Friday, December 15, 2017

Net Neutrality are Redundant Words

All the conversations and articles being written about so-called Net Neutrality have missed an important piece of the puzzle.

A very good example about Net Neutrality was published by Bloomberg. It gives a general overview from a US perspective - Tim Wu, a law professor and author, argued that no authority should be able to decide what kind of information was and was not allowed on the Internet.

To a certain degree governments control access via who controls and follows specific rules and regulations. Blocking access has nothing to do with neutrality in countries where censorship does the job.

I am certain many of you have headed over to YouTube to watch a film only to find it is blocked. Yet at another video website the same film is available to view. Someone is responsible for blocking on one website while the other is open.

How much Internet access can people Buy?

Everyone needs an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to connect devices in order to use the Internet. This is the beginning of a price scale allowing you access based on what you can afford to pay. Depending on how many people will be using the Internet most plans begin with download/upload speed, amount of data, how many devices and WiFi availability. Prices rise rapidly when ordering a top level plan.

You better get ready for higher pricing, into the hundreds of dollars per month, for an array of TV including some Internet based movie channels.Your picture quality depends on your TV, computer, mobile device and whatever else you have in your electronic cabinet.

Here comes the Kicker

Everything you paid for includes a dense market filled with advertising. It is the purist meaning of the word propaganda. The dissemination of targeted information with the sole purpose to keep your values in line with a given market place.

The more data you and your household uses the cost increases while the quality decreases. Add up the number of television screens, cell phones, computers, printers, laptops and tablets you have purchased over a 2 to 3 year time frame. You already know they are obsolete and will need replacing. That information is repeatedly fired at you daily by the same corporations who sold you the obsolete goods. Have you tested or know the cost of electricity to keep all of the devices running?

One question for you as this so-called Net Neutrality saga goes from one extreme to another. What do you really want from the Internet?


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Destructive Coal Mining and Mountain Removal in Alberta

No end in Sight

There have been many announcements about the end of coal-fired electricity in Alberta over the last two years. On the surface it sounds great to reduce the toxic pollution created by coal. Coal plants are a major source of air pollution, releasing pollutants such as: cadmium, lead, mercury,  nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide into the environment. When I use the term environment it covers: air, land, water and atmosphere.

Coal mining in Alberta has a long history of employment and a reasonable living. Long before oil and gas were discovered coal kept everyone warm. Many of the people in the early days of coal mining suffered from black lung disease, chronic and acute respiratory diseases. It is proper to say thank you to those who mined the coal and their families.

Closed by 2030

The government of Alberta in conjunction with industry and the private sector intend to make the transition over the next thirteen (13) years. All of the remaining coal-fired electrical plants are to be converted to natural gas combined with renewable energies.

The Promise

During the time Peter Lougheed was Premier he told Albertans the foothills would be a place for recreation. The Federal government had already created Jasper National Park and Banff National Park bordering on Alberta and British Columbia. Millions of people from everywhere know about the parks and use them all year. They have become so expensive it is unlikely most Albertans can afford the costs. Waterton National Park was created prior to 1900 in the southwest corner of Alberta bordering on Montana. Kananaskis Country is another popular park area in Alberta easily accessed with three highways. All of the services shown in the diagram are available, at a cost, to anyone who needs to bring every possible appliance along with their gas guzzling home on wheels.

Now the Kicker

Many Albertans, including myself, would rather get away from the noise pollution in the larger parks. There was one place in Alberta to camp in the back country away from the city pollution of noise, light, concrete and pavement. It is on the map as the Whitehorse Wildland Park located between Jasper and Banff on the Alberta side of the Rocky Mountains.

Click on the image for a larger and more readable map. 

As you can see a large part of this so-called park is no longer accessible to the public. The four ghost towns in the green and red area near the bottom of the map were plowed under by the coal mining companies. They were kind enough to relocate the Mountain View cemetery a good distance from it's original location. Tech Resources is the company handling all of the mountain removal and open pit coal mining.

I began camping in this area in 1977 when it was absolutely pristine wilderness with mountains, forests, rivers, creeks, wildlife and a single lane forestry road. You cannot imagine the untouched scenery with the universe alive in the night sky. The rivers and small creeks were fed from melting snow and glaciers making it ice cold and drinkable. A Forestry Ranger gave a forestry road map to me while advising of some dangers on the roads. It was a park where anyone staying could camp in one place for two weeks at no cost. Although the government website states there is no cost today there is a charge of $12.00/day. It includes all the horse manure and urine your nose can handle.

Photos are from my collection taken with a 35mm camera with film from 1978-1989. It was easy to leave the world behind and fall in love with nature. All the photos should be larger with a simple click.



Along Comes Open-Pit and Mountain Removal Coal Mining 

According to thousands of documents I was able to retrieve geologists began to seriously study the rock formations during the 1980s. Work was done prior to that time though not to the same extent. The Conservative governments under Premiers Getty and Klein opened up the park to remove the coal without any rules or regulations.




This was once a mountain range on the outer limits of the Wildlife Park taken in 2015. Trees will not grow on the grass covered hills because there is not enough soil for a tree to grow. It's a panorama photo you can enlarge to see the extent of the destruction.

360 Video Shows where Mountains and Forests once Existed

Coal mining requires plenty of water to keep the coal dust contained and processed. The water is no longer drinkable from the rivers and smaller creeks. Large tailings ponds are everywhere around the park. The toxic lakes of pollutants are located above the groundwater basin for the North Saskatchewan River.

The river supplies drinking water to many towns and cities including Edmonton, Alberta and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan all the way to the Hudson's Bay. A constant flow of chemicals enters the tailings ponds every minute of every day from the coal open-pit mines. There is nothing stopping the toxins from entering the groundwater.

What Is an Open-Pit or Surface Mine?

Let's use a photo and a short video to explain what happens because you really don't want me to explain it with words. The first photo is from the mining industry where they leave out the tailings ponds.

I will show you steps 4-5-6 in photos before and after with photos taken in the park. The overburden mentioned in Step 5 is the removal of an entire range of mountains. What took nature a hundred million years to create the coal mining companies can cover up in a few months.




This short video is about mountain top removal in West Virginia.  

The same techniques are being used in Alberta's open-pit coal mining.

This is a tailings pond sitting where that was once a mountain. Anyone who ever camped in this area knows about the underground caves and rivers. Filthy coal filled waste water will easily find it's way into the groundwater.

It is a panorama photo for you to see a much bigger picture.





The next two photos were taken in the exact same spot with the first one in 1988 and the second in 2016. They show what the coal mining industry calls reclamation or contouring the land.

Yes it is a good move to halt the use of coal for electricity in Alberta. There is a tiny note in the fine print of the proposal not mentioned to the public. Coal mining will continue destroying this wilderness area until at least 2050. In over 30+ years from now a vast piece of Alberta will become a barren and uninviting toxic slurry. Our children's children will never forgive us for allowing this to happen.

Do you want to know what is in your drinking water along the North Saskatchewan River? This is the legacy left by decades of Conservative governments in Alberta. Will the NDP halt all coal mining once the power plants are converted?

Are you willing to let the coal mining industry put No Trespassing signs on Alberta's only wilderness park?

Further Reading and Resources

Alberta Climate Change Advisory Panel

Environment and Natural Resources Alberta

Mountains and Climate Change

Portraits of Climate Change: The Rocky Mountains

Alberta Renewable Energy 

Premier Rachel Notley

U.S. Geological Survey

Alberta Parks and Campgrounds

More Photos from my Collection

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Citizen of the World writes to America

You are giving the world a show better than any drama. President-elect Donald Trump is the winner.

He was picked apart by mainstream media in a way unbecoming of a democracy. While the media, all of it owned by a few moguls, were tearing him apart people began listening to him.

President Trump talked about many domestic issues most did not get to hear or read. Mainstream media, did not want you to know about those issues, since they directly affect you and the right to have a happy life.

The big corporate media, in fact began to make up stories, rather than report news to you. In all my years as a journalist I was beginning to find it difficult to separate fact from fiction. It was as though the United States of America was having its first Presidential Election. Thankfully I do not own a television.

It was indeed an extraordinary action for the media to twist the facts and bring the elected President of the Russian Federation into your election. President Putin is rather busy lifting the people of Russia out of poverty by creating avenues for them to do so. He is doing what we expect our elected leaders to do by prioritizing issues at home first. How did a simple Russian military drill make headlines as an invasion by the media?

As a friend outside your country, looking in, it appeared as though your life was being invaded by the media. We know these dangerous and misleading media headlines are the same ones who pushed you into invading Iraq. They love to see you at war invading countries who never did you any wrongs. Today as a result of their war loving ways you are involved in the atrocities being committed in the middle-east. We know the media earn billions with their lies by leaving out the facts and related evidence.

It must tell you something when President Trump tweets foreign policy and name calling. I sincerely hope you can tap into your cherished gift of creativity. Let us rid ourselves of the old ways by looking into a future as one planet in an immense universe.

Russia and many other nations want you as a friend and trading partner. Trillions of dollars have and are being spent on a single-minded corporate military industry. The result is a loss of faith in people, democracy, leaders and the right to live in peace.

The years of being in a race, nation against nation, are behind us. Getting to first is meant for a great baseball, basketball or hockey game. There are millions of good paying jobs available in a new industry where we clean up the pollution leftover from the past. Let us toast to a glass of fresh clean drinking water. Let your spirit and mind create domestic businesses and industries for a brighter and cleaner world.

I know the people of the United States of America and you have the spirit within you. We, the citizens of the world, would be grateful to have you look at our similarities. After reading Hillary Clinton's book It Takes a Village it's no wonder why she lost the election. Read her book and you will understand there is no Russian connection to her loss or Trump's win. She is boring.

Having had the honor of meeting him and listening to him I believe he represents the best of America. 

"That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind." Neil Armstrong 1930-2012


Friday, September 22, 2017

Democracy Does Not Exist in Canada

You are about to read a true story of a covert action taken against a Canadian citizen by the Liberal Party of Canada under former Prime Minister Paul Martin.

He gave orders to do whatever is necessary to destroy or rid Canada of a lone journalist who wrote against the attack on Iraq. The proof needed to avoid the invasion was in the hands of a UN inspector Scott Ritter. He was ignored by the media with two exceptions. Democracy NOW! broadcast several interviews with him. This writer did not believe the corporate media or paid expert lies. From 2002 to today did anyone find any WMDs in Iraq? When did the mushroom clouds appear, other than in a delusional mind of a US Supreme Court appointed, President of the US? Every so-called journalist in Canada buried their heads in the sand and apparently no one told them to come out.

Orders were given directly from PM Paul Martin to shut down a dissenting voice. His cruelty will send shivers down your spine. He wanted disparately to involve Canada in the illegal US invasion and destruction of Iraq and it's citizens. One voice, read by millions, would stop his dream of fame and glory in Canada. That same voice would bring the Liberal Party to its knees, with a reported scandal, dropped into the hands of the easily manipulated media.

His attack on me began in early 2002 and continued for four years. Then Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Anne McLellan his messenger, would threaten me twice. "Stop writing against the illegal invasion of Iraq or suffer the consequences" were her words to me. The same woman I worked tirelessly to have elected in Edmonton Center. She would never have won the election without the full support of the gay and lesbian community. I was the managing editor of an Edmonton based gay and lesbian volunteer publication called Times 10 Magazine.

A dog gets better treatment than most Canadians. For those who believe there is a difference with PM Justin Trudeau in office you are ignis fatuus.

The Liberal Party of Canada is rotten to the core. A political group of thieves and liars are now in charge of Canada. Their capacity for deceit, treachery, disloyalty and dishonor is all that remains of a political party lost in its own deception.

Every word I say has the backing of the people who offered help during the final weeks. I was being forced by the Court to hand my nearly paid for condo to ATB Financial . In words, face to face with CSIS, "...the order came from the PM with a virus attached to my name on the government of Canada's computers. Every time you responded to an inquiry up to 9 letters a day were sent to you from various departments. You really p***d him off..."

PM Justin Trudeau is window dressing for the cash donors to the Liberal Party of Canada. Worms are feasting on the remnants. This is the political party that once had the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize winner, PM Lester B. Pearson, as its helm.

I followed the orders of a wise attorney and the words of CSIS. Very ill, penniless and homeless I vanished onto the streets for six years.

Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms clearly states:

freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.

To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.

Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

My rights were replaced with cruel and unusual punishment by the Liberal Party of Canada under orders from the "Right Honourable" Prime Minister Paul Martin.

We live in an illusion created by the giant corporate media owners. Most people sincerely believe our system has something to do with democracy. I ask: "Other than the selected days for voting, when do you have any input into decisions enacted by bureaucrats, and elected officials?"

Yes, there might be an open house, where you can have input on a neighborhood concern. A plan for the neighborhood is already drafted by the administration before you arrive. Democracy is more than laws and rules enacted without input from the citizens.

My Opinion differs from the Media Version of Democracy

A short background on how Canadians were feeling during the 1960s and early 1970s. The Liberal government introduced the Canada Pension Plan.  A tremendous feeling of national pride grew with the rising of a distinctive Canadian Flag. Canadians participated as the country looked for its own personality at home and on the world stage.

With the cooperation between the Liberals and New Democrats a Universal Healthcare plan was finalized. Late in the 1960s, Justice Minister Pierre Trudeau, proclaimed "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation". This was the uniquely Canadian classical version of democracy.

The final move towards a more democratic country came with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The debates raged widely as the provincial governments sought more power than democracy. Democracy begins to fail when self-interest and corporations cast the people aside.

The Aim of Terrorist Laws is to Annihilate the Citizen's Rights

As I said earlier in this article I considered it my right to voice my opposition to war. During the months after the 9/11 attack we heard the attackers were Saudi in origin. Who convinced countries, especially NATO members, to attack Afghanistan and then Iraq? Why didn't the US military go to the source and bomb the Saudi Royal Family into oblivion?

I wrote in an editorial printed in late January 2003: "I have heard from many of my American friends who are terrified to write anything against the current powers in Washington for fear of their lives. Remember Bin Laden is from a wealthy Saudi family. The voice of reason is silenced in the United States. Canada is not far behind as new terrorist laws are put in place..." Many more editorials were written along the same line with one titled Dear Paul aimed directly at Prime Minister Paul Martin Jr.

Hundreds of letters, from various Canadian government departments, began arriving daily day as I wrote against illegal wars. An audit of my businesses took place in mid 2004 by Revenue Canada. At a cost of over $100,000.00 the auditors found I owed the government $88.00 over the previous 7 years. The head auditor said: "I have no idea what we are doing auditing your companies. We received an urgent memo from Ottawa to get it done immediately."

When the statement for $88.00 arrived it included a $15,000.00 fine. The letters were now arriving at a rate of 9-12 a day and so were the phone calls. Imagine owning three businesses and having a phone for each plus a cell phone for yourself. Every phone was being bombarded with calls from multiple government departments night and day.

The meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan (also Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada) turned into shouting matches. She is also on of the politicians who helped draft up the 2003 anti-terrorist legislation. As far as I was concerned she had lost control of her senses.

In August 2004 under a lot of stress I went for a bicycle ride in the River Valley. On a trail I rode thousands of time a pile of gravel was on the path as I moved rode a sharp corner. One person later told me I must have flown over 4 meters (approx 15') before hitting the pavement flat on my back.  Six ribs were broken, one third of one lung kept me alive, shoulder and collar bones shattered into pieces, bones flew out of my body with blood everywhere. Thankfully many years earlier an Edmonton police officer talked to me about wearing a good bicycle helmet.

Six days in ICU with a few weeks in the hospital left me feeling out of this world. My businesses were in trouble and so was I. The day I was taken home, there on my desk sat a small cardboard box, full of letters from the government. (one of them claimed I had not reported income from a schooner in Nova Scotia) A new business, supposed to open a few months earlier, was also in financial trouble. On the table was a bill from the City of Edmonton amounting to $300.00 for using an ambulance. Goodbye Universal Healthcare thanks to the corporations and US interference in Canada.

The all volunteer magazine was kept in print with funds from business supporters and my businesses. Former PM Paul Martin kept turning up the pressure. On New Years Eve I locked the doors and walked away from two of the businesses. The last print issue of the all volunteer magazine was released in July 2005. We had started an online version in 1994. It remained online with many contributing articles and editorials until 2007.

Every time I was hired the job lasted 4-5 weeks without reason. The letters kept arriving from the federal government. The fine rose to $28,000.00 for not paying the $88.00 on time. My condo was almost paid for with a balance of $42,000.00 and had an appraised value of $225,000.00. Alberta Treasury Bank (ATB), where I had accounts for business plus my mortgage, told me they did not see any reason to assist me as my funds dried up. Alberta Treasury Bank (ATB) was handed $102,000.00 by the Federal Government kangaroo Court.

CSIS said "...the order came from the PM.."

My mind was in the mood to end my own life. You had to be there to see the so-called friends abandon the ship. The community I helped grow and spread it's wings were long gone.

The Judge was bewildered. "I have an order from the federal government..." They along with Alberta Treasury Bank  a government owned financial organization took all of the proceeds and tossed me on the street. Two doctors and one psychiatrist wrote up reports diagnosing me with PTSD. It made no difference to the tainted, and prejudiced judicial system in Canada, doing the bidding of the Queen of England.

"I, .., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors. So help me God." Every elected and non-elected Canadian government official, including the judicial system, must swear an Oath of Allegiance to a person in a foreign country. Had I have been there when Benjamin Franklin asked Quebec along with Upper and Lower Canada to join the Union, he would have had a promoter, to rid us of the parasitic monarchy in England.

What Rights do You Have Today?

It is my hope you will realize you do not live in a democracy. When Bill C-51 became an election issue it was the Liberal Party of Canada who supported it under the leadership of PM Justin Trudeau. It allows a government official the right to do whatever they deem necessary, without a warrant, without a charge, without a trial to anyone who disagrees with their policies on any topic. Your elected officials, and unelected bureaucrats, have become your judge and jury. The people are silenced using the same methods used by Stalin in the former Soviet Union (USSR).

You  should know what the government did to the people protesting at the G-20 meeting in Toronto and the Occupy Movement in the United States. Now you have an example of what a Prime Minister can do to an individual without charge, warrant or trial.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights are meaningless words without an honest judicial system. Your rights are being violated and censored every hour of the day without your knowledge or consent.

After World War II  the UN Declaration was put in place to grant every citizen freedoms and prevent wars. When any country wants to become a member of the United Nations their signature should be required on the UN Declaration of Human Rights. There are too many examples to list of countries violating the International Laws they agreed too by signing the Declaration.

Why does it happen? 

The International Criminal Court is ignored due to politicians from most of the US-led NATO nations. Canada is a member of today's murderous NATO and continues its' armed blitz with the media remaining silent. You can find the reason why NATO was formed in the Cold War Museum under Warsaw Pact.

This article was re-written to remove repetitive material from two earlier articles I published.

"Cease then to call yourselves religious, lest you declare to the world your hypocrisy. Cease too to call other nations savage, when you are tenfold more the children of cruelty than they. I bow to no man for I am considered a prince among my own people. But I will gladly shake your hand." 

First Nations Chief Joseph Brant to King George III

My Partial Bibliography

Worked in broadcast media for 30+ years

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce - Marketing

Alberta Chamber of Commerce - Education Coordinator

Canadian Chamber of Commerce - Business Education Coordinator

Editor-Author - Four books on Economics commissioned by Premier Lougheed

Adviser - Alberta Minister of Education Julian Koziak

Adviser - Liberal Party of Canada under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau

Published - One book of Poetry

Josten's Canada - Marketing

Herff Jones International - Executive to President

Volunteer Managing Editor - Times .10 Magazine 1993-2007

Independent Writer and Activist

More about me at this link

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Canada Pension Promise

I would hope by now you are happy with the Liberal plan, in Budget 2016 and 2017, to eliminate poverty with an increase to the Canada Pension Plan. (CPP)

In a nutshell the CPP is made up of several plans all in one or nothing at all:

  • Canada Pension Plan for those who contributed

  • Old Age Security

  • Guaranteed Income Supplement

  • Provincial Benefit Plans
Your Investments reduce all of the above as punishment for thinking ahead. You get to pay taxes on the interest and pay taxes a second time when your withdraw money. On top of those insults your CPP+ benefits decrease. Company Pension Plans can reduce or eliminate most of the above.

If you worked for the government at any level, you need not worry, since those wealthy pensions are funded by the taxpayer.

The word poverty is used 13 times in the 271 page edition of Budget. Three times when mentioning seniors in Canada. The same people who worked and find themselves facing a convoluted pension plan after 60 plus years.

Anyone who worked had best prepare yourself for the usual $7.00 per month pension increase in July. In fact, their was a one-time increase of $72.00 in July, 2017 and it disappeared the following month. Most did receive $5.76 as a monthly increase based on someone's idea of inflation. The inflation rate does not include food, transportation or rental increases except for Member's of Parliament and the ever more useless unelected Senate in Canada.

Examples of a large increase, used in Budget 2016-17, were meant to get you excited. The empire of bureaucracies is hoping the thrill will eliminate payments due to heart attacks.

Yet another meaningless promise to the millions of seniors in poverty from the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau

Canada signed onto the Millennium Poverty Goals at the United Nations. Sadly reports in Canada base the poverty line on the Low Income Cutoff or LIM. Statistics Canada has made it very clear LIM is not a measure of poverty in Canada. The second false premise about poverty is the use of Line 150 on the Income Tax Return. Total Income on Line 150 includes  non-taxable supplements.

Poverty and low-income should be using Total Taxable Income on Line 260.

We do need concerned politicians who are willing to understand low-income and poverty for every Canadian

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Premier Rachel Notely Outstanding Work

What began as a small wildfire on May 2, 2016 became nature's rage of fury. Premier Notely showed every Albertan how to handle an emergency. The probability of getting every person out of Fort McMurray to safety was a daunting task. One four lane highway southbound could have easily turned into a big tragedy. Up to 90,000 people needed to evacuate Fort McMurray as orderly as possible. They drove south with the wildfire roaring along the highway.

Premier Notely worked with her administration in conjunction with individuals, police, fire fighters and industry to ensure the safety of evacuating residents. 1000s of videos along with photos made their way to broadcasters and social networks. It appeared as though the Premier was giving updates every hour.

Her request was simple; "everyone needs to work together" and together cities large and small did it. People volunteered their time to set up temporary facilities and coordinate the incoming donations of food, clothing and places to sleep. The province of Alberta became a beehive of activity with everyone working together.

"The wildfires ravaging Canada’s oil hub in northern Alberta have rapidly spread to an area bigger than New York city, prompting the air lift of more than 8,000 evacuees as firefighters seek to salvage critical infrastructure."

Global Edmonton reporter Fletcher Kent, was reporting on the Fort McMurray wildfire, at times having to run from his assignment. Fletcher shares his experience covering the story and the incredible generosity of those in Fort McMurray.

As the wildfire continued to grow Premier Notely put in place funds to assist the people of Fort McMurray in every way possible. With the economy of Alberta already facing a downturn due to low oil and gas prices the "Tory old boys club" were busy making snarky comments. For most I commented back with "you  had 40 years now get out of the way".

Premier Notely continued with the updates giving information of value to everyone dealing with the wildfire. She was doing exactly what a leader should do.

Fire fighters continue to do a street by street sweep ensuing all fires are extinguished. Today some equipment is heading north to do repair work in Fort McMurray. The RCMP are ensuring only registered company vehicles are allowed into the area. They are protecting the property belonging to the residents.

The line ups were long as the emergency funding was released to the Fort McMurray residents.

Rachel Notely we can safely say Albertans made a wise choice by voting to have you as our Premier.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Word You are Seeking is Equality

The age of Empire ended with the decline of the Roman Empire between 400 to 700 C.E. (Common Era)

The vast trade routes of Rome extended to China, India, Africa and Europe. An Empire expands into unknown territories and the Roman Empire did for more than a 1500 years.

"There was but one Rome: no other city,  either of ancient or modern times, has ever rivaled this astonishing metropolis in the grandeur of magnitude; and not many—if we except the cities of Greece, none at all—in the grandeur of architectural display.

Among empires: the Persians, Spanish, French and British cannot but be admired as prodigious growths out of so small a stem. There was but one Rome: no other city, as we are satisfied by the collation of many facts, either of ancient or modern times, has ever rivaled Rome. The earth had its prerogative city and that city was Rome.

Power is measured by resistance. Upon such a scale, if it were applied with skill, the relations of greatness in Rome to the greatest of all that has gone before her, and has yet come after her, would first be adequately revealed. Since that era no land, no part and parcel of the Roman empire, has ever risen into strength and opulence, except where unusual artificial industry has availed to counteract the tendencies of nature." Thomas de Quincey

How is Your World?

Do you wonder how long it will take for the populist media to mention unemployment or under-employment? Did you receive an increase in pay from your employer during the past two years? Have you noticed how the food industry has reduced the size of the package and increased the cost of food?

When the media writes a story about food or price increases they use the term average price. Average is taking all of the prices over a time frame and dividing it. Only the median price or cost lets you see how many dollars are removed from your budget to cover the increase. It is deceit on the part of the media to leave out the details.

The Truth is in the Wording

Some believe we are in an age of information made simple with electronic devices. I would agree we have improved on a rapidly moving technology. How many people look at their mobile device and think of it as a hand-held computer? Here is the result of a search for the most favored apps being used from the Google Play store.

It doesn't appear as though many people are using a dictionary in that group. We certainly have no desire to ruin their day by teaching them to understand the meaning of words. Let's look at another group from Google Play rated as the most used apps.


This group definitely sees no need to learn how to spell or understand composition. Say what you want to say in a myriad of characters and gain fans, friends and followers. Whatever you do keep it short and use one syllable words since very few people read or know how to read an article. The trick to raising your totals on most of these most used website apps is by posting a nude or semi-nude photo.

When you get into an argument with a know-it-all you can get rid of the person with a quick photo such as the one below. The person in this case retorted with "that's not Moscow..!!" For over 15 years and counting Russia bolted forward while the populist media kept silent. Moscow became a financial hub bringing with it good paying employment, massive reconstruction, a space program second to no one and a rising middle class.

Moscow in 2017

The sanctions placed on Russia go far beyond the Ukraine or Crimea. They were meant to slow down the billions of dollars flowing into Russia as a sound investment. There was a slight pause by investors for almost three or so months.

The Facts Please

Let's be reasonable with the knowledge the cold war ended when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in 1989. Followed closely by the wall in Berlin the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) began to unravel. Each of the former states within the USSR, including Russia, began to feel freedom for the first time since 1917. (some countries were pulled into the Soviet sphere after WW II)

As the communist Soviet Union came undone I was happy there were no longer Russian boggy men waiting to take my life. Now as the years pass I realize it was all a fabrication of lies to instill fear rather than peace in my life. For whatever reason, the US-led NATO need an enemy to create a society for the very wealthy. As for the rest of us there are food banks, poverty, food kitchens, drugs and some food stamps.

We are not Equal in the Eyes of the Wealthiest

This article began by saying a few words about the Roman Empire. Seldom seen in the movies or documentaries are the lives of the slaves. We see the brave Senators while hearing the words of the largest land owners. They are in fact the same people. Rome was built on the backs of the slaves in the same way many western nations were built. A woman had no rights being considered unequal in the eyes of the men who wrote the rules. Simply read the biblical words men wrote on how a proper slave may be worthy of salvation. Why do you allow anyone to fill you with fear by placing themselves in the lofty position over you?

The media moguls should know, when the cold war ended, the so-called leader of the free world vanished too. Isn't it odd the media repeats the free world lie while articles about our environment disappear? Follow the money trail whenever you read, listen to, or watch their trail of fear, lies and lack of imagination.

Enjoy Life

"The international community should have learned from the past lessons. The historical parallels in this case are undeniable. Unwillingness to join forces against Nazism in the 20th century cost us millions of lives in the bloodiest world war in human history. If they expected a nervous or hysterical reaction from us, if they wanted to see us become a danger to ourselves as much as to the world, they won’t get it. They won’t get any response meant for show or even for immediate political gain. They won’t get it.."  Vladimir Putin Dec. 2, 2016

Thank you for the Music - Freddie was our Friend too. 

Red Army Choir - The Show Must go On (Queen Cover)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tips for Filing Tax Returns in Canada

Just when you thought you were off the hook it is time to send in your Tax Returns to the Federal Government. Yes you have paid taxes on everything from a light bulb to a USB drive all year so why more?

Someone has to pay for the 1.7 million Canadian bureaucrats, their health care, their days off and their pensions. Can you remember the last time you called the Canadian government and talked to someone in Canada's two official languages French and English? You will have a better chance by calling from 7 a.m. ET to 3 p.m Pacific Time. I am not suggesting you call ET although you would have more fun trying. ET is Eastern Time plus 30 minutes in Newfoundland.

Electronic Filing via Internet

It is the fastest method to get it over with quickly. Faster when you have an online account with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Someone told me a few days ago there are more than 3 billion people using the Internet. Yet 20% of the highly Canadian techno savvy population know how to set up an account with CRA. Your account gives you a way to get all of your T slips or reassess an Income Tax Return. Plus look over information regarding CPP, OAS and other benefits. Factually speaking they are not benefits since the money comes from your contributions to various plans such as an RRSP. Hyperlinks above will take you to the CRA website where you can set up your account.

Deadline to Remember

Canada Revenue Agency set April 30, 2017 as deadline for filing your 2016 tax return. Your employer has until the end of February to hand over T slips. If you worked more than one job then call the employer(s) for the T-4 slip(s). There are several billion dollars of unclaimed amounts being held by CRA due to people not filing an Income Tax Return. Last year I completed a return for a 30-year-old who had not filed in 6 years. He was delightfully silly when the money owed to him arrived. If you had deductions, and most do have them, file your Return. It is your money.

Ways to File and Income Tax Return

Electronic filing with CRA approved software is the best method ever. Here is a list of the software approved to date. Some are free for low-income earners below $30,000.00 for a single person and $45,000.00 for a couple. My non-sponsored recommendation for those who have a simple return is UFile 2016. It should be called Income Tax for Dummies because it is so easy to use. (Place name here ... Address here...)

Many other software programs are listed and some require more computer skills. Often times you can also get a discount via the CRA website from the software developer.

Paper Filing

Paper tax returns can be found around the Post Office or Federal government locations such as Service Canada and CRA of course. You require pencils, pencil sharper, paper and lots of patience. The paper manual included with the kit will give your brain a good workout. Last time I had to use paper returns was for a lovely lady who failed to do any tax returns during the previous ten years.

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

It was initially started in Quebec and Ontario to find out if there was a need for a volunteer program. They were swamped and CVTIP became a national way for Canadians on low incomes to have their taxes prepared and filed with CRA. The low-income markers are slightly different from one volunteer group to another. The CRA guideline is $35,000.00 per individual and $45,000.00 per couple. CVITP does not include those with T-5 financial resources over the amounts stated nor self-employed persons.

The volunteers across Canada assisted people on low incomes by preparing and filed close to 750,000 Income Tax Returns in 2016. We expect a sharp increase this year. Look over this link to find a volunteer group in your town or city. Bring your T slips and make an appointment where it is applicable. Every person involved goes through a clearance process with CRA and police clearance. A copy of the return is printed for you and none of the volunteers or local groups keep your returns on file. If you require a special need or assistance with language ask before you arrive.

A Few Additional Notes

Anyone collecting a pension, a disability allowance or additional funding must file an income tax return. If you do not file a return your pension or any funding will be cut off in July. This includes GST rebates from July onward until the return if filed.

Seniors will only receive the CPP amount when the return is not filed by the April deadline. Let us pretend you are receiving $1600.00 a month pension plus the other allowances. Those allowances are the part of the pension you will not receive after July. Your July pension will be reduced to $400.00 +/- a month. I have volunteered doing taxes for a few decades and it is heart breaking to see a 80-year-old in tears. For those reading this please do whatever is possible to ensure the elders in your family get their returns done on time. Provincial benefits as low as they are will also stop.

The current Federal government has introduced some of what they call poverty reduction into tax system. As I see it through the tax returns it is more than likely going to toss a few 100 thousand people out of their homes. This poverty reduction tax plan has a gaping hole in it someone forgot to research.

Most housing subsidy programs in Canada ask for the amount on Line 150 or Line 236 of your income tax form when applying. Line 150 is your total income and includes any current subsidies and Line 236 is the adjusted amount. These two lines are usually the same amount of dollars. The Federal government is going to increase the amounts on Line 150 and thus Line 236. It will put low-income earners in a higher artificial income bracket and disallow them Local or Provincial Housing assistance.

They claim there will be a decrease in poverty. It will be followed up by a massive increase in homelessness. It is more akin to a double negative balance found in most oligarchies.

Fraudulent Emails and Phone Calls

Best to put a hyperlink to the lastest scams being used in Canada. A few minutes of your time will make you aware of scams via phone, text messages, email, online and telemarketing.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Gay or Queer and Why it Matters

Some use it to encompass all non-heterosexual, non-cisgender identities. That’s an understandable use of the term – like I mentioned, I interpret it to be partially about giving space for exploring gender and sexuality, and including so many different groups of people demands that space, demands a challenge to stability. Certainly a wide variety of non-heterosexual, non-cisgender folks are queer.

But though queer might cover some part of that spectrum, it is not limited to it. I am not gay nor lesbian nor bisexual nor transgender. I am not anything other than just queer.

There are people who some of you might call straight, if you looked at them and their partners and impose genders onto them, but who are actually queer. And many gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals do not identify as queer.

Like plenty of the names marginalized people call themselves, queer has a fraught history of reclamation, many controversial political implications, and a universalizing aspect that is too contradictory for some.

Source: 3 Differences Between the Terms 'Gay' and 'Queer' — and Why It Matters - Everyday Feminism

Adrian Ballou is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. A genderqueer writer, artist, activist, and educator who does youth development work both inside and outside the classroom, they particularly enjoy writing and facilitating social justice education and youth organizing curriculum.