When Political Issues Divide Us

A person in my family will not entertain any conversation about Donald Trump and they have made it clear how they despise even the mention of his name. They, “Can’t stand him.”

This person has not observed any good in Trump. They have not conceded that he has done good for America on any level. Their mind is completely closed.

There is no point in talking to someone of this persuasion as they are not open to any possible insights. We continue to love one another, and do not allow this to cause dissension in our family. We simply don’t go there. There are plenty of other things to talk about.

In other words, we show mutual respect for difference of opinion. Although they know others don’t see things their way, they too are tolerant of differences, if not of discussion.

Mask wearing is another area where our family members’ opinions differ. There is a little more tolerance for discussion with these members so we have talked about the subject. But, once again, there is a line we don’t want to cross. We don’t want to allow a difference of viewpoint to destroy our relationship, so we let the subject drop before it does that. We stop trying to persuade.

Trump is not all bad. He has made some positive changes in America. Masks provide some protection, depending on the material and construction. A challenging exercise is trying to hold two opposing views at the same time, balancing them against each other.

Another topic of dissension is religion. Religion is not all bad. Jewish law teaches us not to lie, steal, kill and commit adultery. Christ taught us what is considered as the Golden Rule, to love our neighbours as ourselves. Members of our family are not accepting of the religion of others, but they still continue to love one another.

When we love others we give them a lot of room. We have to allow them to make mistakes, to be wrong. We might try to help them, but even with good intentions, we will not always do the right thing. It takes humility to admit this.

Love genuinely wants the best for the other person. Unfortunately, there are a few among us who care little about others, but even in these cases, we must be careful not to jump to conclusions. I recently came across this, “Do not assume malice when ignorance could explain the situation.”

Some people shut you out when your views differ from theirs. You become the detestable “other.” I favor Christianity because it does not leave room for this attitude. In fact, it teaches people to “love your enemies” and to “pray for those who persecute you.”

I had a vision this week. I saw the love of God encompassing the world. I can’t really explain it. It was like giant arms, like a cloud, or a vapor, encompassing the earth. I was in prayer and I asked God if he wasn’t angry with the world and all the evil in it. In the Bible I read that God is often angry with the wicked, so I wanted to know. The vision zoomed in to those individual, private moments when people are most vulnerable and I was impressed with the thought that this is what God sees. This is what he does not forget, even when evil tries to obscure it. He looks beyond. This is who he loves.

We need to be a little more like God, loving beyond those things that annoy us. Loving beyond our differences.

We can allow evil to tear us apart or we can choose to love.

There are evil forces at work seeking to destroy what is precious and what is truly precious is our relationships. We must watch that our views do not become the most important thing. What matters is the other person, their needs, their dreams and desires. We can love, even with differences. But it may take some help from the example of Christ, who laid down his life, rather than persisting against resistance. At this special Christmas season, let’s remember, “For God so loved the world….”

I think the source of tolerance is the family. It is where we learn to care deeply. It is where we learn to be tolerant of differences. It is where we learn it is safe to make mistakes and where we learn to forgive. It is so important to guard these early relationships that will follow us all of our lives.

Who Won the American Election?

Remarkably, opinion pieces of journalists, passing as news, flowed off the press and refuted claims of election fraud before any evidence was formally presented, much less investigated. In the absence of the kind of reflection and insight that might serve as a caution, journalists remained oblivious to their diminishing reputation and public credibility. Ratings for public news channels have never been so low.

Journalism has become a sad reflection of an element of society that cares less about investigative reporting and more about controlling the narrative. The currant narrative is clearly that there is no election fraud. Period. Even though, prior to the election, both Democrats and Republicans repeatedly questioned the integrity of election processes.

I’ve watched several hearings that presented claims of misdemeanours in elections— sending/receiving ballots from dead voters, voters with parking lot mailing addresses, voters who don’t exist. Whether this was intentional, is virtually impossible to prove. Intention would imply fraud. This is called “rigging” the election.

Of course, we want to believe that nobody would stoop to undermine the American election process by endorsing non-existent voters, or duplicate voters, or voting in place of others, or incentivized voting, or voting of non-citizens. If it happened, and these turned out to be predominantly Democrat voters, we are assured, by the same journalists who insisted there was no voter fraud, that it was on a small scale of only a few thousand, not enough to change the election outcome.

At the close of an article that vehemently denies evidence of election fraud, a journalist concedes that the level of fraud is at best insignificant. There were not enough irregularities to change the election result.

And so, with the consolation that the fraud that happened was insignificant, because it didn’t affect the outcome, public attention is steered away from the glaring truth of a compromised electoral system. The same journalists who declared there was no fraud a few weeks earlier, have moved us to the acceptance of “irrelevant” fraud.

As the hearings progressed, with their “irrelevant” allegations, the opinions of journalists progressed as well. When testimonies came forward presenting more substantial evidence, the witnesses themselves became “irrelevant” and the story was not about the allegations but about Giuliani’s hair dye running down his face. Lawyers who shied away from participating in the hearings were touted as evidence of a sinking ship, with no hint at other possibilities, like their livelihoods being threatened.

If I were in charge of Republican allegations of election fraud I would have gone about this differently. But of course it is too late now. I would have focused only on evidence that does not require witness corroboration and only on such evidence as would change the election outcome. Too much time has been wasted on proving that the election process can be manipulated. There was never a need to be prove this at all. The real question is, was the level of manipulation able to change the outcome? In other words, did the American vote count?

There is still another equally disturbing problem with journalism surrounding the election, besides misrepresentation and manipulation. This is silence. Silence when there is a real issue to report. Like the lawsuits filed by Sidney Powell. Silence when voters rally by tens or hundreds of thousands in support of the president. Silence about the actual significance of only Republican watchers not being allowed to observe ballot counting.

One can’t help but speculate that journalists who are willing to suppress the voices of half the population of America might also be willing to cooperate to suppress the votes of these same American citizens. Meaning, of course, the loss of a democratic election process. It will require a level of fearlessness journalism, and integrity we have not seen up to this point, to uncover what actually happened in the American election.

People Don’t Like to be Deceived

People don’t like being deceived. The reason we don’t like to be deceived is that we make decisions based on our knowledge and when we are deceived we make decisions based on a wrong premise. We would have made other decisions had we had full disclosure.

To no fault of our own, we end up making choices we regret when we learn the full story.

It’s everybody’s responsibility to get a complete and accurate picture, however, we cannot do so if we don’t have access to information. If information is withheld from us, or if it is misconstrued we cannot make an informed choice. We cannot make the best choice. We end up making the choice others decided we should make.

When we learn the truth we feel manipulated. We lose trust. This is why it is important to tell the truth, even if it hurts. This is how we maintain faith in people and in institutions.

A Psalm of David.

15 O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
    Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
    and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
    and does no evil to his neighbor,
    nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
    and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

Why the Anti-Conversion Therapy Bill is a Very Bad Thing for Canada

In today’s news we read that the Conservative party is giving a reluctant nod to the Anti-Conversion Therapy Bill introduced by Liberals. Reluctant or not, this is extremely concerning. Some, by their agreement, hope for amendments to be made to a bill we do not need. Criminal behaviour and coercion is already prosecutable in courts.

The arguments for the bill of course are very forceful and emotional with statements on Twitter like this one by David Lametti, “It is a cruel practice, based on false beliefs, that has no place in our country.”

Are we supposed to believe that? What is cruel and what has no place in our society is the LGBT community interfering with how a mother and a father want to raise their children.

The bill “would criminalize the practice of forcing children or adults to undergo therapy aimed at altering their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“Some Conservatives have expressed fears the bill would outlaw conversations between parents and their children or counsel from religious leaders.”

It would also outlaw professional counselling as we read here:

“Under Bill S-202, it would be illegal to advertise conversion therapy services and to obtain a financial or other material benefit for the provision of conversion therapy to anybody under the age of 18, and punishable by up to five years in prison.”

Note the reference to “under the age of 18.” These are our children and grandchildren we are talking about. We will not be able to seek counsel or give counsel to our own children.

Meanwhile, in Britain, “One woman is suing the British National Health Service for the decision to so quickly place her on puberty-blocking drugs, at age 16, after a “gender-affirming” clinic proclaimed she was a boy.”

If the bill is passed, as another article states, “those not wishing to transition and those wishing to “de-transition” one day will have nowhere to turn for professional help.”

This article in favor of the bill states: “Conversion therapy these days happens mostly informally in churches on a one-on-one basis rather than in larger, more organized groups, Hargreaves says, but he stresses that the impact on people is the same.” The bill targets any kind of intervention and makes it a criminal offense.

Freedom of speech is further eroded and now restrictions will apply to what we say in our homes and definitely in our churches, as we’ve just read.

The goal of the LGBT activists is control over our churches and our families. This is not about freedom of religion or parental rights. This is only about the Rights of the Child, as instituted by the U.N., and with ulterior motives, I might add. Continue reading.

The IGLA, an umbrella organization over 1200 plus LGBT organizations encourages advocates/lobbyists (in a 270 page document of recommendations to the United Nations) to show up at the United Nations Committees in Geneva in person and make a presentation for LGBTI children and adolescents. In their 2016 document of recommendations for the United Nations you will find this statement: “The Advocates are encouraged to focus on the right to identity within the Convention on the Rights of the Child in order to raise issues of gender identity and expression. CRC is also very experienced in discussing questions of children’s capacity to consent, as well as their right to health, which could be very useful in the context of accessing puberty blockers, for example.” The CRC refers to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. You will also read that enforcement through litigation is encouraged. I encourage you to take a look at this document.

Let’s be clear. Giving under-age children hormone blockers, with or without parental consent, is the real criminal offense. This article explains the impact of these medications: “More than 26,000 of the events associated with the two hormone blockers, Leuprolide acetate and triptorelin (which includes Lupron and similar drugs used by clinics), were classified by the federal agency as “serious,” including 6,370 deaths. The drugs, which dramatically lower testosterone and estrogen levels in the body, are linked to life-threatening blood clots and other complaints, include brittle bones and joint pain.”

We are incurring permanent, life-altering damage on our children. That’s because we’ve lost our common sense. Planned Parenthood has extensive information on their website as to why your birth gender is not your actual gender. Look under Learn/Gender Identity. Planned Parenthood has now influenced the United Nations to mandate this SOGI education in our schools where children are taught to stimulate themselves as young as the age of six. I kid you not. See this article.

Planned Parenthood makes no apologies for doing their utmost to influence society as you can read about in this piece articulating their influence on Hollywood. LIfeSiteNews summarizes and states that “The article quotes other pro-abortion figures, such as Planned Parenthood senior vice president for communications & culture Melanie Roussell, as hailing pop culture’s “power to challenge abortion stigma,” citing how shows such as Will & Grace helped normalize homosexuality.” The sexualization of our children by these two entities seems to know no bounds. The movie industry recently crossed the line by marketting a child’s Troll doll with what “may be perceived as inappropriate”–a tickle button between her legs. The doll was taken off the market.

We are told the following: The new offences would not apply to those who provide support to individuals questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, such as parents, friends, teachers, doctors, mental health professionals, school or pastoral counsellors and faith leaders.

If you read this carefully you will see that what is claimed to be a reassurance is no reassurance whatsoever. Assurances are only offered for those who PROVIDE SUPPORT. Who decides what is supportive and what is not supportive? And what are we supporting here, the child’s long-term wellbeing or their momentary inclination? Anyone who is a parent knows there is a serious difference.

Research shows that children, possibly as high as 80% of them, will change their mind about their gender as they age. Bill S-202 means we can’t even tell them this happens because the information could be considered as other than “supportive.” Can you imagine the Pandora’s box this will open? And the court cases that will ensue? Not to mention the trauma to well-meaning parents and support persons. See, that is the key here. Planned Parenthood and the LGBT activists along with their allies in our schools and social systems will be the ones to decide what is in the best interests of our children.

I, for one, have stood on the sidelines long enough. If we don’t speak up now, we can kiss our rights goodbye and give our children and grandchildren over to Child and Family Services who will take them from our homes under the guise of criminal child abuse because we affirm their biological birth gender.

This isn’t a one size fits all scenario. And in this case, this bill does not fit the family, although it fits the LGBT and Planned Parenthood agenda very well.

I know I will be labeled homophobic and transphobic. That is what anyone who objects to the LGBT ideology is called. I ask, what do you call someone who objects to a mother and father raising their children to be mothers and fathers? What do you call someone who wants to help others feel comfortable with their biological sex? We cannot allow the rights of one segment of society to trespass any further and violate the rights of all others.

We will pay dearly if we don’t stop this insanity. We have allowed our compassion to be hijacked. I am just an ordinary concerned citizen who feels the distinct need to draw a line in the sand.

One Week Away From Election Date

I am Canadian, and it has been quite a show south of the border. One week from Election Day. I think I can safely say that the media has done us no favours with its unconcealed bias against the American president. Even in Canada, it has not escaped my notice that our Liberal Prime Minister has taken frequent opportunity to slight the president.

I am waiting for President Biden to right all the wrongs that have been blamed on Trump, beginning with the stopping of flights from China when knowledge of the Coronavirus first emerged. My only question is why he is waiting to stop the rioting until he is president when apparently one word from him could put an end to the violent protests.

The resistance to Amy Barrett becoming a Supreme Court Judge has erased my innocence. I thought courts were impartial. I also thought, at one time, that you shouldn’t be able to tell how a journalist votes by the comments they make and the articles they write. Has anyone besides me noticed how journalists choke and are unable to report on a single positive move of current American leadership?

I grieve for the younger generations who have to witness the adults at each others’ throats. What has happened to civility? I think we have a bigger problem than systemic racism. It’s systemic hatred.

And how do we fix that? My Bible tells me that hating another is equivalent to murder and worthy of the same punishment. Maybe we could start with that thought.

“It doesn’t make sense, after 10 days, putting the kids in self-isolation.”

At a time like this it is critical that we have confidence in our health authorities and respect their directives. CTV News reported in an article yesterday that Elsie Roy Elementary School in Vancouver had a case of Covid-19 and ten days later parents received a letter requiring students to isolate for four remaining days, back-dating to the last day of exposure.

As one mother pointed out, until this time the children “were in school, they were everywhere, going outside, just living our lives normally.” In other words, students had opportunity to spread the virus for ten days.

The delayed response is at best evidence of a system that is clearly not working and at worst a sign of negligence and incompetence.

The delay in response by the Vancouver Health Authority is disconcerting on its own, but the directive to isolate for the last four of fourteen days indicates a weakness in the interpretation and application of isolation guidelines.

The directors could have explained the ten day delay to parents and assured them this would not happen again, but to send families into isolation for four days is totally futile at this point. Anyone can see that. It adds insult to injury to parents who find out too late the risk they were exposed to, and then are required to respond like puppets to an unreasonable order.

The delay in response by the Vancouver Health Authority is disconcerting on its own, but the directive to isolate for the last four of fourteen days indicates a weakness in the interpretation and application of isolation guidelines. Even if we can ignore the delayed response time, this lack of judgment is difficult to overlook.

It is precisely this kind of decision making that causes people to lose confidence in health authorities. It would be advisable to investigate how such a lapse in judgment happened and to consider a possible change in management. This is not a time when we can afford to lose public confidence in health authorities.

When You Face Resistance as a Writer

Does anyone else ever feel like all hell breaks loose once you set a goal?

Recently I determined to spend a minimum of two hours each day on my novel. Since then my computer broke down and I was required to order a new one. We had “smoke week” here on the coast from the fires in the western states and this agitated me to the point where we needed to get a purifier. Some rearranging happened in our house which took up a lot more time than I expected. My husband became sick, so I tried to “nurse” him. I became sick, twice, and required a doctor’s visit. Family issues cropped up. In the middle we had the awaited “Throne Speech” and the looming threat of a federal election in Canada. And of course there was no end of strife south of the border, as I followed the news and political developments.

I also became aware that my other “work” interferes with my creative process. I am now working on a way to resolve this.

Upheavals in our lives and unsettled business constantly rob us of creative energy.

Some years ago I learned to give credit to the “stressors” in my life. Not surprisingly, I didn’t even know that certain things caused me stress. I ignored and minimized other stressors and this resulted in a kind of cognitive dissonance.

We’ve often heard the saying, The truth will set you free. It is a quote from Jesus Christ. It is remarkable how helpful a good, honest look at our situation can be.

We’ve also heard, “The trouble with being deceived is that you don’t know you are deceived.” We can’t deal with a situation when we don’t understand it. There are times of seeking and then there are times when all we can do is wait for the light.

In my case, my light came through a friend, some years ago, who loaned me a book on stress. I think it was called Pressure Points: How to Deal With Stress, by Don Osgood. Osgood talks about the fact that acknowledging stressors can be a significant key to overcoming stress. I highly recommend his book.

When I give proper credit to the stressors that impair my productivity, I actually have more peace. There are things that make it difficult to clear space in my head for writing. It is as though, by giving them a nod, they settle down.

Naming the problem has a way of reducing its power over us. Even positive stressors like a wedding in the family, or a vacation, or the Christmas Season can drain our resources.

When my children were young I learned to immediately acknowledge their distress. This made them feel cared for and removed the need for whining and nagging.

In my work with mentally challenged adults I took a Behavior Modification course which taught me that if I failed to be consistent in one instance, I could lose years of progress made with a client. I practiced consistency with my children and this made them feel secure.

We all need consistent validation and reassurance. We need to feel secure.

Since we don’t want others to minimize or ignore our needs, we should not be ignoring or minimizing them either. I find that at times I have to picture myself as the “other” in, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We are often kinder to others than we are to ourselves.

Don’t ignore. Don’t minimize. Life is what it is. Acknowledge and work your way through it. Have a little faith that you will find yourself in a place beyond this that may be better.

Many times we don’t understand the seasons in our lives. Certain periods are characterized by unique circumstances. One season passes and we find ourselves in a new place, which requires adjustment. It may be retirement, or an addition to the family, or a child leaving home. The best we can do is be “faithful” and consistently apply ourselves to the next thing that requires doing in our setting.

I read a hopeful blog this morning at Another Slice, entitled Follow the Sun. I look for encouragement wherever I can find it. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I remind myself. There is a way and we will find it by persisting in the face of resistance.

Persistence may look different than we imagined. It may mean first taking care of things that get in the way and then returning to our writing. Think of this as a pause, not a stop. Or it may mean acknowledging and then ignoring them, so that we can write.

I heard a touching story that encouraged me in a strange way. We are living in challenging times and things can get worse. What if they do? How will we manage? Things may get worse before they get better. Some things will not get better this side of eternity. I think of this when my doctor says the word “degenerative.”

The story I heard was of a man who was in a concentration camp. Each morning the men in the barracks rose before sunrise and walked miles in every kind of weather to the place where they put in a long day of back-breaking labor. He and his comrades received almost no nourishment and many succumbed. The man noticed that when the guards saw someone stumbling and failing, the person was shot on the spot. Realizing this, he knew that if he wanted to survive he needed to appear strong and capable. He decided that each morning he would get up and shave. He was a survivor who lived to tell his story.

Each day we have to do the equivalent of shaving–the thing that tells us we are strong enough for what this day may bring. I may not be able to control what happens in my life, but I can maintain my dignity in my trial. This will serve me well in accomplishing my goal.

My New Computer Arrived Yesterday

my new computer is not available for use, yet. my husband, thankfully, is setting it up for me.

i use scrivener for my writing files. we were able to get a 45 percent discount on the updated version, but had to hunt down a receipt, take a screen shot, email it to scrivener, have them send us an official receipt, then apply it to the purchase which was done directly through scrivener since the apple store does not handle these kinds of discounts. finally we were able to install scrivener this morning.

before my husband can transfer my projects he has to convert them to the new scrivener format. this requires cleaning up all my back-ups, of which for some reason i have multiple copies. he then creates a new back-up folder in dropbox to separate the old back-ups from the new ones. i’m sort of following what he’s doing. it’s in these moments that i really appreciate the man i am married to.

in preparation i condensed my scrivener projects. you probably don’t want to hear about this process. i still have fifty projects. that’s projects with folders and files.

by tomorrow, i’ll be on my new computer. yay.

in case you are wondering how i got caps in my title, i did it by using caps lock. however, this doesn’t work for punctuation marks or symbols.

Writing Progress Report

In a recent post I stated my intention of applying the most basic rule to my writing, being “get her done.” In other words, get in my chair and write, daily. I set a goal of two hours a day.

I have averaged pretty close to that, however, most of my work was done during the first week. then my computer started acting up. it randomly decides not to print caps, as you can see, just now. i’ll think it’s fixed, as i thought when I started this, and then it acts up again.

this can be very frustrating not only for caps, but when i am trying to print question marks. they look like this ///////. my apostrophes are ‘ single, instead of ” double. My computer doesn’t want to highlight. clicking and dragging is hit and miss. if you are a writer, you know this is really a necessary component of writing. I’m always moving things around.

before this became an issue i had for months had a problem with my curser randomly skipping around the page and i’d find myself writing somewhere earlier in my document. lucky if i caught it early, but i could end up with half a sentence in the middle of another paragraph.

i’ve already replaced the fan and the battery in this computer to prolong its life. i’ve had two computers since 1995, so i’ve done exceptionally well, i would say. but this problem with my keyboard has slowed down my writing and i’ve taken a break now, because I am actually waiting for a new computer to arrive! Yay!

So, this is what happens when you get determined to make progress. Obstacles appear. On top of that i had a few sick days during my second week. i will be kind to myself and encourage myself, as i would want you to do if you found yourself challenged. i will remind myself that I can get back on track. i’m very determined to do so, but typing with this challenge, right now, is not an absolute necessity. it wears on my patience, and writing is supposed to be done with a measure of pleasure and ease. it is difficult to begin with, so why add to the stress?

After i began my commitment to writing and finishing my novel, I watched a movie in which i saw a scene very similar to the one that motivated my story in the first place, in 1995. i searched in my ‘library’ and actually found the 1995 magazine that contained the two page photo that got me started on writing my story. i showed it to my husband. It was like a confirmation, or should i say an affirmation. i take these things where I find them. we all need encouragement.

So, my computer should be arriving in about two weeks. soo-oo-o looking forward to it.

keep at it1 9there’s another problem…ones for exclamation marks and nines for brackets…forget this for now

It’s Not Who You Are

We can choose to be identified by our past or we can have faith to move beyond it.

As I commit myself to working on my novel again, I am having to deal with demons of the past. “You won’t follow through.” “You’ve failed before.” “What makes you think you can do it this time?”

If you’ve ever tried to change a pattern in your life, you will have run into similar taunts and fears. But there are numerous testimonials to the contrary, examples of how people prevailed against odds. You can be one of those people.

I have a large bookshelf and sometimes I look at my books and ask why my novel is not yet published. What am I missing that the other published authors have?

First of all, my worth is not defined by whether I am a published author or not. Secondly, my life is not over yet and the potential for publication is still there. I just have to persevere and acquire a few skills. This may still add up to publication. I will also have to do the hard work.

Doing the hard work is probably the most important part.

I once surprised a lot of people who never gave any thought to my capabilities. You see, I attended college when I was young, but I didn’t graduate. In fact, I dropped out of two classes during my final year in college.

Then I went back to college after our children left home. I had no confidence in my ability. A friend was working to finish her degree and my attitude was, “Good for her.” But I could never do that.

The truth is that I again dropped out of two classes. History was repeating itself. But the following year something changed and for two years I took a full course load, even more than a full course load, and I graduated with my degree, with highest honors.

That voice you hear in your head, telling you that you will fail, don’t listen to it. It does not know you. It does not acknowledge all of your capabilities.

We all have an accuser that tries to keep us from getting up and trying again, trying harder, and succeeding.

The first year I took a full coarse load in college I was extremely stressed but I set a daily goal of how much reading I needed to do. I scheduled a time to work on my assignments. I attended classes faithfully. All of these added up to eventually completing my degree.

That year our school went on our annual weekend retreat and while there I climbed a small mountain. It was challenging. I didn’t know if I could make it. But I did. Whenever I didn’t know if I could succeed in my studies, I reminded myself that if I was able to climb that mountain, I could do this.

Look at a success in your life. Remind yourself of your ability. Persevere. Prevail. Don’t allow that voice in your head to define you. It’s not who you are.