What is an Abusive Relationship Like?

A Commentary on abuse

In planning a blog about spousal abuse, I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) asked a friend to tell me in writing her experience with an abusive boyfriend. This is what she wrote (paraphrased):

My boyfriend won’t let me visit my friends and family. He has made me stop all contact with them except on the phone, but then the other week, he told me to go out for a meal with my friends. When I did, I was punished for it. I know he’ll tell me to do it again though, so I’m confused. He keeps doing this. He makes me feel like I’m going crazy for thinking he’s controlling, saying, I’m being ungrateful because he cares about me. He didn’t want me going to the gym anymore, so I don’t go anymore. He also doesn’t let me go to work, instead, telling me to rely on him for income because he will look after me. I’m not allowed to go out, unless it’s for necessities, but when I do, I need to share my location with him no matter where I go. If I don’t check in with him when I get to the store, I get in trouble. I miss my Mom so much, so last week I snuck off to see her, he caught me, and I was punished for it. My Grandma is dying in a nursing home, but I’m forbidden to see her. I’m not allowed to do anything unless he says so. I want to book a holiday to go visit relatives, but he said no. I wanted to go back to school, but I wasn’t allowed to do that either. I can’t wait until I’m allowed to do these things. I know the time will come soon, and he will change. I know he’s only doing this because he loves me. He’s doing all of this for my own good.

Okay, I’ll be honest. I didn’t get that from a friend. I saw it on a meme, but I bet it got your attention. Perhaps you believed me, illustrating how easily we can be manipulated to think something. I suspect some of you thought the above narrative was about an abusive relationship between a girl living with her abusive boyfriend, but it’s not that at all. At the end of the meme, it said, “Oh wait, did I say boyfriend? I meant the government.” Are we in an abusive relationship with our governments? Is our relationship with health officials and the mainstream media healthy? Let’s explore.

Edmonton Police Services defines abuse as an attempt to control the behaviour of another person. I call this bullying (#bullying #antibullying). Psychology Today’s article, 10 Red Flag Warning Signs of Abuse, lists warning signs of an unhealthy, one-sided relationship. It lists signs such as, attempt to control all aspects of a partner’s life, attempt to isolate the partner from family and friends, being disrespectful by blaming, shaming, and putting the partner down, and threatening with harm if you don’t do what they want. Would authorities do that?

I urge you to watch the video OH CANADA. WAKE UP! (Source: Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms), and you’ll see all the warning signs listed above are all checked off. Shaming is real, as shown in the article Shaming of the unvaccinated intensifies. Ontario gives police new powers to enforce stay-home order and ban on outdoor gatherings is yet more evidence of bullying by government.  Even our police forces are abusive as Ontario police officer pushes child to the ground at park. Mandy Hale says, “A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams, or your dignity.” This is so true, so my conclusion is we are in an unhealthy relationship with our governments, police, and health officials. Yet, people like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, told CNN “…it was very very clear that he was talking about liberties that were being restricted. This has nothing to do with liberties…” (see Dr. Fauci).

Speaking of the mainstream media (MM): Are we in an abusive relationship with them? One of the warning signs of abuse mentioned above is the attempt to control. Is the MM attempting to manipulate us by controlling the narrative and trying to persuade us to think a certain way? Sky News Australia, itself considered MM, says Mainstream media is ‘deliberately engaging in propaganda’ to control ‘the way you think’.  Listen to its video to find out why. Another video titled, CNN Director ADMITS Network Engaged in ‘Propaganda’ to Remove Trump from Presidency, has recently gone viral. Check it out. The CNN Director admits it delivers propaganda and uses fear right on camera.

Here is The Federalist’s story about the video. Perhaps this is why CNN has shed more than half its viewers since Biden took office, down staggering 60%.  Then there’s MM’s Globe and Mail paid £27,776 by U.K. government for coverage.

Seems like control to me.  The latest media lie being revealed is The Brian Sicknick Case Shows How the Media Make Their Own Reality and Greenwald blasts New York Times, media for initial reports on Sicknick’s death: ‘Complete fiction.’ Journalist Glenn Greenwald divulges The New York Times “published an emotionally gut-wrenching but complete fiction that never had any evidence” by initially reporting that Sicknick’s “skull was savagely bashed in with a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump mob until he died.” Washington’s top medical examiner recently debunked this media narrative announcing U.S. Capital Police officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes the day after he was confronted during the January 6 US Capitol riots. Just another example of how we’ve been abused—or shall we say bullied—by the MM.

NBC News Digital, also part of the MM, has an article, U.S. commander: Intel still hasn’t established Russia paid Taliban ‘bounties’ to kill U.S. troops. Here is CNN’s June 2020 story: Washington Post: Russian bounties to Taliban fighters believed to result in deaths of US troops, intelligence assessments show. The credibility of the Taliban report by MM alleged the Russian government was paying bounties to Taliban fighters to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan to make people think negatively about the Trump Administration. Now it is shown to be yet another lie to manipulate our thinking about Trump. It is abundantly clear to me that we are in an abusive relationship with the MM. Joss Whedon, in Astonishing X-Men, Volume 2: Dangerous says, “The news isn’t there to tell you what happened. It’s there to tell you what it wants you to hear or what it thinks you want to hear.” For me, MM has no credibility.

How do you solve abusive relations? Jonathan Mead says, ‘Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.’ That means we must start thinking for ourselves and stop blindly believing what we are told by governments, health officials, and MM. I remind you of what Adolf Hitler once said, “What good fortune for those in power that people do not think.” Or as Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, said, “If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.” Could this be what MM is doing?  Could they be telling lies about the alleged pandemic? I’m merely asking the question. Goebbels also said, “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” It is time to do your own thinking!

Goebbels’ best quote, however, is, “There will come a day, when all the lies will collapse under their own weight, and truth will again triumph.”  W. Clement Stone once said, “Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance.” Or, as Flannery O’Connor says, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” I believe the truth will triumph, we will eventually know the truth. In Phaedrus, a dialogue written by Plato, it says:

“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”

What has been carefully hidden from us?

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.

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.

Strange Things Are Happening this Month

A commentary on the spirit of Christmas

Strange things have been happening this month, and I am not referring to the craziness in the world. I’m referring to me (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors). Here is what I mean.

Every year starting in November, my wife starts recording Hallmark Christmas movies, and she watches them endlessly. Every year I ask: “Why do you watch those stupid movies when they are all the same and they are so predictable?” Every year she responds with: “They’re light and make me feel good.” I typically get annoyed with her because she records so many movies that they interfere with the programs I want to record, usually from the History Channel.

Now if you are unacquainted with Hallmark Christmas movies, here is the basic premise of all Hallmark Christmas movies. They often involve a fast-paced, big city type who meets a small-town type who teaches him/her what Christmas or life is really about. The setting is always in a small town with an unusual name like Fertile. Everyone drinks hot chocolate or cider, and these towns have Christmas tree lighting ceremonies or some type of traditional event. These movies always have lesser known, attractive actors and actresses. Perhaps that is the real reason my wife watches these movies as she enjoys nice-looking male actors. Okay, I’ll be honest. I like watching good-looking female actresses too. Often, in Hallmark movies, someone is brought together with an old flame, and involves a going-to-buy-a-tree scene where the couple literally bump into each other and fall in love in a short time. These movies almost always involve some sort of Christmas magic.

Usually when I go to exercise on the treadmill or rower, I watch a movie. Now here is the weird thing. This year, in 2020, I’ve been watching Hallmark Christmas movies. I typically prefer to watch the typical guy movies; action packed Marvel super hero type movies, but not this year. This is a first for me. My wife likes it as I watch some of them with her. But the thing is, my wife is right; these movies do help a person capture the Christmas spirit.

Every year when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I complain. My wife and children call me the Grinch. In fact, for many of the Christmases past, my wife poured me an alcoholic drink so the decorating experience was tolerable for me. I’ll be honest, I hate decorating for Christmas, but this year was different. This year I volunteered to set up the tree and put the lights on it before having a hot tub. Anyone who knows me will tell you the hot tub is my “happy place,” so to decorate before hot tubbing is odd for me. I never complained once; I think my wife would confirm that.

Maybe subconsciously, I had a selfish motive. You see, I love coloured lights on the Christmas tree and my wife loves white lights, so we alternate years. This year is a coloured lights year, so maybe subconsciously I wanted to make sure the coloured lights were put on in case my wife put on the white lights and then claimed she forgot it was a coloured light year. But I don’t think that is it.

I believe the strangeness I am experiencing is answered in the song ‘The World Needs Christmas’ by Emily And Mike. The song says:

It’s been a long and trying year
Full of anxiety and fear
But now it’s finally December
It’s the time when we remember
The world needs Christmas
More than ever this year
Put all the distant, the conflict, the stress, and the trauma behind usThe world needs Christmas
We need laughter and cheer…

If you never listened to the song, here it is

I think I can explain my atypical behaviour. This year, more than any other year, my heart craves love, hope, peace and joy. I need to feel the spirit of Christmas. Some unknown said:

“Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display–so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn’t the holly, it isn’t the snow. It isn’t the tree not the firelight’s glow. It’s the warmth that comes to the hearts of men [and women] when the Christmas spirit returns again.”

American essayist and lecturer, Hamilton Wright Mabie once said: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!” American novelist, Edna Ferber, says: “Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” Or “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen,” an unknown author wrote. Yes, I am longing for that Christmas feeling or spirit. Right now, our world needs peace after a trying 2020, the year of bullying (#bullying #antibullying). As American writer of religious and inspirational poetry, Helen Steiner Rice says: “Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day.”

Christmas—I speak of Christmas only because I was raised Christian—has always meant something more to me than the commercial aspect of gift giving. It’s a feeling, and I remember well that feeling as a kid. I remember feeling love when we gathered with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Perhaps American children’s author Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, says it best with:

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

One of my favourite movies is the 1951 version of Charles Dickens’ story, A Christmas Carol. I grew up watching this movie every Christmas, usually with my dad, when it was on television Christmas eve. It’s the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly businessman who largely views Christmas as a waste of time. But that all changes on Christmas Eve when he is visited by the spirits, or ghosts, of Christmas past, present and future who show him the errors of his ways. My favourite part of the movie is when Scrooge, played by Edinburgh born actor, the late Alastair Sim, wakes up Christmas morning. Here is what I am talking about. Be sure to watch the entire clip.

Mr. Scrooge definitely caught the Christmas spirit. He is filled with hope, love, and joy. What Mr. Scrooge felt is what I need to feel more than anything this year. I suspect that is true for everyone on this planet.

Christmas time is an important month for other world religions, since Islam, Judaism and Buddhism all celebrate major festivals around Christmas. The Jewish festival of lights, Chanukah, is one such festival.  The Muslim festival, Ashura, is celebrated by both Sunni and Shia Islam. The Buddhist celebration of Bodhi Day, celebrated December 8th, is a celebration when Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment while sitting under a tree. These festivals are all celebrated around the Christian Christmas festival.

The word ‘festival’ stems from the root word ‘fest’ which is a gathering, event, or show having a specified focus. A festival is about relationship as it can mean a day or period of time set aside for feasting and celebration. Whenever there is feasting and celebration, there is peace, joy. hope, and love. It is time to bring on the festivals, in whatever form you envision this month, and capture the feeling of Christmas, or Chanukah, or Ashura, or Bodhi day, or whatever festival you celebrate. Author Max Abraham says, “Without relationships, life is useless, empty, boring and lonely.” The world needs that feeling, especially this year.

Does the World Makes Sense to You?

A commentary on making sense of our world

I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) taught science for 35 years, so I always taught my students to ask questions. French anthropologist, Claude Levi-Strauss said: “The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he’s one who asks the right questions.” I ask questions to make sense of things like what is happening on our planet.

Physicist Albert Einstein once said; “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” That is how I’m feeling these days. Actually, more accurately, the more I learn, the more confused I become. The world once made sense to me, but not anymore. Now I have more questions than answers.

Is the Mainstream Media (MM) telling us the truth? In my last post, The World Needs Christmas! I listed some questions to ask yourself about the MM, so I asked myself those questions. My answers are underlined.

Is the MM making me fearful? Yes, that is why I stopped watching the news. Why? It makes me fearful of COVID because that is all that’s talked about. Is there one narrative that all the MM is feeding us or are there multiple narratives? One, the COVID narrative which has continued for 10 months. If they are only giving us one narrative, don’t we have the right to hear all the different narratives or truths? Absolutely! Is the MM objective or subjective? Does it have an agenda or are there multiple opinions being given to us? Subjective, as it’s based on feelings, rather than on facts. The MM appears to have an agenda.

Canada’s Rebel News—yes, I know it is not MM—maintains they tell the other side of the story, as their website states:

We follow the facts wherever they may lead — even if that conflicts with the official narrative of the establishment.

They have a story titled: CBC says this Manitoba hospital is OVERWHELMED by COVID – is it really?  (see CBC story) After sending a reporter to Manitoba, Rebel News reports “there were just five COVID patients per hospital in the province.”  Either the MM media is spreading misinformation or Rebel News is.  I’ve seen several videos like this one.

Is the MM is scripted? It would explain why all MM has the same narrative. According to the article; The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media, that is, six billionaires, so it makes sense MM would be scripted.  The article shows what companies own what media outlets. That is why I trust independent news outlets more than MM. It makes sense to me.

Are our governments being dishonest?  A Global News Poll in May says half of Canadians feel governments are hiding something about COVID-19. Red State has a September headline: Emails Reveal Nashville City Government Hid COVID-19 Info From Public to Keep City in Lockdown. Governments lie all the time. Huffpost even did an article on it, called Why Politicians lie.

Why are our politicians implementing strict COVID measures when they themselves tend to ignore the rules? Canada’s Health minister flew home eight times while telling Canadians not to visit family, according to True North, a member of the Independent Press Gallery of Canada. This was also reported in the Toronto Sun. The NY Post’s article: Photos show California Gov. Newsom at maskless party, reports a US governor breaking his own rules. I guess it’s as the idiom says: Do as I say, not as I do. This reminds me of a quote from George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm, a novel I studied in high school: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” 

Are our health officials spreading misinformation? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, under Comorbidities, says:

For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.

To consider all deaths WITH COVID as deaths OF COVID is deceptive. Principia Scientific International (PSI), an independent science body legally incorporated to champion the traditional scientific method has an article: Even CDC Now Admits… which states:

Damning CDC document confirms…there has NEVER been any successful laboratory test to isolate and confirm the existence of the SARS-COV2 virus, alleged to have caused the COVID19 pandemic.

The common cold is a coronavirus. Does that mean a positive test for COVID means a persons has the common cold? How can health officials say a person has COVID-19 with a PCR test if they haven’t isolated the actual virus? One study reports that the majority of COVID-19-positive patients were asymptomatic (81%). Could that mean the PCR test is flawed giving mostly false positives? Even Premier  Kenney agrees the tests are flawed. (see Interview). What happened to the flu season? Did flu viruses disappear or is everything classed as COVID? None of it makes sense to me.

Adolf Hitler once made these bold claims:

By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell – and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.

The greater the crime perpetrated by the leadership, the less likely it is that the people will ever believe their leaders to be capable of perpetrating such an event.

Are governments, health officials, and the MM be lying to us? If they are, we are being bullied (#bullying #antibullying) in a mammoth way.  

Why are small businesses forced to close doors while corporate stores (Walmart, Costco, Target, Macy’s, Home Depot) have always remained open? Adamson Barbecue located in Etobicoke, Ontario, was shut down with numerous police surrounding the building. Its owner Adam Skelly defied Toronto’s restrictions on indoor dining and was arrested, yet a nearby Costco was allowed to remain open with thousands of shoppers inside (see Toronto BBQ). Does that mean the virus is only spread through small businesses? None of this makes any sense. Why is it dangerous for people to gather in churches but not in the corporate stores? Rebel News’ article, B.C. church FINED $2,300 for in-person services, police CAN’T EXPLAIN which order was violated, discusses how churches are being bullied. It’s unfair and makes no sense.

Why are small businesses and churches forced to close, and Christmas gatherings restricted, when the death rates are so low? Why are governments implementing Draconian restrictions when survival rates are over 99% for all except those over age 70?  The word Draconian stems from the Athenian statesman Draco who implemented severe laws. Rebel News’ story: COVID pandemic restrictions are like Martial Law, is about a Pakistanian Canadian who compares her experience of martial law to living in Canada now. These measures make no sense.

According to the CDC recently updated estimated infection fatality rates for COVID (table 1) the survival rates by age group are: 0-19: 99.997%, 20-49: 99.98%, 50-69: 99.5%, and 70+: 94.6%. Do these survival rates warrant lockdowns? Does an almost 100% survival rate warrant closing schools? Even MM admits as in this ABC News’ article, Predictions of more suicides, overdoses and domestic abuse during COVID are coming true, that isolation, economic pressure and family conflict affect mental health. The CDC confessed that there have been far more deaths from suicides and drug overdoses than from COVID-19 (see CDC). To continue to damage people’s mental health when death rates are so low makes no sense to me.

What is the point of a vaccine if social distancing and masking will continue? That is what US head Dr. Fauci says. (See masks, social distancing will still be needed after a COVID-19 vaccine…) Canada’s head doctor, Dr. Tam, agrees. (see Physical distancing, mask-wearing could be in place for 2-3 years even with vaccine..) How is it possible to develop a vaccine if they haven’t isolated the COVID-19 virus? Yet, there is much talk of mandatory vaccines. The World Economic Forum says normally vaccines take 10 years to be approved for use, that is, to be deemed safe. Why is a vaccine for COVID being rushed? That same article says the experimental COVID vaccine will be ready this month. Does that mean the vaccine will be ineffective or unsafe? It makes no sense. I recently saw a meme that said:

Imagine a vaccine so safe you have to be threatened to take for a disease so deadly you have to be tested to know you have it.

Why are mandatory masks being forced upon us? Calgary and Edmonton have both had mandatory mask policies since the summer, yet COVID rates are purportedly rising. Does that mean masks don’t stop COVID infections from spreading?  Why are people who were given medical exemptions being denied entrance to places? See Police, public health have NO ANSWERS for why mask exemptions aren’t ACCEPTED. It makes no sense.

Is discrimination for having a certain point view allowed? The Vancouver Canucks have fired their anthem singer for planning to perform “O Canada” at an anti-mask rally (see Canucks fire anthem singer for anti-mask support). Is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms no longer valid? Why is the freedom to protest being taken away? Isn’t freedom of speech guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Our national anthem has the phrase: The True North strong and free! Is Canada no longer a free country?

As you can see, I have a lot of questions with no clear answers, so I must draw my own conclusions. The only logical conclusion is we are being bullied. There is much talk of the “Great Reset” which is about governments grabbing power by limiting our freedoms. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney admits The Great Reset is not conspiracy and is about “less freedom and more government.” Here is his discussion.

There is a quote in George Orwell’s book, 1984, that says: “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”  That is a troubling thought. One of the founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” He also said: “He that’s secure is not safe.” The third president of the US, Thomas Jefferson, once said: “He who gives his freedom for safety gets none of them.” Maybe the late George Carlin says it best in this video.

Does the world make sense to you? Start asking your own questions.

The World Needs Christmas!

Typically, I start writing about Christmas in December, but as we approach upcoming celebrations like Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas, we are hearing more and more talk of COVID cancelling these festivals. Global News’ article, ‘Normal Christmas’ off the table,  quotes Canada’s Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau as saying: “A normal Christmas, quite frankly, is out of the question.”  The New York Post has the headline: Dr. Fauci suggests canceling Thanksgiving gatherings amid COVID uptick, so the same goes for the American Thanksgiving. Yahoo has an article titled, Dr. Fauci Says Cancel Christmas Unless This Happens, listing a number of restrictions.

Yes, governments and health officials will try and stop Christmas, and other celebrations, because COVID numbers are allegedly going up. They might be somewhat successful in achieving that goal as those who are fearful of the virus will comply, and those who fear their freedoms are threatened will likely gather with their families for Christmas anyway.

The world is divided into two camps, both driven by fear. There is the camp consisting of those who fear for their lives because they believe the virus is deadly. The other camp are those who believe the virus is no deadlier than any other flu virus. These people fear that this alleged pandemic is being used to remove individual freedoms and rights, and as a means to control our lives. These folks fear this is what the “Great Reset” is about that Canada’s PM is speaking about. Here is a video of the PM’s speech to the United Nations.

A few days later, Trudeau changed his rhetoric claiming the “Great Reset” is conspiracy theory as reported in the article: Canada’s Trudeau calls Great Reset a CONSPIRACY THEORY after video of him promoting the globalist initiative went viral. What I find interesting is the Mainstream Media as remained relatively silent on this.

That being said, I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) do not wish to get into the politics as I am merely pointing out how divided our world is. Never before have I wanted to avoid people, whether it be family or friends, because if I say something that others disagree with, I am attacked and ostracized. Most other people I talk to feel the same way. This fear is isolating people and pitting people against one another. This is a terrible time in our history.

The question remains: Can Christmas be cancelled? The answer is emphatically no since Christmas is more than family gatherings. American novelist, Edna Ferber , says, “Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” Valentine Davies, known for Miracle on 34th Street says, “Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.”  I agree wholeheartedly. For me Christmas is about love. As the Methodist missionary in Canada, George F. McDougall, once said:

“Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.”

Yes, Christmas is a spirit of love which is what gift giving symbolizes. For Christians, gifts are given at Christmas is an opportunity to show love. American actress and singer, Dale Evans, was best known for her singing on her husband’s show, the Roy Rogers Show. I remember watching it as a kid. Dale Evans once said, “Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” Christmas is about love and you cannot cancel love, so you cannot cancel Christmas.

Presently, the world is living in more fear than love, as I alluded to earlier. Many argue that the opposite of love is not hate, but fear. A quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi says that, as it says: “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”  Author, Gerald G. Jampolsky says: “Love is the total absence of fear. Love asks no questions. Its natural state is one of extension and expansion, not comparison and measurement.” Or as teacher, author, and spiritual master, Anthony de Mello, known for his parables which are short sayings of “the Master,” has this parable on love.

What is love?”

“The total absence of fear,” said the Master.

“What is it we fear?”

“Love,” said the Master.

If fear is the opposite of love, then let’s talk about fear. It is said fear is learned, so if that is true, fear can also be unlearned. Even more, many argue that we humans are programmed to fear. Many have contended that the Mainstream Media programs us to be fearful, and that has always been its purpose. Sotero M Lopez II is one of them as he says: “‪Whatever Mainstream Media focuses on, BEWARE. Whatever Mainstream Media ignores, FOCUS.” Author Jess C. Scott is another who would agree as he says: “People are sheep. TV is the shepherd.”

Could that be true? Are we humans being manipulated to be fearful? Joseph Goebbels was a German Nazi politician and the Reich Minister of Propaganda for Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. He said:

If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.

He also said:

Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.

Ask yourselves these questions: Is the MM making me fearful? If it is, why? Is there one narrative that all the MM is feeding us or are there multiple narratives? If they are only giving us one narrative, don’t we have the right to hear all the different narratives or truths? Is the MM objective or subjective? Does it have an agenda or are there multiple opinions being given to us?  Now you may think: The MM would never lie to me. That is cognitive dissonance. We’ve been programmed to believe the MM is the only reliable source of information, but is it? So I ask you: Is the MM’s COVID narrative making you fearful? If it is, stop watching the news.

American author and YouTube content creator, John Mark Green says:

“If you want to tap into what life has to offer, let love be your primary mode of being, not fear. Fear closes us down and makes us retreat. It locks doors and limits opportunities. Love is about opening to possibilities. Seeing the world with new eyes. It widens our heart and mind. Fear incarcerates, but love liberates.”

Love liberates, so free yourselves from fear. Writer Agnes M. Pahro once said:  “What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future…” 

The world needs Christmas now more than ever. The world needs love, hope, peace, and unity. Let’s be honest, 2020 could be deemed “the year of bullying (#bullying #antibullying) with maskers attacking anti-maskers, people who are pro-lockdown attacking those who are anti-lockdown, and those fearing for their lives because of a deadly virus judging, and even attacking, those who fear their rights are threatened, calling them conspiracy theorists. Every human, no matter what camp they’re in, can agree on one thing, which is 2020 is hell. What the world needs is a path that leads to peace and unity, and I think I know the path. We can all join in unity by proclaiming ‘2020 as the worst year of our lives’ and be united in making 2021 a ‘better year;’ a year when we show respect even when disagreeing.

Yes, the world needs Christmas now more than ever. Suzy Kassem, author of Rise Up and Salute the Sun says it better than I ever could when she said:

“When the world shifts its focus on heart over mind, we will finally experience a beautiful global village for our children.”

If 2021 is going to be better, then we must start following our hearts and not our minds. When we follow our minds, our ego gets in the way. When we follow our ego, we Edge God Out, or love out, and attack those who disagree with us. The heart is where love is.  It is where Christmas lives. Imania Margria, author of Secrets of My Heart, says:

“No matter where we come from, there is one language we can all speak and understand from birth, the language of the heart, love.”

The world is in dire need of love, not fear. The world is in dire need of Christmas. Cancelling Christmas is not an option!  Some unknown person said, “Don’t let fear of what may happen hold you back from following your heart.” I urge you to remove fear by turning off the news and start listening to your heart where the spirit of Christmas lives. As the late actor and comedian, Robin Williams said, “There are no rules. Just follow your heart.”

Really, the song ‘The World Needs Christmas’ by Emily And Mike says it best. Have a listen.

Food for Thought During These Troubling Times

November 11th Remembrance Day is once again upon us. This is a commemorative day to remember the members of our armed forces who have died serving their country.  The observation of Remembrance Day in most countries is to remember the end of World War I, which ended on the eleventh hour of November 11 in 1918.

Normandy Beaches France

Since visiting Vimy Ridge and the Normandy Beaches in France five years ago, my wife and I (#blogger #blog #somseason #YA #authors) have a much stronger appreciation for all soldiers and the sacrifice they made to maintain peace and freedom in our world. Visiting both WWI and WWII military cemeteries was a humbling experience to say the least. What shocked us the most was the age of many of the soldiers, some as young as 17 years old. We now attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies with much more gratitude and appreciation for all soldiers. It is essential that we remember the soldiers who have lost their lives, or put their lives on the line, to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens.

WWII was a war to stop fascism. I speak about WWII because it was the war I taught about the most as a teacher and am most familiar with. During that time in history Italy was ruled by Benito Mussolini, a fascist leader. The Nazi Party, led by the best known fascist, Adolf Hitler, a leader who adopted a form of fascism that incorporated fanatical racism against Jews. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” An interesting thought. During the pre-1945 period, Japan moved into political totalitarianism, ultranationalism (extreme nationalism), and fascism ending in Japan’s invasion and of China in 1937. According to some accounts, thousands of Chinese civilians were buried alive, machine-gunned or used for bayonet practice. Females were taken and forced into labour as “comfort women” (sex slaves for Japanese officers and soldiers). There were other fascist leaders during that time.

What is fascism? Fascism is a term coined by Benito Mussolini in 1919, who described it as a belief system for his political movement. Merriam Webster defines fascism as:

a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

I would define fascism as bullying (#bullying #antibullying)  especially since it involves suppression of opposition. When you get down to the root cause of both World Wars, and all conflicts,  the cause is division. With COVID and the US election, the world—I believe—has never been this divided. What is happening in our world today is a reminder to humanity to unify as a human family, or once again fall into the chaos of war and other atrocities. We must be able to hold our truths and still respect other people’s truths. As Alexandre Dumas, one of the Three Musketeers says, “All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” If division continues to pervade in our world, we are headed for trouble.

Fascism is a term that seems to be used a lot these days. Just last night, my wife and I were watching a series called, This is Us, and a character’s teenage daughter in anger calls her dad a fascist. President Trump  has been accused of being a fascist  (see Trump a fascist). There are those who say Democrats are fascists (see Democratic Party). Some even argue that fascism is creeping into Canada (see Blogger Mark). Is fascism alive and well today? I don’t know but it feels like it with our rights and freedoms being removed because of COVID. The National Post has an opinion piece titled: We are giving up our freedoms in the fight against COVID-19, which questions whether those freedoms will be returned to us.

What I find disturbing is what the Huffpost’s 2014 article, Government of the Rich, by the Rich and for the Rich, says:

We now live in a two-tiered system of governance. There are two sets of laws: one set for the government and its corporate allies, and another set for you and me.

I always intuitively felt that was true. One set of rules for the wealthy elites, and one for the rest of us. There are many who argue that elected governments have little power and are merely puppets of a shadow government known as the Deep State. Mainstream Media calls the Deep State a conspiracy theory. Interestingly, Newsweek’s article, The Unraveling of the Deep State’s Coup Against President Trump, speaks about the Deep State as real and not conspiracy theory. Could this be true?

Italian fascist leader, Benito Mussolini once said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” Wiktionary defines corporatism as “The influence of large business corporations in politics.” Is this what is happening?

Nephew of John F Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. says: “While communism is the control of business by government, fascism is the control of government by business.” American politician, Henry A. Wallace, once said:

A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.

That is a scary quote. Is fascism reappearing in our world today? I don’t know, but I see a lot of disturbing things happening in our world right now. I would like to believe fascism was eliminated at the end of WWII. As I said in my last post, How Do You Know What is Truth?  it is time for us to start thinking critically.

The truth is humanity must learn how to unify in a divided world. As J.K. Rowling said in her book, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,’ We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” Mahatma Gandhi, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule, once said: “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” That is so true! To unify means to step out of that mind-set that ‘I am right and you are wrong;’ the mindset of I must convince you of my truth.  You are sovereign individual and I am sovereign individual, and I may not agree with you and you may not agree with me, but that is okay. That is very different from you are wrong, you’re ignorant, or you are stupid. Richard Twiss, a Native American educator and author, says: “You can’t have unity without diversity.”I believe that to be true. We will never live in a world where everyone thinks the same, or believes the same. Besides, wouldn’t that be a boring world. The fact is, everyone is entitled to their truth (perspective, beliefs). The challenge is: Can I/you respect other people’s truth? If we can do that, unity will be achieved. If we can’t do that, we are headed for troubling times; a time filled with bullying. I am convinced we humans can create a better world, but first we must achieve unity in diversity to do that.