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.

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 .

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.

Dr. Oz Wants a New Underclass

Most medical doctors have a blind spot for smoking. “Quit,” they say without giving a person’s brain a true chance to quit. They think that pointing out the obvious is going to somehow extend your life. It’s usually a good idea to mostly ignore an M.D. on the topic of quitting. Better strategies come from the realm of psychology.

It’s usually a good idea to mostly ignore an M.D. on the topic of quitting.

Try to break the craving by thinking, doing, or both things in the goal of replacing the craving say the psychologists. That something should last a few moments and it might be surprising to the addicted smoker that, once through the crucial few minutes of a craving, they might be fine again for another hour.

Smoking is an addiction and needs to be treated like one. It is much like overeating, something that medical doctors are also ignorant of the best strategies to cope.

But smokers are completely fine mentally except on the topic of smoking. I’ve even heard that smoking can improve your cognition. Smokers are able to carry out almost any job there is. The only problem with smoking and working, by a non smoker’s point of view, should be second hand smoke. And there are usually simple solutions for this.

But Dr. Oz, that blustering blowhard of daytime TV, has come down firmly on the side of making smokers into the underclass. We aren’t allowed to come down on any group anymore in our time except perhaps the doctor unapproved groups like the smokers and the overweight. I’m currently unaware of underclass actions against the overweight, but I don’t expect they will or have remained untargeted. That might be the second battle.

Dr. Oz, that blustering blowhard of daytime TV, has come down firmly on the side of making smokers into the underclass.

But Dr. Oz and his cronies have come down hard on smokers. They have or are trying to make smokers ineligible for government jobs. These scum have decided to make it unfeasible for smokers to gain employment. They say they are saving public coffers because of the increased cost of sickness and death enjoyed by smokers. They are making it more economically important for smokers to quit. Really they are taking away a smokers right to a half decent life.

This bad line of reasoning leads to a permanent smoker underclass. Are businesses stupid and haven’t seen the cost benefits of not hiring smokers? No. Once able to shirk their duty to employ fairly, they will weasel out of it just as government has been doing. And in only a few years we have the smoker underclass.

I will not watch his TV show and if you wish to do the same but don’t know where to find all the health advice, find a better system online at NutritionFacts.org

Look if smokers do not have money they can’t use any of the treatment options available to them. So drug companies and government will have no reason to come up with the cure to this addiction. So the underclass becomes permanent.

Dr. Oz and his cronies are scum to make a new underclass. I will not watch his TV show and if you wish to do the same but don’t know where to find all the health advice, find a better system online at NutritionFacts.org .

God and ‘O Canada’

I recently came across someone lamenting that perhaps Canada’s immigrants might take God out of the national anthem, “O Canada”.

I was annoyed with this, largely because the O Canada I knew in grade school in the seventies never once mentioned God. Indeed it was not until 1980, that Pierre Trudeau forced us all to say God in the first verse of O Canada, something I objected to, but was only willing to protest by singing “O China”.
Actually myself and classmates had been singing O China before the word change but it was close.

the O Canada I knew in grade school in the seventies never once mentioned God

I was surprised to find that the 1927 version of O Canada, that was expected to be performed in school and public events, had 4 verses. I had only ever heard the first which didn’t have God in it. The three verses are what you might expect of a song honouring a country. Only the fourth verse mentions God. This is odd and seems tacked on given the first three verses.

So I went back to the 1908 version, the first lyrics written by Robert Stanley Weir. There are only three verses in these original lyrics. There is not one mention of God.

Weir should have stuck to his guns and kept God out

It is my opinion that Weir should have stuck to his guns and kept God out of his official lyrics.

I heard years ago that 15% of North Americans are athiest. I wouldn’t be surprised if this number is roughly static and that there are always fifteen percent athiests in all religious countries. There is a debatable number of agnostics who neither believe in God and others or don’t. The original settlers of this land are the indigenous people who weren’t originally Christian. There were also the slaves (Yes Canada had slavery it just ended before the American kind) who originally were not Christian when they were forced out of their African homes.

God was never a uniting symbol of all the peoples of Canada. I’m glad Weir’s original lyrics kept God out of it. I am just sorry that Christianity badgered Weir so much that God eventually made appearances in his song. From unity to meh.

And Weir never wrote the music. That was written decades before by the the French and has its own meanings.

From unity to meh.

I hope enough immigrants will allow us to turn O Canada back to the religously agnostic words it began with. Then the song can truly unite Canada again.

Soft Genocide

Much has been said about the genocides of the 20th century. Indeed I had a post up (that wasn’t that funny) on my humour blog, talking about 4 obvious genocides that century. So far the 21st century has been worse. In only 16 years there have been 2 genocides. The one in the Darfur region of the Sudan and the Yazidi genocide. There may be more but most people are hesitant to throw around the word genocide.

most people are hesitant to throw around the word genocide

But there are other genocides and actions that have just as nasty an outcome as genocide. I would like to introduce to you something I call a “soft genocide”. I will show what happened to the Ainu of Russia and Japan. This history takes place not in the developing world but that of fairly well developed Russia and obviously developed Japan. This seems closer than the developing world and I intend to bring the idea of soft genocide even closer at the end of this essay.

I am interested in the Ainu because they are white people. They are not Caucasian but also evolved with white skin. I’m just curious because I have lived around Europeans all my life and can even in some cases guess what country they are from. I would like to stare at a number of Ainu people to get to somehow know different white faces from European whites.

But there are so few pure Ainu left. The Japanese and Russians are both guilty of whittling down the population of Ainu. It was so bad in Japan at one point that many Ainu intermarried with the Japanese to end the persecution. In total the Japanese government says there are 25 000 pure Ainu in Japan.

Russia will not officially recognize the Ainu as an ethnicity. This and other indignities Russia has offered the Ainu. Still it is thought there may be a few hundred pure Ainu in that country.

You might think that they are safe with their 25 000+ people but I am a reader of science fiction. Generation ships are currently popular in that genre because they just seem like a more realistic way to the stars to the present pragmatist writers.

10 000 members of a society are considered to have enough genetic variety to survive and thrive and give birth to viable descendants. But that isn’t the only number presented, according to this Popular Mechanics article. Some think that the number is closer to 40 000. Since we’re talking about a society of pretty closely related people as opposed to a generation ship that looks like a United Nations of people, I’m going to say that 40 000 of that group seems like a more realistic number.

I say that the Russians and Japanese have committed a soft genocide of the Ainu.

The Ainu have only 25 000 people of the same ethnicity. So it is my opinion that the Ainu as an ethnic group are dead. Or are going to be in a distant future if they only breed with pure Ainu. Don’t get me wrong, people will still use the Ainu name. There are about 200 000 mixed Ainu in Japan. But it will be diluted.

Thus I say that the Russians and Japanese have committed a soft genocide of the Ainu.

I don’t think they would have been alone in this. Indeed, I live in a nation that has committed a plain genocide. The island of Newfoundland used to be inhabited by the indigenous Beothuk nation. We wiped them out. There are no reserves upon which can be found one Beothuk person.

More commonly, here in North America, we were playing the same game that the Japanese and Russians were doing. We warred with our indigenous people until they were no longer able to fight us. Then we persecuted them with our diseases (sometimes deliberately spread) and made them live on much smaller reserves. Their culture and their dignity was attempted to be stolen by residential schools which were often violent and for sure were trying to kill their cultures. If the accident of civil rights hadn’t come along, I think the Indigenous North Americans would be much closer to the plight of the Ainu.

We must stand against all genocides

Soft genocide, then, is a simple game. All you have to do is get the minority under 40 000 persons and then a slower, softer genocide has been committed. We must stand against all genocides, no matter how innocuous they might seem.

Snapchat: The Information Suck

Perhaps millenials are using Snapchat in large numbers but there are problems with information, pictures, and videos with expiry dates. For that reason it will never truly challenge Facebook. It’s supposed to be like an informal conversation where your words don’t remain on display forever.

Snapchat has a variety of ways to make information disappear. One is that your follower is only allowed to see it once and then the information is terminated. There are ways to tell if the follower has screen captured the eventual contraband.

now I have nonfunctioning places in my blogs where there should be a comic strip

Now this is all well and good, but Snapchat bought out Bitstrips and now I have nonfunctioning places in my blogs where there should be a comic strip. Thank you Bitstrips and Snapchat for combining to take away my comics if only temporarily. I have about ten strips that got sucked out into the vacuum of Snapchat.

Well done, Snapchat. You have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can make anything of yours disappear. Bravo.

If the cartoon remains intact by the time Bitstrips returns to service…

But wait a second, what’s that I have on my Super Power: Sun Shielding post? Why, it is my cartoon still intact. This is the only cartoon still intact, I say we use this as a canary in the coal mine. If the cartoon remains intact by the time Bitstrips returns to service, I say we point out to Snapchat that the tears and trouble were never necessary in the first place.

The Bitstrips site says a few weeks. I’m waiting.

Rainbow Folk

There’s LGBT. There’s LGBTQ. There’s LGBTQ2. Then there’s LGBTTIQQ2S. They stand for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender[, Questioning](, 2 Spirited). The extras in the longest acronym are transexual, intersexual, and queer.

can’t we have one all inclusive name that isn’t the memorization difficult LGBTTIQQ2S

Clearly we have a problem with dealing with other sexualities and genders. But can’t we have one all inclusive name that isn’t the memorization difficult LGBTTIQQ2S. Yes we can. For that, all we have to do is look to the flag. The LGBTTIQQ2S flag. A few weeks ago a person who identifies as LGBTTIQQ2S came up with the answer for me in my local Kitchener Post newspaper. Simply he referred to these types of people as rainbow folk. There’s no capitalizations just like you would do in general use and it isn’t a memorization quagmire.

I like it. So when the use of LGBTQ, for instance, might be called for, I am going to use the term rainbow folk. Now you can whine and cry and rage about this but the fact is most people know almost immediately what I am talking about. And it makes reading easier.

rainbow folk are worried about coming out and there are no reliable statistics to say what frequency these people have in our society

In another area of concern, rainbow folk are worried about coming out and there are no reliable statistics to say what frequency these people have in our society. This is largely because rainbow folk stay in the closet for fear of being targeted or other reasons. So might I suggest that deathbed and only-to-be-released-after-death admissions be used to find out how many rainbow folk and of what variety exist in our society.

Then a rainbow person might know, “I’m gay but so is one in ten of the males I know.” This might be comforting or even empowering. I think accurate but anonymous stats are important. When the true numbers are unknown the mystery can be used to the detriment of rainbow folk. Indeed, here in Canada, I wonder if the Conservative Party under Stephen Harper, canceled the mandatory questions of the long form census, precisely so no future census could find the true numbers of rainbow folk.