November 20, 2015 … 11 years

evils-wedding-5

evils-wedding-13

11 years ago tonight, with family and friends present, we exchanged vows and spoke sacred words. Today, we continue to live into those words. Tonight, we had dinner at the fabulous FIRE GRILL, once again.

I have shared before that there are three restos, that are at the top of the budget when it comes to dining out …

  • Fire Grill
  • Rueben’s Smoked Meats
  • Baton Rouge

This short list is a foodies paradise of good eats.

I am grateful that I live in Canada. Due to recent events, in the world, people are at odds, and words are being spoken, that are totally, out of left field. I’m not sure most folks, politicians and leaders alike, know what they are saying.

My tight group of friends are at odds with each other, because of differing views of current events, and what each of them thinks, as to what we should do and how we should do it.

The ties of friendship are being tested. And if a second conversation that needs to take place, because the first one began and ended badly, doesn’t heal the rift, I am afraid that my circle will be broken over non-negotiable statements.

We are Canadian. And we, for the most part, share Canadian values, and for some, that is not good enough. Everybody has a right to their opinions, because of their origins, how they were educated, and how they each decide to live their lives.

No One Person has the definitive answer, because, let’s face it, we don’t. I don’t think a real, tangible, solid, workable answer is possible amid the heat of argument and prejudice.

Let us keep each other in our thoughts …

Notice I did not say “prayers…”

Religion has become a dirty word. People are choosing to incriminate all, due to the actions of “a few.” And that does not bode well, for an entire community of people, world wide.

One day we will see this for what it really is, and we will shake our heads and say to each other …”Was I really that stupid?”

Yes, we really are that stupid.

At least I can unfollow people. And I can turn the channel, and better yet, I can totally turn off my computer when it all gets to be too much of hateful overload.

More to come, stay tuned …

 

It's All About Justin …

Justin-Trudeau-and-his-wife-Sophie-Gregoire

Courtesy: CBC.CA Online

Newly elected Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau took to the stage before a crowd of over 1,000 supporters with a message of unity and hope with an eye to the next election in 2015.

Trudeau acknowledged expectations are high and in an effort to rally Liberals of all stripes said, “I don’t care if you thought my father was a great or arrogant.”

“It doesn’t matter to me if you were a Chretien-Liberal, a Turner-Liberal, a Martin-Liberal or any other kind of Liberal. The era of hyphenated Liberals ends right here, tonight.”

Trudeau was elected through a preferential ballot based on a points system that gave each of the 308 ridings in the country 100 points for a total of 30,800 points.

Trudeau, the eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was elected on the first round with 24,668 points — he only needed to obtain 50 per cent plus one, or a total of 15,401 points.

Well Done Justin.

Kathleen Wynne declared Ontario Liberal leader, province's next premier

2013-01-27T020213Z_1552457971_GM1E91R0RO301_RTRMADP_3_CANADA

The New First Female Premier of Ontario is also the first LGBT Premier making her a very important and one of the most powerful Lesbians in the world…

*** *** *** ***

By | Canada Politics

Kathleen Wynne has been declared the winner of the Ontario Liberal leadership convention Saturday evening and will now become Ontario’s first female premier.

Wynne rallied support from party faithfuls through the day after entering the convention in second place. She pulled within two votes of the lead on the first ballot, behind only former provincial representative Sandra Pupatello.

The 10-year Member of Provincial Parliament, who held several cabinet positions during Dalton McGuinty’s time in power, celebrated diversity and inclusivity during her leadership campaign. She worked to position herself as a Liberal leader, and premier, who could take on Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives and NDP in the next general election.

“This is going to be a great government and we are going to build on the legacy of Dalton. We are going to build on the work that Dalton McGuinty has done over the last nine years,” Wynne said after being declared the next party leader.

Wynne was always at or near the front of the pack during the leadership race. Early numbers placed her among the leaders of a crowded list of candidates and she picked up the support of exiting Glen Murray at what seemed to be a pivotal moment.

The balance tilted further in her favour when Dr. Eric Hoskins, the first candidate removed from the ballot, threw his support in her direction. By the time the first round of voting was counted on Saturday, Wynne had caught up and sat in a virtual tie for lead, with just two votes separating her from Pupatello.

Still, Pupatello picked up an early endorsement from resigning candidate Harinder Takhar. She extended her lead in the second round of voting. But the surge was short lived.

Remaining candidates Charles Sousa and Gerard Kennedy pulled out of the contest and endorsed Wynne. A final woman-against-woman vote was held, but the writing was already on the wall.

Kathleen Wynne was declared Ontario Liberal Party leader after beating Pupatello 1150 delegate votes to 866 votes on the final, third, ballot. She will be sworn in as premier at a later date.

“Ms. Wynne has the best chance of being able to renew the party the way it has to be done,” Kennedy told Yahoo! Canada News. “I am hopeful she will make the changes that will get Ontarians interested, and eventually really enthusiastic about a new Liberal approach.

“She is a premier people will relate to in the sense of someone who pays very close attention to people. She respects and loves working with people, and she is going to be able to put together a different kind of agenda.”

Trudeau enters Liberal leadership race

Justin Trudeau made his bid for the federal Liberal leadership official Tuesday evening, confirming weeks of speculation and taking the next step along a path set by his father some 44 years ago.

The 40-year-old Montreal MP broke the announcement in a YouTube video posted to his website, and then minutes later at a rally in his Papineau riding, after his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, introduced him to the crowd.

“I love this great country; I want to spend my life serving it,” Trudeau said.

“This is why tonight I am offering myself for the leadership of the Liberal party of Canada.”

Trudeau said the road to success will be “one long, Canadian highway.”

“We will have ups and downs, breathtaking vistas and a few boring stretches. And with winter coming, icy patches. But we will match the size of this challenge with hard, honest work.”

He said he decided to announce his leadership candidacy on Tuesday because that would have been his late brother Michel’s 37th birthday. Michel was killed in an avalanche in 1998 while skiing in British Columbia.

Trudeau, the eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, has shown a knack for capturing the excitement surrounding his father’s legacy and mixing it with his own telegenic charm.

The idea of Trudeau following his father’s footsteps into 21 Sussex Drive has been around nearly his entire life. But Trudeau’s famous surname was noticeably absent at Tuesday night’s rally – the red background behind him was emblazoned only with his first name.

Trudeau said he wants to reconnect the Liberal Party with ordinary people across Canada, especially the middle class.

“A thriving middle class provides realistic hope and a ladder of opportunity for the less fortunate — a robust market for our businesses, and a sense of common interest for all,” he said.

He added that the Conservatives and the New Democrats have not responded well to Canadians’ economic struggles over the last few years.

“What’s the response from the NDP? To sow regional resentment and blame the successful. The Conservative answer? Privilege one sector over others and promise that wealth will trickle down, eventually,” Trudeau said.

“Both are tidy ideological answers to complex and difficult questions. The only thing they have in common is that they are both, equally, wrong.”

At a brief news conference after his announcement, Trudeau said he’s running for Liberal leadership “because I believe in an option that is not polarized around the edges, that is not bound to an ideology but is looking for the best possible ways…to serve all Canadians.”

Trudeau was born on Christmas Day in 1971, while his father was in the early years of his time as prime minister.

He became a high school teacher before running for parliament in 2008. He elected to run in the hotly-contested riding of Papineau, rather than the Montreal riding of Outremont, at the time considered a Liberal safety net.

Trudeau then survived the NDP wave that swept across Quebec in the 2011 election, increasing his margin of victory.

Trudeau, a father of two small children, is one of the Liberal Party’s brightest stars, drawing crowds to fundraisers, as well as participating in a charity boxing match earlier this year, at which he beat Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau.

For all his success, however, criticism remains that Trudeau has not been challenged on his vision or position on key issues.

Many critics say that no one even knows what Trudeau’s views are on major economic and foreign policy matters.

But his campaign adviser, Desiree McGraw, said Trudeau will be an effective, “pragmatic” leader who can engage Canadians of all generations, especially the youth.

“There is no part of this country that is off limits,” she said of Trudeau’s reach on CTV’s Power Play Tuesday night.

As for the Trudeau legacy, “Justin is his own man,” McGraw said. “He has proven that.”

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has already said he will not be vying for the party’s top job.

So far, constitutional lawyer Deborah Coyne — who is the mother of Justin Trudeau’s half-sister Sarah — has announced she is running for the leadership position.

Manitoba paramedic Shane Geschiere and economist Jonathon Mousley have also gone public with their intentions to seek the top job.

Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc was also reportedly interested in leading the party, but sources have told CTV’s Roger Smith that Leblanc will likely support Trudeau instead.

Among those who are said to be considering throwing their hats in the ring are MP and former astronaut Marc Garneau, Vancouver MP Joyce Murray and former leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay.

The Liberal leadership campaign officially gets underway in mid-November.

Trudeau is expected to make appearances in Calgary, Richmond, B.C., and the Toronto area in the coming days.

With files from The Canadian Press

Election Night in Quebec …

What can I say about today? I voted. And I voted for the CAQ candidate in our riding. Our riding is a heavy Liberal riding and it stayed that way. I saw lots of people out there voting all day today especially in Westmount.

I am going to repost this from a friend because he has the pulse of this issue and I don’t have the knowledge to paint this picture correctly.

CTV called a: Parti Quebecoise Minority 9:21 p.m. This may change later on tonight, I will update it as needed.

Lifted from Written Inc – Carmy Levy

As I write this, voters in Quebec – where I was born and raised – are casting ballots in the provincial election that, in all likelihood, will spell the end of the rule of the Liberal Party and its leader, Jean Charest, after 9 years. If you don’t live there, I know what it means to you: meh. If you’re Canadian, however, it could mean the beginning of yet another chapter of game-playing with our country’s future.

I’m going to way-oversimplify this, so forgive me in advance. Here goes: Quebec is the only province in Canada where the majority of residents speak French as a first language. Long-festering feelings that the rest of primarily-English Canada treated them like second-class citizens gave rise to the separatist movement, spearheaded largely by the Parti Quebecois political party. They first came to power in 1976, under leader Rene Levesque, on a platform of separating the province from Canada, their way of preserving the French language and culture in a North American milieu.

Yes or No

The PQ has held two referendums on sovereignty since then – in 1980 and in 1995 – and in both cases voters said, no, they wanted to remain in Canada. They’ve voted the PQ and Liberals into office sequentially since 1976, and every time the PQ takes over, fears of yet another run at leaving Canada surface.

Throughout the current campaign, PQ leader Pauline Marois hasn’t exactly endeared herself to members of minority groups, and has made it fairly clear that the French majority makes the rules. To wit, here’s a fairly typical gem of hers:

“It is the responsibility of everyone that wishes to call Quebec their home to learn and assimilate the local culture, not replace it with their own.”

Lovely. And this in a province where the schools your children may attend are determined by what language the parents were educated in, and where they are from. And stores are only allowed to post signs in the official language of French (Canada’s bilingual, remember) and, if they violate the language laws, the so-called Language Police swoop down and charge them. Where a province crippled like all others with the modern vices of too much demand and too few resources spends billions on legislating language and prosecuting violators.

The exodus continues

My wife and I – both fluently bilingual, and she’s a French teacher – eventually grew tired of the cultural, language and borderline-xenophobic games, and finally left soon after the 1995 referendum. Of my high school class, the vast majority have left, as well. Montreal was once a city of boundless opportunity, a cosmopolitan city of the future. After the PQ swept to power, waves of well educated anglophones headed west, primarily to Toronto. Head offices of major corporations and the country’s top banks soon followed. If you ever wonder why Toronto became the business hub of the country, now you know. I’m not sure they ever sent a thank you card, though.

We decided we wanted to live in a place where the priority was building businesses, building communities, and raising families. The endless political, language and cultural wars became tiresome for us. And I suspect another generation of folks just like us is already getting ready to call the real estate agent, book the moving van and get the hell out of Dodge. Or whatever the Pequistes choose to call it from here on out.

Unfortunately for those who escape, Quebec’s inability to get with the program – or to willingly work with the rest of Canada to address its persistent feelings of being left out – sucks the life out of the rest of the country, too. Political uncertainty destabilizes not just the Quebec economy, but the national one. It discourages foreign investment and diverts resources away from the issues and projects that will benefit citizens the most. Many Canadians, fed up with Quebec’s generational tantrums, have stated publicly they’d like to be rid of the province entirely. Unfortunately, separation would throw the entire economy into a tailspin – as if it isn’t there, already.

Back to the brink

Anyway, apologies for the ramble. Tonight, the PQ stands poised to kick the Liberals out of office. Mind you, the Liberals, dogged by persistent corruption scandals and a grinding protest by students against tuition hikes, didn’t do themselves any favours. Like the good politicians they were and are, the pig-at-the-trough mentality eventually caught up with them. But as we once again listen to voters justify their choice by saying they didn’t vote FOR the PQ as much as they voted AGAINST the Liberals, I can’t help but think that the subtlety of democracy is completely lost on them. After all, what you’re thinking matters little once you’ve let the wolf in the door. The wolf doesn’t much care why you let him in, and will proceed to happily do whatever it is that wolves do best.

Vive le Quebec libre, indeed. What an unbelievable waste of political capital. And what a sad comment on an entire society’s inability to do what it needs to do to keep pace with the rest of the continent. While they bicker over perceived slights to their beloved language and culture, Rome – or in this case, Montreal, or Quebec City, or virtually any other city in a place that could have and should have had it all – burns.

May is over …

Courtesy: Wrestlingisbest

It is Thursday night, on the last night in May and the month of June is almost upon us. The week have been eventful, as I have written. Hubby’s 40th birthday will fall on the 6th, and he is trying to forget it is coming. No parties, no gifts no mention of the BIG 40 !!! I have to explain what it means to turn 40 and what happens next. He isn’t very happy about turning 40, at all …

*** *** *** ***

Do you shop on EBAY?

When you search an item, and you find one you like, do you automatically bid or buy that item without reading the item description fully? No ???

I put an item up for sale last week and the item was damaged when I bought it. I never used it and it sat in a box under my dining room table from the time I bought it until the time I put it up for sale.

The one thing I did not do was put up a picture of the minor damage to the item so bidders could see what I was talking about. But that is not the issue here. I wrote up my item specifically. I duly noted the damage and all that information was up on the front page.

A bidder in Ontario found my listing and he bid on the item, and he subsequently won said item. He didn’t read the item description – he didn’t know about the damage to the item, and then he paid for said item and I shipped it to him. When it arrived 2 days ago, he freaked out opening a case for a refund because item did not match the description. He wrote that I tried to rip him off, when he clearly did not read the item properly or at all.

(HAD he READ the description-He would have known right?)

He made a fuss, and opened a case against me and had the audacity to request a refund, which was my policy, if you aren’t pleased with your item, in this case, I would refund your purchase price. He said I didn’t note properly. I replied to him that he could not read correctly. Which he didn’t read at all.

I address the box, with the delivery address and my return address on the front of the box. Then he writes me and tells me that he can’t find my return address,

( WHICH IS ON THE FRONT OF THE FUCKING BOX !!!) IDIOT !!!

So he fucked up my Paypal account. Only the day before I deposited all my sales profits into my bank account and now I had to pull over a hundred dollars from my bank account to cover the negative balance over on PayPal. EBAY warned me not to refund his money till the item arrives back here. But I want to make a purchase, on a pair of running shoes for my marathon training and I have this god damned issue hanging over my account now. I just want to get it over with, I am waiting for the money to transfer and as soon as that happens I am going to just bite the bullet, knowing this asshole re-mailed the item back to me from Ontario, it will get here next week.

I HATE STUPID PEOPLE !!!

I have two other items up for sale. And I have to tell you that for the most part people are smart and intelligent. But for some cases I get some of the most stupid questions from people, you’d think, DID YOU READ THE POSTED INFO?

IDIOTS !!! ALL IDIOTS !!!

*** *** *** ***

On Wednesday I went to the mall because I wanted to see what retail had to offer in the form of running shoes, price and style wise. And I have to say that the choices were slim running. I walked into the store and was standing in the shoe department, and a young man was helping some folks, clearly Francophone.

I waited. He helped more people who walked over there in front of me, once again, clearly Francophone. He was very chatty and helpful. I stood up from where I was sitting and he walked over to me, and I opened the conversation, no less, in English. He didn’t seem interested in helping me. I asked to see two shoes and he brought me one. He didn’t wait to help me. He went over to help other folks who were standing there.

The shoes were pricey. I told him that I was going to take them and I walked towards the cash. Then I decided not to take them because I had this invoice action against me and I carried the shoes back to him and handed him the box. Then I came home.

I found a much cheaper and more stylish pair on EBAY which is sitting on my watch list at the moment. And as soon as I clear this open case, I can make a clear purchase.

*** *** *** ***

Grasshopper asked me to write him an attestation letter for a legal matter he is taking care of and so this morning I was up with the birdies to go to the morning meeting, it was a business meeting day for the group, I sat outside until they were through.

The topic this morning was:

… Our society has concluded that it has but one high mission – to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out.

Twelve and Twelve pg. 151

Page  151 in the 12 and 12  is right at the beginning of the 5th tradition.

Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

I was sitting in my chair with Madame bijoux on my right and grasshopper on my left. The chair opened the floor to sharing and I waited. When it got to grasshopper he opens his mouth and it was like he went into my brain and took the words right out of my mind… And I said under my breath, you stole my topic … and we all laughed.

The reading centered around serving others. That’s when the tie to the 5th tradition comes up. It being May and all. I commented that it was when I learned how to put the needs of another before my own, was when I became an adult. And so it goes, You can’t help someone if you are self serving, selfish or self centered. And I’ve learned long and hard that if I want it, I have to give it away.

Grasshopper and I got to Micky D’s for breakfast after the meeting which was a nice treat. He dropped me back home and I farted around until it was time for my disco nap with hubby.

It has been a quiet night. The air is cool outside. It was cloudy for a while and sprinkled here and there, but the clouds have blown away. There is more rain in the forecast for the weekend.

Many people are still mopping up from Tuesday’s flooding. And a lot of those people are getting screwed by insurance companies because the city is to blame for the sewers not working correctly therefore all these homes and businesses got flooded and cars got wrecked by flood water. And the city is not taking the blame very nicely. They are calling it an act of God, not a city wide maintenance issue. It isn’t fair.

*** *** *** ***

The student negotiations with the government failed tonight and so the strike and protests will continue as usual. The Grand Prix set for next weekend was targeted by Anonymous and they hacked the payment website and posted all their information online. And threats went out to those coming to Montreal to beware and to be prepared for protests and marching would take place during the Grand Prix.

This isn’t good. The government did not rise to the occasion, but paid lip service to the student negotiators, and the Premier did not get directly involved, as he was requested to do so, so that tells us that Jean Charest was in no way going to sit down and negotiate this settlement the way he should have.

There is a call for an election in the next 13 months. I say sooner than later, let’s get this guy out of office and do what is right for the city and the students. Because it is only going to get ugly once tourists start coming for summer festivals and events. Tourism is going to take a huge hit now. The city is going to get screwed in the long run.

*** *** *** ***

Tomorrow is Friday, hopefully I can take care of my Ebay issue and do some shopping and sort that fuck up out. We shall see. Other than that, there is nothing on the books for the weekend yet.

And that’s the kind of week it’s been. More to come, stay tuned …

The Largest Act of Civil Disobedience in Canadian History

Courtesy: Philmphoto

Daily Kos – Online Article Listing

The TroubadourFollow for Writing by David Harris Gershon

Originally posted to Writing by David Harris Gershon on Tue May 22, 2012 at 06:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Canadian Kossacks.

Massive crowds engulfed downtown Montreal this afternoon, marking the 100th day of student strikes and protests sparked (in part) by Quebec’s plan to raise tuition by 82 percent on May 22.

While estimates ranged wildly – from 100,000 to 500,000 in the streets – the number is less significant than the civil disobediencethat has thrust Montreal into the global revolution spotlight.

Authorities in Quebec, trying to counter the protests that have raged for over two months, passed “emergency” legislation last Friday that suspended the winter semester and effectively made protesting illegal. (The legislation, or Bill 78, stipulates that groups of 50 or more gathering must submit itineraries to the authorities in advance or be deemed illegal.)

Students and citizens in Montreal responded to the draconian legislation by streaming into the streets and defying Bill 78 in record numbers today. While the protests have been led by the significant student population in Montreal, the protests today contained cross-sections of the population.

Noting one of the more visible and noisy marches of the day, which was gatherings of both the young and old banging on pots and pans, Steve Faguy of The Gazette Tweeted the following:

I’ve covered quite a few protests. Never have I seen one that so resembled an actual popular uprising.

And writer Kris Holt had this to say regarding the emergent popular uprising:

Those on my street banging pots and pans are middle-aged or older. Much more than students now.

It seems that the legislature’s attempts to quell protesting in Montreal has had the opposite effect, as many today streamed into the streets specifically to defy the anti-protesting emergency legislation.

As one of the student leaders, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, stated today:

“We want to make the point that there are tens of thousands of citizens who are against this law who think that protesting without asking for a permit is a fundamental right,” he said, walking side-by-side with other protesters behind a large purple banner.“If the government wants to apply its law, it will have a lot of work to do. That is part of the objective of the protest today, to underline the fact that this law is absurd and inapplicable.”

Absurd indeed – and that absurdity seems to have awakened popular support for the students’ plight, support that has increased dramatically in recent weeks.

The global revolution has officially arrived in Canada. And with student strikes and protests set for the summer, and with more of Montreal’s citizenry falling behind the students, it’s a revolution that may not be ending anytime soon.

Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, Greece, Israel, New York City, Montreal…

…we are witnessing an historic global uprising, as peoples across the globe continue to rise up in numbers and demand their political rights, demand social justice, demand economic fairness.

It’s a struggle that is not just essential, but fundamentally human.