VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
A word from the publisher and editor… Dear Reader, Is your home a haven? The 1% may have their tax havens, but the rest of us have the homes, hideaways, retreats and special places that we create for ourselves – and our families, friends and fellow creatures… Even if we spend much of our day pursuing compelling causes – such as the 2015 federal election! (pp.4Janet, Maurice Pennysomewhere special to rest and 24) – we stilland need reflect... It may be in our own backyard, a favourite seat in a crowded café, a comfy chair we share with our cat or canine, or perhaps the face of a friend... For some of us our haven is found in exploring ideas/philosophies or in expressing ourselves in Art or Poetry… or in living our lives within our belief systems or ideologies. [Might our ‘refuge’ sometimes even be a set of blinkers or coloured glasses that we don to help us live in our own familiar world?] Some of us relish exploration and change – and some of us do not! The front cover of this Summer edition features a Vancouver Island sunset a haven created artistically by our Nanaimo friend Vic Wilson (whose life was cut short by renal failure several years ago). The back cover shows the natural beauty of the Cape Breton Highlands that is threatened by a development project in the National Park: see Wilf Cude’s passionate story on p.9. Another haven is one created by Karl Backhaus at Moon Lake near Owen Sound, Ontario; his story is on p.32, with some photos on p.59. Another very special place featured in this issue is the beautiful and vibrant Peace River Valley in northern BC, currently threatened with flooding for the Site C dam (approved but still hotly contested!); see pages 11, 59. In the realm of ideas and literary havens: Susan McCaslin explores utopias, dystopias and ecotopias, p.28; John Porter shares thoughts on Intimacy, p.30 (and a book review, p.31); and Maria Popova, on p.33, discusses Joseph Campbell’s dictum, Follow your Bliss, quoting extensively from his book, The Power of Myth. And there is another ‘haven’ that Janet discovered earlier this year, “The Haven” centre for transformative learning, on Gabriola Island: a little about this unique educational institution on p.56 (photo p.2). There are many wonderful stories and articles for you to discover and enjoy! We look forward to hearing from you. We are most thankful for your support and your voices that give Dialogue life.
…& Penny & Lucky!
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you wish to continue receiving the magazine, please ensure your subscription is paid up! PLEASE LOOK AT YOUR ADDRESS LABEL ON THE BACK COVER of this issue to find your RENEWAL DATE. If your subscription is due, you should find a renewal slip enclosed in this copy of Dialogue (inside the back cover). Thank you for subscribing and renewing! (See p.58).
A digital copy of dialogue is now part of your subscription. Dialogue subscribers are now receiving, by email, a PDF file of each issue. If you did not receive the file of the Spring edition (emailed on April 19, 2015), please email Janet: email@example.com – if you would like to receive the digital copy (with clickable web links). www.dialogue2.ca
dialogue is... …an independent, volunteer-produced, not-for-profit Canadian quarterly, written and supported by its readers – empowering their voices and the sharing of ideas. Now in its 28th year, dialogue provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and an antidote to political correctness. We encourage readers to share with others the ideas and insights gleaned from these pages. If this is your first issue, please let us know what you think of it. If you would like to share your ideas and become a writer in
dialogue magazine consider this your personal invitation to participate! We also need your support as a subscriber, to help us continue (See P. 58 for details) We receive NO government funding and no advertising revenue. We rely totally on the generous support of our readers & subscribers.
was founded in 1987 and is now published quarterly. Maurice J. King, Volunteer Publisher Janet K. Hicks, Volunteer Editor Date of digital Issue: July 17, ‘15
Annual subscription: $20.00 [including GST, # 89355-1739] Canada Post Agreement No. 40069647 Registration No. 08915 ISSN: 1184-7042 Legal Deposit: National Library of Canada (409731)
The views expressed in this publication are those of their individual authors. Reprints of published articles are included for their educational value. 6227 Groveland Drive Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9V 1B1
Tel: 250-758-9877 Fax: 250-758-9855 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE: www.dialogue2.ca Deadlines: Aug. 1st, Nov. 1st, Feb. 1st, May 1st.
VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
From Near & Far Liberal Party moves one step closer to Proportional Representation Fair Vote Canada (recd. from Jordan Ellis, Nanaimo, BC) The Federal Liberal Party moves one step closer to Proportional Representation by committing to END Canada’s Winner-Take-All voting system! Fair Vote Canada is delighted the Liberal Party is joining us in making 2015 The Last Unfair Election. We congratulate Justin Trudeau for starting his announcement (June 17, 2015) with the words Make Every Vote Count,” says Doug Bailie, President of Fair Vote Canada (FVC) Today over half of all voters are unable to elect a
representative who reflects their views. A new electoral system should not only end First-Past-The-Post but firmly commit to moving away from all winner-take-all voting systems. Fair Vote Canada supports Justin Trudeau's statement that “promoting partisan interests at the cost of public trust” must stop. Absolutely, we should aim for the best system for Canadians and not compromise our values by favouring partisan solutions. Read in full at FairVote.ca: http://tinyurl.com/FVlibPRtru ♣
The NDP victory in Alberta Ed Goertzen, Oshawa The election victory of the NDP in Alberta sends a clear message to all politicians. When given the choice of a few dollars in their pockets or a viable Social Safety Net, Canadians will vote overwhelmingly for the Social Safety Net. We know that the Social Safety Net saved Canadians from collapse when, in 2008, the world tanked and Countries with a Social Safety Net were spared. The corporate fear mongering of a socialist disaster shows that the meaning of socialism has changed and Canadians are accepting that modern socialism only means public ownership of monopoly-type public services such as roads, electricity, water, sidewalks, sewers, etc.
Perhaps, and hopefully, the Harper Conservatives are facing a Mulroney-type meltdown. – Ed Goertzen ♣ *****************************
Campaign to repeal C-51 OpenMedia.ca – “This campaign will continue until Bill C-51 is repealed!” This is the vow of those who fought the reckless legislation – C-51, as government rammed it through Senate in a final vote, June 9, 2015. OpenMedia launched a renewed campaign at KillC51.ca … with the legislation set to become a decisive factor in October’s federal election. […] LINK: https://KillC51.ca David Christopher, Communications Manager, OpenMedia, Tel. 1-778-232-1858, email@example.com ♣ [MORE ON C-51 ON P.6,20-21 ]
Does the Green Party divide the progressive vote? Liz Fox, Lantzville BC It’s exciting to think the new federal Nanaimo/Ladysmith riding could be an “election battleground” (in The Nanaimo Bulletin, Mar 10, 2015).
Contrary to speculation that the “surging Greens” with local activist candidate Paul Manly could divide the progressive vote, evidence suggests that where there is a strong Green candidate, not only do the Greens pick up disaffected voters from parties on the right and left who refuse to vote for each other, but overall voter turnout increases as well. Greens could well be a unifier rather than divider. Previous elections in Victoria in 2011 and 2012 showed that dropping support for alternative parties was picked up by the Greens. Elected Green Party candidates, Elizabeth May, Andrew Weaver and (in New Brunswick) 4 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
David Coons, attracted exceptionally high voter turnout. Statistics from all the polls in this new (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) riding reveal that 36.5% of eligible voters failed to vote. Extrapolating from cross-country evidence, most are likely between 18 and 30 years old, cynical about politics and uninspired by partisan mainstream parties. They may view the Green Party policies and politics – “Vision Green” available on line at www.greenparty.ca – as a refreshing change and a realistic option for the future. In order to effect change, however, this segment of the population has to get registered and actually vote. Registering is easy and takes about a minute; click on ElectionsCanada.ca, and follow the links, you don’t have to take off your niquab or even wear pants! Hope to see you at the hustings! – Liz Fox ♣ www.dialogue2.ca
Global & Canadian Stories/Links Snowden's answer to those who say they don't need privacy rights ‘cause they have nothing to hide
By Rob Kall, opednews.com - 5/24/15 Next time someone tells you they don't care about privacy rights because they don't have anything to hide, use this response from American hero Edward Snowden, which he gave in a recent interview with The Guardian. "People who say they don't care about privacy because they have got nothing to hide have not thought too deeply about these issues. What they are really saying is I do not care about this right. When you say I don't care about the right to privacy because I have nothing to hide, that is no different than saying I don't care about freedom of speech because I have nothing to say or freedom of the press because I have nothing to write." Snowden also told The Guardian that the recent news-that a judge found NSA's spying on phone conversations illegal, and that congress was working to restrict NSA's powers – that more needs to be done to curb NSA surveillance, two years after his disclosures. LINK: http://preview.tinyurl.com/OENprivacyES ♣
Liberate the Bank of Canada! intrepid think tank (COMER) urges Murray Dobbin, 17 April 2015, in TheTyee.ca “COMER has been winning court battles initiated in 2011 that would oblige the Bank of Canada to return to its pre-1974 practice of lending the government money virtually interest free… COMER has been trying to draw attention to this outrageous situation for so long, and have been ignored for so long, that their campaign is often portrayed as an eccentric sidebar, complete with conspiracy theories, to what is happening in the real world. But if you think having squandered $1 trillion that could have been spent on the public good is a side issue, feel free. And if you think conspiracy theories are unappealing, then you'll have to come up with a compelling argument for a coincidence theory that explains why a nation would deliberately impoverish itself in the interests of international finance capital.” […] This is an excellent historical and economic review of the case made by the Committee for Monetary and Economic Reform. READ IN FULL AT LINK: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/04/17/Liberate-Bank-of-Canada/ ♣
Stephen Harper's plot to get you not to vote By Linda McQuaig, June 10, 2015 [Extract/Link] Stephen Harper's re-election strategy depends on a lot of you not voting. And if you mess with his plan by showing up at the polling station on Election Day, he's prepared for that, too: he's made it a lot harder for you to vote.
The prime minister has made it so much harder that "many tens of thousands" of Canadians may be denied their constitutional right to cast a ballot in the upcoming federal election, according to Harry Neufeld, former chief electoral officer for British Columbia. In fact, the number of disenfranchised Canadians could actually be much higher, based on the evidence from a pilot project run by Canada's chief electoral officer, Marc Mayrand. Harper has mostly managed to avoid being accused of Republican-style voter suppression, and the lawsuits, among other tactics, employed to challenge voting lists stateside. But recent changes to Canada's election laws under the so-called Fair Elections Act will make it considerably more difficult for many low-income and marginalized Canadians to exercise their constitutional right. That could help Harper get re-elected in what is shaping up to be an extremely close election in October. www.dialogue2.ca
Now, in a dramatic countermove with time running out, two public interest groups have gone to court seeking an injunction to block the new voting rules, which came into effect last December. The Council of Canadians and the Canadian Federation of Students are urging the Ontario Superior Court to set aside key parts of the new voting rules, which they say will make it very difficult for many students, aboriginals, the homeless, as well as disabled and elderly people living in care to establish proof of residency so they can vote. People moving to a new residence in the weeks prior to the election may also be affected. The injunction is set to be heard in the first week of July. According to the groups, a mere 6,201 votes across 14 ridings handed the Conservative party a majority in 2011. Even though he's had the support of less than 40 per cent of Canadians, Harper has held power for almost a decade by focusing on getting out the vote among his loyal base, who tend to be older and more affluent. […] Continue at LINK: http://tinyurl.com/TNplot-not-vote at Toronto Now (https://nowtoronto.com ) Author and journalist Linda McQuaig is the NDP candidate for Toronto Centre in the upcoming federal election.♣ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Why does private business oppose Govt. access to interest-free money? Bob Hansen, Nanaimo BC firstname.lastname@example.org
When I think of businesses and banks and interest loans, I have to remind myself that business can write off the interest cost of borrowing against their taxes, so they don't think about real costs of bank interest the way a private citizen would. Also, private businesses would not want governments to have access to interest-free money because of several reasons. For example: they don't want governments to have an advantage over them when providing services or goods; and they want there to be a limit on what money a government has access to, so that 'control frauds' – like what's happening with B.C. Hydro (and Ont. Hydro) – can take place; and so they can hold governments hostage to money limits on public spending; and, most importantly, private enterprise does not want the government to be able to offer social programmes that the private sector would want in on. And
they want in, not just for 'legitimate' profit, but to get a slice of 'sovereign wealth' and to be able to conduct 'control frauds' of their own in the provision to the public of these services. The more vital the services are, the more the private investors want in on them, e.g. food, medical care, education, garbage collection, etc. Since 2008 there is a new public 'sensitivity' to banking matters and what banks do. As well, the LIBOR scandal, along with off-shore tax havens have dominated banking news the past couple of years, so illegal activity of banks – who are making record profits! – is not as acceptable as it once was. Bob Hansen, Nanaimo
P.S. Amanda Lang, host of a flagship business programme on CBC TV says, in this video (link below), that she believes that the U.S. Federal Reserve is a public bank. Yikes! [It’s not! It’s privately owned.] LINK: www.cbc.ca/news/business/rocco-galati-challengesbank-of-canada-to-offer-interest-free-loans-1.3065650 ♣
Senator Mobina Jaffer speaks in The Senate on Bill C-51 “I have never been more concerned for Canadians than I am today.” 2nd Session, 41st Parliament, Volume 149, Issue 142 May 14, 2015, Anti-terrorism Bill, 2015:* Bill to Amend, Second Reading
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise to speak on second reading of Bill C-51 as well. I would like to begin by thanking Senator Mitchell for taking on this bill as the critic, as well as Senator Runciman for sponsoring this bill and Senator Lang for all his work during the pre-study of this bill. I have served in this chamber for 14 years. They have been some of the most rewarding years of my life, but in those years I have never been more concerned for the direction that Canada is taking than I am today. I have never been more concerned for Canadians than I am today. Honourable senators, the list of problems with Bill C-51 is very long. There are issues with increased information sharing among 17 different agencies; issues with warrants that would violate our Charter; a new civil litigation provision that would remove accountability; new terrorist propaganda provisions that would quell 6 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
freedom of speech; new no-fly provisions without showing the efficacy of such a list; a lowered threshold for preventative detainment, which would violate the rights of Canadians; unprecedented new disruption powers being given to CSIS; and a severe lack of oversight for this entire program. From each one of these broad provisions arise yet more issues, all of which will raise more questions than answers. Hopefully some of these questions will be answered during the committee sessions on this bill. Sadly, there are many more problems with this bill than I have time to cover, so I will be addressing only four of these issues: first, information sharing; second, compensation; third, warrants; and fourth, terrorist propaganda. I will also further look at the issues of trust of all Canadians and radicalization. […] READ IN FULL AT LINK: http://mobinajaffer.ca/senate-chamber/senatespeeches/may-14-2015-2nd-reading-bill-c-51-anti-terrorismact/ ♣
* [From the Senate record, link above] Bill C-51, An Act to enact the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act and the Secure Air Travel Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. (Recd from Stephanie McDowall) ♣
Banking and Poverty in Canada Gloria Cope, Chemainus BC Thank you for continuing your work with Dialogue. I learn so much from it. I have attempted here to write an article on a topic that many in your magazine and elsewhere have written about before. You’ll note a few lines borrowed from here and there. My hope is that it will finally resonate with Canadians (eventually). Knowledge of course is one power we do have. It is important to me that we all try to understand what has happened in the last 40 years behind closed doors. – Gloria Cope
WHY SO MUCH POVERTY? The first documented Food Bank opened its doors in 1981 in Edmonton, Alberta. Poverty levels which include the disabled, homeless and working poor continue to grow calling for even more food banks in all areas of Canada. Use of food banks is the new normal in Canada so the question that needs to be asked is: how and why did this phenomenon begin. The following is about how all forms of poverty have become so alarming in Canada that many now clearly believe this to be the result of privatization, foreign ownership, unfair trade deals; and the slashing of social services being one example. Sadly, our country is now experiencing a system of Liberalization (Neo Conservatism, aka Neo-Cons) creating a free market economy that unfortunately benefits the corporate rich more than any other segment of society. The free market argument, while it has worked out for some, clearly has failed to deliver a world of peace and justice. You see….. Up until 1974 the monetary system in Canada was such that government borrowed money from our own public Bank of Canada, interest-free, to pay for infrastructure (bridges, highways and public buildings such as hospitals (healthcare) and schools (education), etc. In 1974, the government in power allowed (against our constitutional rights) Wall Street’s counter revolution to occur invisibly, by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to prevent governments from borrowing their own money for public investments such as infrastructure and social programs. As a result, all governments have been made accountable to the Wall Street system which runs the U.S. Treasury and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). * Our economic system changed whereby governments from there on in would have to borrow monies, at www.dialogue2.ca
compounding interest, from private sector banks (e.g. Royal, TD etc.) including international banks. Then if government spending got us into dire straits, we would have to go begging to the IMF. Another question is to wonder why none of this had been reported in the media? Should we not liken it to that old aphorism, “If a tree falls in the middle of the forest… who will hear it? So began an era of huge national and provincial government debts with surpluses and deficits involving major cuts and downsizing. By 2012, our federal government had paid-out C$1 trillion of our money in interest payments — twice its present day national debt. In fact, interest on the debt is now the government’s largest budget expenditure. William Lyon Mackenzie, PM of Canada, 1935 said; “Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. And so this is where we’re at. This is serious folks. Our wonderful country is being fleeced while those on the top become richer and richer. However. the good news today is that lawyer Rocco Galati (Supreme Court fame in the Nadon case) of the Committee for Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER), a small and low budget Toronto think-tank has launched a law-suit which seeks to restore the use of the Bank of Canada to its original purposes, remembering that what took place in 1974 was against the constitutional rights of Canadians. American economist Milton Friedman’s radical freemarket ideas involved putting the creation of credit into private hands and creating debt burdens that would restrict the potential for democratic governments. Friedman, during his time, was referred to as the so-called free market genius who was able to garner support from those at the top. And then, when the bottom fell out in 2008, he was last seen leaving town with his tail between his legs, admitting his theory was wrong. Friedman’s ideas (unintended perhaps) have left a mess not only in helping to destroy our planet but amongst the elderly and younger generations, who suffer from joblessness resulting in despair and hunger – and not to forget the homeless. It seems to me that the time has come for a guaranteed wage to be introduced to all of the needy who have been affected by this fiasco. – Gloria Cope, email@example.com * Paul Hellyer’s book: “The Money Mafia, A World in Crisis” VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
“One Man’s Opinion”
Is Canada’s Form of Government a True Democracy, Part 2 Ken Clark, Fergus ON Hello once again. Yes I am still reading the book “Party of One” by Michael Harris, upon which my article in the last issue of Dialogue Magazine was based. This book cannot be read quickly; it must be slowly read, page by page, while underlining the many, almost unbelievable revelations expressed between its front and back covers. It is not an easy book to read, but nonetheless it is a must read in my opinion.
At the same time, I came upon an essay by Tony Blair that appeared in a publication known as ‘Turning Points,’ also distributed by The New York Times / Toronto Star newspapers. In part, the essay read as follows: “We have become complacent about democracy. It remains the system of choice. It remains what free people freely choose. But it has what I would call an “efficacy” challenge. Its values are right, but it is too often failing to deliver. In a world of change, where countries, communities and corporations must constantly adapt to keep up, democracy seems slow, bureaucratic and weak. In this sense it is failing its citizens. Why has this happened and what should we do about it?” In my opinion, the two questions in the above paragraph are excellent and timely questions and the ‘we’ referred to is none else than the citizens of the country involved. The essay goes on to suggest and remind us that theories are only as good as they work in practice. The basic principle that citizens should elect their governments remains popular and obviously correct, but too often citizens forget, or fail to understand from the beginning, that they are in actuality a vital part of a true democratic government. For governments to listen and comply with necessary changes, citizens must first speak out; not as lonely voices from the wilderness but as a loud voice in unison. No, we will not be tangibly rewarded to do so, but we will certainly realize that we played an important role in ensuring the survival of an effective democratic government in Canada. In Canada, times have changed dramatically since the politics of 1867. Currently Canada is an independent, self-governing democracy. Its form of government is constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II of England is also Queen of Canada and is Canada’s official head of state. The Governor General is selected by the prime minister and was originally appointed by the Queen to act as 8 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
her representative in Canada. The Imperial Conferences of 1926 and 1930 established that the Governor General was not the representative or agent of the British government and should act only on the advice of the Canadian prime minister and Cabinet. Therefore, the Governor General is obliged to respect the principle of responsible government and to follow the wishes of Canada’s elected representatives. As a result, the role of the Governor General has become largely symbolic, with duties that are chiefly ceremonial; this should not be the case. Canada’s legislature or Parliament consists of the Queen, an upper house (Senate) and the House of Commons. Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister. The House of Commons is Canada’s 300-plus member* elected federal assembly, elected by the citizens of Canada. The prime minister is the leader of the political party able to command the support of a majority of all members of the House of Commons and this also makes the prime minister the leader of the federal government. In my opinion the above arrangement makes the prime minister the single most powerful person in the country; as equally powerful as any dictator might ever hope to be. To cite the difference that at least he/she is elected, as opposed to being self-proclaimed, is erroneous in that neither is elected directly by the citizens. In actual fact, the only group of individuals in government that are elected directly by citizens are the individual MP’s we elect each election to supposedly represent us. All individuals do not think alike on all issues that come before them; this is an accepted, proven fact within human nature. So why do we tolerate our respective MPs to virtually always follow the party line? An enforced mandatory policy of Party/Minister/MP solidarity on each issue before the legislature negates the purpose and intent of debating in the House Of Commons; in my opinion it has no place in the House Of Commons of a true democracy. This is where the citizens of Canada become an integral part of a true democracy. We must become more involved and informed of political matters. We must cast our vote in a more intelligent and thoughtful manner. We must speak out and constructively criticize our representative MPs when government action is not effectively practised or when government inaction ignores the wish of its citizens. Elected MPs are the citizens’ servants, not their masters. …/ www.dialogue2.ca
Michael Chong MP has been the elected representative for our riding of Wellington-Halton Hills since the year 2004. In December 2013 he tabled a Private Members Bill that originally was designed briefly to curb the power within the Prime Minister’s Office and empower MPs to truly represent their constituents. While in process, the Bill has been watered down somewhat but it is still a move in the right direction; I hope it receives the attention and support that it deserves from many, if not all other MPs, and citizens alike. Change in the government’s modus operandi in Ottawa is absolutely essential
and long overdue. At the time of writing this article Michael Chong’s Private Members Bill has passed through the House of Commons by a vote of 260 to 17. The bill now goes to the Senate where it should be passed quickly and without fuss so that it is in place for the election later this year. Ken Clark, Fergus ON ♣ * 2011 federal legislation will increase the seats from 308 to 338 as of the 2015 election.
The Sceptical Scholar
Harper Government Hypocrisy in Action
Cutting Veteran services while building a weird huge memorial in Cape Breton Highlands National Park Wilf Cude, Cape Breton NS When I read in today’s (May 26th) Halifax Chronicle Herald that Parks Canada was approaching the public for comments on the infamous “Mother Canada” project, I spent the morning hammering out the piece below. It was initially addressed to Parks Canada, and I felt it deserved a wider readership. To whom it may concern: I honestly don’t know where to start about this one. Perhaps it’s best to begin by noting that this so-called consultation process is occurring long after the project has apparently been approved and is scheduled to go ahead, and that the opportunity to respond is terribly limited, both in time and ease of participation. And then, of course, there is the well-founded suspicion that the results will be somehow massaged to conceal the government’s mismanagement of our National Park. In effect, by responding at all in this fashion, those of us who do so are helping mask the fact that everything about the project is – quite simply – horribly wrong. I only continue because I can’t accept living with the thought that I didn’t attempt to do anything at all.
So let’s start there. Our National Parks belong to all of us, held in perpetuity on behalf of the nation as a whole, and the government of the day does not own them: the government of the day is entrusted with administration exclusively, and our current government has instead in this instance usurped ownership, allowing this project to proceed entirely without any sort of proper long-term evaluation of all the enormous consequences of www.dialogue2.ca
restricting access within the park, radically disfiguring one of the most scenic geological features of the park, and totally misdirecting the attention of all visitors from the soft serenity of nature to a tacky and phony celebration of misdirected patriotism. The nation has already erected many splendid, tasteful and evocative monuments to our war dead, ranging from the imposing structures on once battle-scarred Vimy Ridge – and in the bustling heart of Ottawa – right on down to the modest but still nobly distinguished slender grey cenotaph outside the church in my tiny rural community of West Bay in Cape Breton. For those who want to honour our war dead, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of every year, or indeed at any other time of any other year, there are places aplenty to do so, right across the country and all across Europe – most movingly in those many final resting places of all our fallen. But right here in Cape Breton, to go no farther afield, one could stop at the church in West Bay and pause for a few moments to contemplate what one small community gave to the nation, what a sad and dreadful price that small community paid for world peace. And the slender cenotaph marking that sacrifice came from the equally slender resources of that small community, and the cenotaph is all the more ennobled for that simple fact. Does Christ’s parable of the widow’s mite not come to mind here? Which brings us to the Mother Canada project, a misconceived and misrepresented grandiose embarrassment to Cape Breton and the nation as a whole. Upon completion, this thing will stand on the wreckage of a previously imposing natural feature, one of the most …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Wilf Cude, Harper Government Hypocrisy in Action, contd. former Master Corporal Collin Fitzgerald who earned lovely ornaments of a lovely national park: a lovely the Military Medal of Valour in the killing fields of ornament crushed down into insignificant rubble, and Kandahar, only to return to Canada and discover his refor what? To provide a ruined foundation for a supposlease for severe post-traumatic stress disorder had been edly imposing, but nonetheless in reality rather tawdry arbitrarily downgraded to “simple anxiety,” thereby (very costly but still in moral terms extremely cheap) complicating his application for benefits. Disneyworld knock-off – of a splendour that properly speaking should remain where it belongs: the “Canada Where is our anger at all this? Where is our disgust Bereft” feature on the memorial already representing us and our revulsion with the “Mother Canada” project, all at Vimy Ridge. That splendour should not be misapwhich principally serves as propaganda cover for Stepropriated by a wealthy individual and his influential phen Harper’s neglect and exploitation of veterans in corporate friends, further aided by an irresponsible need? I write this for myself, but also as a graduate of government, to stand far more a monument to the vanity the Royal Military College who was standing watch on of all those involved than to the fallen whose memory is the bridge of a destroyer during the tense days following thus actually being violated. And violated, let’s face it, the assassination of President Kennedy, when the world by being plunked down in what, in truth, will be nothing wondered whether or not armed conflict might somemore than a grotesque tourist trap, complete with parkhow ensue. And I further write this in memory and in ing lot and souvenir shop laden honour of my grandfather, Lance with exploitative gimmickry Corporal Harry Cude, who stood The Mother Canada project – a trinkets. and fought with his comrades of misconceived and misrepresented the 10th Battalion of the Canadian Cape Breton deserves far, far grandiose embarrassment to Cape Division when they repelled the better than this, and far, far Breton and the nation as a whole advance of enemy troops under better than this government has … a monument to the vanity of all cover of gas attacks at the second recently provided. Only a short battle of Ypres in the spring of those involved while ago, the government 1915. His unit lost half of those in closed the Veterans Affairs ofthe trenches during those tragic weeks on the front. fice in Sydney, denying local services to the last few surviving Cape Breton comrades-in-arms of the very fallen I can’t stand silent when the memory of those sacrifices supposedly honoured by the “Mother Canada” extravais cheapened by what is being done at present. And I’ve ganza. Closed the office despite a major show of protest had it with the current on-going exploitation of the miliin Sydney, a protest organized by the veterans themtary by people who know nothing of the realities they exselves and greatly supported by all the residents of ploit. They are “chicken hawks,” to use the phrasing of Sydney concerned about what is actually happening to Vietnam. “Patriotism,” Samuel Johnson once so sagely all our veterans. For this is a government exploiting the remarked, “is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” There’s military, in every conceivable way - as a background for more than enough evidence of that in the “Mother Canphoto-ops, while in fact brutally denying returning ada” project now being dumped on Cape Breton. veterans even the ghost of the support they have so Sincerely, Wilfred Cude, BA (RMC), MA (Dalhousie) dearly earned.
“WE ARE FACING A CRISIS” the editorial page of Legion Magazine proclaimed in bold letters for the March/April 2014 issue. “Eight veterans kill themselves in just a few months, dozens dead since returning from war in Afghanistan, uncounted suicide attempts and all around, lives reduced to wreckage.” And the government remorselessly continues its war on our many living and suffering veterans, slashing almost 300 more positions at Veterans Affairs Canada, affecting field offices across the country. And, of course, denying services to veterans enduring unrequited anguish, most appallingly to distinguished veterans such as 10 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
********* Biographical note: Wilfred Cude WEBSITE: www.wilfredcude.com Wilfred Cude is the author of A Due Sense of Differences (1981), The Ph.D. Trap (1987), The Ph.D. Trap Revisited (2001). His latest book is Weapons of Mass Disruption, An Academic Whistleblower’s Tale. (2014) He has lectured at seven different colleges and universities across the country. His next literary venture will be an account of the 1933-34 NHL Season, in which his goaltending father Wilf Cude Sr. helped bring the Detroit Red Wings to the Stanley Cup final. Wilf Jr. lives with his wife, the novelist Mary Pat Cude, in a small house they built in rural Cape Breton on the shore of the Loch Bras D'Or. ♣ www.dialogue2.ca
Letter to the BC Premier re the approved Site C Dam in the Peace River Valley From Ken Boon, President,
PEACE VALLEY landowner association Ss#2, Site 12, Comp. 19, Fort St. John, BC V1J 4M7 Via E-Mail Premier@gov.bc.ca May 26th, 2015 To The Honourable Christy Clark Premier of British Columbia P.O. Box 9041 Stn. Prov. Govt., Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E1
I am writing to urgently request that you delay the Summer 2015 start of Site C dam construction for at least 2 years to: • Save BC ratepayers $200 million dollars, • Fully respect Site C-related court processes now underway, • Allow time the BC Auditor General Carol Bellringer to consider a finance performance audit of the Site C final investment decision process, and • Address the very disturbing findings of respected energy economist Robert McCullough regarding the Site C business case: through an open, expert and independent review of the Site C business case with full procedural safeguards. Contrary to the statements of Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett, Site C is likely double the cost of other energy options […] CONTINUING READING ONLINE AT: LINK: http://sitecquiz.com/
May 26th Robert McCullough Site C Dam Presentation LETTER FORWARDED BY ERIK ANDERSEN: From Rob Botterell: I am writing to thank you on behalf
of Ken Boon and the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) for attending the May 26th, 20115 Robert McCullough presentation. The PVLA asks you individually and your organization to publicly declare your support for PVLA's urgent call on the Premier to suspend the start of construction on Site C. We encourage you to have a thorough read of Mr. McCullough's Report entitled "Site C Business Case Assumptions Review". All the materials presented May 26th, including the PVLA letter to the Premier, can be found at LINK: http://sitecquiz.com/
For those that could not attend and for those who wish a refresh of Mr. McCullough's findings, we encourage you to listen to the audio of the presentation which can be found at dropbox.com, LINK: http://tinyurl.com/RMmay26 Forwarded by Erik, from Rob Botterell, Associate Counsel, LIDSTONE & COMPANY Barristers and Solicitors; Website: www.lidstone.info ♣
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is doing the unthinkable: privatizing Ontario's Hydro One. May 24, 2015, SumOf Us.org The valuable crown corporation brings in hundreds of millions of dollars per year for Ontarians -- revenue that is used to support essential public services like schools and hospitals. The deal could also hurt consumers, since the privatization of utilities often leads to higher electricity prices as private companies jockey for their share of the profit.
Worst yet, the deal is shady -- the Ontario Liberals paid their own friends nearly $7 million to draw up a biased, pro-privatization report. Let's call on Premier Wynne to stop the sale of one of Ontario's most important public assets. Keep Hydro One public! Kathleen Wynne, scrap your privatization plans now. Hydro One returns a profit to the public purse every year and provides reliable electricity services to Ontarians in all parts of the province, including rural and northern communities. Selling Hydro One off is short-sighted -www.dialogue2.ca
Ontario would be giving billions of dollars of future public revenues if this quick sell-off goes ahead. We've been down this road before. Back in 2001, Mike Harris tried to sell off Ontario Hydro, but he backed off when the people of Ontario banded together and blocked the privatization deal. Time and time again, SumOfUs members have been calling out governments who sell off public goods to private corporations, making access to crucial services harder for people who need it most. Politicians are hearing us loud and clear -- when over 130,000 of us signed a petition to the BC government demanding that it stop letting companies like Nestlé extract our precious groundwater for just $2.25 per million litres, political parties were forced to respond because the story was all over the front page of BC's newspapers. For the past 30 years, governments around the world have been selling off power, telephone, railway, and water and sewage systems to corporations. The result? …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Overwhelmingly-worse services getting delivered to citizens, often at increasingly higher prices. This is why we need to speak out now to stop this outrageous sale now.
Ask Kathleen Wynne to stop the plan to privatize - keep Hydro One public! LINK: [with active links to articles below]
More information: Got a problem? Privatize it (and pay the price for selling off Hydro One later), Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Apr 16th, 2015. In selling a chunk of Hydro One, Wynne is forgetting Ontario's history, Globe and Mail, Apr 27, 2015. Ontario government defends paying millions to consultants for report urging Hydro One sell-off, Toronto Star, Apr 28, 2015. Why Kathleen Wynne's Hydro One selloff is a sellout: Cohn, Toronto Star, May 18, 2015 ♣
Elizabeth May speaks to Omnibus Budget Bill C-59 - “Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1” Yesterday (June 8), Elizabeth argued for key amendments to the omnibus budget bill to be allowed, despite a motion passed by every committee in Parliament in fall of 2013 that restricts her rights to present substantive amendments at report stage. The point of order follows her speech on the substantive issues with the omnibus budget bill C-59. The Speaker ruled against her point of order. Elizabeth May, June 9, 2015, On Bill C-59... I appreciate the remarks from my friend from SkeenaBulkley Valley. The substance of the bill needs to be put forward again clearly that this is an omnibus budget bill once again. This is an omnibus budget bill that amends 20 different Canadian laws. These are 20 completely different things. Therefore, there is no single unified purpose, which is the underlying principle of why we would ever have omnibus legislation in this country. Under this administration, the use of omnibus budget bills is unprecedented in Canadian parliamentary history, as is the use of time allocation. We have never had any other administration ever put forward so much legislation through the form of omnibus budget bills with sections that are unrelated to each other and equally unrelated to the budget. This one is not as lengthy as others. Certainly, Bill C-38 had over 400 pages and was followed by Bill C-45 at over 400 pages. In earlier times, when the Conservatives were a minority, they brought forward 800 pages of omnibus budget legislation in 2008. I think it was over 900 pages in 2009. In terms of page length, this one is just under 160 pages. It is less lengthy but no less complex than previous omnibus budget bills. As a result, it has had inadequate study. It was pushed through committee and pushed through this place, with time allocation at every stage. In looking at it in any level of detail, I think it is worth reviewing with other members of this House because we have had so little time to study it, how many different 12 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
sections of laws are affected by this. It affects parliamentary precinct security. That is one thing I want to return to because it is a fundamental and very important constitutional question of who is in charge of security in this place. It changes the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, PIPEDA. It makes amendments to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act, a good piece of legislation that we had been waiting for, for some time, which really deserves its own care and attention through this place. It makes changes to the Trust and Loan Companies Act. It makes changes to the Public Service Labour Relations Act, which are quite egregious in that they pre-empt collective bargaining. I will stop at this point to say that this pre-empts collective bargaining to make changes to sick leave provisions for our very hard-working federal civil servants. The changes that would occur to the National Energy Board Act would change the maximum duration of licences for the exportation of natural gas issued under the NEB Act. It goes on and on, in terms of the number of distinct and different pieces of legislation, none with a relation to each other, none receiving adequate study. I will add one anecdote. I presented amendments at committee on a previous omnibus budget bill. It was not until I presented the amendments that the committee realized that there had been no witnesses on that particular section. None of the committee members remembered having read it, so my amendments could not be adequately discussed because nobody really knew about that section of the omnibus bill. There were just too many sections to give it adequate care and attention. Let me just touch on some of the ones that are concerning. I certainly was concerned to see the changes to …/ www.dialogue2.ca
Elizabeth May Speaks to Omnibus Budget Bill C-59, contd. parliamentary precinct. There could not be a more sethe Copyright Act. These are changes that benefit the rious issue for those of us assembled in this place. We music industry, particularly the large U.S. companies, had the attack and the tragic murder of Nathan Cirillo on not the songwriters and not the musicians of Canada, by October 22, 2014, and what could have been a far more changing the copyright for a song recording from 50 to devastating tragedy had the security team of the House 70 years. of Commons, the RCMP, and the Ottawa Police had not There are also changes in division 9. I mention these acted as they did and ended that crisis. briefly but without describing them. The natural gas exThe conclusion being reached that we need a unified seportation licence would be extended to 40 years, up curity team is exactly right. We do need to ensure that from 25. That is quite a significant change. It was opthe outside grounds and the inside of Parliament are all posed in committee by the witnesses from West Coast protected by people who are in one unified system. The Environmental Law. I will just quote from their testilarge question, and one that has been rushed through this mony. They said: “It is quite possible that something place without adequate study, is which of the security thought to be a good idea today may not, in 25 years’ time, with the advent of climate change, economic shifts, agencies should be in control. It is deeply embedded in parliamentary tradition. The first reference to this that I an increasingly harmed environment, and other potencould find goes back to the year 1500. It is deeply emtially unforeseen alterations in the landscape…” These bedded in parliamentary tradition that you, Mr. Speaker, are significant changes that did not receive enough study. are the person, the entity and the office that protects the We heard from the member for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, security of the members here. and I completely agree, about the precarious nature of A change to give control to the RCMP, which ultiinterns working in the federal civil service. All parties mately reports to the Prime Minister or to the execuhave, at various times, said that they want to do sometive part of government, is a fundamental change thing to ensure that unpaid internships and student work that is unconstitutional. Howwithin the government are protected properly. The access is going to go in To give control to the RCMP… is ever, because of the privileges that surround Parliament itself, it that direction, but as a submission from a fundamental change that is the Canadian Intern Association made unconstitutional. – Elizabeth May is unlikely that we will ever be able to challenge this in a court. clear, much more needs to be done if these workers are not to be exploited in the system. It should not be rushed through this place. It is a fundamental change in the relationship between the Speaker, Given the time I have at the moment, I will move on to the members of Parliament who look to the Speaker for other areas of the bill that really should have had greater the protection of their rights, and the risk of an abuse of study. The biometrics piece is one that came out with that authority to impede access to this place, based on witness testimony at the very last minute. It was actually party membership. I am not going to suggest that it exon the morning that we moved to clause-by-clause. We ists with any particular prime minister. There is a signifirealized how sweeping the changes are in terms of colcant risk that remains for potential future prime minislecting biometric information. They might even apply ters if we do not change this. to people who want to come here as tourists, given the changes that were made in the fall of 2012 in Bill C-45. The last point I want to raise is best expressed in the For people seeking to come here on vacation, if they are words of the Information Commissioner of Canada about not in a country that requires a visa, these potential tourthe changes to undo laws in effect. She said: “These proists would also have to apply to the Minister of Citizenposed changes would retroactively quash Canadians’ ship and Immigration for permission to come to Canada. right of access and the government’s obligations under The sweeping nature of the changes under biometrics in- the Access to Information Act. It will effectively erase formation could apply to tourists, even though I do not history. …[it] is not an attempt to close a loophole; but rabelieve that that is the government’s intent. ther it is an attempt to create a black hole.” Let me just make sure that in the three minutes remainSuch changes should not be allowed in any democracy. ing, I concentrate on the two most egregious changes in Bill C-59 should therefore be defeated. Bill C-59. LINK: http://elizabethmaymp.ca/elizabeth-may-report-stagespeech-on-bill-c-59/ ♣ I mentioned earlier the change in security in the www.dialogue2.ca
VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Observations from Erik Andersen, Gabriola Island BC second or third look. Minister Flaherty repeatedly cauCanada Pension Plan tioned us all about the risk of interest rates rising. Should Investment Board higher rates materialise in North America, loans to marginal lenders will go into default. Those are the borrow(CPP-IB) ers the CPP IB has just taken on at what could be deJune 9, 2015: The CPP IB has just scribed as the top of the market or place of highest risk entered into an agreement to purchase Erik Andersen for lenders and we, the 16 million owners of the CPP a US lending company from GE CapPlan, are the lenders. ital for a total financial commitment of $12 billion. As at March 31, 2015 the CPP IB liabilities totalled $57.2 Bil- Selling Canada to the lowest bidder Erik: This Volkswagen business (below) is so outralion, up from $26.5 Billion in fiscal 2013. With this new geous that I can find no words that are printable. Must be purchase total liabilities of the Plan would be closing in the current version of the Conservative's new national on $70 billion. business model that they picked up here in BC. If you would remember, a years ago Andrew Haldane The Trans-Pacific globalization pact Ottawa of the Bank of England asked UK pension fund managdoesn’t want to talk about: Walkom ers to step back from being pro-cycle investors and [Quote/Link, The Star] Canada is sleepwalking into the change to contra-cycle investors. This request was speTrans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal potentially more cifically made to help commercial banks with their need to "de-risk" their asset portfolios. His logic was that pen- disruptive than NAFTA. sion plans could not go bankrupt while banks could and "Thanks to NAFTA, much of Canada’s auto manufacthat dear friends was not in the national interests to have turing has already migrated to Mexico. Indeed, as the happen. Star reported last week, Ottawa is now in the strange position of subsidizing auto manufacturers to build plants Since Mr. Carney is and was then the Governor of the in foreign climes. In the latest case, the government’s BoE it is more than likely he did some trial runs in CanExport Development Canada provided Germany’s ada before leaving. Volkswagen with a $525-million, low-interest loan to This new purchase with borrowed money is likely one build assembly plants in the Southern U.S. and Mexico." of those privately owned risky assets needing a home LINK: http://tinyurl.com/Star-tpp-walkom ♣ just when global credit ratings are getting a very hard **************************************************************
Democracy Watch asks for support for their Harper PMO Prosecution Fund – re the bribery of Mike Duffy Democracy Watch is taking Prime Minister Harper’s Office to court for bribing Senator Mike Duffy because the RCMP and government lawyers won’t…
Incredibly, Senator Duffy has been charged and prosecuted for taking a $90,000 bribe, but no one from Prime Minister Harper’s Office or the Conservative Party has been charged with bribing him. Democracy Watch needs to raise $85,000 to cover the costs of prosecuting everyone in Prime Minister Harper’s Office and the Conservative Party who took part in the bribing of Senator Mike Duffy and continuing the campaign to ensure they are all held accountable. The Criminal Code allows anyone to launch a private prosecution for certain offences, and Democracy 14 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
Watch continues to gather evidence and legal support to take those responsible in Prime Minister Harper’s Office to court. For more details visit LINK: http://democracywatch.ca/pmoprosecutionfund/ You can help hold these Harper Conservatives accountable for their wrongdoing by donating now using PayPal or your credit card. You can also donate by cheque – please make out your cheque to “Democracy Watch” and note that it is for the “Harper PMO Prosecution Fund” and send it to: Democracy Watch, P.O. Box 821, Stn. B, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P9. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch, Visiting Professor; Tel: 613-241-5179 ♣
"Grist for the Mill"
Ed Goertzen, Oshawa ON
RECEIVED FROM ED GOERTZEN, reprinted as a public service:
Muzzling The Watchdogs Toronto Star Editorial, 2015-05-11
Forthright government watchdogs have a way of disappearing in Ottawa. Ed Goertzen They are quietly replaced. Their mandates are terminated or not renewed. They are suddenly found to be unqualified. Howard Sapers, the outspoken correctional investigator
of Canada, is the latest to join the involuntary exodus. He was a strong advocate for mistreated inmates. He highlighted the disproportionate number of aboriginal prisoners in the system. He asked why so many people with mental disorders were behind bars and why so many prisoners were released without adequate supervision. He warned that federal prisons were overcrowded and underfunded. “An ombudsman’s role is to comment on maladministration,” he said. Sapers will be relieved of his responsibilities as soon as the government can find a replacement. Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney provided no explanation, other than noting the fact he had served for more than a decade. Canada’s last corrections investigator, Ron Stewart, served for 26 years. Seven government watchdogs and three senior bureaucrats have been stifled or impugned since the Conservatives took office. The first to go, in 2008, was Linda Keen, who headed the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. She ordered AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.) to shut down its Chalk River Reactor over concerns about its emergency power system. The government kept it open and fired her. Peter Tinsley, who chaired the military complaints commission, was axed after he brought to light allegations that Canadian soldiers handed over Taliban captives to Afghan authorities knowing there was a high chance they would be tortured. Richard Colvin, a senior foreign affairs official who tes-
tified that he was hearing similar accounts from diplomats in Afghanistan was subjected to a vicious public attack by senior ministers of the government. Paul Kennedy, who headed the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, crossed the Tories by questioning the amount of time it took to investigate the www.dialogue2.ca
death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, who was repeatedly tasered at Vancouver airport. He was told his services would no longer be required. Marty Cheliak, director-general of the RCMP’s Canadian Firearms Program, was yanked after nine months in the job for defending the long-gun registry, which the Tories were poised to scrap. He told a parliamentary committee “it does serve a very real purpose and contributes to police officer safety and the safety of all Canadians.” Pat Stogran, Canada’s first veterans’ ombudsman, was told his appointment would not be renewed after he exposed the way the government treated former members of the armed services, especially those who came home injured or traumatized. Steve Sullian, appointed with great fanfare as the coun-
try’s federal ombudsman for victims of crime, was canned after a frustrating three-year term. He had no power to do anything for victims. His reports were shelved by the public safety minister. “My sense is that they (the Conservatives) created the office because it made a good press release,” he said afterward. Munir Sheikh, Canada’s former chief statistician, resigned after then-industry minister Tony Clement falsely cited him as a supporter of the government’s controversial decision to replace Statistics Canada’s highly regarded mandatory census with an unreliable voluntary household survey. Rather than go along with the lie, the conscientious economist quit. Kevin Page, head of the parliamentary budget office, which monitors public spending for MPs and Canadians, provided more accountability than the government wanted. As his disclosures became more embarrassing, he was denied access to departmental records, denigrated in Parliament and treated as a pariah in Ottawa. He was replaced after a single term. Nothing (sic) of these public officials was looking for a fight. They simply reported what they found and refused to back down, leaving Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconcile their departures with what he said back in 2005, while opposition leader: “When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it’s rapidly losing its moral authority to govern.” CONCLUDES (WITH LINKS) NEXT PAGE…/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
LINK TO ARTICLE (with active links to stories) http://tinyurl.com/TSwatchdogs Also online at: www.ourwindsor.ca – “Toronto Star's View:
The high price of speaking out in Ottawa - The Harper government stifles or removes government watchdogs who get in its way” [OurWindsor.Ca] ♣
How Progressives Can Take Back Canada Recommended by Ed Goertzen, with his comment: I found this enlightening. by GEORGE LAKOFF, Toronto Star 2015-05-10 There is a basic cognitive science result I call "pre-conscious assimilation." Within a tenth of a second, incoming information – whether in language, vision, or touch – is unconsciously changed, often radically, to information that better fits what is already in your brain. In short, what you become conscious of often depends on what you already assume, not on external facts presented.
Those brain structures are called "frames." If the facts don't fit your frames, the frames stay; the facts are ignored, belittled or attacked. The facts alone won't set you free. All words are defined relative to largely unconscious cognitive frames. Hearing a word activates and strengthens the frame.* If I say "Don't think of an elephant!" you will think of an elephant. Arguing against, or negating, frames just helps the other side. This is a key insight for politicians. All politics is about morality, about doing what you assume is right. Different policies follow from different notions of morality. When you speak your moral language, you strengthen your political frames. When you speak in the language of your opponents, regardless of what you say, you only strengthen theirs. Conservatives understand this. They are trained not to use progressive language, but to use conservative language and conservative frames. Conservative training institutes have, for decades, been educating tens of thousands of conservatives on how to think and talk conservative. That is how a conservative minority has come to rule Canada, overwhelming the progressive majority spread across three parties. A prerequisite for bringing the parties together is unifying progressive thought and language, and training ordinary Canadians, who are overwhelmingly progressive, to understand the values that unite them across parties and issues, and to learn to express those values no matter which party you are in. 16 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
Being a progressive is natural to Canadians. It means caring about others as well as taking care of yourself, and it means working through the government to provide public resources for all. Private business and private life depend on public resources — roads, bridges, sewers, an electric grid, satellite communication, public schools and research universities, public health and national health care, public safety, and on and on. The private depends on the public, both in business and private life. This truth is the basis of what has traditionally been the best in Canadian life: kindness, warmth, hospitality, cooperation, community and what goes with all that, including public education, health care for all, a love of nature and care for the environment, a welcoming of immigrants, a respect for native peoples, an aversion to war. As an American, those were the values that I and other Americans associated with Canada. The center has been empathy — caring and acting on that care. Until Stephen Harper — and the American framing and communication industry that made him possible. Conservatives have a different understanding of morality and with it, democracy. Conservative morality means individual responsibility, not social responsibility; Every man his own authority, not depending on or accepting any responsibility for others. But conservatism means denying a central truth: that private life and business depend on public resources. Indeed, it means destroying public resources and maximizing private control and private gain. It means putting public health in private hands, making everyone pay through the nose for maintaining their bodies. It means destroying unions. Unions are about freedom, freedom from corporate servitude and wage slavery, freedom from unsafe working conditions, and the freedom in later life that comes from fair pensions, which are delayed payments for work done earlier in life. It means destroying nature for private gain, not public benefit. This is what we'll get as long as progressives focus their political efforts on fighting within conservative frames. For progressives to win, they must become aware of and state their deepest values, and they must bring back …/ www.dialogue2.ca
to life, through language, the values that made Canada ‘Canada.’ That starts with saying the unsaid, what progressives know but don't utter: Working people are profit creators and as such, deserve a fair share of the profits — a living wage and safe, reasonable working conditions. It means saying that corporations control our lives in thousands of ways — for their benefit, not ours, and with no accountability to an electorate. We need to point out that ensuring our food is safe and that our cosmetics don't cause cancer requires that we
are able to constrain the power of private interests. After all, we might point out, the private depends on public resources so it really ought to better serve the public good. LINK: http://tinyurl.com/TSglakoff George Lakoff is a professor of cognitive science at the University of California and author of The All New Don't Think of an Elephant.
* Footnote from Ed Goertzen: There is also 'perception set' – meaning that we see what we expect to see. ♣
Robin Mathews Uncut
The Arrogant Autocrat – book review
Conservative Party Crimes. Mel Hurtig Writes. For All Canadians. Robin Mathews/June 2015
PART ONE The book is small. Compact. Readable. Important. Read it. Hand it on to your friends. Above all … hand it on to friends who voted Conservative in the last election. Mel Hurtig calls his new book The Arrogant Autocrat: Stephen Harper's Takeover of Canada. ‘Chapter and verse,’ it itemizes Harper Conservative crimes against the people of Canada, against their laws, their trust in Parliament, their institutions, their economy, their special protections as a free people…. ‘Chapter and verse,’ Mel Hurtig looks at crimes against the Democratic System, the environment, science and scientists, public knowledge and information, freely assembling community organizations, and – NEWS TO MANY – he points to the lies and frauds and “unfacts” and – you name it – by the Conservative government to falsify its gross mismanagement of the economy. A growing loss of jobs. A growing loss of living wages. A growing loss of Canadian ownership. A growing loss of Canadian industrial activity – not just sold but packed up and shipped out. Hugely growing national indebtedness… and more. The Conservative lying has been so persistent that many Canadians don’t know the painful truth about Harper Conservative destruction of the Canadian economy. Read The Arrogant Autocrat. Find out how Canadians, dollar for dollar, are much poorer than they were ten years ago – as a result of deliberate Conservative Party policy. I wrote, above, that readers should hand on The Arrogant Autocrat to friends who voted Conservative in the www.dialogue2.ca
last election. “Oh,” you might say, repeating Conservative Party and Media lies, “Canadians don’t change their voting pattern.” Tell a lie often enough, and it begins to sound like truth. Most Canadians want a decent Canada – among them, most Conservative Canadians. (Not the super-rich, the One Per Cent. They are different, whatever they claim to be politically.) We know, just recently, the so-called “hardest-core Conservative province” (which, living there for a time, I never believed) – ALBERTA… swung…. How hard did it swing? One third of “hard-core” Wild Rose Party voters (nearest to Stephen Harper’s position) switched their vote – and went for change. One third of Progressive Conservative voters switched their vote – and went for change. The NDP increased its vote, with those changes and a few others, by 400%. Canadians want a decent Canada, whether they usually vote Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Bloc, Green, CPCML (Communist Party)… or other. It is in the interest of the Harper corporate Falsifiers to say Canadians don’t change their voting patterns; especially that so-called “core-Right voters don’t change their vote.” Are our memories that short? In 1993, the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney (somewhat less dishonest than Stephen Harper) plunged (with a quickly found ‘sacrificial lamb’ prime minister) from a 151seat majority to 2 seats. But – as we are told – core Conservatives don’t change their vote. The message from the neat, compact book – Mel Hurtig’s The Arrogant Autocrat - is “look at the truth of Conservative Party rule led by Stephen Harper – look at the …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
ugly, criminal truth. Then push aside the lies, the lies, the lies flooding from Conservative Party headquarters.” After that… hand the book to a friend, if possible to a friend who voted Conservative in the last federal election. Even hard-core Conservative voters don’t like being lied to, cheated, robbed, treated as criminals, defrauded of ‘national’ honesty, tricked out of deserved social care and key information about the country’s operation, its health, its prosperity. Get the book. Tell your local bookstore to order a bundle. Or you, yourself, can order a copy (copies) directly from Chapters.ca or Amazon.ca. Mel Hurtig has been fighting for Canadian self-respect and independence for more than fifty years – writing eight books on the subject in that time. This, he says, is his most important book. Maybe it is – because it’s not about a dumb, inadequate, inefficient, colonial-minded government doing silly, sell-out things. It’s about what many of us believe is a flagrantly criminal government actively destroying Canada on behalf of
insane, super-wealthy, greed-driven corporations, nutcase fundamentalists, and cabals of the One Per Cent wanting global power at the expense of decent people everywhere. The members of the Conservative government of Canada – are drugged, whipped, coerced, and threatened into stupid, vicious, (and many believe) criminal conformity to neo-liberal, neo-fascist behaviour. They must be removed, replaced, relieved of all power. They must be defeated massively. Get Mel Hurtig’s small, compact, readable, very important book, The Arrogant Autocrat. It will help you see clearly the task ahead. The Arrogant Autocrat: Stephen Harper's Takeover of Canada - by Mel Hurtig Mel Hurtig Publishing, April 30, 2015 Dimensions: 154 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.36 in ISBN - 10: 0994090102 READ ONLINE, plus Part II: www.dialogue2.ca/robinmathews-arrogant-autocrat.html ♣
More feedback re Mel Hurtig’s book, The Arrogant Autocrat Derek Skinner, Victoria BC Dear Mel, I have just finished reading your latest The Arrogant Autocrat. It's O.K. but you are too polite and your conclusion is awful! I suppose it is possible that the Liberals are saving their policy platform for a timed roar of apDerek Skinner proval that will sweep Justin into a powerful position but I wouldn't trust that any more than the same thing from Harper. You say it yourself. Justin favours pipelines and cannot criticize tarsands and C51. He represents a corporate funded "neo-liberal" elitist clique commonly known as "Harper Light" with a discredited trickle down economic theory, and will support Harper rather than Mulcair. This is why, in terms of House seats, the NDP with
Green support, must get at least 170 in order to withstand any non-confidence motion. There is no other way to stop a continuation of the Harper agenda. I don't favour another majority government but the NDP has promised to bring in Prop. Rep. I think they favour MMP. If the NDP cannot pull off a majority then your prediction is correct... we will no longer be a sovereign democratic state... or, as I see it, we will be just a third world resource which we will work at minimum wage to be picked clean by offshore investors using CETA and the TPP. That's my two cents. Can you respond please? The Best to you always, Derek Skinner, firstname.lastname@example.org ph. 250 381-7553 [You will find Derek on Facebook at Skinnermoney] ♣
A film about the way journalism should be…
Hey Corporate Media, This film with Glenn Greenwald can teach you what real journalism is - Russia Insider From Gerry Masuda email@example.com : Perhaps his example may inspire us to do more. Hi. I have just viewed the two videos on IF Stone. LINK: http://tinyurl.com/RI-journalism I recommend that you do so as well. – Gerry Masuda ♣ 18 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
Norway’s Oil Riches. Canada’s Poverty. Guess Why? by Robin Mathews, May 2015 [EXTRACT & LINK] Finally, and one might say suddenly, Norway’s experience, and Canada’s, with Oil Revenue Savings are under a bright light of comparison. It’s a painful comparison … for Canada. Especially since (a) Canada has far greater fossil fuel production and reserves than Norway, and (b) Canada began operating a non-renewable resources fund well before the Norwegians.
Today Norway has a trillion dollars in its reserve fund and no deficit, combined with excellent universal social insurance. Alberta is in painful deficit with a meagre resource fund, and the federal government (pretending to balance its annualized budget) is in deep and growing indebtedness. […] Norway’s Oil Fund is not a brilliant and accidental creation of an eccentric group of administrators who “lucked” upon a saving system and a major standard-ofliving guarantor. It is the product of an independent people seeking to use resource wealth to guarantee the safety and security of the whole population. An independent people. In an economic colony like Canada, no real
independence exists and any breakthroughs on behalf of the whole population begin to be undermined as soon as made. [Universal Health Care??] What operates in a country like Canada is the embarrassing service of Canadian “leaders” to foreign power and foreign greed … employing, at the same time, smoke-and-mirror propaganda and lies to lull the population into acceptance of colonial inferiority, colonial passivity, and sell-out of their rights and their wealth. The tragedies of Petro Canada, the NEP, and the E. Peter Lougheed Heritage Fund are absolutely predictable in an economic colony. Until Canada’s colonial status is erased, Canadians will be at continuous war among themselves to better the condition of all Canadians, expending huge amounts of effort that are undermined by a combination of the “imperial masters” and the cooperating “colonial administrators” (called Canadian governments). READ IN FULL, LINK: www.dialogue2.ca/robin-mathewsnorway-oil-riches-canada-poverty.html
– Robin Mathews, Vancouver
COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE ARTICLE FOLLOW…
Comments on Robin Mathews’ article re Canada-Norway oil revenues: From Jack Etkin, Victoria BC: A very good description of how pathetic Canada has become, because our politicians and media are completely controlled by big business. We seem to have NO honest or independent leadership that is allowed to exist, and things are only getting worse, except for some heroic efforts by Canadians and others. We need to grow bigger and stronger and take back our country. I'm not sure we can do it, but only destruction awaits if we can't. – Jack From Richard K. Moore, Ireland: I think the big difference is whether or not a government is guided by national interests, rather than whether it has a socialist or business-oriented economic model. At the time Norway set up its oil industry, it saw to its national interests, so that the bulk of the income goes to the treasury, rather than to the multinational oil operators. They chose to use a lot of that treasury to support a welfare state, which seems good, but any use that made the nation better off would be OK too, I suppose. Alaska also did some good things with oil revenues, at the province/state level. The problem in the US, Canada, the UK, etc., is that our governments were subverted long ago, in the case of the www.dialogue2.ca www.dialogue2.ca
US it dates to 1913, when the Federal Reserve took over, a criminal gang that dictates the US economy. The job of our governments and political parties is to sell the bankster-determined agenda to their populations, so as to maximize exploitation of the people and the resources. Pedophile rings and other mechanisms are used to keep political elites on tight reins. That’s one of the main uses of all this surveillance nonsense. Everyone has skeletons in their closet; and if they don’t, honey-traps will be set up for them. – R. K. Moore From Vera Gottlieb, Germany: I would say that in Norway – and the rest of Europe, ‘socialism’ is not a dirty word as it is in North America. Nor is it ‘dirty’ to take care of your people with money gained from a natural resource that belongs to all who live in Norway. There is a lot to learn if one really wants to. – VG “In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.” Albert Camus YOU CAN READ THE ARTICLE BY ROBIN MATHEWS AT : www.dialogue2.ca/robin-mathews-norway-oil-richescanada-poverty.html ♣
VOL. VOL.28 28 NO. NO.4,4,SUMMER SUMMER2015 2015
“Have Computer Will Write”~ Jeremy Arney
Our Government’s hypocrisy over war, the military, war “crimes” Letter to the Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness by Jeremy Arney - Leader of the Canadian Action Party Mr. Blaney, I watched in absolute disgust your conversation with Evan Solomon on the subject of Omar Khadr and his being granted bail, although he is hardly free with having to live with his lawyer and wear an ankle bracelet. However you kept claiming he plead guilty to a heinous crime of killing a US soldier who along with hundreds of other US soldiers and air men, was taking part in a raid upon the compound in which Omar was living at that time. Their express intention was to “kill them some Muslim terrorists!” as if they were vermin to be stamped out. Yes Omar, a 15 year old boy, did what any normal human being would do after being shot in the back twice and that is to try to do as much damage as he could before he died. On one hand you glorify our military, praising them for their past deeds and the work they do today, and yet what is that work? It is to kill the enemy basically is it not? And then, on the other hand, you condemn a child soldier for trying to emulate that very trait that you find so endearing in the Canadian military. The officer who shot Omar Khadr in the back twice had every intent to kill him and was he charged with attempted murder? Hell no, he probably got a medal for being a good soldier. How many other men, and yes that includes Muslims who are humans too, were killed in that attack alone and how many other charges of murder were pressed, when murder is not a crime of war, specially in the heat of battle, and how can it be because war is about killing? You make the claim that Omar Khadr plead guilty to the “heinous crime of killing Sgt Speer,” therefore depriving his wife and children of his presence. Let me ask you this Mr. Blaney, if you had gone through what that boy did by the confinement, torturing and abandonment by your (Canadian) government would you not have said
anything to get relief? And before you glibly say no, remember that you were an environmentalist of some note, serving a man whose intent is to destroy our environment to pleasure his corporate buddies, so you have already abandoned whatever past environmental integrity you might have had. In a way, Mr. Blaney, your boss is at war with the Canadian people and you are his willing soldier. You bleat on about terrorists and how we have to protect against them whilst we attack them with airplanes, smart bombs and soldiers on the ground. You want to have the ability to know what I think: I think Israel’s indiscriminate attacks upon Gaza – to test out their new weapons against a basically civilian population trapped in a small area – is wrong. As a result, now you want to label me as a terrorists instead of a Canadian who believes that killing is the last resort of ignorant, bigoted, religious bullies, or those who are seeking even more money and power to do evil rather than good. Regretfully, Mr. Blaney, that describes the entire caucus of the current regime in Canada. And proof of that is how you all rose as one to vote against Canadians on the most terrible legislation in Canada’s history (Bill C-51). As a caucus you have bowed to the will of the PM and his corporate puppet masters and forgotten that it is Canadian taxpayers who pay your salaries and those employers are who you should be representing with your votes on issues about their futures. I sincerely hope that Canadians will finally realise who and what you all are in October and delete your entire Reform/Alliance coalition regime from the Parliament of Canada. Jeremy Arney, Leader of the Canadian Action Party #6, 2931 Craigowan Rd, Victoria BC V9B 1N1 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: http://jeremyarneysblog.wordpress.com/
Jeremy’s thoughts on the Federal Election Re: WHY BOTHER VOTING LIBERAL? C51 heading for Senate after passing with Liberals help [Link follows, from S. McDowall, with her comment]
As for Trudeau: he made a hasty and bad choice (re Bill C-51) and although he stood by that choice I believe it will cost him the job of PM. Very bad advisers, I would 20 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
say, who jumped too quickly and misjudged the importance to Canadians of this Bill. – Jeremy On May 7, 2015, Stephanie McDowall wrote: A good indication little will change with a Federal Liberal government… I don’t believe Justin re amending…/ www.dialogue2.ca
this legislation.... except perhaps in a very minuscule manner to keep his election promise ...should he form a government (heaven forbid!). See Trudeau’s brief comments addressing the public’s concern. Poor. The best of reasons not to vote Liberal. [Quote] Trudeau: “Liberals announced earlier in the
year they would support the proposed changes to the country's anti-terror laws, but would amend the legislation if they win the next election. Among other things, they pledged to provide more oversight of national security agencies.” [LINK: www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/05/06/bil-c-51-anti-terrorism-passes-vote_n_7227520.html? ♣
Why I’ve Gone Green By Paul Manly, Nanaimo BC People will know from my film work and community activism that I am solid and unequivocal on a number of issues. Initially, I thought that running to be an NDP MP would help steer the party in a positive, progressive direction. Since the time that I was blocked from seeking the NDP nomination I have learned Paul Manly on Earth Day how the NDP has abandoned 2015 their own policies on issues that are very important to me.
I found out that the leader of the NDP supports Energy East, a raw bitumen export pipeline that will expand tar sands production 40% above the current rate of two million barrels per day. This flies in the face of NDP climate policy. Support for Energy East is support for tar sands expansion and catastrophic climate change. The NDP leader has stated that with a better environmental assessment process Kinder Morgan would be acceptable. The NDP has a petition opposing this pipeline going through Burnaby. Would it be ok with the NDP if it went through another community? I found out that not a single NDP MP voted against the Canada-Korea free trade agreement. This went against NDP trade policy, which opposes trade agreements with Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions. Canada’s largest union UNIFOR, of which I am a member, opposed this agreement. Korean companies are major investors in Raven coal on Vancouver Island. This free trade agreement gives those companies special rights. In the Greens I found a party that stands for my views. I read its policy document, Vision Green, after being approached by Elizabeth May to run, and was pleasantly surprised with what I learned. I knew the Green Party would be strong on www.dialogue.ca
environmental policy, but it is also has very strong policies on social justice, health, inequality and a range of other social issues. The Green Party has a balanced approach to the economy, fair taxation and fiscal reform. They also focus on good governance and democratic reform. I agree with the Green Party’s six fundamental principles: Non-Violence, Social Justice, Sustainability, Ecological Wisdom, Participatory Democracy and Respect for Diversity. These values are the foundation for all Green Party policies and decisions. I like the fact that it is Green Party policy that MPs cannot be whipped to vote against their conscience or the wishes of their constituents. I also like the Green Party because it is the only party opposed to any further pipeline expansion for the export of raw bitumen from the Alberta tar sands; it supports a national moratorium on hydraulic gas fracking and LNG export terminals; and it is the only party opposed to any international trade and investment agreements that include Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions. For those of you who are worried about splitting the vote, it is voter cynicism and vote abandoning that should be our focus. I want people to be positive and enthusiastic about politics, and vote for a candidate and party that they can trust to represent them with honesty and integrity. We owe it to future generations to be hopeful and vote for what we really want. Paul Manly, Green Party Candidate, Nanaimo-Ladysmith 250 591-9222 office; email@example.com READ ONLINE WITH ACTIVE LINKS:
www.dialogue2.ca/paul-manly-why-ive-gone-green * VISION GREEN - Green Party policy document: LINK : www.greenparty.ca/en/vision-green YouTube video – Paul Manly on Earth Day 2015: LINK : http://tinyurl.com/YTpaul-ED15 ♣ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Growing Global Reaction against Privatization of Water From: Gerry Masuda, Duncan BC Hi. It is worth opening and scanning the following (article by Meera Karunananthan, COC, link below). The interesting point is the growing global reaction to privatization of water and the number of examples of the de-privatization of water which had been privatized. LINK: http://canadians.org/blog/privatising-public-services-no-way-fund-sustainable-development
[Quote] “Argentina has been sued more than 40 times
for actions it took during its economic crisis in the early 2000s. Faced with mass unemployment and 70% of children living in poverty, it fixed the price of water, gas and electricity, and later nationalised utilities to stave off threatened price hikes. In a ruling last month, the country was ordered to pay Suez $405m. While Argentina argued that it acted to ensure the human right to water for its population, the tribunal found that human rights cannot override investor rights.” ♣
“That’s My Take On It”
From John Shadbolt, Acton ON
Following are articles with information you need to understand. FORWARDED BY JOHN SHADBOLT FROM THE DOGWOOD INITIATIVE BLOG [LINKS TO ARTICLES FOLLOW]
The Compromised integrity of the National Energy Board Economist Robyn Allan withdraws from Kinder Morgan NEB review May 19, 2015 by Robyn Allan, Dogwood Initiative Blog [Extract, link at the end] Robyn Allan has withdrawn as an intervenor in the federal government’s review of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and oil tanker expansion project, detailing her reasons for quitting in a scathing letter to the National Energy Board. Allan is former President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), was Vice-President Finance for Parklane Ventures Ltd., and Senior Economist for B.C. Central Credit Union. Here is the full text of her letter to the secretary of the National Energy Board (NEB)]:
To Ms. Young, Secretary of the NEB May 19, 2015 (cc Intervenors, Kinder Morgan, Peter Watson, Chair and CEO, NEB)
I am withdrawing as an expert intervenor from the National Energy Board review of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. After dedicating professional expertise for more than a year, pro bono and in good faith, I have concluded that withdrawal is the only course of action. Continued participation endorses a broken system and enables the pretence of due process where none exists. The review is not conducted on a level playing field. The Panel is not an impartial referee. The game is rigged; its outcome pre-determined by a captured 22 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
regulator. The NEB’s integrity has been compromised. Its actions put the health and safety of the Canadian economy, society and environment in harm’s way. The NEB has unconscionably betrayed Canadians through a restricted scope of issues, violated the rules of procedural fairness and natural justice, and biased its decision-making in favour of Kinder Morgan. These are discussed below: 1. Restricted Scope of Issues 2. Compromised Principles of Procedural Fairness and Natural Justice 3. Biased Decision Making […] [See link that follows for comprehensive details under each of the above headings]
By its actions it is clear the Board has no intention of considering the economic impact and financial viability of this application but for accepting Kinder Morgan’s bogus case in Volume 2. Refusing to compel Kinder Morgan to answer questions, the Board allows Kinder Morgan to pretend benefits exist where they do not. When Intervenors submit evidence on the economic issues the Board will give it little, if any, weight; it has already ruled meaningful critique is outside the scope of issues. This is a travesty. The Board’s unfair approach is also reflected in its determination that the application was complete when it was not. This is most clearly illustrated by Kinder Morgan’s uncertainty over its route and the Board’s accommodation of Kinder Morgan’s lack of preparation inside the review process. Although aware of the Panel’s violation of the public trust, Peter Watson, NEB Chair and CEO has not sought to rectify the broken process. The entire National Energy Board is perpetrating a fraud on the Canadian public. Withdrawing as an expert intervenor is not only a form of formal protest against the broken system, it is also …/ www.dialogue2.ca
Robyn Allan, Compromised integrity of the NEB, contd.
a reasoned decision considered in light of efficiency and effectiveness. Protection of our democracy and market economy is best undertaken outside the industry contrived, and controlled, NEB failed system. The NEB is not a national energy board; it is a parochial board steeped in Calgary petro culture, run by corporate interests. Industry bias began in the 1990s when the NEB moved from Ottawa to Calgary, leaving two-thirds of its staff behind and requiring permanent Board members to live in proximity to Calgary. Regulatory capture continued as the Federal Government and Board adopted the practice of offering Board and staff positions to people with energy industry backgrounds, at the expense of establishing a diversification of interests. The Board abandoned prudent and sound economic and financial analysis when these led to decisions recommending projects be rejected because costs outweighed benefits. Rather than continuing to rely on Cost-Benefit analysis as a sound analytical approach, the NEB rejected it in favour of Input-Output analysis; a flawed and misleading substitute that presents impacts as if they are benefits and ignores known and reasonable costs. The Board is charged with environmental assessment without appropriately skilled and experienced staff to
undertake it. The Board does not have the expertise, or will, to understand complex corporate structures designed to minimize corporate taxes, siphon vast financial wealth out of the country, and leave Canadians holding the bag when major or catastrophic events happen. I withdraw from this process in defence of the market system and a sound economy. I withdraw from this process in defence of sustainable economic progress that promotes resource development rather than resource exploitation. The fight to protect the Canadian public interest must be conducted in an open and transparent forum, where those who desire to participate, have a right and opportunity to do so. The fight to protect the Canadian public interest must include those issues that fully represent the Canadian public interest, not limit them—as the Panel has done—to a definition serving industry. We are being conned by the very agency entrusted to protect us. This must stop. The health and welfare of our economic, social and environmental systems are at stake. Sincerely, Robyn Allan For the full text of Robyn Allan’s letter: continue reading the comprehensive footnoted details under each of these headings, LINK: http://tinyurl.com/D-robyn-allan
The Harper Conservatives have ‘ left the building’ … in the Comox Valley (Vancouver Island) FOLLOWING ARTICLE & LINK FORWARDED BY JOHN SHADBOLT FROM THE DOGWOOD INITIATIVE BLOG, EXTRACT, WITH LINK (below)
No doubt you’ve heard by now our Marine Traffic Control Centre is shutting down and the Ucluelet base just closed. This is on top of last year’s Comox fisheries By Dave Mills, Dogwood Initiative Blog (May 14, 2015) office closure. Veterans in this community have done a It’s a good thing many retirees like to volunteer their good job of highlighting the fact that this government skills and that Vancouver Island is home to an exceptional has cut them adrift. Perhaps you’ve heard that beginning set of them with abundant knowledge. They in 2017, $36 billion is scheduled knew this was a great place to retire whether to be cut from transfer payments “the most dramatic they'd lived here all their lives or not. What abdication of services at the same time that an aging they didn't realize was the abundance of busypopulation begins to maximize its this country has work available for those keen to pitch in and use of the health care system. make a difference in their community. ever seen” You would be forgiven for wondering whether we might be facYou see, the Harper Conservatives have left the building on Northern Vancouver Island, and many of ing some potential problems in the future. Well, I’m here to tell you that the problems are real, and their imthe programs and services that locals have come to expacts are now. One needn’t look any further than a pect have left with them. As volunteers step in to plug sunny day just over a month ago when the absence of the holes, you might not be aware of the value of their the Jericho Coast Guard station meant a spill in Vancouwork. Maybe it will inspire you to pitch in yourself – or at the very least, take a long hard look at your voting op- ver’s English Bay that should have been contained in under 60 minutes actually took 12 hours. The …/ tions this year. www.dialogue.ca
VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
government’s inability to protect our coast is proof that you can’t gut public services without consequences. With the delivery of the federal budget, election campaigning has officially begun. Only as a result of the most dramatic abdication of services this country has ever seen can the government afford to offer what it believes the public really wants: business tax cuts, the ability for you to split your income and top up your TFSA.
My question would be, do Islanders accept that these voided services are as superfluous as the government must believe? If not, who will step into the void, and what will that eventually cost you? – Dave Mills SEE FULL STORY AT: http://tinyurl.com/D-dave-mills
Recd. from John Shadbolt [John Shadbolt is Vice-President of CAP – Canadian Action Party] Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ♣
Wild Salmon People
We Won! – The Federal Court decision… Alexandra Morton, Sointula, Gwayum'dzi May 15, 2015 — The Federal Court of Canada agreed that the salmon farming industry should not be allowed to make the decision whether to put diseased farmed salmon into net pens on wild salmon migration routes! Please forward this petition to your salmon-loving friends and let's stop the dirty practice of farming salmon in the ocean! See more on the legal decision here LINK: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/2015/05/we-won.html
Thank you!! to the Ecojustice team: Savannah CarrWilson, Lara Tessaro, Margot Venton, Morgan Blakley, Dyna Tuytle (SEE PHOTO P.59) May 31, 2015: When the Premier waves the fish farm flag, she is standing alone with the people who are paid by the industry. This week a group of environmental organizations joined me in delivering our 40lb, 3,000 page petition to the Premier of British Columbia. David Suzuki Society, Clayoquot Action, Living Oceans, Watershed Watch, and Sea Sheppard, were all introduced to the Legislative Assembly of BC as we sat in the gallery to witness tabling of the massive 108,000 signature
petition not to expand salmon farming in BC. A second petition of BC businesses and organizations who do not want to see the salmon farming industry expand was also tabled and continues to grow. Denman Island Chocolate, Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC, Slow Fish, Council of Canadians - mid Island chapter, Wilderness Tourism Association, and the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, a community with 21 salmon farms and 2 farm salmon processing plants, among others have signed this petition. If you have a business/organization in BC please consider joining us. You can simply respond to this email with your company name. See who else has signed here: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/2015/05/bc-premier-stands-alone-in-blindsupport-of-salmon-farming.html It appears that the only people supporting salmon farming in BC are either in government, or paid by the industry. - Alexandra Morton You can download the Federal Court decision at: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com ♣
DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE: “After The Last River” From Herb Wiseman: The following link is to a film that my youngest son, Chris, helped edit about first nations. LINK: www.doxafestival.ca/film/afterthe
The world premiere of this film was on May 3, Vancouver. I helped out with some of the editing on the film. – Chris, ‘Sent from an alternate modernity’ After the Last River is a feature documentary (88 minutes) by filmmaker Victoria Lean. After the Last River - Background: In 2008, the world’s largest diamond company, De Beers, opened one of its first mines outside of Africa, just 90 km upstream from the Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario. The former monopoly had recently closed operations in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and was undergoing a concentrated PR campaign to improve its 24 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
image. The growing awareness of ‘blood diamonds’ had hurt the De Beers brand, but what followed was certainly not conflict-free either. Filmmaker Victoria Lean learned of the story when her father, an environmental biologist, was recruited by concerned community members and environmental groups to provide analysis of how mercury levels would rise with mining activity. Shot over five years, Lean’s incendiary film presents a range of interviews with community activists, politicians, scientists, Cree elders and Chief Theresa Spence, before and during the hunger strike that helped to …/ www.dialogue.ca
galvanize the Idle No More movement. The contrasts between the stark reality of Northern communities and luxurious Toronto events celebrating Canadian diamonds, complete with ice sculptures and dancers, are staggering. In the community of Shannen Koostachin, nominee of the International Children’s Peace Prize, black mold infests homes and little kids brave -40 degree weather with homemade protest signs to ask for a better school. It’s this work, done by young kids, that renders explicit the lingering effects of Canada’s troubled colonial history. In fact, it isn’t history at all, since these battles are still being actively fought. Despite being sold the dream of development by De Beers, it’s the homemade videos created by Attawapiskat youth and grassroots activists that help offer a vision for the future
based on genuine truth and reconciliation. After the Last River is Victoria Lean’s first feature documentary. Her work explores notions of time and national identity, and the complex interrelationships that define them. Beyond her filmmaking practice, Victoria is also a consultant for the creative industries, with a focus on Northern Canada. She has led and managed several projects for the Governments of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, including conducting strategic planning for screen-based media and the visual arts sectors. She holds an MFA in Film Production and MBA in Arts and Media Management from York University. LINK: www.doxafestival.ca/film/afterthe [Link from Herb Wiseman]♣
Report from the Wild West Coast
DEFORESTATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE.... WHY? Susanne Lawson, Wickaninnish Island, Tofino, BC Never before in the history of this Earth, as far as humans can surmise, has there ever been deforestation on the planet equivalent to what is and has taken place in the last 50 years.
Even the glaciers didn't deforest the land at the speed and to the extent that humans are doing now. Flying across the continent, one is astounded by the clearcuts and inroads of deforestation. Dams installed on once fast-flowing rivers heat up as the pulse of Mother Earth is captured and fed into power lines for toothbrushes, mining, corporate and city use. Even in winter when all the interior country is frozen in stillness, around the dams the heat is evident as the water is backed up and thaws around these dams... a fever on the land, a blockage in the system. My husband and I went to prison in the 80's to stop the logging of the majestic old growth forests of Clayoquot Sound. Leaving my 3 children behind with their father, we took turns going to jail to speak out against the onslaught of clearcutting, slash-burning, herbicides and the loss of wild salmon and wildlife and more. We refused to pay the fine imposed on us and I was put in maximum security at the (now gone) infamous Okalla Prison outside Vancouver, with murderers and bankrobbers, etc. – this to teach us a lesson. The Attorney General of B.C. said at the time, "If they are going to do time, they're going to do hard time." No time off for good behaviour, full sentence for contempt of court. www.dialogue2.ca
I had stood under some trees that had a hammock with a young man protesting the logging in them; they had been cut down in the middle of the night by drunken loggers. The young man would have died, falling more than 100 feet onto blast rock below, if the trees hadn't swung to the side and hung up on other trees that saved him. I thought the police should see the evidence of this; the logging company wanted to remove the trees immediately and they pulled up a Sherman Tank from the war which had a drill instead of a gun on it. They lowered it over my shoulders against the rock wall – and the photos of me that the company took were accepted by the judge as incriminating. The police sided with the logging company and the rest is history. The logging of old growth forests on Vancouver Island is almost complete. It is hard to find an old growth tree left in Nootka Sound; and in Clayoquot Sound, logging roads are being blasted into the mountains above Sulphur Pass where the incident took place, high up to make it a challenge to confront them. Logging of 2nd and 3rd growth is having a go at whatever pulp or wood can be salvaged all over the coast. Island Timberlands, Timberwest and another company are rapaciously pushing into whatever they can reach, even in Port Alberni city's watershed. Meares Island, which sits now outside of all jurisdiction except as a Tribal Park and is the backdrop for the town of Tofino, sits pretty much intact and provides all the town's water supply... a precious commodity in the face of the dry winter, lack of snowmelt and drought conditions being experienced now. …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Susanne Lawson, Deforestation & Climate Change, contd.
With divisive tactics, people and organizations were dissolved, diverted or bought off and legal challenges posed daunting costs and demands. Justice gave way to corruption, and monetary profit-at-any-cost wreaked havoc and still does – on the land, waters and wildlife, with the people ultimately reaping the devastating results of high costs in taxes, repair, etc., along with a diminishing planet. Climate change is real – no doubt about it – it has been said over and over, but perhaps not enough: that deforestation should be stopped to protect the planet. If one walks into an old growth forest on a hot day, the temperature is generally up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler and with moisture maintained by the forests in the cooler air. Even in foggy hot dry weather, the trees act as a selfwatering system, catching the moisture and raining it down on the earth below while it stays dry where there is no tree cover. The needle duff from these evergreens
is the most perfect mulch, not inviting for biting insects or other challenges. The balances have been lost and we MUST stop the loss of our Earth's large trees and forests, (the clothing of the Earth), that provide cover and protection against the hot sun, absorb the massive CO2 buildup of this carbon society, transpiring the moisture that maintain the rivers and creeks to flow and clouds to circulate the water and maintain life. We naively thought that we could evoke change but it seems that all we did was slow the process of the loss which still continues unabated, with more loss than was taking place then. We need to demand that these corporate marauders cease their insanity and cruel destruction of one of the greatest wonders of the Earth and maintain a blueprint and enough mass to reconstruct itself before we ALL lose. Susanne (Hare) Lawson, Wickaninnish Island, Tofino Email: email@example.com ♣
Hard and Soft Edges
POWER AND CORRUPTION GO HAND IN HAND By Jim Taylor, June 7, 2015 A little over a week ago, Sepp Blatter got triumphantly re-elected as president of FIFA – the international federation governing football, known in most of the Englishspeaking world as soccer. Blatter portrayed his election as a vote of confidence, even as 14 of his executive colleagues got arrested for alleged bribery and fraud.
This week, Blatter resigned. Presumably he realized that some of the mud being slung would stick to him. Around the world, more people play football than any other game. Even in the poorest places, kids can play football with nothing more than a burlap bag stuffed with straw, and can dream of someday becoming superstars like Pele, Maradona, or Beckham.
But when they do, they come under the jurisdiction of FIFA [Fédération Internationale de Football Association]. MODEL OF A WORLD GOVERNMENT? Conspiracy theorists who fulminate against the dangers of world government should look at FIFA. Like many other organizations that regulate international sports, FIFA has become, in effect, a world government with absolute authority over its narrow slice of human life. National governments grovel at FIFA’s 26 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
feet, lobbying for a lucrative World Cup, held (like the Olympics) every four years. As Dyna Evans wrote in Gawker, “FIFA is an immensely corrupt and thoroughly poisoned organization, due in large part to the huge mountains of money that it sits on. Soccer is the world’s biggest sport. Imagine the power that comes with control of everything and anything [related to the sport] including tons and tons of cash.” The U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against 14 high-ranked officials -- nine of them present or former executives of FIFA, five more in marketing corporations. They’re accused of handing out $10 million in bribes and incentives to get member nations to endorse the FIFA board’s recommendations for World Cup locations. Russia gets the World Cup in 2018, Qatar in 2022. Neither country is a beacon of human rights. But as FIFA’s Secretary General, Jerome Valky, acknowledged, “Less democracy is sometimes better for organizing a World Cup.” FIFA executives are also accused to accepting $150 million in payoffs from successful World Cup bidders and advertisers. …/ www.dialogue2.ca
THE CONDITIONS FOR CORRUPTION An article in Scientific American cited Marina Zaloznaya, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Iowa, on the three factors needed for corruption to flourish.
First, people may feel impelled to engage in corruption by low salaries or red tape -- “to make ends meet" or to get things done. Second, “people tend to engage in corruption if they don't think they'll get caught and punished, or if they think the punishments will be light.” Third, corruption is influenced by an organization's culture. Corrupt organizations develop cultures that justify and encourage corruption, until it becomes routine. I would go further. The cause of corruption is not culture, or opportunity -- it is power itself. FIFA confirms Lord Acton’s cynical diagnosis, 125 years ago, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Power and corruption go hand in hand. ACTING LIKE GOD Our world no longer has absolute monarchs – except Saudi Arabia. These days, the “divine right of kings” has been usurped by international organizations like FIFA. The “divine right of kings” presumed – based on a verse from Paul’s biblical Letter to the Romans – that rulers are appointed by God. Therefore they must be obeyed as if they were God. Tragically, powerful rulers start to think that they are
God. They rise above the petty moral conventions that limit other humans. The more power they can exercise, the more they become like God. Because, of course, God is almighty. All-powerful. Allknowing. But what if those are assumptions we humans have foisted on God? Theologian John Caputo wrote a book titled The Weakness of God. Reading his text is like wading through a swamp, but his underlying thesis challenges our preconceptions. The gospel writers never mention Jesus using power for his own benefit. Not even to save himself from being arrested, tortured, and murdered. If he had power, he chose not to use it. My father spent 25 years as principal of a theological college. In his later years, he suggested that Christianity has done its theology backwards. We have transferred the qualities we assume that God has, onto Jesus as the embodiment of God. Instead, my father suggested, we should first look at Jesus and apply the qualities we observe there to God. Which would make God one who chooses not to use power. If FIFA executives shared that theology, they might feel less justified in acting like as if they were almighty. Copyright © 2015 by Jim Taylor Non-profit use in congregations and study groups encouraged; links from other blogs welcomed; all other rights reserved. To send comments to Jim Taylor, write: firstname.lastname@example.org (and a copy to email@example.com too please!) ♣
Intriguing Ideas from David Foster…
A Clearing in the Forest David Foster, Port Perry ON [EXTRACT/LINK] I believe it was Einstein who said that knowledge was rather like our standing in a clearing in the forest… we know what we know but we are surrounded by a perimeter that is the barrier to the David Foster unknown. Widen the circle with new discoveries, and the perimeter (of the unknown) grows even more. Each discovery lures us into discovering still more. There comes a point where we wonder if what we ‘know’ is in fact the whole story. And then we discover it isn’t. Logic tells us to go back and revise what we thought we ‘knew.’ Many of us are content to stay in the clearing and www.dialogue2.ca
leave the perimeter to others. We then lead lives governed by familiarity and emotion, believing we know enough. But what if those habits are in fact very damaging to the whole? That can get expensive to discover, because we need new tools to deal with the perimeter of the unknown. So we developed ‘science’ and the logics that go with it. That strategy can work backwards in to ‘Politics’ and the Sociology of everyday life. Who would have suspected that we could examine things as small as a single molecule, and learn a truer understanding of the basics? Who would have guessed that plumes of methane gas are spewing out of the bed of the Arctic sea? … CONTINUE READING ONLINE, LINK: www.dialogue2.ca/david-foster-clearing-in-the-forest
David Foster, Port Perry ON ♣ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Ecotopias and Big Dreaming
Susan McCaslin, Fort Langley BC
“You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.” - John Lennon from ‘Imagine’
The Cascadia Poetry Festival in Nanaimo, British Columbia (April 30-May 3, 2015) was a rich conjoining of ecologically-minded poets from the States and Canada who identify with the richly diverse bioregion named Cascadia that stretches from southeast Alaska to northern California. The premise of the conference was that our common grounding in the land – in place – allows us to transcend political lines and demarcations; that, as poets, we are part of the larger ecosystems that flow within and through us. David McCloskey, geographer, and founder of the Cascadia Institute, presented a map of Cascadia, decades in the making, delineating the geographic history of this bioregion. David spoke eloquently of how sea, land and sky form an integral unity. A related theme of the conference had to do with “linguistic mappings.” B.C. poet Robert Bringhurst, known for his translations of Haida epics, observed that languages are ecosystems, revelations of the ecologies of the earth. He proposed that school children should be taught at least one aboriginal language. These indigenous languages, he urged, need to be preserved not only for First Nations communities but for all. Entering into the language, myths, and stories of the First Nations could deepen our ways of seeing, knowing, and being in the world. While I applauded, I thought to myself: now we’re into big, deep-time dreaming. During the response period, I commended Robert for his thesis, but questioned whether such a proposal might seem “utopian” to many, especially in light of the current cuts to education in B.C. I could practically hear my daughter, a young educator in the B.C. school system who worked with 28 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
aboriginal children as a tutor, saying: “I’d love to see this happen, but it’s not very likely right now. Maybe we could start by introducing kids to more of the indigenous myths and stories.” Bringhurst pointed out that aboriginal languages are already being taught in some Canadian universities. His response reminded me that big dreams and visions begin with incremental steps. The focus needn’t be on near-term outcomes, but on doing what must be done to bring about restoration. Okanagan poet Harold Rhenisch commented that Cascadia has long been a place of utopian colonies and dreams. When I taught English at a community college in the lower mainland of B.C., I offered a course on dystopian and utopian literature. Dystopian literature explores recognizable terrains of hellish enclosure. George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, and Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy spring to mind. Yet it is utopian rather than dystopian literature that continues to draw me in: Plato’s The Republic, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, William Morris’ News from Nowhere, and Ursula Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. The inventory stretches on. Despite utopian imaginings and actual experiments, we haven’t had the kingdom of heaven on earth, at least not for any great length of time. When Plato tried to enact historically the ideas expressed in his Republic, Dion of Syracuse, the young man he trained for the job of being the first philosopher king, morphed into a petty tyrant. Plato’s utopia seemed flawed to me because it excluded the poets. The notion of philosophers ruling appealed, but only if they lived up to their names as “friends of wisdom.” More often the adage “power corrupts” seems to apply. One question I’ve pondered for decades is: Why do utopian experiments generally fail? From Brook Farm in nineteenth-century New England, to Coleridge’s dream of Pantocracy, to the Finnish utopian community of Sointula on Malcolm Island off Vancouver Island (founded 1901), these forays into in alternative living generally fall prey to economic crises, clashing egos, power hunger, and cultishness. In a recent documentary on the Greenpeace movement, How to Change the World, written and directed by Jerry Rothwell, what fascinated me was not only the amazing story of how a small group of activists succeeded in …/ www.dialogue2.ca
Susan McCaslin, Ectopias and Big Dreaming, contd.
stopping the whale hunt, but how the various leaders soon fractured into vying factions. Some might say the problems all come down to “human nature,” meaning the propensity of humans to act out of egotism, self-centredness, greed, and the desire for power rather than empathy and a sense of commitment to the public good, not just the public good for humans, but that of other species and the planet. Ecological poets sense these various dimensions can’t be separated. I’m not the only one to feel that the human species is in the middle of a collective crisis where we either transform and reverse our mass destructiveness, or hasten our extinction through our desire for unlimited development. Even though utopias mostly fail, we require the unfettered utopian imagination. Environmental activist and Buddhist teacher Joanna Macy speaks of “a great turning” where humans might join together to put their creative energies, their collective imagination for a better world into action. I don’t know whether we have reached a place where it’s too late to turn things around, but, whatever the case, we have to try. Big dreaming isn’t based on prediction or certainly, but on envisioning alternative realities. The capacity to counter-dream the cultural malaise is innate. William Blake proclaimed, “Imaginary things are real.” What I think he meant is that if you can imagine something, it is a perceptual reality in some dimension of being. We live not knowing outcomes, but with awareness that how we act, and how we choose to be, matters. Etymologically, the word utopia means “nowhere,” not a topos or place. A cynic might counter that utopias are projects based on wishful thinking. Yet another way of looking at “nowhere” is that it is a place that begins within the heart (so is at first invisible) but reaches everywhere. Some think of utopian notions as mere mental constructs, abstract, static, and unrealizable. But what if utopian visions of nowhere are indeed everywhere, forged in the heart and reified in the bloodstream? Perhaps true utopias aren’t plucked from
beyond, out of the sky, or out of our heads, but arise within us through our connection with the earth itself. Perhaps they aren’t idealized places free from conflict but places where creative energy lives within the tensions and paradoxes in order to forge newness. If this is so, then utopia might just be the “no place” that is a “here and now place” within consciousness and …/ within the world. If we walk into the woods, the forests – into what remains of wilderness – we might begin to once again experience the world directly and realize that it is we who have removed ourselves from paradise. From there, the journey home might begin. “Poetry makes nothing happen,” a statement by W.H. Auden often lifted out of context, can be misleading. Poetry consists of words and language at their most vital – lamenting, praising, singing – and has the capacity to change everything. We have the desire and the need to place our creative gifts, our offerings, among the orders of the other creatures and larger eco-systems to which we belong. We all have poetry in our mouths and in our bones. The first cry of an infant is a poetic utterance, an om of being containing all sounds. Our poetic yawps and howls are participations in the poem of the world, a mystery which is constantly emerging out of silence into fuller articulations of being-in-the-world. - Susan McCaslin, Fort Langley BC Susan McCaslin is a Canadian poet who has published thirteen volumes of poetry, including The Disarmed Heart (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2014), and Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011), which was shortlisted for the BC Book Prize and the first-place winner of the Alberta Book Publishing Award (Robert Kroetsch Poetry Award). She has recently published a memoir, Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga (Inanna Publications, 2014). Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia where she initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project as part of a successful campaign to save a local rainforest. This article appeared first on the website of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, May 11, 2015, on their new website section, Perspectives… LINK: http://cascadiapoetryfestival.org/news ♣
The Greatest Gift “The greatest gift I can conceive of having from anyone is to be seen by them, to be understood and touched by them. The greatest gift I can give is to see, hear, understand and to touch another person.” – Virginia Satir (1916-1988) www.dialogue2.ca
Virginia Satir was an American author, social worker, creator of the Virginia Satir Change Process Model; she is regarded as the “Mother of Family Therapy.” Courses based on her model are taught at The Haven, educational centre for transformative learning, Gabriola Island, BC. ♣ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
A performance artist, drawing, wood, stone & music By J. S. Porter, Hamilton, Ontario – www.spiritbookword.net else. Sometimes. Other times drawing is the hand wantA woman—sometimes in ing to be lips, wanting to kiss. A light touch, intimating white, sometimes in red— our fragility, how easily we’re erased. sits down on one side of a rectangular table. She has Radio is more intimate to me than television or cinema J. S. Porter her eyes shut, her head low- because radio speaks directly to my ear. Is the ear not our ered. Slowly she raises her head, opens her eyes and looks most intimate erogenous organ? Theatre seems more directly into the eyes of a stranger who sits across from intimate than film partly because the performing bodies her. This process of reciprocal eye-gazing goes on for a on stage are real and the performing bodies on the screen minute and then another stranger sits down and looks into are photographed and hence images of the real. the woman’s eyes. Wood generally feels more intimate than metal. My Some people cry, some smile. No one seems to leave eldest grandson sometimes eats with bamboo chopsticks without being touched by the experience in some way. and sometimes with a metal spoon. The wooden instruMaybe some see their mother in the life-worn face of the ment seems to enter his mouth more sensuously; it woman, or their sister, or a lost or deceased friend. No seems gentler, more pliant, closer to flesh. one leaves without emotion. The woman’s face draws Wood seems more intimate than stone. Wood has conout the soul of those who look on it. Guilt and fear and nections to the body. It has limbs, rings and a heart; it joy and sorrow play out visibly on their faces. grows; it bleeds. Stone is cold, hard, unyielding. And The woman is Marina Abramović, a Serbian-American yet, for me, stone is more intimate than wood because performance artist. The film is The Artist is Present. I associate it with my father. Stone calms me, reassures The location is the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in me, makes me feel at home. Like my father and his New York City in the spring of 2010. The power of an father, I was born under Belfast’s Black Mountain, and aging woman’s face. The power of intimacy, even if it’s think of my father as stone: smooth, dark, eternal. Few fleeting, even if it’s with a stranger. sights delight me quite as much as a stone – water-washed, sundried, windblown – flecked with the scars of life. There are, of course, degrees of intimacy. A drawing seems more intimate than a painting. The hand seems Some disputes regarding intimacy are almost impossible more clearly visible in a drawing, with fewer to resolve. My wife regards the sound of the reed instruintermediaries. A painting relies on a brush or knife, a ments – the woodwinds – as the most intimate experipalette, a selection of paints. You can see, and feel, the ence in music; my friend Dale votes for the strings. For pressure of the hand in a drawing. A thought or emotion Dale, a hand plucking a string conjures immediate intimoves from the mind to the hand to the page with the macy. For Cheryl, lips blowing into a reed is the ultivelocity of a well-thrown javelin. mate intimacy, a kind of kiss, a re-enactment of the first
Some things say they’re intimate, but they’re not. Paul Gauguin’s Intimate Journals implies intimacy, but the book isn’t intimate, at least not in the writing. The writing is bombastic, defensive, combative, self-justifying, over the top. The writing is his black sun, his venom and bile. The journal’s drawings, on the other hand, are his golden sun, his capacity for reverence. They’re intimate partly because he has four small sketches of his son Emil with different haircuts at different ages. The sketches appear to be drawn from memory. The drawing by a father of a son’s hair seems intimate. A pencil drawing to me is usually more intimate than an ink drawing. Art critic John Berger says that drawing is like making notes, a step on its way to being something 30
dialogue 2015, VOL. 28 28 NO. 4 4 dialogueSUMMER SUMMER 2015, VOL. NO.
act of creation when the Creator blows the world into being by His articulate breath. J. S. Porter - www.spiritbookword.net ♣ SEE ALSO: A REVIEW BY J. S. PORTER OF B.W. POWE’S BOOK, WHERE SEAS AND FABLES MEET, next page… ******************************************************************
“Through mindfulness, we can recognize the miracle of being alive, and that is the greatest of all miracles.” Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Body and Mind Are One ♣ *******************************************************************
B.W. Powe – Where Seas and Fables Meet: Parables, Aphorisms,
(Toronto: Guernica, 2015)
A Review by J.S. Porter Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk from Kentucky, had the ambition of writing A Book of Everything: “I have always wanted to write about everything…a book in which everything can go. A book with a little of everything that creates itself out of everything. That has its own life.” He wrote these words twelve years before his death in Bangkok by accidental electrocution in 1968. With The Asian Journal (posthumous), Merton was finally able to realize his ambition – a book of everything – his last photographs, speeches, prayers, travel notes, reading notes and poems.
Still early in his career, B.W. Powe in Where Seas and Fables Meet has written a book of everything. A book of stories, analysis and theory, Wilde Things, Marginalia and Delphic Ironies. Along the way, he writes an essay on the film director Stanley Kubrick and positions Kafka as the one indispensable seer of our time. The Wilde Things are a kind of homage to Oscar Wilde – jokes, puns, paradoxes and witticisms. Powe at play. (He thinks Wilde should be called Whitman and Whitman Wilde.) The Delphic Ironies tend to be Powe in thought. And the stories, Powe imagining. He blends paradox, technology-probes, story and dream into an exuberant affirmation of human possibility. While you’re reading, keep in mind the closest parallel I can think of – the Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano’s The Book of Embraces which also joins poetry and politics, journalism and storytelling. “A neo-romantic hyper-modernist,” a bricoleur with his bricolage, Powe embraces the world, both the physical and the electric. He’s a magpie picking up life-sustaining seeds wherever he can find them. The stories for me are the most enchanting part of the book. (Powe uses the words fable, parable and story interchangeably.) One story has to do with the mystery of finding a copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Story by the open-pit fireplace of a cottage by a lake. No one claims to have put it there. Another has to do with why Thomas Aquinas abandoned his writing and didn’t complete his Summa Theologica. My favourite stories are: 1. The story of Grace, a young French girl who believes, in spite of her psychiatrist and the asylum in which she finds herself, that “All is well.” (Was the story inspired by Julian of Norwich’s words? “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”) www.dialogue2.ca
2. The story of the boy and the angel, entitled “The Sad Angel.” A boy plays with an angel until he grows up and goes to school and leaves behind childish things. Years later on a vacation in Brazil he sees a sad angel in a cathedral. For a moment it seems that the boy, now a man, might, through a work of art, regain his childhood loss. But the moment passes. He doesn’t recover the source of his first enchantment. (Did Powe have Dennis Lee’s Nicholas Knock and the honkabeest in the back of his mind?) 3. The Story of the Yoga teacher with the posture of a tree, called “The Tree of Paradise.” In this story, a stretching woman in a tree-like balancing position in her backyard, suddenly feels “a warm blow to her right cheek” and falls, breaking her leg. Different theories ensue: The son believes she was hit by a comet; then he modifies his point of view a little by saying she was hit by a light. The husband believes she lost her footing and fell over backwards. The woman believes that she fell from a tree while reaching for a red maple leaf, a symbol of love. Which belief is true? As in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, you can pick the one that is richest for you. The woman goes on to found a Yoga school called Comet Yoga. These three stories demonstrate the power of story – the power to transport, to cast spells, and to enrapture. In a mini-essay on story, called “The Story,” which itself transforms from a lecture on the deadening effects of elaboration and explanation to a parable on story’s power and its capacity to incorporate explanation into new formations of narrative. This short piece brings to mind Susan Sontag’s famous essay, “Against Interpretation,” where the intellect tries to tame art, but art slips through its nooses. Ovid and the Canadian Ovid, Marshall McLuhan, are the guiding spirits of this book. Things change, viewpoints change, the self changes and you must resist the Structure (Powe’s word) that would calcify, shackle or inhibit the free-flow of the imagination. “We are all under sentence of death,” as Walter Pater reminds us in his conclusion to The Renaissance, “but with a sort of indefinite reprieve.” “[W]e have an interval, and then our place knows us no more. Some spend this interval in listlessness, some in high passions, the wisest, at least among 'the children of this world,' in art and song. For our one chance lies in expanding that interval, in getting as many …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
pulsations as possible into the given time.” B. W. Powe, like a child of the world, fills his interval ecstatically in art, song and fable. He delivers multiple pulsations. Where Seas and Fables Meet is his most
personal and intimate book. It’s Powe unbuttoned, freeranging and wild. It’s my personal favourite among his ever-growing contribution to Canadian letters. – J. S. Porter, Toronto ♣
Magical Moon Lake
Hummingbirds ~ Summer Visitors to Moon Lake [From Karl’s 2005 book “Magical Moon Lake”*] Moon Lake is located in the forest of Owen Sound near Toronto. It used to be a waste land. In the past 30 years, Karl Backhaus has planted more than 50,000 trees and dug an artificial lake fed by natural spring water. Many animals found home there. Karl communicates with all the animals, plants and rocks. People call him St. Francis of modern days. He wrote down the stories about communicating with all the creatures, in his book "Magical Moon Lake." The stories published here are for awaking our love and care for all creations. (SEE PHOTOS, p.59)
The Hummingbirds Karl Backhaus, Holland Centre ON I could not but wonder about perfection and beauty when I held this small iridescent-coloured hummingbird, the smallest birds of them all, in my palms. While aiming for the flowers in the vases on the windowsill inside the bird had not seen the glass. It had flown against the window and then crash-landed unconscious on the deck. Quickly I had picked it up and now repeatedly stroked his head gently with one finger while trying to bring it back to life. It took a while until it opened its large, dark coloured smart looking eyes again. I was glad when eventually it fully recovered from its shock, but it still remained with me for a while before it took off at great speed, a speed that creates its unmistakable humming. Imagine the wings are flapping up to 75 times a second much too fast for human eyes to follow. These birds are a true wonder in engineering and are amazing to watch when they just hover or dart away at great speed. Their beautiful artistic nests, described in a bird book, are constructed from cobweb and lichens saddled on a branch. Some of the hummingbirds are very specialized. Their beaks are often designed for pollinating just one particular flower. The specialized hummingbirds could not live without a custom made plant and vice versa the plant 32 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
would not propagate without the custom made hummingbirds pollinating its flowers. My hummingbirds are more versatile for they attend flowerboxes and everything blooming around the house and my garden. They are particularly fond of the red flowers of pole beans that bloom for a long time. At least one pair of the 320 worldwide species of hummingbirds returns here from the Gulf of Mexico or South America every year. That hummingbirds look at humans as their benefactors became quite obvious to me after the following dramatic experience. One morning in June 2004 I noticed a beautiful male hummingbird at the glass of my living room door looking at me. He did not touch the glass but …/ the way the bird behaved showed me that he was in trouble. Quickly I opened the door. The bird sat facing me on the doorsill. This hummingbird was very weak and his long beak was partly surrounded by a web-like substance that was re-enforced by a red-coloured threadlike material he likely had intended to use for building his nest. The bird was unable to open its beak. It then became clear why it was so weak and had searched out my help. With the bird's cooperation, he pulling one way and I gently pulling the other, the tough sticky material came slowly off his beak. Although the bird was obviously relieved, he still did not move. Quickly I went to my kitchen to dissolve a little bit of honey in water on a spoon. After some coaxing by holding the spoon next to his closed beak I was relieved when the bird's very long thin tongue came out to lickup the fluid by retracting his tongue in short intervals. Meanwhile I gently stroked his body when his fluffedup feathers went back to normal. Within a step or two, several squirrels, chipmunks and chickadees were feeding on the deck. They watched what was going on at my doorstep while my patient, the hummingbird, also kept an eye on them to make sure that he was safe. For perhaps 20 minutes this precious bird was in my care. Soon he was ready to take off with a loud humming, like a rocket, to disappear into the air. He returned to my garden all summer long and gave me joy when I saw him tending the many flowers. …/ www.dialogue2.ca
It is like a miracle that these tiniest of birds know where to go for the winter and find their way back to Moon Lake. * This story is from in Chapter 13 of Karl’s book, “Magical Moon Lake” (2005) ISBN 0-9739979-0-7.
The original book 'Magical Moon Lake' can be ordered from Karl Backhaus by Tel: 519 794 3140, $13 plus shipping. SEE PHOTOS ON P.59 - For more beautiful photos of Magical Moon Lake, visit the website: www.prosperityamma.com/magical-moon-lake.html ♣
“You have to learn to recognize your own depth.” How to Find Your Bliss: Joseph Campbell on What It Takes to Have a Fulfilling Life by Maria Popova, www.brainpickings.org, Jun 5,15
In 1985, mythologist and writer Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904–October 30, 1987) sat down with legendary interviewer and idea-monger Bill Moyers for a lengthy conversation at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch in California, which continued the Maria Popova following year at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The resulting 24 hours of raw footage were edited down to six onehour episodes and broadcast on PBS in 1988, shortly after Campbell’s death, in what became one of the most popular series in the history of public television. But Moyers and the team at PBS felt that the unedited conversation, three quarters of which didn’t make it into the television production, was so rich in substance that it merited preservation and public attention. Shortly after the broadcast, the full transcript was published as The Power of Myth (public library) – a dimensional discussion of Campbell’s views on spirituality, psychological archetypes, cultural myths, and the mythology of self. The book is nothing short of secular scripture – a trove of wisdom on the human experience in the canon of such rare masterworks as Thoreau’s journals, Simone Weil’s notebooks, Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, and Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. As Moyers notes in the introduction, Campbell saw as the greatest human transgression “the sin of inadvertence, of not being alert, not quite awake.” This, perhaps, is why the most rewarding part of the conversation deals with the dictum that has come to encapsulate Campbell’s philosophy on life: “Follow your bliss.” Decades before the screaming tyranny of work/life balance reached its modern crescendo, Campbell put a sympathetic ear to the soul’s cry and identified with enormous elegance and precision the root of our existential dissatisfaction. He tells Moyers: “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of www.dialogue2.ca
track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are – if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.” Discerning one’s bliss, Campbell argues, requires what he calls “sacred space” – a space for uninterrupted reflection and unrushed creative work. Far from a mystical idea, this is something that many artists and writers have put into practice by way of their peculiar workspace rituals, as well as something cognitive science has illuminated in exploring the psychology of the perfect daily routine. But Campbell sees past the practical rituals of creativity and into the deeper psychic and spiritual drivers – that profound need for a “bliss station” into which to root ourselves: “[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen. […] “Our life has become so economic and practical in its orientation that, as you get older, the claims of the moment upon you are so great, you hardly know where the hell you are, or what it is you intended. You are always doing something that is required of you. Where is your bliss station? You have to try to find it.” Two centuries after Kierkegaard admonished against the cowardice of the crowd, Campbell argues that we often lose our way on the path to our bliss station …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Maria Popova, How to Find Your Bliss, contd.
As society’s limiting notions of success peer-pressure us into unimaginative, fail-safe pursuits: “It’s characteristic of democracy that majority rule is understood as being effective not only in politics but also in thinking. In thinking, of course, the majority is always wrong. […] “The majority’s function in relation to the spirit is to try to listen and to open up to someone who’s had an experience beyond that of food, shelter, progeny, and wealth.” Opening up to those more meaningful dimensions of bliss, Campbell insists, is simply a matter of letting your life speak: “We are having experiences all the time which may on occasion render some sense of this, a little intuition of where your bliss is. Grab it. No one can tell you what it is going to be. You have to learn to recognize your own depth.” In a sentiment that calls to mind Mark Strand’s beautiful meditation on the poet’s task of bearing witness to the universe, Campbell points to poets as the most attentive of listeners to the language of bliss: “Poets are simply those who have made a profession and a lifestyle of being in touch with their bliss. Most people are concerned with other things. They get themselves involved in economic and political activities, or get drafted into a war that isn’t the one they’re interested in, and it may be difficult to hold to this umbilical under those circumstances. That is a technique each one has to work out for himself somehow. “But most people living in that realm of what might be called occasional concerns have the capacity that is waiting to be awakened to move to this other field. I know it, I have seen it happen in students.” Looking back on how he arrived at this notion of finding one’s bliss, Campbell touches on the crucial difference between religious faith and secular spirituality: “I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: Sat, Chit, Ananda. The word “Sat” means being. “Chit” means consciousness. “Ananda” means bliss or rapture. I thought, “I 34 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being.” I think it worked. […] “The religious people tell us we really won’t experience bliss until we die and go to heaven. But I believe in having as much as you can of this experience while you are still alive. […] “If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” The most uncomfortable but essential part of finding your bliss, Campbell argues, is the element of uncertainty — the willingness to, in the timeless words of Rilke, “live the questions” rather than reaching for the ready-made answers: “The adventure is its own reward — but it’s necessarily dangerous, having both negative and positive possibilities, all of them beyond control. We are following our own way, not our daddy’s or our mother’s way… Life can dry up because you’re not off on your own adventure. […] “There’s something inside you that knows when you’re in the center, that knows when you’re on the beam or off the beam. And if you get off the beam to earn money, you’ve lost your life. And if you stay in the center and don’t get any money, you still have your bliss.” – Maria Popova, www.brainpickings.org This article originally appeared (with more illustrations) at Brain Pickings.org and is republished with the author’s permission. Author, Maria Popova, is a cultural curator and curious mind at large, who also writes for Wired UK, The Atlantic and Design Observer, and is the founder and editor in chief of BrainPickings.org. LINK: www.brainpickings.org/2015/04/09/find-your-bliss-joseph-campbell-power-of-myth/ Licensed under Creative Commons – CC-BY
“The Fifth Columnist”
The Way of the Olive
Michael Neilly, Dunrobin ON I walked into a boutique olive oil store the other day. What caught my eye was the utter zen-like simplicity of the store: rows of stainless steel cannisters about the size of barbeque propane tanks. They were selling olive oil infused with things like chipotle, garlic or blood orange, to name but a few. Store patrons are invited to decant samples, much as they would taste wine. I felt like Jed Clampett, totally out of place. It’s really quite shocking how decadent we’ve all become. You used to buy olive oil in giant steel cans, for instance. Now there’s extra, extra virgin olive (EEVO) in tiny bottles, and doubtless there will be EEEVO some time soon in aerosol sprays. Does anyone remember the 1960s? if you wanted to go out, I recall getting the choice, Chinese or Italian. In our neighbourhood in a Toronto suburb, there were just two restaurants, Piccinini Pizza and Lichee Gardens. We kids all favoured pizza, but I remember siding with our beleagured Mom from time to time just so she would get a break from pizza. Piccinini’s had the obligatory fake lattice work, grapes and candles stuck in Ruffino bottles, with a tiny colour television set high up in the corner. For an adventure and sheer sophistication, I would order the Brio Chinotto, highbrow root beer? The Chinese restaurant next door served very Westernized fare, sweet and sour pork, chicken fried rice, chicken chow mein and egg foo yung. Otherwise, food was pretty much English back then. We had kippers, English sausage and bread soaked in sausage grease, or egg in a hole for breakfast. For lunch we were sent to school with cucumber sandwiches, which we traded sometimes for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A typical dinner was meat and potatoes, but Mom got adventurous and would serve dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon and Turkey à la King, amongst other less likeable dishes such as liver, tongue, etc. One of my happy discoveries was that you could cover disagreeable food with mashed potatoes, and escape the dreaded you’ll eat what’s put in front of you lecture. Mom’s worst dish, which was really the exception, was her infamous Exhibition Dish, stewed tomatoes and onions in milk spread www.dialogue2.ca
over toast. We were always grateful for Shake n’ Bake chicken and Beef Stroganoff was my favorite. For some reason that I could never figure out, a big deal for all of us was the Swanson’s TV dinner. At the relatives, awful variations of something called aspic – jellied salads - were being served. Tomato aspic with celery was terrible. The absolute worst, though, was the lime jello aspic with vegetables, corn, peas, whatever the Green Giant had tinned that day. You would think the way this stuff was presented, it was ambrosia of the gods. I did a search on the internet for aspic, and you can still find recipes for it. One horror story was Uncle Ben’s converted rice, infused with orange juice, touted in commercials by The Brady Bunch actress Anne B. Davis. I think we had that once. A rare treat was when our parents would take us all the way downtown to Steak & Burger, where French dressing was a novelty and made plain head lettuce almost edible. On some hot summer nights, Mom and Dad would cram us all into a tiny Austin-Healey Sprite sports car for a trip to Dairy Queen. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Canada grew up. As new immigrants piled in to the Western world, Indian restaurants appeared and our food began to taste wonderful. While you could still go to Old Ed’s on T.O.’s King St. and get a 1960s meal of beef, mash and peas without a hint of spice, who would eat this stuff when you could dine on Hunan and Szechuan Chinese food? Then came dim sum and sushi, and, well, there was no looking back. In writing this, I was shocked to remember how well fed we all were. We never lacked, even in simpler times when budgets were tight, and we got three square meals a day. Dinner was always served promptly at 6:00 p.m., and that became the standard joke when someone would call at the dinner hour, the whole table would shout, “We eat at 6!” Otherwise, unburdened by iPads, smart phones and so on, the entire family ate together at the dinner table. Those days are gone for sure. I am looking at my designer olive oil. It’ll go great with bruschetta. But it made me think of simpler times. The giant tin of olive oil under the kitchen counter. When cars were simple, budgets were modest and dreams were big. Ahh, those were the days. – Mike Neilly, Dunrobin ON ♣ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
“Ghosts of Past and Future English” Re Francophone language choice for Federal Appointees INTRODUCTION by Kim Lian McConnell, Canadians for Language Fairness: Thank you, Ernest. As one of the original opponents of the Official Languages Act in the 1982 Constitution, this will be circulated as your last word on the subject. I know that you’ve always identified the main villain as Jean Chrétien, NOT P.E. Trudeau! Not many people know that. – Kim, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ernest Semple, Dollard des Ormeaux, QC: This is the last I will reply to any controversy over language of federal appointees.
The subject stinks of fascism that would have been illegal before Pearson and Chrétien’s inspired mess of language and culture legislation in 1969. Pearson had pushed the language problem to his Parliamentary Secretary Jean Chrétien in 1963 when both were newly elected. The Bi and Bi (Bilingualism & Biculturalism) Commission resulted. The Bi and Bi Commission was based on the impossible premise that there were only two cultures in Canada, one French and the other English. Trudeau was handed the already full blown language and cultural proposed legislation package when he became Pearson's intended new Justice Minister in 1968 and was forced to take it from Chrétien when he took Chretien's position as Lester Pearson's Parliamentary Secretary. Trudeau refused the Bi and Bi premise of two cultures as impossible to impose. At the last minute before the inevitable Pearson and Chretien insistence on the OLA closure, Trudeau saved himself from defeat at the polls
by substituting Multiculturalism for Biculturalism. Trudeau would have borne the brunt of the biculturalism falsehood going into any federal election, and nobody else. The rest is history. Under the existing BNA constitution in 1969 it was an illegal move, but who at the time would care? The country had just come through a disastrous Postal Strike in 1968 with André Ouellett somewhere in the background, but Chrétien was Johnny on the spot to defend Francophone rights (no matter how constitutionally illegal?) and push the OLA through. Trudeau's Multiculturalism last-minute solution saved the possibility of disaster resulting from all the maneuvering. Therefore the Multiculturalism legislation birth had to be part of the Official Languages Act package. There was no choice, if they were to save the bacon of all the leading Francophone Rights Conspirators. The 1982 Charter of Rights was signed on Parliament Hill, outdoors, by the Queen and André Ouellett, Jean Chrétien, and Pierre Trudeau. It is questionable if it had any legal or cultural validity in Canada Then, or has any validity in Canada Now. From this point on it should be recognized that any federal appointment not considered in the BNA is strictly at the discretion of the government in power. Period. Ernest Semple, Dollard des Ormeaux, QC ♣
The future of the English language in the world… From Lawrence Ward, Fredericton, NB Sending a copy of an article about the English language (featured in THE WEEK magazine, Jan 16, 2015): “How English took over the world by John McWhorter, The Wall Street Journal”
The future belongs to the English language, said John McWhorter. English is rapidly becoming what the creators of Esperanto had envisioned: a language spoken on every continent, and the primary medium for communication among different nations. Today, almost 2 billion people speak English to some degree, and soon one out of three people on Earth will be able to converse in it. Though China’s population is the largest of any nation, English is far more entrenched in global 36 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
technology and media than Mandarin, which is extremely difficult for non-natives to speak and write. If, a century from now, “the Chinese rule the world, they will likely do so in English.” (quoting McWhorter) In 2115, linguists estimate, only about 600 of the 6,000 languages now spoken around the world will remain. Major languages such as Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, and Russian will continue to be used within nations, but when earthlings deal with the larger world, online or in person, English will be the lingua franca. The passing of so many languages into antiquity is, no doubt, a shame. But “universal comprehension” is a powerful consolation. Received from Lawrence Ward, NB ♣ www.dialogue.ca
LUDDITE! A PLEA FOR PEOPLE’S FORUMS – FACE TO FACE – ON INTERNET ISSUES Exploring the crimes and misdemeanours of our omnipresent screen world Doug Rolling, Port Coquitlam BC I’m proud to say I’m among the few who have delved into Luddite history. They were very real people in dire straits. In the late 1700’s, in English Midlands, they were craft clothing makers put out of business by the new factory system. British tariff laws put the price of bread so high they could not feed their families. Their cries for help fell on deaf ears, so they resorted to sabotage. By the post–Napoleon period, the British government had brutally eradicated them. To add insult to injury, a smug British public made “Luddite” a synonym for “Romantic,” backward, irrational.
**** Those who dare whisper a discouraging word about our omnipresent Screenworld still get called “Luddites,” namely, woolly-minded “romantic” reactionaries who are secretly terrified of technological change. And yet nowadays, no amount of name calling or other forms of denial can repress the increasingly well-founded warnings against our screen obsessions. To adopt a judicial analogy, the counts of the indictment against Screenworld are lengthy and serious. Here is a partial list: The proliferation and entrenchment of bullying in schools and workplaces. Sexual predation of global dimensions and reach. An “epidemic” of childhood obesity linked to the sedentary screen lifestyle. The “death” of privacy – a Russian hacker can now leer at your baby in her crib. Internet security reduced to farce by the hackers du jour. The acceleration of insomnia, eye strain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Google’s attempt to digitize every word ever written (I wish this were a joke), so the next edition of Mark Twain will be under the absolute control of the GooglePlex. Hand held devices behind the wheel – “distracted driving” – now becomes the leading cause of death on B.C. highways. Widespread screen “addiction,” not just to video games but to a variety of gambling, shopping and social medial involvements. A citizenry reduced to a gaggle of budgiebrained amnesiacs –“mindless consumers of data” – with brains that can only detect and ingest “crap”, as popular author Nicholas Carr would have it. Quite a list of charges. Only the latter three will be dealt with here: Distracted driving; addiction; a debilitated citizenry. The first two of these address a potent threat to our daily well being. The third is a threat to the health of our democracies. To make the charges stick, an www.dialogue2.ca
imaginary Crown Prosecutor/ADA’s tasks are formidable. She/he must be sure each charge will stand up in court beyond a reasonable doubt, and she/he must look at the bigger picture. Will jury selection ensure a fair trial? Or will it be biased for or against the accused? On the latter issue, the prosecutor’s prospects are gloomy because the accused, Screenworld, is generally viewed as sweetly innocent, inherently incapable of harm, lead astray by a few “bad apples.” Screenworld acquired this halo, in part, from billions spent on corporate advertising and marketing that spread falsehoods and history re-writes about the way technologies are developed. (See Tim Wu’s book The Master Switch for a true and well supported account of how technologies are developed.) Screenworld also derives considerable support from its doting young parents Brin, Page, Zuckerberg et. al., who portray themselves as anguished humanitarians for whom vast profits are a mere by-product of their self-sacrifice. So, jury selection will be exceptionally tough. Now to the charges. First, distracted driver mayhem. Of the harm caused by hand held devices there can be no doubt. Law enforcement in B.C.’s Lower Mainland has been working valiantly to bust distracted drivers and curb the carnage. But have not drivers always been distracted? By eating? Screaming kids? Bickering passengers? Radio knobs? True enough says University of Utah’s David Sayer, but he concludes, based on exceptionally meticulous research, that our devices, hands-free or not, in vehicles, are uniquely harmful. For, not only do physical manipulations and device attention cause distraction, the continual use of devices puts the brain in a monofocal state of “tunnel vision,” even when the driver’s eyes are on the road. Slam dunk for the prosecution on the charge of causing distraction. The accused can and will be under constant police surveillance. On to the next charge: Causing addiction. This one is iffy. The prosecutor’s job is complicated at the outset by our sloppy use of language. We merrily use “tolerance,” “dependency” and “addiction” interchangeably. They are not the same, as we are cautioned by Dr. Gabor Mate in his book Realm of the Hungry Ghosts. Mate is a doctor of huge experience working with addicts in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown East Side. He urges us to consider all three of the above …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
terms as part of an often complex process by which an individual might proceed to the helplessness of full blown addiction. He also points out that humans can get addicted to just about anything, including other humans. Where, then, might the prosecutor go for solid evidence to make the addiction charge stick? One source would be the research of Professor Susan Moeller at the University of Maryland. She asked students worldwide to go unconnected for 24 hours. They reported “withdrawal” symptoms, and multiple forms of “addiction” distress. They were incapable of seeking information from non-screen sources. But was this all caused by the stress of lifestyle change? Too much coffee? Moeller admits to the need for more research. The prosecutor at this stage would be wise to listen to Dr. Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan in their book iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Human Brain. Small is convinced that screen addiction exists, but he says, get specific. It’s the specific experiences of social media, for example, especially Facebook, that can cause an individual to turn up as problematically dependent and a candidate for addiction. The charge of causing addiction can, therefore, proceed, with the proviso that vague language is an ever-present open door for reasonable doubt. And what of the third charge -- fostering a population of the mentally enfeebled? Nicholas Carr’s arguments are certainly convincing. He bases his charge on both personal experience and the words of long-experienced researchers such as Dr. Small. Carr, moreover, invokes the now popular theory of neuroplasticity, which says, put crudely, that our brains can grow in both power and dimension to a degree previously never thought possible. But when a brain of any age is exposed to mainly one kind of activity, certain “neuropathways” will expand while others will atrophy. Thus, when you have a person who spends up to twelve hours in a sixteen hour day clicking and swooshing, you end up with a person who is an expert multi-tasker with an unbeatable short-term memory. But you could also have a person with near-negligible faceto-face social skills, a weak long-term memory, and a near non-existent capacity to synthesize large bodies of information and ideas over time. Guardians of democracy must surely shudder at this image of a citizen. Carr, most certainly, would be the first to admit he is vulnerable to oceans of reasonable doubt. How do you measure the mental capacities of entire populations? And what about this paradox: How do you even communicate with a population whose brain allegedly goes into hibernation when faced with much more than a 38 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
tweet? Our imaginary prosecutor would be smart to stay this action for now, until evidence emerges that is commensurate with the scope of the charge. The accused’s “legal troubles” will doubtless continue, as will its mischief, thus giving challenges and jitters to citizens, politicians, and policy crafters alike. On internet policy, much good work has been done in recent years, notably The Internet Tree by Marita Moll and L.R. Shade. Unfortunately, however, the internet has become a monstrous growth, often bearing poisonous fruit. It is questionable whether traditional approaches are even capable of bringing peace, order, and good governance to such a lawless realm. There are alternatives. For example, Astra Taylor, in her book The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, suggests eliminating corporate middlemen and bringing artists directly in contact with their clients, thereby reducing rampant pilfering and profiteering. And we can hold people’s forums on internet issues, not Facebook to Facebook, but face to face, with all the messy, unavoidable immediacy entailed therein. Doug Rolling, Port Cocquitlam BC Email: email@example.com
References: Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, W.W. Norton Company, 2010. Susan D. Moeller, Going 24 Hours Without Media: A Global Media Study, International Center for Media and the Public Agenda, University of Maryland, http://withoutmedia.wordpress.com/study-conclusions/dependence Gabor Mate, The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2008 Marita Moll and Leslie Regan Shade, eds., The Internet Tree, Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2011. Gary Small, M.D., Gigi Vorgan, iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind, Harper Paperback, 2009. David L. Strayer, J.M. Cooper, Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Vehicle, University of Utah/ AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, June 2013, http://psych.edu/david strayer publication Astra Taylor, The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, Random House Canada, 2014 Tim Wu, The Master Switch, Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. …/
Doug Rolling is a retired teacher, with certificates from British Columbia and Ontario. He was a volunteer activist with the Council of Canadians for sixteen years, and has an MA from the University of Toronto in History/ Social and Political Thought. Recently he co-authored the history book, Coquitlam Then and Now, and was the coordinator of Coquitlam Heritage Society’s Oral History Project. He lives in Port Coquitlam, B.C. ♣ www.dialogue2.ca
“Your Health Matters”
Derrick Lonsdale, M.D., Strongsville OH
nutrients and thiamin in particular.
Readers of this excellent magazine may well be puzzled by the reason for seeing yet another article on this vitamin – Thiamin. I last addressed the issue in 2006 (Thiamin and High Calorie Malnutrition. Dialogue. FebMarch, Vol 19; 2006). Well, of course science does not stand still and since there is new information on the role of this important vitamin in our health, I decided on a revisit. I began my 2006 article with the account of an intermittent brain disease in a six-year-old boy. This was the first known case of thiamin dependency. The clinical effects of dependency are the same as deficiency, but for genetically determined reasons the patient needs huge doses of the vitamin. His recurrent episodes of brain disease were always initiated by some form of physical stress such as a head injury, an infection or an inoculation, even though the underlying mechanism was biochemical in nature. We now have reason to believe that common minor symptoms, often attributed to other causes, represent the first evidence of inappropriate nutrition; and more serious symptoms appear when we are exposed to some form of stress. It made me realize that much of our present approach to diagnosis is erroneous and it started me on years of clinical and library research, leading me to propose a revision of the medical model
It has been known for a very long time that thiamin deficiency causes the disease known as beriberi, clearly related to the consumption of simple carbohydrates and historically associated with the consumption of white rice. It is also well known that consumption of alcohol and sugar can lead to thiamin and magnesium deficiency in the brain and the appearance of a distinct kind of disease known as Wernicke encephalopathy. Research has been applied to the mechanism of this disease over many years with only partial success. With this background I can now address the new information on thiamin.
(A Proposed Revision of the Medical Model. Dialogue Aug-Sept, Vol 21; 2007). The model describes a concept
derived from a mathematical methodology known as Boolean algebra in which there is a necessity for only three variables, genetics, stress, and energy. These variables are represented as three interlocking circles, each of which plays its part in maintaining health. By using the degree of overlap and the surface area of each circle, its relative influence could be assessed in the causation of any particular disease in any individual case. It must be noted from this that the energy circle is the only one that we really can control by what we eat. The new science of epigenetics has shown that our genes can be influenced by diet and lifestyle, which brings me back to a discussion of the role of non-caloric www.dialogue.ca
The human body consists of something like 70 to 100 trillion cells, each of which is a minute factory that controls life. The energy that enables them to function is synthesized in organelles called mitochondria within each cell. All simple sugars are broken down to glucose that is turned into energy in these organelles. Thus the mitochondrion can be called the engine of the cell. That has been the focus of research on thiamin because of its well accepted role in sugar metabolism. Our diet, however, has to contain fat and protein as well as carbohydrate. In the last decade of the 20th century, an enzyme was discovered that is vital to processing fat metabolism. It has recently been shown to be dependent upon thiamin as its cofactor in the same way that thiamin is vitally important in sugar metabolism. If we are to use fat for the purposes of producing cellular energy, its processing is very complex, taking place as a series of steps each of which requires an enzyme. The enzyme that is dependent upon thiamin is at the head of this cascade of biochemical reactions. Thus, the downstream effects of thiamin deficiency are much more serious and might explain why it has been so difficult to piece together the results of thiamin deficiency when only carbohydrate metabolism is the focus. We now have to recognize that eating fat without thiamin is as dangerous as eating sugar without it and we can expect the effects to be very damaging to the brain. Another recent discovery has added even more complexity to this problem. Readers might remember that there was an item of news about Mad Cow Disease …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
some years ago. It was found to be due to the presence of a substance that came to be known as a prion. Although its exact action is still debated, it has been found quite recently that thiamin actually binds with this prion, although the results of the action are still unknown. It has led to a hypothesis that this binding produces a thiamin/prion complex that removes the vitamin from its normal metabolic action in the cell, thus producing a relative thiamin deficiency. Laura Schmidt, PhD, a UCSF professor in the Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy, is leading a scientific team that has sounded the alarm on sugar as a source of disease (SugarScience.org). This is by no means a new concept. John Yudkin, a Professor of Nutrition at a major London Hospital, wrote a book entitled “Sweet and Dangerous” as long ago as 1973. In my book entitled “A Nutritional Approach to a Revised Model for Medicine,” I have even suggested that the nutritional mayhem that applies to us today may be compared with lead poisoning that was at least partially responsible for the decline of the Roman Empire. As I have said many times before, nutrition is the way that we provide the fuel that enables our cells to function. High calorie malnutrition is extremely dangerous but produces its effects over many years and may well be an explanation for many of the brain diseases that we encounter in later life. Hippocrates, the father of modern
medicine, said “Let medicine be your food and let food be your medicine.” Our biology demands a diet of natural food and our unnatural processed food is based on profit and convenience. The palatable pleasure from sugar is essentially hedonistic and is unquestionably addictive, even though modern medicine refuses to acknowledge this. The only way that we should be taking in sugar is through eating fresh fruit where the fiber modifies the absorption of the sugar. The end of life is death but the last few years do not have to be spent as a mental or physical cripple if we recognize that our health depends on our own self responsibility. After all, the only circle that we can control is nutrition, the fuel that is used to run our brain engines. ~ Derrick Lonsdale, M.D. “Everything is connected to everything else.” Derrick Lonsdale is a retired Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Website: www.prevmed.com/ Blog: http://o2thesparkoflife.blogspot.com/
A Nutritional Approach to a Revised Model for Medicine: Is Modern Medicine Helping You? by Derrick Lonsdale M.D. - “Are We Poisoning Ourselves With the Foods We Eat?” ISBN: 978-1-61897-092-3 For information, visit: http://sbpra.com/DerrickLonsdale ♣
“Stephanie’s Conspiracy Watch” – from S. McDowall, Nanaimo “Everything is a Rich Man's Trick” This documentary is long (3½ hrs.) I will watch it over three or four days. Might be worthwhile. – Steph LINK: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/everything-richman-trick/ INTRODUCTION TO THE FILM FROM THE TOP DOCUMENTARY WEBSITE
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy lingers as one of the most traumatic events of the twentieth century. The open and shut nature of the investigation which ensued left many global citizens unsettled and dissatisfied; and nagging questions concerning the truth behind the events of that fateful day remain to this day. Evidence of this can be found in the endless volumes of conspiracy-based materials which have attempted to unravel and capitalize on the greatest murder mystery in American history. Now, a hugely ambitious documentary titled, Everything is a Rich Man's Trick, adds fuel to those embers of uncertainty, and points to many potential culprits whose possible involvement in the assassination has long been 40 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
obscured by official historical record. Authoritatively written and narrated by Francis Richard Conolly, the film begins its labyrinthine tale during the era of World War I, when the wealthiest and most powerful figures of industry discovered the immense profits to be had from a landscape of ongoing military conflict. The film presents a persuasive and exhaustively researched argument that these towering figures formed a secret society by which they could orchestrate or manipulate war-mongering policies to their advantage, on a global scale, and maintain complete anonymity in their actions from an unsuspecting public. Conolly contends that these sinister puppet masters have functioned and thrived throughout history – from the formation of Nazism to the build-up and aftermath of September 11. The election of President Kennedy in 1960 represented a formidable threat to these shadowy structures of power, including high-profile figures within the Mafia, crooked politicians, and the world's most influential and notorious war profiteers. Thus, a plot was hatched …/ www.dialogue2.ca
which would end Kennedy's reign prior to any chance of re-election, thereby restoring the order and freedoms of these secret societies. At nearly three and a half hours, Everything is a Rich Man's Trick examines a defining event of our times from a perspective not often explored. While it may or
may not win over viewers who remain skeptical of mass-scale conspiracy, it presents its findings in a measured and meticulous manner which demands attention and consideration. LINK: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/everything-rich-mantrick/ (forwarded from Tracy P)♣
We really do not have “freedom of speech.” Stephanie Mc Dowall [firstname.lastname@example.org] Historian Ursula Haverbeck debated, on German public television, the Six Million Jewish Holocaust death toll. Many of the things she said are illegal to say in Germany. She has been arrested. LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
This link about Ursula Haverbeck was forwarded to me & I decided to take the time to watch the complete video (40 mins). I have spent my whole life believing that Nazi Germany exterminated 6 million Jews along with 6 million other ‘undesirables.’ It is almost impossible to believe this might be one huge lie. Why would such a lie, hoax be perpetrated on the world? All because Germany was a huge economic threat to Britain, the U.S. etc.? To justify the death of MILLIONS of Germans? (Information which has been suppressed.) I have finally come to accept that “our” side is capable of great evil. As a people, we tend not to question what our countries are doing to others. We find a way to jail or legally prosecute people who are successfully encouraging people to question. We need only look at what the Allies have done to Iraq, the cradle of civilization, the whole of the Middle East, Africa, Malaysia, Viet Nam, certain Latin American countries, and on and on. Our side has been responsible for the death of millions of people, either by bombing, starvation or great deprivation. Civil wars which the West often encourage and fund result in the deaths of masses of people, often for control of resources or the geographical regions
the West wants. We must not forget the death of millions of Indigenous people in North America either. Few of us question what is going on. Now it is Syria’s turn to be destroyed and next it will be Iran. Then comes China and Russia. Why are we so stupid? Why do we, the people allow such terrible crimes against humanity to be done in our name? We need to throw off the shackles that are controlling us and will destroy us in the end. I am truly grateful I am old. Thank God! – S. McDowall, ♣
Geo-engineering Watch.org So far, most people don’t want to know about geo-engineering. This includes our elected officials. But given the large number of Canadians who are concerned about it, perhaps there has also been a media blackout on this topic. What threats have been used to cause ALL our Parliamentarians to outright deny geoengineering is taking place? Something to do with “national security” no doubt and perhaps charges of “treason” should they discuss this? – S. McDowall, Nanaimo BC LINK: http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/ Geoengineering is the artificial modification of Earth’s climate systems through two primary ideologies, Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). The focus of this website is SRM. There are several video presentations on the subject. ♣
Take Back the Power – of OUR PURCHASING POWER… Inge Hanle, CDSAPI, Vancouver BC The primary reason that technological atrocities like GMOs have been able to be foisted on a gullible, un informed and heretofore compliant public is that the public has not used its most potent ammunition – the power of aiming its purchasing direction. If everyone were to refuse to buy GMO products, these corporations and their aberrant technology would become history – sent to rest in dodoland! I simply don’t buy ANY Processed Foods which is where most of the GMOs find their way to market. If a few hundred thousand customers were to let the processed-food companies know that there are “no sales” www.dialogue2.ca
until they can GUARANTEE to be GMO free, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will begin to adjust their policies. The consumer is not helpless, but the minute that we permit ourselves to think, “They are too big – there is nothing one person can do,” we have rendered ourselves ‘helpless’ in resisting and reversing the dictates of monopoly corporate technologies that are making us very sick and slow-killing us. And when we permit our legislators to pass laws “that protect & defend the indefensible,” (as with the Monsanto Protection Bill) we have abdicated our responsibility and accountability to ourselves, our children and our society. ♣ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
The Poetry of Hugh Ector
Selected Poems from Borne by Water – the 4th of 6 books by Hugh Ector Within these quotes lies a partly playful, partly serious 'index' to my poems within Borne by Water. This excerpt was started with no particular goal in mind, just an indirect recognition of ancient Daoist and other Chinese writing. Finally, it occurred to me that these quotes may offer a rather 'backdoor' entrance to some of my poems within the volume. In addition they left me thinking of the universality of symbols and complex paradoxes used in such expressions. It is said that Nature is the only teacher. All the rest are artifacts.
Though we make much of our art, it may be only the shadow of truth. As a snowflake might be said to be the “perfect crystalline order,” it forms from water vapour, which is gaseous and changeable in location with water's various states. A snowflake crystal might disappear completely in seconds leaving only a flash of truth. That is the nature of order, of truth . . . .yet, we can walk or ski on it. In our movement, we must be observant; in certain conditions we could tread on entirely different geometries with each step.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“He who scatters has much.” – Lao Tzu - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The Sneeze A scattered fluff of down can drown a child just as the strict scripture of surety can, by virtue of reason's overburdened inspiration. Synergy while breathing is the chance she has to expand what is hers. But a child blowing on the span of a Goat's Beard runs the risk of an unexpected sneeze, distributing with unpredictable results, a mêlée, however unwittingly, evoked by debonair lips gone amuck. No matter how reflexive, this action is hers. It is the only way she can evoke the spirit, sending seeds that are not of her keeping — having inherited the stricture of the earth — but are hers in the speed of the evacuation and in the loft of her creation of worlds. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tracking Gliding and movement conform to your absence in this white world. They consume all remorse and selfishness. They are incessant like the wind's whirling, surrendering always to exploration. Later, everything dissipates as if in a vacuum. The coldest air floats your words. I suck the breath you carol from lungs to chant my periodic disappearance, then form the vaporous syllables that I see. It is obsessive, an illusion with snow. It is the desert I can see in a moon's glow at night. Yet, it is an act of enabling. I cough up the reciprocal words and stammer until I know they flutter. Lifting them, condensing them in this empty air is the only substantial act I can perform. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“The supreme art of war is to subdue your enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu - - - - - - - - - - - - - - …/
SUMMER2015, 2015,VOL. VOL.28 28 NO. NO.44 SUMMER
Poetry of Hugh Ector, continued
Stink Bug I don't wish to imply anything derogatory, but I, unmetaphorically, found a stink bug in my study this morning crawling around on William Meredith's Effort at Speech. It slowly crawled twitching its antennae sensuously as it uncranked its obtuse legs in deliberate slothfulness.
Pardon, Mr. Meredith, you have given enough. In my salute I wish your dedication to your craft nothing but success, but the flight of this illiterate creature would not be scorned by such a precision pilot, however burdened by loads of destruction. Unlike you, its Orphic attraction doesn't exist, but its aura properly manifests itself regardless in a dangerous world gone blear. Exuding in war terror strikes on time, pitches just right to fragile wings and soft waves rolling.
Without violence I launched it to fly above the snow from my high porch deck. So it did sail and in smooth dactyls eloquently precise and yet precarious, befitting an adherent so ingenious in its focus on art or carrier flights. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“From wonder into wonder existence opens.” – Lao Tzu - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Balance Balance is crucial when I climb or slide on top of anything. If there is something laughable, it is how often I lose balance.
in time, slowly, before exhaustion, before I consume my traits. There is time to gasp this breath, newly formed, and time to float. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
But then I remain under for a while, near where rocks and dirt talk to me about the legends I have avoided altogether.
“If you do not change direction; you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
When I am on top of my form, almost above what I am up to, I am the most vulnerable. I fall uncomfortably out of context. It is the nature of equilibrium, fickle to the world where I would be held in repetitive cycles of gravity. I sense the surface and rise www.dialogue2.ca www.dialogue2.ca
- Hugh Ector
Hugh Ector was born in New Orleans and spent most of his early years in the tidewater sections of South Carolina. After marriage, he and his young family immigrated to Canada in 1958, where he lived in the rather isolated community of Argenta in the Kootenays, British Columbia. He became an active participant with the Quaker group, who had previously settled there, and he taught in the Argenta Friends’ School. After some years, he returned to the U.S. and worked as a teacher and college administrator. He has now moved back to the Kootenays “to stay.” Hugh holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont and has six published books. ♣
VOL. 2828NO. 4, 4, SUMMER 2015 VOL. NO. SUMMER 2015
“Stirring the Soup”
Back to the Big, Bad City
Marie Gaudet, Edmonton AB I have been fortunate enough, over the past 27 years, to have lived in a small town near Edmonton that should rightly be considered a city in itself but is not. I love it here because it’s smaller, cleaner, more friendly and well, just because this is where I’ve raised all my kids. It took me a while when I first arrived here 27 years ago, to stop shrieking every time I saw a small child playing on my lawn or walking down the street by himself. With time, I was stunned to realize that in my new town, everybody looked out for everybody else’s kids as they would their own. If a child seemed to be far from home, a neighbor was likely to stop him and ask him to point out his home. Even if he was playing right in the middle of the street, drivers were always on the alert and slowed down. I developed a kinship with these people and the town became my natural habitat very quickly, for this and many other reasons. The City of Edmonton and my previous years there effortlessly slipped away and became a distant memory as I immersed myself in my new environment.
I did continue working in the city though and taking part in all its fascinating attractions, the shopping and the activities, but always with the knowledge of returning at the end of the day to the safety of my little community on the fringe of what was by then being called the “murder capital of Canada.” The only time I returned to live in the city was for 6 months while my house was being built – in my home town, of course – and I felt very apprehensive, locking doors and windows at all times and feeling very vulnerable about walking alone after dark. And don’t get me started about those bad-tempered city bus drivers! I was never happier than when my house was finished and I could return home! As the years have gone by, it seems I’ve developed an unintentional and unwelcome dread of the Big, Bad City and – dare I say it -- perhaps a bit of snootiness too about my fortunate circumstances. When a family member moved to Alberta recently for work and asked me to move with her -- to Edmon`ton! – my better-than thou attitude erupted immediately and I resisted with all the force of my not inconsiderable mulishness. Happily, I’m not a fiend with no couth and I am receptive to 44 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
learning about myself. So when I realized how narrowminded and unjust I was being to such a beautiful city, it was a real hit in the solar plexus as I’ve never thought of myself as arrogant or stuck-up. You learn something new every day. Now that the deed is done (notice given to present landlord), I have to deal with the consequences and find a home to my liking in the Big, Bad City. I have to leave behind not only my home but all the accoutrements thereof, including the sense of belonging, the sense of familiarity and safety, all my favorite haunts, daily memories of all the good family moments here, the minutes’ drive to the country and nature, minutes’ drive to my son, equally the indicators of a slightly higher social status… and I have to go to an older part of Edmonton, find a new grocery store, a new bank, a new doctor, a new dentist, new walking paths, new friends (or reconnect with old ones), etc., all while trying not to get murdered! The psychological impact of the move itself is quite disorienting you know, even alarming at times. Honestly, you’d think I was moving across the country, not just a few short kilometers away! I swear, if I didn’t hold a powerful belief that I have a spiritual connection to all people the world over, I think this move might prove to be a real problem for me! The main difficulty to overcome is my own lethargy, I think. When I turned 60 some months back, I thought this was it, I would never have to move again, I could just kick back and enjoy life now, I wouldn’t have to struggle for anything anymore, there would be no more huge upheavals, I should by rights be able to enjoy the fruit of my labors for the remainder of my life… shouldn’t I? This was my actual philosophy. But dang if the universe doesn’t keep just poking me, just as Facebook’s “poke” does… You don’t know what it means but it’ll make you crazy till you figure it out. Meantime, you’re thinking, always thinking about it and eventually you have to make a decision about whether or not you want to poke back… or just shove back and tell it to leave you alone. Being the person that I am, I shouldn’t have been so surprised when I ended up leaning towards launching myself into yet another adventure – but it seems I can still shock myself. I found that I was looking forward to yet another new beginning. After all, I assured myself, 60 is the new 40, right? I’m not dead yet, why act as …/ www.dialogue2.ca
Marie Gaudet, Back to the Big, Bad City, contd.
though I am? Here’s a chance to live around a family again, learn new things, put myself out there and show myself that I can still take risks, continue to evolve, change, grow… and have the wildest fun doing it! As opposed to what I have here. Yes, comfort, familiarity and relaxation. As a matter of fact, I’d managed to arrange for everything that I needed to be at my fingertips (family, dental and medical services, gyms, friends, walking trails, malls, food, drink) so that I barely even had to go into the City anymore – or really, much farther than my own neighborhood. Everything was within a 15-minute drive for me; you can’t beat that, right? Except that I’m not 80 years old. So I’ll do that when I’m 80 years old I’ve decided, because it seems the cosmos still has plans for me. Life likes to throw you all sorts of curve balls, as my new baseball Coach son-inlaw tells me; and I know this keeps you young, active and relevant. My retirement game plan was ready but I couldn’t enforce it because I wasn’t ready! Plus, I’ve started getting some work thrown my way lately and it’s work I enjoy doing. So I’m putting myself back in the game for a while. It’s the least I can do, especially now that I have two kids about to finally give me the grandkids I’ve always wanted. I will need all the energy I can get! So it seems I’ve found yet another new lease on life – they just keep crawling out of the woodwork and won’t let me slow down. Good thing too – just because you’re a grandma doesn’t mean you have to look and act like one – or at least not the kind that I remember. I want to be the wild and wacky, youngat-heart, active and involved modern grandma that is
never too old to learn the new vernacular, yo? I want my grandkids to be my baes and I want to be on fleek with them when we have convo’s, you know? Not just someone following them around all the time and being so thirsty, you know? See that? Yeet, I can do this! I’m already halfway through Adolescence 101, this’ll be fun! Well, until the first big surprise… Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to talk like that because I’m a writer and writers only use proper language… but at the very least, I should be able to learn how to somewhat interpret what my grandkids are saying! That all being said, we can’t blame the kids for inventing their own little private language because we’ve initiated our own lingo before, haven’t we? Remember using acronyms all over the place in a vain attempt to sound cool to our peers? Consider this: “I was trying to get some zzz’s and the power went down at 8:00 am MST and the AC died so I sent an SOS to the techs and told them to get over here ASAP. While waiting, I made myself a PBJ and checked the Q&A on the techie site to see if I could RX the problem myself.” So who are we to talk? Teenage slang is just their way of fitting in too, the way they signal they’re part of a group, like membership in a club. And you can’t fault them for that, everybody needs a membership somewhere. That being said, being an amateur in deciphering teenage slang doesn’t mean I can’t deploy a little of my own patois to counterbalance theirs, though. Mine’s called a vocabulary and trust me, they WILL learn it – in both official languages! Wish me luck! Marie Gaudet, Edmonton
Baby Sign Language: Improves Cognitive and Emotional Development, and Parent/Child Bond Posted in: Natural Parenting, News by Heather Suhr on 02 May, 2015, The Raw Food World News, therawfoodworld.com TRFW News: In the United States’ deaf community,
American Sign Language (ASL) is the primary language of communication that includes a complex and complete language structure with the hands, facial expressions, and body postures. (1) When teaching babies sign language for communication, some of the basics of ASL is used and can benefit the bond between a parent and their child. www.dialogue2.ca
Some research on baby sign language has been found to improve a baby’s cognitive and emotional development at a very early age. (2) This method has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades and experts believe that baby tantrums can be avoided when there is a clearer communication flow between the parent and child. LINK: http://news.therawfoodworld.com/baby-sign-language-improves-cognitive-emotional-developmentparentchild-bond/ ♣
VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
THE GREAT CHRISTENING Randy Vancourt, Toronto ON
Of all the many difficult tasks we faced as new parents, choosing our little boy’s name was certainly among the top three – right up there with “cloth or disposable,” and deciding which Olympic event he will eventually medal in. We knew our son’s name had to be powerful, appropriate and most importantly, not rhyme with anything naughty. We took great care in devising his name, trying to honour both my wife’s Belgian and my French Canadian roots. It took many long, painstaking hours and intense debates to finally arrive at his moniker, but each day when we look into his cherubic little face we feel we made the right choice: Mathis Randall Doran Vancourt. We thought we had solved our dilemma. Until we baptised him. A week in advance of the event, an eagle-eyed friend alerted me to the fact that the church’s website was proudly proclaiming that the upcoming Sunday they were baptising someone named “Mathis Valamart.” Like the immigration officers at Ellis Island, some mitten-wearing church secretary had obviously decided that our surname was far too complex and replaced it with this much simpler, if completely incorrect, spelling. In case anyone thought Valamart sounded suspiciously like Harry Potter’s nemesis, the befuddled typist gamely tried to cover their tracks by following up the name with a question mark (?). When we arrived at church that Sunday, a quick look at the Order of Service provided yet another shock. In print, our son Mathis was now being referred to as “Grayson.” I assume Grayson was the last kid baptised at this church and they simply hadn’t changed the name in the printout. Or perhaps every kid baptised there was given the name Grayson, I really wasn’t sure. My wife and I were still laughing about this when the actual service began. It was full of pageantry and ritual, candles, incense, robes… altogether quite an event. Then came the moment when the minister 46 2015, VOL. 28 28 NO.NO. 4 4 46 dialogue dialogueSUMMER SUMMER 2015, VOL.
turned to us and said, “What is this baby to be known as?” Now hopefully there are other parents out there who can relate to what I did next, as I would really hate to be the only member of this particular club. I said the wrong name. Yes, you read that correctly. Proud papa actually announced to the entire church (and I assume the Almighty) that he didn’t know his son’s real name. Blame it on my excitement at the event, butterflies, or perhaps the large amounts of sacramental wine we had polished off the night before, but instead of “Mathis” I blurted out “Matthew.” Certainly in the same ballpark, but not exactly the designated hitter. My wife shot me that look that says, “Did you drink too much sacramental wine last night?” The minister smiled, because at least he had written down the correct name. In spite of three brazen attempts to derail this baptism, our son was properly christened as intended. I breathed easy, secure in the belief that no one had really noticed my gaffe. Monday morning I began receiving messages from people all across the country who had heard the story of my little blunder. Turns out an old friend of mine who hosts a popular morning radio show had found my error hilarious and regaled his entire audience with it. My hope that this would all fade away quietly was not to be; the saga of Matthew Grayson Valamart lives on. Although on the positive side we now have a wonderful anecdote to tell every year at our son’s birthday party. Plus when he is old enough he may learn to appreciate the value of a having a pseudonym; you know, for talking to telemarketers, traffic cops or women he meets at the Olympics... Randy Vancourt www.randyvancourt.com
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi ♣ www.dialogue2.ca www.dialogue2.ca
Tales from My Travels ~ Don Parker
The story of my travels around the world on the working cargo ship, MV Rickmers Jakarta By Don Parker, Georgetown ON
The Adventure continues! In November 2005, at the young age of 77, I embarked on the trip of a lifetime, lasting in all about six months ~ as a passenger on the working freighter, MV Rickmers Jakarta, under Captain Henryk Nowicki, with a crew of 23 and four fellow travellers. What follows is my account of my trip, chapter by chapter (as I continue to compile my notes and photos from the travels). I hope you enjoy the trip! [First chapter in Vol. 28, No.1-Autumn 2014, p.43]. CONTINUED FROM THE LAST ISSUE
CHAPTER FIVE NOV. 23, 2005: My 77th birthday (I have since learned that the honour for oldest passenger goes to an 86 yearold.) At 06:00 on the 24th, the Jakarta departed Houston and headed out into the Gulf of Mexico, on its way around the tip of Florida. The next day was very pleasant with a partly cloudy, sunny day with light breezes. I spent the day wandering around the ship in an attempt to get my bearings, so to speak, and to eventually end up on the foc’sle where the air is clean – no smell of bunker fumes or soot – and where it is much quieter. This proved to be a bit of a disappointment compared to the other three ships I have sailed on. For one thing, it was difﬁcult to ﬁnd a place out of the wind, which was a bit chilly, where I could sit down, be comfortable, and read. In addition, the bow is shaped in such a way as to make it difﬁcult to lean over the railing and watch the bulbous nose as it slips through the water. However, the foc’sle is the best place on the ship when the weather permits the long trek up to it. (The ‘trek’ is the equivalent to walking my country lane at home – approximately 1,000 feet.) For the ﬁrst few days, the work deck had either piles of posts, lumber, or chains at different spots which had to be climbed over on the way to the foc’sle. This was all cleared away by the deck hands later on. [Photo: Timbers and chains now neatly stashed on the work deck.] One day, I saw a porpoise cross our bow very close to the ship but I wasn’t able to get a photo. When I tired of sitting and reading, I returned to www.dialogue2.ca
my cabin, re-charged all of my camera batteries, and discovered that I had overlooked replacing the Lithium CR2025 battery in my Canon digital camcorder. That will have to wait until we get to Camden, New Jersey, as we will not be docking in New Orleans. One day, I asked Captain Nowicki if he had any information about the “JAKARTA” that he could share with me. In response, Captain N. gave me a ﬂoppy disc with the ship’s ‘particulars’ on it which I will now try to share with you, given my limitations in marine terminology. The formal Sunday-go-to-meeting name of the vessel is “Rickmers Jakarta.” She was built in 2003 in China, with an Overall Length (OAL) of 192.9 metres, and an Overall Width (OAW) of 27.8 metres, just wide/narrow enough to let her slip through the Panama Canal with a bit to spare. Including all ofﬁcers and crewmen, the ship has a crew of 23. Passengers are served in the Ofﬁcers’ Mess. There are two large round tables, each with a lazysusan in the middle, seating six to a table. The seating arrangement provides for the three Polish ofﬁcers – the Captain, Chief Engineer and Chief Deck Ofﬁcer (usually referred to as the First Mate) – to sit at one table and the passengers to sit at the second table. The other two deck ofﬁcers eat with the crew; these men are Filipino and may prefer to sit with their countrymen. English is the working language on the ship; however, Polish is used by the Polish ofﬁcers, and Tagalog by the Filipinos. All in all, the language arrangements work out very well, with the …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Don Parker, Jakarta Jollies, Chapter 5, contd.
result we are sailing on a very efﬁciently run ship. Safety is of extreme importance on the “Jakarta”. On Saturday, Nov. 26, Third Mate Ferdinand took Cam and I in tow and gave us a tour of the ship from a safety point of view. He also gave us a questionnaire which, when completed, each of us had to sign to the effect that we understood and now knew all the items raised, e.g.: Who is the Safety Ofﬁcer? Where is the Muster Point? What is the signal used to indicate an emergency on board? Etc. Should an ABANDON SHIP signal be sounded, we are all to drop whatever we are doing at the time, put on warm clothing, life jacket, and safety helmet, and assemble immediately on “A” Deck, at the Muster Point which is located on the stern, Port Side. Each crewman and passenger has a numbered designated spot where he is to stand while the 1st Ofﬁcer checks from a list that all are present and/or accounted for. When this task is complete, we then climb up to “C” Deck where we are to begin boarding the FREE FALL LIFEBOAT. Once again, everyone has a designated spot; mine is Seat #2, right down in the centre of the bow! I take umbrage with my seating arrangement! At 17:00, we went through a practice exercise of the entire ABANDON SHIP drill. Since my seat number is #2, I was the ﬁrst to enter the lifeboat. When the lifeboat door was opened and I took the initial step to get in, the ﬁrst things I experienced were the heat inside and the lack of sufﬁcient light – at ﬁrst – to let me see where I should put my feet, as I started down the 45-degree slope to the bow, and where I could put my hands to keep myself steady as I went. In my view, young, wiry crewmen should be assigned these forward seats, not arthritic, and somewhat elderly passengers. However, mine is not to reason why, just get down there, ﬁnd my seat, get turned around, get down in it, strap my safety belts on, and ... well ... relax ... and be FLEXIBLE!! [The MV ISA, on one of my earlier voyages, was equipped with the same device, but passengers were assigned seats more aft and easier to get into. Enough! Let’s just sail on and hope that we won’t 48 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
have to use the contraption!] One oversight that, if it had not occurred, would have made things a lot easier for me. I did not need my safety jacket or safety helmet in the lifeboat. Without them, getting down in my seat with my legs and feet above my head, and getting my safety harness done up, would have been easier to do. As part of each crewman’s training in his quest to become a professional seaman, he must go through an actual launching of the FREE FALL LIFEBOAT. [See photo] One last note before leaving this safety drill segment: As we assembled to board the lifeboat, the sun was setting. I did not have my camera with me, but I thought afterwards that the symbolism would have been great: a shot of us all assembling to board the lifeboat against the background of the sun sinking ever deeper into the western horizon! I can joke about under these circumstances, but I wouldn’t be chuckling if it was for real. The North Atlantic is a cold body of water, with or without the Gulf Stream. Back to the geography of things: last night, the 25th, we rounded the tip of Florida, and now at 10:00 hours of the 26th, we are about 20 miles off Miami hoping to soon catch up to the Gulf Stream which will give us warmer weather and a “following” sea [i.e. the waves/current of the body of water are heading in the same direction as the boat]. The next day, Sunday, the 27th, is very overcast and windier. At 09:00, we are roughly opposite Williamsburg, North Carolina, Lat. 33.26 degrees N. We are in the Gulf Stream and, although the ship’s normal cruising speed is 18.5 nms (nautical miles), we are pressing along at 22.4 nms because of the following sea. I went forward again but it was too windy and a bit chilly so I returned to my cabin to work on a multi-address e-mail and on my JJ journal. I have been having problems saving documents because I was following a wrong line of procedure. My work this time on JJ solved all of that. I also solved the mystery of saving and retrieving using an RW CD. Format the blamed thing ﬁrst! This may sound very trivial to most of you, but it has proven to be an important milestone for me. I am much more productive on my laptop now. I also learned that my laptop has been running on its own …/ www.dialogue2.ca
Don Parker, Jakarta Jollies, Chapter 5, contd.
battery, not from the ship’s power source as I had thought. Reason: I bought a reducer from Radio Shack that was too small for my needs. Raphael, the ship’s electrician, came to my rescue and has ﬁtted me up with one of the ship’s stepdown transformer units. All is well now; laptop battery is recharged and I am able to tippytappy along without risk of losing everything from the hard disc. One day, I received an e-mail from my niece, Liz, in which she asked me, “Where are you now, Uncle Don?” Thinking on Liz’s question resulted in the following. WHERE ARE YOU? “Where are you?” you ask of me, And I reply, “I’m out to sea! To see the world, to see its sights, To see the dazzling Northern Lights, As heel-and-toe they make their way T’wards the dawn of a new-born day.” And as the sun begins to rise, It draws a shroud from eastern skies, So you can see down here below, This freighter ship caught in the glow Of dawning’s rays, serene, cerise, Spreading across the gentle seas That carry this ship along its way Into the heart of another day. We docked in Camden, New Jersey at around 08:00 on Monday, Nov. 28. Immigration is a state matter in the U. S. so we had to wait to be cleared by immigration before we could go ashore. Jean Paul (JP) took off on his own so Stephan (S), Cam (C), and I took a cab across the Delaware River to downtown Philadelphia to see a great deal of American history plus more security of a much more serious and stringent nature than we experienced at NASA. Guards were everywhere. During the security check, we were even required to remove our belts! Absolutely no taking of photos or video shots on the dock. We had to check both out and in at a security check point. A guard checked our camera bags in a perfunctory fashion. Any one, or all of us, could have been carrying enough modern explosive in plasticine form to blow the place to smithereens. As for photos, there are cameras so small and accurate that every square inch of the dock area could have been covered. I learned later that one reason for all of this hyper security may be because the Camden Naval Base is nearby and it is apparently manned by armed snipers prepared to shoot to kill. How many times has it been proven that if someone is www.dialogue2.ca
intent on getting in, for whatever reason, they will get in, especially when the signs reads, “KEEP OUT”? Would it not be better to adopt a truly sincere attitude and atmosphere that changes the sign to: “PLEASE COME IN”? S, C, and I took a taxi over to Philadelphia. Our ﬁrst stop was in the downtown section adjacent to Market Street and 5th Street where the Jefferson Centre is located. We went to the Visitors’ Centre (VC) to get complimentary tickets for a tour of the buildings. The tickets were necessary to gain entry to the security check point ﬁrst. I stuck with the tour for a while but gave up on it to go outside to see what else might be of interest. I ended up going back to the VC where I bought more DVDs. This time I checked the length of each. After the tour was over, the three of us went our separate ways. I went to a shopping mall, with limited success in ﬁnding the things I needed. I ﬁnally gave up on the shopping bit and took a bus to see what I could see. Transportation in Philadelphia is more than twice as expense as it is in Houston. $2.00 gets you on the bus, but a transfer costs another 60 cents. No all-day passes for $1.00 as it was in Houston! When I got off the bus, I decided to walk a bit and ended up in a square of some sort that had a giant statue of a clothes pin, quite remarkable. We had agreed to meet up again at the VC at 16:30. I got there early and met a couple from Illinois with whom I chatted for a while. When S & C came along, the three of us departed for the VC area in search of a place for a spot of ﬁne dining. We found it in the form of “CITY TAVERN,” a period restaurant with the waiters garbed in period clothes and hairdos. The cuisine was excellent. We all ordered medium rare roast beef. I expected relatively thin slices of beef, not the thick slab that was served. After our meal, we went back to the ship. The next day, the 29th, S, C, and I went back to Philadelphia and went our separate ways and agreed once again to meet at the VC at 16:30. I went to an ecafé to check on e-mail which might be waiting for me. There was an e-birthday card from niece Leslie, but I wasn’t able to open it. From the e-café, I walked up Chestnut Street and popped into various stores in the hopes of ﬁnding the things I needed; once again, with limited success. Took a bus to ‘near’ a Whole Earth Store (WES) and loaded up on more organics. Don Parker, Georgetown ON [To be continued with JJ Chapter 6 in the next issue] ♣
VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
THE GOOD WEEDS
“The Vagabond Writer”
By Wayne Allen Russell, Clearwater BC
I hope the readers enjoy these stories; they will bring laughter and a few tears to you. Taken from truth, but the “Family Weed” is fictitious. Please enjoy my stories.
The family: Archibald (‘Pop’) & Mary Elizabeth/Loretta (‘Mom’) George (‘Donkey’), August 17, 1930 Ben (‘Shooter’), April 2, 1932 Bob (‘Stretch’), October 10, 1934 Adam (‘Flyer’), July 30, 1936 Tom (‘Weasel’), June 4, 1941 Marian (cousin), August 21, 1925 Sam (cousin), December 26, 1931 Bobby (cousin), May 3, 1935 Ray (my buddy) Joe (Ray’s brother)
OUR MOM Mother was born Mary Elizabeth Cook. My Grandmother married five times and, except the last one, outlived all her husbands. My original Grandpa was John Cook, but unfortunately I never met him. My Mom had two sisters and six brothers. It may be hard to believe, but my Gram Cook was like a gypsy, she just took off, leaving Gramp Cook with the younger children. As hard as he tried, he could not look after them and work too. Therefore, Mom was adopted, and Aunt Lettie went to work on a farm for her keep. The others were old enough to work and keep themselves. At the age of nine, Mom was adopted and lived with a very wealthy farm family called La-Coute. They adopted her and changed her name to Loretta La-Coute, raising her until she was seventeen years old. Mom claimed this farm life taught her how to work hard. From day one she did the washing for the family, 50 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
and pretty well raised her younger sister. The La-Coute boys worked in the fields; Mrs. La-Coute did all the cooking, and Mom, with the help of Pop La-Coute, did all the barn chores. At four in the morning, she would feed the pigs and chickens, and clean their pens. This was the only dung shovelling she had to do because the horses and cows were usually in the fields, even during the winter. Mom would then climb to the top of the silos and shovel silage down for the cattle; she then climbed the ladder into the hayloft and pitched hay down to the horses. She carried the silage in a bushel basket to the feeding mangers for each cow, then riding her bike she would bring the cows down the road from the far pasture. While they were eating, she and Pop La-Coute would milk the fifteen cows and pack the milk to the house. At the house, she had the chore of hand separating 25-30 pails of milk, churning the cream into butter, then cleaning all the parts of the milk separator and the butter churn. She then washed, changed clothes, and went to school for however much time of school was left each day. She never got in a full day of school. The La-Coutes always had two big Clydesdale horses that they raised and trained as a team. When trained, the horses were sold and shipped to England. Six smaller workhorses were used for fieldwork. After Mom got home from school and changed into her work clothing, she fed all the animals again and gathered the eggs. She rode her bike to the fields and drove the cows to the barn again. With Pop La-Coute’s help, she milked them by hand again, and then did the separating and churning. The cream was sold to a dairy. Of course, somewhere in here she managed to feed the other animals their evening meals. After this job – and I wonder where the time came from – she helped clean the house and look after her little sister. When it was washday, Mom had to do this in the morning after her chores; she would be very late for school on those days. The teacher loved her, so if Mom missed an exam, she saved the test and let her do it at recess or noontime. …/ www.dialogue2.ca
Mom says she was lucky, as on this farm they had a gas operated Delco plant that generated electricity, and an electric washing machine that saved her from hand washing and wringing all the clothes. They also had a gas well that produced just enough gas for the house. After the evening chores, because they had no radio, the only entertainment was a piano played by Mrs. LaCoute. Mom tried to learn piano, but simply had no time for this. Mom never had to cook, but when they had guests she was a server. The guests were usually doctors and such, from the city. Mom was so tiny; the guests would sometimes suggest to Mrs. La-Coute that she might be younger than they had been told. They talked in front of her as though she wasn’t even there. She was taught to be seen, but not heard. On Sundays, after her chores were done, Mom rode her bike to Church. It was the one time she had to herself. She had nice Sunday clothes, and loved this day. The storekeeper’s son liked Mom and asked her for a date, but Mrs. La-Coute said he was too good for her!???!!! NO EASY LIFE One day, while doing her chores, Mom was coming down the ladder from the hay loft, and like most kids, jumped to the ground from a few steps up. Landing on a
stone, she twisted her ankle, and for over a week, because her foot was so swollen she had to wear a rubber boot. Finally, she was taken to the doctor. Upon examining the black and blue injury, he got angry, telling Mrs. La-Coute to keep the child off the foot until it was better. Mom had cracked a bone. The doctor bandaged it up, but nothing changed at home. Like Mom said, “Someone had to do the work.” When Mom was seventeen years old, the older LaCoutes decided to retire and move to the city. They packed Mom up, bag and baggage as the saying went, and delivered her to her brother, my Uncle John. Mom has heard from her adoptive family maybe three or four times since then. Now at age 96, she sits across the room from me, reading. When I interrupt her for this information, she sighs and says, “Oh Adam! They were so good to me, I always had food and clothes. They even bought me a bicycle.” I believe God knows what he’s doing. It was because Mom was brought home to her brother that she met my Dad. She was seventeen when they met and eighteen when they married. And so our Weed family began. -- Wayne Russell, The Vagabond Writer TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT ISSUE ♣
An Appealing Story
Dorothy Hannah, Lacolle QC In our family, when I was growing up, I always remember having dessert after our dinner and supper meals. These days everyone seems to be dieting, so dessert is becoming a thing of the past. A shame I think.
I also remember that when we were going to get pie or perhaps cake, we were told to “Keep your fork,” when the dinner plates were being cleared away. I was reminded of those happy mealtimes one day when I read the following story: A young woman had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. As she was getting her things ‘in order,’ she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes for her funeral. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what www.dialogue2.ca
scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. “There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly. “What’s that?” came the Pastor’s reply. “This is very important,” the young woman continued, “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say. “That surprises you, doesn’t it?” The young woman asked. “Well, to be honest, I am puzzled by the request”, said the Pastor. The young woman explained, “My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork.” It was my favourite part of the meal because I knew that something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep dish apple pie. Something wonderful and with substance! So I just want
people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and want them to wonder, ‘What’s with the fork?’ Then I want you to tell them, ‘Keep your fork, the best is yet to come!’ ♣ [Gives new meaning to the phrase “Pie in the Sky!”]
- Fran Masseau Tyler, email@example.com
Impossible Easy Cheeseburger Pie This month I am giving you an easy supper dish. I made it on the 24th of May. So easy! Impossible Easy Cheeseburger Pie Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients 1 lb lean ground beef 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup) 1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup original Bisquick mix 1 cup milk 2 eggs
A Summer Desert… I shared this recipe in the Dialogue sometime in the1990s. It is one of my favourite recipes. It comes via my granddaughter Justine: her great-grandmother gave it to me in the 70s. You could probably substitute another fruit for the rhubarb, but I have never tried. I like the old recipes - and have some from my grandmother Granger from 1926. She lived on a farm in Franklin, Vermont, and I was told she was a great cook. If people showed up at the door – no telephones in those days – my Aunt Frances said she would whip up something in no time. I guess some of it rubbed off on me. I love cooking, especially when I had a kitchen woodstove range. Oh the memories! Rhubarb Pudding FIRST STEP: Preheat oven to 350F. In the bottom of a 9x13-inch or 12x12-inch baking dish (3 inches deep) spread 2 pounds of rhubarb (3-1/2 cups) diced.
Directions 1. Heat oven to 400F 2. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray 3. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is brown. Drain; stir in salt and spread in the pie plate. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. 4. In a small bowl, stir together, using a fork or wire wisk: the Bisquick mix, milk and eggs. Pour over top of meat-onions in the pie plate. 5. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. 6. Serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables (or salad!) SECOND STEP: Make a batter of the following and pour over the rhubarb. 1-1/2 cups flour 2 tablespoons baking powder 6 Tbsp butter 1 cup all bran 1-1/2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons salt (optional) 1 cup milk THIRD STEP: Mix together and spread the following mixture over the batter: 1-1/2 cups sugar 6 tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons salt (optional) FOURTH STEP: Take 1-1/2 cups boiling water, sprinkle over top of mixture with a spoon, so it doesn’t disturb it too much; place in middle of preheated oven, BAKE at 350F for l hour. ♣
Food for thought… Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse… Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3:00 pm I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too... A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride; we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow…
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
• Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. • Happiness never decreases by being shared. • I am glad I have you to share these with.
“The Continuing Tales of Granddad and Malachi”
More Tales of Granddad and Malachi… Paul Bowles, Fruitvale BC
Hey, do you want to go for a walk when we are done here?” “O.K.” he replied, so in a little while we “Come on Malachi,” said granddad, “Let’s go wash the changed direction mentally and physically and headed car together. I’ll take the rag and you can take the waout into the neighbourhood of Fruitvale. tering can to sprinkle the rag with water.” “O.K,” says Malachi, and out we go into the sun and freedom to play. It was a fine spring day, swallows were swooping and Little did I realise it would turn into a philosophy lesson. diving, the scent of lilacs swept over us, I Before we sprang into action, I put my car breathed it in but Malachi was more taken keys onto the fender which attracted Malwith the set of swings in someone’s yard achi immediately. He noticed on the key which he was prepared to take advantage ring a little figure. “What’s that grandof right away. “Wait,” I said, “You can’t dad,” he said. I replied, “That’s a shark’s do that, we should not go into someone’s tooth.” He took a long look at it and reyard unless we are invited in, and we marked, “It’s got a face on it.” “Yes,” I don’t know these people. Taking my said, “It is a little man, he is called The word for it we moved on, but it happened Buddha.” “What does he do?” asked again, just down the road, at the next set Malachi, Stumped for a while I was siof swings. Explanations don’t seem to lent, looking at a four year old enquirer sink in but I had to say something or leave into the mysteries. him in limbo. “Malachi,” I said, “Everyone can use the PARK swings; the park is Suddenly inspired, I replied, “He sits quifor the PUBLIC. We are the public, eveetly.” I heard my wife laugh from a disryone is the public; but people’s houses tance having overheard this, knowing that A photo of Malachi taken by with swings in the yard are PRIVATE, this was to Malachi a feat of unimaginahis mum. which means only the kids who live in the ble torment. Malachi looked stunned, so house with the swings can play on them. Forget the I added, “He sits quietly under a tree,” and thought to swings, let’s go to the library, the library is public, evemyself, “That’s far enough, but he asked, “Why, granddad,” and once more I entered a state of silent searching. ryone can go there and find a Franklin D.V.D. or read a book, or take a book away to read, and bring it back “Sprinkle some water on my rag and I will tell you why later.” He said, “Can we see the singing lady?” “I don’t the Buddha sits quietly,” I said, ..... “He is waiting.” know if she will be there,” I replied, “but maybe.” “Why granddad?” Malachi asked. Paul Bowles, Fruitvale, B.C. I replied, “He is waiting to learn something.” [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] ♣ **************************************************************
“Observations from Lithuania”
Ken Slade, Vilnius
A Sense of Nonsense – Part III by KR Slade
[editor’s note: this is a continuation of A Sense of Nonsense, which began in the Summer 2014 issue of ‘Dialogue;’ Part II was published in the Spring 2015 issue of ‘Dialogue.’]
2015 late-January; Vilnius, Lithuania. It was a midwinter, as-always sunless and dreary, ranging from damp to wet, particular but nothing-special day, at the close of the workday: when it seemed like a good idea to stop for one beer at that Vilnius pub that is popular with university students and young professionals (none of whom www.dialogue2.ca
remember Soviet times) . . . where is still the idealism of youth; and before coming wiser, albeit sadder ... a place filled with smiling and laughing . . . and some of we older-academics (some of whom are, or should be, or should have-been, retired). Here, you see someone you know, and they see someone they know; that doubles again; and, add a few more. Soon, we are eight to ten people who soon come to one mind: one thing is certain -- that a one beer is going to be more than one. The size of our group means that we will move to a larger table, in the rear of this basement vaulted-cellar cave. Here, one of our student friends, …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Ken Slade, A Sense of Nonsense, Part III, contd.
who has no money, but a large pocket, will contribute by passing-around an unlabeled bottle filled from his village, with ‘samagonas’ (i.e., Russian: ‘moonshine’), also known as ‚pilstukas‘ (i.e., Lithuanian: ‘home-made alcohol’). We will speak English -- because English is our only common language. Everyone, except me, is fluent in three or four languages; I am fluent in only two languages, and no one else here can speak any French; but, I have the advantage, because everyone is interested in French, and my only-two languages are the only two international languages here. We are in Eastern Europe. Note: Almost half of the 1,000 most-frequently occurring words in modern written-English have come from French or Latin, mostly in the period from 1066 to 1500. Moreover, the vast majority of these words have their roots preserved in Eastern-European vocabularies.
One participant, #OOMF (i.e., one of my friends), bemoans his attempt -- which failed -- at his English anecdote. The failure was not because of his English, but because his American and Canadian listeners did not understand the geography of Europe, especially Eastern Europe, and notably of Ukraine, especially that part of Ukraine that ‘was’ (!) Crimea. [Hint: Yalta is a resort city on the Crimean peninsula, on the Black Sea.] “What did President Putin say, after Russia occupied Crimea, and the G-8 expelled Russia (to make a G-7), and cancelled the G-8 meeting scheduled for Sochi ?” “Well, I can understand that you must take some action to show to your own peoples that you are doing something. Personally, I am rather busy anyway these days, and have no time for a ‘G8’. But, it is unfortunate that the ‘Gwhatever’ will not be coming to Sochi. However, it just so happens that Russia can offer your ‘G-whatever’ a very good opportunity for another location -- a location that was well-appreciated by both President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. Russia, now, can offer your ‘G-whatever’ some excellent conference and hotel accommodations -- in Yalta.” (no ‘G-whatever’ response) “I could throw-in a ‘free seminar’ ... which I could personally present ... ‘how to raise your leadership popularity to 85%’ ... or, for you Western leaders, ‘how to raise your popularity above 49%.” 54 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
(no ‘G-whatever’ response) Another of our participants offered a further observation about the lack of understanding by ‘Westerners’ of Eastern Europe, and especially Russia, and also the former USSR. “There is constant confusion from the Western media about Russia and the former USSR; Russia is the name of a country; the USSR was the name of a union of countries, which union included Russia. Also, many leaders of the USSR were not ethnic-Russian. Leonid Brezhnev (the Soviet ruler from 1964 to 1982) was born in Ukraine, as was Nikita Khrushchev. Joseph Stalin was not ethnic-Russian; Stalin was from Georgia; Stalin’s birth name was ‘Besarionis Dzejugashvili’ -- obviously not a Russian name; Stalin spoke Russian with such a heavy Georgian accent that native-Russian-speakers had difficulty understanding what he was saying.” And so, it came-to-pass that we ordered another round of beers. And, one of our group, a noveau riche IT professional, decided to ‘spring’ for a round of vodka. Three weeks earlier, I had my 10th anniversary of being in Lithuania; I know what it means when the vodka begins; at a next toilet-trip, I squirreled a tenner of money in my sock at my ankle -- to be able to pay for a taxi home. And so, it came-to-pass that we all came to realize that, this night, we were going to reach the height of fantasies -- far beyond anything that might be worth taking seriously, and certainly no one else should take any of us, or our conversations, seriously. And so, it came-to-pass that the discussion came to focus on the recent news from Lithuania, the news that has been reported worldwide: In January 2014, the Ministry of Defence of Lithuania published the manual, “How to Act in Extreme Situations or Instances of War”, which is 98 pages long, and which is intended to prepare Lithuanians for the possibility of invasion and occupation. The manual says: “Keep a sound mind, don’t panic, and don’t lose clear thinking” ... “Gunshots just outside your window are not the end of the world” ... passive resistance should, at the very least, involve "doing your job worse than usual." Someone remarked, “I know many people, especially government workers or those who have their jobs because of their family/friends, who have been doing …/ www.dialogue2.ca
Ken Slade, A Sense of Nonsense, Part III, contd.
their job ‘worse than usual’ for so-long that the ‘worsethan-usual’ has become their ‘usual’; so, it will not be possible for them to do ‘more worse’ than what has been their ‘usual’ for so long.” And so, it came-to-pass that we ordered another round of beers. And vodka. Someone remarked, “Vilnius changed-hands, was occupied 12 times in 20th century.” Some else contributed, “Vilnius is 34 kilometres (i.e., 21 miles) from the border with Belarus.” Another remarked, “Lithuania has been attacked by the Vikings, Dutch, Livonians, Germans, Swedes, Russians, Prussians, French, Russians (again), Nazis; Russian White Army, Russian Red Army), and the Soviets.” And so, it came-to-pass that we ordered another round of beers. And vodka. Of course, we all understand that “the possibility of invasion and occupation” refers to Russia. And so, it came-to-pass that we ordered another round of beers. And vodka. And so, it came-to-pass that one of our ethnic-Russian Lithuanian chaps offered some insight: “Some peoples like dogs. Some peoples like cats. Russians like bears. NATO knows this. Lithuania is in NATO. So, perhaps NATO has already provided a ‘secret weapon’ for Lithuania ... using those USA former ‘black sites’ in Lithuania to become warehouses for the secret weapon: bear costumes!!” “In Lithuania, we are about 3 million people; from NATO we could easily have 3 million bear costumes!! When the Russians invade, we will all dress up in the NATO bear costumes . . . Russians would never shoot, or even hurt, a bear . . . we will be safe . . . maybe, the Russians will want to take some of us back home to Russia (it’s not the first time they have done that), because Russia never has enough bears . . . but, inside the bear costume is a secret pocket, with some roubles -- enough to take the train back to Lithuania.” “Russians will never suspect this strategy, because it is ‘maskirovka’ -- the hallmark of Russian warfare, and a word which translates as ‘something masked’, or ‘a little masquerade’. This bear maskirovka will be successful because it will be a surprise, and has all of the necessary www.dialogue2.ca
elements of military maskirovka: Kamufliazh -- camouflage; Demonstrativnye manevry -- manoeuvres intended to deceive; Skrytie -- concealment; Imitatsia -- the use of decoys and military dummies; and Dezinformatsia -- disinformation, a knowing attempt to deceive. Russians will never expect that their own methodology is being used against them.” And so, it came-to-pass that we ordered another round of beers. And vodka. And so, it came-to-pass that one of our ‘club’ provided some ‘inside information’ -- from his cousin’s cousin’s cousin . . . which, in a country of less than 3 million people, might well be also my cousin, or even-moreprobably is my cousin’s cousin, and very-likely-probably at least my cousin’s cousin’s cousin . . . “Yes, it’s simple; it’s obvious. The government manual is 98 pages long; it should be 100 pages long; therefore, there are two pages missing -- this is the secret part. Yes, the bear maskirovka is one of the missing pages, but I will tell you about the other one missing page.” “Everyone knows that it is the Russians who the EU/USA says will invade Lithuania. And, everyone knows that Russians need vodka. So, when the Russians invade, we will buy all of our vodka in Lithuania. And, we will drink all of it. This means that there will be no vodka for the invading Russians, so they will have to go home soon. Russians cannot live without vodka.” “But, there is also the ‘more-secret’ -- Part II -- of the plan. After we empty all of our bottles of vodka, we will refill the bottles with water. Then, we will give these vodka-bottles-containing-only-water to the invading Russians. Everyone knows: when a Russian expects vodka, but has only water, it makes his heart stop, and his brain explode. Messy, but war is war, eh?” And so, it came-to-pass that I thought: although I like my drinking-buddies, I am thankful that they are not our Lithuania political leaders, nor members of our Lithuania armed forces, nor of the Lithuania majority opinions ... Somehow, there was an American history quote that crossed my mind . . . from Franklin Pierce, at the end of his US Presidency, who said, "All that's left is to drink and die." And, I sometimes think of some politicians who …/ VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
Ken Slade, A Sense of Nonsense, Part III, contd.
wish and want to wage a war of wits, but who lack the neurons ammunition. And so, it came-to-pass that we ordered another round of beers. And vodka. But, I made my ‘goodnight’ handshakes, and headed for the door, asking the doorman to get me a taxi. I think that I have just enough cash in my pocket for the ride home. Home will be good, if only to remove my sock, and solve the mystery why my ankle has been itching all night. So, ‘whatever’ . . . and for now, and until whenever and whatever:
Vivre Moliere ! Vivre, en plus, Voltaire ! ***** To be continued, in next issue . . . Postscript: “Any resemblance of anything contained herein to any person, place, event, or thing is purely coincidental, and/or entirely imagined -- by the writer and/or the reader. This writing only fiction; therefore, nothing that is written here should be construed as true . . . including of course, this statement.” All Rights Reserved: 2015, email@example.com ♣
FEEDBACK FROM READERS
Thank you from Shirley Shum
Spring edition the best ever!
Dear Janet, Maurice and Penny, Thank you for continuing to publish and send me the “best magazine!” The most interesting time of my long days, during the slow old-age process called “life,” is reading and rereading several of my treasured magazines. Hope you are enjoying a healthy life, With love, Shirley Shum, Kirkland, Quebec
Ken Slade, Vilnius, Lithuania The Spring edition is the best-yet issue of 'Dialogue' !! --as always, great covers -- especially the front cover) --highly-attractive, easy-to-read text --nice photos --great use of colour I really like this issue !!! P.S. It was very helpful to receive the PDF attachment (sent to subscribers by email)!
Greetings once again from the Kootenay's Paul Bowles, Fruitvale BC I hope you are both well and thriving with life. I am still enjoying referring people to the library editions of the Dialogue, not all take advantage of that, depending on their real interest, but just the other day I had a really interesting encounter with an older lady at the local Fruitvale Hall. The occasion was the Senior Citizens’ free lunch, which happens once a month. One never knows where to sit,
as the hall fills up, so it is somewhat random who you get to sit next to. This lady had been a teacher and had an interest in kids’ development. She was telling me of her own story, which she had written for her grandkids and I was naturally intrigued. Subsequently I revealed my own efforts on behalf of Malachi and I rather think she may well check it out and, further to that, consider sending her story to Dialogue. ♣
The Haven, Centre for Transformative Learning Janet Hicks King, Nanaimo BC The Haven, on beautiful Gabriola Island (near Nanaimo BC), is a registered not-for-profit educational organization that offers transformational learning experiences in group settings. Earlier this year, I had the good fortune to participate in the healing and transformative experience offered at The Haven. Enrolling in their five-day “Come Alive” program was something that I had wanted to do for many years – and circumstances finally conspired to allow me to follow this dream!
Since February, I have also benefitted greatly from a 56 dialogue
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
three-day “Transforming Stress & Anxiety” program. In both of these programs, I met new friends, with participants coming from BC, other provinces or from the U.S. There are lots more courses that I plan to explore, such as Soul Voice, Journey to Self (with Maria Gomori, who studied with Virginia Satir for 20 years – see p.29); and then there is… The Quantum Laugh, Anger, Boundaries & Safety, Uncommon Sense, … not to mention their lifechanging “Living Alive” program! If any of these intrigue you, you will find lots of interesting reading at The Haven website: www.haven.ca [Tel. 1-800-222,9211] ♣ www.dialogue2.ca
Laughter & ‘Lightenment From John Shadbolt:
ANSWERS FROM A STUDENT WHO OBTAINED 0% ON AN EXAM
I would have given him 100%! Each answer is absolutely grammatically correct and funny too. The teacher had no sense of humor. Q1. In which battle did Napoleon die? A. His last battle. Q2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? A. At the bottom of the page. Q3. River Ravi flows in which state? A. Liquid. Q4. What is the main reason for divorce? A. Marriage. Q5. What is the main reason for failure? A. Exams. Q6. What can you never eat for breakfast? A. Lunch & dinner. Q7. What looks like half an apple? A. The other half. Q8. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what will it become? A. Wet. Q9. How can a man go eight days without sleeping? A. No problem, he sleeps at night. Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand? A. You will never find an elephant that has one hand. Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have? A. Very large hands. Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it? A. No time at all; the wall is already built. Q13. How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it? A. Any way you want. Concrete floors are very hard to crack. Spread some laughter, share the cheer. Let's be happy, while we're here! ♣ ~~~~~~~~~~~~
From John McCullough:
Paraproskodians 1. Figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected. 2. War does not determine who is right - only who is left. 3. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. 4. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one. ♣ ~~~~~~~~~~~~
From Don Parker:
I need a push… A man and his wife were awakened at 3:00 am by a loud pounding on the door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push. "Not a chance," says the husband, "it is 3:00 in the morning!" He slams the door and returns to bed. "Who was that?" asked his wife. "Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers. "Did you help him?" she asks. "No, I did not, it's 3 a.m. in the morning and it's pouring rain out there!" "Well, you have a short memory," says his wife. "Can't you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself! "God loves drunk people, too, you know." The man gets dressed and goes out into the pounding rain. He calls out into the dark, "Hello, are you still there?" "Yes," comes back the answer. "Do you still need a push?" calls out the husband. "Yes, please!" comes the reply from the dark. "Where are you?" asks the husband. "Over here on the swing," replied the drunk. ♣ ~~~~~~~~~~~~
From John McCullough:
Facebook in the real world… Presently, I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles. So every day, I go along the street and tell passersby what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before, and what I will do after; I give them pictures of my family, my dog, and me gardening and spending time in my pool. I also listen to their conversations and I tell them I love them. AND IT WORKS! … I already have 3 people following me: 2 police officers and a psychiatrist. ♣ ~~~~~~~~~~~~
After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box. ~ Old Italian proverb ♣ ~~~~~~~~~~~~
You don’t stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old when you stop laughing!!! www.dialogue2.ca www.dialogue2.ca
VOL. 28 28 NO. NO. 4, 4, SUMMER SUMMER 2015 2015 VOL.
dialogue 57 dialogue 57
Contributors in Allan, Robyn, BC (re NEB) …...23 Andersen, Erik, BC ……....11,14 Arney, Jeremy, BC …………..20 Backhaus, Karl, ON ……...32,59 Boon, Ken, BC (link)…………11 Bowles, Paul, BC …...…....53,56 Campbell, Joseph (about)…....33 Canadian Action Party…........20 Cdns. for Language Fairness 36 Christopher, David…………...04 Clark, Ken, ON……………….08 COMER, ON (about)…...…….05 Cope, Gloria, BC…………….07 Council of Canadians….5,24,38 Cude, Wilfred, NS.………...9,60 Democracy Watch, ON……..14 Dobbin, Murray (quote/link)…05 Dogwood Initiative, BC………23 Ecojustice, BC…………....24,59 Ector, Hugh, BC……….…42-43 Etkin, Jack, BC ……………....19
dialogue, Vol. 28 No. 4
Fair Vote Canada (link)……....04 Foster, David, ON …….……..27 Fox, Liz, Lantzville, BC………04 Gaudet, Marie, AB …………..44 Goertzen, Ed, ON...……4,15,16 Gottlieb, Vera, Germany……19 Guardian, The (link)…………05 Hannah, Dorothy, QC…….....51 Hanle, Inge, BC (CDSAPI)…...41 Hansen, Bob, BC………........06 Haven, The, BC (about)…29,56 Hurtig, Mel (re book)……..17,18 Jaffer, Hon. Mobina (quote)…06 Kall, Rob (OpEdnews.com)…….05 Lakoff, George (TorontoStar)…..16 Lawson, Susanne (Hare)…….25 Lonsdale, Derrick, US……….39 Manly, Paul, BC……………...21 Masseau Tyler, Fran, QC…...52 Masuda, Gerry, BC……....18,22 Mathews, Robin, BC…..…17,19
May, Elizabeth, M.P……….....12 McCaslin, Susan, BC…...........28 McConnell, Kim, ON (from).......36 McCullough, John, ON….57,59 McDowall, Stephanie, BC….40 McQuaig, Linda (quote/link)…05 Mills, Dave (Dogwood In.)…23 Moore, R.K., Ireland……..…19 Morton, Alexandra, BC…24,59 Neilly, Michael, ON…….……35 OpenMedia.ca……………...04 Parker, Don, ON…….47-49,57 Peace Valley Landowners…11 Popova, Maria, U.S………...33 Porter, J. S., ON………....30,31 Powe, B. W., ON (about)…….31 QUOTES: 28,29,30,31,33,46,52 Rolling, Doug, BC…………...37 Russell, Wayne, BC…..........50 Satir, Virginia (quote)……….29 Shadbolt, John, ON….22,23,57
May we all enjoy our summer havens!
Please Subscribe to dialogue! Read, write, have your say… in Canada’s unique, national volunteerproduced magazine, written by its readers.
Canadian Subscription: $20 per year (4 issues)
Skinner, Derek, BC…………18 Slade, Ken, Lithuania…...53-56 Snowden, Edward (link)…..…05 SumOfUs.org (re HydroOne)…11 Taylor, Jim, BC……………...26 The Raw Food World News, 45 TheTyee.ca, BC (link)………05 Toronto Star (reprints)…..15,16 Vancourt, Randy, ON…….....46 Ward, Lawrence, NB……….36 Wiseman, Herb, ON………..24
DEADLINE FOR THE
AUTUMN EDITION SEP. 1, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org www.dialogue2.ca Tel: 250-758-9877 Fax: 250-758-9855
6227 Groveland Dr. Nanaimo, BC V9V 1B1
Dialogue relies on your support and generosity, to continue as a viable volunteer-operated, print publication. Thank you for your help! Subscribe to dialogue magazine! Anywhere in Canada $20 [GST NO. 89355-1739] Please look at Your Address Label for Your Renewal Date! $35/YR (US) IN THE U.S. --- $50/YR OVERSEAS
6-MONTHS: $10 (2 ISSUES) / SINGLE ISSUE: $6 (prices include GST - NO. 89355-1739)
Thank you for your Encouragement, Referrals, Subscriptions, Gift Subscriptions & Donations! All are vital to keeping our “dialogue” going.
You can order by phone: 250-758-9877 Visa / MC / AmEx / Discover
Or by mail to: 6227 Groveland Dr., Nanaimo, BC V9V 1B1 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.dialogue2.ca (PayPal)
Any Time is a great time to think about (& order!) Gift Subscriptions ~ for friends, family (others?) ~ STILL ONLY $20! Subscription / Gift Subscriptions / Donations)
GIFT SUBSCRIPTION: [
E-mail________________________________________________ Notes ________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4
]2 YR-$40 [ ]½ YR-$10
]½ YR-$10 [ ]Single $6
] My Donation to help Dialogue: $___________ Thank You!
If possible, use my donation for:____________________________ Total $_______ Payment: [ ]VISA/MC/DISC [ ]Cheque
[ ] Cash
Credit card No_________________________________________ Card Expiry: ____/____ Signature __________________________ NAME ON CARD: _______________________________________
VOL. 28 NO. 4, SUMMER 2015
SUMMER 2015, VOL. 28 NO. 4