Politics, Uncategorized



CLINTON-2/TRUMP-0 2016/10/10
Last evening, I stayed up to watch the second in the series of three debates between the U.S. Presidential candidates, Clinton and Trump. I must admit I am somewhat biased and favour Clinton but aside from that She won the debate giving her a 2 to 0 lead over Trump.
When it comes to Donald J. Trump it is almost at the point where there are few derogatory words or terms left in the English language to describe him. Those that are in use are repetitive and getting well worn. Last night his performance mimic that of the first debate, a 70-year-old spoiled rich would be tyrant. His performance was or is reminiscent of the spoiled little kid who couldn’t have it his way. What type of political candidate threatens his opponent publicly that if he is elected he will appoint a special prosecutor to indict said opponent for, I assume, treason and throw her in jail.
The recent revelations of Trumps arrogant misogyny, which he puts down to “Locker Room” talk, is reprehensible to say the least. His statement that it was OK to call his daughter “A piece of A-s” is beyond repugnant. What kind of father would say this? Perhaps the most upsetting of this Presidential Campaign is that whatever Trump says or does it seems to be Ok with the Republican electorate. Can they not see that the man is dangerous? Adolph Hitler was considered a clown and buffoon by a lot of the German people and the world knows what happened there.
Some of my friends and neighbours have said to me “who cares it’s in the States” well the answer is that like it or not Canada is closely tied economically to the U.S. and when they cough the rumble is felt up here. We cannot interfere in American politics as that it for their people to sort out but we should be very watchful as to who they elect. Trump is saying that he will repeal NAFTA which could and more likely will hurt trade between us. He has also threatened to withhold support for NATO until as he puts it “they start paying their share”. These threats may sound good to the blue collar segment of the American people but they fail to realize that these moves are dangerous and merely cause more animosity towards America. His pronouncements on Muslims feed the radical factions of that religion. His Islamophobia is a propaganda bonanza for terrorist recruiters.
For the life of me I have never really understood the American Republican system of government. I find their system so like that of ancient Rome which went from a Monarchy to a Republic, to an Imperium, and finally collapse. Perhaps Trump is a reincarnation of “Caligula, or Nero, or Commodus” who knows? Well whatever one believes or thinks when politicians the likes of Trump appear, be wary be very wary.

History, Uncategorized




1 July 2016, Canadas’ 149th Birthday and the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in World War 1.
While this is a day of celebration for Canada it is also a day of Remembrance for the people of Newfoundland/Labrador. On this day 100 years ago on the Western Front the Allies launch an attack against the Germany Trenches along the upper reaches of the River Somme in France. The battle would last 131 days and result in a total of over one million casualties. Britain would suffer 451,842 casualties while France suffered 250,000 and Germany 537,918. It was and is the bloodiest battle in History.
For Newfoundland /Labrador it is the darkest day in their short history. The Battle of Beaumont-Hamel is forever etched into the memory of every Newfoundlander. On the morning of 1 July 1916 the Royal Newfoundland Regiment waited in their trenches for the order to advance with the third wave of the British attack. At 9:15 a.m. the regiment was ordered over the top and left their trenches moving towards their jump off position. They advanced across open ground with no artillery support and full view of the enemy into a maelstrom of Germany Artillery and Machine Gun fire. The attack by the R.N.R lasted 30 minutes ending at 9:45 a.m. The Newfoundlanders suffered 324 dead, 386 wounded and on the following day 2 July 1916 only 68 men were capable of answering the Roll Call. In just 30 minutes the R.N.R. ceased to exist as a fighting unit. This slaughter affected almost every family in Newfoundland. In 1916 it was a separate Dominion within the British Empire and not part of Canada; that would come 33 years later on 1 July 1949 when Newfoundland became the 10th Province of Canada.
This day is both one of Remembrance and Celebration in Canadas’ youngest family member. Although they were not part of Canada in 1916 that display of discipline and bravery would become part of Canadas’ proud Military Tradition.



History, Uncategorized


War Mem. 2


REMEMBRANCE 2015. 2015/11/08.
On April 22 1915 the Canadian Corps of the B.E.F. along with the French were attacked by the Germans in an attempt to close the Ypres Salient in Belgium. This was the first time that gas (Chlorine) was used in warfare. The French Morrocan Colonial troops were the first to be exposed to this weapon of terror and understandably broke leaving the Canadian flank exposed. Two days later on 24 April it was the Canadians’ turn. Using urine and mud soaked handkerchiefs as improvised gas masks the Canadians held at a cost of 6,035 casualties including over 2,000 dead. Here in the mud of Flanders the Canadian Military reputation was born and over the next 45 months would grow earning them the title of “SHOCK TROOPS” and raising Canada to her rightful place in the family of Nations. (Battle of the Somme, 2nd Ypres)
Remembrance Day was originally Armistice Day proclaimed by King George V in April 1919. Its’ purpose to remember the 1,244,589 Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen from the British Empire that made the ultimate sacrifice on land, sea, and in the air. In Canada Armistice Day official became Remembrance Day at the 11th hour of the 11 day of 11th month (November) 1931. In the 4 years, 106 days from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918 Canada had 61,082 killed and 154,361 wounded soldiers, sailors, and airmen. Canada was a young nation in 1914 just 47 years old with a population of 7,800,000 of which 625,825 served in World War 1 and almost 10% of those who served paid the ultimate price. It has been 101 years since Europe went mad and dove headlong into the Hell of the Western Front. The War to end all Wars was just the prelude to WW II 21 years later when Germany smarting from the humiliation of losing WW I plunged Europe once again into the Charnel House of War and genocide. Canada was there again declaring war on Germany on 10 September 1939, one week after Britain had. The population in 1939 was roughly 11 million and by wars end in 1945 10% of the population had served in the military. The Canadian casualties were 42,042 dead and 54,414 wounded. In Bomber Command alone Canada lost 9,980 of its’ young men.
After WW II under the command of the United Nations Canada sent over 27,000 to fight in the so called “Police Action” (WAR) in Korea where 516 soldiers were lost. After Korea came years of “Peace Keeping” under the U.N. with 119 Canadians dying trying to maintain peace in different corners of the world. In this the 21st Century Canada became involved in the War in Afghanistan where 158 were killed. Since 1899 when Canada sent troops to help fight the 2nd Boer War through the 20th Century up to now, the 21st Century, Canada has always answered when called upon to help stop aggression. Although the number of dead might seem small in the greater scheme of things for us the numbers are great as even now we are a small nation in terms of population.
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month each years since 1919 we honour and remember all those Canadian who served and especially all those young sons and daughters of Canada who made the supreme sacrifice so we could be free. Remembrance Day does not, as some will say, glorify war instead it reminds us of the horror and cost of that most cruel of all humankinds endeavours. All the veterans of WW I have passed away and each year those of WW II and Korea grow fewer in number and soon they too will be but memories of the sacrifice our nation was willing to make to keep peace and be free. As our National Anthem says we are the “True North. Strong and Free” because of their courage and commitment to keep us so. Remembrance Day is the day we publicly honour our heroes alive and dead but we should not just do so on a particular day. Lest We Forget means just that, never forget all the brave young men and women who paid for our freedom.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
(Robert Binyon)

History, My Opinion, Uncategorized


Four Horsemen 1 Four Horsemen 1


When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
It seems that in my lifetime the Four Horsemen have been running amok in Africa’s’ 47 mainland countries. From war to famine to pestilence the horsemen have had a wild ride from the Mediterranean Coast to the Cape of Good Hope from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean feasting gluttonously on the carcasses of the innocent as well as the guilty. For neither war nor famine nor pestilence discriminate, all are fodder for their insatiable appetites.
Since the ending of World War Two almost 70 years ago and the death of Imperial Colonialism not one area of this vast continent, the birthplace of all humanity, has escaped unscathed. As the Colonial Powers left old tribal and religious animosities rose again and tribal warfare for power became the norm. There was also racial war as the white residents of some of the former colonies such as Rhodesia, Angola, and South Africa fought to maintain supremacy and the apartheid system of segregation they had set up. In the north Algeria, rebelled against the French. In Egypt the military took over making the country a dictatorship. In the 50s Libya became independent only to fall in the 60s to a military coup and it too became a dictatorship until 2011 when the populous rebelled and overthrew and killed the dictator Gadhafi. Now over a decade into the 21st century Africa is still witnessing religious wars with Muslims pitted against Christians and terrorism flourishing quite nicely.

In just the past few months the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, and Mali, in western Africa have been wracked with an epidemic of the Ebola Virus causing almost 17,600 cases and resulting in a total of 6,556 deaths all but 2 of them Africans. This continent has long been known as the birth place of the Human Race it is from here that the rest of the planet was populated through many migration the last of which was about 35,000 years ago.
Perhaps Africa would have been better off if Vasco da Gama and his four ships had run aground at the entrance to Lisbon’s harbour and the Europeans had not come for a visit and decided to stay. Hindsight is a marvellous thing but it cannot change what happened. Maybe in another 100 years the majority of African States will catch up to the rest of the world. Let us hope it happens far sooner.

Grousing, Uncategorized




Monday, 13 October is Thanksgiving or as my oldest calls it “Happy Turkey Day”. The bird isn’t really that happy as he has been decapitated, cleaned out, stuffed, and roasted in preparation of being devoured by hungry humans.
The first recorded Thanksgiving in the new world occurred in Canada in 1548 when the Captain of one of the ships sailing with Frobisher in search of the Northwest Passage called on his ships’ crew to give thanks to God for their having survived a very perilous journey through ice fields and arriving safe at what was then called New Found Land. It wasn’t until 73 years later in 1621 that the Pilgrims celebrated their Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock Colony. That is a little of the History of Thanksgiving. It sort of looks like we up here in the True North have a first over our southern cousins.
Our Thanksgiving is on the second Monday of October where as the American is on the fourth Thursday in November both of which are occasions for a family get together The holiday is to celebrate and give thanks for all the good things that have happened over the year. It also gives thanks for a bountiful harvests, at least that what it started out to be. In these times of consumerism where the majority of our food comes from mega corporate farms where everything from grains, eggs, milk, poultry, and meat are massed produced there isn’t much left for the farmer to celebrate. Holidays such as this give the Gourmet the opportunity to become a Gourmand and have a reason to blame it on. Yep! Thanksgiving where the “order of the day” is to stuff ones’ stomach to the point of rupturing. The dining room table will be groaning under the load of food it must bear. Turkey, or Ham, mashed potatoes, turnip, or some other vegetables, gravy, bread or rolls, wine for the adults, and milk for the kids. There will more than likely be the inevitable argument as to who gets the second drumstick as the head of the house gets the first. Before the devouring there will be perhaps either a prayer or some acknowledgement of Thanksgiving and after these quickly rhymed off words the amputation and dissection of the bird begins. In some households there is a ritual to the carving in others it just get on with it.
When the main course is done and everyone sits there bursting at the seams out comes the dessert which is usually Pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Even though enough food to feed a small army has been devoured there is always room for a slice of pumpkin pie buried under a mountain of whipped cream adding another 1000 or so calories to the 3 or 4 thousand pushed down at dinner. Now that the meal is finished the dishes done everyone sits around moaning how they ate too much. Yet in the same breath will ask if there is any more stuffing or pie left as it was so delicious they could force a small amount more down. This is Thanksgiving in the North America, which will be repeated in one month by our American neighbours. They too will go through the ritual ending in a feeding frenzy followed with the same complaints of eating too much but is there anymore. The amount of food that is consumed and or wasted at this time of year could possibly feed a small third world country. Very few of us think of that as we are too self-centred and selfish. Most of us who see photos of hungry or starving women and children say “Oh those poor souls” and go right back to doing whatever it was we were doing. I am ashamed to say that a lot of the time I am guilty of the same thing. They say that over a million children go to bed hungry every night and there are charities advertising for your donations to help. The problem is which do you give to and will it be used as intended or end up in some corrupt politicians pockets.
This is my spiel on Thanksgiving, which by the way I really don’t celebrate. It is not that I am not thankful it is just that I give thanks in my own way. So enjoy the day eat until you burst then complain that you ate too much and put on weight and will have to go on a diet again, and again, and again.


Uncategorized, WHATEVER


Maple Leaf 1

I have now resided at 4100 for 14 months and I guess the old adage is correct “Home is where you hang your hat”. Unless some unforeseen incident occurs this is my home until that final move into the unknown. I guess in actuality that isn’t so bad, after all I have met new friends and acquaintances and perhaps a few who do not like me that much. Hey that’s life isn’t it?
Here at 4100 we have as would be expected for a seniors’ apartment building a wide variety of individuals a hodgepodge of our society. I believe our tenants range from 65 to 95 in age and some are damn spry for being in their 90s’. We have a few cliques and gossips, recluses and loners. There are the angry and the cheerful. There are the shy and the gregarious the clannish and the religious, and a Pantheist, some would say clown. All in all a cross section of society. There are Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Egyptian, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, Scots, English, and South Africans, a regular United Nations. The people come from all walks of life and many professions, Nurses, a Chef, Bus Driver, Auto Parts man, Retired Constables, and of course yours truly the “Not Resident Genius.”
After 14 months the place is starting to grow on me (I hear a good fungicide will take care of that) and I am resigned to my fate of spending my twilight years here. By the way that is not Twilight as in the “Twilight Zone”. If I’m lucky (I hope not) I’m good for another 20 years that will put me up to 2034. The most I could do is 2042, GODS forbid that would make me 100. If I could hang on to 2056, (unbloody likely) I could be here when Zephrem Cochrane invents the Faster than Light Drive in Star Trek. OH Boy! I gotta stop snorting the Windex.
There are a few tenants living here who should be in a place where they can be taken care of. Some have Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and some have psychological problems but so far they have not been a threat to themselves or others. Then of course there is the writer who is a complete nut bar and should have been carted off to the funny farm years ago. Guess they haven’t got a butterfly net big enough. As I said above the place is growing on me but before I become part of the fixtures in a few years I think I might just go along being the crackpot clown from the 3rd floor. Hey Guys the sideshow is free.




                                                     AND SHE WEEPS                                                              

                                                The Piper plays a lament

                                                Eight bear the weight

                                                Of the Coffin draped

                                                In the Red and White

                                                At the slow march they step

                                                For the Hero who’s fallen

                                                The Journey begins

                                                The True North is calling,


                                                 Always accompanied

                                                By a Brother in Arms

                                                Never alone on the

                                                Last journey Home,

                                               Soon the roar, then the leap

                                                To the Heavens,

                                                Homing west to the setting sun

                                                Chasing the afterglow into the night.

                                                Straight on til the morrow

                                                When Eros brings her light

                                                For Canada awaits

                                                Her Hero, Her Child,

                                                And She weeps.