My Blog Posts

The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy

A commentary on the state of the world

Back when I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) was in college, I used to listen to the Canadian rock band April Wine, and even attended a few of their concerts. In 1976, they released the song, ‘The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy.’ If you’ve never heard the song, have a listen.

One of the lines in the song is, “The whole world’s goin’ crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy.” That is the way I feel these days. Here’s why.

Canada is not the same country that I grew up in. Spencer Fernando says “Canada no longer feels like a free country.” That is how I feel. Even the mainstream media (MM) in the US are talking about Canada, and not in a positive way. Tucker Carlson of Fox News recently gave this commentary.

According to True North’s article, Tucker Carlson isn’t the only one speaking out about Trudeau’s internment camps, the reactions on Twitter compared the “hotels” to gulags and concentration camps. Back in October, the CBC assured Canadians that any talk of “internment camps” was false, saying in its headline, “Disinformation campaign falsely suggests Canadians will be forcibly sent to quarantine sites.”  Another lie told by our MM. This explains why Half of Canadians believe journalists mislead the public: poll. Even censorship is flaunted and thought acceptable, as The head of YouTube brags about how brutal they’ve made their censorship. Florida governor Ron DeSantis calls out 60 Minutes for “smear” alleging pay-to-play vaccine distribution plan. This is another blatant lie by the MM as it was shown false by the Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County, who worked with the governor’s office. It’s crazy! MM is untrustworthy, and freedom of speech is guaranteed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but now Trudeau’s Liberals say they will legally censor anyone who “taunts” them — so, it was nice knowing you! This is all pure craziness.

I used to feel pride in being Canadian, and proud of Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The RCMP is stereotypically considered one of Canada’s most cherished institutions, with its brave Mounties courageously keeping our country safe. I will admit, I once believed that, but I have lost all respect for our RCMP, and other police forces, because of their bullying (#bullying #antibullying), most especially their bullying of churches. The stories of Alberta police raid and close GraceLife churchPastor kicked Calgary cops from church, and Warrantless cops, public health kicked out of Calgary church by pastor clearly show the craziness of police bullying when our Charter guarantees religious freedom. This is not the same RCMP who policed my home town growing up.

It is crazy how the people we elect to serve us are now bullies. They allow police harrassment for protesting lockdowns when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees Canadian’s right to protest. Yet, we see articles saying, “Stop treating us like we’re walking viruses”: protesters risk $1,200 fines in Whitecourt, Alberta, and Government troops occupy a church in Alberta. Where’s the outcry — even from other churches? Governments acting ‘out of character’ is crazy as Trudeau gov’t gives itself permission to borrow $635 billion this year. Governments typically claim they must balance their budgets to justify cutting programs. It’s wild how members of governments are disagreeing with their political party as in 15 UCP MLAs push back against latest Alberta lockdown. According to Global News, there are now 18 dissenting back benchers and Premier Kenney has warned United Conservative legislature members that flouting the rules means disciplinary action that includes getting kicked out of caucus. Now even the government is acting crazy because people are not listening to their dictating leaders.

The craziest idea our governments are now toying with are COVID passports. That means no freedom without the jab. It’s crazy because it’s like China’s social credit system. As explained in An Introduction to the China Social Credit System, the goal of China’s social credit system, which is still in development, is to provide a holistic assessment of an individual or a company’s trustworthiness, based on a numerical score. The consequences of a poor social credit score could be serious. It may affect travel prospects, employment, access to finance, and the ability to enter into contracts. Yet, Concerns grow regarding use of vaccine passports in United Kingdom. Ontario is the first province to introduce such a thing, as indicated in the articles, Ontario’s “digital ID plan” sure sounds like a vaccine passport, and in Vaccine passports are coming, aren’t they? Yes, the world is going crazy, crazy, crazy!

It is a crazy world when ordinary people act crazy. A School threatens mask-exempt father with Trespass charge for picking up his kids. When parents are prevented from taking their children with them, that’s insanity. When a parent is jailed for advocating for their children, we live in a ridiculous world. Parents have a right, as primary caregivers, to object to their underage child getting a sex change. (see Jailed B.C. father offered plea bargain after speaking out against trans teen’s medical transition and Jailed BC father fighting child’s hormone therapy reaches plea agreement.) It is a crazy world when books once cherished for generations suddenly become offensive, but that is what happened with the beloved Dr. Seuss books (see These are the “offensive” drawings that got Dr. Seuss books banned?)

It is a crazy world with all the COVID confusion and misinformation provided by MM, social media, and health professionals. The latest is New South African mutant Covid strain ‘evades testing and could be more rampant than we know’ and A new coronavirus variant found in France can hide from COVID-19 nasal-swab tests.

US Dr. Fauci is considered the top infectious disease expert. In an article titled, This is Dr. Fauci’s most important coronavirus warning right now, he agrees:

The UK, South African, and Brazilian mutations were detailed in December and January, and many countries have already confirmed infections with the new strains. The South African variation is the most dangerous of the three because it can evade neutralizing antibodies in some cases.

Then in Everything Dr. Fauci Has Said About Coronavirus, he says,

“When you look at the level of virus in the nasal pharynx of someone who’s symptomatic versus without symptoms, the level is exactly the same…So you can make the assumption that… without symptoms, you can spread it. We know from pretty good studies that asymptomatic people can drive transmission of this virus.”

If this new variant evades detection, then how do they know it’s a variant? Wouldn’t you have to detect a variant? How can a person who is asymptomatic and one who is symptomatic have exactly the same amount of virus? None of this makes sense to me. It is crazy how “intelligent” this coronavirus is; a virus that can avoid the body’s antibodies, evade detection, and spread asymptomatically. I’m no doctor, but I taught biology for 35 years, including units on immunity, and I have never heard of this. Biology textbooks always taught that the body’s natural immune system fights off any viruses when working efficiently.

The article in Science Magazine, Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection, says:

Substantial immune memory is generated after COVID-19, involving all four major types of immune memory. About 95% of subjects retained immune memory at ~6 months after infection.

Even Scientific American says Your Immune System Evolves to Fight Coronavirus Variants, saying antibodies can change to counter new forms of the shape-shifting virus. Perhaps this is why even MM columnists are questioning what health officials are saying, as in SNOBELEN: When the facts don’t align with public health’s preconceived notions. Then there is the Doctor [who] invites public to tour COVID wards… then backtracks when challenged to do so. There is craziness even in the medical community.

Alberta just implemented tighter COVID restrictions, one of which is you can only eat in restaurant patios outside. A recent meme said:

We can’t eat inside. But we can eat outside. But it’s cold outside. But it’s cold so we set up outside as inside. It’s fine because it’s outside inside.

The world has gotten that crazy. In fact, here is a video of New Yorkers, banned from eating inside, eating outside during a snow storm. If that isn’t crazy, I don’t know what is. You can’t make this stuff up.

As said in a meme:

In a world where it is normal to raise your child without a gender, quarantine yourself while healthy, cower at the sight of someone breathing fresh air, and snitch on your neighbours for celebrating the holidays…I’m okay with being called crazy.

Yes, as the song says, “The whole world’s goin’ crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy.” The truth is, this craziness stops when people think for yourselves, do their your own research, and stop blindly listening to the media, politicians, and health officials. Craziness ends when we say, “Enough is enough!”

The Wisdom of Spock

A commentary on the wisdom of Spock

I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) grew up watching Star Trek. In college, our entire dorm used to watch whatever Star Trek episode was on TV before going to eat dinner at the cafeteria. My favourite character has always been Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. There is a scene in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where Spock says, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.” To me, it makes sense to do what is best for the majority of people. Really what Spock is talking about is utilitarianism, which holds that the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number. 

Spock played by Leonard Nimoy

French philosopher, Voltaire, believed that the purpose of government was to protect religious liberty, freedom of the press, and the liberties of the people. Most people believe the governments we elect will protect us and make decisions that benefit the majority of people. That doesn’t seem to hold true at present. There has been a meme going around with a quote by Nathan Fraser which says, “There are two types of people in the world. People who think the government is looking out for their best interest, and people who think.” Ronald Reagan once said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” U S President Reagan was right!

The story, Alberta NDP leader has coughing fit during press conference, won’t address COVID questions, indicates that politicians are not upfront with us, or at the very least fail to practice what they preach. They clearly have shown a lack of integrity and are untrustworthy.

If governments were here to help, why are they continuing to lock us down? They claim they’re protecting us from the deadly COVID virus, but are they? I find that difficult to believe when I read news articles such as, Lockdowns have no significant benefits: international study. If governments and health officials truly cared about our heath, they would be more concerned about the mental health crisis (see FUREY: The psychological toll of the COVID-19 lockdowns) and other issues created by the lockdowns. Sexual exploitation of children is on the rise reported in Online sexual exploitation of children up 88% during pandemic. The Economy is suffering as described in FUREY: It’s not just ‘business’ that’s hurting — it’s all of society, it’s life itself. Suicides are increasing as stated in Youth suicide attempts increase due to lockdowns: study. People with food allergies, forced to quarantine in COVID jails, are being fed foods that cause them harm as outlined in DENIED: Delivering pizza to a quarantine hotel. I haven’t even got into the bullying (#bullying #antibullying) promoted by our leaders in the name of “COVID protection.” The article, Cops PRESSURED by health authority to ticket Full Gospel Outreach Church in Saskatchewan, discusses the bullying towards Christian churches. This is not protecting the liberties of the people, or religious freedom. This is bullying by the very people who were supposed to be protecting us.

Spock in Star Trek’s season 1, episode 24 (“Space Seed,” 1968) said, “Insufficient facts always invite danger.” Are governments, media, and health officials giving us accurate information regarding the alleged pandemic?  Mainstream Media’s (MM) CTV News says COVID hospitalizations surging among ages 30 to 50, Doctor says, yet according to the ACES monitoring system, the 30 day average of new hospital admissions in Ontario for Pneumonia, Influenza-like illness and infection are all well below the historical (2018, 2019) average. (see Hospital admissions are much lower than historical record despite COVID-19 – ACES monitoring system).

So I have to ask: Is the MM being honest with us? American actor, Denzel Washington, doesn’t think so since he lectures the Media on its dishonesty and ‘Fake News.’ Check out the video.

I’m inclined to believe the American actor since The Washington Post a few months back reported on the call between Donald Trump and an elections investigator in Georgia, claiming Trump asked her to “find the fraud.” Two months after this story, the Washington Post published a retraction, saying, instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Georgia, asserting she would find ‘dishonesty’ there.  Many MM outlets such as CNN, ABC News, NBC News and USA Today all claimed that they had “confirmed” The Washington Post’s reporting. If MM lied—lets call it what it is—about this story, how many other stories are false?

Here in Canada, the CBC published feature on business owner who assaulted female journalist. Rebel News, where the reporter involved works, gives their version of the story in CBC Promos Dion Bews, AKA The NDP Thug Who Assaulted Sheila. Why is the CBC promoting someone who is less than honourable? The CBC claims that they were unaware of the man’s assault of a female. Isn’t it their job to get all the facts before publishing a story? I—until recently—always believed that reporters had integrity. I guess I was wrong.

Spock said “Insufficient facts always invite danger,” so I have to ask: Are we being fed “insufficient facts” by media, politicians, and health officials that put us in danger? The story, Conservatives call for emergency meeting over AstraZeneca vaccine concerns, would suggest so. The Toronto Star reports that Alberta joins other provinces in halting use of AstraZeneca shot for people under 55. And then there’s Over 100 Fully Vaccinated People In Washington State Test Positive For COVID-19. There seems to be concerns regarding these shots and one does have to question the effectiveness of the vaccine. Rebel News asks, Why are so many front-line health care workers refusing to take the vaccines? saying frontline healthcare workers are refusing the COVID-19 vaccine en masse. Do they know something that we aren’t being told?

Why are COVID shots being forced upon us? Perhaps Rebel News is right in their article, Worst of times for you, but it’s the best of times for Pfizer! Ask yourself: Who has gained the most from this never-ending pandemic? It is not the small businesses or us regular people. Corporate stores are doing fine. Politicians have never missed a paycheque, and some even got raises (see No April Fool’s Joke). seem to be benefiting. The fear-induced panic driven by politicians, health officials, and mainstream news has sparked a demand for a supposed miracle COVID vaccine, and companies delivered! Who do you suppose is benefiting financially? The story, Bill Gates: Vaccines are ‘phenomenal’ profit makers, concurs with Rebel News’ claim.

Spock in Star Trek’s season 3, episode 5, (“And the Children Shall Lead,” 1968) said, “Without followers, evil cannot spread.”  I do not follow mainstream news any more. I do my own research and thinking, and I refuse to blindly do something because some acclaimed expert, such as a politician, or health official, or news anchor told me to. That way, I know no evil can occur to me. I recently saw this story on Facebook.

An anthropologist showed a game to the children of an African tribe. He placed a basket of delicious fruits near a tree trunk and told them: “The first child to reach the tree will get the basket.” When he gave them the start signal, he was surprised that they were walking together, holding hands until they reached the tree and shared the fruit! When he asked them why they did that, pointing out that each one could have gotten the basket for themselves, they answered with bewilderment: “Ubuntu. That is, how can one of us be happy while the rest are miserable?” Ubuntu in their culture means: I am because we are. The African people know the secret of happiness; a secret that has been lost in all societies that transcend them, yet consider themselves civilized societies.

Sadly, this is what is missing at the present time. Because we allow others to tell us how to think, what to believe, or how to behave, we have become a divided and fearful world. No wonder there is so much unhappiness. How can anyone be happy when others are unhappy? The time has come to follow no more, to think for yourselves, to make informed decisions by doing your own research, and find happiness by standing up for those who are being bullied by the media, politicians, and health officials.

Has Humanity Listened to the Wrong People?

A commentary on humanity’s choices

A video came across my Facebook feed recently that got me thinking. The video is from Mindfulness Ireland. Have a watch, as it will likely touch your heart as it did mine. You’re probably wondering why it moved me, and why it got me thinking. Let me (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) explain.

Growing up, I was taught that humans were the pinnacle of creation, and that all other creatures—plants and animals—are inferior to humans. The Christian church I was raised in taught that only humans have a soul or spirit that goes to “heaven.” I even had a conversation with a priest about this topic once. The Christian church has traditionally seen humans as superior to animals based on Genesis 1:26 of the Christian Scriptures, which says:

Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’

Most Biblical intellectuals interpret this scripture text to mean that animals do not have an eternal soul in the same sense as humans do. The website, Catholic Answers says:

The soul is the principle of life. Since animals and plants are living things, they have souls, but not in the sense in which human beings have souls. Our souls are rational–theirs aren’t…Animals and plants can’t do anything which transcends the limitations of matter. Although some animals seem clever, they don’t actually possess conceptional intelligence. They can’t, for instance, conceive of the abstract notion of justice.

To summarize, plant and animal ‘souls’ don’t live on after death. Science conventionally says the same as explained by Dr Arthur Saniotis from the University’s School of Medical Sciences:

“For millennia, all kinds of authorities – from religion to eminent scholars – have been repeating the same idea ad nauseam, that humans are exceptional by virtue that they are the smartest in the animal kingdom…The belief of human cognitive superiority became entrenched in human philosophy and sciences. Even Aristotle, probably the most influential of all thinkers, argued that humans were superior to other animals due to our exclusive ability to reason.” (Source:  Science X).

GospelWay.com has an entire essay, Superiority of Humans to Animals in God’s Plan, that argues that  God values humans the most because animals have no spirit, no moral responsibility, no eternal destiny, and are not held accountable for right and wrong. 

I have always respected the Indigenous or First Nation’s world view. Speaking generally, Indigenous people all over the world have a deep respect for the land, the plants and the animals. Animals played a very important role in their lives, providing them with food and clothing, taught them lessons, and served as messengers and spirit guides. In Honouring Earth, on the Assembly of First Nations website, it says:

Mother Earth…bestows us with materials for our homes, clothes and tools…If we listen from the place of connection to the Spirit That Lives in All Things, Mother Earth teaches what we need to know to take care of her and all her children…First Nations peoples’ have a special relationship with the earth and all living things in it. This relationship is based on a profound spiritual connection to Mother Earth that guided indigenous peoples to practice reverence, humility and reciprocity…Everything is taken and used with the understanding that we take only what we need, and we must use great care and be aware of how we take and how much of it so that future generations will not be put in peril.

Indigenous spirituality highlights a “connection to the Spirit That Lives in All Things.” On the Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples Blog, it says: 

Many Indigenous Peoples believe that “the Animal People have spirits and enter the human world to give their bodies to supply men with food, fur and other materials. After their flesh is used the animals return home, put on new flesh and re-enter the human world whenever they choose.”

Many Indigenous people believe animals have souls or spirits which live on after death since those animals “put on new flesh and re-enter the human world whenever they choose.” Even science is re-evaluating what it believes about animal kingdom.  Many researchers say animals have feelings and emotions, as in the articles; What Kind of Emotions Do Animals Feel? and Do Animals Have Feelings? Examining Empathy In Animals. In the first article it says:

Instead of considering ourselves [humans] so refined and rational, it’s time for us to squarely face the degree to which we–like other animals–are driven by emotions.

Animals do have emotions, and any pet owner will tell you that. Those videos showing animal affection touch the heart. The video, Unbelievable Friendship! People and Wild Animals, show convincing evidence of this: Have a watch:

Science is even admitting that animals are intelligent as the articles, Animal Intelligence and Everything Worth Knowing About … Animal Intelligence report.  This video certainly shows the intelligence of the family Corvidae of birds, otherwise known as crows and ravens. Here is the video.

I’ve personally experienced the intelligence of ravens. A number of years ago, while on a hiking trip in the Canadian Rockies, I watched two ravens hover around a table where two hikers were about to eat their boiled eggs for breakfast. Before the hikers got to eat them, they got up and left their table. Two ravens swooped down and grabbed their eggs. This was planned, as ravens and crows are strategic and plan their moves before they act. (see Crow Facts).

By now, you are probably wondering why I am babbling on about humans and animals. Here’s why. All my life, I have watched humanity claim to be the most intelligent animal, yet continually make choices that put humanity and our planet in danger. The article, 50 Reasons Why the Human Race Is Too Stupid To Survive, lists 50 stupid things human have done, and I believe there are way more than fifty.

As mentioned earlier, Indigenous people have a deep respect for Mother Earth—the land, the plants and the animals. They believe animals teach them lessons, and are messengers and guides. I have always felt the Indigenous world view made more sense as opposed to the European world view. Perhaps if the European settlers had adopted an Indigenous-Centric world view instead of keeping their Eurocentric view, with its beliefs of superiority and that the natives were inferior savages, our world would be better off. Since Mother Earth guided the indigenous peoples to practice reverence, humility and reciprocity, there most certainly would be less, or even no bullying (#bullying #antibullying).

You see, I believe we have much to learn from Mother Earth, especially her animals. The One Green Planet article, 10 Important Life Lessons we can Learn From Animals, says there are ten lessons that we can learn from animals. Two lessons, according to this article, are ‘We’re All Connected’ and ‘We Must Stick Together.’ This is what Chief Seattle, who advocated accommodation with white settlers, meant when he said:

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

Considering the present state of our world at the moment, with all its division, power grabs, and bullying, maybe we would be wise to pay attention to the animal kingdom and Indigenous wisdom. We have nothing to lose, and much to learn. Clearly, the old ways have not worked.

Have We Time Travelled Back to 1984?

A commentary on our times

“DoubleSpeak” is a term coined by George Orwell in his novel, 1984; a novel I read in high school long ago. Its language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses meaning to further an agenda, often by governments, corporations, marketers, or other powers. I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) see a lot of DoubleSpeak happening these days, and really, it has always been used. I’ll give you some examples.

Canada’s prime minister (PM) in his Statement by Justin Trudeau on the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms said:

“For the past 35 years, the Charter has helped build a country where people from all over the world can come together as equals and create opportunities for one another…Today, I remind Canadians that we have no task greater than to stand on guard for one another’s liberties. The words enshrined in the Charter are our rights, freedoms, and – above all – our collective responsibility.”  

Our PM also said:

Ultimately, being open and respectful towards each other is much more powerful as a way to diffuse hatred and anger than, you know, layering on, you know, big walls and oppressive policies.

I find our PM’s words to “stand on guard for one another’s liberties” ironic because of headlines like the Toronto Sun’s WARMINGTON: COVID hotels against Charter of Rights, Justice Centre says. The article quotes the president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF):

“The government has not explained why people cannot self-isolate at home. Locking people up in secret locations, without a right to call a lawyer or to have their detention reviewed by a judge, is in line with practices carried out by the world’s most repressive regimes.”

The PM’s words are clearly DoubleSpeak since Trudeau’s comments on the Charter are twisted, or out and out lies, to further his agenda. Even worse, are headlines like Federal Conservatives call for suspension of hotel quarantine policy following reports of sexual assault, which reports on two sexual assaults as a direct result of the Trudeau government’s quarantine policy. True North News also reports on the unsafe COVID jails in Quarantine hotels meant to “protect Canadians” Hajdu says following sexual assault reports. How is this “being open and respectful towards each other?” More DoubleSpeak?

Even Joe Biden, present resident of the White House, says similar things saying:

“The Supreme Court has confirmed the simple but profoundly American idea that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity. That everyone should be able to live openly, proudly, as their true selves, without fear.”

Yet, similar government abuses are happening in the U.S. It’s curious that Biden also said, “No Ordinary American Cares About Their Constitutional Rights.” Sounds like a contradiction and DoubleSpeak to me.

Canada’s prime minister has also said:

My idea of freedom is that we should protect the rights of people to believe what their conscience dictates, but fight equally hard to protect people from having the beliefs of others imposed upon them

Rebel News reports, Man misses cancer treatment after being forced to quarantine. This man was prevented from following his conscience, which was to attend his cancer treatment appointment, the reason why he flew back to Ontario in the first place. Think about that! A Canadian citizen is confined to a COVID jail for “safety” reasons, but is denied seeing his doctor regarding a health problem he’s addressing. Clearly this man is not free. Just more DoubleSpeak, I guess.

Trudeau has also said:

“We will always speak up for freedom of religion and for human rights here in Canada and around the world” (source: The Catholic Register).

Clearly more DoubleSpeak, as there is no freedom of religion and no regard for human rights in our country. Don’t believe me. The National Post’s headline Church whose pastor was arrested for defying COVID-19 restrictions holds service, reports on GraceLife Church which held a service that health authorities say exceeded provincially set gathering limits meant to curb the spread of the virus. Independent News media, Rebel News’ headline, Lawyer for Pastor James Coates: A Christian pastor arrested for holding church, takes a very different perspective compared to MM, saying; “The idea of a pastor being thrown in jail is so utterly antithetical and foreign to a nation that purports to be free and democratic.” I have to agree with Rebel News. We cannot claim to be a “free and democratic” country with the Draconian behaviour of our health and political leaders.

Trudeau has said:

One of the most important things in any leader or in any successful approach is to focus on connecting with people and really listening to them. We shouldn’t just be saying, oh yes, the people are protesting. We need to ask them why they are protesting and try and figure out if there is something we can do to bring them in and respond to those concerns. That’s not populism – that’s being thoughtfully open to the fact that our citizens are allowed to have, and are even justified in having, very real concerns and questions for the people responsible for serving them

Yet, there are many reports of protesters being harassed and arrested with brute force. Here are some of those news reports: Edmonton police attack peaceful protesters, then turn against journalists, Protesters, police gather outside two Toronto COVID hotels, and Second week of arrests at Toronto lockdown protest. Most anti-lockdown protests have been characterized by the MM as being attended by religious fundamentalists and conspiracy theorists, as TNN says in its article,  Group with anarchist ties organized weekend Montreal anti-curfew protest. Does this sound like Trudeau “connecting with people and really listening to them?” More DoubleSpeak, I’d say.

George Orwell also uses the term, doublethink, which is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as true. Those who speak it are conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies. Slogans like, “War Is Peace” and “Freedom Is Slavery,” are examples from the book. Could the following words from Trudeau be “doublethink?”

“All Canadians expect their government to do two things: to keep Canadians safe and to defend and uphold the values and rights that all Canadians hold dear.” (source: Global News).

Could it be that Trudeau wants Canadians to believe he is protecting us from COVID and defending our civil rights while slowly removing more and more of our rights?

Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is quoted as saying:

I don’t read the newspapers, I don’t watch the news. I figure, if something important happens, someone will tell me.

I have to wonder why that is. Could it be that he knows the truth about the Mainstream Media (MM); the truth that it distorts truth or even gives untruths? Could that be why Only 28% of radio listeners see value in CBC Radio? Is this why the article, Media Party proposes BANNING competitors after survey shows lack of trust in Media Party, reports a new survey saying trust in the media, and all establishment institutions, is plummeting with roughly half of Canadians not believing a word the media says.

Are Trudeau and Biden, health officials, and other political leaders using DoubleSpeak? Yes, but as the old adage says, “actions speak louder than words,” and their actions are unmistakably bullying (#bullying #antibullying) actions.

 Division is man-made
 Division is designed to keep you powerless
 Division is designed to keep you fighting each other
 Division is designed to keep you enslaved
 The narrative has you
 No one person is above another
 Unity is strength
 Unity is love
 Unity is humanity
 Trust yourself
 Think for yourself
 Only when good people [collectively] come together will positive change occur. 

These words from Q speak truth.  QAnon, or Q, is said to be a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory, but we won’t get into conspiracy theory right now.

How are we divided? Political parties keep us divided. If two different people belong to two different political parties, naturally their political ideas and beliefs will be different, creating division. Religion is one of the greatest dividers, as countless people have lost their lives and property in the name of religion. Race divides us. In Race Delusion: Lies That Divide Us, it says

Races are supposed to be real, objective divisions of the human family—analogous, perhaps, to breeds of dog. To be a member of a certain race is to be a certain kind of human being. Racial identity is supposed to be innate and unalterable (you don’t have any choice about what race you belong to) and transmitted from one generation to the next…When one group of people sets out to oppress another, they “racialize” them—that is, they think of them as fundamentally different from and, importantly, inferior to themselves…The idea of “blackness” was a European invention, designed to legitimize the oppression of Africans.

In reality, there is only one race which is, Homo sapiens, or the human race. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”  Or as Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Our leaders use DoubleSpeak and DoubleThink to keep us divided and confused. We must stop listening and believing what others say—especially MM and our leaders—instead, thinking for ourselves.  Doing this, I believe, will bring humanity together. Aristotle once said, “Find the good. Seek the Unity. Ignore the divisions among us.” It seems humanity has always known there is strength in harmony. Remember the idiom: “United we stand, divided we fall.” Humanity cannot continue to stay divided!

Yes, There is a Health Crisis

A commentary on the need for evidence

As Mainstream Media (MM) continues to talk about the “COVID health crisis,” like the CNBC headline, CDC director says U.S. needs to curb Covid before it can mutate again and make the pandemic even worse, I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) see independent news reporting on the harmful effects of lockdowns. True North News (TNN) reports in Depression and substance abuse skyrocket during lockdowns: poll, the Canadian Mental Health Association recently revealed that 40% of Canadians feel that their mental health has worsened since the pandemic began.  It also discusses another study by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) which says that the number of Canadians feeling depression symptoms increased from 2% before March 2020 to 14% in December.

Another February TNN report, Toronto records record 40 overdoses in single day, reports that Toronto Public Health records showed emergency calls for opioid overdoses went up 90% in 2020 compared to 2019. In yet another TNN article, Deaths among young men in Western Canada increased during lockdowns: StatsCan, declaring:

2020 was the worst year on record for opioid overdoses in many parts of Canada. Alberta recorded 904 overdose deaths, compared to 790 dying from coronavirus.

The article goes on to say that StatsCan links the increase in death among young men on the coronavirus lockdowns. This is the real health crisis. There is a mental health crisis going on!

Even MM sometimes admits that lockdowns have severe consequences, as in the Toronto Sun that has an opinion column titled, Canadian expert’s research finds lockdown harms are 10 times greater than benefits. LifeSiteNews, a non-profit Internet service dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family, has an article, Canadian doctor’s research shows lockdowns have caused vastly more harm than good, which presents the arguments of a research paper by a Canadian doctor who contended that “the collateral damage caused by COVID-19 lockdowns will cause more harm than the virus itself, and will also far outweigh any benefits that might have been incurred by keeping everyone at home.” There is little doubt, in my mind, that the “cure” for this alleged pandemic is worse than the pandemic itself.

I recently saw a video by Turning Point USA titled, Watch This Before You Consider Another Lockdown. The video argues that lockdowns are a luxury of the rich. I agree, but don’t take my word. Click the link, have a watch, and decide for yourself.

Our health officials and political leaders have been using the COVID Health Crisis to justify lockdowns, with their daily spouting of COVID cases based on the controversial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The World Health Organization (WHO) admitted in December 2020 that PCR tests create false positives. In a December 7 memo, the WHO warned that high cycle thresholds on PCR tests will result in false positives.

Swiss Policy Research (SPR), an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit research group, explains the problems with the PCR test in its article, The Trouble With PCR Tests. It clearly outlines the issues regarding PCR testing which is being used to diagnose COVID cases. Even Kary Mullis, the Inventor of the PCR Test, says the PCR test was never invented for diagnosis.

Yes, there is a health crisis, but it is not the COVID crisis. It is the mental health crisis caused by lockdowns and fear mongering. The sad truth is, the lockdowns are killing more people than the virus is. We need to question everything, as the business owner in Rebel News’ article, “Question everything. We need to read, research”: Home decor store owner on lockdowns, says. The owner of Stewart’s Decorating in North Bay, Ontario, says:

Citing that this lockdown is not based on scientific evidence, Alexandra feels that these restrictions are causing more harm than benefit, and that the censorship of any dissenting view is worrisome.

I have yet to see our health or political leaders provide convincing scientific evidence to justify the closing of small business and restricted socializing, while allowing corporate stores to remain open. Many people are questioning the science, like a Liberal bureaucrat questions if gov’t COVID response is fully “based on science,” and Trudeau COVID response NOT “based on science,” argues Liberal staffer. In Ontario, a Business group blasts Ontario decision to extend lockdowns, saying the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says the government has provided “zero evidence” of the effectiveness of its lockdowns and is “insulting” Ontario workers and employers.  Public Health officials unable to provide any data to justify quarantine facilities, that is, the COVID hotels or COVID jails, is a report by TNN. Why are governments not providing convincing scientific evidence? Could it be they have none? Let’s explore this further.

Knoema is a comprehensive source of global decision-making data. On this site, you can find data about any country on any topic.  I first looked up the number of yearly deaths reported by Canada.

On its page, Canada – Number of deaths, it states:

In 2020, number of deaths for Canada was 295.37 thousand cases. Over the last 50 years, number of deaths of Canada grew substantially from 158.43 to 295.37 thousand cases rising at an increasing annual rate that reached a maximum of 2.08% in 2015 and then decreased to 1.55% in 2020.

The site lists the number of deaths since 2009. In 2018, there were 295.53 thousand deaths, an increase of 1.82 % from the year before. In 2019, there were 290.85 thousand deaths, an increase of 1.68 %.  In 2020, the year of COVID, there were 295.37 thousand deaths, an increase of 1.55%. I find it interesting in the year of COVID, 2020, there was the smallest increase in deaths in the past NINE years. Check the chart out for yourself. No health or political leader has explained this data. Does this data justify lockdowns? No!

Let’s look at the US. Keep in mind that the US population is over 300 million people, and Canada’s is only about 37 million, putting the numbers in perspective.

On its page, United States of America – Number of deaths, it states:

In 2020, number of deaths for United States of America was 2,960.99 thousand cases. Number of deaths of United States of America increased from 2,007.75 thousand cases in 1971 to 2,960.99 thousand cases in 2020 growing at an average annual rate of 0.80%.

In 2018, the US had 2,854.59 thousand deaths, an increase of 1.98 % from the year before. In 2019, there were 2,908.94 thousand deaths, an increase of 1.90 %.  In the year of COVID, 2020, there were 2,960.99 thousand deaths in the US, an increase of 1.79%. Isn’t it interesting that 2020, the US also had the smallest increase in deaths in the past FIVE years. How do our leaders explain this? They don’t even mention it, let alone explain it.

Explore the Knoema site, on any country, for yourself. I doubt this site would have inaccurate information. It’s time to demand that our health and political leaders provide persuasive scientific evidence to justify their decision to lockdown and force healthy people to quarantine. We deserve an explanation, since our elected governments supposedly work for us.

From my perspective, the data on the Knoema site does not warrant these Draconian unconstitutional lockdowns. That is my truth! The data fails to justify the suspension of civil liberties and rights. The data does not defend “medical kidnapping,” and “medical tyranny,” which I talked about in my last post. The data fails to rationalize extending lockdowns as Ontario did (see Ontario Extends Lockdown). The Knoema data does not explain this shameful bullying (#bullying #antibullying) on citizens by their governments.

Now, some may think I’m another crazy conspiracy theorist spouting misinformation, but I saw a meme recently that resonated with me, which said:

In a world where it is normal to raise your child without a gender, quarantine yourself while healthy, cower at the sight of someone breathing fresh air, and snitch on your neighbours for celebrating the holidays…I am fine with being called crazy.

That meme is how I feel. It is time to demand answers! It is time to have answers from our tyrannical behaving governments, answers that justify their decisions with convincing evidence. I’ll remind you of the words said by the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson:

Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.

In my province, it is illegal to have social gatherings inside, eat at a restaurant or bar with anyone outside your household, be without a mask in indoor public places, be less than two metres apart, and to protest. That feels like tyranny to me. Start demanding indisputable scientific evidence for these restrictions.

Gaslighting is Out of Control!

A commentary on liberties and rights

The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1930’s play called Gas Light. In this play the main character tries to drive his wife crazy by progressively dimming the gas-powered lights in their home. When she notices the lights dimming, her husband denies that the lights are dimming, and convinces her that she is imagining it to the point where she questions her own sanity. Psychology Today defines gaslighting as:

…a form of persistent manipulation and brainwashing that causes the victim to doubt her or himself, and to ultimately lose one’s own sense of perception, identity, and self-worth. Gaslighting statements and accusations are usually based on blatant lies, or exaggeration of the truth.

In my (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) book, A Shattered New Start, the bully Ryan practices gaslighting by convincing a classmate that he is a loser, causing his victim to lose his sense of identity and self-worth. Really, what is gaslighting? It’s bullying (#bullying #antibullying) plain and simple, and I’m just beginning to understand that there is a lot of gaslighting happening right now, and perhaps always has been. Let me explain.

One of the lines in Canada’s National Anthem is “God keep our land glorious and free!” The truth is, Canadians are not free. A line in the American National Anthem says, “O’er the land of the free,” and from what I can tell, Americans are not free either, and that is true for much of the world. Have we been gaslighted? Have we been manipulated and brainwashed with blatant lies, or exaggerated truth, to believe we live in a free country? We certainly aren’t free right now.

In Canada, as part of our constitution, is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That charter seems to be missing in recent times. The Charter, under Fundamental Freedoms, says:

We’re free to think our own thoughts, speak our minds, listen to views of others and express our opinions in creative ways.  We’re also free to meet with anyone we wish and participate in peaceful demonstrations. 

Despite those constitutionally guaranteed rights, Rebel News reports Toronto police ARREST lockdown protesters and Edmonton police DETAIN three men at anti-lockdown protest . You’ll notice I mainly rely on independent news sources because I no longer trust, nor pay attention, to Mainstream Media (MM).  Why you ask? MM gaslights all the time, and here are a couple of examples. CTV violated the code of ethics for Canadian broadcasters, as reported in True North News’ article, CTV broke ethics code in biased report on former president Trump. USA’s CNN has retracted several stories because of false information, like this story: 3 journalists resign from CNN after network retracts Russia-related story. There is a reason why Americans Remain Distrustful of Mass Media. This article reports on a September 2020 survey that says 27% of Americans have “not very much” trust and 33% “none at all” in MM. That means 60% of Americans do not trust the media. I’ve seen a new phrase lately; “fear porn,” in reference to the MM’s constant fear mongering.  I’ll remind you of Malcolm X’s words:

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” 

“Fear porn” is spread by Canada’s prime minister. Rebel News’ article,  Trudeau: Incoming travellers will be charged $2,000 to pay for mandatory quarantine hotel stays. explains that all arrivals will also have to undergo PCR COVID-19 testing and then isolate in “an approved hotel” for up to three days while they wait for their result. Those who test negative will then be released with conditions while positive cases will have to stay in hotels until they recover. To further “rub salt in the wound,” Trudeau expects people who are forced to isolate in “hotel prisons” to pay out of their pocket. Yet, foreign workers are not required to quarantine (see Foreign workers). I guess only Canadians spread COVID 19 and foreign workers do not. Canada’s Charter Mobility rights states that Canadian citizens have the right to enter, remain in, and leave Canada, but I guess we’ve been gaslighted.

There are many independent news reports of what is being called “medical kidnapping,” and “medical tyranny.” Rebel News’ report; Woman held against her will at Calgary quarantine hotel, states that Nikki Mathis was legally kidnapped by unnamed federal authorities at the Calgary Airport.  She was told by authorities that the negative COVID test she received in Texas didn’t count, and she would have to immediately comply and be moved to a detention facility controlled by Trudeau’s government. The officers refused to tell her family where she was being detained, as she was placed in a white van with a police escort. Here is a video of another very upset mother’s experience of her son’s arrival to Canada.

This is abuse and brutal bullying by our government, it’s shameful. The Calgary woman held against her will was told her negative COVID test didn’t count, implying that PCR tests are unreliable. Even the WHO cautions health workers on the reliability of the PCR test (see WHO). The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, under Protection against cruel and unusual punishment, says the Charter protects everyone from cruel and unusual punishment. Medical kidnapping violates that protection. Canadians are under the false belief that they are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but I guess it’s just another example of Canadians being gaslighted.  There are similar happenings in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and likely other countries.

Diverge Media reports on a national survey reports that 38% of Canadians support government suspension of civil liberties and rights—Charter Rights—during this alleged pandemic. The questions of the survey are alarming, like this one:

Do you support or oppose police and health officials being authorized to separate family members at their discretion by removing people from homes and housing them somewhere else to reduce or eliminate the risk of COVID spread?

Why do I fear the loss of my freedoms? Benjamin Franklin said: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” We risk never getting them back.

One has to ask: Is what is happening on our planet really about protecting us from a virus, or is it something else? Raheel Raza, a Canadian Iraqi, compares her and her husband’s experience of living in Iraq under dictator Saddam Hussein to what is presently happening in Canada and the US. Here is her video:

I can only speak for myself, but I found Ms. Raza’s video highly disturbing since we were told, Canada is a free country. Remember our National Anthem says: “The True North strong and free!” That is not the case these days, so we’ve been gaslighted. It is time to ask yourself some questions. Does a virus with over a 99% survival rate warrant removal of our civil liberties, and abuse from our elected and health officials? Is it necessary for governments and health professionals to bully us to “keep us safe?” Is it the government or is it us personally who is responsible for our health? Are we a free country or not? Is fear causing people to willingly forfeit their rights and freedoms to feel safe? Are authorities using fear to control people?

If we fear, we can be controlled. These travel restrictions are designed to make us fearful of travelling. Fear cannot have power over us unless we allow it. In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt,’ “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself.” It’s a choice. We choose, either consciously or unconsciously, to allow fear to control us. Paulo Coelho of The Devil and Miss Prym, said; “Fear again. If you want to control someone, all you have to do is to make them feel afraid.” 

There is no shortage of fear narratives out there. There is no shortage of fear behaviours by the very people who are supposed to be protecting us. When we allow those fear narratives, or behaviours, to take hold of us, we panic and worry, and that puts us in fear mode. When fearful, we become paralyzed and more easily controlled, willingly giving up our freedoms to gain a false sense of safety. No matter whether you are fearful of the virus, or fearful of government behaviour, it is time to step out of that fear and become free again. Aristotle once said; “He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” Now getting back the freedoms that we willing gave up is another story. After all, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said; “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

A Question I Had to Ponder!

I was recently asked why I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) wrote my book, A Shattered New Start. I’ve been pondering that question ever since as I had never really thought about it before.

My immediate answer would be that I’ve always wanted to write a book and become an author. Whenever someone asked me what I’ll do in retirement, I would tell them “I am going to write.” I know a lot of people say that, few follow through, but anyone who knows me understands that when I decide to do something, I do it. One of my daughters is just like me in that regard. Some might say I am stubborn, but I say I’m motivated.

I debated what to write a book on, and someone told me to write about what I know when writing for the first time. That made sense to me. Being that I am veteran teacher of 35 years, if there is one thing I know about, it’s school life and the world of school bullies (#bullying #antibullying). During my teaching career, I dealt with many school yard bullies and comforted many victims of bullies. The truth is, bullies infuriate me. I had dealt with every kind of school bully there is. Bullying is a topic dear to my heart because I’ve dealt with a lot of it both as a teacher and personally.

Educationcorner.com, an American education site, says:

Bullying is an epidemic. It is rampant, widespread, pervasive and the effects can be catastrophic. It occurs in our communities, in our schools – and sadly – even in our homes. Bullying statistics are staggering, scary and merit serious consideration

Here are some of the stats it reports:

  • 90% of students in grades 4-8 report have been harassed or bullied.
  • 28% of students in grades 6-12 experience bullying.
  • Over 160,000 kids refuse to go to school each day for fear of being bullied.
  • 70.6% of students report having witnessed bullying in their school–and over 71% say bullying is a problem.
  • Statistics suggest that revenge [due to bullying] is the number one motivator for school shootings in the U.S.
  • 86% of students surveyed said, “other kids picking on them, making fun of them or bullying them” is the number one reason that teenagers turn to lethal violence at school.

That means 90% of 8-15 year olds have been bullied. That is huge! In my experience, these statistics are a realistic reflection of school bullying. Bullying isn’t just a problem in schools, as there are politicians and governments who bully to get what they want, and there is a massive amount of bullying that goes on in our workplaces. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’d know that I have deemed 2020 the “Year of Bullying.” Last year bullying increased, as well as introduced new forms of bullying as indicated in the article, Bullying 2020. Our governments and police forces have bullied in 2020 unlike any other time; the very people who are supposed to have our backs, and their bullying is continuing into the new year.

I’ve always felt that bullying is a massive problem in our world, and I can tell you as a teacher, schools do their best to address the problem, but it is tough. What I’ve seen as a teacher is that most bullying is hidden or unseen. I’ll give you a personal example. Many years ago, while teaching Grade 6 (10-11 year-olds), I had a student that came to me who was receiving nasty notes from a bully. This went on for weeks. The principal and I tried to determine who the bully was by doing such things as analyzing the bully’s handwriting, but it was difficult. Honestly, I don’t remember if we determined who the bully was, but the bullying did stop after we talked to the class about the horrors of bullying.

So, why did I chose bullying as the main theme in my book? It’s because I see bullying everywhere. It’s in our schools, our homes, our workplaces, and it’s even commonplace in movies and television shows. Case in point: Draco Malfoy from “Harry Potter,” Biff Tannen from “Back to the Future,” Johnny Lawrence from “The Karate Kid,” Paris Geller from “Gilmore Girls,” and Nellie Oleson from “Little House on the Prairie.”  The list is endless. Bullying is a learned behaviour and television and movies are helping to teach it.

For most of my career, I considered bullies to be “bad” kids who needed a good dose of discipline. Having learned about bullies over the years, I now see bullies differently. Simply put, bullies are hurting people who hurt others, so I wrote my story with this understanding. Or as the expression goes, “Hurt people, hurt people.” If we can heal the injured person who bullies, then that person can be changed or healed. As the adage says, “Healed People, Heal People.”

Writing A Shattered New Start was a way for me to bring awareness of the magnitude of bullying that has plagued our world for centuries, and in 2020 especially. Sadly, it seems to be continuing into 2021. One thing I learned is that conflicts and challenges are more easily resolved if people are able to see things from other people’s viewpoints. As the adage says, “walk a mile in another’s shoes.” We need to respect other peoples truths instead of ostracizing them. That is especially true now more than ever because our present historical situation.

I purposely wrote my book with multiple perspectives surrounding the issues many teens face, including the viewpoints of an average teenager, their parents, their teachers, and the principal to show that everyone has their own points of view. A Shattered New Start shows the human side of bullies. They are really hurting people who take their pain out on others.

My book also uses a unique approach to dealing with bullies. Most schools deal with bullying with a punitive punishment approach, like suspensions. Typically, the aim of punitive approaches—the most common approach to dealing with bullies in schools—is either to punish the offender or to satisfy feelings of revenge. The bully in my story undergoes a restorative justice (some may call it a form of healing circle) approach. The bully, Ryan, faces his victims, endures his victim’s wrath, and shares in the process with his victims in determining his consequences. I believe my book, A Shattered New Start, has a powerful message for young people, or anyone really. I do cover other themes, such as friendship struggles, in the book since bullying isn’t the only issue teens face.

When I really think about the question I was asked, I wrote the book in hopes of making a difference in young people’s lives. Our youth are our hope for a better future. The 32nd president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said: “We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.” That’s what I hope my book can help do. Perhaps Nelson Mandela said it best when he said: “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” The world has enough wounded leaders.

I wrote A Shattered New Start for young adults (YA), namely junior and senior high school aged children, but the book could appeal to any age, especially those who have been victimized by a bully which is most of us. Parents of bullied children could also relate to this story. Any educator or professional who advocates for anti-bullying could could make use of my story. You can find links to where to purchase the book on my site (see top menus). Feel free to email me at authorkjsom@gmail.com . I would love to chat.

What Did You Learn From 2020?

A commentary on the lesson of 2020

In December, Time magazine declared 2020 to be the worst year in history with most people agreeing. Last year I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) have seen many Internet memes such as, “It feels like the year has been going on forever,” and “Can we uninstall 2020 and re-install it? This version has a virus.” My favourite however is:  

These memes reflect how the majority of us feel about the past year. Most people couldn’t wait for 2020 to be over in hopes of a better 2021. Recently I saw this meme.

I don’t disagree with the lessons it listed, and the New Year is a time for reflection. Since New Year’s Day, I have reflected on what I learned, and come up with my own list. These lessons are my truths, or my lessons, they may not be yours, and that is okay. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from 2020.

  1. I’ve learned not to trust the Mainstream Media (MM) whose purpose seems to be to instill fear in the masses. MM have provided a relentless narrative of an alleged pandemic for 11 months now. I’ve talked about this in previous posts.
  2. I’ve learned not to trust medical leaders and politicians. Our legislators and medical “experts” mislead us, lie to us, and also promote fear. They do not appear to have our best interests in mind. They don’t follow their own rules which they’ve forced upon us. True North lists all the Canadian politicians who broke their own COVID restriction rules. Even MM is talking about it (see CTV News).  Newsweek lists American politicians who did the same. Here is a story of one of Canada’s senior public health officials breaking the rules (see TNC). Clearly our leaders aren’t afraid of the virus. If our governments did have our best interests in mind, they would do something about the suicides, drug overdoses and the mental health issues caused by lockdowns. (see 2020 to be deadliest year). True North (TN) reports Mental health of Canadians reaching “tipping point,” evidenced by a quadrupling of people accessing treatment services. TN also has a news report titled, Rise in childhood eating disorders an “unprecedented crisis,” reporting that SickKids says there is an increase in the number of eating disorders among Canada’s youth as result of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns. If our governments really cared about our health, which is why they say they must implement lockdowns, then they would be promoting fitness and healthy diets to encourage good mental health, instead of closing gyms and spas. In its place, they keep fast food drive through restaurants (a source of unhealthy foods) open.
  3. I’ve learned how easily we humans are manipulated and controlled by fear of a virus that has over a 99% recovery rate. It seems people are willing to give up freedoms such as visiting their loved ones, closing their businesses, and compliantly wearing masks because our governments say so, without questioning decisions like; why corporate stores have never been ordered to shut down.
  4. I’ve learned how easily we humans give up our freedoms. We willingly give up liberties guaranteed by our constitution, just like what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1940s and Russia in the 1960s.
  5. I’ve learned that we really aren’t allowed to speak our truth, even though our constitution says it is our right. I say this because Big Tech companies (FaceBook, Twitter, etc.) censure by removing any truth that doesn’t align with their narrative (see Big Tech).
  6. I’ve learned how easily people are divided and incited to attack one other. There have been many attacks—even physical attacks— on individuals not wearing a mask. I’ve seen people belittle others on social media, and in videos, because someone thinks differently, calling them names and accusing them of being conspiracy theorists. This discord may be intentionally triggered as explained in the NY Post article, It’s our elites who are driving America’s divisions.

These are the obvious lessons for me, but as I reflect, I realize there is something more profound I’ve learned. Before I reveal what that is, I would like to preface with some indigenous wisdom.

The Indigenous, or First Nations people, have always spoken about the interconnectedness of nature, and the importance of community. Chief Seattle, who pursued a path of accommodation for white settlers said:

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

Indigenous people learn by observing nature. The National Forest Foundation has an article titled, The Amazing Connections Beneath Your Feet. Here is a bit of what it says:

Underneath the forest floor, intertwined with the roots of the trees, is a fascinating microscopic network of fungus…In healthy forests, each tree is connected to others via this network, enabling trees to share water and nutrients. For saplings growing in particularly shady areas, there is not enough sunlight reaching their leaves to perform adequate photosynthesis. For survival, the sapling relies on nutrients and sugar from older, taller trees sent through the…network.

Who knew trees help one another. The indigenous people may not have known about the relationship between trees and fungus, but they knew about the connection of all things. They know their choices affect others. Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa), a Santee Dakota physician, writer, and lecturer once said:

“It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome…Children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving…The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have—to relatives, to guests of other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return.”

Mr. Eastman clearly knew the importance of community because that was his culture. 2020 has been a year unlike any other. Never in my life have I lived in such a divided world where people are kept apart from their loved ones due to Draconian restrictions imposed by governments. Never before have I witnessed law enforcement using brute force to remove freedoms guaranteed by our constitution. Never have I seen people turn on one another, physically and verbally attacking each other because someone disagreed with them. I cannot condemn them as they are fearful. This past year has been a year of bullying (#bullying #antibullying) which is why I have deemed it “The Year of Bullying.”

What 2020 taught me the most is, I must never contribute to this bullying or divisiveness. Instead, I must become an example of kindness. compassion, empathy and most of all, love and light. The reality is, we are all navigating this chaos together, each with our own beliefs, thoughts, and fears. We are each having our own unique experiences. I must never judge someone, declaring them wrong. As some unknown person put it:

“Before you judge my life, my past or my character. walk in my shoes, walk the path I have traveled, live my sorrow, my doubts, my fear, my pain and my laughter.”

What I’ve come to realize, because of 2020, is that I am not defined by the external; by what others want me to believe, think, or do. I am sovereign and free, just like you. I decide what I believe, think, or do because I am an autonomous individual and I have choice. I give my power to someone else only if I consciously or unconsciously allow it or choose it.

As indigenous wisdom and nature teaches, we must realize that we are all human brothers and sisters and that everything is connected, so we must treat each other with respect and love regardless of what that person believes, thinks, says or does. I have learned that I must never judge another because I have not walked in their shoes. I am never right, and others are never wrong because right and wrong are relative. Spiritual writer, Gian Kumar, says: “There is no such thing as right or wrong, it is just you who matters; If you are right, you will not see wrong. If you are wrong, you will only see wrong.” That is the biggest lesson for me, and hopefully for us all.