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Montreal Politics

Canada Day July 1, 2013 or Moving Day in Quebec

CanadaDay_436X245

Across Canada folks are celebrating our nation. But I missed all the tv coverage because I slept in today. But I am sure it was fun and fabulous and all that. We will get the synopsis on the late news tonight.

But meanwhile, where everything has to be different … Meanwhile in Quebec it was Moving day. That fateful day where people are fighting for moving trucks and navigating piles of furniture on the sidewalks and pets all over the place.

It seemed quiet in the neighborhood today when I ventured out to the store this evening. And there was a commotion on my floor earlier, but I could not be bothered to open the door and see if one of my neighbors was moving out…

The National Assembly has been in an emergency session to set back to work legislation for more than 70,000 construction employees that have been on strike for more than a week, which has caused billions of dollars.

Here in Quebec the “Strike” is a fine art.

No matter what season it is – or what is going on in the city, a strike is not far off.

They usually happen as the seasons change.

The winter strike is always fun. Then you get one as winter goes away and spring begins with the asphalt pot hole folks, and the blue collars and the likes in the boroughs. The strike is the best way for groups to get more money for what they do. Even if it puts the city and its people on the back burner. They can hold the city hostage if a strike is allowed to go on for more than a few days, especially in the winter when plows, sanders/salters, sidewalk plows and the like are necessary to safe navigation of the city.

Add to that massive construction on the highways that will last until the fall, is screwing with the drive around the island. The super hospital is not yet finished and the present strike has put it in the forefront of taxpayers minds.

Oy Vey ….

It was another sunny day, but it is really hazy outside. My view of the south shore wind turbines are amid haze and pollution I guess. Yes, there are a bunch of wind turbines over on the South Shore. Not far from an energy plant.

Not much else today.

 


Race-car driver Villeneuve tears strip off Quebec protesters in five-minute critique

By Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press

MONTREAL – Quebec’s student protesters have a new celebrity critic — and he’s firing away on all cylinders.

Jacques Villeneuve, the Quebec-born car-racing champion, is upset at a protest movement that has gone on for months and is now promising to turn up at Formula One Grand Prix events in Montreal all weekend.

In a five-minute exchange with reporters Thursday, Villeneuve urged the protesters to go back to school.

He suggested they were lazy. He called them an embarrassment to Canada — especially to Quebec. He suggested they were badly raised, by parents who never learned to say, ‘No.’

And he said they risked scaring away tourists and wealthy taxpayers, who would just pick up and invest elsewhere in a more stable climate.

The student protest movement has received the enthusiastic endorsement of many Quebec celebrities and near-unanimous support from the artistic community. But the Quebec-born, Monaco-raised driver just might have become the most famous, most virulent new critic of the movement.

“It’s time for people to wake up and stop loafing about. It’s lasted long enough,” Villeneuve told reporters at a cocktail benefit that kicked off the four-day Grand Prix festivities.

“We heard them. We listened. They should stop. It’s costing the city a fortune. It makes no sense.”

As for their parents, Villeneuve said: “I think these people grew up without ever hearing their parents ever tell them, ‘No.’ So that’s what you see in the streets now. People spending their time complaining. It’s becoming a little bit ridiculous. They spoke, we heard, and now it’s time to go back to school.”

He said that in a democracy, people can vote to turf governments, and speak their mind between elections to make themselves heard — but they have to know when to give it a rest.

“That’s what democracy is. We vote for people — and if you’re not happy, then you vote for other people the next time around. And if you’re not happy you complain, they listen, and that’s it,” he said.

“Same with your parents: ‘Daddy, mommy, I don’t like this.’ Well, go back to bed now.” Villeneuve said he was raised to believe in hard work, and not imagine money will fall from the sky.

He also compared the students to the London rioters last year and said they were “rebels without a cause.”

In the end, he said, the students are hurting themselves because they’re pushing for things that aren’t fiscally sustainable — and they’ll end up paying one day. Unfortunately, he said, if they keep it up there will be less taxpayers around to help foot the bill.

“And where does the government get the money? From taxes, from selling stuff. The next thing they will say is, ‘Well, take it from the rich,'” he said.

“And that’s when you have the rich moving to another country.”

The student protesters dismiss the idea that taxes would need to be raised to freeze or eliminate tuition — which represents only a tiny fraction of the provincial budget and pales in comparison to the money spent on corporate subsidies.

Scores of protesters demonstrated outside the cocktail event Villeneuve was attending, in the company of other racing figures and celebrities. It was a glitzy $1,000-a-plate fundraiser, with proceeds going to a local children’s hospital. Some protesters have promised to disrupt events throughout the Grand Prix weekend and even jam the metro leading to the race track on Sunday.

Villeneuve, 41, won the 1997 Formula One world championship and received the adulation of local sports fans who feted his success with a roaring celebration before a Montreal Canadiens game. After several difficult seasons he left Formula One in 2005 and has since raced on other circuits.

-With files by Alexander Panetta


May is over …

Courtesy: Wrestlingisbest

It is Thursday night, on the last night in May and the month of June is almost upon us. The week have been eventful, as I have written. Hubby’s 40th birthday will fall on the 6th, and he is trying to forget it is coming. No parties, no gifts no mention of the BIG 40 !!! I have to explain what it means to turn 40 and what happens next. He isn’t very happy about turning 40, at all …

*** *** *** ***

Do you shop on EBAY?

When you search an item, and you find one you like, do you automatically bid or buy that item without reading the item description fully? No ???

I put an item up for sale last week and the item was damaged when I bought it. I never used it and it sat in a box under my dining room table from the time I bought it until the time I put it up for sale.

The one thing I did not do was put up a picture of the minor damage to the item so bidders could see what I was talking about. But that is not the issue here. I wrote up my item specifically. I duly noted the damage and all that information was up on the front page.

A bidder in Ontario found my listing and he bid on the item, and he subsequently won said item. He didn’t read the item description – he didn’t know about the damage to the item, and then he paid for said item and I shipped it to him. When it arrived 2 days ago, he freaked out opening a case for a refund because item did not match the description. He wrote that I tried to rip him off, when he clearly did not read the item properly or at all.

(HAD he READ the description-He would have known right?)

He made a fuss, and opened a case against me and had the audacity to request a refund, which was my policy, if you aren’t pleased with your item, in this case, I would refund your purchase price. He said I didn’t note properly. I replied to him that he could not read correctly. Which he didn’t read at all.

I address the box, with the delivery address and my return address on the front of the box. Then he writes me and tells me that he can’t find my return address,

( WHICH IS ON THE FRONT OF THE FUCKING BOX !!!) IDIOT !!!

So he fucked up my Paypal account. Only the day before I deposited all my sales profits into my bank account and now I had to pull over a hundred dollars from my bank account to cover the negative balance over on PayPal. EBAY warned me not to refund his money till the item arrives back here. But I want to make a purchase, on a pair of running shoes for my marathon training and I have this god damned issue hanging over my account now. I just want to get it over with, I am waiting for the money to transfer and as soon as that happens I am going to just bite the bullet, knowing this asshole re-mailed the item back to me from Ontario, it will get here next week.

I HATE STUPID PEOPLE !!!

I have two other items up for sale. And I have to tell you that for the most part people are smart and intelligent. But for some cases I get some of the most stupid questions from people, you’d think, DID YOU READ THE POSTED INFO?

IDIOTS !!! ALL IDIOTS !!!

*** *** *** ***

On Wednesday I went to the mall because I wanted to see what retail had to offer in the form of running shoes, price and style wise. And I have to say that the choices were slim running. I walked into the store and was standing in the shoe department, and a young man was helping some folks, clearly Francophone.

I waited. He helped more people who walked over there in front of me, once again, clearly Francophone. He was very chatty and helpful. I stood up from where I was sitting and he walked over to me, and I opened the conversation, no less, in English. He didn’t seem interested in helping me. I asked to see two shoes and he brought me one. He didn’t wait to help me. He went over to help other folks who were standing there.

The shoes were pricey. I told him that I was going to take them and I walked towards the cash. Then I decided not to take them because I had this invoice action against me and I carried the shoes back to him and handed him the box. Then I came home.

I found a much cheaper and more stylish pair on EBAY which is sitting on my watch list at the moment. And as soon as I clear this open case, I can make a clear purchase.

*** *** *** ***

Grasshopper asked me to write him an attestation letter for a legal matter he is taking care of and so this morning I was up with the birdies to go to the morning meeting, it was a business meeting day for the group, I sat outside until they were through.

The topic this morning was:

… Our society has concluded that it has but one high mission – to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out.

Twelve and Twelve pg. 151

Page  151 in the 12 and 12  is right at the beginning of the 5th tradition.

Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

I was sitting in my chair with Madame bijoux on my right and grasshopper on my left. The chair opened the floor to sharing and I waited. When it got to grasshopper he opens his mouth and it was like he went into my brain and took the words right out of my mind… And I said under my breath, you stole my topic … and we all laughed.

The reading centered around serving others. That’s when the tie to the 5th tradition comes up. It being May and all. I commented that it was when I learned how to put the needs of another before my own, was when I became an adult. And so it goes, You can’t help someone if you are self serving, selfish or self centered. And I’ve learned long and hard that if I want it, I have to give it away.

Grasshopper and I got to Micky D’s for breakfast after the meeting which was a nice treat. He dropped me back home and I farted around until it was time for my disco nap with hubby.

It has been a quiet night. The air is cool outside. It was cloudy for a while and sprinkled here and there, but the clouds have blown away. There is more rain in the forecast for the weekend.

Many people are still mopping up from Tuesday’s flooding. And a lot of those people are getting screwed by insurance companies because the city is to blame for the sewers not working correctly therefore all these homes and businesses got flooded and cars got wrecked by flood water. And the city is not taking the blame very nicely. They are calling it an act of God, not a city wide maintenance issue. It isn’t fair.

*** *** *** ***

The student negotiations with the government failed tonight and so the strike and protests will continue as usual. The Grand Prix set for next weekend was targeted by Anonymous and they hacked the payment website and posted all their information online. And threats went out to those coming to Montreal to beware and to be prepared for protests and marching would take place during the Grand Prix.

This isn’t good. The government did not rise to the occasion, but paid lip service to the student negotiators, and the Premier did not get directly involved, as he was requested to do so, so that tells us that Jean Charest was in no way going to sit down and negotiate this settlement the way he should have.

There is a call for an election in the next 13 months. I say sooner than later, let’s get this guy out of office and do what is right for the city and the students. Because it is only going to get ugly once tourists start coming for summer festivals and events. Tourism is going to take a huge hit now. The city is going to get screwed in the long run.

*** *** *** ***

Tomorrow is Friday, hopefully I can take care of my Ebay issue and do some shopping and sort that fuck up out. We shall see. Other than that, there is nothing on the books for the weekend yet.

And that’s the kind of week it’s been. More to come, stay tuned …


Thursday Notes …

Courtesy: JackAnthony

This photo would be more appropriate if there were train tracks near here, and there are, not far off but one doesn’t really go walking on the tracks because they are busy all day long.

*** *** *** ***

There have been marches every night here in the city. The cops are getting creative with their “Kettling” of the crowds, and though other police forces in other cities have been cited for using this drastic tactic, Montreal police are fearing for their lives on a nightly basis.

Hundreds were arrested last night after a Kettling, and even innocent passersby have been getting caught up in the dragnet. We are told that talks will resume and that they really need to reach consensus, and they need to do it now.

The Grand Prix is starting to suffer as groups have begun to cancel their appearances here because they fear for their lives and the well being of the cars and those who would be coming.

Festival season is just days away now and students are holding the city hostage and the Premier is shuffling his cabinet in the attempt to bring fresh eyes and ideas into the mix to try and end this conflict with students.

The protests have morphed into what is called Casseroling. People sit on their balconies and on street corners banging pots and pans in civil disobedience to voice their displeasure with Bill 78.

Social media is firing all these protests in our city, and even though I support the students, something has to give and it better give soon.

We don’t venture out into the neighborhood very often and we sure as shit don’t travel to the East end or the village because that is where all the nightly troubles start. Marchers are fucking with the city by marching up and down streets Against traffic which creates nightmares for pedestrians and drivers and buses.

They marched against traffic down Ste. Catherine’s Street earlier today which stopped traffic for hours while cops drove behind them the wrong way all the way to Westmount.

I don’t see an end in sight and this needs to end because if it doesn’t the summer tourism season will be heavily affected and the city will loose big because tourism is a huge draw during the summer with the Grand Prix, The Fireworks Festival, the Jazz Fest, Just for Laughs, and on and on …

If students are marching in the streets blocking traffic, fucking with the Metro, blocking bridges and streets en masse, how are we supposed to go on with our lives – it’s not only the tourists who are loosing, it is Montrealer’s just as well.

We will keep you posted …

*** *** *** ***

It has been a quiet couple of days. I had lunch with my mentor yesterday and we chatted about a great many things. Lots of ideas are on the table but nothing looks really good at the moment. I’ve been told by more than one sober person that I should wait to see what presents itself and not to rush to do anything big just yet. I’ve been making a list of “Things to do or Things I would like to do.”

And all these things involve other people and all of those people are out living their lives and doing their jobs and ministering to their folks. How do you go about asking someone to devote some time to you when it seems that their plates are full already? Time is precious and I don’t want to waste someones time or be a burden on them or their community.

All my EBAY items for sale will end tomorrow. Which means I will have to cart those boxes downstairs for pricing and shipping again. I contacted all the bidders to get some information from them and I am waiting on them to respond. It’s all about timing right now.

I was sitting on the balcony earlier today and the sun was shining and dark clouds closed in from the South Shore and it poured down rain just before I was getting ready to head out for a meeting. And glad that I arrived when I did to see arching over the sky from one end of the sky to the other was a huge bright and beautiful rainbow – I took photos of it with my phone. It was the first time in recent memory that I have seen a rainbow that big in the sky.

Not a bad photo !!!  Courtesy of Android HTC Hero.

The speaker at tonight’s meeting talked about God, and his conscious contact and how God had moved in his life. All the stories are somewhat the same. We came, we drank, we couldn’t stop things get ugly and only finding God as a result of working the steps, does one finally get sober.

A friend of mine asks the questions …

How much recovery is enough?  My answer to this question is another question…. how much is there?

Our man has been part of the program for more than 25 years. But he dabbled, drank and drugged in sobriety. So how much is enough? I don’t think we ever get “enough” but we have to come each day and fill our cups with living water, hope and serenity. It isn’t enough to stop drinking – but a constant daily necessity of getting what we need as we need it.

It was a good meeting. Here is today’s reflection…

Happy, Joyous, and Free

We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.

Alcoholics Anonymous P.133

No matter how bad it gets (Grasshopper) there is always a solution. It may take some time – but we will find the solution. Just don’t drink. One day at a time.

That’s all for tonight.


We … The First Word …

Courtesy: ChicagoTheatreBeat – A Separate Peace …

“WE” The First Word of the First Step …

It rained today. And amid all that rain, tens of thousands of people defied provincial law to march on the city once again today, and I hear through the grapevine that a march will happen again tonight marking the 100th day of the student uprising. And the plight of students here in Montreal has gone global, with support coming from far and wide around the world and on tv.

On Saturday night on SNL Arcade Fire wore the “Red Squares” on their shirts in support of the Quebec movement. If the authorities (read: Government) thought that Bill 78 was going to stop the marches -

they were terribly WRONG !!!

They not only thought wrong, they threw more fuel on the fire. We will see where the march tonight.

It was a dreary, blustery day today. And it doesn’t rain for very long, but comes in intervals and we got a good downpour just before the meeting started.

But the day began with me carting two huge boot boxes down the the post office to get weighed and rated for shipment come Friday when my auctions end, and it was raining this morning on and off. Then I had to cart them back upstairs, what a pain in the ass.

I knew that thousands of people were gathering at 2 pm this afternoon, and I was afraid that the marchers would get to our end of the city before I got out of the house, One doesn’t want to get held hostage by marchers in the street. I got out of the house early, just to avoid getting caught up in the throng.

On the way out, I checked the mail, as usual, and stopped at the bulletin board to read the announcements and I was pleasantly surprised to see a baby announcement from our building manager. Now I see her every day, sitting behind her desk, but I haven’t seen her stand up in a while, so I stopped in the office to congratulate her and she was not only pregnant, she was VERY pregnant. And I missed it all this while. So she is off for a year’s maternity leave starting in a couple of weeks. We’ve lived here more than ten years now, and it will be joyous to welcome a new baby to the building.

Set up was a breeze and it rained so you never know how many people are going to come to the meeting in the rain … If it rains, people don’t show up, If it is -20c out, people don’t show up, and If it is 40c outside, people don’t show up …

That’s the facts about our meeting. Depending on the way the wind blows, people either come or they don’t. We sat 40 folks tonight. One of our young men was in the chair for the first time so he went with the Daily Reflections. And today’s reflection was all about the word “WE.”

Stuck in my disease – it was always about me. But not really about me. Living with HIV put me in a very specific hole in life. After your friends and family ditch you, what do you have left, Yourself…

I was living alone. I had very few friends. Nobody knew the misery I was sitting in for so long. And nobody would know, because I kept it to myself. There was nobody there to notice that I existed. Nobody to point out the hole I was in, lest they get in the hole with me. I drank in a big, loud, dark, room with hundreds of other people – and I was alone …

It was by the grace of God and the persistence of a young man named Troy, who came into my life at the right moment, when I was ready to hear the message and the invitation to come back. I prayed for those words to be spoken, I asked God for those words to come, and they did.

I went to one meeting to see Troy get his year cake. Nobody noticed me. Queers in recovery can be as clueless as they are in the bar. So I waited for the next meeting at 10 that night, and a woman came up to me and greeted me and asked me to join them all in the meeting. Fonda took me by the hand and welcomed me into that meeting.

I was no longer alone …

I never took another drink. I was lucky to be in that “we” group. We went to dinner, We went to the beach, We went to meal after meal after meal together. We did things together every night and I was never alone again. And that is the spirit that carried me to Montreal some months later.

And ten years and some months later I am still part of that “WE” effort.

It was a good night, and the skies are clearing up, the temperature went down drastically, when we came outside the hall after the meeting it was very blustery and cool. Great sleeping weather. The helicopters are buzzing our neighborhood which means marchers are getting close.

Hopefully – nobody gets hurt we’ll see …

Goodnight from Montreal.


And things in Montreal are not good …

Courtesy: Noneedtoaskmyname

The Premier and the legislature in Quebec City tabled a new law, Bill 78. The debate lasted all night Thursday night and into Friday evening. And because of the Liberal Majority, the bill passed and became law.

  • The school year has been shut down, in opt for a return in August to give protesters time to relax and regroup and calm down.
  • There is a ban on numbers of protesters that can gather to protest (sounds like Professor Umbridge is running things in Quebec City).
  • Student groups larger than 50 people are banned ( A very Snape move)
  • Here in Montreal, masks have been outlawed for all protestors.
  • Steep fines will be imposed on students who protest($1,000 to $5,000 for individuals), and even steeper fines upwards of $125,000 for student unions who support such protests or protestors.
  • This is all set to allow student access to class and to keep protestors from blocking or picketing campuses and classrooms.

This is all supposed to STOP the nightly protest marches. Well, that did not go over very well here in Montreal tonight as Tens of Thousands of students marched in the streets once again tonight, tossing bottles, rocks and Molotov cocktails at police which deemed the protest illegal.

A group of protestors marched from our end of town through the core to the east end of the city with at least twenty cop cars following them from behind.

With the summer festival season upon us the first big week up first is the Grand Prix of Montreal. This multi- million dollar event will bring much needed tourism and money to the city come the beginning of June, and all we need is some nasty marchers to disrupt the party from within.

These nightly marches are steeped in more than just protests against tuition being raised over the next five years and I don’t begin to know all the facets of all of what is going on. But all this violence needs to be stopped.

Montrealer’s want their city back. Over the last 14 weeks, one never knows where one can go safely because of nightly marches from one end of the city to another. And because of the violent aspect of these demonstrations, the downtown core has been hit very hard and it is time for us to take back our streets once and for all.

All this blocking of schools, stoppage of traffic, blocking of tunnels, bridges and the metro system, we have all had enough. If these kids keep it up, they are going to pay in huge ways after tonight. It has been said by some on television that these kids are not fully thinking through their actions, because once you get arrested and it goes on your record, the rest of your life is fucked.

They say that this has been the darkest day in Quebec in recent memory, when the government passed draconian laws to stop the protestors and bring order to the city. Student groups and as well, groups in the National Assembly are up in arms and students vow to break the law until they end the new law legally or the government concedes to the wishes and negotiations of student groups.

It does not bode well for Montreal. But it remains to be seen just how much force will be meted out for protestors come the weekend. 14 weeks of protests have not abated in any way and today’s law passage has only fired up the base into furious responses. Students are mad as hell, and they aren’t going to take what the Premier has set down for them.

So it will be a battle of wills here – may the best man win.

This also does not bode well for the Premier with a looming election coming not far off into the future. Charest may have dealt his death blow to the province of Quebec in Bill 78 to cull the protests at their heart, but he may loose big when the next election is called. Students vote and tonight they made their voices clear, they will remember tonight come the next election.

*** *** *** ***

Nothing else exciting is going on here. I hit St. Matthias last night and it was an ok meeting, but I zoned out halfway through the speaker. Another old timer, gone slipping story. They are coming a dime a dozen lately.

I got all my grades for the semester and I aced all my finals. I also aced my final paper on Colony Collapse Syndrome for Geography and it got a great review. So the grades are in, I am finished for the term. No more writing papers or going to class… YAY !!!

It is the weekend. We’ll see what happens and if we partake in weekend events in the city. Say a prayer for us, we sure need it right now.

Goodnight from Montreal.

 

 


Fallout …

Courtesy: Suitep

What an incredible few days it has been, on many fronts. What a weekend it was for Mr. President. A very gutsy man with balls of steel and a resolve just the same. Who knew from Adam what was going on in his head over the weekend seeing him traveling in the U.S. and yukking it up at the Correspondents dinner on Saturday night.

And who knew what Sunday would bring … I just cannot imagine.

I am sure that Mr. Obama’s stock has risen over the past few days. This kill shot was something that I think will translate into better numbers and even help him in the long run for re-election. At least I hope that is what happens. That’s all we need is for some jamokey republican asshole to win an election, God forbid.

At this point I think the White House is channeling some Ricky Ricardo when he says to Lucy “You got some ‘splainin to do!” Pakistan is not going to skate away with this gigantic intelligence flub. Someone was protecting Osama. Someone must have known he was there, I mean it’s pretty clear from all the information that has been released about this event.

*** *** *** ***

We have had a Royal Wedding, The beatification of John Paul II in Rome, the killing of Osama bin Laden and an election here in Canada. The fallout from the election is huge. The Orange wave came to Quebec and took the province by storm. There were incredible losses for the Bloq. The Bloq leader lost his seat in an upset, and in the end resigned from his position as party leader, not to mention the Bloq lost party status in the House of Parliament. You must have at least 12 seats to be afforded party status, and the Bloq lost in a bloodbath last night. So the Bloq is all but kaput. So much for that referendum.

Mr. Layton won a huge number of ridings here in Quebec. Many freshman young M.P’s are going to Ottawa, and we are so proud of the huge wins by the NDP. Not to mention with 102 seats won, for the first time in history the NDP wins the coveted title of Official Opposition Party in the commons. I mean the room went nuts when Jack Layton walked out to greet the party. My vote made a difference.

The Conservatives won a majority. As I have read on other blogs tonight, the earth did not shift on its axis, we will all survive this. And in the end we hope the government does what it said it will do. Canada needs to work to protect the people of Canada, we need more jobs, a secure financial sector and we need to solidify our place in the worlds eyes.

I questioned the ability of Mr. Ignatieff to win anything that’s why a lot of voters went with Jack. The Liberal party was decimated last night. The leader of the party as well, lost his seat and resigned from the party this morning. A leadership convention is coming. There is rumbling about Justin Trudeau, can he step up, if he is tapped as the heir apparent? Can the magic happen? Justin won’t say what he is going to do to that end just yet. At least he won his riding for the Liberal party, beating out the Bloq incumbent.

We saw history happen last night. The total collapse of the Bloq and the Liberal party. I heard it mentioned on the news coverage about Canada moving towards a two party system in Parliament. It seems the voters were over all the drama and political bullshit and we all voted for change and hope. The voters have spoken. Now the parties MUST rise to the occasion and do what they have been mandated to do.

A good chunk of Quebec went orange, with hints of red and blue here and there. Mr. Layton’s crop of young bloods have got some serious shoes to fill.

So much to look forwards to in the coming months.

*** *** *** ***

Here on the home front we are in the final weeks of classes. I have class tomorrow night and then a final and essay due on Thursday night, which I still have to write yet, then my final interview to come next week on the 9th.

It rained today. But numbers were nominal for the meeting. Lots of new faces and the conversation was nice and lively. We are pleased with what we have for today.

*** *** *** ***

So what do we know ???

  1. The Princess got her man
  2. Obama got Osama
  3. The NDP won big in Canada

Life goes on and we will all survive. The world is a safer place because the face and person of evil is dead and is floating at the bottom of the Arabian Sea, Thanks be to God.

The era of Osama is over.

Well Done Mr. President. We are so very proud of you…


Canada Votes …


It's an Election…

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked the Governor General to dissolve Parliament this morning. So Canada is now in election mode, the vote takes place on October 14th. Here in Canada we have a multiple party system with Stephen Harper leading the Conservative Party, Jack Layton leading the NDP, Stephane Dion leading the Liberal Party and Gilles Duceppe leading the Bloq Quebecois and Elizabeth May leading the Green Party. This post was over at Echo Mouse, I think she captures the news today well:

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper breaks his own law and rides in a 4 car cavalcade to the Governer General’s mansion across the street from his house to ask her to dissolve parliament.

Quick, nickname needed for Harper……wait, his surname fits perfectly!

Okay so The Harper has called an election. You know what irks me, more than all this political bullshit? The bastard did this shortly after 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning! This is what we’re in for people. Re-elect this conning harper and we’re not going to see sleep again for a very long time!

After he does his bit, we hear from all the opposition party leaders – Stephane Dion (Liberals), Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois) and now, Jack Layton (NDP). I’m not even awake yet. Who can parse this rhetoric this early in the morning? On a sunday no less!?

Some brave soul working for Macleans Magazine (Canadian mag) has actually live-blogged Conning Harper’s morning speech. – Live from Rideau Hall -It’s pretty good. Not as raucous as Jezebel and Gawker but good.

The scariest thing in Canadian politics the last few years has been the balls out repetition in style with the USA politicians. For example…..

Harper wouldn’t name his opponents. Just like the Republicans, seems the opposition loses their names during a campaign. That’s just tacky. And passive aggressive.

Extra scary note is the “Stand Up For” bit. Harper did it two years ago, with his “Stand UP for Canada” bit. Which, by the way, he’s completely against. He’s systematically trying to dissolve Canada and merge us with the USA. Want proof? What was McCain saying at the RNC? “Stand up for the USA”. Uh huh. And now, Harper is saying it again. Creeepayyyy! Harper wants this over before the Americans finish their election. We’re way too closely linked, our governments and countries. It’s freaking me the hell out.

Harper stood in front of a podium positioned in front of a rose garden. Now if he’d had Canadian flags on either side of him I’d have thrown up. Somebody needs to tell him, the proper position in Canada is in front of a parliament building, on a stage indoors, OR in front of TREES! Not a freaking rose garden. This is not the USA! Gahhhhh!!!

Harper accuses the other parties of name calling and vicious campaigning. Uh, Harper, that’s what YOU did and always do. Pot meet kettle, as they say. Plus, he’s full of shit. But that’s just me…nobody has to agree. The guy has Hitler’s birthday for heaven’s sake. Fine, so does my older brother, but still.

(Quick Edit to add…) Jesus Christ! Elizabeth May of the Green Party just SCREAMED from my tv and nearly deafened me. I swear, it was SHRILL! Yes, I’m saying it because it WAS. That woman needs to lower her pitch and STOP SCREAMING. Holy hell, I wouldn’t vote for her for that alone. Americans think Pitbull Sarah is shrill? Oh trust me, she has NOTHING on Elizabeth May. Good God.

So much doublespeak flying out of all their asses, I can’t keep up. That’s why I turn to Canadian bloggers for all parties. Okay, I mostly read Liberal bloggers because the rest are too full of crap. But I do try to be non-partisan when deciding. Currently, I’m making it my personal mission to leave comments blasting their lack of focus on healthcare. It must be working because all of a sudden, they’re all mentioning healthcare!

I am not sure which way I am voting just yet. I haven’t decided. You can read the rest of the post over at Echo Mouse at the link listed above.


It could have been worse, Montreal police say of riot

CBC.CA news link

Police force will adjust game-night strategy after Monday night’s riot

We were sitting in our living room when the game ended and the noise from outside began to filter westward into our section of downtown. Little did we know the mayhem that was going on just up the block from home. Montreal is shamed by what happened last night. And the local government has voiced its disgust with the rioters and the massive amounts of destruction that took place.

Sad there has to be a few bad apples in the bunch. This does not bode well for other Montreal games in the future, stay tuned for more on this issue.

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Montreal police say they will review and adjust their game-night strategy after a riot left the downtown strip littered with torched cruisers and broken windows following the Canadiens’ playoff win Monday night.

Police may consider blocking off Ste-Catherine Street during upcoming playoff games, said Montreal police Chief Yvan Delorme at a news conference on Tuesday.

Several cop cars were torched as game night celebrations turned ugly in Montreal.Several cop cars were torched as game night celebrations turned ugly in Montreal.
(Photo courtesy of Alan Schneider)

Sixteen people, including three minors, were arrested and charged with various counts of mischief and assault after the riot, which boiled over after thousands of revelers gathered on Ste-Catherine Street West to celebrate the Habs’ first-round playoff series win over the Boston Bruins.

Police said they weren’t expecting the kind of violence that bubbled down the strip where thousands of revelers gathered to celebrate the Game 7 win. As the crowd thinned out, vandals smashed windows and set police cars on fire.

Police prevented any injuries and damage to civilian property, said Delorme.

“What I retain from this is there was not a citizen or a police officer injured, and I think that was the principle objective we had,” he said.

Sixteen police cruisers were torched, causing nearly $500,000 in damage.

Normally, police cars are parked at a distance from any crowd, but the force decided to keep their vehicles within sight on the street during the Habs’ home playoff games and blend in with the masses to “show visibility and be welcoming,” Delorme explained.

Police believe the riot was sparked by small, organized bands of vandals who targeted authorities.

Investigators say several cellphone and digital videos have been handed over and are providing police with a valuable source of clues.

Officers don’t want to punish hockey fans during future games for the alleged crimes committed by a few, Delorme said.

ADQ says cops should fight back in case of rioting

Opposition Leader Mario Dumont said Montreal police should have used more force to deal with rioters because officers have the backing of politicians.

Anti-riot police line up on a Montreal street Monday night after vandals stormed the downtown area.Anti-riot police line up on a Montreal street Monday night after vandals stormed the downtown area.
(Photo courtesy of Alan Schneider)

It’s up to political leaders to send a clear message to police forces that they should use means at their disposal when wide-scale vandalism breaks out like it did on Monday night, the ADQ leader said.

Quebec cabinet minister Raymond Bachand, who is responsible for the Montreal region, said the riots are a shame and do not reflect the spirit of real hockey fans.

“It’s not the 22,000 fans who were at the Bell Centre who were part of that,” said Bachand, who attended Monday night’s game.

“In any society there are bums, you know. Just people [who] take pleasure in mischief and vandalism.”

He praised Montreal police for preventing more damage and injuries from taking place.

Montreal’s downtown borough mayor Benoît Labonté chastized rioters for capitalizing on what should have been a night of celebration for hockey fans.

“These people are looking for every moment possible to challenge the authorities, and pay disrespect to the city,” he said.

Merchants clean up post-game mess

By mid-Tuesday morning, most of the broken glass on the street was swept up, but some merchants targeted by vandals were still shocked by the violent outburst.

Sports store owner Sandra Prosper had just gotten home from watching the game Monday night when her alarm company called, she said.

“I’m watching the news, and then I see my store, and some people are running in and out like it’s a free-for-all, and people are just all over the place,” she said while she cleaned up the mess in her Ste-Catherine Street store.

About a dozen stores were vandalized.

Habs fans also rioted in the downtown streets in 1993, when the storied NHL team last won the Stanley Cup.

With files from the Canadian Press


Que. language activists target phone menu system

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I am an Anglophone English Speaker in Montreal, and all of you Francophone Federalists can all go Kiss My White English Ass on Holy Sunday!!!

I will NEVER bow to the Quebec Language Police. This whole argument makes me SICK!

This is why I will NEVER learn French as a third language.
I am a Canadian.

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CTV.ca News Staff

Quebec’s language activists are targeting the telephone menu systems of provincial and municipal offices.

They don’t like the fact that people who phone into government offices are given the option of linking to an English menu before they hear French instructions.

The head of the Mouvement Montreal francais says asking for an English option to come at the end of government messages isn’t radical. French language activists say all they want is for the government and its departments to live up to the province’s language policy.The province’s language watchdog recently distributed a pamphlet reminding government officials that the provincial policy is to have the English language option for phone services at the end of the French message.

“The first language is French, and I want to keep the French language of Quebec,” Michel Morin, a French language activist, told CTV Montreal.

He and other activists have been bunkered down in a call centre, calling government and municipal offices demanding changes. Some activists say that having any English on voice messages implies that anglophones are first class citizens.

Lobbyists for minority rights in Quebec say they find the entire debate ridiculous.

“These guys have got way too much time on their hands,” anglo-rights lawyer Brent Tyler told the Canadian Press. “They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel for things to complain about if that’s what they’re coming up with.”

Minority rights groups in the province say they are being increasingly marginalized, and English is in danger of disappearing in Quebec.

Lately, anglophones in the province have been on edge. Last month, Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois proposed a new Quebec citizenship bill, which would submit new arrivals to language testing. It would also make French a prerequisite for running in local and provincial elections, including school boards.

Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu was also criticized last month after a speaker at a commission looking into the province’s reasonable accommodation debate said the NHL star didn’t speak French, despite having lived in the province for a dozen years.

Allen Nutik of Affiliation Quebec, an anglo-rights party, says it’s time for anglophones to stand up and fight back. He told CTV Montreal that the recent attacks on the English language are no accident.

“They want us gone. If don’t go, they can’t win the next referendum.”

But Beaulieu said it’s French — not English — that is under assault. He says that’s why his group has teamed up with another hardline language group, Imperatif francais, in the campaign to provide French before English on the phone.

“It’s urgent because French is declining in Montreal,” he said, according to CP. “For us it’s a crucial question, it allows the integration of newcomers to Quebec’s common culture.”

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Rob Lurie and files from the Canadian Press


Hungry, Homeless Drunk and High (West End Montreal)

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 News Courtesy of: CTV Montreal

Some business and property owners launched a process Thursday aimed at revitalizating an increasingly depressed sector of Montreal’s downtown west end.

Since the old Forum closed, many businesses have shut down and problems like cleanliness, homelessness and security have increased dramatically in the sector from Atwater to Guy, Sherbrooke Street to the expressway.

Merchants and others at this meeting agreed the road to a solution should begin by branding a unique image for the neighbourhood.

An early favourite is Campus West, focusing on the majority student clientele in the area.

The business owners agreed to meet again once a month until they finalize the branding image, and work on an action plan, in mid-February.

Video

 

This is great news since the West end of Downtown Montreal has fallen into a very sad state of affairs. The Bombay Palace was the last tenant to get out of dodge, so to speak, and they moved up onto Bishop Street, near Concordia University.

 

There is too much graffiti, there are too many Homeless, There are too many sick and needy people that hang out in Cabot Square. The buildings are falling down, The York Theatre needs to be rebuilt and our neighborhood needs to be revitalized. I have been writing about this area for years. And now finally we might see some progress…

 

A post I wrote on one of my former blogs titled:
Hungry, Homeless Drunk and High…

 

A fellow is dealing with the “homeless” factor in his ministry of life. And so I left him some words of advice, But I don’t know how else to tell you this, but share with you Montreal‘s daily ritual.

We have recycling posts all over the city where the homeless go and collect cans and bottles from these depots and they go to the grocery stors to exchange their “returnables” for more beer and wine money. The stores will not sell beer and liquor after 11 pm to stem the problem. In Ontario you cannot buy liquor or beer on Sundays, but in Quebec you can.

So the tide of homeless drunks starts to rise as the stores open and they “stock up” for the morning. Downstairs on the corner (just outside) my front door they sit on the corner begging drugs and money. Out front of the grocery store and on every street corner and in the spaces in between, they sit like hookers who have claimed their spot on the sidewalk.

They are all over the place, “Literally!”

You cannot walk 50 feet in any direction in Downtown Montreal and not get begged for cash or food. Or smell POT in the air from the street kids!!! The kiosks are even worse. One cannot get through the door with out passing by someone sitting IN the doorway where you have to navigate around them, or find them sleeping, “Sprawled out” across the floor in doorways drunk and comatose!

They piss in the kiosks, they throw up on the floors, they beat each other up, and the men are “PIMPING” the women, so you see there is a whole “other” dynamic.

At night, as the evening “MEETINGS” commence they wait like buzzards for free coffee and what ever food is set out for the attendees. And they become beligerent and vocal and VIOLENT towards the people who want a cup of coffee and a cookie because that’s why we have coffee and cookies to help calm them down( the people in recovery). We have decided not to engage the homeless any longer and the city wide “homeless” directors (there are they in Montreal) men who run in homeless circles, powerless to affect change because people are set in their ways.

We have missions in town here that specialize in the feeding and housing of homeless people, every day and every night. The first problem is the sheer NUMBERS of homeless people who have migrated East from the west and up from the U.S. and down from the North, Yes, it IS a very sad reality.

There are natives who are stuck in the balance between their leaving their reservations for the bright big city, they don’t make it and end up hooking and begging in the park, they become addicted, well most are already addicted to something or other, when they get here, and they never return to their homes for fear of persecution and alienation, so they sit in the parks all day and night and troll the strip here in Downtown for cash. They are violent and painfully in trouble with each other. Come sit in Cabot Square with me and watch. It is truly sad.

IN the WINTER when the temps drop to (-20 C ) and farther, the homeless think that they can sleep in the kiosks because of the warmth of the trains, think again. They lock the kiosks at night and the homeless end up on the streets in doorways and under bridges and such. The missions go out with busses trying to get them off the street before they freeze to death. Some don’t make it and invariably, we loose a number of homeless people each Winter.

It is a rude saying, but, If you feed a stray animal they will continue returning to eat as long as food is available. And you know what that means. You will be spending alot of money on a problem that will not go away because of their lack of ability to get off the street and societies apathy to step up and help them as a community! “Oh, but it’s NOT our problem!”

Yes it is and no it’s not.

By whatever default – people end up homeless out of one circumstance or another. NOW, the reality is, DO they want off the street, if you ask any of them here, they will say NO!! So they choose to stay on the street, when they know that help is available and rehabilitation is possible.

Most of our homeless population will not ask for help, (the natives by example). They are a sad lot. Drunk, addicted, violent and doomed by default. Montrealers are FED UP with the population of homeless who have overtaken the streets and green spaces and Metro Kiosks. And the city does SQUAT!! They do nothing, they see nothing, they say nothing.

So what can we do as a religious body, to feed, clothe and assist the homeless, NOT Very Much.

It is a long standing problem with no city wide attention, as of yet. Most christian people can talk the talk, but they cannot talk the talk and walk the walk for fear of being seen doing something that Jesus would have done, to go out on a Sunday and minister to the poor. Oh what would their friend and family say if they were seen cavorting with homeless people, god forbid they follow you home! or what happens if you get attacked by one on a bad day or night? Dealing with the homeless here is a dicey business, you never know when one will try to beat you up or stab you for some cash, drugs for their next fix. A homeless person is not above violence. Especially when it comes to jonesing off of drugs. That is for sure on any Saturday night or the full moon.

The “soup truck” cavorts through downtown daily feeding the multitude of young people who hang out at the Berri Metro selling drugs and hooking and such. It is very sad, that if you walk through the village on any corner at any time, they sit there, in their leather and spikes, boots and makeup, with their placards begging for food.

Some of our homeless populations are handicapped (in wheelchairs) and some of our young people have PETS!!! YES dogs and some have more than one. SO it is not only a feed the human story, it is a FEED THE PET AND THE HUMAN STORY!!!

How do we help them, well one at a time, rehabilitation is possible but at the end of the day it is useless. They stay on the streets because they know no different. The shelters and feeding stations are powerless and TOO POOR to feed the multitudes because the city won’t fund the missions and shelters. So individual churches go out and try to make a dent in the sea of the hungry and downtrodden, but alas, they are too numerous and we are too powerless to help so many who are in need.

The worlds poor, are rising in number and dying by the thousands daily in 3rd world and poorer countries, they are dying in the big cities, unnoticed by the daily hum and ritual of every day life and the business of work and survival.

Think before you put yourself out there and try to tackle a cities homeless problem, it takes alot of work, money, food and prayer. And not to mention Fortitude. I am all for helping the homeless, but I know how to pick my battles wisely. I don’t mean to sound so discouraging, but this is the reality in my big city!!

No one is immune to the homeless – we are called to share and to give – but when is enough enough?? If i gave a quarter to every homeless person I saw on the street every day, I would have NO money to feed myself on a daily basis.

THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY OF THEM TO COUNT AND HELP!!

What the saddest fact is in the homeless populations here are the women who have young children, and are on the streets. Just at Cabot square, the mothers work the Upper kiosk at the top of the escalators, and their kids beg at the bottom of the escalators. Junkie mothers with kids in tow, is terribly disturbing, Along with their “pimps” who abuse both the children and the mothers!!

What the fuck is that ??? And we are powerless to change them. Because they are stuck. There are NOT enough resources to help them off the street, get them into rehabs (waiting lists are 6 to 8 months in Quebec) and who is gonna take the children? Like family services has the ability to care for every homeless child and young person on the street? NO!!

I could go on and on and on… But you get the picture.

If cities and local governments do nothing as they always have, this problem will continue. Until the Worlds governments take a BIG LONG LOOK at the homeless and hungry populations and they DO something concrete to stop it, we will be having this conversation until we all die.


All is Right in the World

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I slept in today, UGH! But I did get to my evening class with Sara, my Celtic Christianity class, which I totally enjoyed. Sara’s classes are comfy and warm and cozy that you come in and you sit and allow the feeling to wash over you that “all is well in the world.”

That doesn’t speak of an easy ride mind you, but one of conscious thought and work. I have been reading the course pack and through tonight’s discussion we have learned a few things. That there is more to Celtic life than we may have known. That each reading in the book is set in its place for a reason.

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Imagine standing before a forest, you boys out West can better understand this than I can paint a picture, but Sara used the forest imagery tonight. And I remarked how each reading, if laid upon the one prior paints a picture in successive layers of reading, and information. And the readings tease you to walk into the forest and turn leaves over looking for further clues to the real truth of the Celtic.

We are invited to start exploring the forest for clues to our study for this term. It is not all so easy, and reading about the past – we must use our lenses of hermeneutic suspicion, to read each text and article with a critical eye. I used that term tonight, and Sara giggled to the rest of the class, “oh Jeremy, you are so clever, aren’t you!” I had to explain this strategy with my fellows.

It’s all good…

And my young warrior from the West came to visit! You can check out his blog, The Life of Robert Wesley, he is a very special friend that I have known for some time.  Joy of joys he has decided to continue writing!! YAY!!

On the way home I hit “Came to Believe” in time for the second speaker, just so I had some time to sit with myself and be quiet and listen to another speak about his trials and tribulations about recovery. I just wanted to sit and listen, which is always a good thing to do when possible.

Over all is was a great night. Now I am gonna hit some dinner and chill out…

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A photograph from the Portfolio of Robert Wesley from B.C.


Temporal Shift …

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Hello, my name is Jeremy and I am a Graduate Student in the Department of Theology at Concordia University… Try that one on for size…

Today was a big day … My first day of school as a Graduate Student. The beginning of the Fall semester is always fraught with drama long lines and insanity. This morning brought with it some sad memory, as my Monday-Wednesday morning class is in the Mother House in the West end of the house which has been transformed from living quarters of former nuns to classrooms and offices. I wanted to go visit the chapel this morning and spend some time in prayer, but that wasn’t in the cards today.

Christian Origins is my first class of the week, and it seems, because of certain technical problems, [read:no internet connections or electronic availability] in the room we are using, means a room change is in the offing soon. I saw some familiar faces from my summer as an independent student.

Thank God that none of the witches from the religion department are in any of my theology classes! There IS a God!!!

I took the afternoon to do some power shopping for books at the Diocesan Book Store in the core after class, and I even treated myself to a BK Lunch, Woo Hoo!! The Eaton Centre food court is really interesting at lunch time lots to see…

The Textbook for Christian Origins, Theo: 206 is called The Shaping of Christianity, and can be purchased at the Diocesan Bookstore at Place Cathedral at the McGill Metro. The book ran me $33.87.

I came home from my journey to the “Core” and took a short power nap before my evening class, hubby decided to join me for a nap… [he just can't nap by himself when I am home] … I had 3 hours to nap, and I was in the middle of this fantastic adventure dream, it was action packed and I was really into it, when the alarm clock went off at 5:15 and it startled me so bad and I was so groggy that I could not hold onto the visual to write anything about it… I know I was in a town with a above ground subway system, it was dark and I was running all over the place. So I washed up and left for class and I couldn’t raise the dream in the light, I hate when that happens…

This evening I went to my Theology 204 with Fr. Ray was quite interesting. I saw many of the same faces that were in my morning Christian Origins class, which was great because this class is a lot smaller – with about 45 students in a smaller intimate lecture room. I think it is going to be a great semester…

The University Book Store also has the course packs for Theo: 204 Christian Ethics with Fr. Ray. The texts books are available and are on reserve in the library.

We had some really great discussion, and it is really nice to have Fr. Ray teaching the course, since he is one of my spiritual advisers, on the Catholic side. I told him that I had one foot in the religion of my family [Catholicism] and one foot in the Anglican Church, having been given a green light by Bishop Barry. So now Fr. Ray calls me the Anglo-Catholic. I am hoping that I reach some place new in my spiritual journey.

We are going to play Word Association now:

Your three words are:

Ethics — Morals — Christian

We talked about Religious Studies being a study in culture, society, history and tradition and Theology having a different Methodology, it is faith seeking understanding. Will we agree on all issues in Theology, probably not. Especially with a GAY, HIV+, Married, Catholic Queer in the classroom. This should be an interesting semester. I can look into my crystal ball and see much discussion and choppy waters ahead.

We all introduced ourselves in class and shared our majors and reasons for taking that class, many of us are in Core Studies for Theology, though, many of the students are from many other departments like Psychology [YAWN] Applied Human Sciences [Double YAWN] and others… If today’s discussions were indicative of what’s to come, this class should be incredibly enjoyable because of the varied beliefs, opinions and ages of students in the class. There are a few Graduate and Master’s students in the class, which is really cool…

Tomorrow should be even better with Religions of Tibet. I have high hopes for this class because I have been studying Buddhism and other Eastern Religions over the past four years, last academic year I took Buddhism and Jainism [at the same time] which was a real challenge. I did better in Jainism because it was more writing and academic study into a tradition that is labor intensive, because of the scarcity of primary source material. I flubbed on my Buddhism final exam, which hurt my grade. I hate huge multiple choice exams with very little writing!!! I perform better when I write.

See I did learn something in University! I learned how to write Good Essays and I learned how to write academically sound papers. It took me four years, but I was successful in my writing career. Writing here as well, has enhanced my academic writing because I can work out my ideas here before I add them to a paper.

In The Montreal News:

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The Strike at the Notre Dame de Neige cemetery is OVER!! Thank Bloody Christ, it is about time – for Pete’s sake! Now gravediggers go back to work on Monday and they have over Seven Hundred and Fifty Caskets to bury, that have been in cold storage for Months!!

I talked to Fr. Ray about this on the way home tonight, we walked to the Major Seminary where he was parked just up the hill from home, The Bishop of Montreal got involved to try to end the strike, we all admit he was a little late with his word, but it seems to have worked! The Religious Authority has some sway over our community thank God for that!

So we are at 1042 words… Have I gone on too long here???

Ok that’s all for tonight. More tomorrow from the world of Tibet…

Stay Tuned…

Oh, I forgot to mention that I am listed as an ALUMNI Blogger on the Concordia University Website!! Very Kewl!! We are also listed on the Religio Scholasticus website as well. I am really grateful for the support of my peers at Religio and as well from the University.

 


Resistance is Futile… You will be Assimilated

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I needed a day off. I needed to regenerate because I was tired. Too many thoughts going on in my head, baggage that is not mine, responsibility that has been thrust upon me as of late, friends in difficulty, what’s on television. Disaster, mine collapses, hurricanes, fires and floods. It’s the god damned Armageddon!

Icheb is our guide.

It seems that some of my blogging brothers are creating drama for one of my friends, who happens to be dealing with a medical situation that I am all too familiar with. And I tell them now, this too shall pass. The internet is fickle and people will find something else to focus on eventually. Just remember that when you write, you are responsible for what you write. The truth or lies, the facts or the fiction. You are also responsible for the reactions because of what you write. We call that publishing responsibility. YOU are RESPONSIBLE for what you write, every word, every feeling every opinion. So beware what you write.

Over the last few days I have written a great deal about God’s Warriors and I have to say that I have reached new highs in traffic that this blog has ever seen. I taped the first segment of Judaism from Wednesday night. The more I think about it, in watching the documentary again, I find myself wanting to learn more about the conflict. Something to bring up in my theology classes in the coming months. I am still a strong Christian Zionist.

Last night I watched a two hour documentary about “Surviving Katrina” on the Discovery Channel. I remember we sat here that week and watched on live television the march of hurricane Katrina over New Orleans. We lived it here as they lived it there, minus the direct one on one experience. It was hell. Discovery took the time to explain the minutiae of what happened, even to employ “brownie” to explain his role in the failure of all levels of government to adequately take responsibility and care for those in New Orleans and in other hurricane affected areas. I was mortified to say the least.

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Of Special Remembrance: August 24th, Friday, was the one year anniversary of the death of the sainted woman, my great aunt Sister Georgette Cote. There was no call from the mother house, no memorial mass, one year on. I knew the date was coming and I did my best to ignore it because that meant I’d have to write about one truly painful time in my life, since coming to Montreal:

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August 24 2006 – Blog Entry

At 11:30 a.m. this morning, Sister Georgette Cote peacefully met the Lord and entered into her heavenly inheritance.

I had literally just went to take a nap, and the phone rang, it was the hospital.

She waited for me to leave.

Blessed be the Lord our God

Eternal Rest grant her and may perpetual light shine upon her.

Blessed be Marguerite D’Youville.

I had spent the previous 18 hours with her in the ICU ward of the General up the hill. It was me, sister Agathe and sister Monique that last night of her life. The buzzing and whistling of the machines were upsetting her with that huge oxygen mask on her face, she just wanted everything off. So it went. They hooked up the Morphine drip and the clock started ticking.

By midnight the sisters thought that they should get back to the Mother House, so it was just the two of us. I sat reading the Tibetan Book of the dead, while the single nurse came and went without a word. It was dark, quiet and morbid. I had walked home to shower and change out and get some food before the last conversation at 3 a.m. when her surgeon came in to check on her, a very sainted woman, strong of character and voice. You will be ok Ms. Cote. I am here with you. Sister Georgette was fading, her hands waving in front of her face. The surgeon left after bidding us a good night.

Sister Georgette has said to get to devil away from her and to find a priest – well it was 3 a.m. in the morning, who was I going to call then? So I grabbed my rosary and I began to recite prayers over her. She said that “I was a good boy and that God would bless me” then she closed her eyes, and that was the last thing she said. That would be our very last conversation.

As the sun rose – we had a great view out th windows to the South Shore and the Victoria Bridge. She was gone, mentally and emotionally. The male nurse that came on shift started to clean her up and bathe her and change her dressing gown. It was around 9 in the morning. The two sisters had come back from the mother house and around 10 am I set off for home to rest.

I got home and changed out. Had a bite to eat and crawled into bed. While I was lying there, I could smell her and it waifed through my room. A few minutes later the phone rang – it was the hospital, Sister Georgette was dead. She waited for me to leave. It has been a year. I miss her more than most will know.

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When I entered the world of mentoring and the foster parent program I nested. I learned that I was exceptionally maternal in my motivations, yet I kept very manly counsel. I found myself channeling my father at times. I have few rules. Do not lie to me, Do not steal from me or anyone else. If you need something you ask and if I can help you I will. All of my boys know the ground rules. The ground rules are set in stone. If I catch you in a lie or you manipulate me into a position then you have lost my support and your right to be trusted.

He lies to us and he cheats and he is dishonest. He manipulates us and forces us to the wall with his tests to see how far we will go to punish him and stop his manic anger tantrums.

I am not going to have any of this. As of late, I take this boy to bed with me and I ruminate in my head at night, because I want to be a good example. Now I am parent and I am setting the law of the land. And this child has cheated, lied and manipulated. This is a waste of my time. His behavior is unacceptable. If he thinks he is going to push me to anger myself, then he is getting nothing from me until he learns that there are rules in my house and failure to follow these rules will be met with swift execution of consequences.

I have accepted this “location” because mom has failed to exact rules and regulations on her son so I have to step in and set the rules down and play daddy. While the biological father, who has NO RIGHTS, who gave up his parental rights long ago works behind the scenes to manipulate him and he works against everything that we (mom and I) have been working for. And for what? Jesus H. Christ…

Now I have contracted for daily visits with the “wild child” and I have a schedule book to make sure I can fit him into my schedule when school starts. If he thinks I am going to put up with his bullshit – he can think again. I must be patient and understand that he is not like all other normal kids. I get that. And I am patient and kind, but what do I have to do to get him to understand that this is NOT a game.

I am not in this to play games.

Fuck with me and you will learn what it feels like to get on my bad side. And I promise you that I am not fucking around here. Do Not Test me young man because if you do, You will Loose, I promise you, there will be certain consequences for pushing me to the limit of my patience. I am not going to be taking extra baggage to bed with me at night and I surely am not going to waste my time working with kids who do not listen or cannot learn.

You know what I am talking about and you sure as shit know when you are manipulating us and when you LIE to us as well. We know where the money is coming from, and if this happens again, we will bring the law down and you won’t be able to access the daddy bank again. You are smarter than you look, and you know I mean business. I sure as shit am not going to waste my time and talent trying to help you – while you back-stab us and continue to push us to the brink of insanity. I am not going to have this, PERIOD!!!

I am starting to get resentful and angry because you fuck with me, You will not fuck with me. If I am in the role of parent, then you will see what it means to suffer consequences for your behavior.

Jesus, the drama… end of rant…

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It seems that Mother Teresa has brought traffic to this blog that has never been seen before, more than the God’s Warriors traffic. If you look in the PAGES section of this blog you will find that I have written much on the topic of Mother Teresa. I believe that every Christian goes through the Dark Night, and at some point questions, “what the hell am I doing here, and why do I waste my time? (Read above)

Is there a God and if there is He needs to make himself present to me before I loose my mind! It is interesting to see how traffic changes every twenty four hours. I mean it is great that traffic has doubled in recent days. That means that religious writing has changed again. That what I do here is important to many readers and I thank you for stopping by. No one I know has written one word on any topic that I have addressed from my blog list in recent days.

Yet there are blogs that have stopped by that I have never seen before, and I get closer to the Top List blogs. Those who are really knowledgeable about world events, they are critical of writers and they know things that I don’t which is in itself very educational because I know there is a slant in cable news reporting, but what I did not know from this writer – “Right Truth,” helped to inform me to a level I had not been aware of.

As a writer, I am responsible for what I write, and I accept that. I took a step to write about topics that I am educated about, and others come by to read and they impart certain knowledge that I did not have before. Which raises the bar for me as a writer. The more I study and the more I write the higher up the level of professional blogging I rise to. It’s all about being informed and educated on the topics we write about and it is up to us to take the time to read other bloggers points of view so that we can more roundly write on what we are writing about. The article at Right Truth, linked above is very informative. Take some time to visit that blog because they are a great Blog and the writing is incredible.

Well, that is a lot of writing for today, So I am going to close and bid you all a good night.


God's Warriors Part 2 – Islam

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Tonight’s offering comes via CNN’s presentation of God’s Warriors, Part 2 and the discussion of Islam, with Christiane Amanpour. Tonight’s presentation was truly eye opening. My area of study is not Islam, so I will share with you my observances from the documentary and tell you about my experience in my own community.

I have nothing against my Muslim community. I have never had issues with the Muslim community here in Montreal – let’s state that from the outset. I have no issues with the living of Muslim life and the practice of Islam as a religion. In fact, I have once written that Islam is truly a remarkable religious tradition because One Must LIVE Islam every day, every moment and every minute. You must observe the laws of the Qu’ ran and you must be a good Muslim and you must pray five times a day. Muslim life is very labor intensive but it is a way of life for millions of people around the world. Hence, I do not intend to make issue with the Muslim community.

If you learn anything about Islam, it is unlike Judaism and Christianity in its practice and requirements. Something I think Christians take for granted for Christianity is a one day a week observance. Unless of course you are a die hard Bible Thumping, Arrogant, Homosexual Hating, Abortion Abhorring, Judgmental 24/7 Evangelical Christian, I am sure you won’t be putting in hours of religious observance as a Muslim person does daily.

Many Muslims, like many people around the world, they “abhor violence.” it is said that militant Islamic violence is but a symptom of a greater problem. That this violence stems from the rage and anger of Muslims around the world.

“That for the extremist, it is an “Us versus Them mentality, that Christians and Jews are expendable.”

The split between the Shia and Sunni Muslim populations fuels the fire that burns in the Middle East and within Muslim countries like Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. We know as fact today that in Iraq, ethnic cleansing of occurring. The split between Shia and Sunni Muslims is a raging problem, and the split between the two factions occurred when Imam Husayn was martyred: from Wikipedia

The Day of Ashura (عاشوراء transliteration: ‘Āshūrā’, Ashura, Ashoura, and other spellings) is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram but not the Islamic month.

This day is well-known because of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (AD 680). Furthermore Sunni Muslims believe that Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for liberation of Israelites from Egypt. According to Sunni Muslim tradition, Muhammad fasted on this day and asked other people to fast.[1][2]

The word ashura means simply tenth in Arabic; hence the name of the remembrance, literally translated, means “the tenth day”. Islamic scholars, however, give various explanations as to why it is thus called.

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“It is also said that the conflict between the Christians and the Muslims will not end until one annihilates the other.”

It is with inflammatory statements like this one that gets the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. It is words like these that remind me that my world has changed. I am no longer insulated from World Issues in Montreal. I know who all of my neighbors are. I have Muslim friends and Muslim teachers. I for one, don’t want to see the world come to a conflict of annihilistic proportions.

For the extremist like Bin Laden and his followers and all those Muslims who fight against the infidel [insert here the U.S.] that the presence of American soldiers on Muslim holy ground is a “Sacrilege.”

Pictured above, Egypt. The beating heart of the Arab – Muslim world. What happens in Egypt trickles down to all the Muslim states in the Middle East. In a country that is oppressed and under rule – “Religion is the antidote to the secular government.” Islam is the cure for the secular government. It is the one thing that the people turn to. It is the energy that fuels the Muslim man and woman.

For the Fundamentalist Muslim, the “Secular state is one without moral purpose.”

Here once again, is another phrase that gets me uppity. I don’t think that I live a life without moral purpose, even if I am a homosexual and that is taboo is Muslim society. But I also understand the “why” behind the moral view of the West, where materialism and arrogance is something that they see from the West. Our lives are so different from those who are Muslim. These broad sweeping statements of conditional extremes would get any society up in arms about just how far the West is going to allow Islam and Muslim people to grow to a number that might facilitate the growth of Islam in a Western location.

Statistically, Islam is the fastest growing religion around the world, spread across the face of the earth. Islam, we know is a peaceful religion, save for the factions that are hell bent on creating chaos, destruction and death in massive proportions. The Iranian expectation of the coming of the Messiah is an apparent fact. The Iranian president is on a holy mission, so he thinks.

We have Iran, and the belief of the hidden Imam. Who is said to be kept alive by God and is hiding like the sun on a cloudy day. The Iranian president has also called for the destruction of Israel so that a Muslim state can be built on that land. I have my reservations about fanatical – Islamic speak and propaganda. Anyone who calls for the destruction of Israel is not someone who I’d support or give any credence to. Speak like this is terrifying and just plain insensitive and fanatical. And we should be wary of anyone who calls for the destruction of Israel. The world should be paying attention to this as they are today.

The Shiite belief that the hidden Imam will return and all will follow him:

“When the hidden Imam comes, Christians and Jews will be told to follow him and if they do not there will be problems. Then Jesus will be asked to come down and mediate and force us all to convert.”

Do we need to fear Islam as a religion? No, I do not think so. Do we need to fear Islamic religious extremism, Yes of course we do. We need to consider where we fit in the dynamic religious universe. Where do we fit on the scale of religious belief? And what can we do to change the hearts of the disenfranchised and those who are fed up with the West’s incursion into/onto Muslim land?

This is where I state my case against the Iraq war. The Mission has not been accomplished and millions of people have been killed, displaced and affected by a Western nation that went to war based on flawed intelligence and wrong ideas. I have never supported the war. Yet I support many of the Muslim writers who have shown us what this war has done to their lives as well the lives of so many others. The arrogance of the United States has put them in this situation, and now they are paying the price for occupation. I can understand why the Muslim world is so at odds with the West. They brought this on themselves. And the world watches this war continue and genocide is occurring as we speak in many places, but especially in Iraq.

And the world does nothing!! Are we responsible stewards of the people of the earth? The longer this continues the more death will occur, until someone comes along and says “ENOUGH!”

There are Iraqi bloggers on my sidebar, go read them. I know the truth about the killing of innocents, the sectarian violence and the ethnic cleansing going on inside the war that rages still.

“There are populations of God Warriors all over the world who see the world through a religious prism and they believe that modern society is trampling on their beliefs.”

What can we do to stop this trend of violence and hatred? Like I said last night the three monotheistic religions of the world are warring with their own and each other, and there is plenty of land to go around. There is always a solution if ENLIGHTENED” political leaders would rise up and come to the table and negotiate a peaceful coexistent settlement.

Fundamental Islam tells us there are no solutions – that there is no negotiating. They they will conquer the infidel and change the face of the earth, the Caliphate must be installed and the world must bow and fall under the authority of Islamic rule and Sharia Law.

The killing needs to stop – and stop today! Or the world is headed for total collapse and do we want that to happen? Where do we draw the line in the sand and limit Muslim encroachment on all that the West respects as tradition and dogma?

Canada the True North standing free welcomes all, but even in Montreal we have issues of convenient accommodation for different religions. Canada is a very religious country, Quebec is very French – Catholic [Christian] yet people of all faiths live within our borders. We will not back down from our sovereign status and we will not bow to religious extremism. I will not bow to religious extremism be that Islam, or Christianity…

Tomorrow night will prove to be very exciting, because I will be writing on my major, Christianity. So look forward to that… I am sharpening my pen!!!


Egypt discovers what may be oldest human footprint

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CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian archaeologists have found what they said could be the oldest human footprint in history in the country’s western desert, the Arab country’s antiquities’ chief said on Monday.

“This could go back about two million years,” said Zahi Hawass, the secretary general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. “It could be the most important discovery in Egypt,” he told Reuters.

Archaeologists found the footprint, imprinted on mud and then hardened into rock, while exploring a prehistoric site in Siwa, a desert oasis.

Scientists are using carbon tests on plants found in the rock to determine its exact age, Hawass said.

Khaled Saad, the director of prehistory at the council, said that based on the age of the rock where the footprint was found, it could date back even further than the renowned 3-million year-old fossil Lucy, the partial skeleton of an ape-man, found in Ethiopia in 1974.

Most archaeological interest in Egypt is focused on the time of the pharaohs.

Previously, the earliest human archaeological evidence from Egypt dated back around 200,000 years, Saad said.

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Egyptian archaeologists have found what they believe could be the oldest human footprint in history in a western desert in the country.

“This could go back about two million years,” said Zahi Hawass, the secretary general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. “It could be the most important discovery in Egypt,” he said.

Archaeologists found the footprint, imprinted on mud and then hardened into rock, while exploring a prehistoric site in Siwa, a desert oasis.

Scientists are using carbon tests on plants found in the rock to determine its exact age, Hawass said.

Khaled Saad, the director of Prehistory Department at the council, said that based on the age of the rock where the footprint was found, it could date back even further than the renowned 3-million year-old fossil Lucy, the partial skeleton of a human, found in Ethiopia in 1974.

Previously, the earliest human archaeological evidence from Egypt dated back around 200,000 years, Saad said. 


Montreal archbishop seeks end to cemetery strike

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Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte speaks to the media Monday morning clarifying his position.

This situation is a travesty. And workers that have been on strike, need to return to work and clean up this MESS of a cemetery and bury the Hundreds of dead now being stored on the property in the buildings and refrigerated trucks. These workers have no respect for the dead nor do they respect our community! It is time to get back to work and get this situation taken care of before Winter sets in on us.  

CTV.ca News Staff

Montreal’s Roman Catholic archbishop has called out for an end to the labour dispute that has crippled a major cemetery’s operations.

“I have no button that I can push to say you get there, you get there, I have the power to bring understanding in a difficult situation,” Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte told the media on Monday.

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About 500 bodies remain unburied in a refrigerated cemetery vault at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges because of the lockout.

All burials have been put on hold since May 16, when about 130 cemetery employees were locked out, prompting a strike.

The union and families have asked Turcotte to intervene on more than one occasion but the archbishop has said he does not have the power to meddle in a labour dispute.

“I have been asked to intervene and I must remind everyone that I can not do so,” said Turcotte in a press release dated Aug. 2.

“It is true that the law confers a certain number of powers to the bishop. However, the cemetery remains under the administration and management of the fabrique whose property it is.”

Citing a legal act governing cemetery management, Turcotte said the autonomy of administrators is required.

Turcotte still decided to meet with the families to speak with them about their ordeal.

Debra de Thomassis, a woman who has been waiting to bury her grandmother and is spearheading a class-action lawsuit against the cemetery to get it working again, said the families were asked questions.

“He basically asked us how we were feeling, how we came upon to be stuck in this conflict,” she said. “He totally understands out position and is with us all the way.

“I think he decided to get involved because he needed to let everybody know what was his real position, what were his real powers,” she continued. “He doesn’t necessarily have the powers to go into the management of the administration but he certainly has the power to let them know his position.”

The families also asked if the archbishop could work out a deal where they could have a requiem and see their loved ones one more time. De Thomassis said the archbishop is looking into it.

The union has said it will not return to work until at least some of its demands are met.

According to management, salaried employees currently make an average annual income of $49,000, while seasonal workers make $27,000.

The union is demanding improvements in five key areas:

  • A defined benefit pension plan, in which workers can acquire previous years of service;
  • A four-day work week;
  • An increase in the number of weeks available to seasonal workers from 26 to 36;
  • Greater departure allowances; and

    Limiting the use of subcontracting

They have been without a contract since 2003.

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Annie DeMelt


10 Things I Hate about Commandments

10 Things I Hate About Commandments


Homeless, Hungry, Drunk and High …

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This is Cabot Square – and the Children’s Hospital to the Left of frame.

I guess I am not a thinker, by the standards of some. There are blogs that I read that put my writing of certain subjects to shame. I cannot tell you of the forest or the trees, the birds or the animals, the river or the trail.

I don’t talk about heavy metal drinking and the stupid things I did last weekend so that my friends can read just how much of an insane member of society that I really am. I have my own insanity in my sobriety. And just because I am sober, did not make it all better as I mentioned earlier tonight.

What can I tell you that would make you think? If you walk out the front doors of my building you face the BattleNet 24 Internet Gaming Station. They are always open and never close. There are three radio stations in the building that this cafe is located on the ground floor. The Towers, as I call it is a North – South facing building. We are an East – West facing building.

You cannot walk 50 paces in any direction from this building and NOT run into a busker looking for food, money and beer. There are two pubs located within 200 yards of our front door, and one karaoke bar with pool tables. Our Asian community loves karaoke. I live in what we call the Concordia ghetto area, since we are only a few blocks from campus.

There is an architecture museum across the street on Rene Levesque above the tunnel that I have visited before, when they had an open house and also they had a wonderful Expo ’67 exhibit on the anniversary.

There are 20 churches within walking distance of my home. Pentecostal, Evangelical, Catholic (French) and Catholic (English), Bethel Baptist and Franciscan friary that is due to be closed right around the corner from here.

Are you thinking yet? This will get your juices pumping… I wrote it some time ago on another blog I owned.

A fellow is dealing with the “homeless” factor in his ministry of life. And so I left him some words of advice, But I don’t know how else to tell you this, but share with you Montreal‘s daily ritual.

We have recycling posts (street collecting boxes – that have since been removed in opt for recycling in the stores primarily) all over the city where the homeless go and collect cans and bottles from these depots and they go to the grocery stores to exchange their “returnables” for more beer and wine money. They troll the kiosks and metro platforms and street garbage cans for returnable merchandise day and night. They ride the metro from one end of the city to the other every night. The stores will not sell beer and liquor after 11 pm to stem the problem. In Ontario you cannot buy liquor or beer on Sundays, but in Quebec you can.

So the tide of homeless drunks starts to rise as the stores open and they “stock up” for the morning. Downstairs on the corner (just outside) my front door they sit on the corner begging drugs and money. Out front of the grocery store and on every street corner and in the spaces in between, they sit like hookers who have claimed their spot on the sidewalk.

They are all over the place, “Literally!”

You cannot walk 50 feet in any direction in Downtown Montreal and not get begged for cash or food. Or smell POT in the air from the street kids!!! The kiosks are even worse. One cannot get through the door with out passing by someone sitting IN the doorway where you have to navigate around them, or find them sleeping, “Sprawled out” across the floor in doorways drunk and comatose!

They piss in the kiosks, they throw up on the floors, they beat each other up, and the men are “PIMPING” the women, so you see there is a whole “other” dynamic.

At night, as the evening “MEETINGS” commence they wait like buzzards for free coffee and what ever food is set out for the attendees. And they become belligerent and vocal and VIOLENT towards the people who want a cup of coffee and a cookie because that’s why we have coffee and cookies to help calm them down( the people in recovery). We have decided not to engage the homeless any longer and the city wide “homeless” directors (there are they in Montreal) men who run in homeless circles, powerless to affect change because people are set in their ways.

We have missions in town here that specialize in the feeding and housing of homeless people, every day and every night. The first problem is the sheer NUMBERS of homeless people who have migrated East from the west and up from the U.S. and down from the North, Yes, it IS a very sad reality.

There are natives who are stuck in the divide between their leaving their reservations for the bright big city, they don’t make it and end up hooking and begging in the park, they become addicted, well most are already addicted to something or other, when they get here, and they never return to their homes for fear of persecution and alienation, so they sit in the parks all day and night and troll the strip here in Downtown for cash. They are violent and painfully in trouble with each other. Come sit in Cabot Square with me and watch. It is truly sad.

IN the WINTER when the temps drop to (-20 C ) and farther, the homeless think that they can sleep in the kiosks because of the warmth of the trains, think again. They lock the kiosks at night and the homeless end up on the streets in doorways and under bridges and such. The missions go out with buses trying to get them off the street before they freeze to death. Some don’t make it and invariably, we loose a number of homeless people each Winter.

It is a rude saying, but, If you feed a stray animal they will continue returning to eat as long as food is available. And you know what that means. You will be spending allot of money on a problem that will not go away because of their lack of ability to get off the street and societies apathy to step up and help them as a community! “Oh, but it’s NOT our problem!”

Yes it is and no it’s not.

By whatever default – people end up homeless out of one circumstance or another. NOW, the reality is, DO they want off the street, if you ask any of them here, they will say NO!! So they choose to stay on the street, when they know that help is available and rehabilitation is possible.

Most of our homeless population will not ask for help, (the natives by example). They are a sad lot. Drunk, Addicted, Violent and Doomed by Default. Montrealer’s are FED UP with the population of homeless who have overtaken the streets and green spaces and Metro Kiosks. And the city does SQUAT!! They do nothing, they see nothing, they say nothing.

So what can we do as a religious body, to feed, clothe and assist the homeless, NOT Very Much.

It is a long standing problem with no city wide attention, as of yet. Most Christian people can talk the talk, but they cannot talk the talk and walk the walk for fear of being seen doing something that Jesus would have done, to go out on a Sunday and minister to the poor. Only one man I know did that from Dans le Rue – and he retired and moved away and someone else is taking care of his kids now.

Oh what would their friend and family say if they were seen cavorting with homeless people, God forbid they follow you home! or what happens if you get attacked by one on a bad day or night? Dealing with the homeless here is a dicey business, you never know when one will try to beat you up or stab you for some cash or drugs for their next fix. A homeless person is not above violence. Especially when it comes to jonesing off of drugs. That is for sure on any Saturday night or the full moon.

The “soup truck” cavorts through downtown daily feeding the multitude of young people who hang out at the Berri Metro selling drugs and hooking and such. It is very sad, that if you walk through the village on any corner at any time, they sit there, in their leather and spikes, boots and makeup, with their placards begging for food.

Some of our homeless populations are handicapped (in wheelchairs) and some of our young people have PETS!!! YES dogs and some have more than one. SO it is not only a feed the human story, it is a FEED THE PET AND THE HUMAN STORY!!!

How do we help them, well one at a time, rehabilitation is possible but at the end of the day it is useless. They stay on the streets because they know no different. The shelters and feeding stations are powerless and TOO POOR to feed the multitudes because the city won’t fund the missions and shelters. So individual churches go out and try to make a dent in the sea of the hungry and downtrodden, but alas, they are too numerous and we are too powerless to help so many who are in need.

The worlds poor, are rising in number and dying by the thousands daily in 3rd world and poorer countries, they are dying in the big cities, unnoticed by the daily hum and ritual of every day life and the business of work and survival.

Think before you put yourself out there and try to tackle a cities homeless problem, it takes alot of work, money, food and prayer. And not to mention Fortitude. I am all for helping the homeless, but I know how to pick my battles wisely. I don’t mean to sound so discouraging, but this is the reality in my big city!!

No one is immune to the homeless – we are called to share and to give – but when is enough enough?? If i gave a quarter to every homeless person I saw on the street every day, I would have NO money to feed myself on a daily basis.

THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY OF THEM TO COUNT AND HELP!!

What the saddest fact is in the homeless populations here are the women who have young children, and are on the streets. Just at Cabot square, the mothers work the Upper kiosk at the top of the escalators, and their kids beg at the bottom of the escalators. Junkie mothers with kids in tow, is terribly disturbing, Along with their “pimps” who abuse both the children and the mothers!!

What the fuck is that ??? And we are powerless to change them. Because they are stuck. There are NOT enough resources to help them off the street, get them into rehabs (waiting lists are 6 to 8 months in Quebec) and who is gonna take the children? Like family services has the ability to care for every homeless child and young person on the street? NO!!

There are natives from the many reservations and Inuit locales at all points North. They come to have their children cared for at the Children’s hospital right up the street from here. They pile out of vans, buses and cars. Some are transient and some are better off than others. When a native leaves their reservation in Quebec, it is every man and woman for themselves. Nobody gives a shit. And if they do not assimilate, they end up in a park and on the street, because they get “hooked on whatever” and they don’t repatriate.

There is – along Ste. Catherines Street a city block long mural on the wood that barricades the burned out and empty buildings that LITTER the West end of Downtown like broken defunct sentinels of lore. If you walk from here to Alexis Nihon Plaza, there are Inuit women who are vicious, belligerent, and sometimes violent. If you pass them by when they are drunk and high they swear obscenities at passersby.

They accost people for smokes and money. They are there, in the same spots day in day out… Because they have no place else to go. Cabot Square in the locale in my neighborhood where all native peoples gather. It is a rallying point for the “troops” so to speak. I pass homeless kids in front of the grocery store and I buy them cooked and prepared foods from the deli. We don’t give the kids cash, but we feed them. But they choose to stay on the street, so what are we supposed to do?

We write about these issues and nothing gets done, and I am not a rich aristocrat with money who is sitting on the land on the West end, and developers have not been able to get the land released for development. If it DID get released, we could clean up this end of the city and make it beautiful. But all we see when we walk down the street is hungry, homeless, drunk and high folk, and the burned out decrepit buildings that haven’t seen life in over a decade. The mayor does nothing…

Politics and Crime…

I could go on and on and on… But you get the picture.

If cities and local governments do nothing as they always have, this problem will continue. Until the Worlds governments take a BIG LONG LOOK at the homeless and hungry populations and they DO something concrete to stop it, we will be having this conversation until we all die.

This is a world wide problem, and no you are not alone in your quest to be Jesus, but I know that Jesus is not a “half measure” kind of man, so pick your battles wisely. Mark Kelly from CBC News did a “Seven Series Report” here in Montreal on the homeless last Winter, did it do any good for the city? Not One Bit.

The shelters are still overflowing and they can’t help everyone that Montreal calls homeless and destitute. I know a man who comes to my meeting. He’s been in the program longer than I’ve been in Montreal (now almost 7 years) and he is homeless and prefers the shelter to a life. I look at him and he still doesn’t get it but who am I to judge?

Sometimes the disenfranchised are hopeless which is sad, because I have come so far in the last six years, but many are still where I found them so long ago.

And that is sad…

 


High hopes for new AIDS lab

By Anna Bratulic, The Suburban

Renowned AIDS specialist Dr. Mark Wainberg says the opening of a new
HIV research lab at the Jewish General Hospital will help shed further light o
on the complicated workings of the HIV virus.

Staff and equipment moved into the $5 million facility housed
at the hospital’s Lady Davis Institute yesterday.

“We’re very proud to announce the opening of this new lab, which
is far larger and far better equipped [than the old one]—
something that I think represents a lab that is on a par with any
lab in the world with regard to growing HIV,” Wainberg,
who is the research director at the Lady Davis Institute,
told a press conference last week.

The lab is among a handful of similar labs in the country
where security precautions are so stringent that Health Canada
allows quantities of the virus to be stored there.

Wainberg says the old lab was running the risk of falling short
of Health Canada safety standards. In the new lab, entry is
strictly controlled with a series of mechanized doors.
Items that go into the lab can only come back out after
undergoing a high heat decontamination process.

“We really needed to have a new lab in order to meet all the
safety standards that we must comply with. I’m not saying we
didn’t meet those standards, but we were on the cusp,
let’s say a year from now, of being found in violation.”

Research will focus on understanding immune responses
to HIV and the development of new anti-retroviral drug treatments.

Wainberg doubts a cure or vaccine will be found in his lifetime
because the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, continually mutates
and ultimately renders treatments obsolete. As a result,
different subtypes of the virus exist and a vaccine that may
eradicate one version of the virus, may be useless in destroying a mutated version.

In Canada, where there are an estimated 65,000 people
infected with HIV, the prevalent strain of the virus is called subtype B.
However, in South Africa, where there are an estimated 11 million infected,
a particularly virulent strain known as subtype C is the most common.

While both are HIV viruses, they respond differently to treatment.

“It turns out that the way the virus becomes resistant to the drugs
we use in treatment in a subtype C virus is not the same as in a
subtype B virus. There are differences, and in order to understand
these differences, we need to have certain types of equipment that
we did not have before. And we didn’t have the equipment before
because we didn’t have the room. Now we do,” said Wainberg.

He added that some of the researchers at the new lab will be
scientists and graduate students from Africa, which has the
highest number of HIV infections. Wainberg says he hopes
they will eventually return to the continent to better help those
afflicted by the disease.

Research will also study ways to detect infection earlier than
the three month average it now takes.

Current screening methods can only detect antibodies that
form in the body about three months after infection.
A recent troubling study found that as many as half of all
new cases of HIV infection in the Montreal area are transmitted
by recently infected people who are not aware they carry the virus.

Wainberg added that the upgraded facilities will hopefully make
the seven research teams, comprising some 82 staff members
who will be working there, contenders for more research grants.
An application to the Bill Gates Foundation will likely be submitted
in August, he said.


Sermon on many topics…

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Totem Pole in Stanly Park, Vancouver B.C.

Why is there a totem pole on this writing? Because I need a guide to write something coherent and learned. I go there mentally sometimes when I want to write, to sit in Kingcome Village with Mark Brian, the vicar of St. George’s Church, in Margaret Craven’s,

“I heard the Owl Call my Name.”

There is a majesty in the totem, a story of a people, of their traditions and their ways of thought. I heard a man speaking about the totem at the meeting tonight, and he said,

“I remember the totem, and the fact that I am the man on the bottom of the totem and not the one at the top. That keeps me grounded and sober.”

Men of different path’s populate the downtown core meetings and every once in a while you hear something that rings true to one’s soul. My heart stirred when he spoke and I remembered my spirit.

There is a lot going on in this sphere tonight, some of it good, and some of it is not so good. People are moving, leaving, breaking up and even some are moving forward in the coupling of relationships into one home and a together life. We have talked about depression as of late. And I have a particular view on that topic, because of my own depression battle and that of my husbands Bi-Polar issues.

There is NO pill that is going to make it all better. That magic pill does not exist. That’s why we have so many drug addicted people all over the world. When I got home Peter was watching a program on the Paxil fiasco. I was on Paxil once, what a nightmare. Doctors and drug companies want to ply us with all the pills we can pay for and for the most part, we can’t afford all the pills we must take on any given day.

You want to take pills and see therapists and doctors – yes do that. Sometimes depression and medical issues NEED a doctor’s or a psychiatrists fine vision. Peter’s shrink worked very hard to help us and he did. But aside from taking a pill and then finding Jesus, unless you want to get better and step out of the darkness, you have to take that first step into the light. So I offer you a candle to help light your way.

We cannot get by on medication alone. There has to come, in time, a desire to live, a desire to get better a desire to end the depression or illness. And I am one to speak about illness. I’ve been taking pills for the last 13 years to stay alive. Some sober people shun the medical necessity of some sober folks to stay alive. I’ve had all the fights I want to have about clean and sober and medical necessity.

I have been in and out of a therapists office on and off for the last 13 years. I find that another set of eyes and ears works to help me stay on track and having that guidance and therapy has, in short order saved my life. When I suffered from Agoraphobia some time ago, and I wouldn’t leave the house, I was on specific medication and seeing a specific therapist and we worked me out of the house over a six month period. It all started with wanting to sit on the front porch of my condo outside. Then I learned to walk around the block, and in turn I learned how to walk to the beach and feel safe, that my attacker wasn’t coming to get me. So I know what fear is.

And we find that “Fear is a Great Motivator for CHANGE.”

But fear can also cripple us. Do I need these pills forever, in my case, I need pills to help regulate my brain and my immune system and keeps my depression and anger in check. I know I need medication and that medication helps me stay sane, sober and alive. But I also take the steps every day to work on and with myself. Being good to myself, and doing something good for myself every day.

“Every day you should do something nice for yourself, Just Because!!

Fear must not cripple us into complacency and ignorance about the world around us. Depression is a hard fought battle for so many, I have a viable work – therapy solution I offer my directees and kids that I work with. When parent’s who know me ask me to help them with their children, I take that as a huge compliment and a very important charge. So I am not clueless when I talk about medical issues and pills and depression. I’ve been there and I am here. I survived debilitating depression, it can be done.

Letting Go…

All life functions on the principle of letting go. We are constantly changing physically, emotionally, mentally and sexually. Our lives move forward, as if on auto pilot, knowing that forward motion is the preferred direction and never backwards. How I wish, on that odd occasion, when I wax on nostalgia, that time could be reversed, just for a time.

Letting Go is a sober issue too. Recognizing the wreckage of our pasts, taking stock and making note, and 4th stepping the past away so that 5 – 6 and 7 can take root into 8 and 9 and then our checkup 10th step and continual spiritual connection in step 11 and then when we have done these to the best of our abilities for ourselves, then we can carry the message in the 12th step. Every one in this world is availed spiritual awakenings. it is possible for us to see, experience and share spiritual experiences. Letting Go is a spiritual experience. It is a spiritual action. That one is able to let go Absolutely!!

Sometimes we do not know when to let go, then again, many of us will not let go because that would mean that we would either be alone, live alone, or perish the thought, CHANGE!!! Sometimes I read blogs and I can see the “pain on the page.” I think that some people should let go of old habits and old people, those people who are not serving us in a spiritual capacity for goodness and light. But how do I move on and let go, well, that’s tricky. One step at a time. You make a decision. You set a date and you stick to that date.

Relationships come and go and boys are a dime a dozen and I can personally assure you that if you leave a function-less relationship that is painful, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I spent much of my HIV positive years ALONE. Because men are pigs, self serving and heartless and clueless. I have had (count them on one hand) very few relationships where I knew that the man who was in my bed – wanted to be in my bed, because he understood the reality of death and illness and I didn’t scare them. But most of them, eventually I had to let go because I was moving at a different speed as them. Life has its own rhythm. And its own speed. In fighting depression, I did it alone. Oh, I had friends, but I wasn’t in “relationship” with any one in particular – for a LONG TIME…

It wasn’t until I came back from my slip, worked on me, let go of the past and all that went with it, including everything that I owned, I am still working on that “Let DOWN” and got sober this last time, that I was ready to accept love and give love, I HAD to find love in myself for myself before I could give it to someone else and have that love reciprocated.

“The Pink Neon Sign”

I have learned over the last six years in Montreal sobriety, that every human being walks around with a PINK NEON SIGN flashing above their heads. Go to enough meetings and seek spiritual solutions and you will begin to see it all around you. Get on the Metro or a bus or walk down the street and read all the “Signs” coming at you…

  • Desperate
  • Lonely
  • Seeking
  • Drunk or High
  • Hysterical
  • PMS’ing…
  • Postal!!
  • Crazy
  • and eventually Sane and Happy

I have learned what sign all my “peoples” carry around above them and I love them any ways, even if some of them will never unplug or change the message flashing, for a few hours each week, I can reach them through ministry, and love them unconditionally. In the practice of “Letting Go” you stop and you unplug that sign for a while until you find an appropriate message to display. And that may take some time, and that’s ok, as long as you are working on yourself. You don’t have to be getting sober. These principles are universal and can be utilized by everyone – everywhere.

Sometimes the FEAR of Change or FEAR of being alone, makes us hang on to people and situations that baffle us, just because we don’t see the way out, or we are Un-Willing to see the solution, or we just FEAR…

“Fear is a great motivator for change…”

Everyone has the power to recognize when it is right to let go, when it is necessary to let go, and when it is crucial that we let go. Life will move forward and sometimes life asks of us to do things we may not necessarily like – but if the Gardner does not prune his rose bushes, how can they flower beautifully each season…

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Attributed to King Solomon

To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and
a time to die;
a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up
that which is planted;

A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;

A time to weep, and
a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and
a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and
a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and
a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and
a time to lose;
a time to keep, and
a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and
a time to sow;
a time to keep silence, and
a time to speak;

A time to love, and
a time to hate;
a time of war; and
a time of peace.

With all humility we ask for God’s blessing tonight on those who come to visit and read, that they may find peace and wisdom in the many pages of writings we offer here and may I always remember that I inhabit the man at the foot of the totem and not the eagle of top. That I am who I am, in all my humanity, without ego or arrogance.

We thank the creator for all good things…


Overheard at an AA Meeting

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The God of my Understanding doesn’t go to AA meetings…


Montreal prepares for moving day garbage

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The city of Montreal will increase recycling services to divert garbage that will pile up in alleys and on sidewalks this weekend, as thousands of Quebecers get ready to move homes.

While the rest of Canada stops to enjoy July 1 celebrations with parades and barbecues, Quebecers have to sweat through the province’s annual moving day.

The ritual usually leaves mountains of garbage, castaway furniture and clothes collecting pollen in back alleys and under stairwells.

But this year the city is putting more recycling trucks on the road to pick up some of the refuse.

“If the citizen decides to hide it in his back lane, then we’re going to have a big problem,” said city of Montreal executive member Marcel Tremblay.

Quebec’s annual moving day has fallen on Canada Day since 1973, when the provincial government decided all rental leases should start on July 1, to minimize disruption for children in school.

Montreal residents can call (514) 872-3434 or (514) 872-2237 to find out when extra recycling pickups are scheduled for their neighbourhood.

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Montreal still suffers from affordable housing shortage

Quebec tenant groups are angry the provincial government won’t fund an emergency rental supplement this year for families forced to move to apartments they can’t afford.

With Quebec’s annual moving day just 11 days away, affordable housing activists say a growing number of families will have to move into apartments they can’t afford.

Until last year the provincial government offered emergency rental supplements to low-income families to help buffer the affordable housing shortage that saw vacancy rates drop to below one per cent in Montreal.

While vacancy rates have since stabilized at about three per cent in Montreal, the Quebec Coalition of Tenants’ Association says there is still a need for the program because many families still won’t be able to find affordable homes.

The “lack of large apartments at any price” is the problem, coalition spokesman André Trépanier said. “But for sure, there’s more apartments that are expensive, and the few large apartments available are very expensive.”

Many Montreal families will find themselves living in temporary shelters run by the city after July 1 because they can’t find a suitable apartment, Trépanier warned. The city also offers free storage to families struggling to find new dwellings.

Montreal has set up a housing hotline for residents seeking assistance. The number is (514) 868-4002.

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If You Don’t have to Move

 

Then DON’T !!!

 

For Christ’s Sake …

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