Socialized medicare: a true story

BlazingCatfur has been the advocate for his Mom, as he tries to stop our dismal, ironically called ‘health-care’ system, from killing her:

The attentive care of the paramedics was replaced by – nothing.

We waited nearly an hour for a resident to finally stop by and enquire what the matter was. Appallingly, she had no prior knowledge of why my Mother had been admitted. My shock increased after she asked, in all seriousness, if the angioplasty had been a success. I can only assume that the look on my face caused her to retreat and summon the physician on duty. Exhibiting Solomon like wisdom, the attending doctor suggested that a physical examination was in order. She then disappeared with the resident in tow. A nurse was dispatched who informed us that my Mother would have to be undressed for the examination. Since this Angel of Mercy made no offer to assist, I took it upon myself to undress my bedridden mother in a public corridor, in full view of the passing parade of visitors, patients and staff.

Aside:  his mom was bleeding from an incision in her femoral artery, which was not properly closed following an earlier surgery…you know, the very same femoral artery one can bleed to death from within minutes…

Words just fail me!

It is difficult to understand how so many people just don’t ‘get it’:  life-and-death situations cannot be handed over to bureaucrats, who perform a cost-analysis to decide which medical treatment they will approve – and from whose dictum the medical personnel cannot deviate!

This set of procedures is the basis of ‘socialized medicare’ – and it puts bureaucrats and their ‘due process’ above the well-being of any patient and gives the bureaucrats the right to approve – or not – any and every treatment a medical professional (nurse or doctor) deems best for the patient.  It is this ‘submission’ to the ‘process’ (with its inherent delays in treatment) dictated by the bureaucrats which grinds medical professionals down and turns them from motivated people into automatons who just want to punch in, punch out and not get noticed by the bureaucrats for ‘special assessment’ in between…

The bigger an organization is, the more ‘rules’ and procedures’ have to be put into place to ensure that people do not make ‘biased’ decisions which might, potentially, not be in the best long-term interest of the organization.

Unfortunately, this also becomes true when the medical system is ‘bureaucratorized’. And, health-care becomes bureaucratorized when it is run by an organization so large, the patients become statistics instead of individuals:  that is when ‘charts’ become more influential in a person’s medical treatment than the doctor’s opinion does.   It really does not matter if this is a huge private insurance company (with no fear of competition) or some level of government ….except that, it is much, much harder to sue a government if its actions cause the death or crippling of a loved one!

This is the point when bureaucrats have the final word on what resources a doctor may or may not use to treat a patient….and when the patient becomes nothing more than a liability which costs money!

It is no longer the doctors who are allowed to conduct a procedure they think will help their patient, prescribe treatment – however costly – which will save her/his life – now, it is the bureaucrats whom the doctors have to ask permission before initiating a treatment (and who take their time assessing the risk vs. benefit to their careers if they deny treatment).

Instead of the best interest of the patient, it is now the best interest of the medicare system (or individual bureaucrats who control portions of it) which is the priority.  Even if they are willing to pay (oh, that is just wrong!), a patient will be denied ‘unjustifiable treatment’ – you know, when the cost to the system is so great, saving one life is just not justifiable to the taxpayers…

The result when treatment is deemed ‘financially unjustifiable’ is, of course, the death of the patient.  You have GOT to ask yourself just what factors are considered in THAT assessment!

In Britain today, their ‘socialized medicare system’ is more and more costly, and currently contains more bureaucrats who oversee the medical personnel (to ensure they adhere to government-decreed rules of what medical procedures are ‘warranted’ under specific conditions) than they have doctors and nurses combined!

Hat-tip on the video:  Walker

Best wishes to Blazing Catfur and his mom!  Our thoughts are with you!

Giving medicine to a cat

This is Bo-Bo:

His full name is ‘Snowball’ – but he usually responds to the diminutive ‘Bo-Bo’.

This past weekend, my neighbours (and friends) went away for a 4-day trip.  As I am the local animal-lover, they asked me to look after their cats (Snowball is one of 3 felines in that family).  At the last moment, Snowball (he is a little dominant…) got into a fight with another cat in the neighbourhood and the vet said he must get 2 antibiotic pills a day… could I handle the challenge of giving Bo-Bo his medicine?

I agreed to give it a try – my friends deserved a break!

Snowball was happy to see me when I came in and fed him – the first time.  Then he got annoyed that I would not let him out (he was to stay indoors while recuperating).  When I gave him his medicine – he got really, really mad at me.

The next medicine time, he was ready!

There was no way he would allow me, an outsider, to come in, hold him down in a chair and shove a pill down his throat!  His family may be away, and he may not be feeling his best and I may have taken him by surprise the first time… but – no more!  He would fight against this indignity!

Bo-Bo put up a mighty battle…

I did learn some things:

  1. Cats can – and do – growl.
  2. If you do NOT allow the cat to ‘have the last word’, the ‘next time’ will much easier.

Yes, I am glad to report that now, Bo-Bo is all well and healthy – and he does NOT growl at me any more.  Not even when I put him into the ‘medicine chair’, make him wait till I get the pill, sit beside him, open his mouth and pop the pill in!

Quite a change of attitudes!

And I did not do anything other than outlast his ‘bitching’ and ‘have the last word’.

One could say, I suppose, that I have learned how to ‘out-bitch a cat’!

Omar Khadr is NOT a ‘Child Soldier’ – as per UN laws

Just about everyone has heard of Omar Khard:  the one Canadian languishing in Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Most people – whatever their views and opinions are on the circumstances that lead to his current predicament – agree that his situation is quite tragic.  The kid never had a chance to grow up ‘normally’.

Born into a family which was legally in Canada, emotionally in Pakistan and philosophically in 8th century Arabia, his childhood could not be considered ‘normal’ by any standards.

Both his parents were religious fanatics (his mother still is, his father gave his life to conduct violent jihad).  He was physically bumped around, from living in the ‘Secular West’ at some points to a Muslim school in Pakistan to terrorist training camps.  His sister was given in marriage at the age of 15 to an Al-Qaeda buddy of her father (the wedding is said to have been attended by Osama himself), his brothers actively conducted violent jihad (not all survived), and so on.

It really is a sad story.  I can understand why it pulls at all our collective heartstrings!

Currently, the public debate is focused on what is to be done with young Omar now?

This is a very, very important decision:  whatever action is taken (on not taken) on behalf of Omar Khadr will set THE legal precedent for future situation that are similar.

So, let us get it right!

In order to make the best possible decision, we must objectively examine what Omar Khadr is – and what he is not.

This is an essential step, because it will define under which circumstances the legal precedent set by the ‘Omar Khadr case’ will be applicable.

The most common description of Omar Khadr one hears in the MSM (mainstream media) – as well as one often repeated by his defense lawyers – is that Omar Khadr is a ‘Child Soldier’.

So, let us examine if this is the case:

Is Omar Khadr a ‘Child Soldier’?

The definition of ‘Child Soldier’ has two parts:  ‘Child’ and ‘Soldier’.

First:  is Omar Khadr a ‘Soldier’?

No, he is not.

At least, not according to the UN laws on the matter (or any other law I am aware of which defines who is, and who is not, a ‘soldier’).

The UN laws were written in order to protect the innocent civilians who get in the way of a war first, then the protection of legitimate soldiers second.  And, they are very clear on who is and who is not a ‘soldier’ (again – basic Wikipedia search provides clear answers – but much more material confirming this is easily available through any major search engine…):

‘To qualify under the Third Geneva Convention, a combatant must have conducted military operations according to the laws and customs of war, be part of a chain of command, wear a “fixed distinctive marking, visible from a distance” and bear arms openly.’

Omar Khadr, unfortunately, does not satisfy these qualifications.

Not only was he not a part of a recognized military ‘chain of command’, and not wearing any ‘badges’ or ‘distinctive markings’ that could, even remotely, be construed as ‘uniform’ or ‘fixed distinctive marking’:  the crime he is accused of having committed is against the laws and customs of war.  ( I can expand on this, at length, if asked, in the comments sections.)

Therefore, Omar Khadr DOES NOT satisfy the qualifications of having the status of a ‘soldier’.  Therefore, he cannot be treated as a ‘soldier’:  a ‘Child Soldier’, an ‘adult soldier’, or any other kind of ‘soldier’.

But, even if Omar Khadr were a ‘Soldier’:  would he qualify as a ‘Child Soldier’?

This is a more difficult question – but there is a legal answer!

Omar Khadr was aged 15 when he was detained by UN troops and when the premeditated murder of a UN non-combatant medic, which he is accused of having committed, occurred.

Different people mature at different rates:  at 15, some people really are still children while others are quite adult.  Both individual maturing rates and cultural influences are important in determining if a 15-year-old is ‘an adult’ or ‘a child’.  What does the law say?

Omar Khadr straddled two cultures:

  • In Canada, a 15-year old is, legally, a child.
  • Still, 15-year-olds are able to become emancipated, and legally become adults.
  • Under some circumstances, non-emancipated 15-year-olds are charged with crimes as adults – so the ‘legal precedent’ can be applied both ways:  it is a bit of a legal ‘gray area’ in Canada.
  • In Islamist culture, a 15-year-old is considered to be an adult, without any reservations.
  • The Khadr family certainly considers 15 years of age to be ‘adult’ – that is the age at which their daughter was given away in marriage!

It is obvious that in his own eyes, as well as according to the culture of his family, Omar Khadr is ‘an adult’. And, in our multicultural society, would it not be offensive to dismiss Omar Khadr’s minority cultural view of his status at that time?

OK, ok – so, the ‘multiculturalism’ thing is kind of messed up – and we all know it.  Let’s look elsewhere:

What does the International Human Rights Law have to say on the subject? (The following is a cut-and-paste of what Wikipedia has to say on this:  I usually like to paraphrase things, but I could not hope to make it more clear than they had…)

International humanitarian law

According to Article 77.2 of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, adopted in 1977:

The Parties to the conflict shall take all feasible measures in order that children who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities and, in particular, they shall refrain from recruiting them into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, the Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to give priority to those who are oldest.’

Well, that seems rather clear:  once a person has reached the age of 15, he/she cannot be considered to be a ‘Child Soldier’ – even though it’s better to recruit people who are over the age of 18…. 15-year-olds are ‘regular soldiers’!

Omar Khadr HAD ‘attained the age of fifteen years’ – so he IS, according to international law, ‘regular soldier’!

In other words, legally, Omar Khadr CANNOT be considered a ‘Child Soldier’, because he is not a ‘Child’:  he would have had to have been FOURTEEN years of age or younger in order to be considered a ‘Child Soldier’!

OK – so we are nowhere closer to the answer of what Omar Khadr actually is:  but, I have (hopefully) demonstrated that whatever he is, he is NOT a ‘Child Soldier’!

I know – the facts of the situation are unlikely to affect the direction of the public debate…. I have no illusions about it.  People who point out the laws and the rules are nowhere near as interesting – and nowhere near listened to – as people who play on our emotions…

But, we MUST TRY, mustn’t we?

A few banal observations…

Rabbits may be reluctant swimmers, but they are very, very fast swimmers.

rabbits are very fast swimmers

Also, they have an incredibly keen sense of direction!

If you are ever stuck in the middle of some body of water, and you need to figure out which direction the closest land lies in – and you need to figure it out really, really fast – just put your rabbit into the water.  He’ll immediately and unerringly begin to swim towards the closest land.

Hip Hop swims to shore

And, they look cute in a little ‘jacket’:

A handsome rabbit with his wet dog

Another, completely unrelated observation:  if you tell your kids to turn the oven down by 25 degrees, it is very important to specify that you mean 25 degrees in temperature (naming the scale would not hurt!), and not 25 degrees as in the angle through which to rotate the temperature dial….  Not being clear on this will, at times, result in the oven being set to the wrong temperature!

More photos from ‘The North’

It is difficult to describe just how awesome the nature in Canada is.  It is bautiful, stunning, and any other totally complimentary word you’d like to use!

Every year, for our holidays, we go a little bit north:  only a 3-4 hour drive but a world apart!

The nature – both the fauna/flora and the physical formations – are completely breathtaking.  There is no other word for it, except, perhaps, ‘paradise’!  And, while I enjoy the sights and ‘feeling’ of the places we go to (we have our favourites – and we explore at least one new place each year), I try to take pictures I can look at later, when I am back home, and I need to ‘recharge my batteries’.

Please, don’t get me wrong:  I am not one to rough it.  My standard little joke is that I love camping – as long as the giftshop downstairs is good….

I cannot understand why, when we have spent millenia developing running water (flushing toilets), electricity that comes from a plug (and the appliances it runs), houses that are (relatively) bug-and-other-pests-free – and which have nice dry, un-lumpy bed, why we should snub all this which our ancestors have worked hard to develop and invent, and sleep on the lumpy ground, protected from the elements by nothing more than a flimsy bit of cloth stretched over some sticks!

That just seems like dissing all our ancestors have done for us!

Still, looking at nature (as long as one does not overdo it) is a balm to my soul….

So, here are some more of my favourite pictures:


Boating boys!


shiny rocks

more shiny rocks


'Life of the rocks' (as opposed to 'The Madonna of the rocks'...)

Recharging is exhausting work!

Evening boat-rides,

Evening boatrides

morning sunrise,

Morning sunrise

sandy islands,

Sandy islands

rocky islands,

Rocky Islands

active pets,

Active pets

resting pets,

tired pets

resting feet,

resting feet

What can I say?

In order to truly ‘get away’ and re-charge, we were isolated from the news, the internet, and everything else that was not within a boat-ride of where we were. So, it is taking me a while to catch up on what happened…

Somehow, my brain does not want to get back into the ‘old tracks’!

In surroundings like these, it is easy to ‘get philosophical’ – and we did (as we do every year).

Last year, we got into the whole ‘if a tree falls in the forest…’ thing – and decided that the answer will vary, depending on what is meant by the words ‘hear it’ and ‘sound’.  Though these are ‘simple’ English words, they can be interpreted in so many different ways that they alter the nature of the question:  the very essence of what is being asked about!  (As in, measurability vs. perception/relevance of reality…)

This year, we discussed much different things – no less philosophical, but certainly more ‘practical’.  At the core was the concept of the diaspora (not the ‘capital ‘D’ diaspora’, which refers to the dispersion of Jews once they were exiled from Israel by the Romans, but the ‘little ‘d’ diaspora’, which refers to any group of people who immigrate not as individuals,  but as a society which does not integrate, but rather enforces its own separate cultural and/or religious norms) and its effects on host societies and vice versa….and the reasons for these effects.

I’m sure I’ll be writing this all up, just as soon as I can formulate it from ‘discussions’ and ‘debates’ into a more tidied-up prose.

Still, it is difficult to discuss – and write about – the diaspora in a way that does not send people screaming and calling the thought police and shutting their minds to the very human qualities which are at the core of all the prejudice against the people who immigrate into a land and snub that land’s culture…  not because of the end-concepts, but because in order to discuss this subject, one has to address many topics which are taboo to even mention, much less dissect and debate, in our politically correct society. And, one has to use language that ‘points stuff out’, instead of ‘normalizing’ things and hiding their true meaning.

Yet, I am convinced that unless we understand what is happening inside us, unless we discuss it openly and without reservations, we cannot begin to fix some of the systemic prejudices inherent in our society!  And, reducing (even a tiny bit) some of these ‘barriers’ is a good thing for our society in the long term, even if right now, discussing it openly may feel like pulling a band-aid off…

After all, unless we recognize our prejudices and understand their roots, we cannot hope to overcome them!  It’s just too bad that in our society today, even raising the subject is taboo… yet I intend to not just raise it, but to examine it and the very things which produce visceral reactions in us, human animals.  Politely, of course….  ;0)

At the same time, there is so much which is happening now that I ‘ought to’ be writing about and screaming about…. that I feel pulled in so many directions, I keep hopping from one draft of a post to another, not finishing any!

Yet, I am making progress and I hope to be posting some thought provoking ideas soon.  In the meantime, please, enjoy these pictures!  And, if you’d like to see more, please let me know:  I took a few thousand shots over those days, and some of them have managed to capture the ‘mood’ of the North!

Summer holidays

For the next little while, I will be away for summer holidays…far enough North that no internet signal is available nearby.  In he meantime, please, enjoy reading these fine blogs:

The Lynch Mob

Blazing Catfur

The Reference Frame

Just Right

Speak Out on Copyright

Stubblejumping Redneck

Tea and Politics

The Blog of Walker

John Robson Online

Dvorak Uncensored

In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying views like these:

Big skies

Rocky shore

Long evenings...

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Elbow-deep in sewage…and the City of Ottawa focuses on standardizing signs on farms!

Note:  many of my photos have not shown up in the post – only their titles appear.  I will try to figure out why – and how to fix it – but it may take me a while.  So, if you encounter a stray phrase that does not seem connected, it is likely a title of a photo that has failed to show up…my apologies!

If you believe City of Ottawa bureaucrats, Ottawa must have some of the longest lived people ever!

Not since Biblical times have ages this long been recorded – and in such large numbers.  There is a whole neoghbourhood in Ottawa’s west end where many, many residents have lived for over 3 centuries – and don’t even look it!

All right – here is the context:

Friday, July 24th, we had a bit of a storm.  OK – a big storm.  According to the City of Ottawa bureaucrats, it was a ‘once-in-a-century’ type storm:  and it is only due to the ‘once-in-a-century’ severity of the storm that the above-mentioned neighbourhood had flooding….

Now, since many of the residences in the Glen Cairn neighbourhood have been flooded with raw sewage like this 3 or 4 times – while the same people have lived there, it would appear that these folk ‘must’ be long-lived indeed!

What other explanation could there possibly be?  It could not be that the bureaucrats had started trying to cover their bottoms even before the sewage stopped flowing?!?!?

Oh, and they were also describing it as ‘rainwater runoff’ and the residents were told by the City’s health department that ‘there was no health risk’

The flooding was bad.  Not ‘pretty bad‘ – just bad.  There was nothing pretty about it.  And this ‘rainwater runoff‘ that people were being told by ‘the City of Ottawa’ is no real problem?  It was boiling out of people’s toilets, stinky, icky brown sludge with poops floating in it…


I know – I went out and saw it!  On Tuesday, July 28th, I took my camera and went to talk to some of the people who had been flooded out of their homes…

I heard some sad, sad stories!

And, I took some pictures – with permission – to show at least a tiny bit of the damage because words don’t tell the story.  Actually, nor do the pictures:  one would need ‘smelo-vision’ to comprehend what these people are going through.

It’s not just the ruined stuff – though, that is a part of it.

Sewage-ruined posessions

It is that people’s homes smell like heavily used, never-cleaned latrines!  The whole neighbourhood smelled like sewage – with a strong overlay of must and mold thrown in for good measure (this was 5 days after the storm…).

One family I spoke to had had their basement filled 5 feet (1.5 meters) deep with this raw sewage soup of pathogens!  When I was there, some specialized clean up people were there, wearing protective rubber pants up to their chest, and one of them had to go ‘decontaminate’ because the stuff got inside his suit…

That is deep shit!

Can you imagine living in a house, the bottom of which is filled with 5-day-ripe sewage/germ soup???

All the pets were tied up outside – even if the owners had to be at work – because leaving them inside the homes would have killed them.  And, can you imagine what happened to pets who were kept in the basement (like, say, fish or ‘small mammals’ or reptiles whose cages were kept in the family room – traditionally in the basement)?

That is where this little girl’s pet was kept – only by coincidence (renovations) was this pet’s cage temporarily moved upstairs…  I dread to think what would have happened to this sweet little boo-boo, who was so friendly and gave me ‘kisses’!

Even pets were endangered...

Or how her young owner would have felt if she woke up in the morning and found her beloved pet had drowned in raw sewage…

This family had recently bought this home and were doing some renovations.  While this was going on, they stored all of their good ‘stuff’ in the basement:  still in the packaging from the movers.


Reflecting on the damage...

All ruined!

ruined and contaminated...

That, in itself, is sad.

The people I talked with were just happy nobody got killed.  One lady said that they will probably get angry later – but, now, they were just happy to be alive, not sick from the ‘sludge’ they were surrounded by!

And, their insurance company said they’d cover them!

At least, this family’s insurance company was good – not only did it cover them fully, it also allowed them to get rid of the damaged and contaminated things, taking their claim at their word (supported by photographs).

Not every insurance company took this approach:  some required an inspection by their representative.  And, 5 days after the poop-flood, some of these people’s insurance reps had not yet showed up!

This created a whole pile of other problems:  some despicable people started stealing the ‘contaminated stuff’ from their neighbours, in order to add it to ‘their pile’ and, in this way, to boost up the value of their own insurance pay off!  Some people resorted to taking axes to their ‘contaminated stuff’, to make it less easy for these unscrupulous fraudsters to carry off their destroyed ‘stuff’…

breaking 'stuff' into pieces so it's not easy to steal...

Almost half the homes on this street had their sewage lines completely blocked:  no water would drain from their toilets or sinks…making their homes even less habitable than the rest!  No flushing, no showers, no washing hands of brushing teeth…

OK – this is a really bad scenario:

  • the contaminated ‘stuff’ is out on people’s laneways and lawns, rotting there and polluting the whole area
  • the insurance people have not gotten around to looking at it yet – so it must not be stolen or taken away, or the people will not be compensated for it.
  • some people are stealing their neighbours’ ‘stuff’ to artificially (and fraudulently) inflate their own insurance claims
  • the cops have promised to patrol the area to prevent this form of looting, but, during the few hours I took to tour the area, I only saw one police officer, on a motorcycle – but stationary, in the parking lot of the nearest police station

…and then…

…the City decides it is time to send in the garbage trucks to take the contaminated ‘stuff’ away!  And while this was ‘good’ in the sense that it prevented the contaminated ‘stuff’ from being a petri-dish, growing all kinds of germs and spreading them throughout the neighbourhood… it was a serious problem for the people whose insurance companies would not accept photographic evidence and whose adjusters had not yet shown up…

garbage - all garbage

The really bad thing is…  for many of the residents, trying to satisfy an insurance adjuster was not really their worry – in a bad way!  Because they had been flooded in exactly the same way two or three times before, their insurance companies had refused to cover them!  Something about being a ‘bad risk’

You see, dear readers, this is a bit of a regular thing!

'Cat' got your 'tongue'n'groove'?

(This family’s son’s employer loaned them the ‘cat’ to help them shift the really destroyed things – it was the only physical help this family got!)

As a matter of fact, some of the residents still have a class-action suit against the City of Ottawa from the last flood….  Suing a government is not easy in Canada – one has to show ‘gross negligence’ before they are even allowed to file such a suit.  Yet, this very type of lawsuit is indeed outstanding:  it seems that after the flood 2 floods ago, the City’s engineers in charge of the system were ‘grossly negligent’ in repairing the faulty sewage system that the previous flood was deemed to likely be their fault!

But, the City took care of it!

They spent several millions of taxpayer’s money on ‘fixing’ the ‘sewer system’ in this very neighbourhood following the last flood!  And, they must have done something:  this flood hot not just all the ‘old neighbourhoods’, but also destroyed the homes in all the neighbourhoods surrounding it!!!

The ‘funny’ thing is…

The City of Ottawa spent millions of dollars ‘fixing’ the sewer-line problem in this neighbourhood – both following the last poop-flood and as a response to the lawsuit.  Yes, many millions of taxpayers’ dollars.  And, last summer, the City announced that ‘all the problems were fixed’ and there would not be a repeat of the past 3 poop-floods!

Surprisingly, many people living in this neighbourhood believed them – and re-built their basements!  Even many insurance companies – satisfied that the ‘problem had been fixed’ – had finally released the funds for people to re-build their homes from the last poop-flood damage…

Yeah….just about all the homes had just finished the renovations of their basements…  Silly bunnies –  believing the City bureaucrats!!!

OK, so this is the situation…

  • a particular neighbourhood has been flooded with poop for the 4th time in 12 years (each flood was described by the city as ‘once-in-a-lifetime-thing) … OK, the boundary is a little variable – after the last ‘fixes’ the city put in, a much larger area is affected…
  • the City’s health department maintained that this raw sewage gushing into people’s homes – and flooding the lower levels, sometimes up to a meter-and-a-half deep, is not a health risk (even though people were admitted into local hospitals from the resultant infections)
  • the bureaucrats – and many elected politicians – insisted this was ‘water-run-off’ and denied that it included raw sewage – even though they knew perfectly well that here, as in most Ottawa neighbourhoods, the rain-water-run-offs and the sewage lines use the same pipes!  It would be physically impossible for the rain-water to get into people’s homes without sewage getting in too, as both share the same pipes!

This last ‘problem’ has been discussed ad infinitum – for decades!  This summer alone, the City of Ottawa has already dumped over 790 MILLION liters of raw sewage into the Ottawa river, and the predictions are that we will dump well over a BILLION (with a ‘B’) liters of raw sewage into the river before the summer is out!

So, is the City taking this seriously?  Are they trying to stem the flow of sewage into our river – which is also our source of drinking water (as it is a source of drinking water for all the places down-stream)?  Are they trying to help the residents with the clean-up?  Or with money – especially the ones whose insurance companies would not cover a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ thing that crops up 4 times in 12 years???

Well – not exactly…

The City Councilor representing this area is on holidays. Holidays are OK…  But, when this all happened, she could not return because she (Peggy Feltmate) is on a boat and cannot get off!  No, she’s not kidnapped – it’s just physically impossible for her to get off a boat tour of the river Rhine!  But, no worry – she sent in an email of support!

So, is the City of Ottawa – with or without this non-swimmer of a  councilor – busy trying to help?

Well – you be the judge…

They just hired a whole pile of inspectors!  No, not to gauge the problem…

Rather, these inspectors are driving around the geographically large area of the amalgamated City of Ottawa and making sure that all the farmers unfortunate enough to fall inside the city limits have taken down all the signs promoting or otherwise identifying their farms (even those who had invested into ‘branding’ and paid artists to develop their logos and make their signs) and replaced them with the official ‘City of Ottawa farm’ signs…

All these farm signs are the same size and shape – standardized to a common format:  blue, with white lettering and with a large City of Ottawa logo at the top….and a smaller area where the farm can put its name.

What the #)$(U?????


The City has obviously spent a lot of time and personpower in developing these new standardized signs for farms!  The rules about them are pages long…

And, the City’s current priority is hiring inspectors who will enforce this new sign law, inspecting farms and fining anyone (hundreds of thousands of dollars PER DAY) who is not in full compliance with these new City of Ottawa signage laws….

I could not make this stuff up if I tried…

It is governments like these that feed the anarchist movement:  and that make me want to scream!!!

Ottawa’s Mayor: NOT GUILTY!!!

Breaking news:  Ottawa’s Mayor, Larry O’Brien, has just been found NOT GUILTY of ‘influence peddling’ charges!

Of course, many voices have been screaming that this whole mess has been lawfare.  And, many people will now want to know why has the operation of the City of Ottawa been so seriously disrupted on a bunch of trumped up, unsubstantiated rumours.

As news stories on this appear, I’ll add links to this post to them.

The Canadian Press

The Globe and Mail



The Star

7 things I like: I’ve been ambushed!

OK – so going to parties is not a ‘hazard’ for most people.  But, I am not ‘most people’…. and, being on meds that seriously suppress the immune system, going to any gathering of people has serious risks for me that do not exist for other people.  And, having gone to a political ‘meet&greet’ last week had left me…well…a little ‘under the weather’ – no fault of the organizers of the event!!!

The truth is, I started to write a post a week ago – a post I actually went ‘into the field’ and met people and talked to them and took pictures and all that – and then got feverish before I managed to post it….and have not even booted up my computer since!

My apologies….

Still… during my absence, I have been ‘tagged’:  now, I am supposed to list the 7 things I like!  And, since this is something I can do without the ability to apply higher reasoning (like, say, writhing a ‘real’ post would require….something my fever-ridden brain is not quite ready for…), I will be happy to oblige and list 7 things I do like:

1.  Freedom of speech!

‘Freedom’ is NOT something I take for granted:  I was born in a totalitarian country where ‘freedom’ was not a concept that was valued at all!  Freedom of speech is the most important of all the freedoms, because it is the means of opposing oppression and the only way of ensuring all the other freedoms are indeed ‘applied’/’allowed’!!!

Without freedom of speech, there will never be freedom of thought or freedom of religion:  one only has to follow the most basic of logic deductions for that…or to look at history:  both are in agreement!  Without freedom of speech, there is no freedom of thought, no freedom of religion and, to a great degree, no freedom of association!

Personally, I think freedom of speech is essential for humans to truly be ‘human’!!!

2.  My family

My children and my spouse are the most important influences in my life!  Short of breaking the law, I would do anything to protect them and to ensure they succeed in their chosen fields. 

While my nuclear family is my utmost priority, my extended family (nieces and nephews in particular) are also extensions of my ‘self’ (whether blood or marriage related – they carry some of the same DNA as my offspring do, and that makes them important to me) and I will go to great lengths to help them succeed in whatever they choose to do.


And this is  an important ‘but’:  I would NEVER wish to put my opinions and my priorities above those of the next generation – my kids, or my nieces and nephews!  Their own free will is more important than anything else and I WILL always do my best to allow them to achieve according to THEIR standards!

After all – it is Free Will which makes us who we are!  And, helping my family members (my kids first) to fulfill their Free Will is the most beautiful and important goal ever!  Without it, I would never be able to know who these people truly are:  and to appreciate them for it, and learn from them!!!

3.  Mammalian ‘babies’/fellow ‘living beings’

OK – this is strictly ‘biological programming’!!!

I cannot help it:  even though it’s been almost a decade since I have had my last surviving offspring, when I smell a ‘mammalian baby’ (human, canine, feline, rabbit…it really does not matter), my body immediately triggers lactation!

It fascinates me just how deeply this instinct has to be programmed!

And it fascinates me just how similar the facial proportions of most mammalian infants truly are!!!  It’s almost as if…. Nah!  I’m just a freak!!!

But… this ‘love’ extends to all types of living beings:  life is just ‘the universe’ learning about herself…one person once told me.  Perhaps.  Or not. It does not really matter, in the grand scheme of things…

Either way, I love all forms of life and wish them no ill and the minimum of suffering, even as I must kill some in order to survive:  but, survival is the name of the game, so no guilt comes of it. ‘Killing some’, as long as the killing is as ‘cruelty-free’ as possible, is necessary for life to go on – ant therefore it is not a bad thing.  After all, even ‘breathing’ kills some microbes… and I am not about to feel guilty about being alive and breathing!

4.  Languages/Mythology

Some peole might consider these to be two separate things:  language is a ‘means of communicating‘ while mythology is a ‘belief system‘.

Except that…

The language used is a result of the same environmental conditions which shape mythology…. and the points a mythology makes affect the ‘secondary +’ meanings of words in any language! 

Example:  my native tongue does not have ANY words designating a female dog which have seriously negative meaning:  at worst, the word ‘bitching’ means ‘having a fun time within bounds 0f politeness’…  The phrase ‘son-of-a-bitch’ had always puzzled me; even though an artificial ‘negative’ word for ‘bitch’ had been crafted, I never quite grasped the negative meaning of that phrase until I learned a few ‘foreign languages’!

In other words, this is a bit of a self-enforcing ‘circle’:  what is valued in the culture coloures the language;  what is valued in the language colours the mythology; what is valued in the mythology colours the culture… or something like that!  I am sure better people than I have articulated this better!

Still – it is highly educational to study various ‘mythologies/languages’!  I do not think it possible to separate the two and effectively master one ‘foreign one’ of them!

Yet, studying them gives one an insight into what it means to be human….something we ought to value more than we do…

In other words, language/mythology are essential to our perception of ‘the world’ – even as they differ from one human to another.  I find that fascinating –  and elucidating!!!  I love it!!!

Note:  Mathematics IS the language of science. It must NOT be left out of this section:  it is beautiful in itself and it contains a most wonderous mythology of its own.  As such, ‘Mathematics’ is both a language and a mythology…plus something more….a means of expressing a ‘universal awareness’…the most ‘perfect’ of all mythologies!!! (In the true sense of the word ‘perfect’, of course!)

5.  Books

OK – this is a ‘thing’ of mine…. I LOVE BOOKS!

Perhaps this is a redundant thing:  books only record the ‘language/mythology’ of a particular culture at a particular point in time. Still, this gives us an important insight into the psyche of ;’living beings’ – mostly, but not exclusively, human ones (this depends on the intelligence and interest of the writer).


There is something uniquely sensual about touching dead plant matter which transmits coded messages about living matter…


(And, yes, I DO collect books…and have several thousand in just my house… many of them are over a century old…and only very few of them will I ever loan out again…  And, aside from reading them and learning from them, I do derive a physical pleasure from touching them….yeah, I know, I am a freak…)

6.  Science

As in, GOOD science – NOT bad science!

It is the bane of our culture that bad science has overtaken good science in public opinion.  It has become so entrenched in our culture that most of us are unable to tell the difference between ‘good science’ and ‘bad science’.

It troubles me greatly when people in positions of power use ‘science’ (well, actually, abuse science) to increase their power over people!  The examples of this are so numerous, it is difficult to pick just one….from legislated vaccination to the latest statistics, science is being misused to engineer the behaviour of our society.  And that is wrong!!!

Science – pure science, it its true form and without all the ‘political spin’, has improved our standard of living to an unprecedented degree!!!  That is a GOOD THING!

Yet, because it is so powerful – and because so many people mistakenly believe science is beyond their grasp (something our ‘approved’ teaching methods in high-schools and grade-schools perpetuate) – it is easily used by few to manipulate the many, just as religion was once used! 

That is bad!!!

Really bad!

But, the underlying science:  understanding that ‘science’ is not a ‘collection of facts’, but rather a ‘method of enquiry’ which will separate one’s prejudices and politics from the data….that will (given freedom of speech and thought) set us (humans) free of the superstitions which the ‘ruling class’ have always used us into submission… 

In other words, ‘science’ will set humans free from manipulative control by opportunistic oppressors!

Last, but not least…

7.  Crafts

This may not seem to be ‘obvious’…


I truly admire all the artisans and craftsmen who have become masters in their field!  It is THESE people who have advanced the ‘development’ of human culture!

Just think….

Without people who figured out how to build stuff out of wood, or rock, or how to make bricks and build stuff out of them… Without people who figured out how to make usable fibers from the refuse of ‘food stuff’…and how to spin it into threads and weave it into fabrics….both for clothing and for blankets/tapestries…

The ancient Greeks separated ‘art’ into two major classes:  Apollonian and Athenian….  The art ‘ruled’ by Apollo was just ‘art for art’s sake’:  art which fails to have a function beyond being decorative.  In contrast, art ruled by Athena was ‘usable art’:  art which has a secondary purpose, from ‘clothing’ to decorative baskets that held ‘stuff’ to anything else that was both beautiful AND useful!!!

As such, I have followed some of the paths of ‘crafts’:  the very first commercial business I started was in the field of clothing design….I made the pattern and had immigrant women (who spoke little or no English, and who were not allowed by their husbands to have a j0b outside the home) make it come to life in their homes…  We were good enough to get the attention of at least one the ‘big guys’ in the field…

Still, clothing design is just one of these crafts:  I love and admire anyone who can actually use their own hands to crate ‘stuff’ – especially awesome, beautiful AND awesome-looking stuff!!!  From cooking to carpentry to painting (yes, I see it as a ‘craft’ more than as an ‘art’ – and that is a compliment to ‘painting’) to clothing and furniture and home design…all are beautiful crafts that fascinate me and which I wish I could master – one at a time!

Of course, all the 7 things I have listed are connected to each other, very very closely… They are all means of observing the pattern ‘humanity’ leaves on the face of this planet…. which makes them beautiful!  And, worthy of study…

Sorry if I sound all stuffy and all that…but, these are the things I truly like and love!