"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday, 9 October 2015


A comment this morning purports to give us the real deal on Middle Eastern Affairs and indicates imminence of a Third World War with only one candidate for Prime Minister capable of handling it. 

I could not cut and copy it. Sometimes the tap of my finger works,sometimes it doesn't.

Lord Bless the commenter's little white cotton socks. He must have been born long after the Americans dropped nuclear  bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. He was obviously  not in the loop when George Bush and Tony Blair gave Iraq possession of nuclear weapons as reason for invading Iraq .

The stated objective of both was to make the world a safer place by reducing potential for nuclear warfare. It is sixty years since bombing of two Japanese cities provided the evidence that such an event undoubtedly secure the destruction of our planet.

Not just the world as we know it. The literal end, my friend. 

Hush Hush Swe├Ęt Charlotte 
Charlotte don't you cry.

No situation would be left to manage, let alone by the bold and belligerent neo-conservative leader of a non-progressive Conservative party, re-formed in his own image. 

The name Frum came up  in a comment yesterday. David Frum,described as an American neo-conservative"  who gave George Bush  the term  "Axis of Evil" to persuade the nation an invasion of Iraq was necessary for  peace in the world. 

David Frum described as an " American neo- conservative " worked as a speech writer for the American Priesident and gained fame when his wife made it known he wrote the phrase used by the president.

Now  a similar schill attempts to convey to the same message to our small circle  to help the Harper  Party  to win an election in Canada. 

Hollywood made a movie starring Dustin Hoffman playing the back-room operator commissioned to contrive a war to prop up the political  fortunes of a candidate for President.

Apart from entirely lacking morality, the plan was also devoid of Intelligence or imagination. 

Rocky 1 was a box office success. let's do Rocky 2...3...4

More grist for the mill as far as I'm concerned. 

 I am entitled to say that in Canada without being arrested in the night and disappearing forever
as people do in places like Egypt and Iran. 

For that alone we can be thankful for blessings on this Thanksgiving weekend, 

We would be re-miss to forget, thousands grieving the loss of loved ones, suffering from post-traumatic stress from  experiences in the service of their country  and thousands more locked in cages for minor offences  or wrongfully convicted.  

Thursday, 8 October 2015


A question links longer prison sentences,sexual abuse, particularly of boys and post traumatic stress. 

I am happy to respond. Except... I have more questions than answers. 

Numbers of men and to a lesser extent,women, come forward decades later to accuse of offences  from decades ago. I suspect just as many don't. Likely more women than men. 

Men arrested for possession of child pornography may be the tip of the same iceberg. 

It occurs to me to wonder, at what point do numbers indicate what we think of as abnormal are actually not ? 

Could this offence be sufficiently commonplace to be more common than uncommon?

If sexually abused boys grow up to be abusers ,over how many generations has it been repeated,the circle widened with nothing done to reverse the direction and so many more children abused to become abusers?

At one point in history, families bunked in together. Privacy was not a possibility.

Prior to industrialization, children in cottage industry were fully contributing to family livelihood.

At the age of twelve and thirteen, girls were married off to old men or other children. 

I wonder about sexual norms of medieval times? 

The bible has lessons to teach about everything, including sex. Orthodox Jews have weird ideas about lovemaking. 

Adultery is forbidden. A man shall not spill his seed upon the ground. Children must honor father and mother. 

Does it have to anything at all to say about sex and children? Was the depravity that caused the Lord to destroy Sodom and Gomhorra confined to adult interaction. Did the  Lord chose to save only Lot and his wife because there were no other innocents? 

He even relented and turned Lot's wife into a pillar of stone because she turned to look back. 

 If pre- teen marriage was customary in our society and still prevalent in others, what else was considered normal? 

What are we hiding from ourselves. What is Taboo? 

More questions pop into my head  as I write.

In recent Canadian history,women and children were described in law as non-persons.They were Chattels ...Baggage..Belongings ....Possessions...things to be used.

 In some world cultures,women are required to be invisible. 

A woman raped is guilty of adultery and stoned to death.  

Male members of a " dis-honored" family can legally murder a sister.  

It has happened in Canada. 

In the States, television features little girls as young as toddlers, dressed in burlesque,false eyelashes, make up, feather boas, taught to bump and grind in sexually suggestive poses, in competition for awards,entertainment and pride of their parents. 

Why is this parental exploitation of children not an offence and the child victims removed from obviously unfit parenting. Why are TV stations not prosecuted for profiting from exploitation of children?

I suspect far more adults have survived and put behind them bad childhood experience than choose to re-live the victim syndrome for the rest of their lives. 

Jails and sentencing bemuse me. It's not obvious that locking a man in a cage like an animal for years or in solitary confinement for safety because he is so young as to be at risk in a prison environment, contributes anything  to society's well-being.  Particularly, considering the ever-present possibility of error in judgement. 

Society saddles itself with horrendous cost for custodial care at the expense of social housing and adequate social assistance. We have food banks for God's  Sake.

Jails are dehumanizing for custodians and prisoners alike.

Families become indigent and dependent. 

So what might be an alternative? Another unanswered question. Out of sight out of mind,why should anyone care ? 

Stephen Harper has obviously discovered the political imperative. More jails and longer sentencing. 

Every week,the media is full  of shootings.stabbings, vehicle crashes and random arrests of men for possession of  child pornography in their computers.

Last winter a  small child in diaper and tee shirt named Emanuel left his grandmother's apartment while the rest of his family slept,  to search for his working mother and died in an alley. His tears frozen on his cheeks. 

Last week-end ,a rich man returned  in a private jet from a bachelor party in Miami, climbed into his 
expensive car and plowed at high speed into another vehicle. He is alleged to have run a red light. Three small children and their grandfather are dead. 

Is any penalty sufficient to satisfy the enormity of such awful consequence? 

What possible compensation for such unendurable loss?

What comfort can society offer? 

I look forward to comments. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ZUNERA ISHAQ": 

"The current comment refers to "hatred" of the riding's Conservative candidate . I am not comfortable with the word . I a. removing the comment."

If you are referring to a post I made... I would request and approve that you edit the post, change the word "hatred" or "hate" with "disliked" and republish. I thought that there was good information there that your readers would be able to use.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 7 October 2015 at 07:53


IWhen I tapped  on  publish , I thought it was a valid comment .  But I  believe we should be able to disagree without animosity.  So on second thoughts, I removed it. 

It doesn't exist any more. The Hewlett Packard pc iwould have consigned it to a file . I could have accessed it. the iPad doesn't provide that opportunity. 

I don't edit. I publish or I don't. 

If you re-word and send again, I will publish. 

Not that I believe people shouldn't personally react to candidates. It's entirely natural. 

I've  observed Stephen Harper is a cold fish. 

Someone else says ,whether he is or not, isn't relevant.  

But it is to me. 

My reaction to his willingness to send young Canadians thousands of miles and eons distant into harm's way  on the pretext they are somehow protecting our way of life is preposterous. 

What way of life is that ?

More  jail cells and more severe sentences. Lock 'em up and throw away the key. They are not human
beings like Stephen Harper humans. 

I don't believe he cares any more about Ukranians than he does about the thousands of mostly aboriginal Canadians, wasting their lives away in jail cells.

So if he doesn't care and I don't see it in him, why is he doing it?

I would guess for political advantage. 

Why should that commend itself?

I don't have to hate him to withhold my support. I have to make a judgement about whether I want him to have the power of the Prime Minister's office. 

Do I trust him ? I do not. 

Do I have the right to say that? I believe so. 

I have a vote. 
It's precious. 
I must use it the best way I can.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


680 news has a story on Monday's court refusal of the government's request for a stay in the decision relating to the right to decide on dress during a Citizenship Ceremony.

I read it twice to better inform myself . Seems like I came in halfway through the movie.

First a court decision affirmed the constitutional right of any person to dress as they chose during a citizenship ceremony.

Then.... government appealed the decision . A panel of judges upheld the decision.

Then ....government requested a stay of the decision to allow the case to proceed to the Supreme Court of Canada. And that's when it became convenient for the campaign political issue 

On Monday , Justice Johanna Trudel decided not to grant the government's request because there was no compelling public interest to do so. 

I've read the story twice to be sure I caught the gist. Mine is a layman's understanding. I do not pretend to be a legal practitioner. Perish the thought I would be so bold as to claim an understanding of law at any level. 

Heavens to Betsy. ! ! ! 

The 680 news story is easily located.  Zunera Ishaq complainant, expresses  disappointment in the government and Mr Harper specifically, would focus on an issue that concerns so few women.  

She wants it known she intends to uncover her face during the oath taking. The issue was never about identity. It was always about the right to decide how to dress during the ceremony. 

Therev never was a challenge to the law requiring a person to be identified for the purpose of taking the Oath of Citizenship. 

So how's that for playing the public and  " Mastery of the Black Art "

Politics  have been described many ways.  I favour is the "Art of the Possible" It's the one that kept me commited all those years. 

I never saw it described as   "The Black Arts"

It's hard to surrender a lifetime conviction. I am at the point however it may be forced upon me. 


Christopher Watts I have been unable to unearth the M P votes you reference with the web connection 
you provide. 


The current comment  refers to "hatred" of the  riding's Conservative candidate . I am not comfortable 
with the word . I  a. removing the comment.


surfeit exists for the political junkie these days. Blog stats are steady. I must assume  readers are similarly afflicted to a more or lesser degree. I will continue to indulge us. 

The trade deal has been referenced repeatedly by media. Without details, suspense has been built like a digital app. 

Watch enough T.V. and it's hard to shake the sense of synchronized planning. The good guy/bad guy scenario of the average hour long cops and robbers episode. 

Except for a minor blip now and then, Conservative events are completely scripted.

The angry man who had to be led away by the elbow....face twisted,he  raged at young women for reporting about Senator Mike Duffy and the PMO. He accused the reporters of being B.S. liars. 

It was a distraction ...ever so brief.

Like a meteor flashing across the sky. 

How hard would it have been fir the Harper campaign to contrive that episode. To make it part of the daily news flush. To say what the candidate wanted said without him saying it. 

O.K. I can hear you .... Evelyn you've been watching too much T.V.

Mais non, mes amies.

I have seen that done. It has been part of my experience. 

So we watched the trade deal thingy nurtured and finally brought to fruition. Sort of. 

To be  precise, our minds have been conditioned to receive the latest contrivance. 

Yesterday was the chosen moment. 

Yet there is no more finality now than a week ago or the week before that.  The deal is no closer to being implemented but success is already  proclaimed. 

Rival candidates  predictably trot down the path set for them. 

Cross the bridge and turn in the opposite direction. According to the analysts,the deal will reap substantial benefit for big operators and wipe out the little guys. The factory farm versus the family farm. 

Some of us have been around long enough to remember hundreds of  jobs lost and numbers of industries that vanished from Aurora after the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

Government advised we had to re-think ourselves as service providers.

 High tariffs continued in the pulp and paper industry because Americans had to have things their way. Who's going to stop them? 

Government subsidies verboten in the deal as long as they were Canadian subsidies. 

Today in Whitby ,the Clnservative candidate  promised a billion dollars in grants and loans for the auto industry to  re-tool to become not an auto industry, if his government is re-elected .

Sojnds like government subsidies to me.No tariff reduction there. 

We've not  seen the last of  precisely contrived events in the campaign. The Prime Minister is In the driver's seat. 

Media will respond to  the cues set out along the way. 

The rest of us are set to drift like plankton into the maw of the whale. 

Therein lies the drama
When is being too clever not nearly so ? 
When does the veneer wear paper thin ?
Maybe when the campaign is inordinately long. 

Monday, 5 October 2015


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WHAT DO WE WANT IN AN M.P. ?": 

Unfortunately the declining of a ballot is a hollow gesture on your part (whether it is federal, provincial or municipal). When the votes are tabulated, no one looks at the declined or spoiled ballots to determine what the thinking was around the voter. If there was a spot on the ballot that says "Declined...... please explain why." then you would have a platform to vent your frustration. Except for telling your family and friends that you declined the vote, there is no one going to listen (I doubt that your friends or family would either).  

I am always torn in Federal or Provincial elections. Do I support the party and vote for the candidate, or do I vote for the candidate that will represent me? If the party that I support appears to be faltering in the big picture, I try and vote for the local candidate that will support me the best.  

Declining or spoiling your vote does nothing for anyone other than you. Go ahead and do that if you must, but you give up your right to complain about the government that is elected, because you failed to participate.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 5 October 2015 at 11:37


It never used to be such a quandary. Riding Associations kept the party alive between elections and 
members  took care of  finding candidates for nomination. Usually someone in the community with a record of service and experience. A  member of a local council with a solid reputation would be a worthy prospect.

Blatantly selling memberships to marshal votes would not have been appreciated. Rules were not written. They were understood. Just because you could didn't mean you should. 

I used to attend all  political party nomination meetings because I wanted to. 

Nowadays many riding associations have little to say about the choice for nomination.Being known in the community doesn't count for much either. 

Talking  heads on T.V. panels analyse ad nauseum for those among us who can't think for ourselves. 

If a  leader needs to change the pitch, replace an advisor of hire a body language consultant  or all three, they can do it without missing a step or losing a beat. 

There are no secrets. Nothing is hidden. Much is imagined. 

Every leader doles out promise according to the audience. Secure in the knowledge people who 
attend events are likely to vote  and for whatever they hear that suits them. 

It's quid pro quo. 

How could it be otherwise? A campaign is a long tedious grind and there's no way around it. 

I called elections Canada today to find out for sure if a declined ballot in a federal election is counted as spoiled.

It is. 

In a provincial election however, a declined ballot is counted separately. It is a statement of sorts. 
But little comfort if there is truly no-one on the ballot who earns your confidence. 

I will vote forThomas Mulcair. His platform is closest to my concerns. I want no more young Canadians,  sent ,in my name, to die in foreign lands for causes I know nothing about. 

I don't want thousands of survivors of guerrilla warfare coming home so traumatized by what they have seen ,their lives and their families' lives are changed forever.

 I don't believe there is a treatment that will make them forget. 

I  also want government to examine the connection between inadequate education and the prison population. I want resources spent on adequate education rather than build new jails to provide round the clock custodial care costing in excess of $100,000. each inmate. 

That's not my idea of good use of taxpayers' dollars. 

I do not believe  more jails and longer sentences are the answer for all of society's problems. 

I don't need a teddy bear to be Prime Minister of Canada but I need to believe there's a heart that cares for the least  among us.   

Each  time I brought a new member of the family home, my oldest son was out of the house before the car stopped to take the baby gently and lovingly  from my arms. 

There's a picture  among the campaign ads of Tom Mulcair, a smiling teen-ager, second eldest in a family of ten, holding a new baby in his arms. 

I know that look. 

My vote will be counted. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015


Election signs have been out for several weeks. Conservative signs on the day the election was called . No shortage of resources there.

I knew nothing  about the candidate. 

I know a little more now. Not because of anything I've read or heard . ..because of what I've seen.. 

Liberal and NDP signs are now out now. Liberal signs are the same size as Conservative but not as many. NDP signs are smaller. 

Large Conservative signs are frequently spaced on boulevards. 

Two  small  signs flank many of Liberal signs. 

What does it tell me?

The advantage of providing facilities for young ones to participate in organized sports are said to be substantial.  Municipalities invest millions in the enterprise. 

From society's perspective, the best lesson is discipline, and rules of decency and fair play. 

The Conservative candidate obviously cares nothing about either and even less about providing an  example to youth. 

He has the resources to crowd other candidates out and that's what he is doing. 

The intelligence to understand the ugly message conveyed  is absent. 

Michael Ignatieff wrote a book after the last election. I heard an interview he gave on C.B.C. Radio.

 He said he never realized  until the night before, the election was not all about him.

 It was about the people. 

He was a candidate for the highest office . Canadians everywhere needed him to understand what their lives were like .

After months as an M.P. In Ottawa and weeks of traveling across the country. People came out on dreary stormy nights to hear how he might make their lives better. And he didn't get it until the night before. 

He had the opportunity to make a difference and never understood how badly it was needed. 

The Conservative candidate in this riding acknowledges no rules.

He has no comprehension  of fair play.

The election is about him. 

Not about the people. 

Friday, 2 October 2015


"Social media is a revolution unlike any other. The swell continues. The elite certainly feel the chill.
As they should. They do not easily surrender advantage. They never have. It's so much more comfortable to keep things as they are."

Who are these elite and what are they being asked to surrender?

It's wonderful how bright your young grandchildren appear. But what are they going to do by way of honest toil when it comes down to creating a life with its necessities such as food, clothing, housing? It's unlikely their familiarity with Facebook and Twitter is going to sustain them.

Evelyn, you are out to sea on this one, completely and utterly, in a leaking boat with nary a paddle or oar.


With respect and appreciation for the  comment, you are missing my point. 

My observation is about children in general. They are not smarter than they have always been. Simply stated, they have an additional  learning tool. The tiger is out of the box.

My grandmother died when I was fifteen years old. My grandfather, six years later.  Except for my first seven years,I grew up in their home. They were both born in the mid-eighteen hundreds. 

My mother was born in 1902. I was born in 1928. My first child  in 1949 .I had seven,the last born in mid sixties. I have eighteen grandchildren, and seven great-grand-children. 

Of the lives of children generations before and after mine I know whereof I speak.  

My grandparents could never have imagined our modern lifestyle. 

My grandfather as a boy, walked miles to Sunday Mass in his bare feet with his boots hanging around his neck by the laces. To save the leather. So the boots could be passed on. 

Mass was said once a month in The King's Arms by an itinerant priest.There was no church.The pub is still there. 

Employment opportunity for young women was domestic service around the clock for little more than room and board.  My grandfather's proposal to my grandmother was his option that they should make their home together.

It was the practice  to buy a plot at the cemetery at the time of marriage. No-one expected to raise all of their children. There was no birth control. Childhood infectious diseases were rampant. 

They lost two of their ten children. Wee Jeannie, not even a toddler, died in her mother's arms in a fit of whooping cough. 

James, their first born, died on a blood soaked beach at the Dardanelles in Turkey, His twenty-two year old body ripped to shreds with machine gunfire, the newest weapon of war.

His remains are there still. 

I will not bore you with all I know of theIr lives.  Suffice to say, they could never have imagined how 
lives would change within two generations let alone six. 

So listen when I tell you. You have no idea how today's children might influence their own lives and world affairs with the World Wide Web.

You have certainly seen changes. For example,jobs shipped overseas for lower costs  and greater profit. 

Recently a Royal Bank employee gave an account on social media of how his job was shipped to India  and he had to train his replacement. The story went viral. People closed accounts and the Bank had to recant, apologize and try to get lost clientele back. Whether recovered ,we do not know. Nor do we know if they resumed the practice of shipping jobs overseas .

What we do know is the power of social media. 

A Toronto police officer is currently on trial for murder of a disturbed youth on an empty bus.

Apparently ten officers were present. The youth was a danger to no-one. He was shot ten times and his lifeless body tasered by other officers. 

A passerby with a cell phone,going hiome from a pleasant dinner with his family, captured the horrifying scene on video.  

Do we think the police officer with ten others doing nothing to stop him, would be facing murder charges without photographic evidence ?  I do not. 

Do I know if he will be found guilty of the crime on the basis of  the evidence ?
 I do not.

Do I think every decent self-respecting police officer has the same brutal sadistic inclinations.
I do not. 

But I do believe  people with power over our lives regularly enjoy abusing their authority.

They are the entitled, who lust for the power and want nothing to change.They are not solitary. 
Social media will change the social order. It already has. It should continue to do so though It may not be smooth and even.

Looking forward to hearing from you.