I Got Nothing

For the first time, since I began blogging in 2009, I don’t have a post with something humourous (at larryrusswurm.com ) or at least new to say for the week. So I’ll just tell you why.

Because of my medical state I’ve been sleeping 4 hours more than usual. And when I am awake I’ve been feeling really tired and don’t relish doing anything. To me, my eyes in the mirror just look dead.

But rest assured today I’ve started my new treatment and feel more alive than the last week and a half. It’s just that I am behind in so many things that I didn’t come up with a post. I didn’t even go back to my old files and search out one of my 25 proto posts most of which will still be applicable to my Many Rants site.

So allow me to not be so clever today. Next week I promise a clever post. After all I’ve been right about that 52 x 7 times in a row.

I do feel better today so its not just a bluff. After 7 years I know how to kickstart post ideas. I’ll be new next week. Again I promise.

How Liberal MPs Can Complete My Journey From Liberal Party Member to an Anyone-but-the-Liberals Attitude

I’ve given up on Justin Trudeau being even half way liberal. Or what I think of as liberal which was largely carved out by his father. He is nothing like his father. One policy has made me more disillusioned with Justin than any other. It is his attempt to frame electoral reform as his decision alone to decide on and to attempt to kill any chance of proportional representation being the method of governance in Canada.

I don’t consider changing from first-past-the-post to proportional representation as a mere issue. It is sort of an over issue

You might think this is only a single issue and we never get all the promises that a new government had campaigned on. Firstly I don’t consider changing from first-past-the-post to proportional representation as a mere issue. It is sort of an over issue that affects many things. It could change the fractiousness of Canadian politics, the under representation of different groups in parliament, the fairness of the system to each voter and many other good things.

The ERRE committee has yet to present its findings directly to parliament. A vote then, led by Nathan Cullen of the NDP could conceivably still have a chance at passing a new election mandate for 2019. It’s possible that Justin Trudeau might not whip the vote and that 20 or more Liberal MPs could support and allow a new election mandate to pass.

Fairvote Canada and many citizens have not left this issue. Last nightThe other night I was at meeting in Kitchener Centre that saw well over 100 attendees pack a room to not let this issue slide. The star speaker was Nathan Cullen who sat on the ERRE comittee who promised to present its findings to parliament and put the recommendations to a vote.

Only twenty Liberal MPs need to be swayed to make the recommendations stick.

Only twenty Liberal MPs need to be swayed to make the recommendations stick. This is doable as the Liberals ran on a platform of saying they will make the last election the last one that will use first-past-the-post. Many of these Liberals had to learn to argue for proportional representation so they know the pluses that Canadians want from their elections.

Fair Vote Canada is not going to let this whole matter drop. People across the country won’t let the matter drop since many plan to vote other than Liberal next election. If Justin Trudeau does succeed in killing this policy I will be forced to say “anyone but the Liberals” next election.

Proportional Representation is the only system that is fair to the voters of Canada. There are many systems to choose from under this umbrella – even one that was created by Stephane Dion who has only left the Liberal party this year. The guiding principle of proportional representation, that the number of votes for a party should be reflected in the number of seats that party gets, is important to make elections fair. None of this getting less than 40 % of the vote and that equating to all the power. This is disheartening for most voters. Proportional representation is the only fair choice.

Justin Trudeau, you must #KeepYourPromise

Again this isn’t one issue – it is a policy of governance. I wish Nathan Cullen all the best in pushing for the ERRE committee’s recommendations. If Liberal MPs don’t approve the electoral reform I will disown the Liberal party and my MP Marwan Tabbara and push for anyone but the Liberals next election.

Justin Trudeau, you must #KeepYourPromise .

Going Squirrely

I don’t know which natural forces had been responsible for the opening into the cavern, but I appreciated them as I walked through this new entrance.

Here I could bring in my mate and we could start our family.

Proceeding a few steps inside, I wished I had a light. But there was none in here and I had to go by feel.

The cavern was huge, much larger than the home I had made for myself. Here I could bring in my mate and we could start our family.

But… there was sound emanating from down below. I listened for a full half hour. It was not quite the mating song of the mouse, it was much too low pitched for that. But it had that quality. Well at least one of the voices I was hearing did. There were other voices that were more rhythmic sounds. It was fascinating how much change was possible with all this.

Still I decided to move myself in. A few days later I had a full store of food and trails to guide me. This place was also safe from marauding raccoons and other large creatures. The chamber wasn’t high enough for them even if the opening was bigger.

I was fascinated and wanted into this lower chamber.

More of low mice songs played. I was fascinated and wanted into this lower chamber. So I scratched. Maybe one day I would have the secret of the song.

I was inside one day when I heard the large creatures about my opening. I was terrified and stayed as far away as I could get in my chamber. They were fascinated by the opening. Perhaps they wished to spring a trap for me. But I could hear that they were dumb, slow, poor climbing humans. A pounding arose from them and I wondered what it was for. I had heard it before, many times but it was further away. I was so close this time.

Eventually the pounding stopped. And in a short bit I realized that the humans had left. But I was immune to simple trickery. I did not leave until the next morning.

The opening was puzzling. Of course it smelled like humans but this time it didn’t let in even a peek of light. I knew it was day by the sounds I could hear outside. I waited for the humans lying in wait so they could grab at me. Nothing happened for a long while.

I knew I had to go outside. That was where all my food would be. Sure I had some stored but how long would that last. I pushed at the new opening. Something gave and I pushed right out into the bright sunlight.

“SLAM!” went the opening. I jumped a few steps but nothing else happened.

“SLAM!” went the opening. I jumped a few steps but nothing else happened. I decided to get some buried nuts and attempt to store them in my chamber. In only a moment I was back. But the thing that slammed stayed shut. I even felt at it, hoping I could somehow jar it open. Nothing. I scratched at it. Never underestimate scratching. Sometime it can lead anywhere. By that night I realized my new home was done.



Every other year that I’ve lived in my home, squirrels have gotten in between the ceiling and the roof. This is my imagining of what goes on from the squirrel’s point of view.

The Unheard Voice of the Science Major

I had to live through two strikes while I was taking physics at York University in Toronto. One was a strike of T.A.’s or tutorial assistants at the university and the other was a strike of the TTC or public transit in Toronto.

Realizing the import of the T.A. jobs, I wanted to support the strike

For those continuing to take science into a masters program or a doctorate program, the strike of the T.A.’s was of paramount importance. You see graduate students can make money by being in charge of tutorials or by marking papers. These are the jobs of the T.A. Graduate students can make enough money to pay for their post degree programs. Or they can if the university is willing to pay them enough. School is expensive. Without T.A. jobs, the schooling of a Ph.D. can cost the victim well over $100,000.

Realizing the import of the T.A. jobs, I wanted to support the strike by not going to classes. But I had a sneaking suspicion of my fellow science students. So that first day I investigated all my classes. Everyone was there. My fellow students had a sneaking suspicion of me, too.

Besides, what is a science major to do? Our classes were hard and we kept having to learn math in our physics courses before it is ever brought up in our math classes. This physics hurrying is because the whole undergraduate program is crammed with too much stuff already. We couldn’t slow down for the slower math classes.

There really wasn’t any time to waste while learning stuff and if anything it’s gotten worse. Employer’s expect us to know everything we are required to know. If we miss classes due to strike sympathies the only place to make it up is in the summer holidays. And professors (our teachers), have plans for the summer that does not include teaching us.

In the public transit strike, I was living off campus and I fortunately was given access to a car from nice relatives. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go in to check my classes to find that no one was missing any classes during the strike. Having been in a union at a lumber yard I would have liked to show brotherhood or sisterhood with the striking union and not go into school. But again this is impossible for a science major.

The only time my political opinion counted for something was in my very last year of university. I was given the opportunity to write and draw political cartoons. This slight bit of political power was way in excess of what other science majors had so I was grateful.

I still think that science majors should be given a political voice.

But I still think that science majors should be given a political voice.

Right now, scientists in the US are finding out what it’s like to have no political voice. Unheard of years ago are science marches, sharing results and observations overseas and other acts of disobedience. No longer is it a given that whomever in power will value the contributions of scientists.

Perhaps these professors who are now organizing could one day give some power and clout to their lowly undergraduates. Maybe if they have experience in civil disobedience early, this can all become easier than it is today.

Who Wore it Better – Lightning Bolt Edition

lightningboltt This is Larry Russwurm with a “lightning bolt” on his face.



This is a link to David Bowie’s famous “face with a lightning bolt” picture. Who wore it better? It is expected on this being the date of David Bowie’s death, that Bowie will win handily.

However Bowie’s lightning bolt is mere makeup. Whereas Russwurm’s lightning bolt is made of actual light. It was made by the setting sun through a gap in the fence of his balcony. It only occurred one May day last year and Russwurm hopes to get it again this May as long is it is not overcast on the right day.

Santa Claus is the True Meaning of Secular Christmas

My large family started as a Christian family. But as the years went by about half of us ended up not believing in God or Christian values. All of us continued to celebrate Christmas, though. There was no conscious thought to change much about the holidays so little changed. Secular Christmas is everything Christmas except that little thing about being the birthday of the son of God.

Secular Christmas is everything Christmas except…

If you say “Merry Christmas” to me I will say it right back. If you send me a Christmas card, I will be sure to send you one back. Don’t expect a baby Jesus mention in my card. I don’t mind this time of year being called the Holiday Season but I am more likely to call it Christmas and the New Year.

I’ve always liked receiving gifts and giving gifts so I have never missed the gift exchange at Christmas. I like eggnog and peppermint ice cream and consume both near Christmas. I don’t even mind bringing trees into the house to decorate. Personally it is easier to have an artificial tree which is what I have.

I sometimes use the cutesy Xmas shorthand and secretly like the idea of there being no Christ in it.

I sometimes use the cutesy Xmas shorthand and secretly like the idea of there being no Christ in it. My Christian friends think “Well at least it has a cross in it.”

I even think it quite likely that Secular Christmas is spreading. In my town, Syrian refugees were allowed to get Christmas gifts for their kids at some charity thing this year. I believe they will give those gifts to their children and just say it is the time of year to give and get. I will lay odds that 98% of them will remain Muslim and will just start this new Secular Christmas as a part of being Canadian.

So for all you Christian people who complain that you can’t say Merry Christmas anymore, Secular Christmas allows you to do this. Just don’t expect the Merry Christmas you hear back to mean anything about the baby Jesus.

Secular Christmas means Santa Claus and commercialism.

Secular Christmas means Santa Claus and commercialism. It means all those delightful traditions you’ve been doing all along. Just don’t expect everyone wishing you a Merry Christmas to attend your church’s Christmas mass.

A hot chocolate toast, then (it’s what I happen to be drinking), to Secular Christmas.

Justin Trudeau’s Progressive Record

Let’s take a look at Trudeau’s progressive accomplishment. He made women comprise 50 % of his cabinet. While this looks impressive from the outside (he made international news with this one) the sad fact of the matter is that Justin still holds 100% of the power in the Liberal Party. So those women are the most powerful female toadies in all of Canada.

those women are the most powerful female toadies in all of Canada

Maryam Monsef has been in charge of cross country meetings about electoral reform in Canada for the Liberal government. The Liberal party vowed to change systems to one that is fairer to voters by next election. She started the consultations at the end of August. On September 22 of the same year it began to be broadcasted that Monsef (or whoever acted on her behalf) had incorrectly filled out her immigration paperwork as having been born in Afghanistan while really being born in Iran.

This incorrect paperwork means that Maryam Monsef is at risk of being deported. With such a tenuous position Monsef has echoed the prime minister to a T even saying that there was no broad majority of opinions when 88 % of the speakers were for proportional representation. If the government wants a broader consensus than that it is up to them to hold a clear referendum or do a true consultation with Canadians. The cards they sent in the mail and the poll it takes at the referred website is a joke. This is not democracy.

With such a tenuous position Monsef has echoed the prime minister to a T

The electoral reform committee came back with its decision that proportional representation is the favoured mode of governance and a clear referendum could now be put to all the voters. The Liberals on the committee called its findings “radical” when some of our closest countries have democracies that work quite well with proportional representation. Again the Liberals are just being toadies to Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau’s policies have consisted of policy that is just as far right as the last government

The rest of Trudeau’s policies have consisted of policy that is just as far right as the last government under Stephen Harper. Sure Trudeau says he is going to push this that or the other progressive scheme but he doesn’t deliver. Meanwhile he has approved more pipelines than Harper. It is a push. What do I think Trudeau is really gunning for? I think he wants the rich, rich party donations that Harper used to get. For years the other parties were afraid of his advertising war chest. This is what I believe Trudeau covets most. And that, sadly, is the place he appears to be coming from.