called it financial water boarding. If you think pension plans are safe havens think again. In 2016 the chief economist with the Bank of England, the fellow who works for our former Bank of Canada head, proposed that it was the patriotic duty of investment managers of pension and insurance funds to be ready to buy shaky investment loans from commercial banks when it became necessary for bank survival. In 2008 in Canada that would have been an amount of nearly $150 billion. There is a reason nobody talks much about the politically-unpopular notion of bank "bail-outs," as was done in 2008-2009; it is politically toxic, as it should be. For the next time, the targets have been identified as yours and mine pension and insurance accounts. In BC, we know from the Auditor General that BC Hydro has undisclosed contractual financial obligations of at least $60 billion. Add to this 3 years of spending on Site C and a few other IPPs. We also know that the province as a whole has in excess $100 billion in contractual obligations that are not shown on yearly financial statements. Your clue to the significance of that was the unwillingness of the Minister of Energy and the Board and Executives at BC Hydro to www.dialogue.ca
sign an "Annual Report" – a requirement in law. Instead we have been given a "Service Plan" for the past 3 years, one that comes with no legal accountability. This kind of financial reporting comes right out of the ENRON play-book. Off balance sheet misconduct. I don't want my grandchildren and children to live the Greek experience but right now it looks like a real prospect. I am doing what I can and hope others will want to help. – Erik, email@example.com ♣ **************
Also from Erik Andersen: Freedom of speech… Think things were bad before? Just wait.
On October 17, the federal government legalized marijuana. The media went nuts and that story filled the news for about three days. All the while, things like this were sliding under the radar (See article by Rob Shaw re NDP gag order below). If we the people don't stand up against this kind of thing, we would be handing over the rest of our lives and freedoms to government bodies at all levels...and we would have no-one to blame but ourselves. – ERIK New rules within the B.C. NDP could limit people's ability to criticize the government and party policies. By Rob Shaw, Oct. 14: VICTORIA – ‘B.C.’s governing New Democratic Party has crafted
new rules that could prevent some members and officials from publicly criticizing the decisions of Premier John Horgan’s government. A draft of an internal NDP code of conduct, obtained by Postmedia News, shows it would require members of the party’s provincial executive and committees to sign non-disclosure agreements that forbid them from publicly disagreeing with party or government policies. “Individuals agree that they shall, in all public statements (either written or verbal), promote the positions taken by the party through its duly constituted bodies and shall refrain from public criticisms of the party, its positions, or its elected officials,” reads the code of conduct. Any criticisms should be expressed only through internal channels, it reads…’ […] READ ROB SHAW ARTICLE IN FULL AT LINK : https://tinyurl.com/tp-ndp-gag ♣ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Soft & Hard Edges
The old system doesn’t work By Jim Taylor, Okanagan Centre BC
Our son was 14 when he came up for confirmation. For those not familiar with the policies of the United Church of Canada, confirmation was a ritual by which young people who were already members of the church by their baptism became “full” members by “confirming” the promises made on their behalf by their parents before they were capable of making any decisions for themselves, so that they could participate fully in church life. Back then, it was still believed that young people actually wanted to join the church. So they went through a three-step process. First, they had to learn what the church historically believed. And why. And why it mattered. Then they were allowed to belong to this community of faith. And then, once they been absorbed into the body politic, they were expected to act – to behave, in other words – like true Christians. Believe. Belong. Behave. That was the way it was done. “I can’t go through with this” A week before the formal confirmation service, our son told us, “I can’t go through with this.” We asked why. “I’m supposed to say that I believe in the Bible,” he replied. “But what it says isn’t what I’m learning in school. The earth being formed in seven days -- that’s just not true. It took millions of years.” We had a long discussion. About ancient myths and legends. About whether the Bible dealt with science, or with wisdom. About how people’s understandings of truth can evolve. We must have made some sense, because he went through with the formalities. And he didn’t keep his fingers crossed. But he did tie the minister’s shoelaces together while no one was watching. Interestingly, that discussion affected my own beliefs. I realized that I was keeping my life in separate compartments. One compartment contained what I learned from science, from reading, from the evidence around me. A second compartment held what I had been told to believe. 10 dialogue
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They never conflicted, because they never met. Other ways of joining in I doubt if many people come to the church by the traditional route of belief, belonging, and behaviour any more. Maybe some do. But I suspect far more people start by working together on some worthwhile project. At my present congregation, probably volunteering in its Thrift Shop. In other congregations, helping with an Inn from the Cold program. Or sponsoring a refugee. Or joining a music program. And then they start to like these people. To identify with them. To feel that they belong. And over time, they absorb the ideals and aspirations of their new friends. They realize that they share something -- a common spirit, a set of values. And thus they come to believe -- not the abstract theology of Thomas Aquinas or Paul Tillich, but the vision, the standards, the under-lying principles of a Christian community. They’ve reversed the traditional sequence. Now behaviour comes first, then belonging, then believing. Maybe religious life is a traffic circle. Wherever you start leads to the next step, which leads to another, which leads you back to where you started. But now with a different perspective. Perhaps, like me, you have to re-evaluate something you had taken for granted. And then you start around the circle all over again. **********
Copyright © 2018 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (and send a copy to email@example.com too, please!) ♣ **************************************************************
A Poem by Ron G. Hatt, Surrey BC You are my mother. I have no other. As it goes, my love for you abounds. Yet the reality reminds me I hardly know you. My memories come from distant lands and so I am grateful when we talk and learn each other’s stance. I know one day when we dance what I will say to you. Just that I love you. Be at peace and full of life. God is love. God is life. – from “Thoughts to Ponder…As You Wander.”♣ www.dialogue.ca
“The Fifth Columnist”
Michael Neilly, Dunrobin ON
A peaceful, wintry scene. December 8, 2018. A Canadian flag still flutters untouched above the beaver lodge. The iconic beaver and our Canadian flag married to our Canadian identity, Persephone living in six months of bone-shattering cold followed by six months of parboiling heat. It’s hard to believe that on Sept. 21, 2018, the last day of stifling humid summer, a tornado had tracked a few hundred yards south of here, cutting a one kilometer-wide swath through forested hills, just after ravaging the village of Dunrobin. We couldn’t remember when the storm hit, maybe around five in the afternoon. The sky grew dark. The treetops flailed in a violent wind. Golf ball size hail fell. Then the power went out. But for us, there was little damage. A plastic, Muskoka deck chair sat in the middle of our backyard, exactly where we’d left it. The next morning, on a trip to Toronto, we found that all the local roads going south and into the village had been closed and after heading west for some time, were able to get to the highway. It was only when we got to Toronto and were getting calls from relatives and saw the Saturday papers that we realized how lucky we were. We immediately headed back home to find the village had been closed to through traffic and it was only several weeks later that we saw the devastation first hand. Some 100 homes had been www.dialogue.ca
damaged. Some of these were razed to the foundation. There were injuries, too. In the past, the Weather Network was using the term weather bomb to describe any violent storm and I think that they were criticized for using the term. But this, this was a weather bomb. Dunrobin is basically a four corners village girded by a tiny subdivision. Insulation dangled from trees. Siding was ripped off. Homes were reduced to rubble. It was an eerie sight to see the village had been deforested, 100 year old trees snapped in half, like rows of jagged, broken teeth. What can you call it but luck when a barn is destroyed but the farmhouse just next to it is spared? When some people are merely inconvenienced, but others have lost everything? The security guards and “no parking” signs are gone now. A scant three months later, repairs and demolition have yet to be done. I wonder if some of the businesses will ever recover. One joked darkly about their business being built on an ancient aboriginal burial ground. Despite all this, people pitched in that day, and for weeks afterwards. A local restaurant offered free coffee to first responders. Folks descended on the town with chainsaws to clear the fallen trees. Global warming. Maybe. Life goes on. We can learn from it or not. I hope it’s the former. Looking at the beaver lodge, maybe our beavers are onto something. Michael Neilly, firstname.lastname@example.org ♣
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Robin Mathews Uncut
THE COLONIAL BROADCASTING CORPORATION … SELLING OUT CANADIANS…. By Robin Mathews, November, 2018 The phrase “As It Happens in the U.S.A.” serves
well to describe, overall, what Canada’s Colonial Broadcasting Corporation ‘does’ in the world in our time. Canada’s ‘system’ is very special, I believe, devoted to dumbing Canadians, to disguising Canadian information, to broadcasting for its real (non-Canadian) audience …. Some bright spark in the CBC thought about the telephone … some years ago. A host could sit in Canada and connect, literally, with the World … and – because the CBC is a major broadcaster in the world – interesting and important people across the Globe could be contacted, interviewed, “presented” to the Canadian population … live … on important and interesting issues. But that didn’t last, being too dangerous, it seems, too likely to inform Canadians and help shape a critical and aware population in Canada. The world had to go and be replaced by As It Happens In The USA – the present Imperial Master. As It Happens stands for all the broadcasting the CBC does. Greece was ransacked and bled white … by thugs in the European Union, many believe. Italy has elected two governing, cooperating Parties that loathe the European Union. Britain is in one of the most exciting and devastating and mind-wrenching struggles to get out of the European union without collapsing as an economy. And Canadians hear almost NOTHING about those matters from the CBC – at a time when Europeans and Britons are willing to pour out their arguments and explanations for Canadians, over the wires, into Canadian homes. Exciting information at an exciting time!! And there’s much, much more… we don’t get. Colonialism makes predictable bedfellows. No one in the USA contributes a penny in taxes for the maintenance of the CBC. But many, one may believe, in the CBC consider U.S. audiences the most important listeners/viewers of the CBC. What most Canadians don’t know is that more than twice the population of Canada is in the easy range of the CBC, below the border: where may be found the important audience for many at the CBC. 12 dialogue
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Why, do you suppose, the Canadian broadcast called “As It Happens” broadcasts trivia, tirelessly and endlessly … and often (to many of us) boringly, from “trivial nowheresville USA”? Well … simply … could it be because that’s where the biggest potential CBC audience is … and … true to Colonial loyalty … the Imperial Country matters; Canada does not? The heaps of “junk matter” from the USA are for the U.S. audience… as well as is much else on the show…. The “intelligentsia” of the CBC knows the size of the U.S. audience, and the Corporation receives communications from U.S. listeners and viewers that are never discussed or revealed (or even admitted) to Canadians…. Is it the unseen (to Canadians), unpaying, foreign audience of the CBC that really matters to many people who run the Corporation? Besides … the more Canadians hear about Donald Trump and his antics … the less they will hear about Justin Trudeau and the antics of the Canadian Cabinet. That’s another reason for the policy that produces “As It Happens In the USA”. It is called “the national dumbing of Canadians about Canada”. Why don’t Canadians know, in depth, about the sell-out of the Bank of Canada? Why don’t they know about the Big Fraud of the new Infrastructure Bank? Why don’t they know all about the overthrow of the Mountie Attempt to fake a major terrorist event at the B.C. legislature grounds in 2013? Or about the serious questioning of the 2014 Cenotaph and House of Commons shootings … as another faked operation to get Canadian support for U.S. policy in the Middle East? And much, much more...? Why has all the information the CBC got – while investigating the “October Crisis” (1970) and the FLQ and ‘the real story’ of Pierre Laporte’s murder – been locked in so-called CBC Archives … and not taken out to make earth-shaking broadcasts? Why aren’t Canadians told the truth about Canada’s piggy-backing on the U.S. rape of Haiti, and Venezuela, and Honduras … and …? Why isn’t the history of the destruction of BC Rail, of BC Gas, and the disembowelling of BC Hydro (A Gigantic Story) told to Canadians by “the national broadcaster”? Why doesn’t the national broadcaster tell Canadians that the www.dialogue.ca
fish farms of the B.C. coast are foreign-owned? And how they are “operated”? Why isn’t there a full-scale review of the multi-billion dollar DISASTER called Site C Dam? Because … the national broadcaster is now an arm of the propaganda machine to keep Canadians from knowing about their own country. Or about other countries in a way which helps make understandable for Canadians their own country – Canada – and their own lives. Just stuff Canadian heads with trivia … and especially trivia about the U.S.A. That will do it. Just think…. Theories and theories are alive about the existence and presence of what are called “extraterrestrials”- visitors to earth’s environs. A growing body of very serious people makes the case. BUT … from the U.S. comes orders to deny … and deny. A few days ago a CBC interviewer was questioning the major scientist involved with the famous Kepler Spacecraft planet-hunter which has discovered a few thousand previously unknown planets. A natural question must
be “could they have sent visitors to Earth? “ The question wasn’t asked … because U.S. orders forbid it…. And the CBC follows U.S. orders…. Nor will any person at a CBC microphone ask if the “Official” story about the 9/11 devastation of gigantic (Trade Tower) buildings in New York is true. Nor will such a person say the growing claims of highly qualified people that deny the “Official” story from the U.S. government must be ‘aired’ and considered. Orders saying “DON’T” come from Washington; and the CBC follows Washington’s orders. That could be called betraying Canadians … flattering the Imperial Master and dumbing down the people at home in the Colony. Or … put briefly … ‘killing two birds (Canada Geese?) with one stone’: pumping up U.S. false/trivial news and draining away Canadian truth ... and truthfulness. It is also called … The Colonial Broadcasting Corporation. Or, as people say: our own CBC. ROBIN MATHEWS, email@example.com ♣
ALSO FROM ROBIN…
Washington using legal cover to conceal economic banditry (Huawei) Robin Mathews, Vancouver
The matter that is before the Vancouver court cannot be dismissed … as a fault of Canada in its present subsidiary (colonial) role in the U.S. sphere of influence. And whatever feelings one may have about the USA and/or China, the process in the Vancouver court is following - in the circumstances - the rule of law. For those of us, over decades, who have advocated and worked for the diminution of Canada’s colonial relation with the USA, the present situation is illuminating - especially the “experts” who declare the whole matter illicit because the U.S. assertion of powers it does not (apparently) have in relation to Sanctions against Iran makes the process in the Vancouver court without basis in (international) law. It is an interesting argument … but probably without substance… in the immediate circumstance. The Extradition Treaty that Canada has with the USA is not, in theory, unreasonable. To avoid criminals using one or the other country as sanctuary against answering for crimes in the other, a mutual extradition treaty is reasonable to have. That the treaty might be and will be violated … in the present circumstances of US power and Canada's colonial relation to the USA (in spirit if not in law) is almost certain to happen. (In www.dialogue.ca
“another part of the forest”) we remember that as long ago as the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 the US wanted to ‘order out’ Canadian forces and were stopped by John Diefenbaker - so that in the 1963 election of Lester Pearson the U.S. actively involved itself in dumping Diefenbaker (and we are to show alarm that Russia apparently interfered in a recent US election!!) In the present instance, the USA asked Canada to arrest and deport the Chinese person. Canada has to prove to the satisfaction of the judge on the matter that the person has committed a violation of US law or that she has not. Because of Canada’s colonial relation with the USA, and a similar – though not nearly as deep relation – of many other countries in the NATO organization, there are many who look past the legal nature of the legal case and judge it on the broader Imperial/Colonial background. While the imperial/colonial background has helped to shape Canada’s forelock-tugging relation with the USA, the particular process presently at work in a Vancouver Court is a process following the rule of law … not the whim of a gone-mad Imperial power. (That it is a “gone mad imperial power" is not immediately relevant. There are so many forces and emotions at work in the “extradition” matter that a clearVOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
eyed view of the action is difficult to separate out.) Justin Trudeau is perfectly correct in saying he has had nothing to do with the action in the Vancouver Court; it is a function of the Extradition Treaty. And if the judge on the case releases the Chinese woman, Justin Trudeau will have nothing to do with that action. One of the ironies of the situation is that China does not act within a consistent rule of law that is recognizable. That makes it a very dangerous partner in any action, organization, or treaty. That it would be furious Canada is following the rule of law in acquitting its Treaty obligation with the USA may be understandable, but it is not reasonable. Furthermore, painful as it may be, the fact that the USA has violated International Law in its imposition of Sanctions on Iran may not be relevant in the case before a judge in Vancouver. I doubt that the extradition treaty says that if one or other of the signatories is violating International Law then the treaty is null and void. The judge MAY have basis to reject the
U.S. request on the basis of International Law, but he
may not …. (I suspect he will have to read in legal precedent on the matter … and if the treaty only deals with a US request in relation to the violation of one of its laws … then the judge on the matter will have to have deep jurisprudential pockets in order to phrase a rejection of the US request on the basis of US violation of laws outside the Extradition Treaty. Howls have gone up (strange howls) by especially moral U.S. commentators. Falling into the same moral quagmire as the Chinese have done, they are outraged that the USA dares to use the device it is using to try to outsmart and beat the Chinese in the battle for dominance in cybernetic development. In the spirit of fairness, that is objectionable. But if the extradition treaty makes possible a charge against the Chinese person in question, then her relation to the Cybernetics War between China and the USA comes second to her violation or violations covered in the Canada/US Extradition Treaty. ROBIN MATHEWS, VANCOUVER ♣
Dr. Magda Havas on Electomagnetic Fields and EM Radiation From: David Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE: https://magdahavas.com/
Dr. Magda Havas: Welcome to my personal website – dedicated to the study of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR). I do research on the biological effects of non-ionizing frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum. This includes extremely low frequency (ELF) EMFs; intermediate frequencies (IF) commonly referred to as dirty electricity; radio frequency and microwave radiation (EMR); infrared radiation (IR); and light frequencies including ultraviolet (UV) radiation. I’ve worked with human subjects and have also studied the effects of various frequencies on plants, bees, farm animals, and microbes. … My research at Trent University is a blend of historical studies (see Zory Glaser’s Archives) and current research from around the world related to electrosmog. I am particularly interested in determining how to objectively diagnose EHS and to provide this information to doctors and others in the health care professions. I am also interested in helping those with EHS begin to recover and improve their health. My ultimate aim is to provide information to the public and to professionals in other fields of research about the harmful effects of electrosmog at levels currently experienced in 14 dialogue
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the environment. I am particularly concerned about exposure of pregnant women and children. Our use of wireless technology is not going to stop and it is essential that each and everyone of us learns how to use it as safely as possible. It is also essential that governments regulate this industry and related industries to protect public health and the health of the environment. We all need to make informed decisions on how to use modern electromagnetic technology effectively and safely. I try to simplify this complicated science for my university students, and here present it worldwide to the layperson and professional in a format that is easy to comprehend. While this website is focused on the harmful effects of electrosmog, a related website (www.theroselab.com ) provides information about the beneficial effects of electromagnetic therapies. I believe that we are now entering a new paradigm in healthcare where light and magnetic fields that emulate nature can be used as complementary therapies to successfully treat a wide variety of serious chronic health conditions – free of unwanted side effects. We are electromagnetic beings or, as some would say, “beings of light.” Consequently we respond to external sources of electromagnetic frequencies in a variety of ways that can be either beneficial or harmful. ♣ www.dialogue.ca
Comments re Canadian arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's CFO From: Brian D'Aoust, email@example.com
This is all about commercial interests ......competition re the global phone market. Are we now embroiled in a dangerous "cold war" with China?? Why was Justin Trudeau an enabler in this matter allowing himself to be led by the nose by the U.S.?? "Canadians should be angry about their nation being led by people whose loyalty is to Washington instead of the Canadian people..." "The background to the arrest is fairly simple. Huawei has become a global competitor in the global phone market and their 5G phones are cutting edge technology and so not welcomed by competing phone companies in, US, Japan, South Korea, France, and Sweden, who are so afraid of the competition that they and their governments have spread stories that the phones are loaded with spyware and are “a danger to national security.” The company has even been threatened by the US and allied governments with criminal charges in America’s increasingly hostile economic war against China alongside its increasing military pressure, provocations and insults. It’s one way to control the market. But now, acting as a mafia they have kidnapped, detained, and hold hostage a Chinese woman whose simple crime is going to work every day. The lack of outcry from women’s rights groups in the west is not surprisingly, deafening. The pretext for her arrest is that Huawei has violated US sanctions against Iran. But the “sanctions” imposed on Iran by the US recently are illegal under international law..." LINK: https://www.globalresearch.ca/canada-arrests-mengwanzhou-cfo-of-huawei-chinas-global-cell-phonecompetitor/5662253 ♣
From: Jack Etkin, firstname.lastname@example.org
I await the day when Canada arrests someone from Monsanto or Exxon or one of the Big Banks on charges of mass murder and the destruction of our planet and our children's futures... so far it's been a VERY long wait. ♣ From: Vera Gottlieb, email@example.com
What should really be questioned as a most urgent matter world-wide: why should the US have any right to tell any country with whom it can do business and with whom not. Why must we always be at the mercy of the US??? A country that isn’t exactly setting any www.dialogue.ca
examples worth emulating - quite the contrary. – VG Remember this: You are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel. ♣ From: Eva Lyman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadians need to be aware of a law passed quietly in the early 90s, whereby Canada has to extradite anyone the US wants, regardless of how skimpy the testimony. I was made aware of this in connection with a Native activist (Canadian citizen) whom the US wanted as the purported killer of Anna Mae Aquash [recall the 1970s and the American Indian Movement (AIM) fights in the Dakotas]. The reason given was quickly proven to be fake, as one of those who supposedly wrote he saw “John” pull the trigger was dead at the time of writing, another was a woman whom the FBI threatened with the loss of her kids, and the third said he was given so much liquor and drugs by the FBI he didn’t know what he was signing. Upon hearing this, Madame Justice B. in the Vancouver hearings said that had this been presented to her from a Canadian investigation she would have thrown the case out, but as the new law was passed in (I think) 1992, she was not able to refuse any extradition. What this means is that no future conscientious objectors to any of the US wars will be able to find refuge in Canada. Incidentally it does not apply only to the US, there are other countries involved who are signed onto this. I don’t know who they all are, but think most of the EU. Might be something to look into perhaps? – Eva ♣ From: Patricia White, email@example.com
Personally, I do not support any dealings with China. Actually I don’t support any International trade at all. Actually, I don’t recognize ‘Canada’ as a Nation either for that matter; having been sent research demonstrating it is just a ‘Corporation’ which put itself in place through lies, deceit, bribery and violence. If anyone is interested in this research please let me know. We already know this place called ‘Canada’ has lied about the rest of its history so why not that? If we want to switch our personal energy from everything which is ‘wrong’ with how the future is unfolding; we need to focus on solutions; and as Einstein said, they won’t be found using the same ‘thinking’ which created the problem. ♣ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Food for thought.
Ideas from David Foster
David Muir Foster, Port Perry ON
If you could create a course for durable Canadian citizenship and loyalty, what would you include? Stemming from the unpopular Viet Nam war, a major shift in public thinking occurred in the 1960s. We in Canada pretty well stayed out of it. Nuclear testing was a Big Deal back then. Protestors of many sorts arose, seeking a peaceful life. The Hippies and Draft Dodgers. Some even in Vancouver that gave rise to ‘Green Peace’. I look at the ‘Ian Morrison Trail’. (Now the ‘Daniel Bernhard Trail’). ‘Friends’ of Canadian Broadcasting leapt into existence as the CBC was dismantled by Harper Ideology... ‘Friends’ claims 340,000 ‘members’ (I suppose mostly people over age 50). The trail followed Electro Magnetic Frequencies in the 1930s when we embraced ‘radio’ (electric airwaves, us not really understanding what electricity was). Fortunes were soon made as EMFs were exploited. Ian Morrison got old from leading ‘Friends’ as its ‘spokesperson,’ and retired last year. There is a Board and they chose Daniel Bernhard to carry on. Morrison got quite upset when in an e-mail exchange, I insisted he allow an open forum where we the public can see what makes the ‘leaders’ tick. But his response was ‘How could he possibly pay attention to 340,000 enquiries?’ That was what the ‘Board’ was supposed to shield him from. They opted to use surface mail with postage stamps to distribute free calendars of nostalgia to their mailing list in the hope of raising money to fight the good fight. I was said to be on their ‘Advisory List’. ‘Friends’ focus was on what they perceived to be the core of protecting public Broadcasting from takeover by private and International Corporate self interests. It centred on the regulator CRTC which was clearly then being disembowelled by Harper’s Government who vowed to supervise the gradual death of any Public Broadcaster by a thousand cuts. Morrison managed to get wide publicity of himself and Trudeau, where Trudeau promised on camera to protect certain icons of national worth. Trudeau was lying. 16 dialogue
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Morrison had an interesting origin. Around the year 1900, a priest in Ontario came up with the wild idea that privileged University students on their summer holidays, should go to the great wildernesses where immigrants and the poor at mine face and bush camp laboured in exploitation, and the students would join as ‘Teacher-labourers’. Live in the camps with them. Learn their problems, work a full day beside them, and then find energy to work 4 more hours in their off-time, teaching them by candle-light the language, the subtleties, the politics. Do that all summer long and go home wiser. It grew to be called ‘Frontier College’ and Morrison was one of its stars and its eventual long term ‘booster’. So it made good sense that he should be spokesperson for our National Broadcaster. But, he got old and tired, and the battleground had changed. ‘Frontier College’ no longer needs vigorous young men handling picks and shovels. Automation and mechanization have changed the way we wrest riches from the land. Women in command of machines can do as well as men (and often have a good deal more empathy). So ‘Frontier College’ is one of those bubbles from the past that recognized the gap between native-born educated rich and immigrant poor. Now its front line seems to be ‘Friends’. And we the public should tell ‘Friends’ how and what ‘Canadian Citizenship’ should be (before those who speak the language of the last century die out completely, leaving the swarms of Corporate sponsored newcomers of every sort, floundering). We who remember Folk Singers Ian and Sylvia Tyson and the migration of unsettled youth, they toured singing the Neil Young song of 1960, ‘Four Strong Winds.’ ....But our good times are all gone, And I'm bound for moving on. I'll look for you if I'm ever back this way. Think I'll go out to Alberta, Weather's good there in the fall. Got some friends that I can go to working for, Still I wish you'd change your mind If I asked you one more time, But we've been through that a hundred times or more. www.dialogue.ca
If I get there before the snow flies, And if things are going good, You could meet me if I send you down the fare. But if you wait until it's winter, It will be no good because that wind can sure blow cold way out there...’. So how would you make it ‘better’? A companion to this might be the efforts of Draft Dodger American Mark Satin (a youth of 21) who
wrote a Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada in 1968. Its current version grew to 138 pages and is still available through Anansi Press. It has a foreword by James Laxer. Over 100,000 copies eventually told the newcomer from the USA how to be a Canadian no matter what you are Dodging. An American view. But never a Canadian one. Pity that. David Muir Foster (Dec 6, 2018), 83 in 2018, agnostic Gaian, Educational Class Level-2, Social Class level-3 and falling, firstname.lastname@example.org - 19 August, 2018 ♣
Mark Satin’s Manual for Draft Age Immigrants To Canada First published in 1968 by House of Anansi Press, the Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada was a handbook for Americans who refused to serve as draftees in the Vietnam War and were considering immigrating to Canada. Conceived as a practical guide with information on the process, the Manual also features information on aspects of Canadian society, touching on topics like history, politics, culture, geography and climate, jobs, housing, and universities. The Manual went through several editions from 1968–71. Today, as Americans are taking up the discussion of immigration to Canada once again, it is an invaluable record of a moment in our recent history.
Mark Satin is an American political theorist, author, and newsletter publisher. After emigrating to Canada in 1967, at the age of twenty, Satin co-founded the Toronto Anti-Draft Programme, which helped bring American Vietnam War resisters to Canada. He wrote the Manual for Draft-Age Immigrants to Canada in 1968, which had an estimated print run of 100,000 copies. Satin is also the author of New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society, and the political newsletters New Options and Radical Middle. His most recent book is New Age Politics: Our Only Real Alternative (40th Anniversary Edition). Paperback: 160 pages; Publisher: A List (Aug. 26 2017) ISBN-10: 1487002890
The Film The Israel Lobby Does Not Want You To See Chris Hedges – at www.GlobalResearch.ca
“The Lobby,” the four-part Al-Jazeera documentary that was blocked under heavy Israeli pressure shortly before its release, has been leaked online by the Chicago-based website Electronic Intifada, the French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar. The series is an inside look over five months by an undercover reporter, armed with a hidden camera, at how the government and intelligence agencies of Israel work with U.S. domestic Jewish groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), The Israel Project and StandWithUs to spy on, smear and attack critics, especially American university students who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. It shows how the Israel lobby uses huge cash donations, often far above the U.S. legal limit, and flies hundreds of members of Congress to Israel for lavish and unpaid vacations at Israeli seaside resorts, bribing the American www.dialogue.ca
lawmakers to do Israel’s bidding, including providing military aid such as the $38 billion (over 10 years) that was approved by Congress in 2016. It uncovers Israel’s sleazy character assassination of academics, activists and journalists, its well-funded fake grassroots activism, its manipulation of press coverage, and its ham-fisted attempts to destroy marriages, personal relationships and careers. The film highlights the efforts to discredit liberal Jews and Jewish organizations as tools of radical jihadists, referring, for example, to Jewish Voice for Peace as “Jewish Voice for Hamas” and claiming that many members of the organization are not actually Jewish. Israel recruits black South Africans into an Israeli front group called Stop Stealing My Apartheid, in a desperate effort to counter the reality of the apartheid state that Israel has constructed. The series documents Israel’s repeated and multifaceted interference in the internal affairs of the United States, including elections; efforts to discredit progressive groups such as Black Lives …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Matter that express sympathy for the Palestinians; and routine employment of Americans to spy on other Americans. Israel’s behavior is unethical and perhaps illegal. But don’t expect anyone in the establishment or either of the two ruling political parties to do
anything about it. It is abundantly clear by the end of the series that they have been intimidated, discredited or bought off. Read more and watch the film: LINK: https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-film-the-israel-lobbydoes-not-want-you-to-see/5661958
My M.P. asked his constituents for “new ideas”… JIM BJORK’S ANSWER TO HIS MP
CONTINUED FROM THE LAST ISSUE: Email: email@example.com From Jim Bjork, Huntsville ON, firstname.lastname@example.org [A letter in response to a promotional flyer sent by Tony Clement, MuskokaParry Sound MP. It asked for NEW IDEAS… TC may be gone, but Ideas live on…)
…The politicians will tell you that that’s why you vote in the first place: to place decisions in the hands of people who are looking out Jim Bjork for our best interests. Does anyone still believe this? Do we really think these people are any smarter than you? Is there any proof that this electoral process still functions for the people? YOU KNOW THE ANSWER. But we’re all afraid to say it in public, for fear of triggering a CRA audit. [CONTINUED FROM THE AUTUMN EDITION]
Kinder-Morgan was (is) an offshoot of Enron. In 2017 KM Canada had an IPO (initial public offering) raising 1.6 billion, which went to paying debts of the parent company. KM has actively lobbied provincial and federal politicians since 2009. KM Canada collects tolls on “traffic” through the pipelines. Rising tolls means rising gas prices for BC to the tune of over 100 million per year. KM Canada paid no taxes in 2017. Trudeau has promised to fund a 1.5 billion ocean protection plan to cope with increased oil tanker traffic if the pipeline is built (another clear taxpayer subsidy for KM) [See Exxon/Valdez debacle for an idea of how effective these cleanups are; also Greg Palast’s Vulture’s Picnic). The NEB (National Energy Board) granted KM Canada a special fee of $1.45 per barrel. KM has a long history of violating environmental and financial laws. It violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2007. KM aerial patrols of the Cochin pipeline were found to be non-compliant on 12 different counts by the NEB. This information can be found in the COMER Journal for May-June 2018. 18 dialogue
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This is HIGHLY recommended reading. FLUORIDE: Just this week, the New Zealand Supreme Court has ruled that adding fluoride to drinking water is unlawful and amounts to mass-medication of the public without their consent. They ruled that saying fluoride helps reduce tooth decay is misinformation; and ruled there is no valid scientific reason to swallow this poison. This is very interesting; I and several dozen others made several presentations to the Muskoka District Council asking for this procedure to be stopped. We were subjected to various levels of denigration and demonization by the council members, and also in our news media after several of our Medical Officers of “Health” (MOHs) wrote letters the editor replying to our concerns as being ill-advised, unscientific, and that we were lay members of the public who didn’t know what we were talking about, and that the public should instead listen to the omnivagant* (omnivagant: wandering anywhere and everywhere) and paternalistic MOHs. COLLUSION TO DEFRAUD THE PUBLIC: It’s interesting that governments at every level have to be fought regarding their public policies; even more interesting is that our supposedly learned officials (the entire MOH community) must be taken to task regarding their pogroms of supposed public safety. Is the public now being made aware that the MOHs and whoever/whatever it is that tells them what to say, could be in error? How high should this suspicion go? To the federal level? Are our “levels of safety” in various foodstuffs accurate and scientific? Or are they just agreements with industry to reduce their responsibility for the harm their products cause? How about proscribed “safe” levels of toxins like aluminum? DDT? Dioxin? Glyphosate? Lead? Mercury? Any number of other substances? Can we really trust anything the government promotes? The answer is no, we can’t trust government. About anything. How widely can this suspicion spread? To vaccine policy? (Just show me ONE www.dialogue.ca
study proving vaccines are safe and effective). (While we’re at it, I’d like to find out how much our Government spends on vaccines in Canada every year; without having to enlist an FOI request). To nutrition policy? To preventing-disease policy? And this after having my taxes taken (by force) so as to fund these government departments supposedly advocating on my behalf and thereby supposedly protecting my health. Do you like being subjected to extortion by the Federal government? If you want to see the extent of corruption at Health Canada, read Corrupt to the Core, by Shiv Chopra. Don’t kid yourself, they are not protecting you from anything, they are protecting industry from you. Should our entire medical community be under the microscope now? Certainly the entire profession of Dentistry should be under review. I expect a public apology from Dentistry about having forced the Fluoride issue on the public for 50 years. I have several friends who are dentists, and they knew my stance on this subject. They have been unwitting dupes of their profession. I’m still waiting for an apologetic phonecall. I’m not going to hold my breath. The G8 and Free Speech in Canada: It was interesting that, at the one-billion-dollar G8 fiasco, promoted by our local MP, a huge fence was needed around Deerhurst to protect the attendees from some sort of terrorist attack. This in sleepy little Huntsville, ON. There was a “Free-Speech” area three kilometers from the Town centre (in a cow-patty infested field) during the G8. Free speech zone? I thought THAT was what the Canadian border was for? Was this the only “freespeech” zone that existed in Canada that day? Why was not every square inch of Canada a free speech zone then, and every day before and since? What would have been the “punishment” should someone have decided to speak their mind in front of the Town Hall; outside of the confines of the free-speech-zone? We had various members of the “press” from all over Canada and the US here in Huntsville during the G8. [The 36th G8 summit was held in Huntsville, Ontario, on June 25–26, 2010] Did you hear any of them questioning the “free speech” zone and why it was necessary? Not a whimper by either the “press” or any of the citizens. This to me was very telling. Was (my MP’s) personal increased press coverage; (his) smiling face all over the Canadian and international media, worth the cost to (his) constituents? www.dialogue.ca
If any of these G8 ‘dignitaries’ ever came to my house, I’d count the silverware before letting them leave. The Fifth Estate had a documentary on Putin’s corruption. How about Sarkozy’s involvement up to his eyeballs in the invasion of Libya and the subsequent murder of Gaddaffi (just as one example)? Nice guy. Libya was invaded due to the threat it represented to the current World monetary system – and the French franc. The Gold Dinar (Gaddaffi's plan to create a gold-backed currency) was too much of a threat to the current fiat, created-out-of-thin-air banking system. These “Heads” of State must take courses in bombing countries into the stone age; before becoming president or chancellor, or Prime Minister, or whatever drummed up names are given to them. A more accurate moniker would be “Chief Enemy of the People.” Was there a public accounting of the total G8 expenses performed? The police state that was invoked during the Toronto phase of the G8 was embarrassing for any conscious Canadian. On the world stage, we were seen as a full-blown police state. It’s interesting to search YouTube for a video of Muammar Gaddaffi being driven through the streets of Benghazi while standing in the back of a Jeep waving at crowds five and six deep who were enthusiastically waving back. For the type of brutal dictator that Gaddaffi was portrayed by our media, I guess he was lucky to not get machine-gunned. Or maybe the story we have been fed was wrong? Can the same be said of the “leaders” whom we dined for the G8? Did we receive a billion dollars’ worth of economic benefit, and of improved status on the world stage? Or did we just look stupid? Another very expensive travesty brought to us by a government out of control. And once it’s over, it’s immediately expunged from the goldfish-like memory of the public, suffering the ravages of an inadequate public schooling; who are too busy working 2 jobs, to pay their taxes, which go to government waste (like the G-8), when it could go to putting clothes on their kids, and food on the table. Even more evidence (as if you need it) of Government way out of control. As an owner/operator of a small business in Canada, I object to the constant interference in the form of workplace “safety” regulations (WHMIS), workman’s comp., taxes (again), increasing overheads (insurance, Hydro, rent, maintenance fees). It all gets passed on to the consumer, except when it doesn’t – like …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Jim Bjork, Answer to my MP, contd.
businesses like mine, where people cannot afford to get new frames when they need new lenses, or put off buying new spectacles when they need to pay expenses like food, water, hydro, mortgage or rent (that’s if they can find a place to rent), transportation, insurance, etc. There’s too much month left at the end of the money. Now that our government has decided vision care is not an essential service, people have to pay out of pocket for our services. So eye exams go down the list of priorities. But your government says the economy is great! Less than five or six percent unemployment we’re told; when it’s actually closer to twenty if you include all the people who have given up looking for work, or whose Unemployment Insurance (which has now been Orwellianly called Employment insurance). It reminds me of the US changing the War department to the Defence department. We could honestly give the same treatment to many Government departments, starting with “Health” Canada. Who do they think they are kidding? But the wool has been successfully pulled over the eyes of the public, again, endlessly, with nary a whimper from the poor, hustled masses. Maybe this letter will motivate some of the hundreds of thousands of small business owners to organize and fight for their lives against the government and the pitiful excuses for representation we get year after year, election after election. Peter Finch’s character Howard Beale in Network implores us to “Get Mad!” Eric Blair (George Orwell) did not write 1984 to be an instruction manual. How about them Blue-Jays? And their worries about job security keep them awake at night. Millions of Canadians are two paycheques short of bankruptcy. Are our politician’s speaking on their behalf? A deaf ear is turned toward the taxpayer except during election periods. These politicians will retire with a fully-funded pension, of which the average taxpayer could only dream. And they were the ones who footed the entire bill – and will continue to pay for long after the politicians are in a box of pine. Then this gauntlet is passed to their children. So I hope the government and its minions (i.e. its politicians) get off their duff and actually work for the poor sods who voted them in. Justin Trudeau was elected on parliamentary reform; that has now been buried in the mire. Seniors and veterans (of endless wars drummed up unnecessarily 20 dialogue
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by the bankers) are begging for scraps. It could change overnight, if people would stop the Stockholm syndrome which makes them support the system. IS THIS REALLY THE BEST WE CAN DO? Our politicians “perform” their supposed duties for a few years, and are rewarded with anonymous offshore retirement accounts funded by their actual employers (corporations) and in addition get huge pensions indexed to the very inflation they were supposed to be fighting against (on our behalf – we paid their salaries). Better pensions than ALL of the small businesses the government continues to treat as a cash cow (owned and operated against ever-increasing government regulation) by the tax cattle. Accountability in government would allow for the huge reduction in the “need” to collect taxes. Do you think we’ll ever see it? Why not? Are we not all in the same mess, fighting our whole lives to squirrel away for the day when we maybe can lay the ploughshare down? People who run their own businesses have to account for every penny (a big reason for this is to protect themselves when CRA, Canada Revenue Agency, comes calling). The record credit card debt of Canadians is included in our Government’s GDP numbers. And are our politician’s speaking on their behalf? And they were the ones who footed the entire bill. It could change overnight, if people would stop the Stockholm syndrome which makes them support the system. Trudeau Jr. says small business owners are probably tax cheats. (I doubt he could run a lemonade stand successfully; it would be belly up in two years – but of course, he’d have special provisions for his business, allowing him to succeed where the average peasant couldn’t possibly). Canada has 6.5% of the world’s renewable fresh water; 60% of which flows north; leaving 2.6% of the world’s fresh water to southern Canada. A 2015 Canadian study found only 6% of groundwater worldwide is renewable. Our successive governments act as if there is an unlimited supply. In 2015 there were 1838 drinking water advisories (DWAs) in effect across Canada; As Jan. 2017, there were 148 DWA’s in 99 first nations; some of these have been in effect for 20 or more years. Harper left only three oceans, seven lakes, and sixtytwo rivers under the Navigation Protection Act; while exempting large pipelines and power lines from www.dialogue.ca
scrutiny. Municipalities across Canada have been fighting to get control of their aquifers back from corporate control (i.e. Nestle) who pay pennies for water from publicly owned aquifers and sell it back to consumers for a huge profit. The sheer volume of this theft is staggering. Nestlé says that water is not a human right. What worth is a house without potable water (see Gasland for the answer. And Corporatizing Canada, Brownlee et.al.) As water resources are increasingly privatized, the taxpayer is on the hook for all kinds of costs, including litigation under the ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) provisions of “Free Trade” agreements if the company partnered with the agreements feels that their FUTURE profits are threatened by people reclaiming this water as their human right and their property. How have our politicians acted in our best interests? Once again we have sold the farm from under the feet of Canadians. And taxpayers are expected to continue paying in perpetuity. Please see chapter 15 of Corporatizing Canada for this discussion. Nestlé takes billions of gallons of water a year from our aquifers, and pays peanuts. How about this for an issue for the backbenchers to champion? For that matter, maybe they could legislate the end to plastic water bottles? Isn’t majority government wonderful? Does “free energy” exist? Research Nicola Tesla; J.P. Morgan’s funding of Tesla’s research; continue with Dr. Steven Greer: Unacknowledged. Is there a
possibility of an existing (don’t say it) conspiracy by the oil industry? Watch Lindsay Williams, The Energy Non-crisis. Watch James Corbett: “How Big Oil conquered the World.” The book Corporatizing Canada, edited by Brownlee, Hurl, and Walby, provides a wealth of insight regarding the infiltration of a number of sectors of our society by corporations. From health “care’, to “education”, to policing and criminal justice, to actual policy making in our local, provincial and federal governments, to our supposed governance of public utilities. The story is not pretty; the public has been taken advantage of; by stealth and by deceit; all while they’ve been put asleep by the mainstream news and by the acceptance of the actions of various government bureaucracies as being in our best interests. It’s nice to see Auditor-General reports exposing government waste. Does anybody remember any A-G reports? Let’s just scrap the A-G office; no-one’s listening anyway. Are any of these individuals mentioned ever brought to accountability? Mel Hurtig gave a similar, sobering assessment of Canada in his book The Truth About Canada. Sincerely & respectfully, Dr. James E. Bjork O.D. 7-367 Muskoka Rd 3 N, Huntsville ON P1H 1H6 Replies to: email@example.com TO BE CONCLUDED IN THE SPRING ISSUE (with bibliography) ♣
Nobel Laureate in Physics: "Global Warming is Pseudoscience" From Bob Hansen, firstname.lastname@example.org To Richard Moore, email@example.com
Thanks, Richard, for the link re Global Warming at LINK: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXxHfb66ZgM
Lots of controversy here, and lots of facts that are not explained by present 'science' as well. If this subject has worn you out, then just go to the 30 minute mark and look at the 400,000 years of ice core data, which are not a persons' calculations or a computer model, and you'll see that temperature rise always has preceded CO2 concentration rise. Before I'll pay tax on carbon I'd need to see that graph explained by Justin the liar. We need to give our heads a shake. We bailed out banks from their well-orchestrated attack on the global economy, then our employees (mercenary politicians) placed us on an austerity regime, brought in carbon tax, bought a rusty pipeline www.dialogue.ca
and have no other plans for reducing carbon, if that's what they feel needs to be done, nothing on transportation, renewable energy or building improvements and while still shoveling billions of dollars of tax money, drained from working tax-paying Canadians, into the oil and gas industry, while a huge debt of environmental cleanup is hanging over the heads of all Canadians as we await the outcome of the Redwater case presently before the Supreme Court of Canada Corporation – LINK: https://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/sumsom-eng.aspx?cas=37627
May we not live in such interesting times. Bob Hansen, Ladysmith BC The Corporation IS the Enemy. Altered Egos Nearing
VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
“Have Computer Will Write” ~ Jeremy Arney
V is for Veer…
Jeremy Arney, Sydney BC firstname.lastname@example.org
V is the letter this month, eh? Well now, one of my favourite words beginning with V is ‘veer,’ which I found particularly apt when reading a book by Thorne Smith called Rain in the Doorway. In his own words, one of the heroes of the book veered like a top but in a charming way!
So let’s veer around a bit…
A common practice today in Canada and particularly in politics and advertising by the Alberta Provincial government is to refer to Bitumen as oil, sometimes even calling it ethical oil – unbelievable but there we are. The Ads Standard of Canada apparently has nothing to do with any standard or truth in advertising except at Election time, which puzzles me because that’s what Elections Canada is there for. So any advertisers can lie like crazy and there is no body in Canada to stop them; thus the “fan food not fast food” and “all plant burger” instead of veggie burger, and of course the false bitumen is oil stuff just to mention a few. How many cars or trucks are the biggest, best, fastest, most luxurious, sexiest, cleanest after driving through a gravel pit in the rain, or even – and I haven’t been able to figure this one out – “professional grade.” What the heck is a professional grade pickup? Are there now professional pickup drivers? Ads Standards Council where are you?
There seems to be a great discussion on CBC and elsewhere, such as the Crown’s House of Commons, about an oil price differential in Alberta, when in reality it is the differential between almost unmarketable bitumen and oil. The suggestion is that a pipeline (TMX) will change that but I have yet to hear from anyone who promotes such a pipeline, as to just where that bitumen will go for sale and processing, apart from the US that is. The risk to our ocean alone is stupendous and even this so called new Ocean Protection Plan does not give even a hint of how the Bitumen or dilutant will be cleaned up in the event of a spill. The Bitumen will clump and sink to the bottom of the Straight of Georgia or Juan da Fuca as a solid mass and the toxic dilutant gas will blow with the winds in any direction to which the wind is blowing. I know 22 dialogue
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that the State of Washington is concerned as they may well be in the path of this toxic gas and here in the south end of Vancouver Island, we are equally worried. The afternoon and evening winds almost invariably come off the Strait of Juan da Fuca right into greater Victoria. Are the Federal Government or the Alberta Government concerned, worried or do they even care? NO. Meanwhile we and Washington State are in the line for the same maladies associated with this toxic gas as those experienced (and still are so I understand) by those affected by the Kalamazoo spill years ago now. A toxic gas is a toxic gas and amazingly our government doesn’t understand that.
Our Minister of Foreign affairs has only just come out of her NAFTA cocoon to be annoyed at the Russians about the Crimea and Yugoslavia clearly showing her bias against the Russians again and wishing to antagonize them instead of even talking about what is really happening there. I ask again is she really the right person to be dealing with the rest of the world?
Trump is making a mockery of almost everything he complains about, and getting his tongue tied in so many knots it is a wonder he can eat. His “cabinet” is a revolving door of losers in and out of favour and it is all their fault not the fault of one Donald Trump. Seems as if he has hired and fired a bunch of liars according to him. What a way to try and run the world! But then it is all just a reality show now isn’t it?
The fires in California have been suggested as a clearing the path for a high speed railway down the California coast [https://tinyurl.com/psn-wildfire-rail], which seems as far-fetched as Trudeau saying anything good about the Palestinians or even acknowledging that they too have a right not only to exist but also have a home land or state. But you never know, eh? From this new USMCA* “trade” agreement (otherwise known as Donald’s appeasement deal) comes this nonsense: Article 32.10: Non-Market Country FTA 1. For the purposes of this Article: 10. For the United States, this provision applies to “agencies,” as defined at 5 U.S.C. 551(1). 32-11 non-market country is a country: (a) that on the date of signature of this Agreement, a Party has determined to be a non-market economy for purposes www.dialogue.ca
of its trade remedy laws; and (b) with which no Party has signed a free trade agreement. 5. Entry by a Party into a free trade agreement with a nonmarket country will allow the other Parties to terminate this Agreement on six months’ notice and replace this Agreement with an agreement as between them (bilateral agreement).
Can anyone figure this out? It seems to me that if we do not already have a trade agreement with anyone, we can’t enter a new one (investment or trade agreement) without the approval of both Mexico and the good old USA. Tied hands anyone? Or maybe control of our sovereign affairs by Trump. Of course, if we want out, and why would we not, then all we have to do is start talking about trade to Iceland or Tasmania. Bingo!
Then we have this: CHAPTER 8 – RECOGNITION OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES’ DIRECT, INALIENABLE, AND IMPRESCRIPTIBLE OWNERSHIP OF HYDROCARBONS Article 8.1: Recognition of the United Mexican States’ Direct, Inalienable, and Imprescriptible Ownership of Hydrocarbons (b) Mexico has the direct, inalienable, and imprescriptible ownership of all hydrocarbons in the subsoil of the national territory, including the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone located outside the territorial sea and adjacent thereto, in strata or deposits, regardless of their physical conditions pursuant to Mexico’s Constitution (Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos).
ANNEX ENERGY REGULATORY MEASURES AND REGULATORY TRANSPARENCY Article 4: Energy Regulatory Measures and Regulatory Transparency 2. Each Party shall endeavor to ensure that in the application of an energy regulatory measure, an energy regulatory authority within its territory avoids disruption of contractual relationships to the maximum extent practicable, supports North American energy market integration, and provides for orderly and equitable implementation appropriate to those measures.
So, what does this mean? As far as I can tell Mexico has complete control of its petroleum products and Canada has to support the North American market. This is as close as I can find to replacing article 605 of NAFTA which in essence said that the US owns 100% of our bitumen as soon as it is removed from the sand. I can’t find where this was directly repealed or removed yet but am going to call the Foreign Office to find out. www.dialogue.ca
The barn door remains closed so in this case we can’t escape. Or can we?
Talking to young people today really is best done in text speak and by the use of emojis, as real language seems to be becoming foreign to them, and that does not bode well for the use of the spoken word in the future. Now there is a proposal for translation into all First Nation, Inuit and Métis languages by the House of Commons interpretation system. Wow. It’s hard enough when there is no interpretation of French during interviews in the foyer of the HOC and how about such things as the Monks debates, or the conservative based Chambers of Commerce?
I asked a Jewish friend if he considered himself to be the same as an Israeli, and if I was against the State of Israel would he considered that to be anti-Semitic; he was very clear that although he would be welcomed in Israel he does not want to be or even considered to be Israeli. He does not consider that the BDS against Israel is ant-semantic in anyway, but rather a personal expression of disgust and he supports it.
Years ago, my daughter railed against Nike because of their manufacturing practices and persuaded me to avoid buying them – even though I didn’t like or use them anyway – and so now, to go along with my Israeli BDS, I am trying very hard to buy Mexican veggies not US, because I do not agree with a country which, at the highest level, deliberately supports or even openly promotes bigotry and hatred and extreme violence amongst their own people and particularly immigrants. Somehow the fact that they are all descendants of immigrants seems to escape them. The fact that they are also the biggest terrorists by far on a global scale helps me with that choice. Democracy is a word bandied about in North America as if it had a meaning and relevance; here in Canada all our politicos swear allegiance to the Crown, and in the US to the constitution – which is in tatters – so democracy is still as dead as it has been for centuries if indeed it ever was alive.. It is simply a politicians’ word to explain why we pay them to support the Crown (see corporations). We need to wake up and stop paying them until they represent and support us.
Black Friday, now an international corporate sales binge has hardly finished and another very popular religious/commercial holiday (Christmas) that now …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Jeremy Arney, V is for Veer…, contd.
starts immediately after Black Friday is here; already lights and trees are up in my little corner of Canada and advertising and sales are in full force. Where did the original meaning of Christmas go? Oh, the same way that corporate greed has taken over everything, including religion. Money, consumption of useless gadgets and bad food that has become fan food instead of being junk food, and if you don’t have a smart phone to go with your new import car you are a nobody. By the way it appears that when the 5G network tower was erected in the US, starlings first then other birds started falling dead out of the trees they were sleeping in. www.brighteon.com/5972631824001 Give you pause maybe? Corporate giants seem to be unaware that the more they kill or harm the less there will be to buy their toxic products. I suggest we stop now so we can survive – maybe. Would be great if we had a protective body such as Health Canada to protect us but we do not.
I was trying to watch an NFL game on my TV to find out which team was playing and the ads actually lasted 11 minutes. Turns out it was half time so advantage was being taken. I remember being told once by someone who had put a stop watch on a game that in the three hours it took to play the game the ball was actually only in play for 12 minutes. That is way less time than cricket, baseball or even curling, and explains the time available for instant replays over and over again. You would think there would be adequate time during that other 2hrs and 48 minutes to show some more ads. Turned out that it wasn’t a game I wanted to watch anyway, and I hadn’t really paid much attention to the advertising except to note how unrealistic they mostly are. Oh yes, I seem to remember a few years ago there was a GM plant in southern California at which, after looking in the employee parking lot, a request was made by the company for support by buying and using their vehicles by employees. A year later there were even fewer GM products in the lot so they closed the plant. I wonder how many of the plants due for closure in Canada and the USA had employees who supported GM by buying their vehicles. Would it have made a difference as to which plants were closed? Maybe.
I was asked by a dear old woman aged 91 why she 24 dialogue
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should submit a ballot on BC voting procedures when she didn’t want or understand the need for a change. As soon as I pointed out that as she always voted on everything, she should have the right to vote on how the votes were counted and applied to show who would represent the Queen to us or if we would actually get some representation of our own. She did get interested in the PR side of things, but asked me if I would be mad if she wanted to retain what she knew, i.e. FPTP, and seemed surprised when I said I only wanted her to cast her ballot the way she thought fit. Have to wonder how many really old people understand what is happening. I am almost old enough to understand the comfort in keeping things the way they are, but young enough still to be very unhappy with the way things are.
An apology by our PM for the Jewish refugees on MS St. Louis being rejected in 1939 struck me as being strange, as that was a long time ago and the current Canadian Jews are still as badly mistreated, as are our First Nations and Muslims. So the more things change the more they remain the same seems to have a ring of something. Have I veered enough? I guess so for now. Have a great winter everyone Jeremy Arney Sydney BC email@example.com ♣ **********************
* USMCA: The Agreement between the USA, the United Mexican States, and Canada - a signed but not ratified free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. It is referred to differently by each signatory:Iin the United States, it is called the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA); in Canada, it is called the Canada– United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) in English and the Accord Canada–États-Unis–Mexique (ACEUM) in French; and in Mexico, it is called the Tratado entre México, Estados Unidos y Canadá (T-MEC). The agreement is also unofficially known as "NAFTA 2.0" or "New NAFTA" in reference to the previous trilateral agreement it is meant to supersede, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It is the result of the 2017–2018 renegotiation of NAFTA by its member states, which informally agreed to the terms on Sep 30, 2018, and formally on Oct 1.. The USMCA was signed by US President Donald Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Nov 30, 2018, as a side event of the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires. Each country's legislature still must ratify the agreement♣ www.dialogue.ca
Just Released… Superabundantly Alive Thomas Merton's Dance with the Feminine By J.S Porter Susan McCaslin From Wood Lake Books, Kelowna BC
Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine is a unique, unified, multi-genre work that includes dialogue, imaginary letters, poems, and reflective essays by two established Canadian poets. Taking cues from Merton himself, Susan and John establish a playful, jazzy, tone — superabundantly alive. This book invites participation for those who already know Merton’s work and for those who are meeting this whole and broken, prophetic, whimsical, paradoxical prophet and visionary for the first time. Robert Lax once described Merton’s poetry and the man himself as “superabundantly alive.” McCaslin and Porter prove the truth of this description in their enchanting account of the writer-mystic who now comes into his second century of stature and significance, in the words of Boris Pasternak, “[a]live and burning to the end. Review by Deborah Pope Kehoe, Co-editor, The Merton Annual
In Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine, Susan McCaslin and J. S. Porter combine their expansive resources of Mertoniana, theology, and third-eye poetics to compile a volume that is at once erudite, conversational, and spiritual. The work of seasoned poets who know how to direct and release the power of language with masterful economy and creativity, the book offers a diverse readership an impressive variety of tone and format, including scholarly analysis, confessional reflection, evocative shaped verse, lively authorial dialogue, and letters to influential women in Merton’s life. At the book’s vital core is a thorough exploration of the role of feminine wisdom in the life and works of Thomas Merton. With apt sensitivity to the delicate aspects of their subject matter, McCaslin and Porter pursue their central purpose from multiple angles, plumbing its depths through scholarship, imagination, and personal experience accrued from a lifelong www.dialogue.ca
engagement with the many facets of Thomas Merton. This unique publication is a fitting commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Merton’s death as well as a valuable contribution to Merton Studies for generations to come. Review by Ross Labrie, Professor Emeritus, UBC
This is a bright and spirited homage to Thomas Merton’s life and writings by two Canadian authors, Susan McCaslin and J.S. Porter. In comparison with the usual biographical analysis, we see these two writers lifting their wings as it were, held aloft by Merton’s powerful current. In this, they join significant figures in Merton’s life, such as those immortalized in McCaslin’s poetic “Grotto of Sophia Ikons.” One admires these authors’ inventiveness as in J.S. Porter’s transposition of Merton into the “paved desert” of Las Vegas where the scene is altogether similar to the consumer culture that Merton presciently depicted. Above all, one sees the legacy of Merton’s devotion to language, which at times assumes a hybrid shape reflecting minds filled with Merton’s speech. The book is given its thematic direction by Merton’s enlarged awareness of woman in the 1960s following his romantic episode with a nurse, Margie, in what turned out to be the final years of his life. In particular, McCaslin argues that in the prose poem, “Hagia Sophia,” Merton, who had lived in a community of men for most of his life, came to link the recovery of the feminine to the “world’s salvation.” With a balanced eye, the writers of this book do not hesitate to query Merton posthumously, with McCaslin questioning Margie regarding the relationship with Merton. “Did you ask yourself if he “loved the idea of falling in love more than the act of loving?” Accompanying the feminist theme is the pervasive suggestion that Merton’s life was a commitment to growth, to an always “surging, expanding process.” Well said. Can be ordered from WoodLake Books ($19.96): Website: www.woodlakebooks.com♣ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
“BOOK TALK” J.S. Porter, Hamilton, Ontario
Shakespeare’s Sonnets I don’t particularly care for Shakespeare’s sonnets. I find them, by turns, frustrating, repetitious, tedious, thrilling, profound, puzzling, strange, experimental, conventional, pleading, pitying, self-critical, self-inflating. You can’t help thinking that if Hamlet were a real student-prince reading the sonnets he would find a great deal of fault in them in their exaggerated, extravagant language, in their sometimes overblown, overwrought, over-the-top rhetoric. Too much mushy love-prattle for me. Even as good a reader of Shakespeare as Northrop Frye seems to throw up his hands in incomprehension. Although, he says at least two wise things in his essay on the sonnets in Fables of Identity: 1. The object of the speaker’s affection is not made personal and particular. “The world’s greatest master of characterization will not give him the individualizing touch that he so seldom refuses to the humblest of his dramatic creations.” And 2. “[E]very play of Shakespeare’s tells a story that he got out of a book.” Someone else’s book – Plutarch’s, Holinshed, etc. Are the sonnets from someone else’s book as well? Not according to Oxford scholar JB Leishman who walks the reader through the history of the sonnet and finds nothing even remotely close to Shakespeare’s sonnets. Why were they written? To whom? Are the sonnets exercises in language, an invented drama, a self-revelation, a confession of self-disgust, a study in ambivalence and inner conflict, a depiction of lust, longing and disappointment? I’m using the Pelican edition edited by Stephen Orgel and introduced by John Hollander. The editor footnotes Sonnet 72 and suggests you can read it as autobiographical or non-autobiographical as you like. The last lines of the sonnet conclude: “For I am shamed by that which I bring forth/And so should you, to love things nothing worth.” Is the “I” Shakespeare? Or, a mask? An invented character? If Shakespeare doesn’t reveal his personhood in the plays, why should we 26 dialogue
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believe he does so in the sonnets? The unknown outweighs the known. The mood, the atmosphere, of the sonnets seems to exhibit playfulness, reverence, anger, despair, lust, self-loathing, fear, longing, desire, confidence, uncertainty. If you had a wordle – a word cloud – of what’s not there, what’s absent in the sonnets may be more striking than what’s present. These are some of the absences, either in complete absence or under-mentioned presence: God Church Christianity Bible Afterlife Resurrection Wife Fatherhood Children Britain History Politics If there’s a biblical echo at all in the sonnets, it’s the philosophy of Ecclesiastes—time beats you up, time beats everything up, nothing is immune to its systematic ravishment. If you made a play of the poems, you’d have a potential Shakespearean drama – an aspiring, somewhat vain, poet who seems (in Shakespeare “seems” is always your safest bet) to be in love with a Beautiful Boy (a princely boy of stature and wealth) and a Dark Lady who may give you VD and also plays around with the poet’s boy. Then there’s the Rival Poet, a competitor. So, a four-character plot: Fair Youth, Dark Lady, Rival Poet, Speaker, all subject to, subjugated by, Time. The poems in their wordplay seem to have little connection to the plays, except occasionally in their flourishes, an over-the-top language that bears some resemblance to Romeo and Juliet: …/ www.dialogue.ca
Give me my Romeo. And when I shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun. The lines could be the idealizing Speaker voicing his affection for his Beautiful Boy. Sonnet 116, to my ear, echoes St. Paul’s famous letter on love in 2nd. Corinthians where Paul writes gushingly: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…” Shakespeare gushingly writes: Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediment; love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds … O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out, even to the edge of doom. …
And yet, for all my discomfort with the sonnets, there are a few that bring me to silence and awe. When my friend Wayne Allan died some months ago, he insisted on having Sonnet 73 as a printed part of his celebration of life. I have read the sonnet many times, but never felt its full force until the passing of my friend. The last cluster of lines reads: In me thou seest the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by. This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long. Love well before you go. Can you think of a wiser, more articulate, farewell? J.S. Porter ♣
V itality and V ision…
Signs, Signals, Divinations: Clea Robert’s Auguries Review by Susan McCaslin, Fort Langley BC
Clea Roberts’ spare, finely-crafted Auguries (Brick Books, 2017) is, as the title suggests, a scanning of the Yukon sky and landscape for signs and portents of mysteries both hidden and revealed. As a poet of place grounded in the Whitehorse area, Roberts acts as augur, like diviners in ancient times said to have had the wisdom to observe and interpret the flight patterns of birds. Her title invokes another celebrator of revelatory signs, William Blake, who sings in Auguries of Innocence of the poetic-prophetic capacity to see “a world in a grain of sand/ And a heaven in a wild flower.” Not only are the poems burgeoning with ravens, larches, juncos, sparrows, and other species of birds, but images, traces of birds sweep, soar, linger in the margins and blank pages of the book, disappearing and arriving just as they do in the liminal places of everyday awareness. The rests and silences offered by these empty or almost-empty pages scattered throughout the book, illuminate how Roberts’ poetry www.dialogue.ca
is a dialogue between speech and silence. Within this cold, haunting northern landscape birds become metaphoric “alphabets,” “strings of beads”: …the cranes kettle always on the verge of an alphabet… (“Mountain Walking”) Sparrows fly up before me, their plain feathers working the air. Against the blue sky, they are a string of beads. (“Spring Snowfall, Melting”) In an April 2017 interview, Roberts comments on the gray jays at play in the book’s margins: I’m always looking up at the sky. I love watching birds. Birds are full of poetry. I have a particular fascination with corvids (the bird family that includes ravens, crows, magpies, and jays, to name a few). …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
They are always doing or saying something interesting. They are so common and yet so remarkable. In case you are wondering, those are grey jays (also known as camp robbers or whiskey jacks) on the cover of my book.” (News and Interviews: On Writing, with Clea Roberts – LINK: http://openbook.ca/News/On-Writing-with-Clea-Roberts) Roberts is a poet of deep musicality, a lyric poet. The title of the opening poem, “Andante Grazioso,” references a musical notation indicating, “at a walking pace, gracefully.” Here the poet speaks of the playful/ raucous and sacred aspects of the Zen-trickster raven and declares her reason for speaking as a poet: I’ve decided to speak, to release certainty to take winter’s ravens as my rowdy clerics. Readers too are invited to “release certainty,” to open to the humility of unknowing. As active participants in the process, readers may become augurs, interpreters of the ineffable particularities of the natural world that interprets us. In “Mountain Walking,” ravens infuse the unconscious: “These early mornings/ ravens dismantle//my dreams ….” In addition to working within lyric modes with lyric precision, Roberts is also unafraid of conjoining contemporary language with more ancient, even biblical diction, such as the word “firmament” for sky: Spaciously this is the way the living walk after they pierce the firmament with their heads (“Mountain Walking”) In “Spring Planting,” the anaphoric repetitions of a word at the beginning of each stanza, “Consider the erratic” (rocks brought by glacial action), “Consider the lawn,” “Consider the clouds,” delicately allude to the gospel of Luke’s familiar, “Consider the lilies, how 28 dialogue
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they grow: they neither toil nor spin….” Yet Roberts’ classical, biblical, and other mythic echoes are always subtle, bringing together old and new. Readers are nudged to “look” with an optic that unites both inner and outer perceptions. Roberts’ grounding in her northern landscape allows her to interweave the personal, domestic and quotidian with the mythic and cosmic, creating a sense of everything flowing in and out of everything else. Her musical lines, with their intuitively precise line breaks, prove that the apparent simplicity, depth, and purity of the lyric voice is still capable of holding the tensions of apparent opposites, life and death, joy and grief in an inclusive whole. In “Heat Wave,” The thrushes sing arias to dusk and displacement. Here, the light of the night sky appears to humans who “mow the lawns” as “apocalyptic” with “a terrible/ orange sun….” Yet the reality of constant change and the inevitable “displacement” of all things through change and death is tempered by the thrushes’ ability to “sing to dusk,” to sing the beauty of the present moment. The reader is left to ask whether the “displacement” of all mortal things might also contain the possibility of renewal or return as in the seasonal cycles. However, the poems do not leave us with theological or metaphysical certainties, but with “arias” to the mysteries. Auguries not only explores the natural world, but the speaker’s interpersonal relationships with her husband, child, and mother in the context of nature. On a cold morning she transports us to the kitchen where her husband is making breakfast. She proposes, Let’s be an old couple someday – the visible and the invisible economies drifting between us. (“Cold Snap”) www.dialogue.ca
The word “economies” can be read here in its older sense of the Greek term “oikos,” the larger “household of earth” that contains and sustains all our human checks and balances. In our intimate relationships, she suggests, we “drift” between visible and invisible realities. The quotidian world she describes contains “chainsaws” and “a freezer full/ of moose,” framed by the nocturnal cries of wolves. The speaker and her husband’s lives straddle the domestic and the wild. The metaphor of sewing and stitching appears throughout the volume in both domestic and natural contexts to suggest how the two domains are intimately related” “We felt dizzy and foolish, / the shadows unstitched/ from our heels” (“Whiteout, Skagway Summit”). Similarly, Roberts uses sewing imagery when reflecting on the lives of her parents: They made it through to spring that way, duty sewn into them like a button… (“Getting Wood”) Roberts’ integration of the personal and the quotidian encompasses both the birth of her daughter Linnaea and the death of her mother, events which occurred within close proximity to each other. Joy and loss collide. The extended suite of poems, “Letter to My Daughter,” is one of the most poignant poems in the collection, beginning with her daughter Linnea’s in-utero existence where again birds enter: “The cries of migrating geese/ trigger your kicks” (“Autumn Equinox, Second Trimester”). Then it proceeds through to birth and nursing: “Here’s to the fierce//petal of your tongue/ drawing down the milk” (Linnaea Borealis”). “Berry Picking” speaks of “[a] love so big/ I can only own/ a piece of it.” A daughter comes, a mother goes away: life cycles pass each other. Roberts speaks of these twinned experiences in an interview: During the course of writing these poems, I became a parent and I lost a parent. Through both of these experiences, I came to realize that poetry was a form of expression I consistently turned to when processing joy and grief (two states that are really just different sides of the same coin). (LINK: www.dialogue.ca
Several long sequences about her mother explore memory, grief, and release. “Johnson Lake, Late August” ends with the lucent “Musica Universalis,” which restores the allusions to music that inform much of the book. Her mother’s habit of composting becomes in the poem a metaphor for the circlings of life and death that exude a universal music: and every evening, she takes a pail down to the mysterious compost just as the air begins to cool and the weight of dusk presses down into the soil, releasing a scent that is more of a refrain – sweet and drifting, uncontainable. The sense of music issuing out of death and decay again relocates the high lyric voice in the ground of both the domestic and the wild. The second to last poem in the book, “Morning Practice,” presents the practice of yoga as integrative body work, extending the traditional yoga postures like “Child Pose” and “Corpse Pose” to include more unconventional ones like “Mountain Pose,” “Half Moon Pose,” “Wild Thing Pose,” and “Fire Log Pose.” Following on the poems about loss and grief, these poems suggest the need for a spiritual practice involving body work that enables the practitioner to dwell in the present moment in a state of mindfulness, to come to terms with “what the years/ have written on your body: // that you are hard enough/ to rise up, and soft//enough to erode.” (“Mountain Pose”) Again, these postures have their origins in the natural world and tie to the nature imagery of the previous sections. Auguries ends with a love poem addressed to the poet’s husband, a return to the celebration of a …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
partnership. In “Perseids,” a man and a woman connect to the earth and the night sky as they camp together by a fire viewing a meteor shower. We are left with the sense that, even in the “burning out” of meteors, the rising of pieces of ash from the fire, beauty and vastness still evoke awe. and everywhere meteors shooting across the night sky, burning out in the atmosphere above us, our eyes
blinking, soft, returned to amazement. Susan McCaslin firstname.lastname@example.org Review first published, October 16, 2018, on reviews website of The League of Canadian Poets, http://poets.ca : Link to the review on the League’s blog: Susan McCaslin, “Signs, Signals, Divinations: Clea Roberts’ Auguries, on the reviews pages of the website of the League of Canadian Poets, Oct. 16, 2018. http://poets.ca/2018/10/16/review-auguries-by-clea-roberts/ ♣
Note from the Editor: Below, and in the following pages, Susan McCaslin, poet, writer, educator (Fort Langley BC), and Penn Kemp, poet/playwright/performer (London ON), create a dialogue on the subject of Art, Action - Transformation. Their chosen topic brings to mind the Autumn 2013 issue of Dialogue, Vol. 27, No. 1, which launched Susan McCaslin’s participation in the magazine, and
simultaneously launched our Alphabet challenge, with our cover theme of Awakening, Art, Activism (reproduced on p.59). The circle of life keeps turning. The websites of the two writers are: https://susanmccaslin.weebly.com/ and https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/
Art, Action – Transformation Penn Kemp & Susan McCaslin Corresponding by email, we asked one another what our respective poetic practices for activism entailed. We began
with a dialogue discussing lines from Auden and continued with our own reflections on activism through poetry.
A dialogue: Reflections on W.H. Auden’s
“Poetry Makes Nothing Happen” Penn Kemp & Susan McCaslin
For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives In the valley of its making where executives Would never want to tamper, flows on south From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs, Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives, A way of happening, a mouth. W. H. Auden, "In Memory of W.B. Yeats"
Penn: At a recent writer's festival,(1) I was asked to consider the following: “Does poetry make anything happen?” As an activist, it’s a dilemma. We are urged to speak out, to protest, to march for causes we believe in. This kind of action is what the world (those “raw towns”) recognizes as effective. How can poetry—words on a page that few might read—make a difference? On the morning of the conference, I woke up thinking 30 dialogue
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of Auden’s lines in his tribute to Yeats, quoted above. Yes, poetry makes nothing happen if it comes from the head, from concept or theory. We make up similes, clever conceits that distance us from the real. Life is like a river. Or we branch out; we set down roots. These tropes become such clichés that we forget their origin in a real perception of belonging. But if we set aside the idea of simile, of metaphor, we remember that we are river; we are tree. Wherever we are, we are place, house, home, land, community. In that realization, the words of a poem come through the poet as oracular, vatic. Then the poet is a vehicle for true transformation and healing, making whole, holy. The poem speaks for the whole. The poem is a relationship with place, with the land. It is verb, a process of becoming one. We speak for the trees, the river, all those who cannot give voice in language. But they are giving voice all the time if we listen. Then www.dialogue.ca
comes respect, honouring, love. There can be no Other. There is no other. Susan: I love your eloquent response to the question about that passage from Auden, but think his words have often been taken out of context. Yes, poetry is ineffectual if it comes from the head alone, from concepts and beliefs rather than emerging from our relationship with place. How aptly you put it: “The poem is a relationship with place, with the land. It is verb, a process of becoming one.” Yet much depends on how one reads Auden’s use of the word “nothing,” which has for me a deeper connotation. If the passage is partly ironic, it could be read as: “poetry appears to make nothing happen." Though I may be doing what Auden elsewhere in this poem calls “modify[ing] the words of a dead man…in the guts of the living,” I’ll take the liberty of reinterpreting his remark this way: Poetry seems to make “nothing happen” because it doesn’t execute events or “make things happen” like a Prime Mover shaping the world from outside, but emerges from a vast “nothingness” or place of primal emergence that holds and is everything. Unbeknownst to us when dwelling in our closed egoic loops, poetry “survives/ In the valley of its making.” This is because it flows from a hidden wholeness or unity where poetic consciousness instinctually communes and in which poets sometimes have the privilege of bathing because of their receptivity. “Executives” of the narrowed self (and we all fall into that category much of the time) don’t want to “tamper” or even get involved in this great flow because unconsciously they realize it’s a place where the small self might need to surrender to something astonishingly vast. Penn: What you refer to as “nothingness” is, I believe, what Buddhists would call “emptiness,” sunyata. Terminology can so easily trap us, but sunyata is that vastness you describe. Buddhism differentiates sharply between “nothingness” and “emptiness.” Here’s an apt description (2) of the difference, reflecting your comment: …emptiness is directly linked to Buddhist teachings on the lack of self… emptiness is differentiated from nothingness through being linked to the teaching of dependent arising... Insofar as things are empty of some substantial or essential nature, www.dialogue.ca
they arise interdependently, contingent upon other equally contingent phenomena. Other highly influential Mahayana teachings… take emptiness as the lack of any substantial difference between consciousnesses and their objects of apprehension. One particularly important set of Mahayana texts takes the ultimate as a primordially pure buddha-nature (tathāgata-garbha) rather than sheer emptiness. Emptiness is significant in a very wide range of Buddhist literatures throughout the world. Susan: You have reminded me, Penn, that the word sunyata, best translated as “emptiness,” has profound resonance in eastern and primarily Buddhist teachings, but the Spanish word “nada” or nothingness is sometimes paired with “emptiness,” in the apophatic mystical traditions of the west. For instance, John of the Cross speaks of a paradoxical dialectic between todo y nada, the all and the nothing. Dionysius the Areopagite in On The Divine Names and The Mystical Theology suggests that ultimate reality can be hinted at in words and images but not contained. Perhaps the two ways, eastern and western, of talking about a nondual ground of being in and beyond being—nothingness, emptiness, everything, nothing—rests in a universal poetic paradox. Matter and spirit, the manifest and the unmanifest or ground of all manifestations are one process. Kundalini energies visible and invisible stream through everything. Poetry dances in the in-between, moving us beyond semantics, binaries, beliefs, doctrines, and concepts. I have for decades read and written on the constantly evolving western contemplative Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk, who at the end of his life dialogued with D.T. Suzuki, wrote Zen and the Birds of Appetite, and made a final journey to the east. There, shortly before his sudden death in 1968, he engaged in three important sessions with the current Dalai Lama. In his posthumously published The Asian Journals (New Directions, 1968), Merton records his astonishing transformative experience of standing before the giant statues of the Buddha at Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. Here he adopts the Buddhist language of “emptiness” to express his awe: “The rock, all matter, all life, is charged with dharmakaya [the basis of reality from which all phenomena emanate] … everything is emptiness …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Penn Kemp & Susan McCaslin, dialogue contd.,
and everything is compassion.” So, though Auden’s poem is an elegy for W.B. Yeats, written in 1940 in the context of Ireland’s political and social struggles and the rise of fascism in Europe, perhaps he is hinting that poetry can enter the timeless where poetic consciousness “survives” as an active field, a “way of happening.” At one level, he’s clearly saying poetry doesn’t often stand much chance of changing things politically. I have to wonder if the apparent “nothing” that poetry has the capacity to change is analogous to “dark matter” which seems to be nothing but has the capacity to be everything? Ultimate mystery can be shrugged off as “nothing” because it is hard to speak about, control, or pin down. Yet, whatever Auden may have meant, it seems to me that poetry holds the power to dance with language, sound, image to suggest what is both beyond and within words, linking us to what is. And from such a contemplatively charged base, inspired art can transform consciousness. Penn: Love that dance on the threshold. Here and there, in “the cloud of unknowing,” Keats’ “negative capability,” which we can only suggest, as you say. Our conscious mind knows so little. When writing (or receiving!) a poem, we inhabit a liminal space, living the ambiguity in occupying both sides of the boundary between worlds. Yes, the vast space before a poem emerges is all potential, where ego has no place. And that word, “potential,” derives from the Latin word potentia, meaning power. We know the same root in our word “potent.” Interesting, eh? For me, sound carries the possibility of a poem into language, into first words: the poem. My work as a poet is to step beyond ego into the hugeness of the whole and to be a vehicle for whatever wants to come through my voice. At the same conference,(3) I heard Lee Maracle describe “words dancing on the skin,” as expressed in her language. And the words are uttered through the mouth, where our specific language shapes the sounds that emerge in the poem. Poets convey the river of words. Susan: As your poem-animation series on River Revery (4) (a collaboration with Mary McDonald) explores, poetry keeps flowing like a river “southward,” stepping beyond what Auden 32 dialogue
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calls our insular “ranches of isolation” and “busy griefs.” It occurs to me that your flowing river continues to speak its reveries, to be the “mouth” of meaning and inspiration in all things. It is unstoppable. Poetry makes a rich “nothingness” happen, makes what seems like nothing active in time and place. It is the union of emptiness and fullness. Penn: The mouth of a river is also a liminal place, where freshwater and salt conjoin. At this junction of shoreline, between high and low tide, lies the littoral, literally! The richness of life at such margins is unparalleled… and metaphors abound. I dreamed last night of standing at the wide mouth of the St. Lawrence, as water rushed around me, flowing both ways. When we are in the flow of poetry, the current of words takes us... I first wrote, “When we are the flow.” Yes! Susan: Yes! So perhaps it’s appropriate to end our dialogue with Auden’s final stanzas from his famous elegy on how the flow of poetry leads to fountains of praise: Follow, poet, follow right To the bottom of the night, With your unconstraining voice Still persuade us to rejoice…. In the deserts of the heart Let the healing fountain start, In the prison of his days Teach the free man how to praise. Penn: The free man, the free woman. May we learn to praise all that is. Honouring the other is the beginning of wisdom… and right action. Susan and Penn then decided that they should each write a piece on her own poetic practice as activists. Footnotes: (1) http://wordsfest.ca/events/2018/penn-kemp-susan-musgravein-conversation (2) http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/obo/97801953935210007 (3) http://wordsfest.ca/events/2018/penn-kemp-susan-musgravein-conversation (4) https://riverrevery.ca/
Pieces on the relationship of art and action in their own lives by Penn Kemp and Susan McCaslin will appear in subsequent issues. ♣ www.dialogue.ca
Feedback re the Autumn Issue: Serendipity and Thomas Merton Franklin O’Connor, Nanaimo BC
Your Autumn magazine arrived the other day… This is regarding your “serendipitous” comment at the end of the first paragraph of the foreword, p.3. My dear, dear Louise and I had a serendipitous moment a week or so after we first met, near the end of 1978. We were standing in front of a bookstore window on Broadway in Vancouver. I pointed out a Merton book to Louise – Zen and The Birds of Appetite. Right away, Louise wanted a copy. And I realized at that moment that she was the right one for me. We married the next year. If I can find what she wrote about Merton, I’ll enclose it… Hurray! I found it –
Louise re Thomas Merton The first book of his I read was Zen and The Birds of Appetite. Always intrigued with the Zen concept of contemplative life, I needed little encouragement to read it. Excitement, sheer happiness and joy surged through my being at his words. This was inspiration, reading with a total difference! Thomas Merton was a Trappist Monk and an ordained priest. Of himself he said, "It is possible to doubt whether I have become a monk (a doubt I have to live with), but it is not possible to doubt that I am a writer, that I was born one and will most probably die as one." By his own admission, he was not purely and simply a "spiritual writer." An acquaintance with the impressive results of his twenty-five years of writing shows one that he tends his craft with the natural flair of genius. At last I had found really sensible insight into the fundamental issues of life, death, time; love, sorrow, fear, wisdom, suffering, eternity. His words brought me into increased awareness of the interior life. The emptiness I had lived with since my husband’s death lost its grip. I began to care again, even to enjoy food again. At that time, Merton's influence became my only health. My suffering turned into a creative growing period and the builder was Merton. His view of the issues on which he wrote was not merely from the cloister of an austere Trappist monastery. After Vatican Council II in the early 1960s, he began travelling the world, speaking at seminars, teaching, and always writing. He understood and enjoyed deep insight into Eastern Religions. On invitation, he spent time in Zen, www.dialogue.ca
Buddhist, and Hindu monasteries around the world. I believe pure Zen aroused his interest the most. He wanted to build a bridge between Christianity and the Eastern Religions. He wrote extensively of the Peace Movement, Nuclear Armament, Vietnam. Clearly this displayed his social conscience and love of humanity. I felt he was my ally and confidant. In his Asian Journal he wrote, “I hope I can bring back to my monastery something of the Asian wisdom with which I am fortunate to be in contact.” Father Merton didn’t return to the contemplative 1ife·of the Trappist Monastery at Gethsemane. There was a bizarre accident (*) and suddenly, he was dead. The time was December, 1968; the place, a Buddhist monastery in Bangkok, Thailand. This then is my legacy from my mentor. It sustains me always. ♣ * **********
* The assassination of Thomas Merton Light was shed on the death of Thomas Merton by Hugh Turley & David Martin in their 2018 book, The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton. As Ed Curtin noted in his review of the book, “Fifty years have elapsed since Thomas Merton died under mysterious circumstances in a cottage at a Red Cross Conference Center outside Bangkok, Thailand where he was attending an international inter-faith monastic conference. The truth behind his death has been concealed until now through the lies and deceptions of a cast of characters, religious, secular, and U.S. governmental, whose actions chill one to the bone. But he has finally found his voice through Hugh Turley and David Martin, who tell the suppressed truth of Merton’s last minutes on earth on December 10, 1968. This is an extraordinary book in so many ways. First, because the authors prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Trappist monk and anti-war writer Thomas Merton was assassinated and did not die in a fabricated accident, as has been claimed for all these years. […] 1968: It was a very dark year: MLK, RFK, and Thomas Merton – martyrs all. If we want to see clearly and revive hope, the time has come to face the faces of the ghastly gallery of liars and deceivers guilty of these crimes. Only then can we live the truths their victims suffered and died for. Then we too can confess with Merton that we have thought “Crimes Against the State.” READ IN FULL: http://edwardcurtin.com/speaking-the-unspeakablethe-assassination-and-martyrdom-of-thomas-merton/♣ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
More Feedback… Paul Bowles, Fruitvale BC
The Autumn Dialogue arrived in my mail today, November 27th, always bringing colour and hidden stories of interest into my life; better late than never and always welcome. I had to exercise patience and take in both sides of the Post Office strike positions. Yes I want them to have their say and also I want the Dialogue delivered. Being prompted in your foreword to investigate Edward Curtin’s The Apocalypse Not Now, I was taken up in it right away from the sky is falling to
finding the gifts of peace and understanding from Merton and from Edward and homeless Paul in their serendipitous crossing of paths. A truly wonderful experience related so simply and compassionately, what a dialogue in so few words between the two experiencers and what a great act of hopeful recommunication in leaving the book and adding a name. And I have the rest of the magazine yet to come, awesome job, Janet. email@example.com ♣
Remembering Wilf Cude and B. A. Powe From B. W. Powe, Toronto
Dear Janet, I was deeply saddened to hear the news about Wilf Cude's passing. He was a great colleague, a great friend. An eloquent lone wolf voice, a passionate defender of thought. Yet also a soul who felt the solidarity of souls who struggle. He will be much missed. [See also p.35] I thought you would also want to know that my father passed away on Friday November 16th at the Veterans' Hospital, at Sunnybrook Hospital, in Toronto. He was 93. A World War Two vet, a politician who
helped to initiate many new ideas during the Pearson years, an author of many fine novels, especially The Aberhart Summer, his masterpiece. A person of wisdom, humour, honour, and generosity, he will be much missed by his family. [See below] I trust all is well with you, and that your remarkable magazine keeps flowing, sailing on. Warmly, BW B. W. Powe, Ph.D., Author Associate Professor, Department of English York University, Toronto, Ontario, firstname.lastname@example.org ♣
Bruce Allen Powe June 9, 1925 – November 16, 2018.
Bruce Allen Powe slipped silently away on Friday, November 16, 2018, at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre (K2 East), Toronto, age 93. Sadly missed by son, Bruce William (Auxi Sánchez Ledesma), daughter Kathleen and grandchildren Kate (Tom Weeks), Tom, Jeremy Earley and Elena Sanchez Powe. Predeceased by his wife Alys (2015) and son-in-law Paul Earley (2010)… Bruce was born in Edmonton in 1925. He served overseas in the Canadian Army 1943-1945 and then returned to Canada to take officer training (unfinished). He completed his BA and MA in economics at the University of Alberta. He married Alys Brady in 34 dialogue
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1949. Shortly after, they moved to Ottawa where Bruce spent many years working in government and politics, most notably with Lester Pearson and the team rebuilding the Ontario arm of Federal Liberal Party in the early 1960s. After he left politics, he spent most of his corporate life with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association in Toronto, in government and public relations. All these jobs were in reality to support his true passion for writing. A gifted storyteller and eloquent writer, he published six novels, several to critical acclaim. BAP was a gentle, sweet man who was remarkable in his ability to connect with people on any level. His knowledge of history, politics and literature was profound. His good nature, kindness, generosity and keen sense of humour endeared him to all who met him. He was good company, perceptive and wise and lots of fun to be around. Up until two years ago, Bruce was in good health and still lived on his own. After suffering a debilitating stroke in November 2016 he moved to www.dialogue.ca
K-Wing at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre. The care and compassion the staff and volunteers have for the vets is remarkable. We are forever in their debt. A Celebration of his Life will take place on Saturday, January 12th, 2:00 p.m. at the Mount Pleasant Visitation Centre, Toronto. In lieu of flowers, please
consider a donation to The Bridge Hospice, Warkworth, ON, 705-924-9222, www.thebridgehospice.com This is an organization Bruce admired and supported. For online condolences, please visit www.etouch.ca LINK, at TheStar: https://tinyurl.com/legacy-b-a-powe ♣
Wilfred Lloyd Allan "Wilf" Cude Teacher, writer, activist - has passed away at age 80. Wilf taught English literature at the Royal Military College, the Canadian Coast Guard College, the University of British Columbia, Concordia, Cape Breton University and Saint Francis Xavier. He was a storyteller in word and song, and friends and family will long cherish these special memories. Through his scholarly publications, he made a significant contribution to English literary criticism. As an activist, he fought tirelessly for fairness and institutional reform. Universities and political systems were the focus of his efforts, and his work consistently reminded those institutions of
their duty to serve and evolve… Wilf is remembered for his kindness, generosity and humour. He was a beloved husband, (grand)father, brother and friend. The entire Cude family would like to thank the Palliative Care team and the staff in Strait Richmond Hospital for their wonderful care and support. As Wilf wished, and in keeping with his dedication to teaching and research, his body has been donated to Dalhousie's medical school. Donations in his memory can be made to Amnesty International, Doctor's Without Boarders or to the charity of your choice. A celebration of Wilf's life (was) held in the St. Georges Channel Community Hall on November 3rd. Published: Oct 23, 2018 https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/obituaries/wilfred-lloydallan-wilf-cude-9578/ ♣
AN ESSAY ON THE NEED FOR A MODERN APPROACH TO PERSONAL AND SOCIAL CHOICE © H. J. SPENCER (02 Dec. 2018)
1.0 – SUMMARY This short essay attempts to emphasize the central importance of the idea of Values in the lives of individuals and societies. This will explore the related ideas of Value, Ethics, Choice, Beliefs, Quality and the central concept of ‘The Good’. This attempt illustrates one of the central concerns of western philosophy: how should individuals live their lives in their day-to-day actions and in following GroupRules for their community. We follow the modern path based on knowledge of biology and history. We suggest new approaches based on novel ideas in psychology and neuro-science. We shall conclude with suggestions for how free societies need to evolve their rules of ‘Powerover-People’ (politics). 1.1
We shall attempt to show that Values are the basis of every individual’s behavior (morality) and the basic Rules of Behavior of a society (ethics). In order to achieve this aim we must expose the reader to some Metaphysics and Analytic (or modern Anglo-American) philosophy that is heavily verbal in trying to www.dialogue.ca
understand important concepts that have to go beyond the network of words that arise by relying on simple usage of dictionary terms, as implied by conventional education. This will prove to be a tough journey and a harsh lesson in the limitations of rationality (or human reason) and will ultimately appeal to the reader’s intuition [see my related essay Intuition]. This is because our thinking/memory is interlinked in complex, personal networks based on our unique personal experiences, while reason is forced to go from one idea to another in a series of separate steps, as in speaking: an approach sometimes called ‘discursive’. 1.2
Western thinkers have intellectualized about Ethics for over 2,000 years, without producing any agreed view that compels widespread support across multiple communities and countries. Most societies only adopted a unitary system of ethics when compelled to by the threats from the group of military leaders of their warrior tribes, assisted by the elites’ relatives - the committed priests, who reinforced their conservative views with their magical imagery. Most western nations today have been hugely influenced by the ideas of the …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Greek Intellectuals, who lived in ancient Athens. These powerful thinkers created theories of reality and social behavior that were (ever since) massively influential with many people, as described so well by Joseph Pearce in his best-seller “Crack in the Cosmic Egg” [as described in my essay: Omelet.] The Greek foundational idea was that of the world as “objects”. The philosophical approach has been to create linguistic schemes to describe objective (shared) reality. The heart of the western approach to language was the introduction of the concept or “idea of the idea”. The method is to group objects into a common type or kind based on a shared property, then to ignore all the differences between real examples (called abstraction) to produce a general verbal definition that we call a universal concept, valid for all time. We will focus on a schema involving the following related ideas: Value, Ethics, Choice, Beliefs, Quality and the central concept of ‘The Good’. It is a useful technique to appreciate one’s own understanding (before reading further) to create a “WordMap” by putting each of these words in boxes arranged around a circle and then draw lines between all the pairs you think are linked. It has long been recognized that there are two complementary foundational concepts to view reality: quantity and quality. Western societies have dominated the world by emphasizing quantitative ideas, first promoted by mathematicians and then adopted by merchants, who have materialized it as money. This essay is an attempt to restore the original focus on quality: the notion of good and bad actions and decisions. Quality is a very abstract concept with very few agreed examples and, as we will show, only a very vague definition but everyone develops their own intuitive ideas about ideas, called conceptions. We (again intuitively) produce clusters of those conceptions that seem to share similar qualities; we call these clusters of vague ideas ‘values’ that contribute to the foundation layer of everyone’s own thinking. The thesis here is that everyone constructs their lives around a set of personal values that often remain mostly unexamined and only slowly change (if ever). The essay’s author was convinced of this perspective by reading “Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance: an Inquiry into Values” (1974) by Robert M. Pirsig over 40 years ago and still viewed as the most influential book in his life. Pirsig was a frustrated professor of classical philosophy at the State College 36 dialogue
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level but he became convinced that our western ideas were ‘off-track’. He devoted the rest of his life quietly developing these ideas that he later called the Metaphysics of Quality that were the basis for his best-selling book (“Zen” and its sequel “Lila: an Inquiry into Morals” - 1991). Like Aristotle’s foundational book (“Metaphysics”), he saw this as a theory of reality that deliberately was based primarily on everyone’s personal experience, combining our common awareness (not formal education) of Greek philosophy [especially the split into Subject/Object constituents], elements drawn from East Asian philosophies (seen through an earlier, hugely influential book entitled “The Meeting of East and West” by F. S. C. Northrop [that inspired my essay ‘The German Idealist Philosophers’]) and recent American philosophy, forming the school called Pragmatism. I must confess that since reading “Zen” I have become increasingly drawn to ideas of quality and moving away from quantity. Dynamic change is key to understanding the universe but Greek philosophers simplified their model of the world (Metaphysics) by ‘abolishing’ time: focusing only on timeless definitions (accessed through static ‘names’ acting as indexes) and unchanging mathematical systems. Modern physics has exposed the weakness of this simplification. 2.0 – VALUE 2.1 DEFINITION
Webster’s Dictionary gives 13 different definitions for the word Value; the one closest to our present is that quality of a thing according to which it is thought of being more or less desirable. Unfortunately, in their earlier definition the commercial view appears as “the worth of a thing in money at a given time.” 2.2 PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers have viewed Value as simply a property of things (what is valuable? – to whom?). 3.0 – ETHICS 3.1 DEFINITION
Webster’s defines Ethics as the standards of conduct and moral judgment. 3.2 PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers define Ethics as moral philosophy. It was the Sophists (traveling sages) who introduced the notion that ethics could/should be a subject for discussion by intellectuals in the fifth century BC; since then, this has been a perennial topic of philosophy. There have been several philosophical treatises that proposed www.dialogue.ca
universal morals for everyone; few of these have accumulated many supporters. 3.3 MIDGLEY
Mary Midgley (1919-2018) was an important writer on ethics, the relations of humans and animals, our tendency to misconstrue science, and the role of myth and poetry. She was one of a strikingly able and forceful group of women philosophers, who went to Oxford before WW-II; she died aged 99. She was one of the first female philosophers to reject the academic approach to philosophy in the 20th century that she described as “a form of highbrow chess for graduate students”. She illustrated the kind of independent thinking that I have long hoped for from female intellectuals. From the mid-1970s onwards she published many books and articles in which she identified the limitations of Analysis (only trying to understand things by breaking them down into smaller parts) and losing sight of Synthesis (the many ways in which parts are dependent on the wholes, in which they exist). These atomist and reductive approaches are particularly unhelpful when it comes to human self-understanding and, in trenchant and witty style, Midgley pointed the way to a saner and more helpful overview of ourselves and our world. Her first successful book was “Beast and Man” (1978) that was well received. She opened discussion of a question to which she returned many times, namely the implications of advances in science and evolutionary theory for understanding human behavior. She believed that human achievements have their roots in abilities and patterns of response which we share with other animals. So, we are not (as some existentialist thinkers have imagined) totally free to create ourselves. But, Midgley insisted, we should not extrapolate from this insight to some depressing biological determinism. More careful reflection shows that our biological endowment includes a capacity to develop a shared culture, and our culture in turn sustains individual creativity. Beginning in 1979, she undertook a public debate with Richard Dawkins, who had shot to international fame with his best-selling “The Selfish Gene”. Although Dawkins tried to hide behind claims that he was only using metaphors to describe evolutionary theory, Midgley correctly pointed out that Dawkins’ overall message was the misleading idea that our genes doom us to individual selfishness. The huge repetition of Dawkins’ views since has proven a mainstay of conservative thought, www.dialogue.ca
confirming Midgley’s insights. In 1991, Midgley wrote the lead essay in “A Companion to Ethics” (edited by Peter Singer, Director of the Centre for Human Bioethics, Melbourne). Here she agrees that humans livings in groups need Rules to Keep the Peace within their social groups (families, through tribes to societies). She dismisses the two oldest views on Ethics: Firstly, the Cynical, such as Thomas Hobbes’ “egoistic prudence” requiring a powerful ruler (Leviathan) to ensure conformity and abolish internal violence; secondly, the Christian: the ‘Fall of Man’ for opposing God’s will. Midgley dismisses Hobbes’ view as ignoring the many examples of decent behavior such as: sense of fairness, friendship, loyalty, compassion, gratitude, generosity, sympathy, family love and affection. This broad range of positive modes of relationship, she sees as too vast to have arisen only by active, rational thinking about Fear-of-the-Other. 3.4 ANIMAL EVOLUTION
I have been powerfully convinced of the value of P. D. MacLean's “Triune Brain Hypothesis”; so then most bad human behavior can be readily seen to match those of the reptiles: aggressive, competitive, obsessed with individual survival, etc. Since the Reptile Brain is seen as both deepest (on the brain stem) and primary, it is not surprising to find it still dominating in so many humans. A few (more females than males) have migrated to the next biological brain level - the mammalian (limbic) system that emphasizes cooperation, caring, feeling and empathy: values necessary in their role as mothers and needed more and more today, in most human affairs. The highest level (neo-cortex) multiplies the powers of memory and imagination but relies on deeper levels for its motivations. This is why appeals to "intellectual solutions" (like theology, science and philosophy) have had so little impact on the growth of civilizations over the last 5,000 years; millennia dominated by the warrior/aristocratic ethos, especially in the western Greek/Roman history. My extensive readings have led me to focus more on deep (metaphysical) questions, like this, rather than the shallow, almost irrelevant areas of physics that became the false model of science for 300 years. Aristotle knew that biology and living systems promised a more rewarding research area than the abstract thoughts (especially mathematics) of his mentor, Plato. As a result, I will be …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
developing a new research programme based on "Organic Metaphysics." Another new philosophical/neurological insight has been proposed by Ian McGilchrist, who identified two complementary approaches in his masterpiece: "The Master and the Emissary" with the two hemispheres in the brains of mammals. The left hemisphere (LH) is focused (and dominant in predators) while the rival right hemisphere (RH) is more developed in animals who are usually prey (still valid for all but Top Predators). The non-verbal RH has a more global awareness and takes a longer-term view. People can see that ALL world cultures today, as descendants of Warrior Predators, are still dominated by LH people, who lack empathy for the larger community. As a result of many years of intellectual training (rather ‘brain-washing’), I developed (as was planned) a general acceptance of the LH bias of Greco-Roman thinking as being "Objective". But I now see this as a Social Control Mechanism with little chance for the ordinary man to get a fair shake. Most people rightly rely on the RH for intuition about the most important aspects of their lives (LOVE, FAMILY, RELATIONSHIPS, etc.) based on their own experiences [one can call this "Rationality", if wished]. Moreover, few people have their minds changed by so-called Rational discussion, as their own Conceptions vary widely from the Orthodox meanings given to Concepts. Most intellectuals claim they run their lives by Reason (rationalizing) but most have little idea why they behave as they do, because our unconscious mind accounts for over 90% of the human brain activities. Most people follow the Pragmatists: "betting their lives on their beliefs [that they then call "True"], so they are NOT going to risk their life's trajectory by switching metaphysical beliefs just because someone verbalizes smoothly. I continue to admire the good sense of most people. 3.5 SOCIAL EVOLUTION
I share Midgley’s criticisms of extreme individualism that has evolved from Ancient Greek styles of thinking (and most masculine philosophy). We both dismiss of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ propagated by my namesake in his popular interpretation of Darwin’s theory of evolution – a way of thinking she calls “pseudo-evolution”. Only the most aggressive and ruthless benefit from this level of social competition – the men who always rise to the top in Warrior 38 dialogue
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Cultures; in effect, we are rewarding the most violent. This competition models the Newtonian view of physics: individual atoms banging into each other. In contrast, Midgley describes the co-operative activities between species and even in groups of social animals and insects. Humans have long demonized some wild animals (“beasts”) but few animals match humans for violence and especially cruelty to other members of their own species. The one behavior we share with most animals, especially mammals, is the care for our own offspring. We see this phenomenon in all kinds of human society, irrespective of culture and historical traditions. In fact, it is difficult to imagine any society surviving over extended time frames if they did not give preferential care to their own family. It is not surprising to find ‘Concern for Kith and Kin’ (friends and family) lie at the heart of all human ethics. Even predators co-operate at the group level, trying to monopolize a given area of potential prey, for the exclusive diet of their own group. Perhaps humans exhibited this behavior when we were at the development stage of “Hunter-Gathers”, even largish tribes of up to 1,000 people; as can be found in Papua New Guinea today. Each tribe views its neighbors with suspicion and small wars sometimes break out. However, the development of agriculture produced excess calories for the group, so tribes could merge into much larger aggregates that sometimes resulted in some villages expanding to small cities in the neolithic (New Stone Age, around 10,000 years ago). The appearance of cities was a revolutionary step in human development for several reasons, including: living peacefully with strangers (most people are limited to about 500 ‘friends’); the appearance of paid killers (called soldiers) and the rise of successful merchants who were richer than most of their fellow citizens. When these militarized cities competed with each other, then single, larger groupings arose called Empires led by the most powerful city. It is very difficult to change human behaviour en masse because our Cultures have huge inertia (assisted deliberately by conservative institutions - not least schools and universities). Part of our problem in the Tribal Phase, is that far too many people are unsure of themselves and take their cues (answers) from their family, friends, society and professions!! Just look at how stuck we still are with the obsolete ideas of The Old Greeks, such as mathematics, logic and www.dialogue.ca
philosophy, which developed for, in and by primitive small City-States, like Athens with its tiny class of powerful, ruling rich families like Plato's. Really, do these pederasts have anything useful to tell us today? While Plato and Aristotle were concerned with character-centred virtue ethics, the Aztec approach is perhaps better described as socially-centred virtue ethics. If the Aztecs were right, then ‘Western’ philosophers have been too focused on individuals, too reliant on assessments of character, and too optimistic about the individuals’ ability to correct their own vices. Instead, according to the Aztecs, we should look around to our family and friends, as well as our ordinary rituals or routines, if we hope to lead a better, more worthwhile existence. Their values seem much more effective (social co-operation). 4.0 – CHOICE 4.1 DEFINITION
Webster’s defines a Choice as the result of the action of selecting out (by preference) from the things or activities available. I see people making choices based on their own values and sense of qualities. 4.2 PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers view choosing as a mental activity from two or more possibilities (including not acting) that results in an external action. Deciding implies conscious mental activity, whereas choosing may just be a habit, like many animals. 5.0 – BELIEFS 5.1 DEFINITION
Webster’s defines a belief as the conviction that certain ideas are real or statements are true, even though certainty may be absent. Related ideas are faith, trust, confidence. As can be seen, this idea is foundational between mental models and external reality (existence, occurrence). 5.2 PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers have long viewed beliefs as mental states, representational in character; taking a statement as its content and considered by the holder as either true or false; the philosophy of mind views this as the primary cognitive state with other awareness states (such as knowledge, perception, memory and intention using beliefs as the building blocks of the mind). The pickiness of philosophers may be judged by their common agreement that the same idea (e.g. ‘snow is white’) is not the same thing when occurring in two different people’s heads. Beliefs are often sufficient www.dialogue.ca
to initiate actions. The American pragmatic philosopher, C. S. Peirce (1839-1914) proposed that we will only “bet our life” on a belief that we believe to be true. It is this essay’s belief that: “Everything is a Belief”; whether religious, political or ideological. Beliefs are a personal response to one's life experiences; all are valid - comparisons are difficult but then I now believe in the Subjective being more valuable to each person than the Objective (group) Opinion. 6.0 – QUALITY 6.1 DEFINITION
Webster’s gives 10 different definitions for the word Quality; the one closest to our usage here is the degree of excellence (highest level of goodness) which a thing possesses. 6.2 PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers have defined Quality as a property (or characteristic) that constitutes the basic nature of an object or thing (i.e. its necessary properties). Some have even viewed a quality as any property of a thing. In contemporary philosophy, this is still a vague and contentious subject that is usually skipped over quickly. Some, like Pirsig, view quality as preceding our intellectual awareness of sensory reality. This is closely connected to the British school of philosophy called Empiricism that we now know relates to the unconscious (pre-cognitive) processes of perception where animal brains organize their incoming sensory messages into groupings to simplify our reactions to the outside world prior to the results reaching our higher levels of attention and consciousness and long before we are able to link this information to our existing linguistic schemes. Pirsig assumed that quality is the basic physical interaction of the whole universe that I have identified with the interaction between electrons. At the human level, this basic interaction is perceived as attraction or repulsion or, in terms of regular vocabulary: love and hate. Love thus becomes the ultimate human form of pairing. In Pirsig’s conceptual hierarchy, he assigns qualities to four levels: Inorganic, Biological, Social, Intellectual. In my physics theory, change in the universe only occurs between pairs of electrons when they interact. It must always be remembered that Quality cannot be quantified, as it is intrinsically dynamic, but can be ‘frozen’ in our memories; it always defines the next happenings in reality. Doubling the amount of 'Good' stuff may be harmful or unnecessary (that way …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
leads to greed). Quantity is the lazy person's way of avoiding quality judgements and personal responsibility. The ideal should always be sufficient ("enough") and this is a (personal) qualitative judgement, not a synonym for quantity. Most people can get an intuitive sense of dynamic quality when they listen to music they love. 7.0 – THE GOOD 7.1 DEFINITION
Webster’s gives 17 definitions of this basic word; the preferred definition is a general term for approval or commendation i.e. desirable. Only bizarre situations lead to anyone preferring the bad over the good. 7.2 PHILOSOPHY
Some philosophers have defined The Good as any property that anyone approves of (a pretty vague and therefore useless set of words). G. E. Moore was a leading professor of philosophy at Cambridge. He was notably unusual as an academic philosopher for his directness and simplicity, so that for example, in his most famous 1903 book “Principia Ethica”, he wrote that the idea of the Good was not definable but was a simple universal idea that was understood intuitively by everyone (and so, always subjective). This upsets philosophers who prefer universal, unchanging conceptual definitions, as then Aristotle must fail to find an objective, timeless definition of the ‘Greatest Good’ or ‘good-in-itself’. Pirsig’s “Zen” is ultimately about Goodness, although he became finally convinced (as stated at the end of ‘Lila’) that ‘Good was a noun, not an adjective’; this was his solution to the problem of Quality. One of the central beliefs of this essay is the proposition that ‘Good' is a biological decision as all life is contingent on life promoting/supporting actions that require suitable decisions to survive and thrive. This perspective applies to both individuals AND societies. It is not arbitrary or simply cultural; societies can disappear just like an individual life form. In this sense, Morality and Ethics are Absolute. It is one’ ordered set of VALUES that define if we make good decisions most of the time or not. Values are empirical!! (i.e. based on observation or experience); and occasionally powerful experiences will adjust the Value preferences. 8.0 – POLITICS In a democracy, the official government has an agreed monopoly on legal violence. Thus, as there are deep separations in values (the Conservative and the Liberal) it is inevitable that there will then be deep 40 dialogue
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political divisions over which group will control the government for the next agreed term of office. The real problem is that each group wants to use the state power, through the Law, to control those who do not share their values. In extreme cases, such as divisions over religious views, this can break down into Civil War: the ultimate breakdown in the agreed value of civil order. The solution must be the growth of toleration of differences and the avoidance of legalizing contentious positions. Historically, when people have been free to choose their values, two distinct clusters have arisen that have been called Conservative and Liberal. The primary difference are views on individualism versus the group or (by shorthand): Selfish versus Social. The usual set of values (often complementary) found within each cluster are as follows. Conservative:
Strong preference for the self and (perhaps) their own family members, very resistant to all restrictions on their personal freedom, regular preference for the Old (and ‘proven’), belief in unchanging (bad) Human Nature, doubtful about science and experts, tolerant of inequalities (strong belief in ‘breeding’), trust in those in authority (Law & Justice), resistive to most changes (changes are unlikely to be positive), loyalty to old ideas (especially religion), suspicious of others (especially government), emphasis on self-discipline and personal responsibility for one’s action, broad respect for hierarchies and social leaders, minimal empathy for the suffering of others, tolerance for state violence (military & police), fascination with money, preferring quantity over quality; often (not always) highly risk averse. Liberal:
Freedom of personal choice (sexual), easy divorce, faith in formal education (meritocracy), trust in science and experts, tolerant of strong, centralized (nontyrannical) governments, suspicious of markets, commitment to fairness (justice), opposed to inherited wealth (to be minimized by redistribution), against religious intolerance, opposed to state violence, faith in legal rights and protections, belief in inevitable progress and social improvements. 9.0 – CONCLUSIONS Good/Bad is the basic spectrum of Values that each of us must use to make decisions as we navigate our lives. QUALITY is the essence of Life. The biological urge to SURVIVE can only be defeated by the "Urge to Merge" - in other words LOVE, with its miracle of www.dialogue.ca
replacement (BIRTH). Thus, the OLD can gracefully exit and allow the NEW to try to improve. The modern age is characterized by excessive, commercial activity that has generated an explosion of ‘products’. However, this blunts our ability to choose; so we need to remember that neither money nor ‘stuff’ are ultimately satisfying. History shows us that this usually involves rewarding activities, such as developing our personal relationships and cultivating genuine friends. Since values are both personal and foundational then this may explain why so many strongly resist theirs being changed by others, which makes them brakes on cultural changes. It is ironic that Liberal ideas arose with the Modern Age around 1600, particularly after the violent religious civil wars; it is a further irony of western history that this New Emergence was stimulated by the birth of Capitalism and (financial) markets. Unfortunately, our recent history (post 1914) has demonstrated that we can no longer put our faith in traditional Rationality and
reliance on determining The Truth. Our civilization now desperately needs a new synthesis of our divergent traditions to produce a radical dynamism that is stable and sustainable. This requires a new consensus on the values that we can agree on. Perhaps, only by admitting that Values are Subjective will most people avoid the temptation to use the State to promote a group’s singular conception of the Good. This implies that we must be cautious about those attracted to "Power over (other) People" (i.e. Politics), who hold very powerful values that include compelling others to agree with them; they are too dangerous to be allowed to change the laws of the land. We are left with the critical question: Can the promotion of individual freedom (non-institutionalized value promotion) generate a self-sustaining society, especially in a multi-ethnic and diverse religious society? Herbert Spencer, Surrey BC, email@example.com ♣
More on “ V alue”
What is Valuable?
By Brendalee Vokes, Owen Sound, ON
When you think of the word "valuable", what do you think of? Some might think of houses, traditional or modern; cars, new or classic; art, renaissance or modern; jewellery, gold or gemstones. Perhaps books, first editions or signed copies? What is it about that item that speaks to you? Did you ever think about that item being the end result of something more valuable? I bet you are shaking your head, thinking, “What?” Well, let’s go deeper. Can you imagine the hands of the person who created that valuable item? Can you picture the hands of the architect or engineer and the workers who created and built that home you live in or that car you drive? Can you see the hands of the artist creating your piece of artwork? How about the designer who stylized and crafted your piece of jewellery? Can you focus on the hands of that writer? Good, now let's go deeper than that... What was the inspiration for that valuable item? Think hard. The answer is what you are doing right now… using your brain! It all started with a thought, a passion… a unique valuable quality called “YOU.” Yes, YOU! You are more valuable than any item you have created! All of us have been given certain gifts or www.dialogue.ca
talents to make the most of in this life. Now before you say, "I don’t have any", don’t be so hard on yourself. Yes, some of you have known what you have wanted to do since you were very young, but some or I should say most of us had to search for it -- and if you haven’t found it yet, I say to you, “DON’T GIVE UP!” Keep looking, because who you are is valuable! Think about what you LOVE to do that takes your breath away or that seems effortless for you to do. Some of you may be architects, builders, craftsmen, engineers, artists, designers or writers, and you have created things of value mentioned above. Or perhaps you are wired differently.... for cooking or organizing; music or working with numbers? And some of you have been equipped with other unique qualities that can be used to pioneer something new or put a twist on something old. All of us have valuable qualities to share with the world... But we don’t seem to hold these qualities as valuable. Let me repeat… You are valuable and are needed in some capacity, somewhere. Don’t be afraid to find out what your valuable qualities are, and if you see something valuable in someone else, tell them so. You are very valuable! In fact, you could call yourself, “Priceless!!!” firstname.lastname@example.org ♣ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
THE MAGIC BANK ACCOUNT Received from Sammy Camilleri, Sault Ste. Marie, ON (email@example.com ) THE AUTHOR IS NOT KNOWN... IT WAS FOUND IN THE BILLFOLD OF FOOTBALL COACH PAUL ‘BEAR’ BRYANT, ALABAMA, AFTER HE DIED IN 1983.
Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has certain rules. The set of Rules: 1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you. 2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account. 3. You may only spend It. 4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day. 5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time, it can say, Game Over!” It can close the account and you will not receive a new one. What would you personally do? You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don't know because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every penny and use it all because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL... Shocked ??? YES! Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE.* We just can't seem to see it. The PRIZE is *TIME*.... 1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a Gift of Life for that day... 2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us. 3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost. 4. Yesterday is forever. Gone. 5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING. SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you might think. So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life! Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start spending.... "DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD." Remember; SOME PEOPLE DO NOT GET THAT PRIVILEGE. ♣
I remember the year Santa came into his own… Bonna Rouse, Owen Sound ON
Do you remember believing in Santa? Ever? Never? There wasn't so much emphasis placed on the fellow in the red suit when I was a kid - he appeared on Christmas cards, and in the songs we sang at the Christmas concerts. When Santa came through the schoolhouse door following the program, it was a guessing game who was under the moth-eaten suit and the beard that grew more tattered each year - somebody's Dad or the fattest man in the neighborhood? I don't know what we really thought about jolly old St. Nick. I realized very early on that since we had a large cookstove in the kitchen and a cheerfully glowing box stove in the parlour of the old farm house, any elf who came down those chimneys would get seriously scorched. Somehow, something didn't add up. I won't say I totally disbelieved, but then, I had never seen the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny either. However, I do remember a year when Santa came into 42 dialogue
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his own. I desired a ring. No one in the little country school had one! I pored over Eaton's catalogue, pointing out the one I yearned for. I dreamt about that ring, it was going to somehow change my life; I would be Someone, with a capital "S" – not just a-skinny, undergrown kid among the motley crew at school. My grandmother, with infinite wisdom, and probably with her tongue in her cheek, aided and abetted me. She helped me clip out the little measuring diagram Eaton's had thoughtfully provided, assisted me to wrap it around the chosen finger, and encouraged me to write to Santa! Christmas Eve, the cookies and milk were placed in full view, to sustain Himself: regardless of how he got into the house, and I was packed off to bed. I slept on a little cot in the comer of my grandparent's room, since it was the warmest room in the house. It was also right above the kitchen with a grate in the floor to allow heat to come upstairs. www.dialogue.ca
A loud creak from down below brought me upright. "What was that?" I gasped. Grandma quickly reassured me, "It's nothing. Go back to sleep." It took a while, I knew everyone was in bed, so who was down there, bumping into the table? Next morning, beside the smeary glass, and the plate of cookie crumbs, lay a small parcel. My ring, exactly as shown in the Eaton's catalog, the right size, and even the daintily scrolled initials - my faith in Santa took an
upswing! Hadn't I heard him! I hadn't told him what I wanted on my ring but oh, joy, he had somehow known! I knew in later years that the cooling temperature of the kitchen had caused the old wooden table to creak, and certainly my letter would get waylaid by parent or grandparent, but that Christmas morning I was a convert! Bonna Rouse (Grey-Bruce Writers Club) ♣
“Stirring the Soup” Visions of Sugar Plums Marie Gaudet, Edmonton AB firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always looked for, often found, unexpectedly experienced, keenly longed for, single-mindedly chased after and been utterly mystified, dazzled and thoroughly enchanted by the essence of magic throughout my life! I have always loved it, felt surrounded by it and cannot imagine living life without it, even now in my, err, umm, Indian Summer. Christmas was the first time I ever experienced magic. From a child’s viewpoint, a plain, ordinary house suddenly becomes a sparkling, lavishly decorated new home, with a large beautiful crèche set up and Baby Jesus smiling down upon us, the fragrance of a real Balsam fir, cut down by my father and brothers, filling the house and our senses, maman making “la tire sur la neige” (maple taffy on snow), and the most supernatural sight of all (to us), a mountain of Christmas presents sitting underneath the tree! No matter that there was only one for each of us, that wasn’t important, it still trounced even the mouth-watering scenes and scents of fruit, candies, cookies and cakes daily, the cheek-kissing relatives stopping in constantly for a Christmas drink, dancing well into the night as a week-long prelude to Christmas, and a fullon roast turkey meal AFTER DARK on Christmas Eve after returning from mass AFTER MIDNIGHT. Never mind visions of sugar plums in our dreams when the whole energy of our home had been miraculously changed. It was brighter and livelier, it had been converted into a place where anything was possible, all good things could happen to you, every dream could be realized, those presents under the tree might www.dialogue.ca
be anything you wished for, the love and happiness that surrounded us would last forever and best of all, Santa would be coming during the night with yet more presents! Now, that is magical and you can’t tell me otherwise! Of course, I was really bummed when I found out about Santa and I still curse out my brother for bursting my bubble, but he was too late anyways because by that time, a spark of magic had already begun to grow in my soul – yes, that immortal glowing space within me that he couldn’t access and snuff out by throwing snails and puppy dog tails at it. But I digress. So life may have gotten back to normal after Christmas, but my magic never really left me because I knew that Christmas would come back every year. I have nurtured and treasured this spark every year since, and when my kids came along, I gave them all that I received when I was little, and then I got creative and added my own touches. I invented my own traditions too, for example although family and friends were always welcome to drop in anytime for a visit and a drink before Christmas, the particularly toxic ones (every family has one or two) eventually were “forgotten” off the Christmas Day dinner invitation list. I mean, if you can’t set your crap aside for a few hours, don’t bring it into my house and bring everyone else down. This is Christmas! Yeah, I can be a Grinch when you want to steal my magic. Once, after I had finished putting all the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve, I decided to dress up as Santa and go knock on my kids’ windows to wave at them. First I went to my son’s window (he must’ve been around 7), knocked on it and when he opened the curtain, I waved at him, winked, then took off straight away to the back of the house where I climbed a …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
indeed magical when I dared to open my eyes). Where coconuts grow above you and pineapples below (who knew about the latter? Not I!). Valentine’s Day weddings can also be magical. I was very fortunate to be able to get out of Dodge (Edmonton) in the middle of winter, five years ago when my daughter got married in California. Although she had some pretty wild dreams of her “perfect” wedding, she is the first to admit today that her small backyard wedding in the San Jose area was better than anything she could have imagined and more. And the two of them look stunning in their photos! Later on in my work world, I brought the same spark And have you noticed how people do actually try of magic to friends and colharder at Christmasleagues (no, I didn’t go time? They try to be knocking on their bedroom friendlier, more compaswindows). Rather, I started sionate and helpful to up an annual Christmas others. Where during party where our traditional any other month they French-Canadian customs might get snarky at the were showcased. Our very teller because of a long best party, attended by about wait, now they laugh and 40 people, was at La tell him/her it’s OK and Bohème Restaurant in wish them a Merry Edmonton, an historic VicChristmas as they walk torian-style building built in away. When out walking 1912 with original pressed in our picture-perfect Christmas with Mr. & Mrs. Clause tin ceilings, arched doorwinter scenes or skating ways and small fireplaces throughout. So lovely and on a community rink, everyone has a smile on their magical in its own right!! We brought our own musiface and a hello for all and sundry. Everyone I know cians to play for us, artists to perform folk dances. takes the time to count their blessings and then magiScrumptious turkey, stuffing and tourtière were cally turn that feeling into charitable deeds like giving served, games and prizes given out too, and as an untheir time to deliver gifts to the many who are in need expected surprise (see how magic works?), a group of these days. Even little kids have less trouble shifting Christmas carolers walking by stopped in for a song from naughty to nice at this time of year. Man, we fest and to warm up and have a hot chocolate with us. could seriously heal the world’s ills with all the sugar This was one of the many times in my life when and spice in the air around Christmas! magic surpassed even highest expectations! This 2018 Holiday, a little bit of magic poked me in In my travels, I have often found magic of all sorts. the ribs. While walking around the mall, I stopped to The magic of Costa Rica, for example, is undeniable. see the little kiddies getting their picture taken with [Photos, p.59] It was where I saw real, live monkeys Santa. The jolly old elf looked pretty good, I thought, living free for the first time. And where the Bird of and were those real whiskers? He took the time to talk Paradise and the sweetest-smelling hydrangea I’ve to the little ones and connect with them before he even ever sniffed grow wild everywhere. Where the mapicked them up to sit on his lap. He seemed kind and caw, with its vibrant plumage and testy attitude togentle, like a man who loves children. I talked to one wards other macaws, lives and loves and sometimes of the moms in the line-up, saying “Geez, he looks fights in the sunshine. Where the world’s longest ziplike the real thing, whiskers and all.” She replied, lines can be found (yes, I did that, and yes, it was “Yeah, this is the same Santa that’s been coming to small ladder to get to the younger kids’ windows and wave at them. Then I managed to rush into the house via the back door, quickly remove the Santa costume and sit quietly in front of the TV before the kids began coming out of their rooms to play detective and see whether it was mom or dad who had come to their windows. They never found their proof, though of course they had their doubts. But the light in their eyes when they’d seen me at their windows reminded me very much of that spark of magic I hold so dear, and I know the enchantments they conjure up for their own kids now will sprout and grow as mine have.
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this mall for years.” I walked away thoughtfully, wondering exactly how many years. When I got home, out came the family photo bin and I started rummaging. From three years ago, I found a photo of my infant grandson on that Santa’s lap! My condo was in shambles by the time I got to the bottom of the bin and found the photo of my two youngest children sitting on… yup, the same
Santa’s lap… 28 years ago!! So apparently Santa has been a part of not only my life, but my kids’ and grandkids’ too! I had thought the magic was only in the air and in my heart, but now… Oh my God, has Santa been real all along??? Marie Gaudet, Edmonton email@example.com ♣
Randy Vancourt, Toronto ON
Christmas has always been my favourite time of year. As far back as I can recall, I breathlessly began anticipating it weeks in advance; I starting singing Christmas carols in October and planning out my gift requests with great focus and precision. I watched every holiday special that came on television, no matter how many times I had already seen them. Of course those were the days when the only time you could see these shows was when they aired – no DVD or on-demand viewing for us. I looked forward excitedly each year to my visit with Santa at our local mall. Growing up in Quebec I always found it confusing that our Santa spoke English with a French accent, and seemed to smell strongly of cigarettes. Gitanes, I believe. He also arrived there every year in a helicopter, which seemed odd for a guy with a sleigh. Between school and church I participated in numerous pageants and Christmas shows each year. I remember the wonder of being part of a group of young kids walking down the aisle each year at Christmas Eve service, every wall aglow with candles, singing, “O Come All Ye Faithful.” As I grew older I began taking on a larger role during these events, performing on piano as two of my brothers played guitar and flute. Our family had a few simple Christmas rituals. We always had a real tree, in spite of my mother’s annual assertion that she was fed up with vacuuming needles and NEXT year we were getting an artificial one. We were always allowed to open up one gift www.dialogue.ca
on Christmas Eve in order to keep our little heads from exploding from excitement before the next morning. And every December 24th we knew we were going to be eating the same thing for supper: Tourtière. The greatest food to ever come out of Quebec (sorry, poutine!), I’m not sure if it was due to our French Canadian extraction or because it was the simplest meal to make before heading out to church, but it would not have been Christmas Eve without it on the menu. Of course the seasoning includes cinnamon and cloves, so just the act of cooking tourtière makes the house smell festive. I have started experimenting with my own recipe for this dish to ensure that the tradition continues. I’m now the father of two beautiful little kids of my own. Our son Mathis is 4 and full of wonder and excitement about the coming event. He attends junior kindergarten and we recently enjoyed him in his very first Christmas concert. He was so excited after the show that we barely had the heart to tell him it was not yet Christmas vacation. His little sister Ellery is just 16 months so her understanding of this holiday is still a bit on the vague side. She loves our tree but seems most interested in removing as many ornaments as she can carry. We’re debating the safest time to place wrapped presents beneath it since we’re unclear on how long they will survive before being ripped open by her tiny hands. I’m currently the music director for a Toronto church which means that this Christmas Eve will once again find me at the organ and piano, playing the carols I know by heart. When I watch my kids listening to the same songs I heard every Christmas – and ideally not running up and …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
down the aisle – I become very conscious of the circularity of life. At their young ages it’s not difficult for them to be bursting with the joy and wonder of this special season, but I feel one of my jobs as a good parent is to make sure that as they grow this spirit
endures in their hearts as full and bright as the Bethlehem star. My other important job? To make sure they learn to love tourtière. Merry Christmas! Website: www.randyvancourt.com ♣
Randy’s Tourtière Recipe TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 30 mins; Bake Time: about 45 minutes at 400F; SERVINGS: 4-6, 1 pie
INGREDIENTS • 1⁄3 lb ground beef • 1⁄3 lb ground pork • 1⁄3 lb ground veal* • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 1 large potato, grated • 1 small garlic clove, crushed • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt • 1⁄4 teaspoon celery salt • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground clove • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg • 1⁄2 cup water • Pastry for a double-crust pie
*NOTE: Although this recipe calls for the traditional 3 meats, you can easily drop the veal. Just make sure to use a pound of meat in total.
DIRECTIONS 1. Place the meat in a large saucepan and cook until no longer pink. 2.Add all the other ingredients (except for pie shell) into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes over medium heat. 3.Cool the meat mixture and pour in pastry-lined pan. 4.Cover with the top crust, cut steam vents and bake in a 400F oven 35 - 45 minutes. Enjoy! ♣ **************************************************************
On the existence of the historical Jesus Paul Hellyer, Toronto
Responding to what many believe… “that the existence of Christ is just a myth. The famous Roman/ Jewish historian, Josephus, at the time never mentioned Christ specifically in his writings.” This is the same issue that I addressed in the first of my recent trilogy of books, Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Survival Plan for the Human Species. Tom Harpur was a former religious editor for the Toronto Star who in one of his later books, The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light, hinted of the nonexistence of the historical Jesus. The following are the two paragraphs that I included in my book. In Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code, (18) Bart D. Ehrman, one of the most knowledgeable scholars that I have been privileged to read, while acknowledging that there is very little historical evidence of Jesus’ life and times apart from the Gospels – including both those that made it into the canon, and those that did not because they were suppressed – quotes the Jewish historian Josephus, author of a twenty46 dialogue
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volume history of the Jews from Adam and Eve up to and including his own time, who mentioned Jesus twice. Ehrman elaborates as follows: “In one reference he discusses a man named James, who was the ‘brother of Jesus, who is called the messiah.’ That’s all he says about him in this reference. In the other reference, however, he gives fuller information: that Jesus was known to be a doer of ‘spectacular deeds,’ that he had followers among both Greeks and Jews, that he was delivered over to Pontius Pilate by the ‘leaders’ of the Jewish people, that he was crucified, and that his followers continued down to Josephus’s own day.” (19) This is the same Jesus that Tom Harpur claims did not exist!” Notes: 18. Bart D. Ehrman, Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.) 19. Ibid., p. 106.
Jesus was not God-incarnate, a point that I made in the same book. But in my third and final book of the trilogy, Hope Restored, which is just released, I www.dialogue.ca
argue that his principal role was to paint the legitimate face of God as a peace-loving, caring God who is interested in all of his children but in particular the poor, the hungry, the sick, the challenged and so on. This was to refute the Old Testament image of God as a bloodthirsty, warmongering God, which he never was. That image came from a highly developed species of aliens, the Elohim, who came to earth and passed themselves off as gods which was not difficult to do in those times. In Hope Restored, I describe how God created the cosmos and then uses his friends to carry out his plans. Frankly, I think that there might be a number of
your readers who would be interested in Hope Restored, an autobiography, which relates to my early and political years and then continues on with what I have learned in the last 13 years since I discovered that species from other planets and star systems have been visiting earth for thousands of years. All three of the trilogy, the two mentioned as well as The Money Mafia: A World in Crisis, are available from my website www.paulhellyerweb.com as well as from other sources. It would make good stocking stuffer! Warmest best wishes to all, Paul Hellyer ♣
About Paul Hellyer’s new book, Hope Restored: My Life & Views on Canada,
the U.S., the World & the Universe
This powerful book argues that the human species is at a tipping point when it is forced to choose between a New World Order fascist government committed to rapid depopulation or a world of peace and justice. Hellyer demonstrates that God is alive, well and everywhere, and that humanity's choice is between the Dark and the Light. To follow the Light means giving up atomic weapons, replacing the oil economy with clean zero-point energy developed by Americans in the 1960s, having governments create 34 percent of all new money for public purposes rather than borrowing it from the 62 elite banking families, a reconciliation of the two main branches of Islam, and a just settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute to bring peace to the Middle East. Finally it will be necessary for all countries, races, and faiths, especially young people, to forgive past atrocities and work together in common purpose to save the heritage they have in common. Paperback – Sep 24 2018 by Paul Hellyer, author; 280 pages; Publisher: Trine Day; ISBN-10: 9781634241847
Reader Review, from CB, October 22, 2018
This book is a fascinating look at a period of Canadian history and the inner workings of politics through Mr. Hellyer's experiences and career. His life story is very interesting, and it was refreshing to hear a politician self reflect with grace and humour. The author is well known for his public support of having reasonable and open discussions on esoteric topics that some would prefer to keep in the dark. Mr. Hellyer presents his views on these topics in this book, and how he came to them with honesty and integrity. This is an excellent and enlightening www.dialogue.ca
read for those who have open eyes, ears and mind. Paul Hellyer is one of Canada’s best known and most controversial politicians. At 95, former Canadian Cabinet Minister Paul Hellyer is still as active as ever, and deeply engaged in a wide variety of world issues. First elected in 1949, he was the youngest cabinet minister appointed to Louis S. St. Laurent’s government eight years later. He subsequently held senior posts in the governments of Lester B. Pearson and Pierre E. Trudeau, who defeated him for the Liberal Party leadership in 1968. The following year, after achieving the rank of senior minister, which was later designated Deputy Prime Minister, Hellyer resigned from the Trudeau cabinet on a question of principle related to housing. Although Hellyer is best known for the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces and for his 1968 chairmanship of the Task Force on Housing and Urban Development, he has maintained a life-long interest in macroeconomics. Through the years, as a journalist and political commentator, he has continued to fight for economic reforms and has written several books on the subject. A man of many interests, Hellyer’s ideas are not classroom abstractions. He was born and raised on a farm and his business experience includes manufacturing, retailing, construction, land development, tourism and publishing. He has also been active in community affairs including the arts and studied voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. His multi-faceted career, in addition to a near-lifetime in politics, gives Hellyer a rare perspective on what has gone wrong with world economies. In recent years he has become interested in the extraterrestrial presence and their superior technology that we have been emulating. In September 2005 he became the first person of cabinet rank in the G8 group of countries to state unequivocally “UFO’s are as real as the airplanes flying overhead.” From his website: www.paulhellyerweb.com/ ♣ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
“Your Health Matters”
THE FORK IN THE ROAD - A model for medicine Dr. Derrick Lonsdale, Strongsville OH
Looking at the history of the development of medical thinking, there are many different models. A model represents an idea, a structural format that fits for the cause and treatment of disease, a word defined in Webster as “any departure from normal health, an illness.” For example the model that is used today in the West is completely different from that used by the ancient Chinese and it would seem to be pertinent to look at how our Western model was developed in the first place. Until the internal structures of the body and their functions were defined it was totally impossible to understand any principles of why we get sick. Throughout medieval history there was in fact no model. Very early concepts blamed demons and evil spirits and for several centuries, bleeding the patient seems to have been the only treatment offered. These ideas were developed out of ignorance. Our present model was derived from the discovery of organisms that were so small that they could not be seen without a microscope. This idea, however, was born even before the development of the microscope. Semmelweiss was a 19th century Hungarian physician. He had observed that physicians would enter the delivery room directly from the morgue to deliver mothers of their infants. Since the puerperal “childbed” fever had a mortality rate of 10 to 35%, but germs had not yet been discovered, Semmelweiss concluded that the physicians were “bringing something in on their hands”. He made them wash their hands before delivering any of their patients. Childbed fever virtually disappeared, as we would now expect. Even with this practical evidence that the current medical model was wrong, Semmelweiss was persecuted and derided by the medical profession because his concept was “out-of-the-box.” It infringed on the philosophy that governed medical thinking at that time, an unforgivable sin in the eyes of his medical compatriots who were ultimately shown to be themselves wrong. Well, as we all know, the germ theory was finally accepted and it provided the very first idea for the cause 48 dialogue
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of disease. The foundation of this model is that an attacking agent is “the enemy.” The direction that took place was to kill “the enemy.” The philosophy was “kill the bacterium, kill the virus, kill the cancer cell” and medical science has spent years and is still trying to develop compounds and treatments that would kill the “enemy” without killing the patient. You can be sure that they killed a lot of patients (and still do) in their attempts, until the dramatic discovery of penicillin that opened the so-called antibiotic era. Antibiotic resistance is now a new threat conjured up by the “enemy.” The fork in the road I like to think imaginatively that medicine was “walking down a long rough road.” It came to a fork with the road leading to the right that carried a signpost. The signpost said “Kill the enemy.” The road leading to the left had no signpost so the right fork was the obvious one to travel. Kill the bacteria; kill the virus; kill the cancer cell. Be aggressive; don’t let the disease take over the show. The rest of this article deals with what the left fork may have yielded. I suggest that the signpost would have said “Help the defense.” Copy Hippocrates; don’t do any harm; above all, avoid a noisy mechanical hospital so that the patient can assist himself by proper rest while listening to gentle music. Make sure that his nutrition is appropriate so that “food becomes his medicine.” The body as a fortress I now call into effect the reader’s imagination. Think of the body as like an old-fashioned fortress. An attack would demand a defense orchestrated by a commander. To watch for an attack there would always have to be guards or sentries posted on the battlements. Sighting a would-be attack by a guard would involve sending a messenger to the commander so that he could organize the defense. The body works like that. White cells are just like the imagined soldiers as they “go into battle”. All the other phenomena that we call “an infection” are really generated as part of a complex defensive system. The brain body concept The human brain, complex as it is, consists of two www.dialogue.ca
basic parts which I am going to call the “upper” and “lower” brains. The upper brain is responsible for our thoughts and voluntary actions, the “ego” described by Freud. It conducts messages to the body through a nervous system that is called voluntary, giving us what we call willpower. The lower brain, the “id” described by Freud and where the central command is located, is automatic and controls an involuntary nervous system known as autonomic. It initiates a number of reflexes, the best known of which is called the fight-or-flight, a survival reflex activated by any form of danger that threatens life. It acts with “advice and consent” provided by the upper brain, that is then able to modify the reflex action. There are many other reflexes controlled from id, all of them being protective of either personal survival or survival of our species. The fight-or-flight is personal protection whereas the primitive part of our sex drive is species protection. So let us see how an infection (the enemy) is handled. Imagine someone who has picked up a splinter in his finger. Unknown to him the splinter carries Staphylococci. The first defensive reaction is the development of what we call a pustule. This represents what I like to call a “beachhead.” The pus that forms is created from the dead white cells that have sacrificed themselves to killing the Staphylococci. This is a local mechanism and if handled successfully will resolve the problem. If this defense is unsuccessful, the “beachhead” is breached and the Staphylococci begin to flow into the body through the lymphatic system. The “battlements” have been breached. The lower brain is informed and begins to activate a general defense. The body temperature goes up (yes, it is the brain that causes your fever) because germs are programmed to have their most noxious effect at 37°C, normal body temperature. By increasing the temperature of the body the efficiency of the germ is compromised. A message goes out to the body organs to release white blood cells as the defensive “soldiers” (they go to the “breached battlements”) and explains why the white cell count increases in concert with the fever. Lymph glands increase in size because they are being prepared for destruction of the germs that they encounter. The patient feels ill, forcing him to take a rest. This conserves the energy required for carrying out the defensive system. Now the battle is in full effect and the outcome is resolution, death or sometimes www.dialogue.ca
stalemate where the battle is neither won nor lost. The left fork in the road The point that I am trying to make here is that the defensive mechanism is as important to the resolution as killing the enemy in a safe way. It demands a colossal amount of energy to be effective and this is generated from the results of good nutrition. So let us see how we can assist the process. The paradox is that two thirds of the world population is suffering from starvation while one third is dying from over eating the wrong foods. The clinical effects of starvation are completely different from those incurred by eating too much of the wrong foods. Behavior of people in the state of starvation is governed by the catastrophic hunger and search for food. The people eating the wrong food have an entirely different course, the effects of what I call high calorie malnutrition. These are “the walking sick.” They are not hospital cases and their symptoms are often referred to as being psychosomatic because all their conventional tests are negative. Let us follow the case of John Doe. He sees his physician complaining of palpitations of the heart. The focus is on the heart and no thought is given to the action of the autonomic system. He gets a prescription which governs the symptom. A month later he sees the same physician because of alternating diarrhea and constipation. He receives a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome and gets a prescription. No thought is given to the action of the autonomic system or the possibility that the former prescription has made things worse. No questions are asked concerning the nature of his diet. If and when he has emotional disease such as anxiety, outbursts of anger or depression, no thought is given to the abnormal chemistry occurring in the brain. Imagine the kind of diet that this American citizen, John Doe is ingesting. Let us suggest that he has a doughnut and 2 cups of coffee for breakfast, a coffee break midmorning and enjoys a two Martini lunch. Let us suggest that he has a macaroni dinner with several more Martinis before, exhausted from the day’s work, he sits in an armchair watching television and goes to bed, only to repeat the same performance the next day. His health is good and remains good for many years on this, or a similar, regimen. Let us say that 10 years later he is the John Doe that gets a prescription for heart palpitations. Because his symptoms are constantly relieved, he has a very high .../ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Dr. Lonsdale, The Fork In The Road, contd.
respect for his physician and continues to attend periodically for various symptoms such as “an allergy”. The years roll by and one day he develops mysterious symptoms related to his nervous system. He sees the same physician and is referred to a neurologist who diagnoses Parkinson’s disease. In the present medical concept, there is absolutely no connection between his years of dietary indiscretion and the appearance of a chronic neurological disease. John Doe may even ask the physician whether his diet has got any bearing on the development of this disease and he is told that it has absolutely no connection at all. I submit to you, the reader, that this is “food for thought.” Energy metabolism The combination of between 70 and 100 trillion cells make up the human body. Our functions are dependent upon the cooperation of every single one of these cells, each of which depends on energy. Brain cells, and particularly those of the lower brain (the command center) are highly sensitive to energy deficiency. Oddly enough, the reflexes that I have described above become much more active. Panic attacks, so common today, are fragmented fight-or flight reflexes. They indicate DANGER. The symptoms generated like this are nothing more than warnings. They are merely indicating that the cells in that part of the brain are either starved of oxygen, the vitamin/mineral combination that enables oxidation to occur efficiently, or that empty calories are overwhelming the ability of the vitamin/mineral combination to perform that function. As I have said in these posts before, it is exactly what would happen in a car if the engine was “choked” by too rich a mixture of gasoline. When you are young, your cells can cope with the situation and for many years you may have either no symptoms or the kind of symptoms that get classified as psychosomatic. Ultimately, permanent damage develops and it is not surprising that the brain becomes the focal point of the disease. This strongly suggests that as we “take the left fork in the road;” prevention is far better than cure. Are vitamin and mineral supplements necessary? Because farming practices have changed, the fruit and vegetables may not have the nutrient density that they used to have. A lot of food eaten today is manufactured by the food industry and also may not have the 50 dialogue
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nutrient density in spite of vitamin enrichment. I am therefore inclined to believe that vitamin/ mineral supplements are becoming a preventive necessity. This particularly applies to people with the greatest intelligence since their brain cells could be expected to require more energy than those less well endowed. It does not however take us off the hook. Restricting yourself to God-made food is still necessary. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS There are three models that I like to use in describing the brain/body relationship. The fortress model This is an ideal way of expressing a response to an infection. Bacterial, viral, fungal, prions and carcinogenic substances all represent “the enemy”. The body contains all the defensive measures but they have to be coordinated, depending upon the nature of the attack. The autonomic (automatic) nervous system sends signals from the locality of the attack to the brain that contains the “command center”. This then coordinates the defense. The orchestra model An orchestra would be completely inept without a conductor. I visualize the conductor in the lower part of the brain. The organs of the body represent the “banks of instruments” that make up an orchestra. The cells within each organ represent the “instrumentalists.” Each cell knows exactly what it has to do but it has to cooperate with all the other cells in the organ and with all the other organs. When this beautiful orchestration is healthy I like to describe it as” the Symphony of Health.” The health of the conductor is crucial. The car engine model The modern car burns gasoline that is ignited by a spark plug that derives its electrical energy from a battery. Our 70 to 100 trillion body cells burn glucose. The spark plugs are vitamins and minerals. The ‘explosion’ in the cylinder of a car is called oxidation in the body. The explosion drives a piston within a cylinder that connects with the transmission. Hence, the energy derived from the engine is transmitted to the wheels of the car. By the same token the human body has to move and carry out all its functions. Like the car, the engines of the cell are called mitochondria. They produce the energy that results in the synthesis of an important “currency” called ATP. That “currency” is expended through the equivalent of a ‘transmission,’ a complex www.dialogue.ca
chemical process that enables function to occur. Nutrition Think of this! The first forms of life in the early existence of our world were plants. They absorb carbon monoxide and release oxygen. With some exceptions, members of the animal kingdom, including Homo sapiens, require oxygen. Is this an amazing coincidence or is it by design? Also, if the food had not been here when we arrived on the face of the earth, we could not have survived. The design is only complete when we consume natural food. – Derrick Lonsdale, M.D. “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? and also Why I Left Orthodox Medicine, and, in Aug 2017, his new book: Thiamine Deficiency Disease, Dysautonomia, and High Calorie Malnutrition by Derrick Lonsdale (Author), Chandler Marrs (Author) explores thiamine and how its deficiency affects the functions of the brainstem and autonomic nervous system by way of metabolic changes at the level of the mitochondria… This book represents the life work of the senior author, Dr. Derrick Lonsdale, and a recent collaboration with his co-author Dr. Chandler Marrs. ISBN: 0128103876 / ♣
That’s My Take On It
Choosing a better way John Shadbolt, Acton ON
For some 90 years, I have lived on this planet and enjoyed its bounty. For some 90 years, I have not really thought about my impact on the planet, but that has changed. Now I am continually looking for a better way, a way that can help stop some of the bad things I do ‘because that’s what most people do.’ In fact, the fact that most people do it is reason enough to take a hard look, and re-evaluate. So in my desire to this end, my thoughts turned to all the chemicals we use for laundry. I had never given it much thought, but I know that putting tons of washing chemicals into our water supply is not good for us or fish, etc. We drink this; life is water. So why pollute it? With this in mind I did some research, and purchased some eco nuts, which are a natural product. I also found several other makes of organic laundry detergent which I will try, using a made-in-Canada product if I can. So about one month ago our laundry started being washed with Eco Nuts – came out fine. No problems. No harsh fish killing chemicals. But then when the laundry was washed on a Saturday morning, that night I went to bed at 11pm, but at 1am I awoke with my legs and feet itching so much it woke me. No sleep the rest of the night. Sunday… the same thing happened. What I did not know was that the washing had been done with the old chemical crap – and obviously I was getting a reaction big time. So the laundry was rewashed with Eco Nuts, and I had a good night’s sleep. www.dialogue.ca
After this experience with ‘normal’ laundry detergent (‘everyone’ uses it to get brighter colors, etc.) I have to wonder what these chemicals have been doing to my body for as long as I have lived. Obviously my body became accustomed to being abused, and did not react. When given a better way to go there was a big reaction. So you may want to consider sleeping, wearing clothes that are not washed in chemicals. You may find you are a lot healthier. So there is nearly always a better way. Better than we first think! John Shadbolt firstname.lastname@example.org♣ **************************************************************
From: Stephanie McDowall, email@example.com
The Rich History of India, Vedic Knowledge From the invention of the decimal system in mathematics to the noble philosophy of ahimsã, Hindus have contributed in all fields of knowledge and learning. Over 5000 years ago, when Europeans were only nomadic forest dwellers, ancient Hindus had established a civilization, known as the Indus-Sarasvati Civilization which flourished over 12,000 years ago. When much of the world was still sunk in sleep, people of the Indus-Sarasvati culture were conducting trade workshops in weaving, bead-making, pottery, dying of fabrics, and metallurgy... Although modern images & descriptions of India often show poverty, India was one of the richest countries till the time of British in the early 17th Century. […]
Stephanie’s comment: Very interesting website. LINK: http://veda.wikidot.com/do-you-know ♣ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Tales from Fruitvale…
The Question of Life
Paul Bowles, Fruitvale BC firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of this essay generally is to enquire and speculate on the origin of the universe and subsequently, the question of life, is there purpose in it? I will get to the point – specifically, The Big Bang, our point of origin. Briefly I want to touch on the findings of Simon Singh, author of The Big Bang book. The story is a summary of scientific theories and corroborations leading to the Big Bang conclusion. The report of which was published in the Independent newspaper in April 1992. To make a long story short, this report of the Big Bang cause of origin was the result of a long struggle since the 1950s with scientists who contended that the universe was eternal with NO origin. Always had been and always will be, they called this ‘The Steady State model.’ This was challenged by other scientists who had examined the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation and made discovery of variations in the field, or as they called it “Lumps in the Soup,” which ultimately won the battle between the two models. So, we were exploded into being as a potential universe, a roiling reservoir of blazing hydrogen, turning into helium until cool enough to organise into atoms nebula, galaxies etc.,.... from light to matter, elements, form and life. To get to the point of the question of life, from this Big Bang energy, everything falls into place: - stars that power, planets that produce, moons that regulate, protozoa that create atmosphere, oceans with swimming creatures, animals that roam, insects and birds flying on air currents and ground dwellers who walk and work, think and learn, love and play, survive for a term and die, at least the body does, science does not speculate on the spirit behind it. So, what could lie behind the Big Bang? Science does not know, but WE have imagination. And THIS IS MY POINT, just as a SEED which lies inert or in other words, in a STEADY STATE, until conditions cause it to burst open, perhaps a STEADY STATE might lie BEHIND the Big Bang. From this eternal STEADY STATE seed, our universe EXPLODED into 52 dialogue
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dynamic creation, space and time, matter and mind. Life then evolved as conditions allowed. In conclusion to this question of life coming from a STERILE explosion, I would like to leave you with some HOPE that there is something fertile behind that explosion, an eternal STEADY STATE seed, from which we emerge imbued with the qualities of that seed, and in time, find opportunity and meaning in life, to find PURPOSE through our struggle to find a place to grow. Science sees NO purpose to life in its cold examination of cosmic events and laws, but GROWTH is everywhere visible and perpetuated from the warmth and rotating seasons of a planet planted in the ‘just right’ zone of our solar system. If organic and physical GROWTH is insufficient to demonstrate purpose, how do we explain our ever awakening CONSCIOUSNESS regarding the question of life?
And Reflections on Wisdom… Paul Bowles
I did not want to write about wisdom, it did not seem to be wise, so I asked my teacher friend Dave and he said, “Stick to what you know,” but I wasn’t clear on what I knew, I needed to reflect on it, then I realised, I had just lost my mail box key. In 2013, it was the Chinese Year of the Snake; that slithering reptile is, for some reason, the symbol of wisdom. The writings say, “Casting my seeds on fertile ground, I nurture them with constancy and purpose.” But, what do I know about wisdom? It is winter now: do we plunge down a flight of icy steps without a second thought of caution – not wise. Do we cross the road without looking? These are the foundations of wisdom, like building on solid ground, unless you are a Kurdish marsh dweller, living in a thatched yurt, floating on a patch of reeds upon a lake in Iraq. How do we know, to do or say what is wise? Is it intuition perhaps? Pure reason? A psychic sense? Perhaps it is a combination of knowledge, experience and understanding; maybe it is the quality of our mind showing us the way. But, good qualities of the mind can sometimes be misdirected and end in ruin, down the wrong road. Ambition is dangerous until it is www.dialogue.ca
fully socialized. We are told by John Milton, who wrote Paradise Lost back in the 1600’s, that the high angel Satan was cast down from Heaven, or high estate, for the sin of pride. “Pride comes before a fall.” Can we trust ourselves with the spoken word, is it wise? In America, printed on their money is, “In God We Trust,” but I understand they have hit a fiscal cliff. Will they ever trust God again? But God didn’t give mankind wisdom, God gave mankind free will, so he or she could work their way up to the wise sage… Should that be the main desire? These days we have ‘Wise Guys,’ Groucho Marx comes to mind. “A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere, a child of 5 would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five!” Is the government wise: F35 fighter jets? Is the
church wise: Crusades, inquisition? Is Capitalism wise? Relentless materialism and non-stop shopping, while garment worker slaves are chained to their post as the factory burns around them… Are animals wise? Given the choice between genetically modified corn and natural corn, the cows choose natural corn every time; true story, apparently. Are humans wise? Wisdom is the highest exercise of all the faculties: insight, judgement, depth, profundity, sagacity, enlightenment, erudition, learning and skill, all are acquired by study and practice. So wisdom comes from trial and error and a good memory. Good luck with the memory! Paul Bowles, Fruitvale BC email@example.com ♣
IF YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON WISDOM… The next issue, SPRING 2019, will be the “W”themed issue! [Deadline March 1st, 2019]
Twists & Turns from Norm Zig
The Transportation of Energy Products… Norm Zigarlick, SK, firstname.lastname@example.org
The article below contains an interesting comment on the transportation of energy products. LINK: https://tinyurl.com/scmp-ch-pak It says if a pipeline of over 4000 km is needed to move a product then the cost of transportation becomes more expensive than moving it by sea. That raises some considerations that are not often discussed in Canada while we rant about the need for more pipelines. First off pretty much all of the oil we ship to the USA via pipelines goes more than 4000 km before being refined into consumer products. Obviously that puts us at a serious price disadvantage when compared to Texas and Oklahoma products that have less than a quarter of the transportation costs from extraction to refinements. So long as the USA has any oil at all, Canadian production will have to be sold at a substantial discount to compete. IF we get a pipeline to west coast tidewater, the stuff will be in a pipeline at least 1000 km before it gets to a ship. Then it’s going to be sea going for another 6000 km before it gets to a refinery anywhere in ASIA. Again that means we have to be supplying product www.dialogue.ca
from the source at a very substantial discount. That in turn has to mean there is a pretty narrow line that allows viability for our producers and accordingly our pipelines. When alternate energy sources are evolving rapidly and most technologies being developed allow production facilities to be near the end users, the days of mega projects like massive Hydro dams and oil sands plants must be nearing their end. Perhaps the fact the greatest share value loss on the NYSE over the past year was an oil drilling company (-93%) is telling us convention is changing. In spite of that, in Canada every politician of substance east of BC is insisting our way out of the doldrums is down a pipeline. I must truly be missing something. Western Canada built an economy that is highly dependent on oil and gas. When those markets tumbled the Regional economy went numb. Now it has apparently gone dumb. We seem to be working on the theory that our road to prosperity is by creating a greater dependence on the process that got us in the mess we are already in. Folk hero and clown prince of western politics, Ralph Klein, 15 years ago, was making speeches about the need to diversify Alberta’s economy. His reasons for VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
saying that are being manifested now. A small, funny man who spent a fair bit of his time being inebriated, saw the writing on the wall long ago ( and he was a champion of the petro industry) yet our
current crop of leaders have yet to read it. From: Norm Zigarlick, SK email@example.com ♣
“The Vagabond Writer” THE GOOD WEEDS Wayne Allen Russell Clearwater BC I hope readers enjoy these stories, they will bring laughter and a few tears to you. Taken from truth, but the “Family Weed” is fictitious. The family: Archibald Tyrus Weed (Pop)……January 10, 1901 Mary Elizabeth/Loretta (Cook) Weed (Mom) Dec. 19, 1905 Married: August 17, 1923 Children: Juniper Shirley / June (Grouch), May 19, 1925 Patty, Patricia Ann (‘Sweet Pea’) Dec, 21st.,1927 George (‘Donkey’), August 17, 1930 Ben (‘Shooter’), April 2, 1932 Bob (‘Stretch’), October 10, 1934 Adam (‘Flyer’), July 30, 1936 Tom (‘Weasel’), June 4, 1939 Cousins: Marian (cousin), August 21, 1925 Sam (‘Punch’ - cousin), December 26, 1931 Bobby (cousin), May 3, 1935 Ray (my buddy) Joe (Ray’s brother)
THE HERO I was a small boy, very well muscled like the others. I was ready with a smile, my teeth were my pride. I liked to smile just to show them off. I was very conscientious but with a low attention span, I therefore was slow in school. I was well liked wherever I went. One of the times when it was my turn to visit at Aunt Annie’s, my cousin Jennie had just received a brandnew tricycle for her birthday. Of course I tried to get a turn riding it. Jen wouldn’t let me ride it but thought it was just great when I put one foot on the back axle pad and pumped with the other foot. We could really get up a lot of speed and when I would put both feet up; we would coast along for a way. We noticed some boys on a hill about a city block long pulling their wagons to the top and coming down to beat the devil. +The hill was too steep to 54 dialogue
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ride up so I pushed Jen to the top. With me standing on the back, leaning over Jen’s shoulders and steering the trike, we came down the steep paved road to beat the band. The other boys were mad at us because that new bike beat all the wagons, both with speed and distance. They told us that maybe we were faster but the trike couldn’t turn the corner like their wagons when we reached the bottom of the hill. I talked to Jen and as she had faith in me, we decided to tackle that turn and show these smartAlec a thing or two. I pushed Jen to the top again and they said to go after them as we were so much faster. We did just that and by the time they reached the turn at the bottom we were right behind. We found out right quick that a three-wheel trike couldn’t turn a corner at that speed. We hit the curb so hard that I flew right over Jen’s head, did a couple of somersaults, tore holes in my pants and cut my hands and knees on the sidewalk. Jen was crying since she also did a somersault over the trike’s handlebars, hurt her stomach and got some bruises. When we got our senses back, all those big boys were laughing at us. They knew what would happen. They had set us up for this one. The worse part, however, was the trike. The front wheel was twisted beyond repair. Boy! Had I ruined her birthday? I jumped at those big city boys with fists flying, both feet ago’n. Even though I was outnumbered and smaller, I lived with a family of boys and real tough sisters and had to know how to defend myself. I eventually lost the fight by sheer number and size. But I bet those boys thought twice before they did anything like this to little guys again. Even though I ruined her bike, Jen said I was her hero; I always was and forever would be. By the way, I was five years old and Jen was three. Wayne Russell, The Vagabond Writer firstname.lastname@example.org ♣ www.dialogue.ca
“Observations from Lithuania”
Ken Slade, Vilnius
Changing for Ageing: Part 2: ‘Some of the Micro Considerations’ by KR Slade CONTINUED FROM THE LAST ISSUE
Part 1 of this series was about my feelings of reaching seventy yearsof-age. Part 3 will be about some of the ‘macro’ (i.e., meaning large) considerations. This current part (i.e., 2) is about some of the ‘micro’ (i.e., meaning small) considerations, using some examples (i.e., ‘some details’). “The devil is in the details”; “the design is in the details’; “the decor is in the details”; “life is in the details” ... Hopefully, by providing some details, there can be some illustration of the possibility to consider some small changes. Of course, everyone is unique, so everyone needs to consider their own -- personalized -- changes ... I made an ‘inventory’ -- not about my possessions, but about how I am living ... not only of what ‘is’, but what is ‘missing’ -- what needs doing ... A cost estimate is provided to indicate that many changes are inexpensive. At the time of this writing (i.e., December 2018): 1 euro = CAN$1.52 = US$1.14 ▪ A year ago, my 13 year-old desk-chair collapsed -while I was sitting in it (!); at least, I did not have far to fall. I purchased a nice desk-chair, reasonably ergonomic for computer-use. Cost: 179 euro (although the price has now decreased to 129 euro!). I would consider to get a second such chair, for guests, and to be able to offer my English-language lessons at my flat, so that I would not have to travel, which is becoming increasingly difficult for me. A better consideration would be a second chair of a different design (but still ergonomic) -- so as to offer me the opportunity to change my chair during the course of my working day; the modern style can remain the same; and decor can be further satisfied with the same colour and vinyl fabric. ▪ Also about 1 year ago, I finally purchased a desktop monitor / TV (cost: 195 euro), after years of struggling to view my netbook with its 29.5 cm (11.75 inch) tiny screen. This new monitor justified to get Internet (at 72 Mbps !) and basic cable-TV: for 23 euro per month. I spend most of my waking hours at my computer. ▪ The entry to my flat has three descending stairs; it would be handy to have a wall ‘grab bar’ to help me navigate the stairs, especially in snowy / icy weather, and also when I am carrying bags. A grab-bar is cheap www.dialogue.ca
and easy to install. Cost: 4 euro. ▪ Inside of my flat, there are three descending stairs; here, also, would be a good place to have a wall grabbar. Cost: 4 euro. Also, the light switch is at the bottom of the interior stairs; so, it would be handy to wallmount a cheap small battery-light immediately inside the doorway. Cost: 4 euro. ▪ I have difficulty seeing the display on my tiny desktop-calculator, which is liquid-crystal (i.e., black on grey); better to have a larger display that is LED (and red, not green). Cost: ~12 euro. ▪ I have an adjustable-arm light for over my desk; I need a second such lamp: florescent (for additional, as well as change of lighting), but of the type that has a round magnifying-glass (e.g., as a jeweller, or stampcollector, uses). In Europe, products have labels in multiple languages; the text is often so-tiny that anyone would have difficulty reading. Cost: ~25 euro. ▪ My kitchen cooking-utensils drawer is too-full, and notably includes knives. Better to have the knives on a wall-rack in the corner of the counter -- there, a knife would not have far to fall, and cause no harm; Cost: 5 euro. To make more room in the drawer, some utensils could be hung on a wall-rack; Cost: 15 euro. ▪ My old and tiny cutting-board (although thankfully plastic, and not wood to welcome germs) is too small, and it is warped (convexly) -- so it wobbles: a disastrous concept for cutting (= an accident-waiting-to-happen). I should replace with a larger cutting-board, one that has 4 rubber feet on the underside; Cost: 7 euro. ▪ My kitchen-counter work-area is 50 cm (= <20 inches) wide by 19 cm (7.5 inches) deep; that’s absurd!! Minimal counter-top space is typical for kitchens in Europe. I need to increase the work area; see the following changes. Moreover, I could switch locations of the refrigerator (now near the sink) and the washingmachine (now around the corner), to give me added counter-top workspace; Cost: 10 euro (for electrical extension-cords). ▪ I need a dishwasher (i.e., portable / free-standing); the tiny sink is always filled with dirty dishes, which is not only unsanitary, but also makes the sink otherwise unusable and thereby discourages me from cooking. Using a dishwasher is more sanitary because the washing temperature is much-higher than washing-by-hand, …/ VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
which is also less thorough. The dishwasher would also provide me with additional counter-space. Cost: ~375 euro (including delivery and installation); ouch !! ▪ In my kitchen, a I have a counter-top ‘cooker’ [i.e., an oven (interior: 20 cm / <8 in high x 38 cm / <15 in wide x 28 cm / 11+ in deep, with two hot-plate surfaces / burners on top]; which uses a regular electric walloutlet; this appliance is rather common in Europe, where kitchens tend to be tiny -- compared to US/Canada. This cooker is designed so that the cooking pot/pan is <30 cm (= <12 inches) from my face, and requires the awkward movement of hands raised to shoulder-height; this usage is not safe -- neither for face or for control; this is another accident-waiting-to-happen! I should relocate the cooker to another counter, to use the oven and disconnect the two burners; and replace the burners/hotplate with a two-burner moderninduction unit, which sits directly on the existing counter, and offers greater maximum-heat and better heatcontrol. There would also be a light to tell when the burner-unit(s) is on, without which warning there is a fire / burn hazard. The new-style hot-plate is easily moveable, to provided additional counter-space when needed; Cost : ~80 euro. ▪ To get more counter-space, I plan to exchange places with the refrigerator (with the microwave on top; currently near the sink) and the washing-machine (currently beyond the only kitchen-counter). Then, put the new dishwasher beside the washing machine: the result would be much additional counter-space, even with the old cooker-oven on top of the dishwasher. ▪ I added a wall-hook just outside my shower; now, I don’t have to travel wet-footed the 2-3 steps to the wall-mounted towel-dryer. Cost: .5 euro. ▪ Bathroom lighting is poor; shower is rather dark. I need new ceiling light, Cost: 15 euro; and also an overmirror light, Cost: ~20 euro. In addition, for better mirror-vision, I also need a wall-mounted extendable (accordion bracket) magnifying-mirror; Cost: 18 euro. ▪ I replaced the bar-of-soap on the bathroom-vanity with a plunger-dispenser of anti-bacterial hand-cleaner; I don’t like the idea of what remains on a bar of soap, after use by guests or myself. Cost: 1 euro. ▪ In my shower-stall, I intend to add a small stool for sitting (possibly for if feeling faint), especially for routinely washing feet. Cost: 2 euro. In addition, I intend to buy a small tub, large enough for feet, so I do not have to put my foot in the sink, while standing on one 56 dialogue
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leg. Cost: 2 euro. I intend to install a wall-mounted grab-bar in the shower, to steady myself upon any firstsign of dizziness; Cost: 4 euro. ▪ I found a way to hang my fly-swatter (for May-June flies, and year-round basement-prone spiders) on my bookshelves -- beside my desk -- instead of the prior location of with house-hold cleaners. Cost: 0. I got the idea from watching a TV show about the American who kept a pistol in his desk-drawer <.< >.> ^.^ ▪ I decided that I needed new computer eye-glasses; Cost: 80 euro. There is always some difficulty with telling the eye-examiner and the eyeglass-maker what I expect. The examiner always wants the prescription to be for ‘reading glasses’, and bi-focal or tri-focal or progressive -- with distance sight on the top (which means that I would have to throw my head backwards (as if staring at the ceiling) to read the computer screen. The eyeglass-maker always wants to sell frames that are high-fashion, trendy, and with the tiniest of lenses. I insist that the lenses be single-focal (only for the computer screen), because I am going to wear these lenses only when I am using the computer, and I intend to hold my head in a normal position -- not up or down in some unnatural position. The ideal distance of eyeballs to monitor is between 50 to 60 cm (= ~19.75 in to ~23.5 in), with greater distance for extremely large screens; therefore, for my examination, I take a tape measure to determine the distance between my eyes and the card that the examiner wants me to hold in my hands and read. With the eyeglass-maker, I insist that the lenses have multiple filters: anti blue-light, anti-glare, anti-reflective, and anti-scratch. I want large lenses, to cover a wide field-of-view, so that I do not have to move my head from side to side. I prefer wire frames, rather than plastic frames, because the wire frames allow for greater adjustment to accommodate my rather narrow nose-bridge, so the eyeglasses will not slip-down my nose and cause me to throwback my head. For 25 years, all eye-examiners and eyeglass-makers react to my requests as if I am the first patient / client that they have ever met who has ever wanted such eyeglasses. […] TO BE CONTINUED All Rights Reserved: 2018 email@example.com Ken Russell Slade, B.S., M.Ed., M.R.E., J.D. Kęstutis Sladkevičius / firstname.lastname@example.org mob. tel. (+370-6) 035-9513 Writer & English Language Consultant, Text Editor, & Instructor / Rašytojas, privatus anglų kalbos konsultantas, redaktorius ir mokytojas / Accredited media reporter, by Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Reporteris, akreditavamo Kortelė Nr. 17338 (Lietuvos Respublika, URM) ♣ www.dialogue.ca
Laughter & â€˜Lightenment!
From David Foster (and friends), email@example.com
When you are bored just think about a few things that don't make sense... likeâ€Ś
1. If poison expires, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous? 2. Which letter is silent in the word "Scent," the S or the C? 3. Do twins ever realize that one of them is unplanned? 4. Why is the letter W, in English, called double U? Shouldn't it be called double V? 5. Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you and it just takes 75-100 years to fully work. 6. Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty. 7. The word "swims" upside-down is still "swims" 8. 100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses. 9. If you replace "W" with "T" in "What, Where and When", you get the answer to each of them.
Great confusions still unresolved đ&#x;˜„đ&#x;˜‚ a) If money doesn't grow on trees, how come Banks have Branches? b) Why are goods sent by ship called CARGO and those sent by truck are called SHIPMENTS? c) Why is it called 'Rush Hour' when traffic moves at its slowest then? Letâ€™s face it! English is a strange language. There is no egg in the eggplant, No ham in the hamburger, And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England, and French fries were not invented in France! â™Ł *************
Christmas Humour From: Maurice King, firstname.lastname@example.org
One Christmas, Joe and Peter built a skating rink in the middle of a field. A shepherd leading his flock decided to take a shortcut across the rink. The sheep, however, were afraid of the ice and wouldn't cross it. Desperate, the shepherd began tugging them to the other side. â€œLook at that,â€? remarked Peter to Joe, â€œThat guy is trying to pull the wool over our ice!â€? Q. What do you get if you cross Santa with a detective ? A. Santa Clues! Q: Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve? A: Because it " soots " him! Q. How do you know Santa has to be a man? A. No woman is going to wear the same outfit year after year. Q: Why is Christmas just like a day at the office? A: You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit. Q. How is the Italian version of Christmas different? A. One Mary, one Jesus, and 32 Wise guys.
[ABOVE] From Stephanie McDowall www.dialogue.ca
When you consider Christmas, there are four stages in your life:1) You believe in Santa 2) You don't believe in Santa 3) You are Santa 4) You look like Santa â™Ł VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
Contributors in Andersen, Erik, BC…..............09 Arney, Jeremy, BC ………22-24 Bjork, Jim, ON……………18-21 Bond, David, BC…………….04 Bowles, Paul, BC….34,52,59,60 Camilleri, Sammy (from)….…42 Carlson, Lyn, ON…………….59 Cude, Wilfred (about)……..34,35 Curtin, Edward, US……….......06 D’Aoust, Brian (e-mail) ………15 Etkin, Jack, BC………….……15 Foster, David Muir, ON,14,16,57 Gaudet, Marie, AB…...............43 Global Research, QC 7,15,17,18
dialogue, Vol. 32 No. 2
Gottlieb, Germany………...5, 15 Hanson, Bob, BC……………..20 Hatt, Ron G., BC……………..10 Havas, Dr. Magda, ON……...14 Hedges, Chris (extract/link)…17 Hellyer, Paul, ON…….......46-47 Kazdan, Larry, BC…………...08 Kemp, Penn, ON………...30-32 Lawson, Susanne, BC…..Cover Lonsdale, Derrick, M.D.,US…48 Lyman, Eva, BC…………..4, 15 Mathews, Robin, BC.…8, 12-14 McCaslin, Susan, BC..25,27,30 McDowall, Step, BC…..5,51,57
Merton, Thomas (re)….25,33,59 Neilly, Michael, ON…………11 O’Connor, Franklin, BC……...33 Porter, J. S., ON……..25,26-27 Powe, B. W.…………………34 Robert, Clea (about/review) 27 Rouse, Bonna, ON………….42 Russell, Wayne, BC………...54 Satin, Mark (re book)..………17 Shadbolt, John, ON…..……..51 Slade, Ken, Lithuania…...55-56 Spencer, Herb, BC.……..35-41 Strand, Mark (poem)………..07 Taylor, Jim, BC………….…..10
Wishing you A Merry Christmas And Happy, Healthy New Year!
Vancourt, Randy, ON…...45-46 Vokes, Brendalee, ON……...41 White, Patricia, BC…………..15 Woodsworth, John, ON…..…04 Zigarlick, Norm, AB/SK……..53
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WINTER 2018-19, VOL. 32, NO. 2
The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton
NoĂŤl by Lyn Carlson, from her book of poetry, I had in Mind.
Publisherâ€™s Notes: Seldom can one predict that a book will have an effect on history, but this is such a work. Merton's many biographers and the American press now say unanimously that he died from accidental electrocution. From a careful examination of the official record, including crime scene photographs that the authors have found that the investigating police in Thailand never saw, and from reading the letters of witnesses, they have discovered that the accidental electrocution conclusion is totally false. The widely repeated story that Merton had taken a shower and was therefore wet when he touched a lethal faulty fan was made up several years after the event and is completely contradicted by the evidence. Hugh Turley and David Martin identify four individuals as the primary promoters of the false accidental electrocution narrative. Another person, they show, should have been treated as a murder suspect. The most likely suspect in plotting Merton's murder, a man who was a much stronger force for peace than most people realize, they identify as the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States government. Thomas Merton was the most important Roman Catholic spiritual and anti-warfare-state writer of the 20th century. To date, he has been the subject of 28 biographies and numerous other books. Remarkably, up to now no one has looked critically at the mysterious circumstances surrounding his sudden death in Thailand. From its publication date in the 50th anniversary of his death, into the foreseeable future, this carefully researched work will be the definitive, authoritative book on how Thomas Merton died. Paperback: 330 pages; ISBN-10: 1548077380 Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 7 2018)
VOL. 32, NO. 2, WINTER 2018-19
WINTER 2018-19, VOL. 32, NO. 2
Canada's unique volunteer-produced magazine for ideas, insights, critical thinking & radical imagination - shared in letters, essays, storie...
Published on Dec 20, 2018
Canada's unique volunteer-produced magazine for ideas, insights, critical thinking & radical imagination - shared in letters, essays, storie...