Go Surfing or Commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

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.

Inequality of Information: When You Want to Read the News But Can’t

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?

To Elon Musk: Why Not Buy Bots?

Photo by Alex Knight Pexels.com

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.”

Here is a sample of what is going on, taken from a May 16 article by the New York Post, entitled, Elon Musk says Twitter claims ‘bot check’ broke NDA

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.”

I chuckled.

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.

Why Elon Musk must not buy Twitter

We are accustomed to seeing the greater buying power and control on the side that is known as The Left–Democrats in U.S. and Liberals in Canada, but today we are witnessing an interesting phenomenon. Elon Musk has made an offer to buy Twitter, and he is not particularly left-leaning.

According to the Leftist news outlets, Elon Musk can’t buy Twitter because that would be the end of civilization as we know it. To show how serious they are about this, they’ve already labelled him as a racist.

The clear danger here is that Musk might allow people to hear both sides–right and left.

Some shudder to think of the implications of such a “hostile” takeover. A past president of the United States–God forbid–might once again be given a voice. Four years was enough. Twitter made sure of that.

So Elon Musk can’t buy Twitter: Elon Musk makes $43 billion cash takeover offer for Twitter

The public simply cannot be exposed to this kind of “misinformation.”

People are gullible and ignorant. They cannot be trusted to filter through and analyze information so it must be withheld by those who know what is best for us–The Leftist leaning media giants.

This was the gist of the message given, recently, to parliamentarians by health officials in Canada: members of Parliament cannot be privy to all the covid-related information because it might be “misunderstood,” even if three sitting MP’s are doctors.

This kind of take-down just can’t happen.

The Real Misinformation Machine

In Canada Prime Minister Trudeau and his New Democratic/Liberal Coalition are proposing a bill to give the government greater access and ability to censor Canadians on the internet. Prime Minister Trudeau claims the need to combat “misinformation.”

China and Russia are great models of speech censorship. However unlike Canada, the UK and the US, they are not democratic countries. In recent days all three countries have moved towards increasing online censorship. We know, of course, that Liberals/Democrats putting pressure on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is nothing new. But now it appears to be necessary to go after smaller publications as well.

Governmental powers have discovered how easy it is to create legislation that gives them even more power. We have an example, this week, of the BC government giving itself power to expropriate not only land for Sky Train development but land for development next to Sky Train development. See New legislation to allow BC government to buy more land around SkyTrain for housing

The recent Canadian Liberal coalition with the New Democratic Party is a desperate attempt by the Liberals to retain power following the Emergencies Act fiasco which was implemented under false pretences by the Prime Minister in collusion with the government-funded media. We have yet to see any corroborated news report of actual violence. No weapons were found by the “national guard.” The City of Ottawa needlessly shut down businesses in the area. An anonymous resident of Ottawa reported, I am a local resident. I can confirm that the media put a very false spin on the entire situation. Bars getting out at 2am in the market is more disruptive than this protest ever was. Period!

Squashing a peaceful truckers’ gathering in Ottawa after a sudden vaccine mandate threatened the livelihood of 10% of truckers is simply inexcusable for a democratic country. We are supposedly free to choose our medical procedures in Canada. However, if we make a choice unapproved by the government then we will be verbally attacked in the media and by our Prime Minister, in a very public way, while in private we lose our incomes, businesses and homes. Does that not appear to be a form of coercion? Medical decisions are not to be made under duress of any kind.

BC is the last province to lift its vaccine mandate, on April 8, but federal government vaccine mandates for federal employees and truckers remain in place. This is without any medical support for the current efficacy of the vaccine to prevent infection. The jab should not be distinguished as a vaccine since it does nothing to prevent contracting the current virus.

This is not about health. It is purely political. And that is what is riling Canadians.

Our government is toying with the people because it can. Nobody can stop this. So it appears. All the opposition can do is talk. Either this or the wheels of change are moving painfully slowly.

Yesterday I had a fatalistic moment as I thought about the future of free speech and other democratic freedoms in Canada. Like Elon Musk, on the subject of potential abuse of Artificial Intelligence, I became less fearful. Musk admitted he had resigned himself to a fatalistic acceptance once he realized the powers that could regulate AI abuses were not listening and not inclined to take action. This is not good news. It is a characteristic of totalitarian regimes. People stop resisting because they think it is pointless. Those in power can then have their way with the people.

My battle is not with AI, although we will all suffer as a consequence of the inevitable abuses to come. My battle is with misinformation–the battle for truth over lies. Trudeau, Russia and China peddle in misinformation. As do CNN, MSNBC (who hired Jen Pasaki this week), The New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets with a similar bias who are at this moment scheming to form an alliance to ‘collectively bargain with Big Tech platforms’ as to which information you and I are to see.

 You can listen to Russell Brand discuss this topic on his April 5 documentary here. The Journalism and Competition and Preservation Act is a bill proposed in the US Senate, intended to create an alliance between Big Tech and Big Media. This merge is not so dissimilar from Trudeau’s merge of the Liberal Party with the NDP to retain power.

As Brand puts it, “…centralized power will have yet more ability to control the narratives that dominate our lives.” Brand points out that this will be at the expense of smaller outlets and independent content creators and asks, “Why would a democratically elected official do something that prohibits the free flow of information?”

The major media outlets point fingers as they repeat a talking point in unison, “The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common….” Apparently, having a bias, other than theirs, is no longer tolerated.

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn warns about more censorship from Big Tech.

Trudeau, similarly, is working to censor free speech in Canada with the introduction of Bill C-11. The National Post’s First Reading article,The Liberals’ weird obsession with censoring the internet states, “Despite Liberal assurances that C-11 would avoid the “controversial” excesses of its predecessor (Bill C-10), this new bill was also broad enough that it could similarly impose government controls on the content of everything from podcasts to Facebook posts to YouTube channels. If passed, it would create a new position, the Digital Safety Commissioner of Canada, who would have the power to order 24-hour takedowns of a broad swath of “unauthorized” web content.”

We see the same thing happening in the UK. Today’s headline reads, UK censorship bill tasks Big Tech with deciding when something is “illegal” or “fraudulent It refers to the introduction of the Online Safety Bill. A copy of the bill can be found here.

According to Reclaim The Net news , “The bill…gives these tech giants additional powers that aren’t granted to police and the courts, such as the power to set their own rules around how they’ll deal with harmful content.”

The article goes on to say, “By deputizing Big Tech, the Online Safety Bill also creates a dystopian censorship alliance between these powerful companies and the UK government. The government can dictate its censorship requirements directly to its Big Tech enforcers without the police gathering any evidence of an alleged offense and without prosecutors gaining a conviction in a court of law or even a court order.”

The sudden international escalation of censorship is astounding.

In a small counter-effort, Elon Musk purchased stocks in Twitter that made him a major share holder this week and gave him a seat on the Board. This followed a survey he recently conducted of two million people on Twitter, 70% of which believed Twitter does not adhere to principles of free speech.

In the meantime Big Media conglomerates team up to influence Big Tech. What is happening here?

Twitter

I am reminded of the interesting developments around Gamestop. Check out this ThinkSpot podcaster. I am also reminded of the GoFundMe and GiveSendGo accounts started (and cancelled) for truckers. And then there is the recent targeting of the American Frontline Doctors website by Google with, “Reduced display features, lower rankings, or even removal from Google Search results.” What do all three have in common? Ordinary citizens communicating without gatekeepers.

I think what is happening here is really quite simple. There is information that must be concealed from the public. We have the clear example of the CDC with New York Post article, CDC withholding COVID data over fears of misinterpretation: The CDC has admitted it is withholding large portions of COVID-19 data — including on vaccine boosters — from the public because it fears the information could be misinterpreted.

We might not come to the right conclusions if we have all the information, is that right?

Truth Can Be Misrepresented Rather Easily

This past week our province, British Columbia, announced the dropping of mask mandates, as of Friday, March 11. Masks will still be required in medical facilities.

On Friday my husband suggested we go to a mall to see how people were responding to the lifting of mask mandates. About 65% of the people we saw were not wearing masks. I entered two business with staff who were not wearing masks. Most staff were still wearing masks.

Last year BC briefly dropped the mask mandate but then re-instated it to coincide with a surge in the Delta variant.

During the early months of the pandemic B.C.’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, held back on mandating and encouraging mask wearing. We found comfort in Bonnie Henry’s daily, almost motherly, encouragement and admonition at the beginning of the pandemic as we sat isolated in our homes. It was reassuring to learn she has a background working with pandemics. When her approach differed slightly from that of other provinces we concluded that she was looking at the bigger picture and was in particular concerned about the psychological impact of a pandemic. She knew how important it was for us to remain calm and hopeful. She knew the necessity of health officials being able to maintain the trust of the public. And she knew it was crucial for people to be a support to one another during these trying times.

So much has changed since then. 

Two specific decisions eroded my trust in Dr. Henry. Both exhibited a change in what were once her strongly held beliefs. The first was implementing mask mandates after repeatedly telling us for weeks that masks did not offer significant protection against covid-19. The second was bringing in vaccine passports after saying on May 25, 2021 that “there is no way that we will recommend inequities be increased by the use of things like vaccine passports for services with public access here in British Columbia.” I wrote a letter to her, asking for an explanation, and received no response.

Not everyone is happy with the lifting of mask mandates. This is how the World Socialist Web Site news media and other sites responded to her decision:

“Thursday’s announcement is just the latest in a crush of decisions by provinces from coast-to-coast over the past five weeks that effectively implement the far-right Freedom Convoy’s demand that all anti-COVID public health measures be rescinded and the potentially deadly virus be allowed to run rampant.” (Note “far-right” is an opinion and does not accurately describe the truckers. Note also that the government-funded Canadian Broadcasting Company recently retracted two articles, one with a false claim that the Freedom Convoy had Russian influence and the other claiming that hefty donations to the truckers GoFundMe came from foreign sources. Both false insinuations originated with our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and served as his justification for employing the Emergencies Act against the truckers protest.)

In Burnaby Now you can read a similar opinion article that voices the fear that Henry is not “following the science” by lifting mask mandates.

The trouble is that we don’t know where to find the truth about the science anymore. It may not be so far-fetched to think that our governments and health officials are actually following opinion polls and have been doing so for some time.

Another question I have concerns the science. Is the science being communicated faithfully? This week I read an article referencing five instances of wrong conclusions being reported in “the science.” What led me to the article was my own observation when I decided to look for scientific research and scholarly reporting on the efficacy of masks.

I first went to the Mayo Clinic website where I found a recommendation that a cloth mask have multiple layers and is tightfitting in order to prevent “droplets” from escaping. Initially we were told that the virus was spread by droplets but a few months later scientists informed us that the virus was in fact spread by aerosol particles. This changed the whole mask-wearing paradigm since evaporated respiratory particles can get through a porous surface. Note, if we want to inhale air, we will have to use a mask with a porous surface.

On the Mayo Clinic website I read, “Can face masks help slow the spread of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Yes. Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

My search for data on the protectiveness of masks alone against the spread of the coronavirus was unsuccessful. I found a lot of discussion on comparisons between masks. I found studies done in labs, but no assurance that lab results translated to effective protection by masks worn by the general public. In fact there was evidence to the contrary.

I went to the CDC website where I read, “Masking is a critical public health tool for preventing spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask.

OK, that is like saying, “any condom is better than no condom.” Would you say a leaky condom is a “critical public health tool” in the prevention of transmissible disease? Because masks are “leaky.” There is scientific evidence for that. Hence the insistence on “layers” and “tight fitting.”

But how many layers of a “leaky” mask are enough? The Mayo Clinic website also says, “Don’t add layers if they make it hard to breathe.” So, added layers can make it hard to breathe and when a child says, “I can’t breathe,” we should listen. I have low blood pressure and a low oxygen level and sometimes I find I am just not getting enough air with a mask. But that is another issue.

The CDC advises us to “Wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.” And it further states, “Wearing a well-fitted mask along with vaccination, self-testing, and physical distancing, helps protect you and others by reducing the chance of spreading COVID-19.”

Wherever we read of the effectiveness of masks, note that it is always mentioned in conjunction with other protective measures. That is because, masks, on their own, are not sufficient protection. It has never been proven that masks are effective to prevent infection. Every reference to masks has a qualifier such as “tightly fitting”or a comparison of the fabric or weave or construction (N95 KN95 medical masks). One of the most troubling pieces of guidance offered is for people with hearing disabilities to wear a “clear mask.” We’ve always been warned not to put plastic over our heads. This is the same, unless there are breathable parts of the mask where air can enter. But do they not get the point that it is not the hearing challenged person who needs to wear a clear mask? They need to lip read others and they cannot do this if other people are wearing masks.

The CDC website goes on to say, “Masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly.” Medical staff have to be trained to put on their masks, and they have masks that are rated for higher protectiveness. Masks prevent droplets from escaping, so, in the case of surgery, I would want my surgeon to wear a high quality mask.

I looked at an article referenced on the CDC site entitled, An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. The authors claim to have synthesized the relevant information and conclude that “The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected respiratory particles in both laboratory and clinical contexts.” Preponderance of evidence in a court of law means that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true. Another research article referenced on the site states this result: A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%).

Another article listed on the CDC site concerning masks states, There is moderate certainty evidence that wearing a mask probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory-confirmed influenza compared to not wearing a mask (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.26; 6 trials; 3005 participants). This is the “preponderous” evidence we have. It makes little or no difference. The “little” might tip us above the 50% threshold of evidence of truth.

Here is something more of interest I discovered. “While laboratory tests generally suggest that N95 masks are superior in performance to surgical masks, population studies in healthcare workers have not documented significant differences. This discrepancy may be due to the lack of proper fit when using N95s. Conversely, cloth masks generally perform poorly compared to N95 and surgical masks in laboratory tests. However, in part because of the global PPE shortage, cloth masks have become the most commonly used PPE by the general public. Despite their shortcomings, community-based research has demonstrated the efficacy of cloth masks in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.”

Do you want to hear about the community-based research on which mask wearing has been based? Here it is, from the same article:

As of July 2020, the CDC recommended that all Americans wear masks in public settings [20]. This recommendation was made, at least in part, due to a report from a hair salon in Missouri that demonstrated the efficacy of wearing masks [21]. In May 2020, two hairstylists in Springfield, Missouri received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 and were exposed to 139 clients in total since the onset of their symptoms [21]. Both stylists, as well as all 139 clients, wore some kind of facial covering while in the salon, with the stylists wearing either a double-layered cotton face covering or a surgical mask. Despite their proximity to the infected stylists, for appointments ranging from 15 to 45 min in duration, it was found that none of the 139 clients developed COVID-19 symptoms within the two-week quarantine period. Furthermore, of the 67 clients tested, all results were negative. Interestingly, the type of face mask worn by the 139 clients varied, with only two clients wearing N95 masks, 46% wearing surgical masks and 47% wearing cloth masks [21]. Although anecdotal, this incident suggests that consistent and proper usage of facial coverings can help minimize symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during close contact, as at a hair salon. In fact, it appears that COVID-19 transmission rates are generally lower in countries and regions where citizens are accustomed or required to adopt universal masking, such as many parts of Asia [22,23]. Simulations and mathematical models have also predicted that the adoption of universal masking would substantially curtail the spread of COVID-19 [24].

Yes, it is as a result of an anecdotal survey done by two hairstylists and because it “appears” that COVID-19 transmission rates are lower in regions like Asia…. This is the science behind mask wearing. Then, again, the article says, “Although there is a lack of published work evaluating the efficacy of universal masking by healthcare workers to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2, the continuous use of masks by healthcare workers in clinical settings is widely supported.”

We wear masks because the continuous use of masks is “widely supported.”

It is important to take careful note of wording when you read anything. It is, after all, the truth we want, is it not? And, as I have discovered, truth can be misrepresented rather easily. There is sufficient evidence for that.

Canadian Truckers Didn’t Get What They Expected–Instead They Got So Much More

The two things truckers asked for, they didn’t get–vaccine mandates lifted and travel restrictions lifted. But they didn’t come away with nothing. Quite to the contrary. They came away with their eyes opened.

It can be very distressing when you expect one thing and get something entirely different.

Truckers drove to Ottawa in anticipation. You had a very real need. You knew who could address that need.

The problem is that only Prime Minster Trudeau could address the felt need of the truckers. There was no one else to go to, so you went directly to him, at great cost to yourselves.

The relationship between citizens and the government and our Prime Minister is not exactly a parent/child relationship but there are similarities. There is a similarity in that we have an authoritative presence in government and we, the people, experience a measure of dependency and susceptability to the whims of this authority.

In the case of the truckers, you wanted an audience with “dad.” But he turned his back on you. He did not even come out and say “No.” You had what you perceived to be a very reasonable request. Your “dad” verbally abused you, insulted you, belittled you and essentially trashed you before others. That is not a good feeling. It leaves you floundering with all kinds of internal dissonance.

The dissonance is there because what happened is very difficult to reconcile in your heart and mind and mostly this is due to the high regard you had for leadership. Your leaders have fallen from the pedestal on which you held them.

In the case of abuse, and that is clearly what happened here, there is the tendency of the victim to excuse the perpetrator. We want to hold onto our ideal. We need to hold onto our ideal. Because not to do so turns the world we imagined upside down.

We may even go so far as to deny reality in order to preserve the ideal.

Many Canadians have embraced a vision of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a man of decency with respect for the ordinary citizens of Canada. We thought we held a precious place in his heart. Not only was he deaf to the voices of the truckers, but he slandered those who relied on his good judgment and had no where else to turn with their need.

Essentially, truckers, you felt like you were calling out your “parent.” Parents make mistakes. Some are ready to admit them and humbly ask for forgiveness. Some are not. Some will never apologize to their children. They see themselves in another protected category and this is very unfortunate because the necessary coming together cannot happen. A beautiful and trusting relationship cannot happen without being attentive to, and exploring, each other’s views.

I’m trying to unpack what happened because I find it uncomfortable and even distressing to be in a place of tension where actual experience suddenly does not match my long-held and cherished vision of Canada.

Truckers determined to have a peaceful protest. You did everything possible to convince Canada that you were going to remain peaceful. I truly cannot imagine a more peaceful truckers’ protest. One evidence of this was how you cared for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Ironically this monument symbolizes those for whom there was never resolve because they did not return from battle, either dead or alive, and their remains were never found.

Truckers showed kindness and fed the homeless. When people’s generosity towards you overflowed to the point where you had food left over, you donated to food banks. You showed yourselves to be generous and caring and fun-loving. You cleared sidewalks and picked up garbage left by others. Crime in the area dropped by 90%. But of course this was not how you were represented in the legacy media.

We rely on media for accurate documentation. Not only did the Prime Minister refuse to speak to you, relegating you to a class of citizens that he deemed too despicable to address, the media used talking points over and over again to try and smear your peaceful protest before the public. Both succeeded in maligning the protest to the degree that some neighbours felt justified in villainizing you as well. You suddenly found yourself experiencing a completely different world, one you never anticipated, one very unfamiliar to you, one where people were cruel and unjust and lied and turned others against those who never did them wrong.

The City of Ottawa, under the direction of the mayor, deployed a huge and unwarranted police presence. However, you welcomed the police because you had nothing to fear by their presence since you were following the law. You were respectful and friendly towards the officers who in turn treated you with dignity, more dignity than the Prime Minister demonstrated. The police were on the scene, daily, as witnesses, and can attest to your high character.

The media jumped on the visual of groups of police officers patrolling downtown Ottawa. They could turn this optic in their favor. Their goal, as we can see in hindsight, was to paint the most alarming picture possible of the protests and to incite a reaction. They attempted to create a story that would later justify the “crushing of an uprising.” 

Many of the truckers did not hold to a conspiracy theory before they came to Ottawa, but what they witnessed made it clear there was a conspiracy between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the media. They conspired to turn the truckers into villains in the eyes of the public. This they did.

Not everyone believed what they saw in print and came to Ottawa to find out what was going on for themselves. Others watched independent commentators online who were committed to documenting what was happening, of their own choice and at their own expense.

When the City of Ottawa asked you to stop honking horns, you stopped. Admittedly, you knew the horn honking would agitate some residents. Even peaceful protests cause disruptions. You were trying to get Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s attention. This was a means of making him aware of your presence, and making the community, and indeed the world, aware of the fact that you came to Ottawa with a purpose. You wanted to be heard.

Stop the vaccine mandates. Stop the ArriveCan app. Let Canadians be free, once again, to work in their chosen professions, and to travel.

From the beginning I have found it unconscionable that Canadians lost their jobs because they chose not to get the vaccine. If you cannot work, you cannot buy food and feed your family. Our government knows that if you cannot work, you cannot own a home. You lose your dignity and sense of purpose.

For some people it is impossible to get the vaccine, either for conscience sake or for medical reasons. Let’s not under value the significance of personal conviction and consent. Mandates remove the possibility of volition and consent by enforcing intolerable consequences.

Prime Minister Trudeau colluded with the press and it is becoming apparent that there was collusion with pharmaceutical companies who have a lot to gain from ongoing vaccination requirements, regardless of efficacy. It is unrealistic to expect 100% cooperation from the public. It is also totalitarian to have this kind of top-down legislation. The measures taken to force people into compliance are harsh and oppressive.

I am reminded of a little known historical tragedy that happened in Ukraine between 1932-1933 known as the Holodomor or “Great Famine.” Oppressive government mandates issued by Joseph Stalin limited travel and food production and distribution. Farmers were forced to give up their land under new government collectivization efforts. Peasants who resisted forfeiting their land were misrepresented as enemies of the public and violently suppressed by the government and cooperating neighbours during this period of Soviet Industrialization. As a result of the measures an estimated 7 million people in the Ukraine died unnecessarily of starvation.

As shocking as this account may be, it serves to remind us that government leaders are fallible. They are capable of making decisions that lack compassion and that disregard the rights of their citizens, namely the right to dignity and sustenance.

The cognitive dissonance felt by truckers began when they lost their jobs due to the vaccine mandate. This is true of health care workers as well. Peculiarly, these past “heroes” became targets of our government. At time when we lived in much greater fear of the dangers of covid-19, these people could not isolate and work from home, as the Prime Minister did. Daily they exposed themselves to risk and disease because of their commitment to providing care and delivering the goods on which Canadians depended.

The only thing that will resolve the dissonance is to stare, fearless and unflinching, directly at the brutal facts, without excuse or rationalization. This means moving away from denial. Experientially it is similar to feelings of grief after a great loss like a death. In stages of grief, people who move past denial find themselves angry. Anger is an acceptable response, not to be feared, but it must taper off. Anger depletes a person of energy and is typically followed by a season of depression. At this point it is helpful to find counsel or look for consolation in encouraging slogans, symbols or rituals. Finally we move into a place of acceptance, reluctant as we may be. I say acceptance, not in the sense of resignation, but rather facing the truth of how life is altered and summoning the courage to move forward.

We’ve now reached a fork in the road in Canada. Either we will rebuild our democracy, or the alternative will happen. We can only imagine what that might look like.

Admittedly, there is a part of us that wants to say, “It’s not as bad as I think.” But maybe it is. Maybe what you are thinking and feeling is exactly right. Our desperate longing for good in this world can get in our way. Our child-like innocence and blind trust can cause us to walk, unseeing, into a pit. As the saying goes, “It’s time to call a spade a spade.” Trust serves us well when others are trustworthy.

The trust of Canadians is tragically broken and that is the saddest outfall of the protest. But it was unavoidable and necessary for Canadians to come to this point of acknowledgement. Our government, its tactics, and its attitude towards the people has been exposed. We were living with a false perception of reality that may have been an illusion even in the more distant past. Things have deteriorated to the point that there is no longer any hiding.

I am hopeful that we can return to the Canada where there was trust in our government. Rebuilding trust will be a very long and arduous journey.

Yes, Canada is in a very fragile place. We must act with great care, going forward. The world is watching with expectation. Not all are cheering us on. Some are looking for a tragic end. Some are eyeing Canada calculatingly, hoping for opportunity.

Let’s not despair. All is not lost. Every day new voices are speaking up for dignity, truth, freedom and democracy.

Truckers have had their eyes opened. The images of force in downtown Ottawa as a result of the employment of the Emergencies Act will forever be burned in our memories as testimony to what we did not think could happen in Canada. Peaceful protest turned violent by our government.

There is another side of the coin we must consider as well.

Truckers, you were an imposing presence on Parliament Hill, virtually immovable, and definitely heard. Your peaceful protest attracted a lot of sympathy across Canada and this was undeniably threatening to our government.

Yes, you were a threat. A threat by your goodness and by your reasonableness. You represented justice. You represented fairness. You represented a sensibility understood by the common man. In the face of false accusations, in the face of loss of property, in the face of loss of freedom to work, you have this to hold onto. You did not violate your conscience.

You had no intention to overthrow the government but this was the charge cast against you, unrelentingly, by the Prime Minister and the press. The constant talk of weapons, the arrests that had noting to do with protesters, the defacing of monuments by vandals, which was attributed to truckers. You saw it all. You responded in a calm, respectful manner. You held the higher ground, and the Prime Minister knew it. Our representatives in government witnessed it as they went to work, and attested to the fact that they never felt more safe in downtown Ottawa, that is, until the day when the Emergencies Act was weaponized against innocent citizens.

In these times I turn to my faith for guidance and strength. Jesus knew what was in the heart of man. He was not under any illusions and he knows today. It was this knowledge that gave him courage, no matter the outcome.

We can have the same confidence and assurance when we are on the side of goodness. That does not mean that suffering is avoidable.

This battle for freedom to work, travel and live peacefully alongside our neighbours will continue around the world and it is truth and justice that will set us free. Let’s keep our eyes open and give thanks for every evidence of provision and each step forward in victory. Continue to sing “God keep our land, glorious and free….Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee” and to pray, “Thy kingdom come. They will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Hold the line.

Viewing An Example of Biased Journalism

We have a strong political divide and it’s not healthy. But this is not about politics. It is about journalism. Having said that, journalism has become political. Nothing has exposed this as well as the Trump election and his failure to be re-elected. This piece points out not only bias, but complete loss of journalistic objectivity.

When it is only acceptable to write one view, then journalism becomes suspect.

When it is only acceptable to write one view, then journalism becomes suspect. It trespasses the high journalistic standard–the code of objectivity–which is ultimately the foundation of public journalistic trust.

You’ve all seen them–the articles covering Trump’s claim of American election fraud. Maybe the election was stolen. Maybe it wasn’t. But one thing I know. It’s not up to journalists to print a verdict before the evidence is examined and tried in court. However, this is what happened, right out of the election gate, and we all witnessed it.

I’m not American. I hope the election wasn’t stolen. But how can I know, if nobody is willing to examine the evidence, much less give it credibility?

From the perspective of the media, election fraud is completely preposterous. The obvious bias of journalists, supported by–probably encouraged by–the news outlets, is almost laughable, but for the implications. Journalism that is influenced can be corrupted. When the public feels that journalism is influenced, it loses confidence in the reporting of news. In recent years there has been a shocking erosion of public trust in media.

I’ve taken an article printed on various new sites such as The Guardian, the Business Insider and The Washington Times for my illustration of media bias. The articles look much the same and there are numerous similar articles in print, with different angles, regarding the US election.

The article headline is Steve Scalise, No 2 House Republican, refuses to say election was not stolen. Below is the complete article with my personal observations in bold.

In a television interview aired Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, Scalise, the House’s second-ranking Republican, stood by Trump’s lie (should be “claim”) that Democrat Joe Biden won the White House because of mass voter fraud.
By Hope Yen – Associated Press – Sunday, October 10, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House’s second-ranking Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise, repeatedly refused to say on Sunday that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, standing by Donald Trump’s lie (should be “claim”) that Democrat Joe Biden won the White House because of mass voter fraud.
More than 11 months after Americans picked their president and almost nine months since Biden was inaugurated, Scalise was unwilling during a national television interview to acknowledge the legitimacy of the vote, instead sticking to his belief that the election results should not have been certified by Congress.


“I’ve been very clear from the beginning,” he said. “If you look at a number of states, they didn’t follow their state-passed laws that govern the election for president. That is what the United States Constitution says. They don’t say the states determine what the rules are. They say the state legislatures determine the rules,” the Louisiana congressman said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Pressed by moderator Chris Wallace on whether the election went beyond a few irregularities to be considered “stolen,” Scalise responded: “It’s not just irregularities. It’s states that did not follow the laws set which the Constitution says they’re supposed to follow.”
Trump left office in January a few weeks after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in a violent riot in an attempt to prevent Congress from formally declaring Biden the winner. (placed here for effect)

As Trump mulls a 2024 presidential bid, he has been intensifying efforts to shame – and potentially remove – members of his party who are seen as disloyal to his bogus claims (should leave out bogus) that last year’s election was illegitimate. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who is vying to become speaker if the GOP takes control after the 2022 midterm election, continues to defend Trump and his false assertions (should leave out false).
At a rally Saturday in Iowa, Trump spent almost 30 minutes arguing falsely (should leave out falsely because this is inserting a belief of the author) that he had won Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds stood by and welcomed his return to their state.

In fact, no election was stolen (appropriate wording would be, “According to….no election was stolen”) from Trump. His former attorney general, William P. Barr, found no evidence of widespread election corruption. Allegations of massive voting fraud also have been dismissed by a succession of judges and refuted by state election officials and an arm of the Homeland Security Department during the Trump administration. (A good journalist would dig into this and also include information from those bringing the allegations. There is a story here.)

Scalise on Sunday appeared to be referring to the legal argument, made in several lawsuits backed by Trump before and after last November’s election, that the Constitution gives the power of election administration exclusively to state lawmakers. (What exactly does the Constitution say? Why not a quote here?) The suits sought to invalidate a number of pandemic-era accommodations including expanded mail voting that were put in place by governors, state election officials and judges. (Did Trump have a case, based on the Constitution? Was there any question of legality here? We need more information. We rely on journalists for this information.)

The high court ultimately turned away the cases, declining to rule on the matter. There’s no indication in any of the suits (not one example is given of a suit…bad journalism) that changing the COVID-19 accommodations would have altered a state’s election results.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who is serving on a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, on Sunday slammed Scalise for spreading Trump’s “Big Lie.”

“Millions of Americans have been sold a fraud that the election was stolen,” Cheney tweeted. “Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic.”

END OF ARTICLE

It is the responsibility of journalists to present evidence and then to trust the public to have the intelligence and insight to come to a reasonable conclusion.

“Journalists and the news outlets have the responsibility to tell the American people what to believe.” –False

The beauty of the article is that the last two paragraphs reveal the logic of the writer. We might rephrase, “Journalists and the news outlets have the responsibility to tell the American people what to believe.” This, of course, is false. It is not the role of journalism, in a democratic society, to push a certain narrative. We see this happening in totalitarian states where news sites and journalists are the propaganda arm of the government and must tout the party line, or face consequences.

Readers want information. We want to be able to trust journalists to give us both sides. We want to examine the evidence for ourselves. We don’t want to be told what to believe. And we would like to see journalists’ opinions reserved for Commentary and Opinion columns.

How Will the New Rules Impact My Thanksgiving Dinner?

My eighty-five year old mother, who was hospitalized with covid-19 and recovered, does not want the vaccine. We have had a difficult time getting her to take any medication at any time. Now the Manitoba provincial government is telling her she cannot have her children over for Thanksgiving. If our politicians were up on the latest discoveries they would know that she has less of a risk of getting, and therefore spreading covid, than a vaccinated person. So is this really about health care?

This Thanksgiving, you may have to ask your guests to bring their vaccine cards along with cranberry sauce….Private indoor gatherings will be restricted to two households if any person at the gathering has chosen not to get vaccinated.

CBC: These new pandemic rules apply to all Manitobans

We are now seeing stats where countries with higher vaccination rates are actually experiencing higher case rates of covid than countries with lower vaccination rates.

Meanwhile VAERS, to date, shows in excess of 10,000 deaths within weeks of the vaccine and possibly 15,000 vaccine-related deaths in the USA. Mortality rates rose consistently in countries during vaccination periods. This is brushed aside because, as one doctor stated, the only time a vaccine can be noted on a death certificate as a cause of death is if the patient dies within an hour or two of receiving the vaccine. I read a series of VAERS reports and the correlation to the administration of the vaccine seemed apparent to me. We have seen a few incidents reported in the news. It appears they are not as rare as we are led to believe with women reporting injuries more frequently than men.

We were told the vaccine is safe, but then I noticed the wording changed to, “as safe as other vaccines.” Well, apparently, if you look at the data, this is the most unsafe vaccine ever to have been administered.

We were told the vaccine prevents people from getting covid, but this was quickly down-graded to preventing severe illness.

We were told that the vaccine reduces transmissibility, but then we learned that the viral load of vaccinated people was just as high as the unvaccinated in the initial stages of the disease.

Maybe we can believe that it reduces the infection rate. Maybe not. Reports out of Israel are now saying that the vaccine is only 39% effective against the Delta variant. This explains the extent of covid in Israel which was supposed to be Pfizer’s model country.

My mother is a stoic woman who takes her blows, but I don’t know how this will affect her. She lives in Manitoba, Canada, where 3 million dollars of fines have already been handed out for violations around covid restrictions.

Many nurses and doctors are quitting their jobs due to the recently imposed vaccine mandates for health care workers. Their “fine,” if they don’t quit, will be the erasure of their income–“leave without pay.” We will see the impact of this by mid-November in Canada. We cannot afford to lose a single nurse or doctor.

My whole issue with the lockdowns has always been that hospitals were over-crowded and short-staffed before the coronavirus. Lockdowns were imposed to protect the hospitals from being overwhelmed, and I get the logic. But we should have provided extra facilities for covid patients if we wanted to be pro-active. This was never done. In my province of British Columbia we have about 400 ICU beds, total. One can easily imagine that just the flu season would overwhelm the hospitals. So add a few hundred cases…and then we go into lockdown, affecting the mental health and financial future of hundreds of thousands. I know the first argument is about grandma in the care home, but let’s just say that was handled very, very poorly.

Doctors are doing their best to help their patients but are being told by our health authorities how they can and cannot treat patients with covid, what they can and cannot say to them. Anything that does not support the vaccination effort is off limits.

I just read that Bolivia asked a Canadian company to manufacture the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, but due to patent issues, months later they are not getting vaccines produced. Are we really wanting to help people or is this all about money? I’m not the first person to ask the question.

Merck has come out with a new med that is supposed to cost $700 per treatment for covid, Molnupiravir. Watch Dr. John Campbell compare Merck’s Ivermectin, which costs about $.50 per treatment with the new medication. Dr. Campbell goes into a detailed comparison of how the two drugs perform in the body, as presented in a report by another specialized doctor. He speculates that the two meds could be used in conjunction with each other for greater efficacy. Yet we have seen Ivermectin maliciously maligned, continuously, despite evidence of its effectiveness. If you look at these two articles then you will see what I’m talking about. Read carefully for bias and manipulation of facts in this article. Compare it with the chart below, from this article.

Prime Minister Trudeau has made it his mission to ensure that nobody slips through the cracks in terms of vaccine requirements for federal employees.

Trudeau and Freeland both mentioned “personal conviction” as insufficient to gain a religious exemption — which is interesting, because that’s exactly what courts look for when considering a request for religious accommodation. “Religion is about freely and deeply held personal convictions or beliefs connected to an individual’s spiritual faith and integrally linked to one’s self-definition and spiritual fulfilment,” the Supreme Court wrote in one landmark freedom-of-religion case.

National Post: Chris Selley

Meanwhile people who get vaccines have reported vaccine injuries in the hundreds of thousands, aside from deaths. Some reports say millions. I speak from experience, having suffered several serious side effects. Thankfully, for me they have somewhat subsided, although I still have concerns, but this is not the case for everyone. When I mentioned my side effects to a doctor, because the injection site would not vaccinate me after I described what happened after my first dose, the doctor would not entertain the possibility of giving me an exemption. He did not inquire further about symptoms but just focused on whether I should get the same vaccine or a different one. Would it be a “booster” or a “new vaccine” if I switched to a different vaccine?

As far as I am able to detect, in a certain percentage of people the spike protein mRNA ends up circulating in the blood system, as opposed to staying in the muscle tissue to do its job and this is what causes reactions. There is also the possibility that the delivery system, the nanoparticles, cause some problems related to where they end up accumulating in the body. What surprises me even more than the fact that this information is being suppressed is learning of two Facebook sites, dedicated to people with adverse reactions, being shut down. We are not allowed to talk about this.

Meanwhile Pfizer has put out a request to inoculate children as young as five years old.

By requiring vaccine passports to enter certain premises the government has also forced these businesses to vaccinate all of their staff. It never had to be a “mandate.” It saddens me to think of people sitting in a restaurant, for instance, and seeing their friends or relatives outside, unable to come it. I think there must be some hardening of heart in order for people to think this is OK.

I firmly believe people should be able to make their personal health choices without retribution. Now that we know the vaccine is not the cure we’ve been told, I feel even more strongly that it should not be forced on people.

Writers Needed

Now is the time to hone your writing skills. Now is the time to learn to express the important things on your mind and in your heart.

It may be your voice that is heard. It may be your voice that makes the difference.

This is the time to shine your light. This is the time to assess what is happening around you and to determine your role. What can you do to move things forward in a positive way?

I think the most important thing we can do right now is to work on building good, strong relationships. Learn from the best. Watch how others do it. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. You may have to change your tone. Maybe your attitude, or your approach. Learn to listen well. Learn to hear people’s heart. Learn how to reflect back what people say, so you are sure you heard the right thing. Learn to respond with clarity and sincerity. Learn how to bite your tongue, sometimes.

Most of all, be a helper. That is what this is all about. As the beloved Mr. Rogers said, many years ago, “Look for the helpers.” Better yet, be a helper.

Help with your words. Find something encouraging to say. Find something enlightening. Put the pieces together and share what you discover.

Be ready. Don’t expect everyone to appreciate what you say. Find better ways of saying it, rather than giving up.

Leave a legacy. Leave something people can read, or listen too.