The Day For Truth and Reconciliation and Genocide

The national day for truth and reconciliation was Thursday in honour of what the indigenous people of Canada have had to put up with from other Canadians. From news reports I saw there was a lot of throwing around of the word genocide, a word I’ve only come around to agreeing with in the last few months.

First of all, it isn’t Hitler’s genocide. In a handful of years, he had killed so many Jews and others in his death camps that they were almost completely decimated in Europe. Hitler’s genocide was a fast genocide. And it involves killing, lots and lots of killing. If you are Jewish you were killed rather quickly.

But no one is comparing the plight of indigenous people today with the plight of the Jews in the time of Hitler. The only thing they share is the word genocide. Genocide means the extermination of a whole people. To see why the word genocide is correctly used, let’s look at the things indigenous people of Canada have suffered through.

It is common knowledge in North America that indigenous people were given smallpox contaminated blankets to help decimate their population. While it was only documented to have happened once (around present day Pittsburgh), the idea was in the air and may have happened many times.

Unwarranted sterilization has been used against indigenous women. Obviously if this had happened everywhere there would be no indigenous people left in Canada.

Then there are the residential schools. Where indigenous children were taken from their families and forced to live in the residential schools, far from home. They were treated brutally at these schools and some say that many were beaten to death. All under the umbrella of making the indigenous more Canadian and losing their culture. Certainly many died there as shown by the number of unmarked grave sites at some of the schools. The total of unmarked grave sites now is 1300 but there will be many more as the vast majority of the sites have yet to be inspected.

About half of the kids in foster care in Canada are indigenous. This, when they make up less than 10% of the child population. All this while foster care is alleged to be in shambles and really is a broken system. With no back up, a lot of these children end up offending and getting a criminal record.

It is said that foster care is the new residential school. It directly takes children away from their families. And usually it ends up isolating the indigenous from their original culture. It works as cultural genocide.

Then there are the Beothuk indigenous of Newfoundland. They are gone without a trace. That nation of indigenous people is already completely gone.

Anyhow, I think all these points end up showing a genocide by a thousand cuts. Or a slower genocide. The first three points show genocidal tendencies of indigenous policy in Canada and North America, The second last one was only cultural genocide. If we keep up these horrible policies, In a thousand years there will be no indigenous people left in Canada. That is how it is genocide. It must stop.


On Vantablack

Vantablack is the most light absorbing pigment available.It absorbs 99.96% of all light that comes into contact with it. Things painted with it seem to be a hole cut out of the universe. It is freaky to behold.

Because of that very freakiness, goths are going to want to get their hands on clothing made with this pigment. It’s just that those who walk around at night in Vantablack are going to be hard to see, especially from a moving automobile. There will be many casualties on the road before the nanny state kicks in.

Expect goths to abandon Vantablack once our various nanny states force them to wear reflectors on top of the Vantablack. Maybe others will be willing to wear the reflectors just not goths.

The criminal element will also not wear Vantablack with reflectors. The largest group of crooks wanting Vantablack outfits will be cat burglars. Which makes me wonder – will motion detectors even be able to distinguish Vantablack from shadows. If so they might be helpless to a cat burglar in head to toe Vantablack. Certainly at night humans will have trouble discerning these same burglars.

The article that I linked to is about a BMW painted Vantablack. It has some interesting stats about black cars and accidents.

Firstly, I grew up in an area that had old order, middle order and new order mennonites. The old order ones drive horse and buggies and live much like the amish. The new order ones are much like normal people. The middle order ones dress like it’s the 1800s and can drive cars. Not any cars. Just ones that aren’t flashy and ostentatious. So they pick the colour black and even have all the chrome of the car painted black just to not be “worldly”.

I never knew they were dying for their convictions. But the statistics for black cars in Australia ought to hold up here and be even worse for middle order mennonites that paint all the chrome of their cars black.

Now, with Vantablack, I am just wondering who is going to be the statistical angel of death to middle order mennonites and is going to tell them even flat black is too flashy. The mennonites will have no choice but to buy Vantablack cars and paint the chrome Vantablack, too. Just look at that BMW in the link painted with Vantablack. Now imagine it with all the chrome being the same colour.

I can only imagine the carnage on the roads. The only way we can stop this possibility is to call Vantablack worldly. It’s just the price of being a good neighbour. And wanting fewer accidents for ourselves on the same roads as these middle order mennonites.

LGBTQ and That’s It For Now

I thought everyone by now had heard of the initials LGBTQ but in case you don’t know it means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning.

If you don’t know, there are longer more complicated shorthands available. All of them start with LGBT. Like LGBTTQQIAAP. But there are others and these others rarely agree. That’s why I am sticking to my original LGBTQ.

Isn’t Questioning just a catch all so that we can include everybody? Isn’t questioning always viable to mean different? I think it is both these things. But mostly it allows me to be a bit lazy. Perhaps when I find out enough I’ll change to a longer shorthand. But even still I might stick to LGBTQ just to clue in others that will not learn the ridiculously long and complicated LGBTTQQIAAP. Besides, what if there are more ways of being that are not covered? Who gets to decide what rates a letter?

Some might think I am slighting people by not giving them their letter. But sometimes things are so statistically small that the whole culture doesn’t have to know.

Asking people to memorize this huge list is like telling people they have to know all the mental illnesses. Sure a lot of older adults know the main ones like depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and autism spectrum disorder.

But this is obviously an incomplete list of all mental illnesses. There is Aperger’s, narcolepsy, brain trauma, epilepsy and all sorts of personality disorders – the list can be quite long.

All of these are quite important because real individuals in your community have these illnesses. But is it expected for you to know the complete list? Why no. I haven’t even heard of someone trying to force this list on people (except on psychiatrists).

People who are likely to use LGBTTQQIAAP almost all don’t know the complete list of mental illness. Until you all do, I suggest you also don’t force memorization on the rest of us.

So, for the time being, I am just going to use LGBTQ and be open to various forms of Questioning.

Is This the End Times for Imagine Dragons?

Imagine Dragons ended their last album’s singles with Whatever It Takes. To my mind this is an End Times inspired song. Dan Reynolds, the singer of their lyrics was Mormon or should I say, once a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For brevity I will use the less correct title of Mormons. I believe he still calls himself Mormon and is trying to make the church change its stance on things like welcoming gays and lesbians as just different.

Anyhow, Whatever It Takes takes a very pro End Times Stance with this line: “Everybody praying for the end of time.” You see Mormons think that right now we are actually in the End Times. And Reynolds is declaring in Whatever It Takes his fitness and willingness to go on. It’s important to not confuse the End Times with the Rapture. Mormons do not believe in the Rapture. Instead the End Times are an increasingly dangerous time with war, famine, floods etc. With positive qualities too like the Word being able to spread more easily.

We’ll know the End Times are over when a millennium led by Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem (a city in Missouri) happens that is peaceful and great for its citizens and of course lasts the full thousand years. The End Times are supposed to be a real end to wickedness.

Anyhow, I thought Imagine dragons was done with the End Times after they had already wrote this song about it. But the carryover has made it to the latest singles off the new album.

Natural, the lead off single, has the line, “I can taste it the end is upon us.” I am absolutely sure of this interpretation, mainly because of the choice of the word, “us”.

The interpretation from the second single Zero I am less sure of. The main suspect of a line is “27 years and the end on my mind”. For the sake of this post this line also refers to the end times. It could also refer to the strange coincidence of many famous musicians dying at the age of 27 from Jim Morrison to Jimi Hendrix to Kurt Cobain to Amy Winehouse.

Anyhow I hope Imagine Dragons is not becoming a one subject rock and roll band. Even becoming the more broad categoried Christian Rock Band is generally considered boring by most of the music buying public. The only Christian Rock Band that seemed to have general appeal away from its devotees was Creed and although they crossed over around 2000 to the mainstream, no one seems to want to resurrect that particular band by saying their music was classic of the time.

Yes, Dan Reynolds, you have come out against your church. And the new singles reaffirm your commitment to your religion while also pushing for human rights changes to the doctrine. But I think you should stop right there or your band will get known as a one topic band.

Also remember you are in the entertainment industry and a large part of your fan base doesn’t have the religious views you have. We are terrible because we get bored easily. The legions of us will not all follow you anywhere you roam.

Can Our Cities Become Cosmopolitan Instead of Comma Politan?

Presently our cities are comma politan. By that I mean they have whites, blacks, orientals, indigenous people, mixed races, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, the wheelchair bound, the cane enabled, the mentally ill, muslim, atheist, etc. No longer is it some majority with just one minority. Our cities are comma politan because they contain so many varieties of humans.

accept almost anyone with some African ancestry as their own

Which is very nice. I would just prefer that our cities would actually be cosmopolitan. I don’t mean just one thing by being cosmopolitan like worldly. I mean more things like tolerance and with a certain flair.

One cosmopolitan thing I see in black society, for instance, is that nice ability to accept almost anyone with some African ancestry as their own. It goes so far as accepting Barack Obama as the first black president when it is clear that his mother was white.

White culture isn’t nearly as accepting. We should have accepted Barack Obama as just one in a very long string of white presidents of the United States. In fact, to be cosmopolitan, us whites ought to insist that there should be a fully black president ceiling to break through and through votes help break it. That is as well as the some-African-descent ceiling Obama broke through. So we’re not done with black firsts in the presidency.

But black culture isn’t always cosmopolitan. The television show Blackish had an opportunity to have an atheist character. Instead, that character played with atheism for a few hours. That’s not how atheism plays out. If you have doubts about the religion you have been brought up with chances are you will have doubts later on in life, too.

that character played with atheism for a few hours

I am picking on the cities to be cosmopolitan because rural areas are almost overwhelmingly of homogeneous ethnicity, or white in the west. Since most ethnicities do not find their kind in rural areas, they go to the cities. LGBTQ people flee to the cities to find others of their kind to socialize with. And disabled people find the cities have more resources for them to use simply because of numbers. And really, let’s be honest, many flee the rural areas because of the intolerance that homogeneity often breeds. So the cities become our best hope of being cosmopolitan.

Even in the cities, the disabled have more difficulty finding employment. When you think of it, many jobs don’t need their employees to be completely abled. But the disabled still have a harder time finding work. That’s not cosmopolitan.

Which, when I think about it, is probably a better situation than not being able to find a bathroom you can use without getting beaten up. Which also isn’t cosmopolitan.

the disabled still have a harder time finding work

The attempts to make a cosmopolitan society are definitely not over. There are many more hurdles to overcome (I have not even come close to listing them all). But with jerks and pull backs I think our society gets slowly better at these things and our cities are our best shot at making it happen. Eventually the rural areas might be dragged along, too. After all, 4 out of 5 people live in our urban areas. A truly cosmopolitan society might eventually happen.

I Got Nothing

For the first time, since I began blogging in 2009, I don’t have a post with something humourous (at ) 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.