Last year, on the occasion of the inauguration of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was found taking a holiday with his family and enjoying the ocean waves in the West Coast village of Tofino. He wasn’t attending any commemorative events.
It really is difficult to know what to do on this national holiday. Should we follow his example and all go to the beach? Or is this a day of mourning? If that is the case, how much of the day should we spend in mourning? Should we spend an hour from 11:00 a.m. to noon and include a minute of silence? Is it alright to go to the beach afterward? Should we close all beaches to the public?
And that begs the question, what exactly are we commemorating?
I think the simplest explanation is to say we are mourning the children who didn’t come home from the residential schools. They lie buried in graves near the schools. It was not practical to send home their small remains due to the expense of transportation and probably the cost of embalming. If cremation had been done, then that might have changed the entire story because the remains would have been sent home. No, they were given a proper Catholic burial in the vicinity of the schools or churches. Neither the government, nor the schools, nor the families were willing or able to foot the bill to transport them home so now we have unmarked graves. Graves where the original wooden markers have disappeared over the years.
It seems that with this new holiday we will have a day of mourning for aboriginal children in perpetuity.
How many of the children who went to residential schools did not return? Did most of those who died, die of illness? Was the cause of each death investigated? Did any die a violent death? Who was responsible? Did some die as a result of deprivation or other reasons? One thing that has come of this holiday is this article and these questions, but the thought of repeating this every year is troubling. And the thought that efforts at truth and reconciliation haven’t happened in the past is simply not true. News articles bear witness to repeated reconciliation efforts. I think a maudlin preoccupation with abuse is a symptom of our age.
One can look at this from so many angles but first of all we have to admit that the Canadian government, in its wisdom, has for generations mandated that children from six to sixteen attend school, preferably the government-funded public school. Since it was impossible to have schools staffed by teachers in the regions where aboriginal families were scattered, a solution was found. Send the children to residential schools.
For generations parents have coughed up high tuition and boarding fees to send their children to residential schools. We actually call them boarding schools. They are reserved for the elite who can afford them. So separating children from parents is actually not a barbaric practice. But of course, these schools differ substantially from the primitive aboriginal residential schools and not only in terms of luxury. Parents of children in residential schools did not wield any kind of influence in the schools. The real difference between the two is choice. Parents choose to send their children to boarding schools. They are not mandated by the government to do so. Their children are not hauled away by government officials. That is the critical difference.
My immigrant forefathers reached agreements regarding schooling arrangements before arriving on Canadian soil, agreements that were subsequently ignored by the government. Many who would not comply were left with no recourse but to move to another country, and they did so. It was important to raise their children with their own values and without the intrusion of government. Their request to the Canadian government was to have their own teachers and to teach in their own language and this provision was denied.
Now we might say the government, at the time residential schools were implemented for aboriginal children, was being benevolant. Schooling, as well as room and board, were provided at no cost to the parents. But once again, the issue is that the will of the parents was not consulted. It was ignored. There was coercion and forced compliance. The government took it upon itself to replace the parent figure as the one who knows what is best for the children.
We are still up against this today. Parents who protest values they do want to see taught to their children in schools have their objections fall on deaf ears, or worse: they are outright ridiculed. I have witnessed this. Under pressure from special interest activist groups the United Nations mandates ideologies and our governments are compliant, or should we say complicit, in implementing this in a “we know better” approach. These activists carry on international surveillance to gauge compliance.
I am at a loss to know how we ought to behave on this holiday because it is essentially a Canadian holiday meant to point out the failings of our government to consider the wishes and needs of early inhabitants of this grand country. We are commemorating a mistake we don’t want to make again. Yet, in not so small ways, this mistake keeps being made. Government leaders think they know what is best and mess things up. In a few years we might see a Truth and Reconciliation Day for Truckers.
Community “events” are being planned. On Remembrance Day we commemorate sacrifices of honor made for our freedoms. In contrast, I find nothing to celebrate on the Day of Truth and Reconciliation and I’m not sure I want to risk attending these events.
Let’s remember that the Catholic Church is not to blame for being called to do the bidding of the government to educate, feed and house aboriginal children. Individuals who were there, who abused their role, should be held to account and efforts have been made to that effect, but I fear the time has passed now since the perpetrators of alleged abuses are no longer with us.
However, in terms of holding to account, there really is no excuse to continue to allow men with a penchant for young boys to be in positions of access to children within the Catholic Church or in schools.
I don’t want to offer excuses for anyone, but let’s remember that caring for large numbers of children who are away from their parents, around the clock, cannot be an easy task. And anyone who has lived a few decades has seen a tyrannical teacher. My first grade teacher ordered the students in the class who had run around inside during lunch hour to crawl around the circumference of the room, on their hands and knees, and one by one as they came by her, each would receive a strap. I can still hear the wailing and see the tear-stained faces. This was a public school, by the way.
I want to point out something that the media seems to be misrepresenting. There were no mass graves. There was no genocide. Genocide involves intent. Neither the Catholic Church, nor the Canadian government intended to wipe out aboriginal children. The intent was to educate. Some “survivors” have actually given testimony of benefits derived from an education. They would not describe residential schools as institutions of genocide. Yes, there was an abuse of power. But does that call for setting aside a national holiday?
When children died, whether of disease, or loneliness, or abuse, graves were dug for them and wooden markers with names were placed on the graves, according to Catholic tradition. The markers disappeared over the years as the graves were neglected, as I stated earlier. Aboriginal chiefs will tell you the graves are not a surprise. They have known about the graves. If we are talking about a Day for Truth, this should be part of the narrative.
Now we have set aside a day in which every person who settled in Canada, after aboriginals staked a claim here, is to share blame and be shamed for deeds in which they had no part. To me this is taking a very narrow view. I fail to see that anything positive will be accomplished by this holiday, because everyone, guilty or not, is set up to fall short of the required guilt sacrifice.
There’s been a lot of ruckus in the past days over words that should not have been spoken to Chrystia Freeland during her visit to Alberta, however, no investigation has been made into what might have caused a verbal backlash and the obvious frustration.
I’m not familiar with the people involved and I’m not making excuses for them, but I’ve been watching as the anger and fear in Canada has increased. It is not without reason. The CBC coverage by Christian Paas-Lang of the incident is a clear example of exactly the reasons I am talking about.
The headline states, Chrystia Freeland latest target of public threats, intimidation against women in Canadian politics. The article makes us believe this was about Chyrstia Freeland being a woman and about women, especially black women journalists being targeted. Further, the implication here is that this attack was made by misogynists and racists. Where have we heard those familiar words before? It’s difficult to believe, but this was what Trudeau called people associated with the Freedom Convoy, not so long ago.
Let’s be clear about something. The person targeted was a very specific woman in power in the Canadian liberal government, namely the deputy Prime Minister of Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau has been targeted, frequently, himself, in recent months since he refused to meet with the trucker’s convoy, and refused to enable them to go back to their jobs. Whatever the reason, imagine an entity in power making it impossible for people to earn a living (not to mention the bank accounts he froze). However, calling attention to his race or gender could scarcely be fitting.
Day by day people see more of what they have been seeing for the past few years and it makes them angry. The Prime Minister of Canada is able to get away with name calling and dismissing Canadians who are in pain as a result of his unnecessary and illogical actions. There is an open wound in Canada and it will not go away until there is either an apology and about-face from our Prime Minister, or a change in government.
This week a video aired in Canada of Jordan Peterson interviewing Dr. Leslyn Lewis, one of five candidates running for the leadership of the Conservative Party, Canada’s official opposition party. Lewis shared that when she ran for the party leadership in 2020 the Canadian media ignored her and gave Kamala Harris, an American, 800 times the coverage Lewis received around the same time. Leslyn Lewis is a black woman and also shared that she does not receive media coverage in Canada because the media sees her party as a “white, racist” party. Is there anything to be angry about here?
Trudeau tried to tarnish the truckers by tying them to any sketchy association, even calling repeated attention to the presence of a single Nazi flag within the vicinity of the truckers. It turns out that Chystia Freeland has a family heritage of working for Nazis, as does Klaus Schwab, the leader and founder of the World Economic Forum. I found this information freely available online. To many Canadian the WEF represents a loss of national sovereignty and Chyrstia Freeland is on the board of the WEF. Might that be a reason to be disturbed?
I think we can assume this was not a random attack on a woman, and what we are seeing is not attacks on black journalists, specifically, at all. People in Canada, like the protesters, feel they have lost their representation in the media. The above-mentioned article appears to be a rallying cry for further dismissing and shutting down concerned Canadians by calling on the government to enact stringent legislation throttling free speech. In other words, spelled out more plainly, find a means to silence opposition. More than anything, unhappy people need someone to listen to them. They want to know someone cares. After the truckers convoy Canadians increasingly feel that nobody in Ottawa is willing to listen.
Trudeau’s response to the episode was that this was, “unacceptable and this kind of cowardly behaviour threatens and undermines our democracy and our values of openness and respect.” How can Trudeau speak of values after his unacceptable response to Canadians, as a leader of Canada, name calling and labeling people as racists and misogynists? His contemptuous treatment of the Freedom Convoy is seen by Canadians as exactly the kind of cowardly behavior he is condemning. He needs a reminder that this is still a democracy, meaning people are represented by elected government leaders and actually have a say in what happens in this country. However, we have seen little, if any, representation in the Liberal-NDP coalition government we now have. The MPs are only representing the wishes of our Prime Minister and that is a problem.
The verbal attacks on journalists are not because they are female or women of color or of a minority group. The CBC made two retractions regarding the truckers and still, today, this government-funded news organization fuels resentment against the Freedom Convoy protesters and any others who might have an inclination to see the Canadian flag as a symbol of freedom.
Yes, Chrystia Freeland represents a direction many in Canada do not want to take. It is no conspiracy theory that she is among the global elites who fly to Davos on their private jets and conspire how to rule the world. Canadians do not want a world health system where all of our medical information is no longer private. We do not want digital ID and a few of the other great proposals these wealthy global leaders are arrogantly presenting. We can see where this is leading. We do not want to lose our sovereignty and freedoms.
The world is reverberating with Schwab’s claim, “You will own nothing and be happy.” Does he really think that we don’t have any questions about who will own what we no longer own? Another gem out of the WEF is that there will be a temporary, painful period of transition but this is simply the cost of progress. In this case we don’t have any question about who will be impacted. I did, however, come up with a question this week. How many farmers did Bill Gates displace with his farmland acquisitions?
If you want to know more of what Canadians are resisting, you can get your Kindle copy of Klaus Schwab’s COVID-19: The Great Reset at Amazon for $7.63. That’s U.S. funds. Closer to $11.00 CDN. Jason Kenney, Premier of our province of Alberta, reported that he received a free copy, courtesy of Klaus Schwab, and so did others in positions of political authority in Canada. However, we ordinary citizens will have to buy our own copy. It’s probably worth it, though, because we need to wake up and determine what kind of action to take. Name calling will not accomplish what we need to see happen in our country, but it does have the effect of drawing attention.
Here is an update on September 16 from the author of The Freedom Convoy.
Yes, it is criminal. Doctors are doing irreversible harm. We would consider it barbaric to do to animals what we allow to be done to our children.
As a God-fearing woman I believe that what we are witnessing around us is not climate change as a consequence of carbon emissions. It is thevolatility of nature in distress. We are desecrating God’s design. The earth is not unresponsive. There is a reference in the Bible that says “all of creation groans in anticipation of the revelation of the sons of God.” In another place we read, “If these lips would not praise then the rocks would cry out” (my paraphrase). Nature can be affected by the attitudes and actions of humans. It can groan and be distressed by the evil in the world. The Bible says God will “heal their land” if people humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways.
Peterson is outraged at the American Psychological Association and the medical doctors and psychologists–those in whom we once placed our trust–who now endorse the mutilation–for that is what it is–of not yet fully developed youth. These specialists are knowingly complicit in ruining the future of young people who are 85% likely to change their mind, given time.
Make no mistake, removing sexual organs comes with no guarantee to improve quality of life or reduce suicide ideation. On a purely physical level, the procedures cause scarring, reduce circulation and increase vulnerability to a multitude of inflammatory diseases. Recovery is painful and there may be nerve damage. Anaesthetics administered during surgery or multiple surgeries are not without their immediate and long term risks.
Doctors are experimenting. Forgive my explicitness, here, but I am appalled by the insanity of the removal of skin from a forearm for the formation of an appendage that has the appearance, but not the function of a penis.
In addition, the prescription of ongoing hormone therapy has risks which are well known.
The “buyer’s remorse” which is sure to happen for many cannot be legally addressed in Canada, since the acceptance of an anti-conversion therapy bill. Of course we must note that reversal of hormonal changes cannot be guaranteed, not to mention surgical alterations.
The transitioned remain in a category of their own. It is a male who simulates a female or a female who simulates a male. Simulate, in the American Heritage Dictionary is:
1. Made in resemblance of or as a substitute for another.
2. Performed or staged in imitation of a real event or activity
3. Made to imitate something else, artificial
4. Not genuine or real, being an imitation of the genuine article
5. Reproduced or made to resemble; imitative in character
American Heritage dictionary
Transgenderism is an attempt at simulating the opposite gender in externals. It is an “in-between” and sub-optimal human existence. It is no wonder the suicide rate is high among those who have transitioned.
Those who transition rely on the support of advocates of transition, or “allies” in the trans community. They count on, or should I say insist, on the continuous celebration of their change as we are witness to with Pride marches and the celebration of Pride month and all the other visible public displays of symbolic merchandise, including flags, banners and crosswalks painted in symbolic colors.
Sadly, the desire for this attention is enough to lure an increasing number of vulnerable youth into a dangerous lifestyle similar to how children are lured into gangs and into taking harmful and addictive drugs.
Somehow, the United Nations has succumbed to the influence and pressure from lobbying members of the IGLA–the International Gay and Lesbian Association–an umbrella organization for over 1000 gay and lesbian groups–to integrate the psychologically invasive Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, also known as SOGI, into all subjects of our school curriculum, beginning in kindergarten.
I fear a day of judgment for those who knowingly participated and promoted this distortion.
Adults who are so eager to comply with children–I’m talking about parents, medical teams, social services, educators and even attorneys–should take some time to seriously consider the reality that next time a transitioned child pleads to make a change, there will be no option left for you to offer them. The high ideal of offering choice will not be open to them. There will be a serious reality check at that point.
What will you tell a child or young adult? What words will you use? Because you need to prepare a response in advance. There is a very good chance that a youth or child who is not of a steady mind about their gender, will want to change again. When they discover there is no one to support their desire to revert, that is when there will be a high likelihood of suicide.
In Canada our government has further complicated matters of “help” in this case by making any assistance illegal. Here is a quote from a CTV article concerning the new anti-conversion therapy law that came into effect on January 7 of this year:
That means that now anyone who looks to subject someone of any age, consenting or not, to so-called conversion therapy could face up to five years in prison.
As well, if someone is found to be promoting, advertising, or profiting from providing the practice, they could face up to two years in prison.
Conversion “therapy,” as it has been called, seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender.
I cannot begin to express my incredulity over the short-sightedness of the anti-conversion therapy laws. All I can conclude is that this never was about the right of the child to begin with.
Sex change surgery seeks to solve a problem of unhappiness with one’s self. Like the saying goes, the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. But the real issue is what you do with the grass.
As a child I wanted, as badly as a child can, to be a boy. I thank God that there was no influence in my life pulling me in that direction. I wanted my father to view me with the same pride that he held for my brothers. However, I was observant and insightful enough to know that no outward change could ever convince him to consider me a boy. Should I penalize him for that? Should I force him to change? He knew my birth gender. He fathered me as a girl. I would never fool him. Like the saying goes, you can fool some people all of the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
Our chromosomes tell the truth about our nature in every cell of our bodies. To think we can change our sex is an illusion. We do not “discern” that we are male or female. We are not “trapped” in the wrong body. However, it is possible for this concept to take root in our minds and sometimes the deception is complete.
There are some who have transitioned “successfully” to the point that they actually live as though they are a different gender than they were at birth. By successful I mean, from outward appearances. This is, after all, about appearance. They want so badly to be the other gender that it brings them pleasure to continue with this appearance and to play the role. I am not one to refuse an adult this “privilege”, for that is what it is in a twisted sort of way. But I am strongly opposed to assisting or encouraging children, adolescents and teens in this direction. I believe what we should really have is an anti transition therapy law for those still in the development stage of life.
Those who label people as transphobic, who want to protect children, had better take heed to themselves and their not so noble motives.
At this young age those who contemplate transitioning have no possible way of knowing all the relevant information on risk and long term outcomes. It is on the shoulders of wiser adults to take the responsibility to prevent serious harm and to discourage sex change before adulthood. Just as Canada has made it illegal to counsel reverting back to heterosexual or cisgender identity, it should be illegal to counsel transition away from heterosexual or cisgender identity.
Activist groups who advocate for the rights of the child over the rights of parents are really advocating for their rights over your child.
We want our youth to be comfortable in their own skin and able to flourish. We do this by nurturing their spirits, not injuring their bodies.
For first hand information on global Sustainable Development Goals, watch the video and read the info here. I am presenting a summary along with my personal views. The video premiered September 19, 2020.
The video, interestingly, opens with an Andrea Bocelli Amazing Grace rendition on Easter Sunday ,April 12, 2020, “by invitation of the City and of the Duomo cathedral of Milan.” This was in the middle of lockdown and I remember watching the performance and being moved by it, as were millions of others.
The SGD video concludes with some disturbing video footage during a solo performance by Beyonce. You can watch the song with footage on its own here.
This article gives the following summary of the video, Nations United-Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times:
“Nations United-Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times” sets out what must be done to tackle the world’s biggest issues, from COVID-19 to poverty, inequality, gender discrimination, climate change, justice and human rights. The broadcast will also mark the UN’s 75th anniversary, as well as the 5th anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The film is directed by UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate Richard Curtis. It features leading activists such as education advocate and UN Messenger of Peace, Malala Yousafzai, Professor of Educational Technology, Sugata Mitra, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace, Forest Whitaker, actor and women’s rights activist Thandie Newton OBE, as well as UN Goodwill Ambassadors, Don Cheadle (UNEP) and Michelle Yeoh (UNDP), and UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.
On 25 September 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). These are a series of ambitious objectives and targets to end extreme poverty and hunger, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change, by 2030.
The primary focus of the video appears to be on addressing inequality and climate change. It speaks positively of climate changes that resulted from lockdowns, such as air pollution lifting over Punjab and the water in Venice canals becoming clear. This is the utopian world imagined where people do not live. The slippery slope is the devaluing of human life as being hazardous to the climate. I see this as a danger greater than the supposed climate change threat.
In the video we hear, “People showed enormous capacity to adapt, change the way they live, work, organize themselves….Change is possible, the problem is political will.”
The Sept 25, 2015 Sustainable Development Goals were considered “a set of solutions to the biggest problems the world faces.” Although I am skeptical, I must say that I’m sure there were good intentions. The key areas addressed were Climate, Poverty and Inequality, and Gender Inequality.
There is an excerpt from an essay in Arundhati Roy’s book, Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction, entitled, “The Pandemic Is a Portal” in which she says, rightfully, the pandemic brought the world to a halt when nothing else could. “In the midst of this terrible despair it offers us an opportunity to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.” The quote is found here.
Regarding climate change have seen what I would say is no less than an attack on the fossil fuel industry without proposing a feasible and affordable alternative. Even banks are now being brought on board and pressured not to lend to these industries. Francis Menton points out the problem in his June 6, 2022 article, More On Energy Fantasy Versus Reality In Woke-Land, “When the demand is there and the product works, it takes off. Not so for wind and solar for energy generation, nor for that matter for electric vehicles. Nobody buys these things unless subsidized, and as soon as government subsidies are reduced or go away, they disappear.” In other words, if the government keeps putting money into alternative energy then the constructing of solar panels and wind turbines will continue.
It is noteworthy that the SDG agreement followed closely on the heals of the December 12, 2015 Paris Agreement. Incidentally, a 10 day meeting of world leaders on the subject of Climate Change just concluded in Bohn Germany. This follows on the heels of the WEF meeting of world leaders in Davos. Whenever world leaders meet, there is no shortage of private jets and limos, not to mention other evidence of excess. My whole problem with the Climate Change agenda is the total inconsistency from the leaders who promote it. In the end it makes me wonder if there is really more interest in wealth and power than climate. Investments merely shift to countries that have no climate controls, such as China.
In this article, Open Borders Must Be Part of Any Response to the Climate Crisis we read, “Over the last hundred years, borders have come to function much as serfdom did until the 19th century: as a means of restricting the movements of the poor.” This is one of the solutions proposed for the problem of poverty and inequality, but it is lacking a lot of context. Ultimately it implies a world without borders which means no more sovereign nations and anyone can come and “colonize.”
When one looks at who is involved in these world leadership meetings we see the United Nations and its subsidiary entities, such the World Economic Forum (WEF). The SDG’s are under the umbrella of the United Nations as well. I’m relatively new to this understanding of how the UN influences countries, or should I say imposes on the sovereignty of nations, because this is what we have seen in education. IGLA has been very active, lobbying the UN and following up on gender equality and education compliance in all countries.
Between 2014 and 2019, 7 Treaty Bodies selected 33 SOGIESC recommendations for their follow-up review.
17 decisions on Individual Communications were adopted by three Committees in 2014–2019, with a violation found in 9. Two of the cases were brought by trans persons, however, have been no intersex cases so far.
Out of 27 General Comments adopted by Treaty Bodies, 20 (77%) contained references to SOGIESC.
These achievements would not have been possible without the active and consistent participation of LGBTI defenders from around the world, who collected data, drafted and submitted shadow reports, travelled to Geneva, and engaged with Committee members….
So, what we have here is powerful lobbying entities, backed by a lot of money, to be sure. There is little that is democratic about this.
I am in favor of many of the Sustainable Development Goals, however, I do not see the value in swallowing the proposals whole, without a careful analysis. For instance, perhaps we cannot get behind the plan to halve global emissions by 2030, or putting an end to building new coal power stations and subsidizing of fossil fuels, or implementing carbon taxes, but I can support reducing pollution of waters, putting limits on deforestation, and providing affordable education and health care. Many goals are not clear like the reference to need to “fix the financial system.” What does that involve? We give up our personal privacy as digital currencies are introduced?
Investing in “global peace” and “a global ceasefire” sounds good, but we have seen how impotent the UN is when faced with a real situation. The same applies to the lofty ideal to “break the vicious cycle of systemic corruption.” What systems are corrupted? How does a world governing body get involved? By creating little activists in our schools?
I nearly laughed at the proposal of a “free, independent media” seeing how we have not had this freedom throughout covid, to discuss alternate views. And “responsible social media platforms that encourage healthy debate,” after vaccine injury reports were repeatedly ignored and removed and doctors were threatened if they spoke out. “Free and fair elections” and “the right to protest.” I get the sense these were slipped in as a token to appeal to a certain audience, the Amazing Grace audience, versus the Beyonce one.
“Increase the power of the people to keep check on the people in power” stumped me as well, since this is the opposite of what we see happening. The rich get richer and the world leaders unite to become more powerful.
“Gender equality” of representation is not a good idea for reasons I don’t have time or space to discuss here. Equal access is good, but equal representation is not. It results in the less competent leading and I would say this is already becoming an apparent consequence, evidence being some of the poorly thought out proposals presented above.
I found the following on the Manhattan Contrarian website, which incidentally is a very comprehensive source for credible information on Climate Change by someone who has the knowledge to speak on the subject:
One of my intellectual heroes is Milton Friedman. In 1964 he spent a year as a visiting professor at Columbia University in Manhattan. In 1974 Friedman wrote an essay titled “Schools at Chicago” that includes the following passage:
In 1964–to the disgust and dismay of most of my academic friends–I served as an economic adviser to Barry Goldwater during his quest for the Presidency. That year also, I was a Visiting Professor at Columbia University. The two together gave me a rare entree into the New York intellectual community. I talked to and argued with groups from academia, from the media, from the financial community, from the foundation world, from you name it. I was appalled at what I found. There was an unbelievable degree of intellectual homogeneity, of acceptance of a standard set of views complete with cliche answers to every objection, of smug self-satisfaction at belonging to an in-group. The closest similar experience I have ever had was at Cambridge, England, and even that was a distant second. The homogeneity and provincialism of the New York intellectual community made them pushovers in discussions about Goldwater’s views. They had cliche answers but only to their self-created straw-men. To exaggerate only slightly, they had never talked to anyone who really believed, and had thought deeply about, views drastically different from their own. As a result, when they heard real arguments instead of caricatures, they had no answers, only amazement that such views could be expressed by someone who had the external characteristics of being a member of the intellectual community, and that such views could be defended with apparent cogency. Never have I been more impressed with the advice I once received: “You cannot be sure that you are right unless you understand the arguments against your views better than your opponents do.
I want to read the news but I can’t. It’s behind a paywall.
I want to read a left leaning newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and a paper labeled as right wing, The Epoch Times. But I can’t read either because they are behind a paywall. I don’t think it is right to restrict those who cannot afford a subscription. That may not be me, but it may be a vast number who are living at the poverty level.
I could sacrifice and I could justify getting subscriptions, while living what is defined as just above the poverty level in Canada, but I think of the many others who may not have such a carefully crafted budget and who may not be able to keep the credit man at bay.
Lower income means a lower standard of living but when this effects knowing what is going on in the world, I think this is of concern. The trouble with poverty is that it can affect access to information in other ways, and reduce possibility of advancement. For instance, if you cannot afford college tuition then you can’t get a higher education and if you cannot get a higher education then you stand less chance of lifting yourself out of poverty. Today, however, education itself will cause poverty as tuitions escalate. A friend who finally received her Masters Degree stated she is now $60,000 in debt and that is low by comparison to others I’ve heard of.
But back to the topic. Is there not a way to allow everyone to simply access a newspaper, any newspaper? Sometimes the two newspapers I mentioned offer special subscription deals, but once they have your credit card information it can be difficult to “unsubscribe” after the offer runs up. With The Globe and Mail this has been an ongoing problem that many have complained about. You can subscribe online but you cannot unsubscribe without making a phone call. We have all experienced the hassle it is to get a real person who knows what they are doing on the other end of the line. I must add that it is demoralizing to go through this process, repeatedly, but that is a topic for another day.
With all the focus on misinformation and disinformation, are we finally supposed to content ourselves with no information?
The Elon Musk and Twitter saga keeps me entertained these days. From the initial outrage that a billionaire would dare buy a media company (not that this is unusual)…to the threats of lawsuits…to Twitter’s board’s insistence that Musk must indeed buy Twitter now…do you get the sense that somebody knows how to play this game?
Musk has put his purchase of Twitter on hold until he gets accurate information on bots on Twitter. For anyone who doesn’t know what bots are, well, they are “robots” essentially. In other words, not real people. The way I see it, someone might create 20 “fake” accounts, bots in other words, and then spam Twitter. What is the impact and why would anyone do this? The result is that it looks like some people have way more followers than they actually do, and that some ideas are much more popular or disliked than is the actual case. Why would anyone want to do this? You might be able to come up with a few reasons.
I’ve noted that certain more right wing figures, like for instance Tim Pool and Stephen Crowder, reported on their YouTube channel that within days of Elon Musk requesting information from Twitter about bots, they suddenly had a significant increase in Twitter followers, to the tune of tens of thousands. I’m pretty sure Twitter didn’t create more bots to follow them, because that is not what you do when you are trying to sell a business. Investors don’t want to learn there are more bots, maybe not even that there are bots. Is it possible that Twitter suddenly reinstated accounts it had closed? I don’t know. This would offset bot numbers, I would think, making it look like there was a lower percentage of bots. I’m just following a trail of information breadcrumbs as I try to understand this.
Twitter bosses and employees had a literal melt-down when Elon Musk began to pursue the purchase of Twitter and it’s not difficult to figure out why. Twitter has a lot of power. After all, it de-platformed a sitting president of the USA. To be forced to hand over this power to a billionaire, whose political views might not agree with theirs, well…you can imagine. You can also imagine that the decision to boot Trump off Twitter was not made in a Twitter vacuum. A lot of pressure was put on Twitter and other social media to influence the election in favor of Democrats. As this opinion piece says, “Controlling this public square of political debate has been of immense benefit to Democrats, the media, globalists, and the government bureaucracy.”
Elon Musk on Saturday tweeted that Twitter’s legal team accused him of violating a nondisclosure agreement by revealing that the sample size for the social media platform’s checks on automated users was just 100 accounts.
“Twitter legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!” the Tesla CEO tweeted. “This actually happened.”
Shares of Twitter were down by nearly 10% in pre-market trading on Monday.
Musk Musk on Friday tweeted that his $44-billion cash deal to take the company private was “temporarily on hold” while he awaited data on the proportion of its fake accounts.
He said his team would test “a random sample of 100 followers” on Twitter to identify the bots.
When a user asked Musk to “elaborate on process of filtering bot accounts,” he replied: “I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake/spam/duplicate.”
With power potentially shifting it is becoming necessary to shore up media control. CNN found a quote by Tom Wheeler who wrote on Tech Tank at the Brookings Institution where he is a visiting fellow, “The idea that a handful of platforms can continue to make their own behavioral rules even when those decisions harm the public interest is no longer sustainable.”
Until now, the Trump ousters at Twitter have been fairly successful in making decision they consider to be in the “public interest.” But with power slipping out of their hands they are doubling down on efforts to control “misinformation.”
Even Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now obsessed with controlling information, in the style of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Here is another link. Did you know that Ukraine is the first country, according to Wikipedia, to have a Jewish head of state and head of government? I find this interesting because the countries supporting Ukraine against Russia have shown some ambivalence towards Israel, particularly when the American embassy was moved to Jerusalem as recently as 2018, under Trump’s presidency. I know this has nothing to do with bots, but it does have a lot to do with who is influencing who. This one remains a mystery as it doesn’t quite fit the mold, particularly since Ukraine has typically been a Nazi safe haven.
A Yahoo News report states that in addition to shutting down his opposition in parliament, Zelenskyy is “combining all national TV channels, the program content of which consists mainly of information and/or information-analytical programs, [into] a single information platform of strategic communication” to be called “United News.” This is in order to combat Russian misinformation and “tell the truth about the war.”
It amazes me that when the Freedom Convoy of truckers arrived in Ottawa to protest newly implemented vaccine mandates targeting truckers, Prime Minister Trudeau immediately falsely presumed and reported that the Convoy was funded by Russians. He tried to convince Canadians we had an insurrection on our hands, funded by foreigners, and froze the bank accounts of those who donated to truckers who lost their livelihoods as a result of the mandate.
Maybe Trudeau didn’t get the memo that there was no truth to the Russia collusion campaign Hillary Clinton instigated against President Trump. It does make you wonder what will happen if these people muscle their way into information control.
The most recent report on Twitter bots is that bots now represent in the neighbourhood of 20% of Twitter accounts. Oh, dear.
Canadians cannot leave the country by air or rail if we are not vaccinated because we are not allowed on a plane or train. We cannot even take a plane or a train to another province if we are above twelve years old and not vaccinated.
As I write there is a court case in progress in B.C. that will determine the validity of vaccine mandates for Health Care Workers. Our heroes suddenly became villains and this is a most cruel way to treat our caregivers. These were the women, primarily, many of them recent immigrants, who donned layers of protective gear and faced a frightening pandemic with an unknown outcome. The did not cringe. They did not draw back. Yet our government is cringing from them and treating them like lepers.
Everyone is getting covid, vaccinated or not. Vaccinated are dying of covid, as well as unvaccinated. This is not a vaccine, by definition. It is a shot.
Right now if you get covid, you are recommended (not required) to stay home for five days. Meanwhile, my 12 year old grandson who lives across the border will have to isolate for 14 days–even if he tests negative for covid before and during his stay–just because he is crossing a border. Canadian federal regulations. And note that he still can’t get on a plane after his 14 day isolation! So due to all this he will have to miss a family reunion and possibly his last chance to see his great grandmother. Let’s add that he has had covid and recovered, so he is forced to take a vaccine for a disease he already had. This is bordering on criminal.
The benefits of vaccinating children are not proven to be significant while the risk involved with vaccination is real. If it were my choice, I too would not vaccinate children and the primary reason is because it is taboo to mention vaccine injuries. We are being controlled. Compelled speech. Only say the party line, the politically correct thing. How much of our taxes have gone towards vaccine ads? Let’s not even begin to talk about money spent on tracing and testing. One must admit this is a business to keep going, lucrative as it is, especially now that the vaccine is not working and an antiviral treatment is selling fast.
Does any of this make sense? Meanwhile airports don’t have workers. Why? Federal mandates. My son and his wife missed their flight due to long security check lines and they were by far not the only ones. They had to shell out an extra $700 to reach their destination last month.
Does freezing the bank accounts of people who gave to the truckers make sense? My husband met someone at a Pierre Poilivre leadership rally who had their bank account frozen for one month because they gave a $25 donation to truckers. This is why people are coming to Poilivre’s rallies by the droves wherever he goes. Truckers, in their cabs, were not spreading covid. There was no need for a last minute call to mandate vaccines for truckers. The whole protest could have been avoided if our government had behaved in a reasonable manner. It’s time our Prime Minister stops holding Canadians hostage.
We have all tried to figure out what has been going on in the past two and a half years. On the surface we saw what was hailed as a world-wide pandemic. Countries were initially thrown into confusion as they tried to respond appropriately. Well, that’s not going to happen again. The WorldHealthOrganization (WHO) has leaders in place who have a plan to coordinate and control global response in the event of any similar occurrence. This might be seen by some as subverting the sovereignty of nations as they sign over their health care autonomy to the WHO.
In the 2007 IHR report, which can be found on the WHO website, we read, “196 countries across the globe have agreed to implement the InternationalHealthRegulations (2005) (IHR). This binding instrument of international law entered into force on 15 June 2007.” If you, like me, have wondered how the same message came from so many sources during the pandemic, it wasn’t an accident. It is because of this coordination. The recent news is that an amendment which will be much less accommodating is being worked on by an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB). If you read the proposed amendment you will see that what will be lost is the need for consultation. This potentially gives more direct control to the WHO and that is the purpose. Representatives from some countries have enthusiastically recommended that sanctions be imposed on nations that do not comply.
The WHO is working in close partnership with an organization called The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), created in 2016, with cofounder and funder Bill Gates, in order to fund vaccine development and create global stockpiles. The CEPI is funded by countries using “vaccine bonds” as pledge supports according to wikipedia information, in addition to banks and wealthy financiers. Here you will find a full list of contributors. Notably, Germany and Norway have contributed extraordinary sums.
As stated on their website, the CEPI has an “innovative 2022-2026 plan which seeks to reduce the risk of future epidemic and pandemic threats, including CEPI’s ambition to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days – a third of the time it took to develop the first COVID-19 vaccine.” Dr. Richard Hatchett is president of CEPI. Among his impressive credentials is serving as Associate Director for Radiation Countermeasures and Research and Emergency Preparedness at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under Anthony Fauci from 2005 to 2011. Wikipedia also credits him for coming up with social distancing as a means to prevent the spread of contagious disease but I think this idea is not original with him. One of five recent appointees to the board of CEPI is Dr Anita Zaidi. Her bio says she is the president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Gender Equality Division and also serves as the Foundation’s director of the Vaccine Development, Surveillance, and Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases programs. No doubt there are many distinguished people coordinating the vaccine program.
The CEPI works with key agencies such as the FDA, CDC, NIAID, NIH, as well as pharmaceutical companies. There is an interesting reference in a New York Times article that states CEPI had made a “failed effort to get large pharmaceutical firms to agree to be partners without insisting on substantial profits or proprietary rights to research that CEPI helped to finance and produce.”
The CEPI was formally launched at the 2017 WorldEconomicForum meeting in Davos. An inter-institutional roundtable, referred to as the Joint Coordination Group, helps with coordination efforts.
On the COVAX website we find behind the scenes work required for coordinating a worldwide vaccination effort. There is need for a Country Readiness and Delivery (CRD) “workstream” led by WHO, UNICEF and Gavi. The Research and Development and Manufacturing Investment Committee is a “multidisciplinary group with industry expertise that manages the allocations of funds under the Development and Manufacturing Workstream of COVAX.” From the website we also learn, “The RDMIC is comprised of the CEPI CEO, Gavi CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation President of Global Health, (ex-) industry R&D experts, (ex-) industry manufacturing experts, current active industry (non-vaccine) leaders and senior global public health leaders (including a CEPI Board member, to ensure linkages) and is accountable to the CEPI Board.” The CEPI website states, “RDMIC is a multidisciplinary group providing investment decision recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine projects.”
Vaccine development costs a lot of money and there is also a lot of profit to be made in this industry. The world is clearly in a vulnerable place when a pandemic hits. The question is, who guards against health care becoming more about financial gain and advancement of political agendas than the welfare of our loved ones?
Two very different versions exist of the 2020 U.S. election. As a neighbouring Canadian I have taken an interest and tried to understand what actually happened. The whole saga is enthralling. It makes one wonder if a different story would have emerged if Elon Musk had bought Twitter two years ago.
Compare this with the Front Page Mag opinion article entitled, Yes It Was a Stolen Election, published on December 23, 2020 which tells what it was like to be on the receiving end of the election protection machine. This article is complete with 93 links to sources. Fascinating reading, both articles.
The New York Times documentary makes the claim that this magnificent effort was all about “protecting the election process.” This front doesn’t hold to the end of the article. It soon becomes apparent that the intent was to ensure an election win. Interestingly, many fell for the narrative, including some Trump supporters and religious leaders who got on board with “election protection.” Duping people into cooperation by telling them this is about preventing election fraud is clever indeed.
Here is an excerpt explaining what was accomplished in the name of protecting the election process. Note I have inserted a numerical outline and bold highlights.
Their work touched every aspect of the election. I. They got states to change voting systems and laws and II. helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. III. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, IV. recruited armies of poll workers and V. got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. VI. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and VII. used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. VIII. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, IX. preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. X. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result. “The untold story of the election is the thousands of people of both parties who accomplished the triumph of American democracy at its very foundation,” says Norm Eisen, a prominent lawyer and former Obama Administration official who recruited Republicans and Democrats to the board of the Voter Protection Program.
The article is long and gives a very detailed account of how the election was won. It also reveals how 400 protest groups, ready to hit the streets, were told to stand down. They were only necessary to protest election fraud if for some reason Trump managed a win.
The article begins this way.
A weird thing happened right after the Nov. 3 election: nothing.
The nation was braced for chaos. Liberal groups had vowed to take to the streets, planning hundreds of protests across the country. Right-wing militias were girding for battle. In a poll before Election Day, 75% of Americans voiced concern about violence.
Mike Podhorzer is credited with being behind the election success. Although his primary objective is presented as election protection, he did serve as senior adviser to the president of the largest union federation in the U.S. where he was reputed to have used the latest methods, in particular data analysis, “to help favoured candidates win elections.”
Podhorzer organized a “well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws,steer media coverage and control the flow of information.” Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, ‘a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group’, reported that, “Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated.”
Among the private philanthropy groups that stepped in to help was The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that contributed $300 million and agreed to curb election misinformation online. To help prevent ‘election meltdown’ Podhorzer reached out to “members of the labor movement; the institutional left, like Planned Parenthood and Greenpeace; resistance groups like Indivisible and MoveOn; progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state-level grassroots organizers, racial-justice activists and others.”
It looks like there were some tense moments in the effort to gain cooperation, as indicated by the report, “In November 2019, Mark Zuckerberg invited nine civil rights leaders to dinner at his home, where they warned him about the danger of the election-related falsehoods that were already spreading unchecked. “It took pushing, urging, conversations, brainstorming, all of that to get to a place where we ended up with more rigorous rules and enforcement,” says Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, who attended the dinner and also met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and others.”
All of this was designed to ensure that any claim made by Trump regarding election impropriety would be ignored and regarded as false allegations. In a March 3 confidential memo by Podhorzer on the topic of threats to the 2020 Election, he stated “Trump has made it clear that this will not be a fair election, and that he will reject anything but his own re-election as ‘fake’ and rigged.”
This was a set-up. It took advantage of two things, weakness in the electoral system, and Trump’s mistrust of those running it, and combined them to a spectacular end. Trump would be the villain no matter the outcome. Either he would be a poor loser who claimed the election was stolen or he would be the one who stole the election. In the case that the efforts to secure a Biden win failed, people were ready to hit the streets and create chaos. Buildings were boarded up in advance.
“We knew exactly what Trump was going to do: he was going to try to use the fact that Democrats voted by mail and Republicans voted in person to make it look like he was ahead, claim victory, say the mail-in votes were fraudulent and try to get them thrown out,” says Protect Democracy’s Bassin. Setting public expectations ahead of time helped undercut those lies.
According to the article, Podhorzer’s game plan was five-fold: winning the vote was only the first step to winning the election. After that came winning the count, winning the certification, winning the Electoral College and winning the transition.
Rarely have I been as fascinated by an article or a strategy as I was by this disclosure of how the election was won. Read the Front Page Mag article I alluded to earlier, for comparison. Here is a sample of data reported in the article.
What happened in Georgia
In Georgia, illegal ballots were cast by, or in the name of: more than 2,500 felons; 66,247 underage voters; 2,423 unregistered voters; 4,926 individuals who had failed to register prior to the state’s voter-registration deadline; 395 individuals who voted in two states; 20,311 voters who had moved out of state and thus were no longer eligible to vote in Georgia; 40,279 people who had moved across county lines in Georgia without re-registering in their new county of residence; 30,000 to 40,000 people whose absentee ballots lacked a valid, verifiable signature; and at least 1,043 individuals whose voter registrations claimed postal facilities as their home address and disguised their box numbers as “apartment” numbers. Almost all of the people in this latter category were absentee voters who cast their ballots early….
A vote update in Georgia at 1:34 AM on November 4 added 136,155 votes for Biden and 29,115 votes for Trump.
Read both articles with an open mind and draw your own conclusions.