VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
JULY-AUG 2012 VOL. 26 NO.1
A word from the publisher and editor… Dear Reader, This Christmastime Winter Edition of Dialogue is reaching you later than we would have liked.
Janet, Maurice and Penny
[A computer failure in October put us well behind schedule, but we were eventually rescued and restored by the amazing talents of a young local computer wizard, Brian Tobin. Bravo Brian!]
dialogue is... …an independent, volunteerproduced, not-for-profit Canadian magazine, written and supported by its readers - empowering their voices and the sharing of ideas. Now in its 27th 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.
Because of the delay, we have enclosed, with your regular issue, our Christmas Gift to you: an extra copy of Dialogue that we hope you will wrap up and give as a gift to someone! [If you would like someone to receive a full one-year subscription, just send us their name and address (and the $20 Christmas gift subscription cost!) ~ and you will be helping If this is your first issue, please Dialogue thrive and grow!] Please contact us if you would like one sent let us know what you think of it. out right away! (Tel. 250-758-9877 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) We rely If you would like to share your ideas and become a writer in heavily on readers’ Christmas Gift Subscriptions to help the magazine dialogue magazine remain viable and we are most grateful if you can purchase One Gift! Now, about this “B” issue! The themes of Beauty and Blessings were suggested by Tyrone Smith of Kelowna. The first, of course, is displayed in the stunning Glass Art of Sarah Hall, featured on the front and covers and described in John Porter’s column (p.10). As John reveals, Sarah’s art combines “the beauty of stained glass with technological innovations in energy efficiency.” And we invoke Blessings in our wish for you ~ and for us all ~ for a 2014 filled with bold & brilliant ideas to inspire us to create a better world. Other “B” topics that are prominently featured in this edition include Banking (pp. 9, 25-27) and… lots of Books mentioned and discussed! (Book list on p. 59) And don’t miss the letter (p.50) from Dolly Dennis, one of Dialogue’s early columnists, whose first novel, Loddy-Dah, will be published in the Spring of 2014.
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was founded in 1987 and is now published quarterly. Maurice J. King, Volunteer Publisher Janet K. Hicks, Volunteer Editor Date of Current Issue: Nov. 27, ‘13
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As always, there are many hard-hitting exposés and political commentaries in this edition. Robin Mathews (p. 6) tackles the dicey issue of the PMO; several writers weigh in on the Senate and the Ford Fiasco; and there are many thought-provoking articles with empowering ideas – including from Roberta Histed (p.11), Butler Shaffer (p.14); and from Richard Moore: “Building the new in the shadow of the old” (p.36). And it wouldn’t be the Christmas edition without a tale from ‘The Vaincourt Homestead’ – Larry’s “A Christmas Reveillon” (on p. 49).
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This issue of Dialogue was made possible by the participation and support of its readers and volunteers; the magazine is an independent, not-for-profit publication that has always relied on the subscriptions and donations of its readers to survive. If you are in a position to help at this time, your donation is greatly appreciated and helps to keep the publication going. Without your support and your voices, there would be no dialogue! Thank you and Bless you!
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Deadlines: Aug. 1st, Nov. 1st, Feb. 1st, May 1st. VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
From Near And Far
Time for our MPs to make their official expenses public Kenneth T. Tellis, Mississauga ON How about MPs and Senators in Canada being asked
was no REAL difference at all – they were there to fill their own pockets get good pensions when they retired. Anyone who believes that people enter politics to serve the people and country should really read Aesop’s Fables or the works of Hans Christian Anderson, because that might really enlighten them. I contend that a politician is “a crook that has not been caught as yet.” This can be found in the past history of politics and methods by which the naïve are fooled onto believing that there are honest politicians on this earth.
to account for their expenses? We might all be in for a shock if that ever happened, because what has been going on for ages will finally be revealed. The exposure of the manner in which British MPs had claimed all sorts of items as expenses, goes to show their creativity. They even dreamt up how to make claims for mowing their lawns, moat cleaning and movies, etc., all of which do not constitute real expenses as allowed by Parliament. Many of them resigned and will not seek re-election, because their constituents now saw them for the charlatans that they really were. The public will then realize that the political parties are really no different from each other and, while political representatives were elected because of their so-called different platforms, when it comes down to basics there
[NOTE: A CBC News item (L. MacKinnon, Oct 15, 2013) reported: “Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau proposed in June that Liberal MPs & senators start posting their expenses online by mid-October… The public can access expense details via a link on each member's personal page on www.liberal.ca/ . A line entitled "proactive disclosure" at the end of the MP's or senator's biography links to the expenses. The only other MP who posts detailed expenses on her website, including scanned receipts for the cost of an office cleaner, is Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. LINK: http://tinyurl.com/CBC2054791
Language “equality” in NB
Boycott farmed salmon this Xmas
New Brunswicker P. Dudka now living in the US can't get his health records sent in English! The commissar of official Languages didn't respond for a request for an interview and government officials don't want to get involved over an English language issue because English speakers are very apathetic! If the shoe was on the other foot and he couldn't get French health records, all hell would break lose! The Commissioner of the French language would be on radio, TV, and the press complaining how French rights are constantly violated and that all medical records must be kept in both languages and NB should be paying for French language training for all medical personnel.
The global backlash against farmed salmon gathered momentum in November, with a series of protests in Canada, Ireland and the UK. In Canada (on 19 Nov.), peaceful boycott rallies took place at eight Superstore locations across British Columbia: Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo, Metrotown in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Chilliwack, North Vancouver and Surrey. In Ireland, protestors from Wild Fish gathered in Dublin (19 Nov.) to launch their 2013 Boycott Farmed Salmon This Christmas campaign. Protect Wild Scotland also protested outside M&S and Selfridges in London (20 Nov.) – with a further protest planned in Edinburgh on 5 December.
Peter Whitebone, Saint John NB
From: June Ross, Nanaimo, Don Staniford, Scotland
Fire in the Blood: A Tale of Medicine, Monopoly & Malice
“POWERFUL. EXTREMELY MOVING. A shocking account of international trade terrorism.” - David Rooney From: Media Education Foundation, www.mediaed.org
The documentary Fire in the Blood tells the true story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs in Africa and the global south in the 1990s -- leading to the preventable deaths of at least ten million people -- and how a remarkable coalition of people came together to stop them. Shot on four continents and featuring contributions from global figures such as Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu, and Joseph Stiglitz, the film 6 dialogue
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offers devastating insights into the lethal decisionmaking process that led to this humanitarian catastrophe. And it shows how, if not for the passion and tactical ingenuity of a group of courageous and relentless activists, millions of more people would have died. The result is a gripping look at corporate greed, government collusion, the cutthroat economics of medicine and healthcare, and the power of ordinary people to make meaningful change on a global scale. LINKS: http://tinyurl.com/mediaed170 and: www.FireInTheBlood.com www.dialogue.ca
“The Fifth Columnist”
Men in Long Pants… Michael Neilly, Dunrobin ON
Oh, what to make of our beloved Senators. I’m not talking about the ones playing at the “Bank”, once Scotia Bank Place here in Ottawa, but the ones in “long pants”, as Senator Mike Duffy put it as he responded to his suspension from the upper chamber for irregular expense claims. Watching the CBC, it made me angry to see the politicians and media obsessing about who knew what and when in the Prime Minister’s Office. The government broadcaster didn’t even mention Liberal Senator Mac Harb, who was also implicated in the expense claims “scandal.” Like the Afghan detainees issue, in which it was alleged that prisoners taken by Canadians were tortured when handed over to our allies, the political fire is burning, again about who knew what and when, much brighter than the offence itself! In this case, I think senator Mike Duffy protests too much, in his recent testimony in the Senate. I find it amazing how Conservatives can crow about democracy and fair play, and turn on each other, so ethical are they, like gang members in a knife fight. Witness the travails of the Reform/Alliance/Conservative party. Any good Liberal would simply fall on his sword to keep his political masters in power! Having submitted expenses in the private sector for decades, I don’t understand how the people accepting the expense claims could possibly not know their own rules. If I expensed for a movie in a hotel while travelling on business, Accounting would certainly let me know that these claims were disallowed. Maybe the rules about residency for senators are a bit murky? (*) Honestly, what is the province indicated on my health card? What province is on my driver’s licence? Where is my primary residence, the one I’ve submitted on my tax return to the CRA? Surely this is clear enough. Regardless, it’s telling that most senators seem to have filed legitimate expense claims. Perhaps we should dispense with the Senate residency requirement entirely. If the province wants you to work for them as a delegate to Ottawa, why not hire the best candidate to represent you and forget about www.dialogue.ca
arbitrary residency rules completely? If any province or territory wanted to hire, appoint or elect exjournalist Peter Trueman or astronaut Chris Hadfield as a senator, I say why not! Get the best man or woman for the job, never mind their accent. According to our Mother state broadcaster, with all the affected earnest compassion of Norman Bethune and the blinkers of a crack addict, the problem is the ethics of the current Prime Minister. The much bigger problem than any one Prime Minister, I see it is the Senate itself, but this is strangely absent from the `’s narrative. I still remember Brian Mulroney attacking John Turner over patronage appointments. “You had a choice,” Mr. Mulroney railed. And Canadians, sick to death of the über-entitled Liberals agreed. Patronage appointments have been going on for decades. Of course the appointment of any provincial representative by a federal party leader is a conflict of interest! Some are in favour of abolishing the senate. This is clearly a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. The interests of this country would be best served if the governor general’s power to appoint senators was ceded to the provinces’ lieutenant governors and territorial committees, or premiers. Each province would appoint, elect or hire their own senators, and pay their salaries. They could send as many as they liked up to their entitlement, or not send any at all. Perhaps we should select senators as we do jury members, or run a lottery, and let greatness be thrust upon them, as happened when NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau won a seat in the lower house for which she never seriously campaigned. The Senate, proclaimed as the chamber of sober second thought, surely would also benefit from ordinary people, be they dentists, accountants, fishermen, farmers, and not just “eminent” Canadians. I see this Senate of ours as our “council of Canadians”, elder statesmen who act as the good shepherd, a steady hand on the tiller of the good ship Canada. Never mind senators-in-waiting, this is a Senate-inwaiting, waiting for common sense. If I were Tom Mulcair or Justin Trudeau, instead of posturing in question period, I’d be arranging a private meeting with the Prime Minister, in which we’d all agree VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
that the current Senate is an anachronism corrupted by party politics (much like the lower house), and that our top priorities were the removal of archaic Senate residency rules so that any Canadian can be a senator and live in Ottawa without playing games, and that Ottawa cede the power to appoint senators to the provinces. As for expenses, make them tax deductible, as the CRA does for government contractors.
Mulcair and Trudeau and Harper, men in long pants. If only. Mike Neilly, Dunrobin ON
dialogue always welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org * Apparently the actual, legal requirement for Senators is that they own at least $4000-worth of property in the province on whose behalf they are appointed; and, as explained by Senator Serge Joyal, Senators have to sign to that effect at the opening of each session of Parliament.
Robin Mathews Uncut
Reigning in the PMO…
Fascism And Contemporary Canada. Locating The Present Conservative Government Led By Stephen Harper. (Part Seven)
The Prime Minister’s Office - A Criminal Organization? Robin Mathews, Vancouver BC
The Prime Minister’s Office is nowhere named in Canadian constitutional documents as a part of Canadian government. It now has close to one hundred employees – political appointments. Nearly a quarter of the people there make $100,000.00 per year… or more. Thinking about that, a person realizes that several millions of taxpayer dollars are used annually to support a wholly partisan collection of bodies in Ottawa. They are devoted to work outside of Parliamentary authority, to do an end-run on Parliamentary Democracy, and to (in effect) finalize political decisions before they even come before the elected representatives in the House of Commons. Those nearly one hundred personal employees of the Prime Minister do all they can to force policy and practice upon the appointed Members of the Senate and the elected Members of Parliament. Such a ‘government’ is very clearly moving in the direction of fascist operation – unelected, oppressive, dictatorial, punitive. Surprisingly for such a careful participant, Senator Marjory LeBreton gives information – in a few sentences not intended to incriminate anyone – to suggest the Prime Minister’s Office is, in fact, a criminal organization. The people there are all answerable, finally, to the Prime Minister – no matter what screens and filters and make-believe divisions of power are pretended. The people in the Prime Minister’s office move more 8 dialogue
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and more towards becoming the real government of Canada. They push his agenda onto Conservative Members of Senate and Conservative Members of Parliament. They give orders – doubtless saying they come from the Prime Minister who will not be pleased if the orders are ignored. Nothing that the Conservative leader in the Senate does, for instance, can be assumed to be independent. When Marjory LeBreton was Conservative Senate House Leader, that was clear. She was also a member of cabinet. Having botched (in Stephen Harper’s eyes) the Senate Scandal, she “resigned” as Senate leader on July 4, 2013. To pretend the Conservative Leader in the Senate is not a puppet of the Prime Minister, the new Conservative Senate leader (not elected by Senators of course but appointed by Stephen Harper), Claude Carignan, hasn’t been given a place in the cabinet. Already, in office only a short time, he has been accused by Senator Patrick Brazeau, of trying to do “a back room deal” that would lessen Brazeau’s punishment for alleged wrongful spending as a Senator. Brazeau continues to claim innocence in the matter, and the police investigation is not completed. One can guess the Prime Minister’s Office is trying to douse the flames shooting from the Senate windows. Senator Carignan’s move may very well have been dictated to him from The Prime Minister’s Office ... if not by the Prime Minister himself. The people in the Prime Minister’s Office were described as “unelected staffers half my age” by the Conservative MP, Brent Rathgeber (Edmonton/ St. Albert) when he resigned from the Conservative www.dialogue.ca
caucus in June, 2013. Not only that, but Brent Rathgeber MP said he was “constantly … directed” by those unelected staffers - very confident operators because they are errand boys for the Top Man. Even fifty-year Conservative operative and seven-year Conservative Senate leader Marjory LeBreton found herself resigning from that job when the PMO didn’t like her leadership on the Senate Expenses Scandal. The fixers in the PMO have a lot of power. Stephen Harper knows what he wants. On an interview program with CBC’s Rick MacInnesRae, on October 25, Senator Le Breton made an “everyone knows” comment about the Prime Minister’s Office. Familiarity may not have bred contempt on her part, but it seems to have bred political carelessness. She said much the same thing in a Global News interview with Laura Stone on September 4, 2013. In her interview with Laura Stone she says: “I’ve worked in the prime minister’s office. I’ve been in that pressure cooker”. That pressure cooker seems to be the place where illegitimate actions are planned and carried out under the overall direction of the Prime Minister – but without him being told exactly how the illegitimate actions are executed. That is rather like the top Mafia boss who tells underlings that person X is in the way and has got to be neutralized. When X is murdered and found in a dumpster somewhere, the Mafia boss can in no way be charged with murder or even of being involved in it. That is not an exaggerated comparison with the Prime Minister’s Office. “KEEPING THINGS AWAY FROM THE PRIME MINISTER.”
“That’s your job in the prime minister’s office”, says LeBreton. “I was deputy chief of staff, I spent threequarters of my time putting out fires, keeping things away from the prime minister”. In her radio interview she was quite unruffled by the fact that Stephen Harper changed his story about Nigel Wright and the $90,000.00 paid to Mike Duffy. LeBreton argues that each time Harper spoke he was saying what he had been told up to that time. Apparently, he was kept in the dark about actions taken. Why on earth would he be kept in the dark? He wanted the Expenses Scandal cleared up … quickly. And, apparently gave orders to have it done? Why would he want to be kept in the dark about it? www.dialogue.ca
One can only believe he would be kept in the dark so that he couldn’t be accused of being a part of criminal actions. (The payment of $90,000.00 by Nigel Wright to Mike Duffy, just for instance, might well turn out to be a criminal payment.) * If Harper ordered action and ordered that he NOT be kept informed, reasonable Canadians might very well conclude he knew that criminal actions would probably be involved in the “solution” of the problem. If that is the case, and if some of the nearly one hundred people in the Prime Minister’s Office willingly use criminal actions to achieve ends sought by the Prime Minister (as may be the case in the Senate Expenses Scandal), then Canadians would be perfectly correct to believe the Prime Minister’s Office is a criminal organization. THE APPOINTMENT OF “ACTIVIST” SENATORS DRAGS AT STEPHEN HARPER’S CREDIBILITY
The whole, larger story of the appointment of “activist” Senators drags at Stephen Harper’s credibility. There is strong suspicion in some quarters that he appointed Senators to be full-time Party operatives – as well as careful reviewers of Commons legislation, giving it “sober second thought”. There is suspicion, too, that he didn’t care what or how much those Senators spent in the process as Party operatives. And then when the message came that the grassroots were outraged at the spending, it is suggested Stephen Harper turned on his own appointees. We must remember Conservative Senators were implicated in the 2006 Election Violations in-and-out Scandal that the Conservative Party admitted guilt to and paid a fine for. Senators Doug Finley and Irving Gerstein were originally accused of submitting ‘false or misleading’ election expenses documents, and faced fines or jail terms. Charges against them were dropped in the final plea deal in which the Conservative Party admitted guilt and paid a fine. (The two Senators were never asked to leave the Senate until the matter was finished, let alone without pay.) Let’s suppose that criminal actions are engaged in – as a result of orders given by the Prime Minister. Marjory Lebreton says – as I understand her words – that one of the major tasks in the PMO is not letting the Prime Minister be contaminated by them. One of the major jobs – is “KEEPING THINGS AWAY FROM THE PRIME MINISTER”. VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
There is much talk about the very, very difficult task of changing or abolishing the Senate of Canada. It is constitutionally housed in government, and it is protected by all the blocks set up to prevent careless or illintended changes in the constitution. As it should be. There is every reason to believe honest men and women can make the Canadian Senate a successful and effective arm of government … as it is intended to be. The Prime Minister’s Office is not a part of the government of Canada in Canada’s constitutional make-up. It is a dangerous, perhaps criminal creation of avaricious people seeking unlimited power. It can be abolished. It can be reigned in. Legislation in Parliament could say, for instance, that the Prime Minister’s Office may have no more than ten employees, that they may not be paid more than a certain amount, and that they may not advise, direct, or in any way seek to influence elected MPs, or Senators. It’s that simple. Don’t abolish the Canadian Senate. Abolish the present Prime Minister’s Office and reconstruct it to be contained, visible, answerable to the Commons and in no way a competitor with that body. * In 2006, then Commissioner of the RCMP Guiliano Zaccardelli was responsible for what was deemed an attack on
the Liberal Party in the last days of the election by announcing a criminal investigation of the Liberal Minister of Finance. With the in-and-out Conservative Election Scandal involving 67 constituencies, Zaccardelli’s action is alleged to have significantly helped the Conservatives win a minority in the election. Zaccardelli was later forced to resign in disgrace for his behaviour in the Maher Arar matter. William Elliott, Zaccardelli’s successor as top RCMP cop, was appointed directly from the office of Stockwell Day, then Conservative Minister of Public Safety. Elliott was openly criticized by top Mounties as being incapable (in effect) of filling the post, and only when their actions became persistent and embarrassing was Elliott removed. His replacement as RCMP Commissioner, Bob Paulson, apparently had no role in the removal of William Elliott or in efforts to clean up the faltering and increasingly criticized Force. Quiet to the point of near-invisibility on major issues, Paulson has made no public comment as his independence has been reduced by the Stephen Harper cabinet. In the case taken by women officers for sexual harassment in the RCMP, lawyers from the federal Justice Department are acting for the Defence … not RCMP lawyers. Where does the Conservative Party end … and the RCMP begin?
Robin Mathews, Vancouver
News Stories from Herb Spencer, Surrey BC
"Free" Speech in a Manipulated World – “Mediastan” the movie From: Herb Spencer, Surrey [ email@example.com ]
keeping people ignorant. " (Nozomi Hayase, Truthout) In his Vancouver Sun review, Jeff Lee's arrogant response to the comment by the director was "If you only knew". This shows how today's technology has been used to expand the power of empire, way beyond the dreams of thugs " ‘Wahlström reflected on like Nero and Stalin. that pivotal Kazakhstan It is the self-serving, cynical conversation in the film views of the middle-class and notes how that flunkies who support these moment struck him, in that corporations that keep http://tinyurl.com/TOmediastan it revealed the idea and them going. Below is the perception of some news companies toward their aulink to the film review in Truthout (Nov. 3 13)… – Herb dience as basically being fools that need to be pro[a little more about the film follows…] tected from important information.’ Wahlström "Mediastan" Mediastan is a documentary film that folspeaks of how it exposed a bigger problem, a particulows the journey of a small group of WikiLeaks' associlar state of mind, ‘an assumption that mankind is a ates in their quest for media outlets to publish secret US sheep.’ This is a hallmark rationale of the privileged, diplomatic cables. These young journalists travel through Central Asia and interview editors of local media elite class; that they have a right to rule through Herb: A movie review of Mediastan in The Vancouver Sun reminded me why I cancelled my subscription. The review in Truthout (link, below) quotes director Johannes Wahlström:
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NEWS STORIES FROM HERB SPENCER, CONTD.
organizations with the goal of offering cables relevant to their country. WikiLeaks' press release calls the 94minute raw film "Operation Cablerun . . . the world's first truly global media event." Julian Assange describes the Central Asia region as "the most fascinating geopolitical region in the world. . . . on the top, Russia; on the bottom, China; in the middle, a fight for US influence." As Assange indicates, the really interesting aspect of the movie is how "what started out as a geopolitical road movie transformed into a tale of comparative censorship." LINK to Truthout review” http://tinyurl.com/TOmediastan
The Problem of Civil Obedience Matt Damon tells it like it is. This is a brilliant 5-minute speech by Matt Damon (Reading a 1970 speech by Howard Zinn) reminding us of some long-held truths that governments would like us to forget. Spread this around... This is a great message. – Herb Spencer LINK: http://vimeo.com/48834336
Matt Damon reads from Howard Zinn's speech,
"The Problem is Civil Obedience" (Nov. 1970), from Zinn’s book Voices of a People's History. Matt Damon, a lifelong friend of Howard Zinn and his family, read excerpts from a speech Howard Zinn gave in 1970 as part of a debate on civil disobedience. This performance was part of "The People Speak, Live!" with Matt Damon & Lupe Fiasco, at the Metro in Chicago, on January 31, 2012, produced by Voices of a People's History (peopleshistory.us) in collaboration with Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival. [EXTRACT] Here's what Howard Zinn writes about this speech in his introduction to the full piece in his book Voices of a People's History of the United States, written with Anthony Arnove and first published in 2004 by Seven Stories Press: Zinn: "In November 1970, after my arrest along with others who had engaged in a Boston protest at an army base to block soldiers from being sent to Vietnam, I flew to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to take part in a debate with the philosopher Charles Frankel on civil disobedience. I was supposed to appear in court that day in connection with the charges resulting from the army base protest. I had a choice: show up in court and miss this opportunity to explain — and practice — my commitment to civil disobedience, or face the consequences of defying the court order by going to Baltimore. I chose to go. The next day, when I returned to Boston, I went to teach my morning class at Boston Univerwww.dialogue.ca
sity. Two detectives were waiting outside the classroom and hauled me off to court, where I was sentenced to a few days in jail. Here is the text of my speech that night at Johns Hopkins." QUOTES FROM THE 5-MIN VIDEO:
“Our problem is not civil disobedience. Our problem is civil obedience… the numbers of people all over the world… (who) obeyed when they should have challenged. “... The rule of law has regularized and maximized the injustice that existed before the rule of law. That is what the rule of law has done. “... We have to stop obeying the law – laws that put people in jail for petty technical offences and keep other people out of jail for enormous crimes. “... People in all countries need it, the spirit of disobedience to the ‘state’ - which is not a metaphysical thing, but a thing of wealth and force. And we need a sort of Declaration of Interdependence among people in all countries of the world who are striving for the same thing.” SEE MORE, LINK: http://vimeo.com/48834336 ANOTHER LINK FROM HERB:
How to Transform a Country
More people need to know about this. If Costa Rica can do it, so can Canada. But watch out for Wall St bankers & their friends at the IMF. – Herb “Public Banking in Costa Rica: A Remarkable Little-known Model” Ellen Brown, Nov. 13, 2013, Information Clearing House [EXTRACT & LINK] In
Costa Rica, publicly-owned banks have been available for so long and work so well that people take for granted that any country that knows how to run an economy has a public banking option… So says political activist Scott Bidstrup, who writes: For the last decade, I have resided in Costa Rica, where we have had a ‘Public Option’ for the last 64 years. There are 29 licensed banks, mutual associations and credit unions in Costa Rica, of which four were established as national, publicly-owned banks in 1949. They have remained open and in public hands ever since – in spite of enormous pressure by the I.M.F. [International Monetary Fund] and the U.S. to privatize them along with other public assets. The Costa Ricans have resisted that pressure—because the value of a public banking option has become abundantly clear to everyone in this country. LINK: www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36837.htm VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Sarah Hall’s Stained Glass:
~ An Aesthetic & Ecological Marvel
J. S. Porter, Hamilton, Ontario – www.spiritbookword.net
My life has been blessed by the presence of artists. I’m not able to paint or sculpt or design on glass, but I have friends who are able to do these things exceptionally well. Vicariously I share in their talent. Sarah Hall, RCA, the internationally-renowned glass artist, came into my life via an invitation to dinner from a mutual friend in Toronto. After dinner, our friend arranged for an exchange of books. He gave Sarah my Spirit Book Word and gave me Sarah’s Windows on Our Souls. When she received her book, Sarah proceeded to open it at the chapter concerned with the writing of D.H. Lawrence. She read away, oblivious to the conversation around her. When she finished reading, she said, “Good. Lawrence is one of my favourites.” I thanked her for her brief, but positive, comment and thought nothing more of our encounter until weeks later when I received a phone call from her studio in Toronto. Sarah asked if I would come to the city for some conversation. I said that I’d be happy to. When I arrived she was in the process of carrying large sheets of glass into the studio. I gave her a hand. Once inside, I looked at the paper models on her work desk, drawings and sketches for future projects, and some experiments with colour on Bristol board. The music of Vancouver composer and violinist Oliver Schroer played in the background. I asked her questions about the nature of stained glass, its history and current developments. I was struck by the tidiness of her work space, so unlike my own basement space which bears some resemblance to how I imagine Calcutta to be. It was a pleasant afternoon. I was about to leave, still not knowing why I’d come, and Sarah said, “Oh by the way, I’d like to collaborate with you on a book. I’ll call you later about the details.” So began our collaboration on “The Glass Art of Sarah Hall.” [More about the book on the next page.] For the last ten or so years Sarah has been focused on 12 dialogue
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how best to combine the beauty of stained glass with the latest technological innovations in energy efficiency. Her first photovoltaic conversion of sunlight into energy was the installation of windows in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. in 2005. Since then, she has integrated solar cells (buildingintegrated photovoltaics) into other large glass installations: "Leaves of Light" at York University in Toronto. "True North/Lux Nova" at Regent College, University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The 40foot-high wind tower generates electricity without greenhouse gas emission. The photovoltaic array, embedded between two panes of glass, is composed of thin silicon and metal cells that convert sunlight into electricity. The energy collected is used to power the LED lighting system at night. The slowly changing coloured lights are synchronized to the music of Oliver Schroer. The installation also incorporates the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic. "Waterglass" at the Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. "The Science of Light" at Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas, Wash. “Lux Gloria" at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon. This glass installation is currently being connected to Saskatoon Light & Power's electrical distribution network. The cathedral windows are the first in the world to integrate solar energy collection into their stained glass. The glass was tempered before 1,013 poly-crystalline solar cells were soldered in by hand, coloured silver to match the artwork, and then permanently embedded. Each solar panel is a different size and shape to add aesthetic appeal.
Each of Sarah’s photovoltaic projects incorporates solar cells of different colours — for example, silver in the cathedral in Saskatoon, blue at Regent College and gold at Grass Valley Elementary School — intended to blend with the accompanying artwork and the façade of the building. The cells themselves are strikingly attractive in contrast to the visual ugliness often associated with solar panels. Beauty and ecology can, in the hands of a capable artist, harmoniously fuse. As architecture critic John Bentley Mays says in “Innovating Tradition” www.dialogue.ca
about “True North/Lux Nova” at Regent College, “[It’s] a strong culmination of Sarah Hall’s experimental melding of modern technologies and her ancient art… it is also an important moment in her ongoing campaign to renew the art of architectural glass in our time.” For more about Sarah’s glass installations, turn to www.sarahhallstudio.com . Alternatively, take a drive to Vancouver to see her use of text in the
The Glass Art of Sarah Hall
– a richly illustrated book of Sarah Hall’s art, written by J. S. Porter; Forward by Dr. Karen Mulder, published by Glasmalerei Peters GmbH, Germany (2011) [EXTRACT] “ ‘The great things of our existing are given
us, not made by us and finally not to be understood as arbitrary accidents. Our making takes place within an ultimate givenness.’ – George Grant “So much is given in life: family and friends, the sun, water, the plants, the animals. The meditation on interbeing by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh comes to mind. The paper that you hold in your hand comes from the sun and the clouds and the rain, it comes from soil and trees and workers and pulp mills, and it comes from printers and assemblers
“Mysteries of Light,” a glasswork she designed for Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church; or, take a summer bus tour of Sarah’s glass in Toronto, organized by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Sarah is working hard to make Toronto into Vancouver – a city of glass. J. S. Porter, Toronto [Thank you to Sarah for sharing images of her work which grace the front & back covers of this issue.]
and bookstores. Take any one element from the equation – take away the sun and rain to spur the growth of the tree – and you hold nothing in your hand. Likewise with Sarah Hall’s glass art. ‘All stained glass,’ she says, ‘is born of fire and pigment.’ Its origins in sand are given, the fire is given, and the pigment is both given and made. The light that refashions the glass by its forceful or receding presence is given. A long chain of human involvement in the artmaking process is also given. Each is a gift to the other. Glass art, more than any other art with the possible exception of theatre, links person to person to person. It’s a social art form, a collaborative art form.” – From The Glass Art of Sarah Hall, by J. S. Porter, p.78
Male/Female Differences and Implications for Governance Roberta Histed, L'Orignal ON
Recently, as I read a female author’s lament about the dearth of women in politics, I recalled a book I read some time ago entitled “Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps” by Allen and Barbara Pease. The authors delve into recent discoveries in sociobiology to explain male/female differences and why neither political correctness nor gender neutral toys will erase those differences. Magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) machines have proven to be a boon for now researchers can see which part of the brain is being used as a task is accomplished. For example, when a man speaks, one small portion of his brain lights up but, when a woman speaks, it becomes obvious that she has many speech centres. Understanding this can prevent frustration when a man escapes to his “man cave” in order to avoid his wife’s “constant chatter”, or a woman bemoans that “he won’t talk to me.” Men and women process information differently. They think differently. They believe different things. www.dialogue.ca
They have different perceptions, priorities and behaviours. To pretend otherwise is a recipe for heartache, confusion and lifelong disillusionment. We have to be realistic with political correctness. Whether men and women are equal is a political or moral question; whether they are identical is a scientific one. The early story of human development saw man perfecting the skills necessary for hunting and thus surviving. The women protected the nest and nurtured relationships to develop community and survival through numbers. Then, as brawn was needed to protect the community when numbers increased and competition for territory ensued, male abilities assumed dominance and patriarchy ensued. This patriarchy has so infused our culture that even today a woman is judged by male criteria. Her “success” is measured by how thoroughly she can masculinize. There are, of course, wide variations in the degree of masculine and feminine characteristics in each gender. The authors provide a very interesting test by which VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Male/Female Differences and Implications for Governance, CONTD.
we can measure this in ourselves. There is no right or wrong or good or bad in our make-up but we need to recognize that, if we continue to insist on only masculine attributes in our governance, we will not evolve away from conflict- and aggressive- type approaches. Even female voters seem to choose the female who demonstrates that she can tough it in a “man’s world”. We can cite Margaret Thatcher as an example. Instead of simply saying that we need more women in politics, let’s recognize that what we need are women’s attributes fully complementing the male ones so that truly beneficial decisions are made. For this to happen, it is imperative that we learn to understand and fully respect each other. Canada’s political system has deteriorated into a pale semblance of democracy with “first past the post” winners and prime ministers who morph into dictators because the election by members at large allows them
to thumb their nose at the caucus. Indeed, they must approve each candidate and thus can choose the avid flag wavers. True democracy is collegial and needs the feminine ability to cooperate, to nourish, to support and encourage. If we can stop expecting men and women to be identical and instead extol and respect their right to be equal, maybe we can develop a governance that can provide maximum opportunity for all without plundering our resources or treading on anyone. I recommend this book. There are so many misunderstandings, wrecked relationships, unnecessary wars and lost opportunities in our history! If we can learn how to understand each other, then we can also learn how to cooperate and accommodate. We need harmony in the home, the school and the workplace before we will get it in parliament. Roberta Histed, L’Orignal ON
Quebec Charter Of “Values” Are Not My Values PRESS RELEASE, Ottawa: Peter Goldring, Member of Parliament for Edmonton East, says he has some serious concerns regarding the very disturbing Charter of ‘Quebec Values’ presented by the Parti Québécois (PQ) government in Quebec.
The PQ wants to ban countless religious symbol adornments in Quebec, such as burqas, turbans, hijabs, yarmulkes, as well as crosses, in public offices including hospitals, police stations, courts, and government offices. Employees working in public schools, including CEGEPs (colleges), universities and daycares would have to abide by these rules as well. What else will the PQ try and ban? Will they ban the Native American sweet grass ceremonies? Will they outlaw Dream Catchers? Will Rastafarians be forced to cut their dread-locks? Will the Amish and Mennonites have to up-style their wardrobes to seamlessly conform? Exactly who decided how big the symbolism is too big? What will the dress code be? As ridiculous as these questions may seem, it may be a reality if the PQ’s proposed Charter of ‘Quebec Values’ is passed into law. We already know too well of the ‘tongue-troopers,’ [i.e. language police] next it will be the measurement militia. The proposed Charter of ‘Quebec Values’ put forth by the PQ is just as preposterous as the recent soccer 14 dialogue
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turban ban presented by the Quebec Soccer federation which they later rescinded, and apologized for, after they received an abundance worldwide of negative reactions and press. Let us not forget the hilarity of removing the word “pasta” from an Italian Restaurant menu. Peals of laughter over “Pastagate” were also heard around the world. The PQ’s cleansing efforts are an international joke; Canada is recognized internationally and respected as a multicultural nation with a wealth of religions. As Mr. Goldring has stated: “As a Canadian, the message is simple: We are Canadians. As Canadians, we deserve the same rights and freedoms which every Canadian is entitled to.” - including freedom of conscience, religious thought, belief, and expression. Most important is that Canada is founded on the principles that recognize the supremacy of God, clearly not separatist politicians! Canadians need to celebrate and respect each other’s religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds as opposed to being xenophobic; the proposed Charter of ‘Quebec Values’ is extremely intolerant and insular in its approach to restricting religious freedom and expression. If Quebec separatists are attempting to implement the new Charter of ‘Quebec Values,’ supposedly for fear of losing their Québécois culture, they are intentionally ignoring www.dialogue.ca
the fact that the Québécois culture was nourished and created by the hundreds of thousands of others of the world’s cultures that enjoined the French with the Aboriginals in Canada. The French Canadian language is not even nearly Parisian French but is a Québécois Patois as a result of the multiculturalism in Canada. The separatists in Quebec demonstrate fully the ideals of their “just” society that awaits those who journey
with them into separation. It has been historically shown that once a government treads down the slippery road of blatant discrimination from linguistic cleansing to religious symbolism cleansing, the question then becomes ‘Where will the separatist supremacists go next?’ They may just eventually hit the book-burning-bonfires of total intolerance. – From Peter Goldring, M.P.(AB)
The PQ and religious symbols… What about the Fleur-de-lys? Peter Whitebone, Saint John, NB
If the Parti Québecois is going to restrict religious symbols, what about the Fleur-De-Lis? The fleur-delis plant with its 3 petals and 3 drooping sepals is a Christian symbol of the trinity! "In Christian art the
fleur-de-lis is also the attribute of the Archangel Gabriel, notably in representations of the Annunciation," according to Catholic saint information by Marcus Tidmarsh.
Open letter to Canada's opposition leaders:
Its time to review Canada's support for the JNF Peter Larson, Ottawa ON
A bird sanctuary in Israel is about to be named after Prime Minister Harper. Mr. Harper will receive the honour in Toronto on December 1st at a huge fundraising dinner organized by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) of Canada. Mr. Harper has never visited Israel. And few Canadians will have heard of the Hula Valley located inside Israel just north of the Sea of Galilee. Mr. Harper may not even know that the about-to-benamed “Stephen J. Harper Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary” is not just an environmental project. It was also a social engineering project, used to take land from Palestinian villagers in the 1950’s.
By giving this questionable project such high profile in Canada, the JNF has put a spotlight on its own activities. It raises the question of whether the JNF should continue to be funded by the Canadian taxpayer through its tax deductible charity status. For more, read my “Open letter (link below) to Canada’s opposition leaders.” I call on them to initiate a review of the JNF. If you agree with me, you might also invite them to call for a review. – Peter Larson LINK TO THE OPEN LETTER: http://tinyurl.com/unjppiPlarson Received from Eva Manly, S. McDowall
Manufacturing Poverty – from BrasscheckTV.com The big banks and the political systems that support them make life insecure for all of us. But in many parts of the world, they create real life and death problems. One of the "products" of our banking system is growing global poverty. Here's one example of how it works. Video (27 min): LINK: www.brasschecktv.com/page/25158.html
Repeated all over the world
Produced by Wild Angle Productions and distributed by Journeyman Films and BrasscheckTV, This is a story about Ethiopia, but it's been repeated all over the world for centuries. Step 1: Make vast amounts of credit available to a select few. www.dialogue.ca
Step 2: Give the state (or some other criminal enterprise) ownership of all the land. Step 3: Deprive the people who've lived on and worked the land for centuries any meaningful help (even though the resources exist and it would make economic sense to do so). Step 4: Take the people off the land and gunpoint or by "legal" means and warehouse them in concentration camps. Step 5: Give the land to bank-financed mutli-nationals (or other friends of the King) who then "give" the local people "jobs" at slave-like wages working land that used to belong to them. Fact: Central American farm workers are far less VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
nourished today, in 2013, than they were in the 1950s, when studies of their nutritional intake were first done. I'm sure similar stats can be found for every Third World agricultural region that's been "modernized."
How is this progress? Poverty and starvation are manufactured. They are not a natural state of affairs. - BrasscheckTV
Is the “fate of mankind” OUR business? 9/11 Was a Conspiracy ~ by Butler Shaffer While you here do snoring lie Open-eyed conspiracy His time doth take.
~ William Shakespeare, The Tempest Butler Shaffer is author of Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival(2004) and The Wizards of Ozymandias.* He teaches at the Southwestern University School of Law [US]. [EXTRACTS & LINK] I have lost my sense of humor to in-
dulge those who reflexively deny the role of conspiracies in human affairs. In the months following 9/11 — and most strenuously in the days leading up to the fifth anniversary of this event — conventional thinking has dictated that commentaries on that atrocity carry the disclaimer “I am not suggesting a conspiracy.” It seems to be understood that entrance to the temples of respectable journalism, academic scholarship, or polite society would be denied anyone who transgressed this canon. It is not that a speaker must refrain from expressing any particular conspiracy theory to explain troublesome occurrences: one must avoid the implication that any form of human behavior might be directed or influenced by conspiratorial forces. To even consider the possibility that a given event might have been produced by a conspiracy, is to run the risk of being labeled a “paranoid” or a “wacko.” As we have no desire to appear foolish in the eyes of others, we give in to such intimidation and preface our opinions with the aforesaid mantra. How easily most of us sell out our intellectual integrity, and at distress-sale prices. Even men and women with excellent minds who should know better have collapsed in the face of such a charge. Do we have such a fear of our own minds that we can no longer stand up to the epistemological inquiry that is at the base of our character and intelligence: how do we know what we know? Upon what basis do we form our opinions about the world: the consensus of our neighbors, or our independent judgments? Any intellectually respectable opinion must be well16 dialogue
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grounded in empirical fact and rational analysis. I have no use for those who spin conspiratorial theories out of little more than fantasy, wishful thinking, or the failure to distinguish a temporal relationship from a causal one. The assumption that because event “X” occurred, and was followed by event “Y,” a causal connection has been established, is among the shabbiest forms of reasoning. One might just as well argue for the proposition that wet sidewalks cause rain. In fact, I have no use for conspiracy theories at all, preferring — as my late friend, Chris Tame, so well stated it — to focus attention on the facts of conspiracies! As annoying as those are who offer lazy, simpleminded explanations for complex events, I am far more aggravated by those otherwise intelligent souls who help to man the barricades of ignorance against honest and empirically-based inquiries into topics they have been told are beyond rightful questioning. As the events of 9/11 continue — like a monster movie — to provide us with fear-ridden entertainment, let me use them to illustrate my point. There have been numerous DVDs, articles, books, and other works that challenge the government's “official” explanations for these attacks. While some of these presentations test one's credulity, others have provided purported evidence which, if true, would lead intelligent minds to demand further investigation. To say this, however, is not to give credence to any particular theory that one might offer as a counter-explanation to the “official” one. It is only to suggest that a further examination might be merited. To ask empirically based questions is not to make an accusation, but only to pursue the “cui bono?” question as a point of departure for uncovering wrongdoing. When a government official was murdered in ancient Rome, it was customary to begin the investigation with that question: “who benefited?” My wife and I are fans of the Inspector Morse television mysteries produced by the BBC. In a recent rerun, a man was murdered, and the first question out of Morse's mouth was “who stood to benefit from this man's www.dialogue.ca
death?” […] What forces were responsible for the crimes of 9/11? Admittedly, I do not know, nor am I prepared to transform my skepticisms into accusations. Perhaps it is the lawyer in me that has this strange attraction to evidence as the basis for my empirical judgments. […] Suspicion and guilt are not synonymous words. At the same time, however, intellectually respectable thinking demands a willingness to pursue any inquiry wherever it may lead. There is far too much at stake in our world for any of us to take comfort in our institutionally-certified ignorance by pulling the blankets up over our heads so that we not see the bogeyman. But there is another factor – what I call “existential courage” – that must remain at the forefront of our efforts to live as human beings, rather than as servo-
mechanisms to the institutional order. What kind of people are we that we should lay our liberties, property, and lives – including the lives of our children – at the feet of rulers, to be disposed of in any manner that suits their momentary temperaments? What have we become that we regard any questioning of this arrangement as the products of “irresponsible” or “paranoid” minds? Why should free and energized minds be fearful of asking any questions, particularly those we have been told it is improper to ask? Butler Shaffer, Sep. 18, 2006, bshaffer(at)swlaw.edu READ IN FULL AT LEW ROCKWELL LINK: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer144.html
* SEE BOOKS BY BUTLER SHAFFER, P. 38
Butler Shaffer on Manning, Assange & Snowden and the NSA Butler Shaffer [QUOTE]: “Manning, Assange, and
Snowden have challenged each of us: will we, as the hacks and their owners continue to insist, do as we have been trained to do, namely, mind our own business and do as we are told by those in authority? Or shall we, like these courageous men – and the White Rose members before them – have the individualized
”arrogance” to believe that the fate of mankind is our business, and that we have a responsibility to act, with focused and peaceful energy, to help extricate ourselves from the collective arrogance of power that is destroying us?”
READ IN FULL AT LINK: http://lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer272.html
Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)
WikiLeaks Publishes Secret Draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership
“Treaty negotiated in secret between 12 nations* 'would trample over individual rights and free expression', says Julian Assange. WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (TransPacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world's GDP.” – Alex Hern and Dominic Rushe, November 13, 2013, The Guardian (UK)
* THE 12 NATIONS: United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. Julian Assange: "If instituted, the TPP's intellec-
tual property regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you're ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs." WikiLeaks Press Release, Nov. 13, 2013
LINK: https://wikileaks.org/tpp/pressrelease.html [EXTRACT] Today, WikiLeaks released the secret nego-
tiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP www.dialogue.ca
is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world's GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states. The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. Both pacts exclude China.
Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty's chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 'trade advisers' - lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart - are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text. The TPP negotiations are currently at a critical stage. The Obama administration is preparing to fasttrack the TPP treaty in a manner that will prevent the US Congress from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty. Numerous TPP heads of state and senior government figures, including President Obama, have declared their intention to sign and ratify the TPP before the end of 2013. WikiLeaks' Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange stated: "The US administration is aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly." The advanced draft of the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter, published by WikiLeaks on 13 November 2013, provides the public with the fullest opportunity so far to familiarise themselves with the details and implications of the TPP. The 95-page, 30,000-word IP Chapter lays out provisions for instituting a far-reaching, transnational legal and enforcement regime, modifying or replacing existing laws in TPP member states. The Chapter's subsections include agreements relating to patents (who may produce goods or drugs), copyright (who may transmit information), trademarks (who may describe information or goods as authentic) and industrial design. The longest section of the Chapter - 'Enforcement' - is devoted to detailing new policing measures, with far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental 18 dialogue
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commons. Particular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards. The TPP IP Chapter states that these courts can conduct hearings with secret evidence. The IP Chapter also replicates many of the surveillance and enforcement provisions from the shelved SOPA and ACTA treaties. [‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ and ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement’]
The consolidated text obtained by WikiLeaks after the 26-30 August 2013 TPP meeting in Brunei – unlike any other TPP-related documents previously released to the public – contains annotations detailing each country's positions on the issues under negotiation. Julian Assange emphasises that a "cringingly obsequious" Australia is the nation most likely to support the hardline position of US negotiators against other countries, while states including Vietnam, Chile and Malaysia are more likely to be in opposition. Numerous key Pacific Rim and nearby nations – including Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and, most significantly, Russia and China – have not been involved in the drafting of the treaty. In the words of WikiLeaks' Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, “If instituted, the TPP's IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you're ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.” […] Read the full secret TPP treaty IP chapter here: LINK: https://wikileaks.org/tpp/ [FORWARDED by June Ross, William Friesen]
The REAL WikiLeaks film, the full documentary View at BrasscheckTV
What did WikiLeaks do? It exposed hard, documentary evidence of US war crimes. Until WikiLeaks came along, these crimes and other crimes were being actively covered up. The US government – that is the crooks currently in power – consider him a criminal and would like to get their hands on him. For the time being, he's living in the Embassy of Ecuador in London. [50minute documentary] www.dialogue.ca
CETA and Cities – A Revised Action Alert from Council of Canadians From: June Ross [firstname.lastname@example.org]
This is another piece we should all be taking to our local and provincial politicians. How much do you think they know about this Trade deal??? It will affect our water and our food. Did you know that? If not, then please take the time to read below and visit the Council of Canadian website: http://canadians.org/ceta-toolkit
Perhaps you can help the politicians along their learning curve?? – Yours, June
CETA and Communities: Don't buy Harper's lines – buy local!
Stuart Trew, Council of Canadians, Nov. 21, 2013:
In October 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced he had reached “an agreement in principle” for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). If the deal is signed as written, CETA would stop our municipalities, school boards, universities and hospitals from using public spending to support local job creation and sustainable development. We’ll be saying “bye-bye to buy local” unless we do something about it now. The good news is this deal isn’t done and we can still fight back!
More than 50 communities, including Toronto, Lasbhurn, Victoria, Baie Comeau, Sackville, Hamilton and Red Deer, have already sent a clear message to the federal and provincial governments that “buy local” and other public spending policies, as well as municipally-delivered public services like water, should be excluded from CETA. VISIT the LINK: http://canadians.org/ceta-toolkit for a map of local CETA resolutions, where you can read the resolutions and access other resources. Our job now is to go back to these communities with the news that Harper and the provinces want to ignore these voices, and to ask our local leaders what they’re going to do about it. We also need to reach new communities that might not know about the kinds of local job creation and sustainable community development programs the Harper government has sacrificed just to finish a bad trade deal with the EU. Technical briefing but no CETA text
The news that municipalities, school boards and most other public institutions would be bound by CETA rules was revealed more fully in a technical briefing on the “agreement in principle” that the Harper govwww.dialogue.ca
ernment signed with the EU on October 18, 2013. This is not the actual CETA agreement, which is still being negotiated. It is just a bullet-point outline of where some of the trade-offs happened. The briefing doesn’t tell us a lot. But it does suggest that municipalities would be covered by a ban on “buy local” policies that would cover most transit and energy spending. Unfortunately, this is exactly where local preferences (e.g. local content quotas) on big projects make the most sense. Even in Ontario, a 25 per cent local content law for mass transit projects has been watered down to satisfy the EU. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities made it clear in its seven principles on trade that there should be exceptions for local content quotas in strategic areas like transit. How does CETA affect my community?
For any public institution (e.g. city councils, water utilities and school boards) not excluded from CETA, the deal will: a. Prohibit “buy local” or “buy Canadian” preferences on contracts, or any requirement that bidders use some portion of local or Canadian goods, services or labour. This would end the use of procurement as a local economic or social development tool. b. Prohibit using public spending to create or support a market for innovative goods and services, including green technologies, if the effect would favour Canadian producers or attract investment to Canada. c. Prohibit spending public money in ways that support sustainability, for example through buy local food policies like the one Toronto passed to reduce emissions from food miles. There are also risks to municipal governments in CETA’s investment rules. From leaked chapters of the CETA text over the past two years, we know that Canada will not protect local governments from costly investor-to-state lawsuits attacking local policies related to public services. CETA will lock in the status quo for services delivered by municipalities. So any existing privatization will be locked in, but future decisions to bring privatized services back into public hands can be challenged by corporations – as well as any expansion of public services into areas where there is some private delivery. In general, CETA (like NAFTA) will put a chill on local governments that want to do more to provide VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
the public services their communities need. This fits into the Harper government’s continuing efforts to encourage the privatization of local water, transit and energy services. What can we do now?
The Harper government has an “agreement in principle” with the EU, but a final deal is several months away and CETA cannot be ratified for at least a year in Canada and even longer in Europe. There is not nearly enough detail in the technical briefing on CETA, so our municipal governments need to hear from the provinces about how they will be affected by the deal, and municipalities must be able to say “no” to any
part of the deal that hurts local economies. Local governments and the public must be given a role in reviewing, revising and even rejecting parts of the EU deal. This could include the unnecessary restrictions on public spending and ban on “buy local” policies, as well as CETA’s threats to local public services. Take action!
Take the draft resolution (LINK below) to your local council and ask if they will champion a local call for democracy in the Canada-EU CETA negotiations. LINK: http://canadians.org/ceta-toolkit [Tools to help you in your campaign online]
The Ford Fiasco Guest Column: Should Ford resign? Krista Munroe, Medicine Hat, AB
Medicine Hat News Opinion on November 16, 2013.
Rob Ford made himself a PR disaster but should he resign? He’s not significantly less ethical than some other politicians in office, his behaviour is exactly as advertised, and he provides massive distraction. Censure all over the place, but no criminal charges, yet. He epitomizes everything we love about politicians. The polls prove it. Once his drug movie surfaced, showing his crack antics and that he lied about them, and using the ‘Drunken Stupor While Partying’ defence, his popularity actually went up. Add in the tearful apology, and this guy is gold! He split hairs like Bill Clinton on cigars regarding which question was asked and which was answered, and how that particular distinction meant that he didn’t lie, and that his responsibility is somehow lessened because the biased ‘liberal press’ found out about it. The circus full of hypocrisy surrounding Mr. Ford and his potential resignation is non-stop fun, too. First: He must resign because he lied. Elected officials shouldn’t lie. But Peter MacKay said he would never merge the PCs with the Reform Party. He did. Mr. Harper sanctimoniously stumped for Arctic research and, once elected, immediately cancelled not just Arctic, but nearly all, research, especially the embarrassing climate change research. Tony Clement — Treasury Board head, no less — claims fiscal responsibility, yet pilfers $50 million of taxpayers’ money for baubles like his own riding’s infamous gazebo. Second: Mr. Ford must resign since he cavorts with 20 dialogue
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criminals and violent offenders. Politicians can’t associate with this kind of riffraff. His unsavoury friends are small potatoes compared to the guys in suits who, for money, cause environmental destruction by calculated neglect, who subvert democratic governments for monetary gain, who commit a plethora of crimes against their own citizens in order to pay back political favours, who pull shenanigans like the Canadian mining bosses who hired thugs in Central America to intimidate people who don’t want to live in mine sludge — the list goes on and on and on. But the politicians who hobnob with these guys, and accept generous donations from them, don’t resign. Third: Mr. Ford must resign because his personal character is flawed and politicians must demonstrate good personal character. We don’t really believe that. Vic Toews had an affair while he was married, kept it quiet, was elected anyway and was not forced to resign when it became public. Fourth: Mr. Ford must resign because he represents the city of Toronto, the integrity of our political process. LOL. We seriously don’t care if Rob Ford is an unashamed oxy-popping, crack-smoking alcoholic. All we really care about is that our costs go down, no matter what. Well, Rob Ford said he’d reduce costs to Toronto citizens and he’s reduced costs (also services, but no one cares. Yet). One thing’s for sure: The political elites in the PMO love Rob Ford and his bad habits since he’s distracting the rest of us from noticing their bad behaviour. Thanks to the Rob Ford Fiesta, we missed the www.dialogue.ca
release of the transcripts of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, championed by Mr. Harper et al, that will profoundly damage our sovereign rights and freedoms but vastly protect corporate profits. We also missed the Harper Conservatives telling us that their shiny new frigates will cost us more than $100 billion. We missed that Egypt is the scariest country in the world for women. There are probably others, but I missed them. Perhaps the main difference between Mr. Ford and the other guys is that he’s not as refined as they are. His transgressions are petty, mostly personal, really messy. And once caught, he’s kind of whiney, in an entitled rich kid way. But more down-market than
high-falutin’. He bought his own stuff – he didn’t get his friend to write a $90,000 cheque and then pretend to know nothing about it. He didn’t appoint cronies to an institution he wants to abolish, with the full knowledge that his appointees don’t even qualify for the jobs. He didn’t use his unelected backroom boys to circumvent elected representatives. If the rest of these guys don’t resign, then Rob Ford should stay put. Krista Munroe, a long-time resident of Medicine Hat, welcomes your comments. Reach her at email@example.com and at her blog, www.thesnifftest.net (“Politics from the Cheap Seats”) [Reprinted with permission from the author.]
Soft & Hard Edges Column – Jim Taylor
Those who deny they’re in denial By Jim Taylor, Okanagan Centre BC, Nov. 20, 13
A group of friends were sitting around a table, chattering about nothing in particular when, out of nowhere, one of the group asked two others who both had long careers in psychological counselling, “So, how would you counsel Rob Ford?” [For non-Canadian readers: Rob Ford is the mayor of Canada’s largest city, a man who has been almost constantly in the news headlines for several months because of allegations, later confirmed, of cocaine use, drunkenness, temper outbursts, etc.] I found the two counsellors’ responses informative. Because all of us find ourselves, occasionally, acting as amateur counsellors to our friends. “I wouldn’t take him as an individual client,” one of the counsellors replied. “Not unless his family came with him. He’s a product of a family system, and that whole system needs to change before anyone in it can change.” All of us are products of family systems, or work systems, that shape and sometimes warp our personalities and our reactions. I don’t say that in order to absolve individuals of responsibility. Comedian Flip Wilson’s trademark line, “The Devil made me do it,” got laughs because it was so obviously an evasion of personal responsibility. In all the media frenzy surrounding the mayor of Toronto in recent weeks, I’ve seen little examination of the kind of family he grew up in. His wife has appeared with him only once. But his brother sticks as close as his five-o-clock shadow. www.dialogue.ca
ALL FOR ONE, AND ONE FOR ALL
Treating the family as a unit is not a means of blaming them -- just acknowledging facts. Only alcoholics themselves can quit drinking. But their spouses or partners, their children or siblings, have learned -sometimes too well -- how to survive in a toxic relationship. They have organized their lives around their relative’s addictions. It’s a reciprocal relationship. The addict makes their lives a kind of hell; and they enable him to keep doing it. Because they don’t know how to relate to an exalcoholic or ex-addict. In effect, they have a stake in keeping him addicted. In family therapy, the alternatives are clear -- either the whole system has to change, or the individual has to break out of the system. That’s why divorces often follow a cure, although superficially the couple’s lives may have seemed worse before it. The second counsellor talked about tactics, about “externalizing” the problem. The addict needs to see the problem as an enemy who is not identical to himself -whatever he is. Instead of being used as an adjective -alcoholic, depressed, suicidal -- the affliction is treated as a noun, something separate and distinct from the person addicted to it. GUILT DOESN’T WORK
In some senses, that’s counter-intuitive. Religion has traditionally taken the opposite approach. It works on guilt. The traditional ritual of confession begins, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned…” VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
I have sometimes joked that churches should run a travel agency called “Guilt Trips.” Church teaching implies that failure results from personal weakness, from an internal flaw. Only by repenting of your sins, renouncing them, excising them, even amputating them, can you be saved. And why not? The Bible quotes Jesus as saying, “If your right hand offends you, cut it off.” Some forms of Islamic law apply that concept literally to thieves. Contemporary counselling, however, encourages the “sinner” to consider the “sin” as a separate force or influence -- in a sense, like the demons that were once presumed to take over a person’s behaviour. By rejecting that demon, clients do not become less than they were; rather they excise a foreign presence like a tumour or a parasite that prevents them for being what they could be. WILLINGNESS TO CHANGE
But what if the ‘counsellee’ wants to blames others for his problems? A good counsellor does not offer sympathy. Or support. I found that an important lesson. “This is not about them,” the counsellor would say. “This is about you.” Counselling, in other words, is not about who’s right. Or about whose fault it is. Or about self-justification. It’s about willingness to change. “I used to blame my father for some things I didn’t like about myself,” a wise friend once commented.
“Then I realized that I’ve lived with myself a lot longer than I lived with him.” Strangely enough, it would seem, the biggest obstacle for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may not be his associates, his drunken stupors, or even his use of illegal drugs. It’s his addiction to denial. As the Alcoholics Anonymous program knows, alcoholics cannot start recovery until they hit bottom. For some, “hitting bottom” means financial ruin, social exclusion, or mental/physical breakdown. A few manage to see the abyss before they fall over the edge. Hitting bottom cannot be imposed on anyone. You cannot rationalize, you cannot browbeat, you cannot shame addicted persons into acknowledging (to use the Twelve-Step program’s words) “that our lives had become unmanageable.” As long as Rob Ford or anyone else continues to insist that he’s OK, that he can carry on, that he can do his job... he’s not, and he can’t. Until he can get over the hurdle of denying that he’s in denial, he can’t be helped. Nor can any of us. Copyright © 2013 by Jim Taylor. Non-profit use in congregations and study groups, and links from other blogs, welcomed; all other rights reserved. To send comments on this column – or to subscribe to Jim’s list – write to: firstname.lastname@example.org / Jim Taylor’s Blog is also online -LINK: http://edges.canadahomepage.net/ -- where you can also read a short biographical note about Jim.
“Ideas Whose Time Has Come” Look to the higher purpose David Foster, Port Perry ON
[This is a ‘teaser’ for an essay that will be featured in the next issue.]
Kevin Page in early 2013 went unquietly from his job as head of the Canadian Federal Parliamentary Budgetary Office. He had been appointed to tell the members of Parliament and the public what might be amiss in the financial affairs or the fading morality of the Government of Canada. That event was very close to the departure of Scott Vaughan of the Auditor General’s Office, both positions established to make Parliamentarians fairly accountable to the public (both now made untenable by the current régime). Page spoke of the need to balance conflicting views. His bedrock was to always look to 22 dialogue
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the ‘higher purpose’ to clarify the path among conflicting demands. And that gets in to ranking ’values’. Values like ‘beliefs’ are constantly shifting shoals. Where we stand at the moment is largely a compromise on how we evaluate different information from different sources. To compare what is ‘right,’ take it back to the 16th century… what does ‘God’ want? Since that time, we have created a maze of difficulty by ‘fixing’ decisions in ‘Law’. (A useful idea at some stages of life, but very dangerous when the ‘Law is an Ass,’ or the law violates common sense or ‘values held widely’ or ‘values held in common’). To Be Continued in the next issue… [ email@example.com ] www.dialogue.ca
“From Down the 401”
My fellow Canadians:
No, I have not retired my column. No, I have not died. (That was Lou REED. Yes, I got letters.) I have simply been mired in despair, aggravation and a pile of financial setbacks in this annis horribilis and did not think I made a difference to anyone. Lo and behold, some of you faithful readers actually wrote to say you missed me and wanted me back. (Normally, I’d say be careful what you wish for…) Well, for better or worse, here I am! To recap: at one point I had SIX legal/financial battles going (five of which were launched in the last year), more than I had ever had in my life. Most have been settled one way or the other and just as I was crawling out from under that avalanche of headaches, my EI ran out (as I knew it would), so I am ending this year with virtually zero income. When I lost my job I never thought it would be a year before some smart company would hire me as a proofreader considering HOW MANY errors I can spot on many signs, posters, web pages, etc. But there you have it. I have been in two bike accidents, one where I walked away after being hit by a car, and another where I hit something (someone?) in the DEDICATED BICYCLE LANE, flipped over, hit my head and smashed my wrists. As of this writing, my concussion seems healed but my wrist and legs may take a while. Just being ordered off my bike for weeks has slowed me down even further, adding to my depression because I can only do so much. My love life has ground to a halt and for a while there it looked like I might spend my 54th birthday alone. (A lady friend rescued me and took me out.) But I have not been so self-involved that I have not kept aware of my surroundings. Well, we HAVE to start with my city’s mayor Rob Ford. Holy…. let me state up front, I believe in legalizing many drugs. I am not a hypocrite. I would even forgive the mayor for smoking crack if he did. But he has denied it, lied about it, and tried to cover it up. His brother Doug, a city councillor, when evidence of the video (that they denied existed) surfaced, www.dialogue.ca
Lou Israel, Toronto blamed the police chief, accused him of corruption and conspiracy. I am not sure who Ford’s legal advisor is, but I suspect they are, as well, on crack, if they thought this was anywhere near a good idea. The embarrassment is not the crack-smoking, nor even the lying. He is an embarrassment in so many other ways. Rob Ford pledged to find the gravy train of billions and the few dollars he has managed to “save” the city has been more of a gravy stain than train (credit Mary Walsh). He made lewd comments to a former mayoral candidate who asked that he be removed from the area, and he responded by denying wrongdoing and accused her of being mentally ill. He has threatened to kill people, got rid of bike lanes, and cancelled an excellent plan to expand public transit. Of course, he has made headlines on ALL the American late-night comics, putting Toronto on the map. I am ….so…proud….?? Yes, there are many, many reasons to be ashamed of Rob Ford. (22 Minutes recently did a whole SHOW on him!) I could do a whole column on him. And yet… I would still take him over Pauline Marois. (UPDATE: Before this column went to press, city council voted to diminish or take away Ford’s powers, over his objections of course because no conservative voluntarily gives power up. This is a classic “shut the barn door after the horses have bolted” scenario of course.) I am a secular Jew. In fact I take great pains to NOT demonstrate ANY public showing of religion to foist on the public. But the abomination that is (Quebec’s) Bill 14 goes so far beyond secularism, and then has the audacity to make “exceptions” for the Catholic faith, that we must call it what it is: a bill to further take away the rights of Anglophones in Quebec. Guess what? Politicians, when pressed (because Lord knows they don’t wade into the issues on their own) are saying Bill14 goes too far. But not Bill 101. Or 178, 86, etc. So it’s OK to take most rights away but we draw the imaginary line here. THIS is why I am so ashamed to be a voter in Canada right now. Neither Trudeau Junior, nor French citizen Mulcair, nor even Elizabeth May has stuck up for English-speaking Quebecers VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
FROM DOWN THE 401, CONTD. – Lou Israel
(or indeed, Anglophones in New Brunswick or Ontario) even in the face of blatant human rights abuses. (Giving credence to my beliefs that francophones act like, and believe that, they are above the law.) And not to act like a conspiracy theorist, but the Ford and Marois meltdowns “conveniently” came at a time where Prime Minister Harper’s Senate scandals were in full swing (the three disgraced Senators have been suspended as of this writing) and a more sceptical writer might suspect that they are, if not created or staged, certainly being given far more press and attention to deflect the blame from a prime minister who has been firing scientists, allowing polluters to harm our environment, letting AMERICAN “police” across our borders to question OUR citizens and behaving, well, extremely un-Canadian, while somehow managing to maintain his Teflon-like status where no scandal seems to stick to him despite his obviously poor judgment, to say the least. And although not in the press every day, the dismissal of scientists, or indeed anyone who disagrees with Harper’s way of thinking, could land us in hot water--literally---sooner rather than later. Three of the four nuclear power plants of Fukushima were destroyed in earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan (in March 2011). Should the fourth be lost (a very high probability within the next three years), no less a voice than David Suzuki has said it would be “bye bye Japan” and the North American WEST COAST would have to be evacuated. What does our Prime Minister do? Continues to muzzle and fire scientists. (To be fair, the Japanese utility company that operates the plant has shown signs of both gross incompetence and stubborn pride, two qualities YOU DO NOT WANT when dealing with major environmental disasters.) The Typhoon Haiyan damage to the Philippines could mean 10,000 dead as a warning sign of what’s to come. Sadly, the cavalier attitude and actions taken by our Prime Minister are not isolated or limited to the government. For the last several years, francophones in both Quebec and elsewhere have discovered that despite society’s stance against bullying, that they can pretty much get away with anything as long as they hold the get-out-of-jail-free card of separatism (which we are praying SOMEONE in authority calls as a bluff to end their blackmail), and have acted with impunity: berating, assaulting and humiliating anglophones 24 dialogue
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throughout Quebec, with their like-minded cousins acting like tinpot dictators in New Brunswick (Little Quebec) and using their disproportionate influence to win ridiculous concessions from courts, which essentially gives them veto power over Anglophones. That would be bad enough. But I have seen AT LEAST half a dozen videos of cops beating up, tasering and shooting UNARMED civilians (criminals or not). All with impunity, of course. And yes, many of these incidents occurred in the US or foreign countries but quite a few were from Canada, our peaceful beloved home where usually violence is a last resort but which in some areas has become fatal (the most egregious example being a Toronto “police officer” shooting unarmed Sammy Vatim on a deserted abandoned streetcar; the officer was eventually charged and maybe a couple of years from now he will return to duty demoted or fined, because after all, that’s what happens when you SHOOT SOMEONE DEAD WHO IS UNARMED, right?). Combined with the secret meetings of the Harper cabal, the TPP that might criminalize the internet (yes, we defeated them TWICE but they are still trying to pull the wool over our eyes) and other sellouts to industry, it would appear to some that we are inching towards a far-less-free country where information will be somewhat more inaccessible, as if prying secret (?) info from the government is a picnic today. This does not bode well. The response from the loyal opposition? Justin Trudeau supports the Enbridge pipeline which may lay waste to thousands of acres of land, and criticizes Bill 14 as excessive while saying nothing about Bill 101 (perhaps like Stéphane Dion he believes that Bill 101 is a “great Canadian law”); and a recent video interview shows him saying Quebecers are better suited to run Canada. Quebecers like him? Or just francophones? Ugh. As for the ACTUAL Leader of the Opposition? French citizen Mulcair refuses to answer any questions about the abuse of anglos in either Quebec or New Brunswick. His party was further discredited when former “interim leader” Nycole Turmel shouted at Conservative ONTARIO MP Paul Calandra, demanding he speak French to her in the House of Commons. Excuse me? Demanding the majority language be ignored? That he learn to speak French? That he www.dialogue.ca
FROM DOWN THE 401, CONTD. – Lou Israel
humiliated her? (I do not have information as to how much English Turmel has learned at taxpayers’ expense, but I assume that she has at least studied math, history and demographics, and realizes that francophones make up LESS than 25% of the Canadian population, and LESS than 5% outside her home province.) Penalties? Sanctions? Apologies? From a francophone? God forbid. Remember, they are above the laws and rules that govern the rest of us. And French citizen Mulcair says NOT ONE WORD about it, thereby supporting her unconscionable (to us) actions. THESE are our choices to unseat Harper. No wonder the Conservatives will ruin (that was not a typo) Canada for the next 25 years. HOWEVER… In the last few months, one new (to politics) ace and voice has emerged which has re-energized my passion and commitment: Linda McQuaig, best-selling author, true liberal, wonderfully progressive and fighter for the average citizen, has decided to enter politics for the NDP in Toronto Centre. I live an hour away from the riding and I am one of her proud volunteers. If she wins (the federal bi-election is Nov. 25, so although the results will be known by the time you read this, we have no idea as of this writing) it could revolutionize the tendency of recent year politics and possibly give the Canadian people a voice that will speak for them once again. It is my fervent hope that she will, one day, even become the party’s leader. I feel THAT strongly about her. And although she certainly merits the Lou Laurel, I am saving that for a fallen Canadian hero, John Gervais, a 77-year-old veteran who was in failing health at a hospital, who was verbally and possibly physically abused by a francophone orderly (in Gati-
neau, Quebec, of course; you expected differently?) who among other things, yelled at him saying, “This is not a hotel. This is Quebec. Here we speak French.” Because THAT should be the main concern when you are dealing with the sick and dying: language use! Sadly, Mr. Gervais passed away shortly thereafter, and the orderly is STILL WORKING at the hospital. (Oh, did I mention this was just before Veterans’ Day, the day we supposedly set aside to HONOUR men like Mr. Gervais?) The silence of all politicians shames each and every one of their parties, confirming, of course, that not one is prepared to speak out against the abuse perpetrated by racist francophones, not only from Quebec, but New Brunswick and Ontario. Ironically, Mr. Gervais’ treatment at the hands of a hospital that appears to care more about its employees working in French than the well-being of its patients, is at least temporarily shining a light on this abuse, and may galvanize previously-unmotivated Canadians to act. Many protests, both against Bill 14 and other forms of anti-English abuse, have taken place; more are scheduled. With luck, this could result in a Canadian Winter similar to the Arab Spring we have witnessed overseas. And the politician who has the good sense to at least follow, if not lead, could end up one day running the country. At least THAT gives me hope for the future.
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa and Happy Lou Year everyone! See you in 2014! Your Fellow Canadian, Lou Israel Multilingual proofreader/editor/Actor/singer/writer/MC "Do not let the perfect become the enemy of the good." Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Youngest Barrister in English history From Hugh Ector, Fruitvale, BC
A nineteen year-old American became the youngest person in English history to gain "Barrister" status (average age, 27). Now that is noteworthy enough, but the next statement really surprised me: she is a graduate of "Liberty University" in Virginia. You know, Jerry Falwell's "University," graduates of which ‘G. Bushlett’ used as advisers, I'm told. Obviously, the Brits were bamboozled, but she did it. But . . . another important question rises: How do such good, smart people emerge from such institutions? www.dialogue.ca
It's got to tell us something. #1. One can't summarize people by race or background or formal education or a narrow definition of intelligence; #2. Brave people can come from the most impoverished and narrow-minded sources. (I saw this in the south.) There are so many things in life that need credible explanations! Enlighten me! As a famous philosopher once said: "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." However, don't tell Harper about Liberty University! VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
LINKS from Stephanie, Nanaimo
Following are a few of the hundreds of news stories that Stephanie McDowall emails every month to her mailing list, from her home in Nanaimo (many with comments)…
Mainstreaming of mean:
From theStar.com: ‘Our age of nastiness, deceit and malice – Our culture of squabbling and nastiness could well be contagious?’
“The ancient blood sports in coliseums have given way to screechy head games on reality TV. Instead of gladiators battling lions, we now have dim-wits berating dim-wits,” writes Vinay Menon, staff reporter at TheStar, (Nov. 15, 13); LINK: http://tinyurl.com/starmean
Commentary by Stephanie McDowall <email@example.com> wrote:
A disturbing commentary. I noticed a meanness with the very first “reality show” years ago and did not watch to the end. Have not once watched a “reality show” since. I wonder if this meanness has not been deliberately put into place in order to re-socialize people into not caring about one another? If everyone is only concerned about self... far easier to manipulate people?? Less people would care about others. Little happens anymore by accident. Stephen Harper is a mean man. I can't be the only Canadian who notices this. An accusation of meanness should be devastating politically, but perhaps it is not in today's society. Stephanie, Nanaimo Response from Jack Etkin, Victoria BC <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I think it is exactly as you say Stephanie ... this stuff has been very deliberately put in place to impact our society in negative ways. The Corporations that own the media know EXACTLY what they are doing, and they have studied the impacts. It's an imprecise science but they don't care about details. I think The Corporations don't want a society; because society threatens them; it has the potential of being an 'opposing force,' and so they are trying to destroy it. We can see the examples around us 100 times a day: from the attack on peace and quiet - which we NEED to the homeless and poor and pollution, etc... the entire non-human industrial society they are creating ... The corporations ARE the enemy, and we have got to start to attack them right at their core and find a way to remove their power over us. Pipelines etc. are the symptoms ... the real problem lies deeper. – Jack. 26 dialogue
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The Most Hard-Hitting GMO Report Ever Aired By The Mainstream Media – Collective-Evolution
Stephanie’s comment: Fox News no less! COLLECTIVE EVOLUTION: ‘During what is possibly the most hard-hitting GMO report ever aired by mainstream media, Max Goldberg states: “No long-term studies have ever been done on humans, but when you look at the studies that have been done on animals, it’s pretty appalling. You’re talking about liver damage and kidney damage and when they fed it to hamsters, the third generation of hamsters weren’t able to produce babies, so there’s real safety issues.” While to alternative news reporters and readers this might not be new information, it is rare that the mainstream media has covered the topic with such openness… Read more: http://tinyurl.com/CEgmoreport [CE inspires us to begin expanding our way of thinking so we can take conscious steps towards creating BIG change on the planet. CE's Mission! - www.collective-evolution.com ]
Messy Senate purge doesn't get Stephen Harper off the hook: Editorial | Toronto Star, Nov. 6, 13 LINK: http://tinyurl.com/TSoffhook
Stephanie: There has always been self-indulgent spending by various government "political" organizations. Someone should check out the spending of the various Canadian Ambassadors and their overseas offices. Canadians would not be happy. None of this would matter so much if we didn't have people dying on our streets – which we do all across our country. It would not matter as much if we didn't have children who are truly hungry in Canada. There are many.
Amazing encounter with a large Orca pod caught on camera At CommonSenseCanadian.ca
“Check out this amazing encounter with a large pod of orca on BC’s south coast. The home video, captured in Active Pass, off Galiano Island, has garnered well over 300,000 views from around the world in just one week since being posted.” [Posted Sep. 3, 2013 by Damien Gillis in BC]
UNDERSTANDING THE NATIONAL DEBT From Derek Skinner [email@example.com]
I have tried, without success, to get two economists to critique the following understanding of our National Debt. Can any reader offer a reasoned comment on the following? Agreement or disagreement will be equally appreciated and welcomed. – Derek
The National Debt – Who creates it? And who buys it?
Back in 2008 Statistics Canada (Statcan) reported alise that the Federal Departments involved are very Federal unfunded debt as some $450b and all other shy about releasing the numbers in an intelligible forlevels of government (P+T+M) debt as around $250b. mat. What I do have are the following tables: Since then Statcan has been From Dept. of Finance, Debt Management Report 2011-2012 - – Table 2: required to report in an interna- Composition of Federal Debt at 31 March 2012 ($billions) tional format which is incomMarketable Bonds…………………………………… 448.1 prehensible to the layman. Treasury and cash management bills.…..……….. 163.2 Maybe intentionally so! Retail debt (Canada Savings Bonds)…………..… 8.9 Total payable in Canadian currency………………. 620.3 After several months of rePayable in foreign currencies………………………. 10.7 quests for a simple statement Total Market Debt………………………………….. 631.0 of the amount of the Federal Less debt value adjustments, etc. ……….…….… - 4.7 Debt and the interest charges Total unmatured debt (for the Federal govt. alone) ….. 626.4 B paid annually I have had to reNOTE: This does not include pension liabilities and accounts payable On the other hand – From National Balance Sheet CANSIM 380-0121, the institutions that bought the Federal Debt Bonds and T Bills are: 31 March 2012 ($ Billions) Households…………………………………… Non-financial corporations………………….. Total Monetary Authorities (?BoC?)……..… Total chartered banks & quasi-banks……… Insurance & Pension Funds………………… Total other private financial institutions……. Federal general government……………….. Provincial & Territorial general government Local general government………………….. Social Security funds………………………… Non-residents………………………………… Financial government business enterprises (Column totals do not sum due to rounding)
Derek’s commentary on these figures: The totals for unmatured debt ($626.4b) and the Buyers of Bonds and T, Bills ($686.4b) are not directly comparable possibly because there is a mix of accruals and cash basis in the summations. From the list of buyers it can be seen that the BoC holds 10% in order to issue the M(0) money base; offshore buyers hold 25%; households, insurance and pension funds and secure income streams hold 30%; www.dialogue.ca
Bonds 18.6 4.4 47.6 57.4 171.9 40.5 4.6 14.4 3.3 9.3 136.4 12.6
T. Bills 0.9 4.1 17.9 44.6 15.5 22.3 0.8 17.1 0.0 0.0 37.8 4.5 Total:
Total($B) % 19.5 3 8.5 1 65.5 10 102.0 15 187.4 27 62.8 9 5.4 1 31.5 5 3.3 0 9.3 1 174.2 25 17.1 2 $686.4 Billion
banks and financial institutions hold 25%; and various government departments hold the remaining 10% for parking unused budget accounts. Our Federal Debt has become a secure investment vehicle paying an average rate close to 5% on previously issued long term Bonds even though interest rates are currently in the range of 2.5% to 3% on new Bonds. Lost in the above data is the fact that those interest VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
charges paid – and which are currently around $31b – are a first charge on revenue from taxation. Of that $31b; 25% is lost offshore; local pensions, mortgages, insurance and financial entities hold 55% and government Depts. hold 20% for their own use. Provincial, Territorial and Municipal Debts Total is now in the $300b range but there is no way to find out who is holding that debt and receiving the interest payments which are probably in the $15b range or more and again paid from public revenues. Overall it can be seen that the actual debts are simply revolving accounts which mature and are renewed rather than being paid out in full which might be inflationary. Paying down the debt principals would have many unwelcome
consequences for those who rely on the income streams from the interest. It is the unnecessary deficits added on each year that have to be eliminated while some of the interest drain on revenues should be diverted to private sources Paul Hellyer has shown how to reduce banking control of monetary policies and eliminate deficits with Canada Certificates. It is up to us to erase the mindset that compound interest is a legitimate charge on a loan. Simple interest is enough reward for financial assistance. Lending money just to make money should be re-branded as the odious blight it once was considered to be.” Derek Skinner, Victoria
Hungary orders Rothschilds-IMF to vacate the country
Some countries understand the game – and some are brave enough to "strike at the root" to defend themselves. [PoliticalVelcraft.org] Comment from Gerry Masuda, Duncan BC [firstname.lastname@example.org]
It appears (link below) that Hungary has set an international example, as Ellen Brown is doing nationally in the US. I sense that there is now too much momentum to stop government-created, interest-free credit from increasingly providing funds to all governments. The savings in interest payments will be appreciable. It is just one small step when all current government
debts could be paid off with government created credit. I wonder what the banking interests are going to do to protect their 'interests’? - Gerry Masuda P.S. Article
link below received from Inge Hanle, CDSAPI. Hungary orders Rothschild’s IMF to vacate the country: now issuing Debt-Free Money! LINK: http://politicalvelcraft.org/2013/08/28/hungary-ordersrothschilds-imf-to-vacate-the-country-now-issuing-debt-freemoney
A Guest Column from Don Weisbeck, AB Education should prepare students for the real world Don Weisbeck, Brooks AB
A recent decision by St. Basil Elementary and Junior High School in Calgary follows a social trend that is showing up in schools, sports and other youth organizations. It could be labeled “the pampered philosophy to life”. St. Basil will stop recognizing the academic achievements of some 250 grade 7 to 9 students. No more honour role, no awards, year-end certificates, etc. The rationale contained in a letter to parents is: “Awards eventually lose their lustre to students who get them, while often hurting the self-esteem and pride of those who do not receive a certificate.” While there is some truth to this statement, this is the very reason we should continue with achievement recognition. The primary purpose of early 28 dialogue
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education is to prepare students for the future and a big part of this is learning to accept disappointments and to enter an adult life where achievement is both a reality and a necessity if we, as a society, are to continue to enhance our lifestyles. It is what educators refer to as developing “life skills”. It is not just the academic world that is engaging in such frightening behavior. One reads about sports where no one keeps score and thus success is not recognized, all in the name of protecting self-esteem. Recognition and rewards are a strong motivation for performance and are particularly vital in early life as we hopefully prepare our children to be productive and valuable citizens of our world. The very sad part of this is that by pandering to children, we leave them unprepared and vulnerable to www.dialogue.ca
the inevitable experiences in their adult life where everything is not handed to them on a platter – where failure and disappointment is a reality that we all face in our life journey, one that our schooling should prepare us for, rather than protect us against. What these starry eyed dreamers fail to realize, is they are inflicting a lifetime of harm on the very children they are trying to protect.
Separatist attitude skewed Don Weisbeck
Separatists in Quebec are screaming foul over a recent decision by the Federal Government to intervene in a court case challenging a bill of the Quebec legislature, that gives the province the sole authority to determine the conditions of separation. The separatist argument is that only Quebec has the right to determine their future. While perhaps this resonates for some, it defies fairness, history, and reality. The Quebec legislation was countered by Federal Legislation, termed the “Clarity Act”. This Act was undoubtedly the greatest achievement of Stéphane Dion, then a Cabinet Minister in the Chrétien government. Dion’s initiatives were strongly supported by Stephan Harper at the time, in itself a historic moment of agreement. The Clarity Act is based on the premise that the act of separation does not unilaterally belong to the separating jurisdiction. The other entity (in this case the rest of Canada-ROC) surely has a role in the outcome, for the basic reason that the ROC will be fundamentally affected by the outcome. The federal legislation suggests that such a profound decision must be made by more than 50% plus one vote, the terms of separation must be open to negotiation and the question being presented to voters must have input from both parties. The Quebec legislation is naive in its rationale and should be aggressively challenged. Not only has the Federal Government have the right to intervene, it has the democratic duty to do so. Don Weisbeck is the former mayor of Brooks and past president of the Wildrose Alliance Strathmore-Brooks constituency association. Your comments and suggestions are appreciated: email@example.com [Column featured in the Medicine Hat News, Nov. 4, 2013: LINK: http://tinyurl.com/MHNweisbeck ] www.dialogue.ca
Comments from Kim McConnell Don Weisbeck’s article (two topics) was forwarded by Kim Lian McConnell, with the following comments:
Kim: The Western world has become very soft in its attitude to life – it coddles the children when they are young and then they coddle criminals when the young ones grow up and are unable to face "disappointments" and become criminals because they are unable to cope. That is why the Western world will lose its position of power and China will take over. This article about China's Meritocracy may not meet the approval of the Western world, but let me tell you, this is why China is going to become the most powerful country in the world. Yes, it is brutal! Yes, it is going to lead to a lot of people who will suffer because they cannot meet the high standards set. But, given the choice between what you have referred to in your article and what we have in the "real" world, what would you choose, if you have a choice? LINK from Kim to the article on China: http://tinyurl.com/BCbrieflook
Re “Quebec Separatist attitude”
As for the second part of (Don’s) column – Quebec's intransigence is well known and because we are unable to deal with their intransigence, we will once again give in to them. The West has to come up with a solution – Eastern Canada is already finished as far as that goes!!! - Kim McConnell [firstname.lastname@example.org]
The Dying Dollar… and China
Federal Reserve and Wall Street Assassinate US Dollar Paul Craig Roberts, Washington, Nov. 22 13: Since 2006, the US dollar has experienced a one-
quarter to one-third drop in value to the Chinese yuan, depending on the choice of base. Now China is going to let the dollar decline further in value. China also says it is considering undermining the petrodollar by pricing oil futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange in yuan. This on top of the growing avoidance of the dollar to settle trade imbalances means that the dollar's role as reserve currency is coming to an end, which means the termination of the US as financial bully and financial imperialist. This blow to the dollar in addition to the blows delivered by jobs offshoring and the uncovered bets in the gambling casino created by financial deregulation means that the US economy as we knew it is no more. READ MORE: http://tinyurl.com/PCRdyingdollar VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
“Have Computer Will Write”~ Jeremy Arney Canada’s Parliamentary Process Under Attack Jeremy Arney, Victoria BC
There is no doubt that parliamentary process is being attacked in many ways, and this is just the latest way in which it is being shaped to be less democractic that it already has become. There are stories from long time NDP members how they were allowed to make amendments in committees under the Liberals and often they were adopted as being of benefit to the people of Canada,; Pat Martin of Winnipeg even mentioned it in a speech to the House last week. Today it is all about the Harper administration, nothing about the Canadian people, and so this move to restrict ALL MPs (and this is why they were all copied this letter) is so incredibly short sighted and arrogant and yes destructive to our law making process. I have included all the MPs emails at the bottom, so if any of you want to write to your MP about this or Scheer or encourage Elizabeth May.*
Subject: Report Stage of Bills. To: Scheer, Andrew <email@example.com>
Mr Speaker, I am sure that you are well aware of the latest move to ensure that the rights of independent, or very small party, Members of Parliament to have a say on Bills in the House at the Report stage be restricted instead to written amendments to administration controlled committees. I quote from the source CBC News Politics section: “Elizabeth May leads new fight to protect rights of independent MPs - By Kady O'Malley, October 30, 2013: May, however, has already made it clear that she hasn't ruled out the possibility of filing a plea with House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, who has previously ruled that the rights of independent members to exercise the right to put forward amendments must be protected -- although he has also concluded that the process proposed by the government is sufficient to protect that power.” [END OF QUOTE] I would argue that the process of insisting that any independent MPs must make their amendments in writing 24 hours prior to clause by clause at the committee stage, is exactly the opposite of them being able to exercise their rights to put forward amendments at the report stage; at report stage they would be unencum30 dialogue
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bered by badgering, hostile committee administration members who have absolutely no intention of either listening to them or allowing them time to make validation arguments for those amendments, because they intend to reject them anyway. I fail to see how you can even speculate that such an environment and method will ensure their rights, rather than just make it more expedient for the administration to speed up their process, whilst hiding any legitimate opposition or amendments behind closed doors therefore hiding them from the Canadian people. You can be sure that any amendments time in those committees will go ‘in camera’ hiding from everyone else anything beneficial to the country that any non adminstration MP is trying to do. I would also point out this taken from O’Brien & Bosc: “Report Stage - Once a bill has been examined in committee, it is considered again by the whole House. At this stage, called “report stage”, Members may, after giving written notice, propose amendments to the text of the bill as it was reported by the committee. Those motions are then debated.” What this means is that all MPs who are not on that specific committee have the right to make amendments at the Report stage, including any government backbencher if he/she so chooses, and so it is not only the independent MPs who are being attacked here, it is every MP who wishes to represent his/her constituents regardless of party affiliation. We already know that CPC MPs are not allowed to think independently for their constituents, and I suspect that the NDP and Liberal members also fall into the category of party first, but should ANY MP who was not on the committee, wish to make an amendment at report stage this latest administration move will obliterate their right to do so. My recommendation to you is to allow the committees to be as undemocratic as they have become and wish to remain, but do not allow that to prevent any MP, small party or not, from making amendments at the report stage and letting Canada, the Canadian people and their constituents know that they at least tried on their behalf. Might I remind you that this House does not belong to the current administration, but rather to the people www.dialogue.ca
of Canada, who employ all the occupants of our House from the janitors to the MPs and as such we expect you all to work on our behalf as well as your own. We already provide you with ample perks, and I admit that all MPs jobs can be onerous and take you away from your families. So please make it count for
something you can remember with pride, and be sure that your children and grandchildren will thank you, rather than deride you, for what you have done. Jeremy Arney, Victoria BC * If you would like Jeremy’s MP contact list, contact him by email: [EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org ]
My Canada Day Reflection on history & multiculturalism Jim Ervin, Burnaby BC
Whenever I hear someone spout off, usually on Canada Day, about how good we have it here in this country, I know I’m hearing nothing but the same old brainwashing government propaganda. Perhaps the biggest line of garbage I hear in defense of multiculti policies is that we’ve always been a nation of immigrants. The writers or speakers of those words can easily base their case on ancient history. But one thing one of them said recently, I can completely agree with. Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. The lesson to which I direct their attention is that of the aboriginal people who originally inhabited this land. During the 19th and early 20th century, they became a minority race in their own country, as they were increasingly supplanted by white European immigrants who placed the natives on reservations. Today, many circumstances have changed but guess what? Without one battle, the same thing is happening to the white Anglo Saxon race, which is now outnumbered by the Asiatic race in the Vancouver area and I suspect, any large metropolitan area in Canada. I can often ride the bus in my area and be the only white face on the bus, except for the driver, Thankfully I’m long out of school or I’d be one lonely whitey. This could be the biggest peaceful takeover of a country in history. And it was all done very quietly when my white neighbors all sold out to Asiatic money. To anyone who gives me that old line about us being a country of immigrants, I say that if you’re white, this is also a country of emigrants and transients. Those are the people who migrated out to cheaper land somewhere in the boonies, everyone except me it seems. Some of them have even formed their own reservations. Only now they’re known as “gated communities.” We’ve become a nation of consumers more than a www.dialogue.ca
nation of producers, as Canada used to be. And then we’re told we don’t know how good we’ve got it here. But I know the only way to make this country truly great is with a manufacturing industry, making quality products which workers can be proud of, cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, etc. These are some of the things that used to make this country great. Never will I ever let a politician tell me that our pride should be derived from producing only the raw materials for these products and shipping them all off to China. – Jim Ervin
The New Golden Age
Leonard Hayes, Shigawake (Gaspé) QC
When I was young I heard them say That the golden age was far away I'm older now and realize That it was all a bunch of lies Some young people are around ~ They turn eighteen and they can't be found For doing chores and cutting lawns They'd sooner sit down by the ponds Why should they work when the checks roll in No worries now for her and him They live the happiest life I've seen Yes the golden age is now eighteen They will stay that way As long as they're able And once in a while Work under the table The older people worked hard and strived And received their checks at sixty five Their arms are stiff and their backs are sore And they can't do work anymore So here's to some people Who are young and lean You've got it made When you turn eighteen VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Dying Veteran abused by bigoted orderly in Hull, Quebec PRESS RELEASE, November 9, 2013 By Beth Trudeau, Embrun (Ottawa), ON Canadians for Language Fairness Members of Canadians for Language Fairness joined the Unity Group from Montreal and other individuals, to brave the cold and snow to rally in front of the Hull Hospital in protest of the atrocious treatment war veteran John Gervais, received at the hands of a bigoted orderly working at the hospital.
An orderly who: - Verbally attacked an elderly man dying of cancer, refusing to do his job in assisting him to the washroom, - Verbally lambasted the same World War II veteran dying of cancer, for not speaking French because in Quebec, according to him, everyone must speak French, - Is being protected by the union who will not let the family know this orderly’s last name, - Is on 45 day suspended PAID leave (aka holidays), - Has not expressed any remorse over his actions. By not firing the orderly, the hospital is condoning this blatant discrimination. We were joined by members of Mr. Gervais’ family and his daughter gave a very moving speech. They had just come from his funeral and amidst their tears, they avowed to continue to seek the permanent dismissal of a person whose abject hatred of English speaking people spews from his mouth unabated in his workplace ``where compassion is supposed to be the name of the game. Seriously, what other profession is supposed to show more compassion and caring than the medical profession?
New Brunswick is in a mess! From Robert Ryder, Waterborough NB
This Province of N.B. is in a drastic mess which is hitting us seniors and part-time workers hard. To give you a description of what is taking place, any cement bridge that is deemed unsafe on the highway… the government places a Bailey bridge* on top of the existing one. For how long, we do not know. The excuse given is that they don’t have enough money for repairs. It is disgraceful what is taking place in this province. All because governments in N.B. have the habit of giving and giving to large companies to keep them going; some have gone bankrupt anyway and we taxpayers have to come good for the bill. The Irving empire has also got a mighty strangle hold on this 32 dialogue
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Then, one has to wonder why Official Languages Czar, Graham Fraser, has not come out against this blatant language discrimination against one of the two “Official Languages” of Canada? Not only is English the minority language in Quebec, which the Czar claims is his job to defend (and to ensure minorities do not suffer discrimination), but also because the whole issue revolves around language discrimination itself. Guaranteed, if the event had happened in an Ontario hospital, by an English orderly and a Francophone patient, the Commissioner would be very vocal. Why doesn’t Fraser have his language spies in the Quebec hospitals the way he has language spies sneaking around Ottawa restaurants and bars, in attempts to determine how non-French we truly are because in Ontario, because, lest we forget, only FOUR out of every ONE HUNDRED people are French speaking and in Quebec, the English speaking percentage is even more reason to ensure the minority there is protected, yet what does Fraser offer as support? Do Canadians not glow with pride when we speak about Doctors without Borders, working in countries where the language spoken is not theirs, but their medical knowledge needs no translation? Canadians for Language Fairness would like to know why this compassion is not found in Quebec hospitals and why has the obnoxious bigotry of the orderly not resulted in him being fired? Where is the Commissioner’s compassion for the suffering of the Gervais family? Beth Trudeau, CLF, Tel. [613-443-2370] email@example.com
Province. Stripping our woodlands and hammering our roads and bridges to pieces with their trucks. There also is a form of dictatorship, right here in this province, because of big business involvement. Young people do not have much of a future: we have young people leaving this province in droves, heading out west to escape high taxes and permits and unemployment. Everything here is a mess. This is some description! Would you not agree?! - Robert Ryder, Waterborough NB * The Bailey bridge is a type of portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge. It was developed by the British during World War II for military use. [From Wikipedia]
“That’s My Take On It”
Attacks on Mother Nature prompted by greed John Shadbolt, Acton ON
"Earth is an insane asylum, to which the other planets deport their lunatics." – Voltaire (Memnon the Philosopher)
Mother nature may have already given up on humans. As I sit in my garden each and every year, it becomes more and more like a dead zone. No more butterflies, no bees, a very few wasps and bumble bees, no frogs croaking or crickets singing, no bats overhead and this year very few birds. I wonder if others have the same experience. No one seems to notice, or care. All over the planet, fish and other marine creatures are mysteriously dying. Bats have fungus, snakes have fungus, the plants and trees are under attack by genetic engineering. Our water is poisoned by fluoride and many drug residues. In many places, our food is poisoned by a huge number of products that are government approved. Big companies are busy destroying the earth for minerals, oil, etc. Monsanto is busy promoting the killing of the insects that all have a reason to exist – a place in the scheme of things – even if we do not understand why.
It seems to me, as an observer of all wild creatures, that mankind has somehow decided that we know better than mother nature. Since mother nature has looked after mankind for a very long time, in the interests of the human race, by providing food and shelter and natural medicine, it must come as a very rude shock to be under attack from so many humans and companies that really only care about money. I guess a better word is greed. People have no idea what the consequences of fracking, genetic engineering, pollution, pesticides, etc., are doing to us all. We will be living (if we survive as a race) on a desolate planet. All of the beauty will have been destroyed. Our food will be sold to us from big companies that could care less about us as long as we purchase their products. It’s all about money. Can we change things? One cannot give up. One must keep trying. For mother nature’s sake, and our own.
Interview: Dr. Mercola with Dr. Don M. Huber
Sent to my Member of Parliament: Michael Chong MP: I would like my MP, Mr Chong to comment on this please. If you want to know about GMO, look at Dr Huber’s video. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH IT: LINK: http://tinyurl.com/YThuberMerc [57 minutes]
Pressure growing for federal fracking freeze in wake of Newfoundland moratorium COUNCIL OF CANADIANS Media Release, Nov. 6, 2013
The Council of Canadians is encouraged by the Newfoundland and Labrador government’s decision to look after the health and future of its citizens by placing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province. [On Nov. 5, 2013] Minister of Natural Resources Derrick Dalley said that the government would not be “accepting applications for onshore and onshore-to-offshore petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing.” “We are thrilled about Newfoundland’s moratorium and commend the government’s decision. We urge the government to take its time to investigate all the evidence on all aspects of fracking, and be truly consultative by incorporating community and First Nations inwww.dialogue.ca
put into their final decision,” says Angela Giles, Atlantic regional organizer for the Council of Canadians. “Clearly this is something that the New Brunswick government could learn from, given the reopening of the legislature yesterday to a huge rally of opponents of fracking for shale gas. The New Brunswick government should follow suit and place a moratorium on fracking in order to conduct similar reviews and hold genuine public consultation.” Regional opposition has been growing since last fall when communities learned about Shoal Point Energy’s proposal to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to perform onshore-to-offshore fracking for oil exploration in three sites along the West Coast of Newfoundland. The VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
three sites included Sally’s Cove (an enclave in Gros Morne National Park), Lark Harbour (Bay of Islands) and Shoal Point (Port au Port). Fracking in Gros Morne National Park received international attention when UNESCO raised concerns about how fracking would affect the park, potentially jeopardizing its World Heritage Site status. “From coast to coast, communities are calling for a stop to fracking. We’re relieved to see that the Newfoundland government is taking a common sense approach by reviewing regulations, conducting impact studies and engaging the public before moving ahead,” says Emma Lui, national water campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “Now that both Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have put moratoriums on fracking, and Nova Scotia effectively has a moratorium while undergoing an independent review, it’s time for other provinces and the federal government to do the same.” The Council of Canadians is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Fracking Awareness Network, a non-partisan network of organizations and individuals who have serious concerns about the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing (used in oil & gas exploration and development in Newfoundland and
Labrador). “We often see economic development being pitted against the environment,” adds Lui. “But with tourism generating over $1 billion in revenue for the province, fracking in Gros Morne National Park shows how a threat to water and the environment is also a threat to Newfoundland’s economy.” Council of Canadians: www.canadians.org/fracking
RESOURCES RE FRACKING From: Pauline Hunt, June Ross
Documentary: No Fracking Way! The Fracking Truth – The Truth about the Dangers of Fracking
Hydraulic fracturing poses serious risks to water and health, from the Council of Canadians. LINK: www.canadians.org/water/documents/fracking/factsheet-1110.pdf
Artists Against Fracking
Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Artists Against Fracking Present: the Fracking Song.... LINK: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfymhAEe-TM
Sign the Petition...
Ban Fracking Now - The Council of Canadians LINK: http://canadians.org/ban-fracking
“Fukushima apocalypse: Years of 'duct tape fixes' could result in 'millions of deaths” (LINK & COMMENTS) LINK: www.infowars.com/fukushima-apocalypse-yearsof-duct-tape-fixes-could-result-in-millions-of-deaths/ Stephanie McDowall <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I don't understand why there is not an "international" team in Japan to assist as this catastrophe endangers the whole world. [Link to article above.] The West Coast of all of North America has already been blanketed with radioactivity. Our government and all our political leaders have stayed silent as has our media. It is not true, in this case, that "what your don't know won’t hurt you." People, if they can afford to, can take precautions to minimize the lethal danger to their health of this radioactivity. Does the Government fear people will panic if they know the truth. My response would be "so what?" People will get over this as they concentrate on what actions to take to protect themselves and their children. 34 dialogue
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Why would our government actively prevent people from doing what they can to help themselves because they don't know what is happening ? A response to Stephanie’s questions…
The federal government of Canada still thinks nuclear is a viable energy option. If the whole world's nuclear energy sector were to pitch in and try to mitigate this disaster, and fail, that would likely be the end of rational discussions of nuclear power for national energy production. Death by radioactive poisoning is, by current metrics, still a positive hit for the GDP, and to power-focused politicians the GDP numbers have been the holy grail. Politicians love power more than they love people. Also, killing off large numbers of people is very topical the last decade or so, as a conspiracy “theory” that is proven correct time and time again. www.dialogue.ca
If people knew there is no future after Fukushima there would be chaos, because death is a huge negative in our culture, this is one of the more significant failings of our society, and in particular a failure of organized religions. Fukushima is like a low grade, persistent infection of a living organism, Gaia. It will weaken the host and is the greatest (long term) assault on life on Earth since
Man arrived. To mitigate this disaster we will need a new understanding of nuclear reactions, and a new awareness of how they proceed, and an attitude that such disasters are a global emergency. Until then the Pacific Ocean is absorbing tons of radioactive water daily, and it would be a mistake to think we, on the eastern shore, will not suffer any consequences of these melted down reactors. (unknown author)
Health Action Network Society (HANS) HANS e-News - November 15, 2013 [ e-News@hans.org ]
Update of BC Hydro Class Action (Smart Meter) Lawsuit Canadian Grocery Chains: Get GM Sweet Corn Out!
Status Update of BC Hydro Class Action Lawsuit Coalition to Stop Smart Meters BC Nov 3, 2013
Background BC Hydro had 21 days from July 25, 2013 to respond to our filing and did not. A judge has been assigned who will review our application and hear arguments for and against having our case certified as a class action. Currently We estimate the hearing should take two days, but BC Hydro has estimated five days. No court date has been set. BC Hydro has applied to the BC Utilities Commission to have fees assessed to those wishing to opt out of having a smart meter, and for "failed installations." We will be intervening in that application, but should the fees be approved, full refund of any such payments will be included in our class action as "relief sought." To Do BCUC needs to hear about your concerns, both with the smart meter program and with the fees that are being proposed. We encourage you to consider writing to: email@example.com StopSmartMetersBC sends updates to keep members informed about what is happening re the lawsuit or
other smart-meter-related information. If you would like to receive these e-mail updates, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org with "updates" in the subject line. Please pass word on about our legal actions, as we believe this is the only option left to fight this increasingly tyrannical BC government. Word of mouth is key.
To register for the class action or to donate to it: www.citizensforsafetechnology.org Check us out on FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/StopSmartMetersinBC Follow/retweet: http://twitter.com/StopSmrtMeterBC Founding Members of the Coalition to Stop “Smart” Meters: Robert Bateman, Rafe Mair, Damien Gillis, Elizabeth May, Ernest E. Moniz, Jr., Common Ground Magazine, Health Action Network, Lotus Integrative Medical Clinic, Selkirk Naturopathic Clinic, The BC Green Party, Citizens for Safe Technology Society, Electromagnetic Radiation Health Alliance of BC (EMRHA-BC), Wireless Radiation Safety Council (WRSC), Citizens Against UnSafe Emissions (CAUSE), Gulf Islanders for Safe Technology, Country Life Health Store (Langley), Coalition to Reduce Electropollution (CORE)
To Canadian Grocery Chains: Get GM Sweet Corn Out! by Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
You, and your friends and family could unknowingly be buying genetically modified sweet corn! Please sign CBAN's petition to the major grocery chains in Canada, to get genetically modified (GM, also called genetically engineered) sweet corn (corn on the cob) out of the food supply. PETITION LINK: http://you.leadnow.ca/petitions/grocerychains-get-gm-sweet-corn-out
In October 2013, the Canadian Biotechnology Action www.dialogue.ca
Network (CBAN) tested conventional sweet corn samples from across Canada and found unlabelled genetically modified fresh sweet corn in grocery stores, roadside stands and farmers markets. There has been a small, undetermined, amount of GM sweet corn, from the company Syngenta, on the market for over 10 years. However, in late 2011 Monsanto launched a line of GM sweet corn varieties as well. GM sweet corn is the only whole GM food grown in VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Get GM Sweet Corn Out! [From HANS.org] CONTD.
Canada – as opposed to GM field corn, which is processed into food ingredients, animal feed and biofuels. GM sweet corn is the third possible GM fruit or vegetable in the produce section of Canadian grocery stores. There could be some GM papaya (from the U.S. and China only) and some varieties of GM squash (from the U.S. only) that end up on our grocery shelves in Canada. (You can check for more info at LINK: www.cban.ca/gmfoods/ ) GM sweet corn is genetically modified to be toxic to particular insects. The GM technology transforms the corn plant into a pesticide. In fact, the toxin, from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), is usually expressed in every cell of the plant including the corn kernels. If certain insects try to eat the corn, they will die. The Bt toxin attaches to receptors in the gut of some insects, rupturing the gut and killing the insect.
Health Canada approved GM corn without conducting any of its own safety tests. GM foods are not labelled in Canada and our government does not track GM foods and crops. Certified organic sweet corn is definitely not GM because organic farming prohibits the use of GM seeds, however certified organic sweet corn is not always available. Thank you for taking action to get GM sweet corn out of Canada! You can take more action! Please also write a personal letter to the head office of the grocery store where you shop! This action is very important. For more information and action please visit: WEBSITE: www.cban.ca/corn
HANS: Founded in 1984, Health Action Network Society is a membership-based, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to gathering and disseminating health promotion information. WEBSITE: www.hans.org/ Mailing Address: 214-5589 Byrne Rd, Burnaby, BC V5J 3J1; Phone: 604-435-0512; Fax: 604-435-1561
From: Kenneth T. Tellis, Mississauga:
Concentration Of Corporate Ownership: Warnings from Québec Quoting Kai Nagata in The Tyee
Kai Nagata asks you to imagine a world where one company owns and operates your: morning newspaper, magazines, novels, textbooks, movies, local & national TV news stations, cable service, cable channels (sports, game shows, reality TV, kids’ shows, movies), music, internet service provider, cell phone network, professional sports… Kai Nagata: “I'm not describing some dystopian future fantasy. The hockey team is on hold for the moment, but otherwise this is reality in 2011 in francophone Québec. The corporation is Quebecor, and the media assets described are real. It's possible, especially if you don't speak English, to spend a day, a week, or longer entirely within Quebecor's media universe. “What this means is that a single company holds disproportionate power in defining the public conversation in Québec. By deciding what to talk about, and what not to talk about, Quebecor can put invisible boundaries around the ideas its customers encounter -- and even suggest which ideas are legitimate. But to shape a whole culture on this level, news media alone is not enough. Hence the entertainment properties, and now the NHL franchise. The return of 36 dialogue
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the Nordiques appears to have become a keystone in the company's long-term business plan -- not to mention a personal fixation of CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. For the past year, voices employed throughout his media empire have been pressing to make it happen.” – Kai Nagata, in TheTyee.ca LINK: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/09/12/Nagata_Quebec_Warning
A Link from Ken Tellis:
History Video YouTube
History of Canada - Episode 4: “Battle for a Continent” (Documentary) - by All History Buff
A period of a little more than two decades in the mid18th century changes the destiny of North America. England and France battle each other in the Seven Years' War, a conflict that begins as a clash between les Canadiens and land-hungry American settlers in the Ohio Valley and becomes a world war that engulfs the continent. … When war ends in 1763, 70,000 French colonists come under British rule, setting in motion the ever-evolving French-English dynamic in Canada. LINK: http://tinyurl.com/YTnahistory www.dialogue.ca
Gunther Ostermann asks: What do we know about ourselves and our place in the Universe?
“Necessary Illusion,” as recognized by Noam Chomsky, has been applied forever Noam Chomsky, America’s greatest intellectual noted, in his essay Humanity Imperilled, * “…How to destroy a planet without really trying. What are people doing about it? None of this is secret. It’s all perfectly open. In fact, you have to make an effort not to see it.” Hi Janet and Maurice, would you be interested in publishing this letter? Our two newspapers have refused to publish it, so far. I have inquired what it will cost me to pay to have it printed. Disney and gaming is a big industry in Kelowna. I briefly met all 3 people that sold Club Penguin for $700 million, and other people that want to emulate them. It is embarrassing to be in the midst of grownup children. Disney, the biggest dream industry. Nice sounding name for corporate control of all minds. - Gunther
Our life is just a blink in Eternity What do we know about ourselves and our place in the Universe? Gunther Ostermann, Kelowna BC
It’s been more than 50 years since I’ve read the Bible, out of curiosity, and the recent headline, “Winemaker brings sacred scroll (the Torah) to the Okanagan,” peaked my interest to read some of it again. As a well-informed adult, I’ve read with amusement about this unjust and bloodthirsty god in the Bible, which could only have been fabricated in the minds of superstitious and uninformed people of thousands of years ago. But what is troubling is not very funny; since today’s adults, who most likely and sincerely still believe all that violent stuff - and even justify it, were yesterday’s indoctrinated trusting children who could not but believe what they have been taught by parents, religious institutions and private schools. How could a disobedient act by Adam, which actually made him a thinking human being instead of a subservient slave, still be thought of as sin – that is then multiplied billions of times by Adam’s descendants over thousands of years and required, again, a bloody sacrifice? It is understandable that many indoctrinated people have, in anger, rejected such beliefs and became atheists, readily adopting the mindless Darwinian evolution theory. But in so doing they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater: God, the Source of Everywww.dialogue.ca
thing, who is as invisible as the YOU and I. Imagine, theoretically, if children could grow up in a natural-nurturing environment, with the tools of science but without any ideological indoctrination, they could formulate their own philosophy with a First Cause. Starting with an honest-humble acknowledgment that scientists don’t even know how a single atom functions, despite the efforts of ten thousand scientists over decades of research, and a ten billion dollar price tag at the Large Hadron Collider in Cern. And all living organisms, with gazillions of atoms, are far more complicated. Who gives a thought about this while texting? Entomologist Juergen Otto of Australia made a video. Type in (online) at Google: “Peacock Spider 7” and watch the mating dance of this tiny spider that has a 4millimetre size body. It dances about and gesticulates with its hind legs and flashes its colourful tail-flap that has an almost human-like smiling face on it. Imagine, a small invertebrate creature that can create beauty and is responsive to it, and expresses and appreciates emotion?** Is this not a unique example of Intelligent Design, to borrow a much used but fitting concept, even though atheists like Prof. Richard Dawkins ridicule it? Plain logic suggests the existence of a Creator and, if HESHE-IT started the universe with a Big Bang then it’s plausible that innate Software was part of it that is then activated when planetary conditions are right for life to unfold. Well, we are here now; we are privileged to be alive for a very short time, a mere blink in eternity. What’s it all about? We could start with an honest acknowledgment that we do not know anything. “About ourselves, and about our place in the universe,” as the late Physicist John Wheeler said. We have inherited a beautiful planet and nature, which sadly is being destroyed in so many ways, because Neanderthal mentalities, and beads and trinkets are ruling and ruining our planet. VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Noam Chomsky, America’s greatest intellectual said recently: “How to destroy a planet without really trying. What are people doing about it? None of this is secret. It’s all perfectly open. In fact, you have to make an effort not to see it.” I shared this with a Disney-gaming multi millionaire who never heard of Chomsky and who seems to have no idea, or care of the REAL world, as his only comment was, so? I’m in the Entertainment Business! Mankind’s future seems very well illustrated in a cartoon by Greg Perry, titled Evolution, in which an apelike creature evolved into a hairy caveman and then into a hairless-bald old man who seems oblivious to the world around him as he is busy texting and walking into an abyss.
* Humanity Imperilled, by Noam Chomsky. Read in full at www.TomDispatch.com/ LINK: http://tinyurl.com/TDchomskyImp
** PEACOCK SPIDER VIDEO, Published on Mar 1, 2013, LINK: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_yYC5r8xMI “Courtship display of the Coastal peacock spider (Maratus speciosus). Hard to believe, but there is no footage of this species yet in any wildlife documentary. It inhabits coastal dune habitats near Perth in Western Australia. Filmed by me (Jurgen Otto) with Canon 60D and 100 mm macro lens.” Gunther’s article was published online, Nov. 22, 13, at LINK: http://salemnews.com/articles/november222013/necessary-illusion-go.php
Gunther Ostermann, Kelowna, email@example.com
“In pursuit of a transformational movement”
Building the new in the shadow of the old Richard K. Moore, Wexford [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]
In the previous posting* I went into considerable detail with the 'co-op commons' model. After having had some time for consideration, and for conversations with some of you who responded, I now see the co-op idea as a bit of a premature tangent. It is one of many new possibilities, but the new perspective I gained from the Beau Sejour workshop is much broader than that one over-specified possibility. Something else happened in the interim as well. I was approached by a group who are developing a documentary film on the theme of 'crisis, collapse, and solutions'. One of them came to Ireland and interviewed me for many hours, over the course of two days. I ended up explaining what I've learned over the past 20 years, my interpretation of history, my visions of a better world, of how to pursue change, etc. In the process of trying to explain these ideas clearly, I was in fact clarifying my own thinking for myself, and further integrating the ideas that came out of the workshop. I've now got a clearer framing for why 'building the new' makes so much sense, and why the 'shadow of the old' is so relevant to that process. I now see an underlying coherence among the various movements that are seeking to 'build the new'...
The Shadow of the Old
The ‘Old’ is the system we are currently living under. 38 dialogue
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And living under its shadow– if we are paying attention – we can see that the Old is dysfunctional, that it is based on unsound principles and practices, and that it is finally falling apart around us. It is easy to identify some of the unsound principles. The principle of economic growth, for example, is both unsustainable and disruptive of social stability. The practice of industrial-scale agriculture is dysfunctional in all sorts of ways. The way our debt-based money system works, our transport systems, our energy systems, our educational systems, healthcare systems, etc., etc. The Old, even though some old things do work well, nonetheless provides a comprehensive lesson book on how not to do things. If we survey the various movements that are seeking to build the New – those that focus on community resiliency, decentralization, grassroots participation, coops, locally-based sustainability, etc – we find that they draw their inspiration directly from the Shadow of the Old – the lesson book of the Old. Each movement identifies a dysfunctional system in the Old and promotes a more functional system to supplant it. Debt-free local currencies, for example, introduce a more promising money model than central bank, debt-based money. And the reason these various movements have clustered around a focus on the local, is the dysfunctional over-centralization we can see in every aspect of the Old. www.dialogue.ca
Building the new in the shadow of the old, CONTD.
Taken all together, including Transition Towns, ecovillages, co-ops, community gardens, co-housing, CSA's (Community Sponsored Agriculture) and all the rest, we see an emergence of collective wisdom: independent creative threads adding up, potentially, to a coherent vision of the New; a cluster of new-system models whose whole is potentially greater than the sum of its parts. All inspired by the Shadow of the Old The Participation Barrier
These movements have all run into what we can call a 'participation barrier'. That is, not enough people participate, in any given community, to make a significant difference in the local economy, or in how the community operates. Activists participate, and some early adopters, but most people don't join in. Promising prototypes of the New are being developed and tested in hundreds (thousands?) of communities, but nowhere have the prototypes been able to go mainstream, to really demonstrate their potential value to a community. They have been blocked by the Participation Barrier. Above, I talked about a potential coherent vision, and about the whole being potentially greater than the sum of its parts. It's like with the personal computer. When silicon chips reached a certain level of power, a potential synergy existed between the chip, a keyboard, a screen, and a bit of software. But it took someone like Steve Wozniak to come along, someone who could see that potential, and who was able to manifest the synergy in an affordable coherent whole that eventually changed the world. I suggest that our prototypes of the New are like that. They're promising on their own, in the way a chip or a keyboard might be, but it is only when potential synergies among the prototypes are pursued, that something transformative might be able to emerge. I suppose this is the central insight I took away from the workshop, and the 'co-op commons' was my amateur attempt to come up with a quick example of a 'coherent whole'. The other insight I got from the workshop was that pursuing the potential synergy among our prototypes would be the natural way to overcome the participation barrier. What Wozniak came up with was affordable – it was economically attractive to consumers – and that's what made it socially transformative. Most people have neither the time nor the inclination to devote energy to what they see as idealistic purwww.dialogue.ca
suits. That's basically what the participation barrier is all about. We need to accept that most people in communities will evaluate something like a co-op from a consumer perspective: What do I get out of it? What does it cost me? How much of my time does it take? Our individual prototypes have not fared well from that brutal perspective. But if our prototype initiatives really do hold potential synergies, and I think it is clear they do, then we should be able to find ways to manifest those synergies, and create initiatives that people will want to participate in because of the concrete benefits that are on offer. Not that the only benefits would be economic – certainly not – but economic viability, I suggest, is essential, for initiatives that hope to become socially transformative. And achieving economic viability, in any kind of community initiative, requires some serious work. Business plans
In order to talk about the economic viability of community initiatives, the natural language to use is that of the business plan. That is one thing that the Old has understood how to do well. My 'co-op commons' proposal was a very rough sketch of a business plan. And I've now decided that pursuing those kinds of ideas in my own amateur way is not the best way forward. I'm now thinking about another workshop, perhaps even a Beau Sejour 3. The idea is to get activist leaders together from the various prototype initiatives, and the workshop would be about coming up with sketches of practical business plans that manifest potential synergies. The idea would be to initiate an exploratory process, to get lots of different sparks going about possible synergies, and to get participants thinking in holistic terms about change, and about how to get people involved in change. Economic viability is one essential dimension of a business plan, but the kind of sketches these participants would come up with would have other dimensions as well. Their visions are not primarily about business, but about ways life could improve in the community, and become more sustainable. Those visions would be reflected in the business plans along with the numbers. I could see us working productively with a couple of dozen participants over the course of a weekend. We could get a lot done in parallel with breakout tables, & Open Space might be a good way to manage that. We'd want some kind of process initially, with VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Building the new in the shadow of the old, CONTD.
the whole group together, to do some sharing and get some brainstorming going. That should lead naturally into a breakout process like Open Space. 'Business plan sketches' provides a clear focus, and I think we could expect some interesting concrete ideas to emerge. In the closing session, we'd be asking people what they're taking away from the experience, and hopefully this might lead to some ongoing networking and some actual follow-up collaborations. So this is now my official next project: to work with others to make such an event happen. Don't know who the 'others' are yet. I'm counting on the universe to manifest them. The morphogenic field has been cast. TWO BOOKS BY BUTLER SHAFFER
LINK: https://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/cyberjournal/201311/msg00001.html * LINK TO PREVIOUS ARTICLE: “Community reconsidered: outcomes of Beau Sejour 2” https://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/cyberjournal/201311/msg00000.html
best wishes, Richard Moore, Wexford, Ireland WEBSITE: http://cyberjournal.org Email: email@example.com Richard is the author of 3 books, ~ accessible from his website: Escaping the Matrix: Are you ready for the red pill? The Grand Story of Humanity: What is the true destiny of humanity? How did we get on the wrong track? How did we fall from grace? AND: How We the People can change the world: a concise summary of my philosophy and perspective – with video interviews, links to source material, and more Read more about these books at http://cyberjournal.org
Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival. “Institutions are the foundation
of our society, but are they really necessary? Instead of providing peace, order and coordination, we live with discord, agony, and violence. Can we learn how to organize without creating social Frankensteins, without institutions, without politics?” The Wizards of Ozymandias, published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. “Butler Shaffer has, over the course of several years, written 51 wonderful essays observing the dissolution of Western culture and civilization. They have been assembled in The Wizards of Ozymandias, a captivating work full of
entertaining epigrams and anecdotes, as well as enlightening commentary on current events, and historical episodes, that will keep you engaged and immersed from the first to last page. Shaffer's intellectual prowess and deep well of life experience enlightens and rouses introspection at every turn. It is immediately evident that the author has been writing on law, economics, and history for decades. This book will challenge you to more deeply contemplate the ideals of liberty. The title may be foreboding, but for all that, the book is an uplifting and gratifying read. […]” READ IN FULL, LINK: http://mises.org/document/6961/
Imploding the Myth of Israel: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel Book by Max Blumenthal Comment by Chris Hedges, Nov 4, 2013
[EXTRACT & LINK] Israel has been poisoned by the psy-
chosis of permanent war. It has been morally bankrupted by the sanctification of victimhood, which it uses to justify an occupation that rivals the brutality and racism of apartheid South Africa. Its democracy – which was always exclusively for Jews – has been hijacked by extremists who are pushing the country toward fascism. Many of Israel’s most enlightened and educated citizens – 1 million of them—have left the country. Its most courageous human rights campaigners, intellectuals and journalists – Israeli and Palestinian – are subject to constant state surveillance, arbitrary arrests and government-run smear campaigns. Its educational system, starting in primary school, has become an indoctrination machine for the military. And the greed 40 dialogue
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and corruption of its venal political and economic elite have created vast income disparities, a mirror of the decay within America’s democracy. And yet, the hard truths about Israel remain largely unspoken. Liberal supporters of Israel decry its excesses. They wring their hands over the tragic necessity of airstrikes on Gaza or Lebanon or the demolition of Palestinian homes. They assure us that they respect human rights and want peace. But they react in inchoate fury when the reality of Israel is held up before them. This reality implodes the myth of the Jewish state. It exposes the cynicism of a state whose real goal is, and always has been, the transfer, forced immigration or utter subjugation and impoverishment of Palestinians inside Israel and the occupied territories. Reality shatters the fiction of a peace process. Reality lays bare the fact that www.dialogue.ca
Israel routinely has used deadly force against unarmed civilians, including children, to steal half the land on the West Bank and crowd forcibly displaced Palestinians into squalid, militarized ghettos while turning their land and homes over to Jewish settlers. Reality exposes the new racial laws adopted by Israel as those once advocated by the fanatic racist Meir Kahane. Reality unveils the Saharonim detention camp in the Negev Desert, the largest detention center in the world. Reality mocks the lie of open, democratic debate, including in the country’s parliament, the Knesset, where racist diatribes and physical threats, often enshrined into law, are used to silence and criminalize the few who attempt to promote a civil society. Liberal Jewish critics inside and outside Israel, however, desperately need the myth, not only to fetishize Israel but also to fetishize themselves. Strike at the myth and you unleash a savage vitriol, which in its fury exposes the self-adulation and
latent racism that lie at the core of modern Zionism. There are very few intellectuals or writers who have the tenacity and courage to confront this reality. This is what makes Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” one of the most fearless and honest books ever written about Israel. Blumenthal burrows deep into the dark heart of Israel. The American journalist binds himself to the beleaguered and shunned activists, radical journalists and human rights campaigners who are the conscience of the nation, as well as Palestinian families in the West Bank struggling in vain to hold back Israel’s ceaseless theft of their land. Blumenthal, in chapter after chapter, methodically rips down the facade. And what he exposes, in the end, is a corpse. […] LINK: www.truthdig.com/report/item/imploding_the_myth_of_israel _20131103
MORE DOCUMENTARIES From Food Matters.tv
Are pink ribbons just a "cute" marketing ploy? (new dvd) PINK RIBBONS, INC (NFB) : “Revelatory. Deserves to be seen.” - The New York Times LINK: http://foodmatters.tv/product/pink-ribbons-inc
While the pink ribbons campaign has done a lot to raise awareness about breast cancer, this film uncovers the real truth behind it all. You might be shocked to discover some of the questionable companies involved in the campaign, where your money goes, and how little is spent on prevention and natural therapies. It's a well produced and must watch film! Why You Should Watch This Film
If there's one reason that you could benefit from watching this film, it's to understand the cancer industry and how this campaign really works. 'Pink Washing' is a campaign designed to raise awareness, which is great, but in truth may be actually helping contribute to the cancer industry. The term 'Pink Washing' is used when companies color their products pink or add a pink ribbon to their packaging to entice people to buy. Unfortunately what happens when people buy, where the money goes, how the money is spent is a problem that is largely overlooked. What You'll Discover In This Film
Who really benefits from pink-washing. The disconnect between research and results. How breast-cancer research is poorly coordinated and favors drug companies. How breast cancer fundraising may boost corporate
profits and brand awareness more than it benefits people with the disease. The fact that it raises millions of dollars for the cause, yet prevention in highly underfunded and breast cancer rates keep rising. That many companies profiting from these campaigns may actually be contributing to the breast cancer by selling known carcinogens. Why so many women feel alienated by an approach which can be seen as a "tyranny of cheerfulness".
Consumerism has become the cornerstone of the postindustrial age. Yet how much do we know about it and what it is doing to us? Using theories of evolutionary psychology to underpin a bold narrative of our times, this film takes a whirlwind tour through the "weird mental illness of consumerism", showing how our insatiable appetite has driven us into "the jaws of the beast". It is both an apocalyptic and redemptive view of the human condition. “We’ve all got this weird mental illness called consumerism. We’ve all kind of gone collectively psychotic. Chasing status in public with people who don’t really care, neglecting your lovers and friends and neighbours and kids. Consumed - Video (about 54 mins): LINK: www.ForbiddenKnowledgeTV.com/page/25047.html VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
“Reminiscence and Revelation”
Memories, Life and Death…
Mike Harvey, Langley BC
Remembrance Day fades into unimportance in the minds of most, as it is difficult to feel loss of people you never knew and only see on the TV screen. The larger conflicts grow dimmer as the years roll along and any personal relationship to those men and women who gave their lives may Mike Harvey be connected by the phrase that one's grandfather served during D Day. Being of ancient vintage, my memories of WW1, WW2 and Korea remain graphic. Both my parents served in the First Great War, my dad as an officer in the Royal Irish Rifles who was severely wounded at Gallipoli and my mother who trained horses for the Cavalry and then became an ambulance driver. I was raised in a military milieu and was used to having Brigadiers, Colonels and Majors making social calls. When in 1939 the Second World War broke out, many of my parents’ younger set rallied to the colours and vanished into the folds of the Royal Canadian Navy, The Royal Canadian Air Force or numerous regiments in the army. With unpleasant regularity, I heard that one or the other had been lost, wounded or killed. But as these were older men or had been seniors in school, it didn't make much of an impression. You have to see death or disfigurement before it strikes home. The first time I saw death was as a young corporal on a training exercise. The slit trenches were dug about 30 feet apart. Each trench was connected to the other by a strand of wire attached to a tin can filled with a few stones. The middle trench was occupied by a corporal whose responsibility it was to signal the soldiers in the other trenches to stick a target of a man's face above the parapet. He received his orders from the lieutenant in charge by the same way. Targets up was one sustained rattle which the corporal would relay to the trenches abreast of his location. Two rattles meant targets down until the next group of infantry charged forward, dropped into firing position and aimed for their target. Cease operations were three rattles, which meant it was safe to leave your trench. 42 dialogue
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Exasperation showing on his face the Lieutenant shouted at me. "Pull the damned line again, Corporal" I carried out my order at once with no corresponding action occurring. "Maybe the wire has severed, go and check it" I was ordered. I grabbed the wire and proceeded to the middle trench where the other corporal was located. The wire was in one piece but Smith was slumped forward and obviously dozing, I thought. "Smitty" I called, "wake up." No reply. I jumped into the trench and pushed Smith's face back against the earth. A neat little hole appeared in the middle of his forehead and blood was spattered everywhere. The conclusion drawn at the military enquiry was that Smith has peaked over the parapet at the wrong time, perhaps in a lull in the firing due to a rifle being jammed. There were many other occasions when death was thrust into my mind. A paratrooper stuck on a tree and blasted by a machine gun. Horribly wounded men accompanying me on a hospital train bound for a Military Hospital in Belgium. Learning that a boyhood companion has been lost in his bomber over Germany, a poor family that I knew lost any jest they had for living. Their one source of love and pride had been taken and so every day for them was a day of remembrance.
"In the morning and at the setting of the sun, we will remember them." Lighthouse Spiritual Centre With Halloween just around the corner (at the time or writing) I believe I could have called this piece The Living Dead. But I won’t… I have just returned from the Sunday service at the Lighthouse Spiritual Centre in Cloverdale. How unlike the services that took place in other churches; amongst the congregation were a few dressed in outfits not ordinarily found in a place of worship. For instance, there was an attractive lady with a witches pointed hat. Next to her was a lady you would normally associate as being a member of a Gypsy tribe and not far from her a beaded nun sat in icy splendor except www.dialogue.ca
Lighthouse Spiritual Centre, Mike Harvey, CONTD.
for the appreciative giggles she smiled in response to the many comments about her appearance. Happiness and laughter interspersed with hymns of praise and instructive readings from religious books, and interpretations of these passages given through a higher being in spirit. This may sound like nonsense to those who occupy the pews of regular religious institutions and hear the promises of judgment, repayment for sins and then, hopefully an ushering in the heavenly kingdom to those who have earned it. The Spiritualists are quite different in that they believe that they are eternal spiritual beings who occupy bodies now and will occupy other bodies in other lifetimes, as steps in their development to acquire all the knowledge necessary to move into God’s higher plains of understanding and goodness. What is more, most are convinced that loved ones who have preceded them in their death of the body, frequently have the ability to send them love and advice from a more knowledgeable realm. This will sound preposterous to many but let me tell you what I (as a skeptical observer) have seen over and over again. People, unknown to the spiritual minister or anybody else in the congregation being asked if they are willing to receive a message from the beyond the grave and then, in utter bewilderment and joy, learning that indeed a loved one who has passed away is able to communicate their advice and love. The receiver of the message can be of any age or intel-
ligence. I’ve seen scientists receive messages, as well as those in the throes of sorrow having lost a loved one. I have seen those in utter gloom and depression find solace, peace and utter joy in the knowledge their loved ones are very much ‘alive’ and with them. You might ask who the majority of these spiritualist believers are. They can come from any class, any profession and any age. I personally know a few delightful nurses who, having seen the misery of death, now believe that it is a passage into real life; that all of us are spiritual beings occupying an impermanent bodily mantle. This belief has been shared by many beings of outstanding characteristics while on the earth plain. To name a few: Abraham Lincoln, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Air Marshall Hugh Dowling (head of RAF Fighter Command, WW2), General Patton (US Army), Queen Victoria (who used a psychic to speak to her dead husband), Henry Ford, and many more notable people. The recent interest in the Quantum Theory in science also indicates there are perhaps 11 realities; and science knows that matter/energy can never be destroyed. As an animal lover, I also appreciate the fact that it is not unusual for a dead pet to show up in a communication. That is my greatest hope that all the love I have received from my four legged friends is not just a lovingly sad memory of the past, but can in time be a joyful reunion. – Mike Harvey
Inseparable at source "In India when we meet and part we often say, ‘Namaste,’ which means: I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides; I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace. I honor the place within you where, if you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us ... - or remember we are “inseparable from the source…” ‘Namaste.’ " – Ram Dass
Divided… Distrust… Controlled "The state has, in order to control us, introduced division into our thinking, so that we come to distrust others and look to the state for protection! But the roots of our individualism remind us that what we are is inseparable from the source from which all others derive; that coercive practices that threaten our neighbor also threaten us." – Butler Shaffer
Our “duty to understand the world” "We have come out of the time when obedience, the acceptance of discipline, intelligent courage and resolution were most important, into that more difficult time when it is a person's duty to understand the world rather than simply fight for it." – Ernest Hemingway
Enlightenment will banish tyranny "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like the evil spirits at the dawn of day." – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Pierre S. du Pont de Nemours (circa 1800)
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Memory of the 5
(December, not alcohol)…
Denny Z. Petrik, Lower Mainland BC
Remembering the place from which I came, way over there beyond the large pond… Dec. 5th would be the night when Saint Nicholas would come to visit us children and give us small presents. You see, December 6th is designated in the Catholic calendar as the day of Saint Nicholas. And the Saint being the good man he was he decided to help Baby Jesus some. After all one cannot expect a baby to deliver trees and gifts large and small on Christmas Eve. And the Saint, being a bit old and somewhat weakened, yet still wanting to aid, well he took over the stocking stuffer part of deliverance. Unbeknown to him, his kind gesture saved a lot of fireplace ledges from chipping and other damage. And when he arrived on the evening of the 5th, he stood dignified in priestly garments and head covering. Just to make sure that he was protected from some unruly children he just might meet, he took
It was the autumn of 1949. I was a home- and country-less, displaced person in Germany, temporarily staying near the Dutch border. There I was invited for a coffee by a German farmer. And as we sipped he was telling me about the many battles that took place in his area. He mentioned that at one time or another the troops of most battling nations fought there. “They all fought here,” the farmer said, “but only two good armies battled here during that time, the German and the Canadian.” I was not a Canadian then, I had no idea that eventually I would emigrate to Canada, he had no reason to direct any such compliment in my direction. I could only conclude that his was a sincere compliment to soldiers Canada had sent there to help destroy an absolute horror of human history. I recall the farmer’s comment often and certainly on Remembrance Day. I am deeply grateful for the Canadian soldiers’ sacrifices. And I wish we could replace two short minutes of silence by constant active protection of that for which the brave men fought and died – freedom. It is always threatened by someone! 44 dialogue
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along an assistant, the Devil. The Saint would ask the children a few standard questions like “have you been good” or “did you do what Mom told you to do” and similar. If he heard positive answers he would nod serenely. If the answers were not quite to the mark, the devil would rattle the piece of chain he always seemed to carry. After all, back then there was abundance of small chains around the country, what with all the bicycles that had to be locked up from time to time. Nod or chain rattle, somehow a few small gifts were always found and shining little eyes spoke thank “yous”; and after a short prayer the Saint and devil left. He never asked anybody to sit on his knee; let’s face it his arthritis would not have liked such visitation. There was never a vulgar “ho, ho” to be heard and no red suited clown silently screamed, “Buy more!” After Saint Nick/Santa’s visit we all would sit down and have a glass of soda water, the city kind was not all that great and for Coca Cola we did not care.
From Prague… And the swans wait patiently till
the bun is done just right… Nice outing for a youngster.
Denny: The river is the Vltava. In my youth there were no swans there, only plenty of earns. Later on they apparently added one or two dams upstream and that changed the nature of the river. She does not freeze in winter and is too cold for swimming in summer. I learned swimming in her (after my older brother tossed me out of a canoe and ordered me to swim ~ something I had difficulties to learn by the customary methods, and I swam all the way to shore, no fancy strokes, just a trusty dog paddle to keep me afloat!) And I played many games of hockey on the stream. It is amazing how technical changes can create changes in nature. We had some lovely days but now have plenty of fog, both outside and in my head!
“Your Health Matters”
WHAT HAS OXIDATION TO DO WITH DISEASE? Derrick Lonsdale, M.D., Strongsville OH
Efficiency of oxidation, another word for combustion, involves the consumption of oxygen in creating cellular energy. It reflects health and its loss of efficiency in causing disease. It is a complex process that requires a whole series of enzymes and the vitamins and minerals that service the enzymes that make oxidation possible. Many people are aware of the classical nutritional deficiency diseases known as beriberi (thiamine, B1), pellagra (niacin, B3) and scurvy (vitamin C). Each one represents one or more aspects of inefficient oxidation. These diseases rarely exist in their pure single-vitamin state as originally described and are commonly seen in a mild form that is usually mistaken for another “more modern” disease. The best example for illustration is beriberi, because a relatively mild form is surprisingly common today without being recognized. This disease has existed for thousands of years and it was not until the early years of the 20th century that it was found to be due to deficiency of vitamin B1. Thiamine is an essential factor in the oxidation of glucose, a major fuel for the brain and nervous system. All simple sugars that include lactose (milk sugar), sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) and even starch are broken down in body metabolism to glucose. The commonest cause of beriberi for centuries has been the consumption of white rice as a staple, the reason it was so common in Eastern cultures. White rice is the grain from which the cusp has been removed by milling. Outbreaks of the disease occurred in the East throughout history and were related to increased affluence when the peasants were able to afford the luxury of having their rice crop milled. They did this because it looked better when served to their friends and it demonstrated their newfound affluence, since milling was expensive. The B group of vitamins, that includes thiamine, occurs naturally in the cusp around the grain. The miller would throw the rice polishings to the pigs and they were therefore better fed than the humans. The grain, with the cusp removed, is just starch and the disease is therefore represented as a www.dialogue.ca
load of glucose with an insufficiency of B group vitamins, particularly thiamine, to oxidize it in the synthesis of cellular energy. It is the same kind of effect as choking a car engine, where thiamine is the spark plug and calories are the gasoline. Epidemics of beriberi also occurred in the summer months, a mystery with a long-sought explanation. An example of this was when workers in the factories would take their lunch outside. When the sun shone on them, some would develop their first symptoms of the disease, so it was natural to believe for a long time that the disease was caused by an infection. We now have evidence that ultra violet rays in sunlight stress the body. Thus, a marginal state of thiamine deficiency suddenly becomes symptomatic. An adult human body consists of between 70 and 100 trillion cells, all of which require thiamine. The lower part of the brain is particularly sensitive to thiamine deficiency, giving rise to symptoms that are identical to those from mild to moderate oxygen deprivation. These common symptoms such as heart palpitations, headaches, intermittent chest and abdominal pain, feeling hot and sweating, emotional lability,(*) fatigue and “brain fog” are usually diagnosed as psychosomatic. The tissues that have the highest metabolic rate, correlating with their consumption of oxygen, are the heart, the brain and the nervous system, so high simple-carbohydrate malnutrition has its primary effect on those organs. If the affected cells either are starved of oxygen (the major catalyst that enables glucose to be oxidized) or receive a disproportionate excess of sugar, their energy is curtailed and their function becomes abnormal or ceases. Consumption of sugar is the modern equivalent of white rice; and ‘beriberi’ heart disease has recently been reported in Japan in a group of adolescents consuming sodas and simple carbohydrate food substances. It has long been thought that these classical nutritional deficiency diseases have been conquered in developed countries because of vitamin enrichment. Unfortunately, that is simply not true. They do exist but not in their classic presentation and I have seen them all, often unrecognized even in a major hospital setting. VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
OXIDATION AND DISEASE – Derrick Lonsdale, continued by palatability(**) and the money drive. I have seen Most modern physicians do not even consider the many examples of disproportionate emotional reflex. possibility of a nutritional deficiency as a cause of So-called panic attacks, common today, are fragdisease and rarely do they recognize the way that mented fight-or-flight reflexes. I remember a boy they appear. The diagnosis is nearly always missed. who, reprimanded by his mother, dove through a plate It seems that our present society is becoming aware of glass window, cutting himself badly in the process. the kind of dietary mayhem that so many of us are inPerhaps the worst example of “junk food” ingesdulging in. There are news items on television and in tion was a champion swimmer. One day she was health magazines, but nobody wants to hear it or read about it. Many books have been written, but they have swimming laps and coming to the end of a lap, she to be read to be of any value. As a pediatrician, I have stopped abruptly. She had been a victim of sudden been confronted with this problem for many years. As death. Her brother was a gymnast. One day he was climbing a rope and when he came down, he collong ago as the 1960s I became aware that children whose behavior was intolerable were not examples of lapsed. He was taken to the nearest hospital where he Freudian psychology. The drugs usually given to them was given glucose saline intravenously, a fairly standard and well known procedure. He had no less than often made them even worse. I found that they were eleven blood-stained bowel movements and then exsimply given ad lib access to sweets. pired. The danger that I am trying to portray in Hallowe'en has become a "sacred" ritual that is pubthis case is that the glucose given to this boy killed licly blessed as a token of our love for children. It him because he could not process it in his brain, a seems to be well known, however that teachers have a direct result of his high calorie malnutrition. disastrous follow up in school. Are the children addicted to sugar? There is no doubt that some are. Since I remember a woman in hospital that was receiving parenteral nutrition (intravenous fluid that contains home discipline has become a relative rarity, there is calories and vitamins). In spite of the fact that the no concept of using candy as a "treat" and it is often fluid contained a daily megadose of thiamine, she given by teachers as a reward. died and autopsy showed classic thiamine deficiency I have become aware that sugar has a serious consebrain disease. quence for some people, both children and adults. It I have come to the obvious conclusion that all the overloads oxidative capacity in the part of the brain man-made foods are sweetened with sugar or asparthat deals with emotions, the lower, more primitive tame because it sells the foods. We are collectively part known as the limbic system. This part of the addicted to sweet, sweeter and sweetest. John Yudkin, brain becomes much more responsive to all the input a Professor of Nutritional Science in London wrote a stimuli that cause it to react. book in 1973 entitled “Sweet and Dangerous.” He Pain is, of course, perceived by the brain and the expresented evidence that many common diseases seen aggeration of pain under the conditions imposed by today are caused by our inordinate consumption of poorly functioning brain cell oxidation can be exagsugar that has been assessed in the U.S. as 150 pounds gerated to an exquisite level. The limbic system is inper capitum per annum. Can you imagine the number deed a computer that must be monitored and advised of ships required to bring it to our shores? by the upper, more sophisticated brain. We call that ~ Derrick Lonsdale, M.D. “self control”. The necessary communication between Everything is connected to everything else. the two parts of the brain is weakened by the loss of Derrick Lonsdale is a Fellow of the American College of Nutripower from inefficient oxidation. tion and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. www.prevmed.com / Blog: http://o2thesparkoflife.blogspot.com/ As an example of emotional lability, a minor insult, instead of being passed off, becomes a trigger for a (*) ‘Emotional lability’ refers to unstable, disproportionate tremendously exaggerated anger that may easily be emotional displays converted into violence. Perhaps “Road Rage,” van(**) Palatability is the hedonic reward provided by foods or dalism, the notorious O.J. murder and even school fluids that are agreeable to the "palate" - as determined by opioid receptor-related processes in the brain. shootings are all part of a cultural decline, ear marked 46 dialogue
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“Stirring The Soup”
Facebook – A Less-Than-Stellar Change Marie Gaudet, Edmonton AB
I have been a very private person all my life and have consequently been a real stickler for not giving out more information than is strictly necessary to anyone. Thus, when Facebook was created, I didn’t immediately follow the trend, appalled at the many people I knew who had quickly become wildly addicted to it, to the point of spending most of their days and a substantial portion of their nights chatting online with friends, sharing photos and invites randomly or actively rummaging into other people’s lives to see what they were up to. It struck me as way too easy to pretend to be someone you’re not, to build a whole fake persona of who you might like to be and to hide those traits that you think people wouldn’t value. You could (and many do) even download a fake photo of yourself or at least a much younger photo, lie about your age and live vicariously through this counterfeit person instead of going out and living a real life for yourself. I saw it at best as pure escapism and at worst, perhaps as a bit of voyeurism or even stalking. Eventually, of course, I did sign up for Facebook when I needed to find some friends for a high school reunion and have stayed with it since, but with continued care. Because really, it’s as though you are opening your doors wide and haphazardly inviting people into your home to tell them all about yourself, your life and your family. At least, this is the way it was… nowadays, people might send you a friend request only so they can go and snoop in your house for themselves without condescending to speak with you! I mean, friend or not, you wouldn’t let someone ring your doorbell, come on in and go ferret about in all your drawers to see what’s there, would you? But in this age of social networking and direct messaging, I don’t think anyone worries about their privacy so much anymore. But maybe I’m wrong? I sure hope so. In order to find out, I decided to conduct a short experiment to see how much information I could get about people via their Facebook pages only – and that’s without checking their twittering, blogging, yahooing , my space-ing or any other virtual communicating. After all, I thought, young people nowadays www.dialogue.ca
must be aware of the importance of privacy and surely wouldn’t put too much information out there… would they? Now, bear in mind that this really goes against the grain for me… to go to someone’s page and actually SNOOP! I always feel like such an intruder, as though I’m in their house without their permission and looking at their dirty laundry (even though human nature would undoubtedly ensure that little to no messes are hanging about on your Facebook page, just as I’d clean my house before someone comes over). Of course, I understand that by accepting my friend request, my network has given me an inherent permission to browse, but still it somehow seems objectionable to me. However I decided that I would disregard my overly whetted principles for the purpose of this particular investigation, so I bit the bullet and forged ahead. I found out for instance that one of my young gal friends is Indian, lives in Edmonton, is married, has at least one child, is very spiritual, is interested in politics, has nearly 400 friends, loves to scare the crap out of people via You-Tube videos and is going to an AGM/Halloween event tomorrow evening at Dave’s place (Dave, silly boy, provided his home address on the e-vite). But very little else could be found about my buddy herself! Good work, I thought to myself, feeling somewhat vindicated and hopeful on behalf of young people everywhere. A few pages were worrisome, in that some individuals imparted information that could feasibly be used as a starting point by Internet scammers and identity thieves. For instance, one of my nieces had her city and actual birthdate on her page; one nephew listed his home address, and workplace; my own son listed his birthdate, cell # and address, though thankfully he hasn’t updated the address to his new one. But for the most part, I was happily surprised to find that my friends and family members were very shrewd in the manner in which they kept in touch without leaving too much personal information in the public domain. Some people though, often younger people, are less likely to use caution. Being innocent, trusting and in love with life, they are liable to be open and honest in their communications. Too bad life has to beat that out of them, and with Facebook’s help, it will. VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Stirring The Soup, Marie Gaudet, CONTD.
They don’t think twice to say where they’ve been and what they’re doing, what their likes and dislikes are, where they work or go to school, what type of car they drive, which sport they play, when they’re leaving on vacation and how long they’re going to be gone, etc. Which is great among friends, but sometimes we forget that others are out there watching us. Don’t believe me? Read Will Ferguson’s book “419”, for a reality check that will leave you shaken.* And now with Facebook’s help, all the chatter of teens everywhere will be available to anyone worldwide. As of October 16th, 2013 Facebook users aged 13 to 17 now have the option to set the audience of their posts to "Public," meaning anyone anywhere can see them. They will also be able to switch on the "follow" feature, which will let their public posts show up in other people's timelines – including people they don't know. "Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard," Facebook's announcement states. Judging by what I found in the investigation of my own friends, it could seem as though they’re right; however, my Facebook friends are all aged 30 and above. As adults, we would likely know better than to choose either of these options but for a teen eager to connect and socialize with new friends worldwide, they may not give it a second thought. And they don’t mean any harm when they forget, after a while, that they even chose these options and broadcast to what they think is their friends’ list that Dad just got a new job at a bank; or Mom’s seeing a shrink; or big brother’s friend is gay. Being teens, they also need to express the abundant emotions that are a normal part of being an adolescent, feelings of isolation, sadness or low self-esteem that are common among teenagers and which could be fertile ground for predators and bullies to exploit. If something should go amiss, they would not be at fault, Facebook would be. After making this less-than-stellar change (in my opinion) to Facebook, and in what’s supposed to seem like a positive move, Mark Zuckerberg & Co. has added extra confirmation dialog boxes so that when teens do try to post remarks to the public domain, they will have a reminder pop-up asking them if they really want to make this a public comment. But from having 48 dialogue
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watched kids in action for many years now on computers, tablets and phones, I know for a fact that most of the time, pop-ups are ignored and “Yes” or “I agree” is clicked on for the simple purpose of getting rid of the annoyance that’s stopping them from continuing on with their conversation. One final change by Facebook, this being the only one that may prove beneficial, is that in future, when a teen signs up for Facebook, the default will ensure that comments automatically go to the friends only list, rather than to “friends of friends” as it characteristically used to. Yay.
Will Ferguson’s 2012 book ‘419’
Winner of the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Amazon.ca Editors' Pick: Best Books of 2012 From internationally bestselling travel writer Will Ferguson, author of Happiness™ and Spanish Fly, comes a novel both epic in its sweep and intimate in its portrayal of human endurance. A car tumbles through darkness down a snowy ravine. A woman without a name walks out of a dust storm in subSaharan Africa. And in the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the Internet, looking for victims. Lives intersect. Worlds collide. And it all begins with a single email: “Dear Sir, I am the daughter of a Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help…” Will Ferguson takes readers deep into the labyrinth of lies that is 419, the world’s most insidious Internet scam. · · · ·
Hardcover: 416 pages Publisher: Viking Canada (March 27 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 0670064718 Amazon.ca price (as of Nov. 26, 13): $20.06
A Christmas Tale
SOMEONE'S CHRISTMASâ&#x20AC;Ś By Don Parker
There were tracks behind my house in the snow last night, And whatever put them there gave my dog a fright. Poor old Skip, he barked and barked, and I heard him snarl, While he paced the kitchen floor with a chest-deep growl. There were clumps and clatt'ring sounds coming from my roof, Sounds that made me think of deer and of cloven hoof. Then I heard a sliding sound from my chimney flue, And the fuss that Skip created increased the hue. There were embers in the hearth that were dampened off, And, although I didn't see him, I heard him cough, And I heard his munchie-munch and his gulping, too, And the fuss that Skip created, I heard that, too. All was quiet for some minutes; I wondered why. And, although old Skip was whining, I heard a sigh, Then a deep melodious voice intoned, "That's it!" And to this day I don't know what made Skip quit. www.dialogue.ca
When I shuffled to the kitchen, there fast asleep. Lay old Skip all curled, cocooned and in dreamland deep. On the mantle stood a tumbler with milky sides, And a plate with scattered cookie crumbs there besides. There were presents for the children and for their mom. It was obvious that Santa had truly come. I could scarce believe my eyes and I felt a smile, As it spread across my face, stretching for a mile. ***** "Hey now! What are you all about, crazy dog of mine? "Just you leave my face alone when I'm all supine! "Here now! Let me get my crutches then I'll get up. "Why you're acting once again like a silly pup!" As I reached beside my bed for my crutches there, And my eyes began to focus on who was there, That was when my darling wife, through her teary eyes, Whispered softly that she loved me, and through her cries, She talked about an accident that I had,
I'd been knocked about but wasn't hurt all that bad, Just a slight concussion knocked me out for that night, And a broken leg and splints had me done up tight. "You've been dreaming in your coma. I heard you shout. "Asking Skip what all the racket was all about. "You were worried that their Christmas would be delayed, "That the children wouldn't get the gifts that you had made." "Well now, Darling, rest assured that Saint Nick has been, "And he's left your gifts for Ian and little Lynn, "But your wife has been a naughty, smooth as silk, For I ate all the cookies, then I drank the milk!" Don Parker, December, 2000 ď&#x201A;§
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I’M DREAMING OF A WARM CHRISTMAS Randy Vancourt, Toronto ON
One of these Christmases I plan on spending the holiday season down south. Somewhere warm – Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Florida... it doesn’t matter, just so long as I can attend Christmas Eve service in short pants. It seems that whenever I mention my dream to people, someone feels the need to offer a bit of wisdom along the lines of, “It won’t feel like Christmas without snow.” Let me offer a simple rebuttal. This is a fallacy. All those classic holiday specials where Bing and Perry sang Christmas carols in the falling snow were actually filmed in California studios where nobody ever suffered so much as a cool breeze. Irving Berlin wrote his classic song “White Christmas” while enjoying life in his Hollywood mansion. And don’t get me started on his other lyric from the movie version, “I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow.” I often speculate that our need to idealize the wonders of snow is probably some sort of defense mechanism. Holiday songs extolling its wonders, picturesque cottage scenes by Thomas Kinkade, and our very human sense of self-preservation, have all combined to convince us that sub-zero temperatures and snarled up traffic somehow constitute a winter wonderland. Just because Santa Claus chooses to live in a frigid climate, do we all have to suffer? It feels like I have spent almost every Christmas of my adult life either struggling though snowstorms to get home for the holidays, or shoveling myself out once I got there. One year a raging blizzard managed to make my return drive from Montreal to Toronto into an 11hour trip. Another time a storm knocked out the electricity on Christmas Day, making dinner preparations a bit challenging. Last Boxing Day Montreal was pounded with the largest snowstorm ever recorded in that city’s history. Before I come across sounding too Grinch-like, let me say that I do have fond memories of many Christmases; walking to midnight service in a light snowfall, tobogganing down snow-covered hills, enjoying the warmth of a fireplace and the twinkle of a brightly lit tree as I watched the flakes cascade gently past the window. 50 dialogue
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Magical moments, one and all; but strangely conspicuous by its absence is the memory of how unpleasantly cold the weather no doubt was. It’s almost like my brain discarded that information in order to make the recollection more festive. I am not speaking purely hypothetically here; rest assured I have actually experienced warm weather during the holiday season. A few years back I found myself wandering along the streets of Fort Lauderdale one late November evening, dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, admiring all the houses beautifully decorated in anticipation of Christmas. It was dark, the colored lights were magical, and I did not miss the cold and snow for one second. If anything, the warm weather enhanced the experience by allowing me to marvel at the wondrous lighting displays at my leisure. I didn’t need to enjoy them through a frostcovered windshield or be forced to retreat into a heated car seconds before hypothermia set in. In short, it made me realize that I could quite happily spend my entire holiday by the side of a pool, sipping a tropical Christmas cocktail. In fact I believe Christmas morning would be just as festive if the exchanging of gifts was followed up with a trip to the beach, and I am positive that the aroma of turkey wafting through the house is equally compelling when the temperature outdoors is 30 above rather than 30 below. I got married this past July, so Christmas trips must be divided between my family in Quebec and hers in Manitoba. That’s right, I married someone who comes from an even colder province than I do. Why she could not have been raised in some tropical climate is beyond me, but rest assured I intend to bring up the topic as soon as we find ourselves digging out of the next inevitable Christmas blizzard. So for this year at least I will relinquish my dream of a tropical Christmas, and instead pretend that the holiday just wouldn’t be the same without bitter cold, icy roads and howling blizzards. However I will continue to promote my theory that everyone should head south next December. After all, it only makes sense. There must be some reason that the traditional choice to add to eggnog is tropical rum. Merry Christmas…or should I say Mele Kalikimaka! ~ Randy - www.randyvancourt.com www.dialogue.ca
Merry Christmas from The Vaincourt Homestead
Long-time Dialogue readers will fondly remember the many years that Larry Vaincourt contributed his poems stories through his column, Rhymes & Reflections. Larry’s son Randy Vancourt maintains a website ~ http://vaincourt.homestead.com ~ featuring his father’s columns and poems; and we are blessed that Randy is carrying on his father’s writing tradition, with his own column “Ramblings” in Dialogue. We are pleased to share one of Larry's Vaincourt's Christmas poems, “A Christmas Reveillon,” which is included in Larry’s book, Just A Common Soldier and other poems. Larry’s poems and books are available at: LINK: http://vaincourt.homestead.com/ REVEILLON is a French-Canadian tradition, this all-night house party is usually held on Christmas Eve after midnight Mass, when family and relatives congregate at one home (usually the grandparents') for a night of fun and revelry.
A CHRISTMAS REVEILLON by A. Lawrence Vaincourt
'Twas the night before Christmas back home on the farm And the wood stove was roaring to keep the house warm. Papa in his nightshirt and Maman in her hat Had just wound up the clock and had put out the cat. I had turned down the covers and was just sliding under When someone knocked on the door and it sounded like thunder. Papa looked out the window and I heard him swear, Well "Sacre maudit, it's your big brother, Pierre." "Should we let him in?" he asked of Maman. "He's carrying gifts and some good whiskey blanc." She opened the door up, but then Maman said, "It's very late, Pierre, we're just going to bed." Well uncle Pierre laughed and he said, "Yes, I know But it's your turn this year to hold Reveillon. "We would have held it, but our house is small While your house is big and there's room for us all. Aunt Denise has the turkey, Maman the tourtière And you'd better get dressed 'cause they're all coming here." Well the first to arrive was our fat cousin, Rose And she kissed all the family before wiping her nose. She had the twins with her, which was not at all strange, I could tell by the smell they both needed a change. Then cousin Jean-Paul, who is just five foot two, He brought the beer and it was all he could do www.dialogue.ca
To carry two cases from the truck to the door, He said, "If that's not enough I can go back for more." Aunt Denise then came in with a turkey so big That Papa remarked t'was the size of a pig. She laughed, "We'll have time for some drinking and fun Then we'll all eat well when the turkey is done." Theophile had his fiddle, Aunt Claire had some spoons And we knew we were in or some old-fashioned tunes. Then came uncle Paul and his daughter, Celine And I stopped feeling grouchy and started to grin. She kissed all the family and that was real nice And I felt pretty good, because me she kissed twice. Theophile took his fiddle and started a tune While Aunt Claire joined in with a couple of spoons. Then uncle Pierre said, "That makes me want to dance," So he jumped to his feet and he started to prance. Uncle Pierre's a big man and he has a large belly That shook when he danced like a bowl full of jelly. Then Maman cried out, "You know Pierre, you're not small And you're shaking the pictures all down off the wall," Old Joe, he got drunk (he's the family disgrace) Sneaked into the kitchen with a grin on his face And Grandmère remarked, "A good thing I went in He was basting the turkey with a bottle of gin." Grandpère was playing with the kids, in the hall, They were shouting and laughing and having a ball. They were getting real noisy when I heard Maman yell "What are you kids up to, what's that awful smell?" I was going to tell her but before I could start One kid laughed, "It's Grandpère, he just made a big fart." It was a fine party, of that there's no doubt, Because nobody left, although several passed out. And we sang the old songs that we all knew so well, We drank and we danced and raised all sorts of Hell. We ate up the turkey and drank all the beer, Wished each other "Bonne Fete," and said, "We'll see you next year." And Celine remarked as she gave me a kiss, "What a shame Les Anglais don't have parties like this."
This poem is featured in Larry's best selling book, “JUST A COMMON SOLDIER and Other Poems.” Larry’s books and prints of poems also available online at: LINK: http://vaincourt.homestead.com/products.html ABOUT LARRY: Born in upstate New York, Larry grew up as a farm boy in the rural setting of Covey Hill, Quebec, VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
where he lived until he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II as a Leading Aircraftsman. After serving as an aircraft mechanic and part-time entertainer, he returned to Quebec in 1946. A varied career saw him working as a logger, news photographer, civil servant, and metallurgical photographer. Larry embarked upon his writing career first as a regular columnist for THE LACHUTE WATCHMAN. Larry's prose and poetry were carried for over 20 years as a regular feature in the journals DIALOGUE and MAIN STREET, as well as on the
CBC radio program FRESH AIR. He received the 2004 Column of the Year Award from the Quebec Newspaper Association. Larry passed away on April 20th, 2009, surrounded by his family. His son Randy now handles all business matters on behalf of his father. Larry final book, a mystery called HARPER'S HILL (not about Ottawa!), is set to be published in 2014 and will be available through the website and at Amazon.ca. Email inquiries at: firstname.lastname@example.org ď&#x201A;§
A First Book for former Columnist Dolly Dennis
From: Dolly Dennis, Edmonton AB [email@example.com]
Thought I should bring you up to date about my novel, LoddyDah, and forward you the book cover. I am currently working on the final edits with the publisher, Toronto's Guernica Editions. The book will go to print in January 2014 with a release date of end of May/ beginning of June for their second Spring release. I imagine there will be launches in Toronto and Montreal, as that is the location of both their offices---also in Edmonton and Calgary. The book begins in 1967 with EXPO 67 and ends in 1970 with the October crisis. It is not a historical or political novel. We follow Loddy and the troupe from the Garage Theatre (thus the stage curtains on the cover) as their lives unfold against the backdrop of the political events at that time. The book delves into self identity, illusion, delusion and final self-acceptance. We wanted the cover to have the feel of the sixties with its "bubble" psychedelic lettering from that era. Remember those posters? I think your readers, boomers especially, will be interested in Loddy-Dah as I capture Montreal landmarks that are now gone, Verdun, the John and Yoko Bed-in for Peace, the fashion, the music, the go-go-girls, the hippies, the transients, the draft dodgers. I also include drag queens, transvestites that were also part of the scene. Michel Tremblay wrote about them but I have never read anything by an English author. Most important, it has a story and I hope I wrote it well. My editor said it was quite impressive, so no false modesty here! The book will be available on Amazon.ca, 52 dialogue
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Amazon.com, Amazon.uk, Barnes and Noble and Chapters/Indigo. I started to write this novel in 2006 while holding down a full-time day job as a public servant. I always wrote and got published in between the spaces of living. I will never forget the first column I wrote for Dialogue in 1989. I have a scrapbook full---52 columns. I learned to write about something I believed in and to meet a deadline, so I thank you Maurice and Janet for my apprenticeship. I have also begun to write poetry and two of my poems have been published in anthologies this year: one in the Women's Words Anthology and a winter poem in the 40 Below Anthology, which will be launched in November. Of course, there is no money in writing. I will get $25 for one of the poems, which should buy me a good bottle of Mouton Cadet! I've received a grant for my second book which has the attention of a big Toronto agent--she wants to see it when ready---so no excuses for procrastination and, of course, no guarantees. I have to get the first draft done by December 2013. I have also taken up my oil pastels and sketching pencils and have had a couple of my canvases exhibited in April at a Coffee House here. I am finally living my creative life! My advice to writers: patience, perseverance, persistence. Never give up. Believe in yourself and your work. And it is never too late. I will be 66 when my first book comes out! Call me a later bloomer, a perennial. I have always believed that we end up where we were always meant to be, even with all the detours, when we follow our passion. It's been a long journey and I hope you will enjoy the book. With fond memories. Dolly Dennis, Edmonton AB www.dialogue.ca
Feedback & Comments from Readers About the Autumn Issue… Thank you
Thank you for sending me the complimentary copy of “Dialogue Magazine,” Autumn 2013. I have not completed reading this magazine, but, so far, I am very impressed with the articles and references to books and web sites. Enclosed please find my year’s subscription. I am really looking forward to receiving your magazine. ~ Sincerely, Gladys Freer, Baden ON With gratitude From Susan McCaslin
This issue is absolutely stunning, and I feel so honoured to be featured prominently, with my article, John's fine review, and the two poems, one on the back cover!!! Nothing but gratitude to you and all the Dialogue people who have put together this amazing magazine. I'm so much looking forward to reading the other articles. Such a venture is crucial at this time in brining awareness to ecological and other political issues. Brava and bravo!! … ~ Blessings to all, Susan (Langley BC) ‘For All Our Relations’
Dear Maurice & Janet, We always treasure your magazine. The humor, the thoughtful perspectives, the real people that contribute to make this world a better place – you both do Thank you so much always. For All Our Relations, ~ Susanne Hare & Steve Lawson & family, Wickaninnish Island, Tofino BC
Congratulations on the new issue of Dialogue. It's the best one yet.
Very impressive, and very strong in its focus. I hope it will bring you much attention and more inspirations. … Very glad of course to be involved in any way. You've brought many people to my work too. Deepest thanks and many inspirations to you. Warmly, Bruce W. Powe
A Christmas suggestion
John C. McCullough, Richmond ON
Not too long ago I made a suggestion, in a letter published in Dialogue, urging readers to consider a monthly deduction from, say, their VISA, payable to the magazine. The goal is to ensure that the volunteers at Dialogue know that they have a base fund to pay expenses. I now contribute this way, with a small monthly amount charged to my credit card. I hope others have by now done likewise. Publication is now quarterly and the subscription price reduced, with the opportunity to buy even a single copy for five dollars. What a bargain!!! May I suggest that in lieu of sending Christmas cards this year, we send a gift copy of Dialogue instead to our friends and relatives. Considering the cost of a decent greeting card, plus postal charges, the cost would be very close to five dollars. Further, the beautiful front pages Dialogue has been printing recently is superior to many cards I've seen, - plus (BONUS) - the excellent articles enclosed. I'm sure the staff will "knock themselves out" to really make a very special edition. Just a thought from an old gaffer. ~ John C.
Comments from the Dialogue Survey
To date, we have received almost 100 responses to the QUESTIONNAIRE we mailed out. If you didn’t receive one and would like to, please let us know: [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] Following are a few of the comments received in the Questionnaire. [Look for a full report in the next issue]
“I did not respond to your survey because I really have no ideas about how you could improve. I think you have a good mix of stories, personal vignettes, alternative info, etc. There is no other publication like it. Lots of good wishes.” – Roberta Histed, Orignal ON www.dialogue.ca
“Keep on keeping on! You’re doing a terrific job – I love the mix of the magazine – like a good Irish stew!” – J. S. Porter, Toronto ON “I like Dialogue the way it is; so from my perspective, leave a good thing alone!” – Wm Mantle, Abbotsford BC “We are really pleased with dialogue. You are doing a fine job. – Leonard Hayes, Gaspe QC Thank you to all who have provided their feedback! VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
From Fran Masseau Tyler, Lacolle QC
PIZZA SPAGHETTI CASSEROLE
1 lb ground beef (or turkey) 1 (16 oz.) box uncooked spaghetti noodles 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. oregano 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 cup milk 1 egg 1 (26 oz) jar pasta sauce 1 (16 oz.) can diced Italian style tomatoes 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 1 (8 oz) package shredded Italian cheese blend 2 oz sliced pepperoni (or turkey) Any other pizza topping you can add, like black olives, sausage, onions, green peppers, etc. Directions 1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and place in a large, deep casserole dish. 2. Brown meat in a frying pan. 3. In a separate bowl, combine milk & eggs and whisk
together; pour over pasta 4. In another bowl, mix together: jar of sauce, can of tomatoes, garlic powder and oregano; pour on top of pasta mixture. 5. Layer the ground meat; then the cheese and any other toppings; finish with a layer pepperoni. Bake in oven at 350F for 30 min.
“IMPOSSIBLE PIE” 2 cups milk l cup shredded coconut 4 eggs l tsp. vanilla extract 8 Tbsp. Butter ¾ cup sugar ½ cup all purpose flour ¼ tsp. nutmeg This pie forms its own crust. Place all ingredients in a blender. Mix well. Pour into a greased and floured pie plate. Sprinkle ¼ tsp. nutmeg on top. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes [ email@example.com ]
MORE WARMING WINTER RECIPES Warming Minestrone Soup With Quinoa & Kale By Silvia Bianco (Mind Body Green) – FROM FOODMATTERS.TV [LINK FOLLOWS] Minestrone is a thick vegetable/bean
soup, usually with the addition of pasta. It has a long history dating back to pre-Roman days, and it used to be made primarily with leftovers by poor families looking to stretch their food resources. It's considered a part of la cucina povera, or poor kitchen. It evolved over the years, as any good recipe does, reflecting the economies and eating habits of the people making it, so I thought it fitting that I add quinoa (instead of pasta) and kale to this classic soup. Don't let all the ingredients scare you. All you're really doing is chopping the veggies into a medium dice
(about the size of popped corn) and putting everything in a big pot. It's fast, easy and ready to eat in about 40 minutes without much fuss from you, and it's good for more than one meal. Make a really big pot and freeze what you don't use in quart containers. They last for months and will be a lifesaver when you can't or don't want to cook. In celebration of this time of harvest, when fresh local vegetables are available almost everywhere, go explore the farmer's markets, stop at farm stands, or just grab your favorite fresh veggies wherever you can, and make a minestrone. Express yourself!
RECIPE: Minestrone Soup with Quinoa & Kale Ingredients
1 sweet onion - medium diced 2 celery stalks - medium diced 3 carrots - medium diced 2 tbsp olive oil - or enough to cover the bottom of the pot 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped 2 cups fresh zucchini - medium diced (1 med. or 2 small) 2 cups green beans - cut in 1 inch pieces 1 bell pepper - medium diced 1¾ lbs fresh tomatoes or 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes 4 cups water 1 -15-oz. can of cannellini (white Italian) beans 1 -15-oz. can of chickpeas 54 dialogue
WINTER 2013-14 VOL. 27 NO. 2
1 cup quinoa (uncooked) 2 cups kale - stems removed 1 tsp turmeric (or to taste) Pinch of red pepper flakes, Salt and pepper to taste Optional: parmesan, slivered basil or finely chopped rosemary Directions: 1. Place a large stockpot over medium heat and add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. 2. Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for about one minute or until garlic begins to color. RECIPE CONTINUES www.dialogue.ca
RECIPE: Minestrone Soup with Quinoa & Kale, CONTD. 3. Add the zucchini and the green beans, season with salt and pepper, add the turmeric, stir and cook for about 3 minutes. 4. Add the tomatoes and the water, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. 5. Lower the heat to medium/low and allow the soup to gently boil (uncovered) for about 20 minutes. 6. Add the quinoa and cover for 15 minutes.
7. Remove the cover, add the kale and the canned beans (more water if needed) bring back to a gentle boil and cook for another 5 minutes or just until the kale is tender. Optional: Grate in the parmesan, add the basil and serve. (or do this for individual servings). REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM FOODMATTERS;
Water ski lessons
Dorothy Hannah, Lacolle QC
For many years, during nearly all the time our children were growing up, my sister Jean, and her husband, George, lived next door to my husband, Alex, and me. At first it was just in the summer and then later on it was year round. They have three children and my husband and I have two, but usually we had extra in our home. My sister and I grew up on the lake, and every summer we spent many hours swimming and enjoying every kind of boating we could. This didn’t stop once we were married and as soon as our children were big enough they joined in. When the kids were old enough, we two families bought and shared a boat with a strong enough motor for water skiing. Talk about cutting a stick with which to beat yourself! For some reason both my sister and I married men who weren’t all that keen on water activities. They could both swim and my brother-in-law, George loved to fish, but neither one felt bad if they were left on the shore. That being the case, when it came to the water skiing project, my sister Jean, and I were it. When we started we were all beginners. Jean and I had water-skied before, but had never been in charge. Needless to say, we had a lot to learn and it’s a good thing water makes for soft landing, because we dumped a good many of the kids in the drink, more than once. Finally we developed a good working technique. My sister or I drove the boat while the other one got in the water with the skier. One of the kids rode in the boat to act as spotter. If it was a nice day, the driver had the best job, sitting in the sun going around in circles towing a skier, after said skier got up that is. Being in the water with the would-be skier was hard and sometimes chilly work. www.dialogue.ca
We usually had a shared raft in the lake in front of our homes and over the years we spent hours on and around that raft. We have no idea how many kids, relatives and friends we introduced to water skiing. There was one friend, Phil, who was such a good sport, that I will never forget the Saturday afternoon he and his wife, Laura, came by in their boat and stopped to chat. We had actually finished skiing, but still had all the equipment on the raft. When Phil learned what we had been doing, he asked if he could give it a try. Phil was the minister of our church and I admit we were a little bit hesitant at first, respect and all that. But, he was really keen, so what the heck, let the fun begin. Phil’s balance wasn’t very good, so over he went sideways, time after time. His next no-no was yanking on the rope and when his skis shot out in front of him, without him on them, down he would go on his behind. He would just master one problem and then find a new one. The worst was when he would fall face forward, refuse to let go of the tow rope and get dragged along behind the boat. He drank quite a bit of good old Lake Champlain water that way, but he wouldn’t quit. It got later and later and his wife Laura tried to convince him to give it up so they could go home. Phil wasn’t willing to quit, so he kept trying. Finally Laura reached the end of her patience and burst out with.”I love you dearly, Phil, and would do most anything for you, but if you break your leg I am not going to preach your sermon tomorrow!” Well, I guess that threat did it, because after one or two more tries, Phil was up and away. He completed the required circle and arrived back at his starting point, sinking gracefully into the water, amidst resounding cheers, and heartfelt sighs of relief from some of us. VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Personocratia’s Path They Had Many Children and Lived Happily Ever After Both of us - Ghis (3 girls and 1 boy) and Mado (1 girl and 2 boys) - became dedicated mothers, despite our determination to remain childless. What happened? The animal program was stronger than our resolve. We both dived into our roles with passion, but chose two opposite methods of mothering – modern (Ghis) and primitive (Mado). Surprisingly, the results were similar, since the influence of today’s society on children is stronger than any dreams parents may have. Early family programming is quickly buried underneath subsequent layers called schooling, television, movies, music, Internet, drugs, and friends.
Giving Birth Is Photocopying Mammals kill and eat abnormal babies right after they are born. The survival program of animal species specifies that offspring need to be perfect if they are to live and reproduce. Yet, with Homo sapiens, not only do all babies have the legal right to live, but all adults have the obligation to reproduce, whatever their physical or psychological condition. The pressure exerted by family, the media, and society as a whole becomes such that an adult who refuses to have children is considered a traitor. Making babies becomes a genetic and patriotic duty. At the same time, the human environment has never contained so many mutagenic substances: pesticides, food additives, vaccines, nuclear radiation, GMOs, chemtrails, etc. These cause genetic anomalies that are automatically transmitted to future generations. Giving birth means photocopying genes. Everyone knows that when a photocopy gets reproduced again and again, its quality decreases every time. Because of the poor quality of their genes, most men and women should actually be banned from making babies! After a baby is born, she needs protection, warmth, food, clothing, and education. All this is expensive. Consequently, one expects the rich to have more children than the poor. Yet, the reverse is true! As the saying goes, “the rich get the money and the poor get the baby”. For instance, in Afghan camps, each woman gives birth to an average of 14 children. This may seem illogical, but it fits the biological program perfectly. The more precarious the survival, the fiercer becomes the urge to reproduce. This is Nature’s way of ensuring the perpetuation of a species.
A Twenty-Year Prison Sentence Why would one want to start a family? Most people do so without ever asking this question. Animality is the only thing that pushes someone in this direction. In the 21st century, who can afford to choose 20 years of prison instead of 20 years of evolution of consciousness? Those who do show a total lack of awareness about what our future holds! So, you think that you can have both family and transformation? Be aware that a mother actually has four jobs: 1) mothering her children; 2) keeping her couple (to get affection); 3) taking care of the larger family (grandparents, uncles/aunts); 4) having a successful career. As for the father, his priorities are different: 1) keeping his couple (to get sex); 2) having a successful career; 3) being a good father; 4) taking care of the larger family. It is very hard to do well four things at a time, so most people concentrate on one or two. In general, a woman’s career reaches a maximum just before she starts a family and a man’s career takes a leap forward after his first baby – money, responsibilities, and work hours. The majority of parents are overwhelmed by their role and feel they are incapable of educating their children properly. So, they place them into the hands of specialists who corrupt them for life. Babysitters, nannies, teachers, and coaches can only show them the lies they learned in school and the media, and turn them into faithful slaves of the elite. The behaviour of today’s teenagers and young adults can only confirm the poor results of this approach. If I decide to have children, I must devote time, energy, and money to their care and share a deep friendship with them. If I decide otherwise, it is best not to have any babies! In fact, being a parent is a full-time, 20-year commitment.
Primitive versus Modern Mothering To raise a child properly, a mother needs to be available and trust her instinct. Her DNA will guide her actions as well as in any other mammalian species. However, human beings are weird animals. As they possess large brains to pick up thoughts from the mental worlds, and thin hips that help them walk on two legs, their babies are born prematurely, at the foetal stage, so that their skulls can fit inside the birth canal. They are born weak and clumsy and cannot hold on to their mothers like baby monkeys do. Therefore, a human mother must carry her baby until the child is able to move alone rapidly, when she is two years old or more. Human DNA specifies that a baby should have constant physical contact with her mother in order to be stimulated at all times via touch, smell, sound, and movement. An infant has no notion of time and eagerly awaits the reassuring comfort of her mother. If it does not come, she cries loudly and incessantly at first. When she gets exhausted and loses all hope of being comforted, she gives up. From birth onward, she goes through a series of shocks, each triggering a special biological program. Her inherent potential to be happy and healthy is sabotaged for life. She becomes disillusioned, aggressive, sickly, and resigned. Elite-educated specialists have made sure to destroy the mother/baby link. Why? It is because this lack of connection 56 dialogue WINTER 2013-14 VOL. 27 NO. 2 www.dialogue.ca
creates fearful human beings who yearn for saviours (spouse, boss, specialist, state) for their entire lives. Perfect citizens! Since WWII, the elite has encouraged mothers to work out of the home. It knew that placing a child in day-care means making an orphan out of her. Here are the most common long-term effects of living in an orphanage: 1) atrophied, sickly physical body; 2) vital body three times more prone to emotional problems (anger, depression, anxiety); 3) lesser-developed mental body (backwardness, lower IQ). Finally, as children learn mainly by imitation, if modern adults live only to fulfil their desires and lust, their offspring will mimic such behaviour and attach great value to money, possessions, and hypersexualisation (clothing, dancing, gestures, expressions, attitudes, pornography). What a sad kind of society this makes!
Child Sexuality Mind-control specialists from the Tavistock Institute have discovered that the early eroticisation of children automatically brings about lifelong retardation. The more intense and precocious the sexual stimulation of a child, the more chances her intellectual and emotional capacities have to remain at the level of a neurotic, easily-manipulated child. To obtain such a result in the larger population, the elite uses the mass media and the educational system. Simultaneously, it works to destroy the family and the parent-child relationship. Thanks to such efforts, the State is now the new, happy parent of a big family of childish, stupid, paranoid citizens. That is why sex is the dominant message in the media. Nowadays, even schools are involved. For example, in Switzerland and Germany, sex education starts in kindergarten. Officially, their intention is to destroy taboos and favour sexual freedom by painting in a favourable light artificial insemination, surrogate mothers, homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, and paedophilia. Heterosexuality and the traditional family are presented as outmoded.
Children and the Media The worlds of media and publicity go hand in hand. Our children are bombarded with 3,000 commercials per day. This takes place during daytime (television, music, school, Internet, buses, stores, streets, clothing, cereal boxes) and at night (bed sheets, toys, pyjamas). Efficiently programmed into lifelong consumers, children turn towards parents and pester them for all they have been told they should own. In the USA, since 1984, child marketing has no more legal limit. Since then, child consumption has increased by 35% every year, going from $4.2 billion in 1984 to $40 billion in 2008. Our children have become the disciples of a new cult based on materialism, navel-gazing, and instantaneous gratification. Acknowledging Failure Nowadays, being a parent is no picnic. When facing such a challenge, many adopt an authoritarian attitude based on a religious or moral code coming from previous generations – spare the rod, spoil the child. Their children either become good, obedient white sheep who perpetuate the family prison, or rebellious black sheep – artists, bandits, explorers, drug addicts, and other adventurers of nonconformism. Some parents go in the opposite direction and use the enfant-roi (childking) program. Their children become their whole life. Permissive, inconsistent, undisciplined, they bring up irresponsible, unstable, vile offspring. Once adults, they are more inclined to alcohol, drug abuse, early sex – and, as a consequence, early parenting. In the 21st century, all child-rearing methods are bound to fail. Whether it is the state producing robot-like citizens, strict parents who train high-performance children, or soft-spoken parents who only wish to make their progeny happy, the result remains repeatedly unacceptable. All attempts end up in failure. To find the solution, we must go to the root of the problem. In reality, humanity is a transitory species between animality and idessity*. This uncomfortable and painful transition forces human beings to leave their now-obsolete programs behind. Let us realise that the human family is on the verge of extinction. Trying to come back nostalgically to time-proven methods or putting all hopes on technological feats are both bound for failure. The pain and suffering that human families are now facing must be seen for what they are – an evolutionary necessity! Personocratia** Source: Personocratia’s booklet “FAMILY, towards… Communion of Spirit”, which was recently published. Get your copy by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org Information: www.personocratia.com Videos: www.dianedares.com ___________________
* Idessity: The next reign after animality, in which individuals possess ‘divine’ attributes – omnipotence, omniscience, immortality, etc. ** Personocratia: The person who knows that she is the Supreme Creatrix incarnated in a body and who acts as such in her daily life. www.dialogue.ca
VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
“Observations from Lithuania”
The Sidewalk Soviet Accordionist by KR Slade, Lithuania
Minding my own business; waiting for my friend; leaning against the wall of the building containing the popularbut-small food market, beside the baroque 400-year-old Polish church; Ken Slade across the street from the Town Hall in Vilnius, Lithuania. May 2004; the fourteenth year of the second true republic. Then, I was targeted by the sidewalk-strolling accordionist. He was a small man, wearing his pianokeyboard and 120-bass button instrument, which was a child's, one-half size model: perfect for strolling. The manufacturer's name was in the Cyrillic alphabet. Both player and instrument had experienced some history and weather. He was on me. The music continued, but the singing was suspended. He began with some story, rehearsed no doubt as much as the song that he was playing. I could not understand him. I may be one-half deaf, but the other-half can hear well enough to recognize badly spoken Lithuanian. So, I lied. I told him, in Lithuanian, that I do not understand Lithuanian. He told me, in Lithuanian worse than mine, that he did not understand Lithuanian, either. Then he said the word for ‘coffee’: in Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Lithuanian, and again in Russian. So, I gave him some coins; he was happy and walked some few feet away, leaving me here to write his story. Now, I have been here twenty minutes and he is still playing the same song. It’s a Lithuanian folk song, of which there are actually catalogued more than 600,000. This refrain ends with the Lithuanian word for ‘little girl’, mergaite. The old women seem amused, and are his best customers; they like how he walks up to them and serenades, addressing his song to them personally. They are not threatened by him because both his hands are playing the accordion. They all smile at the ending: ‘Little Girl’. Then, they want to give him 58 dialogue
WINTER 2013-14 VOL. 27 NO. 2
some small coins. However, he does not have many actual clients. In the last twenty-five minutes he has had only three other donations. Even if my Lithuanian were better, I wouldn’t be able to communicate with him. Even if I spoke Russian, he still would not understand what I have to tell him. I would want him to know that his business would go much better with a capitalist tool: a place for people to put the money. The idea of asking for money, while both hands are engaged in playing the accordion, and with no place to put the money: is fundamentally flawed. The foregoing article is ‘fiction’. Then again, maybe it is a ‘fiction’ to say that it was ‘fiction’; you can never really know with ‘fiction’ . . . All Rights Reserved: 2004 email@example.com
Culture Logic by KR Slade
After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, Russia scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years, and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 150 years ago. Not to be outdone by Russia, in the weeks that followed, Poland archaeologists dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly afterwards announced the finding of traces of 250-year-old copper wire, and concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced hightech tele-communications network 50 years earlier than Russia. Not to be outdone by Russia (and certainly not by Poland), one week later, a self-taught archaeologist in Lithuania reported digging to a depth of 30 feet in central Lithuania, and finding absolutely nothing at all! He therefore concluded that 250 years ago, Lithuania had already gone ‘wireless’; which his teenage son said must have been a 4-G type network. All Rights Reserved: 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ken Slade, Vilnius (Lithuania) All Rights Reserved : Ken-Russell Slade, B.S., M.Ed., M.R.E., J.D E-mail: email@example.com
Laughter & ‘Lightenment
From John McCullough:
Quotes worth repeating 1.
Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~ Oscar Amer-
inger-‘the Mark Twain of American Socialism’ (1870-1943)
We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~ Aesop, Greek slave & fable author 3. Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~ Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher 4. Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~ Doug Larson 2.
(English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)
5. Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~ John Quinton, American actor/writer From John McCullough:
Children and Church
My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo, while I asked, "No, how are we alike?" "You're both old," he replied. A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother, was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible. Then, one day, she floored her grandmother by asking, "Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus ? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?" From Erik Andersen:
Senior Lemon Picker
Sally Mulligan of Comox, BC decided to take one of the jobs that most Canadians are not willing to do… The woman applying for a job in an Okanagan lemon grove seemed to be far too qualified for the job. She had a liberal arts degree from the UBC and had worked as a social worker and school teacher. The foreman frowned and said, "I have to ask you, have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?" "Well, as a matter of fact, I have!” she said. “I've been divorced three times, owned 2 Chryslers and voted for Harper."
From Don Parker:
In parochial school students are taught that lying is a sin. However, instructors also advised that using a bit of imagination was OK to express the truth differently without lying. Below is a perfect example of those teachings: Getting a Hairdryer Through Customs…
An attractive young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the Priest beside her, 'Father, may I ask a favor?' 'Of course child. What may I do for you?' 'Well, I bought my mother an expensive hair dryer for her birthday. It is unopened but well over the Customs limit and I'm afraid they'll confiscate it. Is there any way you could carry it through customs for me? Hide it under your robes perhaps?' 'I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you, I will not lie.' 'With your honest face, Father, no one will question you.' When they got to Customs, she let the priest go first. The official asked, 'Father, do you have anything to declare?' 'From the top of my head down to my waist I have nothing to declare.' The official thought this answer strange, so asked, 'And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?' 'I have a marvelous instrument designed to be used on a woman, but which is, to date, unused.' Roaring with laughter, the official said, 'Go ahead, Father. Next please!' From Susanne Hare:
The Hired Help
One day, shortly after joining the PGA tour in 1965, Lee Trevino, a professional golfer and married man, was at his home in Dallas, TX, mowing his front lawn, as he always did. A lady driving by in a big, shiny Cadillac stopped in front of his house, lowered the window and asked, "Excuse me, do you speak English?" Lee responded, ·Yes Ma'am, I do." The lady then asked, ·What do you charge to do yard work?" Lee said, ·Well, the lady in this house lets me sleep with her." The lady hurriedly put the car into gear and sped off.
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing!!” www.dialogue.ca
VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
Contributors in Andersen, Erik, BC……….. 57 Arney, Jeremy, BC……….... 28 Assange, Julian, (Quotes)….. 15 Blumenthal, Max (BOOK)…… 38 BrasscheckTV (links)……...13,16, Brown, Ellen (extract, link)…… 09 Cdn. Biotech. Action Network 33 Chomsky, Noam (LINK)…… 36 Coalition to Stop Sm. Meters 33 Collective-Evolution.com….. 24 Commonsense Canadian.ca 24 Council of Canadians……17,31 Damon, Matt (extract, link)….. 09 Dennis, Dolly, AB………….. 50 Ector, Hugh, BC…………… 23 Etkin, Jack, BC (Quote)……. 24 Ervin, Jim, BC……………… 29 Ferguson, Will (book)….…… 46 Food Matters.TV………....39,52 Forbidden Knowledge TV 39 Foster, David, ON…………. 20 Freer, Gladys, ON…………. 51
dialogue, Vol. 27 No. 2
Gaudet, Marie, AB…………. 45 Ghis and Mado, QC……….. 54 Goldring, Peter, MP (AB)….. 12 Hall, Sarah, ON (Quote)……. 11 Hannah, Dorothy, QC……… 53 HANS, Health Action Network 33 Hare, S./S. Lawson, BC…51,57 Harvey, Mike, BC...………… 40 Hayes, Leonard, QC………. 29 Hedges, Chris (extract, link)…. 38 Histed, Roberta, ON…..…11,51 Infowars.com (LINK)………. 32 Israel, Lou, ON………….…. 21 Larson, Peter, ON…………. 13 Lonsdale, Derrick, US….….. 43 Manly, Eva, BC (from)……… 13 Masseau Tyler, Fran, QC…. 52 Masuda, Gerry, BC..………. 26 Mathews, Robin, BC………. 06 McCaslin, Susan, BC……… 51 McConnell, Kim, ON………. 27 McCullough, J., ON…...…51,57
McDowall, S., BC……..13,24,32 Media Education Foundation 04 Mercola, Dr. (LINK)………….. 31 Moore, R.K, Ireland………… 36 Munroe, Krista, AB………… 18 Nagata, Kai (TheTyee.ca)… 34 Neilly, Michael, ON…….…. 05 Ostermann, Gunther, BC…. 35 Parker, Don, ON (from)…47,57 Personocratia, QC…..…… 54 Petrik, Denny, BC…………. 42 Porter, J. S., ON……..…10, 51 Powe, Bruce W., ON……… 51 Roberts, Paul Craig (Quote) 27 Ross, June, BC (from)..4,16,17 Ryder, Robert, NB………… 30 Shadbolt, John, ON…….…. 31 Shaffer, Butler (extracts)14,15,38 Skinner, Derek, BC……….. 25 Slade, Ken, Lithuania…….. 56 Spencer, Herb, BC………...8,9 Taylor, Jim, BC……………. 19
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Tellis, Kenneth, ON………4,34 The Tyee.ca, BC…………. 34 Trudeau, Beth, ON……….. 30 Vaincourt, A. L. (Tribute)…. 49 Vancourt, Randy, ON…….. 48 Weisbeck, Don, AB…..…26-27 Whitebone, Peter, NB……4,13 Wikileaks………………….8,15 Zinn, Howard (Quoting)….... 09
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WINTER 2013-14 VOL. 27 NO. 2
VOL. 27 NO. 2, WINTER 2013-14
WINTER 2013-14 VOL. 27 NO. 2