"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

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.

Thursday, 1 October 2015


I am admonished for not being consistent. Positive anonymous comments on Chris Watts are published but not the critical.

But I am consistent. I consistently do not allow my blog to be used to bludgeon Chris Watts.

Throwing muck is not the same as an expression of appreciation. I make no apology.

'Tis said "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds "

Chris Watts contributes substance to the community conversation...with no pressure to read ...or  agree ...or appreciate his style. 

Opponents have an option. Publish a blog, run the same gauntlet and assemble a readership. 

 It costs nothing but time, energy, commitment and willingness to bare one's soul. 

Throughout the world, mankind  has advanced despite repeating the violence and devastation  of history. Revolutions have advanced the masses. ... at horrendous cost extending over several generations and horrific bloodshed. 

There otta be a better way. 

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. 

Change  is here.  Cell  phones with cameras. Pictures going viral.Texting..Tweeting... Blogging .Skills acquired in small fingers along with language....young minds with greater capacity than most North Americans have ever been willing to acknowledge race to absorb everything there is to learn. 

Chris Watts,of a different  generation, had exposure to computers like neither I nor my children but their children have.

Grandchildren are already parenting a generation more computer literate than themselves.

My two year old grand-daughter, Isla, (remember how recently born) has learned  ballet steps and poses from a video. This summer she maintained conversation with seven year old Reid,her twin cousin....himself no slouch in the gab fest. 

He exhausts both grandparents every waking moment with observations about everything in general and demands for satisfactory answers to specific,obvious but awkward questions. 

It would be wise to stop trying to bludgeon Chris Watts' into silence because of  disagreement and discomfort with what he is saying .

Things no longer quickly slide into oblivion. Posts remain for reference. 

It won't wash. 

The proverbial horse is already out of the barn and rampaging around the countryside.

Closing the door is as futile and foolish as it ever was and a waste of energy and resources to boot.  

Get with the program fella ... Try to keep up,why don't you. Dude, you are eating their dust. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


Whoever wants to quarrel with Christopher  Watts  about his spelling and illustrations  on his blog must do so on his terms. This blog is not available for anonymous comments to a post on Watt's Trending.

watched Ghandi night before last.... a classic movie decades old. I grew to adulthood during Ghandi's epic journey. I was never inclined to watch the film before. I knew the narrative and how it ended.

The entire world was shaped to benefit the few with little concern for the many.  The governing elite was all powerful. 

As a consequence the French had a successful revolution accompanied by horrible consequences. 

The Russians later  did much  the same thing under a political banner.  

The Americans had already broken free from the British and down the road massacred each other in a civil war the effects of which are still being felt. 

I was young but old enough when  Ghandi struck a chord with the masses world over. His resolve was to free his country from British Colonial Masters. His life was a triumph of logic, courage and uncompromising commitment to principle and endurance.

The story ended with qualified success .The British partitioned the country between Muslim and Hindu
They divided the people along religious lines and created Pakistan 

Ghandi was shot by a fanatic

Last night I was flipping channels and heard an opening line of dialogue.Ghandi was being welcomed home from South Africa where he published a journal. 

"We needed you to come back to India because of the power of your writing" 

I was hooked. I didn't know that early part of the story.

The British government was busy building an empire and re-arranging the world. 

The British Protectorate of Palestine  was partitioned to create the State of Israel.

Where before Jews and Palestinians lived compatibly side by side for centuries, non Jewish Palestinians became refugees over-night, living in camps ,with schools where  young males  were taught to hate and prepare. Sixty-six years later, that hasn't changed. Except that young Palestinians males and females turn themselves into human detonators that kill Jews indiscriminately and  Israelis have nuclear weapons and heat-seeking missiles that have a specific target and also kill women and children indiscriminately. 

The French finally extricated themselves from French Indo-China after decades of terrorism at home and abroad.  Vietnam emerged. The Americans used flame throwers,Agent Orange and  hundreds of thousands of young American lives to impose their influence. And failed. 

They did the same thing earlier in Korea .

In 1956 ,the French and British invaded  Egypt to protect the private interest of the Suez Canal. American President Dwight Eisenhower ordered them out and Canadian  Prime Minister Lester  B Pearson intervened and Canada became the peacemaker.

Currently, millions of people are pouring out of Iraq and Syria and according to last night's news, Afghanistan . They desperately seek a safe place to raise their children.

In the late fifties hundred of thousands of Europeans flooded out of Europe for the same reason. 

Hundreds of thousands of Russians living in Ukraine are looking to Russia for protection from consequences of  the separation that occurred during the break-up of the former Soviet Republic. 

History continues to march on  with death, destruction, propaganda and the same mistakes 
repeated over and over. 

Billion dollar fortunes are made from weapons of mass destruction, including poison gas manufactured in  Western Canada.If we don't use it to kill people including small babies, I suppose  it doesn't count that it was made in our country and sold to whoever wanted to buy. 

And Canada's Prime Minister is ready to send young Canadians to fight and die while young Ukrainains high -tail it to Poland because they do not want to kill their cousins. And the government gives them sticks to fight with. 

That's reminiscent of the outset of the Second World War when the Polish Cavalry rode out to meet German tanks and howitzers. 

So I watched the movie, was inspired, then returned to terrible and stark reality.

Saturday, 26 September 2015


I went to sleep  last night thinking about the logic of the decision to strike down federal law requiring faces to be uncovered during citizenship oath -taking. 

My last thought was the Ontario Health card. The holder's photo has to be on the card for I.D. 

The Ontario Government requires it because of millions of dollars of fraud against Ontario Health.  Previous cards were easily forged,sold, stolen or transferred to people not entitled to service.. Since all Ontario residents are entitled,it meant people who came from elsewhere were obtaining health care at the expense of Ontario taxpayers. Costs grew out of control. 

We all  know how costly health care is. We keep being reminded. As we speak,doctors are organising on social media to protest a cut in fees by the Ontario government. They will likely forecast a mass exodus of doctors to the States....again. Because of how much more they can make in the buccaneer system of care down there. 

The purpose of the photograph on the health card is obviously so the person presenting can be identified by the receiver. It can't happen with a veil covered face.

At least one young  doctor at Extendicare clinic covers her head but not her face. Whether it's in accordance with religion I don't know. 

Orthodox Jewish women cut their hair and wear a wig at the time of marriage. Girl Children are covered  in sleeves to their wrists and dresses to their ankles. They do not cover heads and faces with a veil. Few  would notice their custom except other Orthodox Jews. 

This morning, my thoughts had just kept turning  as if sleep had not intervened . 

Do children have health cards or does mother present hers to obtain health care for the child. 

A driver's license has to have a photo......passport photos are the stuff of comedy.

How is it no legal appeal has been filed against having to be identified in a doctor's office or not being allowed into the country without a passport complete with photograph.

How many charges are laid  by police for not carrying a driver's license with identifying photograph? 
What use is it if the officer can't match the face to the photo? 

How easy should it  be to obtain  health services ....move in and out of the country ....drive a car 
.....or any other services that requires photo identification? 

Was the fight to take the Oath of Citizenship with a covered face less about religion and more about 

How was it logical to decide a Muslim woman is entitled to keep her face hidden at all times for religious reason....even when seeking the privilege of becoming a Canadian citizen?

Citizenship  is not a right . A Greek friend failed the test three times. He could not memorize names of former Prime MInisters. Everyone in his family managed but every time he failed it made the next time harder. 

The main obligation of  the oath is to abide by Canada's laws. An appeal against one law could reasonably signal disagreement with a Canadian law. 

Press stories indicate the Judge hastened his decision so the appellant could vote in the upcoming  federal election. 

The woman can't vote without photo I.D.

Imagine what Donald Trump would do with a story like that. 

Why did the Judge bring the election into his decision? 

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am not a Stephen Harper fan. But I've never felt the slightest  
inclination to argue against common sense as plain as the nose on one's  face.

The decision is being appealed.

Since I started the post Jason Kenny, Minister of Immigration has said  80% of Canadians support the law. He has launched  a petition on Facebook. 


A post on Facebook  today laments "hatred " of Muslims observed in recent Facebook comments. Current discussion is the court decision to strike down government law that requires the face to be uncovered while taking the Oath of Citizenship.  

Pictures of women swathed from head to toe in black have been shared. I shared one without comment.

What most of us know about Muslims is what we  hear, see and read on media. 

Penalties for crimes in Muslim countries make us shudder. Women, little more than children stoned to death for adultery after having been raped. A detailed description of the barbaric execution of a gay man was a side story to the main plot in a recent episode of Madame Secretary, a TV series. The  main story has faded already but the horrible details of execution Muslim style haunt me still. 

The  Facebook post makes the point everyone in this country came from somewhere else, including native Canadians. It notes redundantly that everyone did not arrive with the same set of values, beliefs and religion. 

Obviously immigrants  hope for something better when they leave  behind family and friends and everything familiar, for the unknown. 

In the past some came for freedom to practice a different religion.Others like  victims of the 
Highland Clearances in Scotland were loaded on to leaky boats and shipped to Canada because people of power and privilege could make more money from sheep than allowing crofters to live on the land of their ancestors. 

The British government shipped thousands of children to be used as unpaid labour by whoever chose to pick them up at the train station. UK Government solution to poverty was to ship them out. 

The fact everyone came from somewhere else is only part of the story. The rest is why we came. 

Are Muslims different?  

We read face covering has nothing to do with religion. Many Muslim women do not so choose. 

So what  compelling argument is there to be allowed to hide behind a veil while taking an Oath to abide by Canadian law. 

Maybe the choice between living behind a shroud and applying for citizenship is the decision that needs to be made. What is it worth to be a Canadian Citizen ? 

Should  Canadians be free to speak to the issue ? When a  law is challenged and struck down  is that our business ? 

Canadian women paid a heavy price for equality within the law.The fight for respect is not yet won. It may never happen. The cause is not helped by a fight for womens' right to be invisible.

Certainly the right to argue is theirs. Bu lack of sympathy for something that makes no sense in a modern world full of trouble, complexity and horrendous human tragedy is not hatred. 

BTW women refugees with covered faces are not prominent in the horrendous tragic exodus from death and destruction in Syria. 

Demonstrations of support across Canada for those desperate families we see on television hardly indicate hostility towards Muslims.