Bullying on the Political Playground

Most of the bullying tactics that politicians use are the very same ones that middle school and high school students use:
– Blame-shifting when they want to deflect attention away from themselves.
– Calling another person names.
– Sabotaging someone’s reputation.
– Spreading rumors or planting gossip about someone.
– Threatening others either by subtle warning to an outrageous declaration of what might happen in the future.
Very Well Family

Does Prime Minister Trudeau fit the Criteria of being a Bully?

– In Sepember 2021 he said, “There are also people who are fiercely against vaccination. They are extremists who don’t believe in science, they’re often misogynists, also often racists.” Compare that to the statement he made a few months earlier: “There are medical reasons, there are a broad range of reasons why someone might not get vaccinated…”

– In the past month he has said the trucker protesters were “very often misogynistic, racist, women-haters, science-deniers, the fringe.” Contrast this to a statement he made in earlier years: “Openness, respect, integrity – these are principles that need to underpin pretty much every other decision that you make.”

– He recently accused protesters at the “Freedom Convoy” of spewing “hateful rhetoric” and “violence” , despite media reports that the massive weekend rally was overwhelmingly peaceful.

– He said he would not meet protesting truckers because of their ‘hateful rhetoric’. Instead, he went into hiding, in contrast to a statement he once made: “My father raised us to step toward trouble rather than to step away from it.”

– This week Trudeau replied to comments and questions (made by a female Jewish member of Parliament) by accusing Conservative party members (and by extension her) of standing with people who wave swastikas and standing with people who wave the Confederate flag. (Yes, there were fringe minorities at the march. Organizers and leaders of the convoy condemned extremist groups, and asked that participants report lawbreakers to the police.)

– He invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act, which gives the federal government broad powers to restore order. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland warned they can tow away vehicles; freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts; and suspend the insurance on their rigs. The government will also broaden its anti-money-laundering regulations to target crowd-funding sites that are being used to support the blockades. Compare that to this statement Trudeau once made: “One of the things with Canada is we’re of a modest enough size that we never feel that the ideal outcome of any given deal is, we win and you lose.

The most honest statement he once made, though is this:

I think it’s hard to know how one deals in situations of confrontation until you’re actually in there, so I’m not going to speculate on what I would do.
– Justin Trudeau –

Not to be outdone by the politicians, Mainstream ‘Legacy’ Media – Canada’s CBC – suggested maybe Russia is involved:

“… given Canada’s support of Ukraine, in this current crisis with Russia, I don’t know if it’s far fetched to ask but there is concern that Russian actors could be continuing to fuel things, as this protest grows, but perhaps even instigating it from from the outset,” CBC panelist Koksal said.

For all my posts on this story, see Truckers Convoy.

It’s Rapid and It’s Positive

The Car Guy likes things to be cut and dried. Once the Frog in his Throat became a cough, the logical thing to do, in his mind, was to take a rapid antigen test to see whether he has Covid or not. He ordered a test kit on Amazon – it arrived in two days.

Other than the discomfort of putting a swab up his nose, the test was straight forward and fairly fast. Within 15 minutes, he had his answer. He was positive for Covid.

I didn’t bother taking the test. If I gave the virus to him, I was probably going to test negative because I am over two weeks away from first symptoms. If I didn’t have the virus then I am going to get it from him in short order. Either way, we’ll both test in about a week. If we test negative, we will be ‘good to go’ visit some of our friends who are at higher risk if they were to contract Covid.

Meanwhile in Canada

The big news in Canada is the Truckers Freedom Convoy. (I did two posts about it at my other blog, Counter Current.) Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau, the man who proudly marched with BLM in 2020, did not meet with the truckers when they arrived at their destination in the Nation’s capital. Why? He has reportedly said that the convoy members and their supporters are a “fringe minority” who hold “unacceptable views.” (He also says he has tested positive for Covid but is feeling fine. He has ‘holed up’ at an undisclosed location.)

The foundational cornerstone of liberty is the free exchange of ideas. Without that, we don’t really have liberty. And that means putting up with a lot of things you disagree with.
And here’s the great thing about freedom of expression – someone else gets to try and convince you of how wrong you are. And all the ideas get to compete. And at some point, enough people will provide enough verifiable information, that hard, irrefutable facts will emerge. But as long as nothing is ever challenged, we will never know if those “facts” are irrefutable or not.
Regie Hamm

This is the same Prime Minister that called a Vanity Federal Election (that was midway through his term and cost taxpayers $610 million) during the Fourth Wave of the Pandemic

Getting back to the truckers, they are equally peeved with American President Biden. Trudeau and Biden have, at this very late date in the pandemic, declared cross border truckers now have to be fully immunized. The truckers, who for the past two years have made it possible for the elitist ‘shelter at home’ people to ‘stay safe’, have decided they have had it with mandates that smack of political virtue signalling.

 

Baa Baa Black Sheep

CBC’s list of words

CBC News Ottawa recently published a list of ‘banned’ words according to the anti-racism and language experts they consulted. Some of the phases contain the word ‘black’ which the experts said can be hurtful to people because of the negative historical and cultural background of the word. (Some people would like to add Black Friday to the list).

My Black Sheep Tangle

I was surprised to see the term Black Sheep.  Historically, black sheep were less desirable than white sheep only because the black wool could not be easily dyed colors. The phrase eventually evolved to refer to the oddball member of the family who did not fall in line with the others.

What about blackmail? It was first used in the 16th century in Scotland where it was a payment exacted by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from more pillage.

While in the current context, both words have evolved into negative portrayals, the word ‘black’ can also be a positive or powerful word, such as black belt, black diamond, black coffee, black pepper, black ink, etc.

The word white can also have an undesirable connotation – white elephant, white lightnin’, white out, white trash, show the white feather…

Hopefully, some day black and white will no longer be a source of conflict – Yin Yang will prevail.

Moving on, I’d like to know why CBC didn’t put the word ‘short’ on their list. If I was a sensitive ‘vertically challenged’ person, I would object to the many phrases that contain the word ‘short’: short changed; short end of the stick; the long and the short of it; a day late and a dollar short; one brick short of a load; a few sandwiches short of a picnic; draw the short straw; short circuit; short fuse; short sighted…

Rex Murphy, of the National Post, responding to the CBC list, constructed an editorial about these words by using them all: Rex Murphy: Tongue-tied by CBC’s 18 words you can’t say

Alas, it is the case that the rich tribe of consultants employed by the CBC to make sure Canadian English never falls into bad-speak is being pilloried on Twitter and elsewhere as lame , and even (shudder) tone deaf .

Other even more savage criticisms are raining down on the corporation, such that its executives and high-profile personalities have been called together in a kind of public relations powwow , to brainstorm some way of responding to the crisis.
– Rex Murphy –

Normally I would ask you what your thoughts are on this subject, so here goes: Do you think the legs I drew on the Black Sheep look a bit like piano keys?

Update: thanks for your comments about the Sheep’s legs. As per your input, the Sheep has now been named ‘Little Piano Legs’.

12th Blog Anniversary and 1000 Posts

Two milestones to celebrate – my 12th Blogging Anniversary and my 1000th post on this blog; (another 87 posts – the more serious and political ones – are at my alternate identity, Counter Current)!

Highlights (and a few low lights) of the past twelve years:

Morgan or Montana Moose – though Mandate Moose would have been a better name…

How many people can say they get frequent visits from the  Munching Moose Tree and Hedge Maintenance Service?
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Three Great Horned Owlets

Our property was also home to a Great Horned Owl family that nested in a large spruce tree on the edge of our driveway.

I also did 138 Wild-life stories that document all the birds, bugs and animals I saw and 88 posts about Plants.
_____________________________

On the Humour front, I did 95 posts of funny Quotations and 1000 posts that had at least one moment of happiness embedded in the verbiage.
_____________________________

I’ve posted 45 Craft Projects.  The interior decor of the Red House reminds me of the front of the family fridge when there were school age kids in our house: a bunch of crafts that sometimes only a ‘mother’ can love…
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“Into each life a little rain must fall.”

In 2012, The Car Guy was in a bad motorcycle accident. Man and bike both recovered, though the Harley looked like new after the restoration and The Car Guy  – not so much.
In 2013 there was a lot of rain. Our entire Cabin Community was destroyed. Though we weren’t able the save much from our cabin, the Car Guy did manage to salvage   our old lawnmower!
_____________________________

My review wouldn’t be complete without a mention of  Covid-19. I did about 40 posts about the virus, none of which went viral…

2, 4, 6, 8… Who Needs to Isolate?
My blogging life started in November 2009 during the peak of the second wave of the novel virus H1N1pdm09 pandemic. It was also known as the ‘Swine Flu’. The Cornell Daily Sun joked about the pig connection with the headline: ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It, And I Feel Swine…’

I’ve also lived through two other relatively serious pandemics – two Avian flus: the  Asian flu of 1957-1958  and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-1970 . How did all three of these pandemics compare to Covid-19? No one will ever really know. Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been tracked differently and the collateral damage from lock downs, reduction in non-covid medical treatment and school closures will be difficult to measure.

Is “Baby It’s Cold Outside” a Deeply Offensive Song about Climate Change Denialism?
My blogging ‘career’ also coincided with COP15 (Conference of the Parties) which was held in Copenhagen in late 2009. COP26 (the 2021 version) is in full swing in Glasgow.  21,000 delegates, 13,000 observers and 3,000 members of the media will talk about how to cut emissions… do they understand the irony?

I’ll end this retrospective with this:

My blog is a collection of answers people don’t want to hear to questions they didn’t ask.
― Sebastyne Young –

‘Rona Virus – It Feels Like the Movie ‘Groundhog Day’

Do you remember the movie ‘Groundhog Day’? Bill Murray portrays Phil Connors, a cynical television weatherman covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He becomes trapped in a time loop, forcing him to relive February 2nd repeatedly

Welcome to the ‘Groundhog Day’ Pandemic

Here in Alberta, we are in the fourth wave of ‘Spike and the Variants’. Like the previous three waves, it is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. For the past 18 months we have been subjected repeatedly to  ‘short sharp lockdowns’ that aren’t short. The difference with the fourth wave is that now we have enough vaccine for everyone – except not everyone has chosen to get jabbed and not everyone who got jabbed has the same immune response. Thankfully we haven’t been put into another ‘lockdown’ but we have been mandated back into masks, have restrictions for gatherings and need vaccine passports to enter some venues, etc, etc.

On the plus side, The Car Guy and I are surrounded by vaccinated family and friends whose risk tolerance is similar to ours. We live carefully, but a bit more liberally, than the more fearful do.

The ‘Groundhog Day’ Election

Canada’s Federal Election (#44) was held on September 20, 2021.  Prime Minister Trudeau called it mid way through his term. He hoped he would get a majority government.

The election cost the taxpayers $612 million (the most expensive election in Canadian history). What did we get for our money? Same old, same old. Justin Trudeau is once again the Prime Minister of a minority government  but with the new distinction of having the slimmest share of overall electoral support in Canadian history (32.6% of the popular vote.)  The voter turnout, at about 62% is one of the lowest since Canada’s first election in 1867 (maybe having an election during the fourth wave of the pandemic had something to do with that).

Journalist Tristin Hopper probably summed it up best:  at $36.02 per vote,  16,991,074 voters might as well have bought a  24-pack of Molson Canadian Beer instead.

Unlike this election result, at least the movie Groundhog Day was rewarding.
– Tasha Kheiriddin –


Fortunately, there is still a lighter side to the ‘Rona Virus:

Ho-Hum Canadian Stories

– As the 2021 Canadian Election ho-hums along, (ho-hum as in we have to accept that something unpleasant cannot be stopped from happening), Prime Minister Trudeau may have got the hint that some voters think the election was totally unnecessary AND find his messaging unpalatable. He is being met at some campaign stops with boos, heckles, jeers and yes, even small stones lobbed his way! (Mr. Trudeau says he wasn’t hurt and compared it to the time a woman threw pumpkin seeds at him during the Hamilton mayoral race in 2018…)

– Also election related – Elections Canada has branded all their election material with the slogan “It’s Our Vote”.  Strange phrasing – did someone make a mistake and leave out the ‘Y’ from the normal slogan “It’s YOUR Vote!”


– Canadian tourists are still not allowed to drive into the United States. They can fly there, but they can’t drive there. Fortunately we have some Canadian ‘snowbirds’ in the USA (Canada Geese) to protest on behalf of their non-feathered friends.

– Last month, the Board of Governors of Toronto’s Ryerson University announced that the university would be dropping the name Ryerson. The University was named after Egerton Ryerson, who has been vilified in some circles for the role they believe he played in the creation of Residential Schools. Many scholarly publications refute these allegations. An article by Lynn McDonald in the Financial Post outlines who Ryerson was and the positive things he did for Indigenous people. This information matters little, of course, if individuals are only judged through the lens of the group they have been assigned to – white, male, colonist, racist… and so on.

– Alberta’s Municipal Elections are in October. Besides voting for Mayors and such, we get to vote on whether we want to adopt year- round Daylight Saving Time, which means we would keep summer hours all year round. I’ll vote for that.

It would be nice if we could have summer weather all year round too… of course, that would mean we would get to vote on whether we are ‘for’ climate change.

History of Daylight Saving (or Savings?) Time
Disturbingly, daylight savings time did begin in Canada. Thunder Bay, Ontario has the odious distinction of being crowned the first municipality in the world to implement daylight savings time in 1908, and we have never forgiven Ontario. Daylight savings time picked up traction during World War I when it was thought that by adjusting the clocks for the summer months would help preserve coal. It was also thought that it would encourage people to get out and about in the late hours of the summer days. By the end of the war, all of the major participants had adopted daylight savings time, and the collective madness of daylight savings time persists today in countries all the way from Australia to Uruguay.
– Ahlstrom Wright Law Firm –

So, what is ‘Ho-humming’ in your part of the world?

Prime Minister ‘No Intention of Triggering an Election’ Calls an Election

May 2021: There Will Not be a Pandemic Election in Canada: A motion in the House of Commons was supported by all but one of Canada’s parliamentarians. It denounced a pandemic election and agreed that the government should prevent it from happening. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reinforced that the Liberal government had no intention of triggering an election before the pandemic is over.

June 2021: The moment Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cut his ‘quarantine curls’ and shaved his greying beard, some pundits speculated that he would call an election. Others said Trudeau would uphold the intent of the May motion and that he wouldn’t put the lives of Canadians in danger with an unnecessary pandemic election.

August 2021: There Will be a Pandemic Election: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap election for September 20 in the midst of what Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says is a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, now being driven by the Delta variant.

Are you a politician or does lying just run in your family?
– Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe –

Why would Trudeau call an election? He wants more power. Justin’s Liberals won only a minority government in October 2019. Though they have been supported  by the other left of centre parties (which has allowed them to govern as though they have a majority) he wants a Liberal majority government. The health cost to those who will be involved in this campaign, and the financial cost to the taxpayers, apparently isn’t a concern to him.

Trudeau says “Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against COVID-19.” The election comes as Canada is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19 cases, driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus. Trudeau called it “the fourth wave amongst unvaccinated people.”
– ROB GILLIES, Associated Press –

Speculations about the Chicken

This post is dedicated to the Chicken Grandma.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.
Why did the duck cross the road?  It was the chicken’s day off.
Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide.

If the following people were to answer the question of why the chicken crossed the road, this might be how they would respond. (Source: the Internet.)

ISACC NEWTON: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross the road.

DONALD TRUMP: I’ve been told by my many sources, good sources – they’re very good sources – that the chicken crossed the road. All the Fake News wants to do is write nasty things about the road, but it’s a really good road. It’s a beautiful road. Everyone knows how beautiful it is.

JOE BIDEN: Why did the chicken do the…thing in the…you know the rest.

BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period.

DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white?

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he is acting by not taking on his current problems before adding any new problems.

ANDERSON COOPER: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

The Piano Guys -The Calm after the Storm – The Cello Song (Video)

The QuipperyThe Hail Storm

Southern Alberta (hailstorm alley) experienced a severe hail/rain storm Saturday night. According to news reports, 48.7 millimetres (1.8 inches) of rain fell between 7 and 8 p.m. Some parts of Calgary saw hailstones the size of tennis balls that fell at speeds of 80 to 100 km/h. They punctured house siding and broke windows; pockmarked car bodies and caved in windshields.

We were fortunate this time. We got the rain but the hail was small and didn’t do much more than put holes in the rhubarb leaves. We haven’t always been so lucky, as you can see here, here, here, and here. (We are so glad our house still has 40 year old cedar siding – a blob of paint quickly covers the gouges a hail stone can make…)

The Covid-19 Storm

Alberta is lifting restrictions. At our house, family and repair people have been coming and going. We’ve personally relaxed some of the more diligent social distancing and mask rules – but our visitors are certainly welcome to distance and mask in whatever way they feel comfortable.

‘Autonomous Zone’ Storm

I’ve declared our home and yard to be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ – free from the  authority structure in which we are embedded. I’m working on my manifesto, but rest assured it will grant equality to everyone, including pirates.

I was inspired to make this declaration as a result of the occupation in Seattle by Antifa and Black Lives Matter.  They call their zone the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone – CHAZ.

The biggest difference between their zone and mine, however, is that I’m not displacing any people and businesses. That seems too much like colonialism.

CHAZ is doing a few other things that seem similar to the actions that are frequent targets of other protesters:

–  CHAZ put up barricades and walls – an act very similar to the contentious construction of walls between Mexico and the United States.
– CHAZ posted armed security guards around their perimeter (courtesy a self-appointed police force led by a rapper named Raz Simone) – an act in direct contrast to demands for greater gun control.
– CHAZ required residents who live within the boundaries to show ID to prove they “belong” there – an act very similar to segregation
–  CHAZ assaulted a street preacher (who was apparently saying things that upset people) – they supposedly pinned the man to the ground. This seems very similar to the police brutality that they oppose.
– CHAZ welcomed the homeless into their land (and discovered that the homeless took all their food) – well that is just too funny to even comment on.

Other than those items, and maybe some things I don’t know about, I’m in full agreement about freedom from the authority structure (Canadian Liberalism) that I am embedded in…

After the Storm Music – Hello Cello

It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.
– Johann Sebastian Bach –

Speaking of which, just imagine what went into taking 8 cello tracks and turning them into one song!

The Cello Song is based on one of the most recognizable classical pieces ever written, J.S. Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1: Prelude… Steven Sharp Nelson decided that this piece needed some accompaniment… Adding some original material and 7 more cello parts stacked on top of each other…
The Piano Guys

What positive things are starting to happen in your part of the world?

Elections Quotations

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
– George Eliot –

A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected.
– Carl Sandburg –

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
– James Bovard –

Dear Facebook: Adding an “Unfriend until Election Day” option would save me a lot of time.
– someecards –

Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?
– Robert Orben –

Elections are a good deal like marriages. There’s no accounting for anyone’s taste. Every time we see a bridegroom we wonder why she ever picked him, and it’s the same with public officials.
– Will Rogers –

Elections should be held on April 16th- the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.
– Thomas Sowell –

If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.
– Emma Goldman –

In our brief national history we have shot four of our presidents, worried five of them to death, impeached one and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate their character.
– P. J. O’Rourke –

It is difficult to understand these people who democratically take part in elections and a referendum, but are then incapable of democratically accepting the will of the people.
– Jose Saramago –

It’s important to look closely at lawn signs during election campaigns.
Last time I voted for a real estate agent.
– Author Unknown –

I was down to my undies in the voting booth when I remembered it wasn’t a changing room.
– Maxine’s Crabby Road –

That’s the trouble with a politician’s life – somebody is always interrupting it with an election.
– Will Rogers –

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
— Winston Churchill –

They hold elections in November because it’s the best time for picking out a turkey.
– Maxine’s Crabby Road –

Things on the whole are much faster in America; people don’t ‘stand for election’, they ‘run for office.’
– Jessica Mitford –

Voting in this election is like trying to pass a test with no right answers.
– Author Unknown –

We stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.
— Woody Allen –

We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs.
– Will Rogers –

Winning the election is a good-news, bad-news kind of thing. Okay, now you’re the mayor. The bad news is, now you’re the mayor.
– Clint Eastwood –

More Quotations about Politics:
Politics and Government Quotations
Ronald Reagan Quotations