If You Didn’t Put Up, Shut Up

For the past four months, Canadians have either been anticipating or been actively engaged in a federal election.

Unlike our America Cousins, we don’t draw these things out. We like to campaign quick, vote in October and get back to important things like hockey.

This election was frustrating. Unlike your Grade 7 Social Studies class on government, there were few defined and costed platforms that really landed with voters. No need to talk about hearing what Canadians want and certainly no creative ideas coming from “leaders”. However, there were plentiful jabs, slanderous comments and stomach churning commercials “endorsed” by full grown adults even though the content was beyond immature.

One good thing about the day after the election is you get to see how many people showed up to vote.

This year it was only 66% of us.

This makes me think of people around the world who walk for days if not weeks just for the opportunity to vote in their election. People die to fight for the right to vote. Women in this country protested and died for the right to vote IN THIS COUNTRY.

And almost half of us didn’t. Even. Bother.

Shame on you if you didn’t. Kudos if you did.

It’s tiring listening to people rant about politics and not taking action when the opportunity presents itself. It’s even more frustrating because we are so critical of the U.S. political reality; the non stop election cycle; the immature name calling and lies.

I think Canadians can do better. Until we demand better, we can expect no better from our “leaders”. With a minority government we have roughly 18 to 24 months until we get back on this merry-go-round.

So let’s do better. All of us.

I Get It Now

It seems self serving to say I’m not racist, but given the climate right now, I need to. But at the same time, I was naive.

Naive in that I don’t treat anyone different based on their gender, colour, or sexual preference. You judge others as you judge yourself. The first wake up call for me was when Trump was elected president. How could there be so many people who feel that he was the best option? God Bless the Electoral College.

Now, in the wake of the disaster that was the Charlottesville demonstrations, I get it. There is a segment of the American population that is feeling threatened. They see there has been a shift in society and they want things the way they used to be. Like 150 years ago. A demonstration to preserve a statue erected for General Robert Lee, one of the losing generals of the Civil War, was purported to be a stand for history, for the fabric of the American culture.

Except, that history was white washed.

There are countless web pages devoted to the “real” (fill in the blank general, politician, founding father). They were human, they were flawed, and many of them agreed to the accepted norm of the time; that owning another human was not just legal, but their God-given Right because they were born the whitest shade of pale.

The insult to the injury of these statues is that most were not erected at the end of the Civil War, in fact, the last monument, built in Arizona (not even a state during the war) was installed in 1975!?!?!? This was a conscious effort to remind African Americans that in spite of perceived advancements in their station in life (voting, non-segregated education, not being owned) the shade of the past was a literal and figurative presence.

The next realize for me was one it was pointed out that following World War II, there were no statues erected in Germany in honour of Adolf Hitler nor any of his evil cohorts. No schools are named after them. No bridges. No parks. The horror of the Nazis was erased from the country with only history books and the memories of the Holocaust survivors to give voice to the madness. That is why there was such shock when the Auschwitz-Birkenau Holocaust Memorial was opened; you had to see it to comprehend the nightmare.

Imagine being an African American child who walks to school every day, past the eternal monument giving tribute a man, who fought a war to separate your country, over his desire to own your ancestors, which he had the right to torture, rape and kill. Now imagine knowing that this same marker is a meeting place for racists TODAY, who still subscribe to such asinine theories as intellectual superiority based on skin colour.

Can you imagine that child’s frustration to open a history book and learn that not only is his community white-washed of any reality regarding what slavery was actually about, but also his education. White students beside him are taught the same thing, which perpetuates the Myth. White is good. White brought advancements. White is right.

We know differently now. Stories, movies, books, memories all tell of a different reality. This one involves fear, prejudice, assault, abuse, torture and a facing the reality that in the 21st Century that the first black man elected to the highest office in the land will be followed by another white man, who incites hate and fans the flames of the KKK and Neo-Nazis. Two steps forward, sixty years backward.

I turn my gaze to my own country. How easy it is to judge, but, those in glass houses…..

What of the pain of a Japanese child, separated from family and placed in housing in B.C. during the Second World War? What of the ongoing profound injustices done to aboriginals from the time the first European settlers stepped on dry land – not the least of which involved church and residential schools. Just two samples of wrongs that didn’t make into my history book, not sure about yours. Don’t understand why the Aboriginal Community is outraged? Because we still aren’t teaching what happened, so we can stop perpetuating our own Myth.

Many feel the reparations the Federal Government has attempted are a waste of time; after all, why should we make amends, WE weren’t the ones who offended. But actually, we are. As long as we force these minority groups to feel the white washing of the past lives on today, we continue to injury them. We need to see history for what it was. – a one-sided account. Recognize the imbalance and injustice, and fix it so that they are not bleeding today from the wounds of our forefathers. We need to own the mistakes of the past to not repeat them. I think that’s someone elses’ quote, but since we are talking about appropriation here….

I seriously debated writing this column on this topic, not because I’m worried about backlash, frankly, I don’t give a shit. If you don’t agree with my position, and identify with the morons who showed up with torches, chants and starched and ironed golf shirts on Friday night, keep rolling pal, ain’t nothing for you here.

But I was given pause because there is already so much talk about this topic. I feel we need action. I have family and loved ones who are Gay, Jewish, Black. The chants from Virginia felt like stabs into everyone of my people’s souls.

That’s when I realized, it might be the first step to actually do more with my white privilege than to yell at a TV screen. We’ve had several talks around the dinner table about what this all means and what our role in this humanity can be. We won’t be standing by in tense silence when there is a slur, a sign, a posting. We will not be ok thinking that we are the silent majority, and that most of “us” don’t think that way. Even one person spewing this kind of filth is one too many. We must speak up. We must push back.

Trump felt justified in saying that, and I’m paraphrasing here, “two wrongs don’t make a right” with regard to the riots in the Charlottesville park. Hmmm. If we were talking about a shoving match in the kitchen about the last cookie in the jar, I’d be onboard with it. But we are talking about the exact opposite extreme – an attach on humanity, and you cannot judge the motives of Anti-protests trying to stop hate with force, using the same stick as the Protesters who came to the park chanting Nazi slogans and instilling fear in anyone who wasn’t one of “them”. If the suggestion is that Good lowers itself when it fights Evil, then why the Hell did we have World War II? The Allies should have stood back and said, “Gosh, Mr. Hitler, we’d really like it if you pull your armies back from Western Europe, and when you are done, COULD YOU STOP PUSHING PEOPLE INTO GAS CHAMBERS?”

I think we all know what that response would have been.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ~ used by lots of white guys

Can’t Keep Up With The Stupid

So how ’bout those Americans, eh?

Honestly, I’ve written this entry dozens of times in my mind. I come up with witty observations while I’m making dinner. It’s something I think of before I fall asleep. Yet, I’ve waited two weeks before saying anything about the political End of Days that has taken place south of us.

I guess I didn’t want the posting to be stale, and since the shit-show has been evolving daily, it’s truly hard to keep up. After all, I work full time. And require food. And sleep; unlike the latest “Leader of the Free World” who manages to offend, alienate and terrorize all while maintaining a robust Twitter presence. I’ve felt frustration, anxiety, annoyance, anger and confusion – and that was just the first day of the new administration. Did I mention I don’t even LIVE in the United States of America? However, the saying from my high school History class has stuck with me; Canada is the Mouse and the U.S. is the Elephant. If the Elephant has a cold, the Mouse sneezes. This circus most definitely impacts us.

Never before have I explained the concept of the Electoral College vs the Popular Vote as many times as I have in the past three weeks. I’m sure it’s the result of outright disbelief by some people to comprehend how a Democratic society in this day and age could find itself HERE. HERE is the intersection of Pissing Off The Lefties Street and Pissing Off The Rest of the World Boulevard.

<PAUSE> Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not Pro Hillary for the sake of a vagina. She, too, had issues as a person and as a candidate. However, the overlooking of issues for the male candidate versus the magnification of the issues of the female candidate was fairly self evident. For as long as I live, I will never forget the grace and poise that woman had as she attend the Inauguration for her opponent. While many feel she should have declined the event, as the former First Lady, she would attend with her husband, who, sadly, was a much of a hindrance as anything else. So before you go nuts in the comments, know that “Team Girl” is not my motive. <PLAY>

You might wonder how this happened, too. How do we go from being shocked about a Republican candidate mocking a physically challenged reporter to Executive Orders like ticker-tape confetti? Simple. Because we thought he hit rock bottom when he did THAT. Then the videotape came out where he referenced his unabashed ability to access women’s private parts – or so he thought – and we thought THAT was rock bottom. Then there was the failure to provide taxation documents – THAT was rock bottom, right? Nope? Ok. How about the Mexican wall? Nope. Immigration? Nope. Environment? NOPE! Sweet Baby Jesus, even when the dust settled from the election, people kept on saying,  “You have to give him time. Campaigning is different from leading.” Then we heard the Inaugural Address which was, effectively, setting everyone up for more of the same spew.

I’m sure the logic in the voting booth was that he couldn’t be THAT bad. Or perhaps the logic was that if you gave him enough rope, he’d hang himself. But then he decides to make his key appointments from the very slime covered remnants of the swamp he vowed to drain. A majority of white, older, males, who individually are in a tax bracket equivalent to some of the entire “inner cities” he purports to champion.

But you know, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. He didn’t let any grass grow. Minutes after lunching with the very people he threw under the bus in his Inauguration Address, he trotted up to the Oval Office and started signing Executive Orders like a boss! He also had numerous pages removed from the White House website. You know, deadweight content like Environment, LGBTQ, Women’s Issues.

The yuge “crowds” of his inauguration were eclipsed by the massive protests the next day when the Women’s March took place. Not only were the haters out in full force on social media, but the new president also took a pause from his smoking pen to express how much LARGER his crowds were the day before.

Really?

This is what gets your attention? A bunch of women (and notably men) wearing pink knitted cat hats? Interesting….

It has been revealing to see how some people have reacted to this historic and peaceful demonstration. The anger, negativity and entitlement knows no bounds. We had people hating on Madonna and other celebs who DARED to share their political views. (I guess they forgot their leader used his celebrity as a launch pad for his current career foray.) Ironically, no matter how you feel about Madge or her music, the broad has a Right to speak her mind since, guess what, SHE’S AMERICAN – and Freedom of Speech is still a thing – at least at the time of this posting. One particularly insightful meme pointed out that Madonna is the last person a woman should listen to regarding women’s rights, because, after all, she has used her body and her sexualized persona to advance her career. Um…hate to tell you, but that’s the point – it’s HER choice to do that. She wasn’t pimped out by a man, or, for that matter, another woman. How she used her body is HER Right! Don’t want to watch her bump and grind? No problem, but don’t try to convince me you are ok with a serial molester who sexualizes his own daughter as President, but find The Material Girl’s gyrating upsetting and offensive. #PotmeetKettle

However, the most disturbing aspect of this new reality is the relationship with the Media. I was trained in the lost Art of Journalism (I’m sorry but I can’t tolerate the fascination with celebrity as “real” news – it’s part of what got us where we are today.) The minute you see someone discrediting numerous media outlets in favor of those with open biases, you have a problem. Journalists are being arrested in America! Remember when we were horrified when that happened in countries ruled by dictators? Sorry – I didn’t say “Spoiler Alert”.

From day one the objective of this office has been to start the process of gas lighting the public and conditioning them to accept only one outlet, one source of information – the Oval Office. It has already started. “What do you mean the crowds weren’t yuge? They WERE yuge! THAT photo was taken when people were still filling in hours before.” Terms like “Alternative Facts” are coined. That’s not a thing people! Let’s not allow “Alternative Facts” to become a thing!!

You end up with the long time supporters who continue drinking the Kool Aid, and then the confused (those who voted for him looking for jobs, but blithely ignoring the nasty stuff) will fall into the Emperor’s New Clothes scenario – no one will speak the truth for fear of reprisal. And THIS is how we got to this messed up intersection. No one wanted to call him out on his bullshit when they had the chance because they didn’t think anyone would take him seriously. His particular brand of negativity has given permission to a certain level of individual who is easily threatened, likely due the remarkable low level of self-esteem he/she possession. Yet another trait he/she share with their leader.

You think I’m crazy? Anyone who feels the need to defend the size of his hands during a Presidential Campaign has a mammoth inferiority complex that he is constantly battling with his ongoing barrage of b.s. Same thing goes for his bullying tactics. Why does he do this? Because he’s truly uneducated. Yes, he has a degree from Penn State, but it he wouldn’t be the first graduate to have a less than authentic diploma and educational experience.

Let’s talk about being educated – life long learning, adapting to changing times, learning from others, accepting new concepts. You know, qualities you would want in a national leader who is going to represent your population on an international stage. The minute he said Mexico was paying for the wall, I turned to The Big Guy and stated, “He’s going to tariff them.” Should have put money on that. You know, if you go around slapping countries in the face, you should fully expect to get payback – and you’ve only been hitting the international community one at a time. You better layer up on the bronzer, ‘cuz this could be a knock out when the rest of the world returns your favor. Except for Russia, because, you know, Putin will be selling tickets to that show.

When it comes to strengths, he has two, if you can call them that. He knows how to incite fear, and then flame the fearful mentality; and he knows a great deal about ego. This is why he has opted not to surround himself with experienced and knowledgable experts on topics such as national security, but his own posse of Yes-Men and Women who are there to stroke his ego and assure him his hair looks GREAT…really GREAT!

He is ignorant. He’s a dinosaur from another era that managed to say the right combination of lies to make the public believe one version of himself, while he presents another version behind closed doors. And sadly, he doesn’t even care that we know he’s lying to us.

What he has been exceptionally good at is pissing people off. Figures released today indicate he has set a record for hitting a disapproval rate in eight days. Obama was over 900 days and George W. Bush was 1,200+ days. Hey, I say when you find your strong suite, stick with it! These are interesting times. Buckle up Buttercup!

P.S. You will notice I have not indicated the subject by name. That is deliberate. I’m far from afraid of fallout (because I’m sure The Bowery Girl is on his browser Favorites) I just refuse to feed his vanity – and feel that a deliberate omission of his name is just what will itch him where he can’t scratch. Yup – I’m a cow that way.

What. The. Hell.

I was naive.

When I wrote my previous post, I tried to be neutral to give the benefit to the U.S. democratic process. After all, I wouldn’t want someone tell me how to handle my county’s politics.

But I’m stunned.

Gobsmacked.

President Trump. That’s a thing now. There are so many things wrong with this, but most profoundly, the fact that a majority of Americans agreed with what he said. Which was proven as 76% lies. No policy. Suggestions, but no plans. He wants to repeal Roe V Wade for Christ’s Sake! Insults minorities, women, gays, physically and mentally challenged persons. Let’s not even start on his treatment and sentiment toward the media. Watch your Freedom of Speech folks!

It’s scary to think that this individual is going to set the tone for what WAS (in their own opinion, until he told them he would make them Great Again) the Greatest County In the Free World. But what frightens me more is that the majority of people living in that country AGREED WITH HIM! The fact that the Republican party have the House and the Senate after how they conducted themselves the past eight years is DEPLORABLE!

Forgive me if I find it difficult to believe that a majority of Americans identify with this, because if you do, I’m very uncomfortable with that.

I have no desire to travel to the U.S. for the foreseeable future. Little Sister had planned a trip to Florida the panhandle state that shall not go named. As much as she need the holiday, I’m going to do everything I can to talk her out of it. If for no other reason than I would resent spending hard earned money there. I wonder how many others will feel the same? Stock markets don’t lie and those have already started to respond.

I find it inconceivable that the country that elected Barack Obama for two terms, with a classy, intelligent, warm and friendly manner, is the same country that elected THIS individual. You couldn’t be more black and white in your choices – pun fully intended.

I think we had ourselves fooled about the United States. We thought they were the cool older brother who had their shit together. Instead we realize this is the older brother who is really a bully, doesn’t understand girls, who has no real sense of Right and Wrong, and who dresses really badly. You realize they don’t really have friends, they have victims. It’s on mornings like this that you question whether or not you are even related. They are not cool. They are not someone to look up to or emulate.

Don’t misunderstand; I don’t believe Hillary Clinton was the “best” candidate, but I sure as hell feel she was the better option. In the light of day “the Morning After” it is very interesting to see the massive back peddling taking place regarding Trump’s declaration of having her investigated and arrested; building a wall to keep out Mexicans; mass deportation of immigrants. “Oh golly gee, he didn’t mean all of that, just caught up in the moment. He’s going to bring everyone together and lead all Americans.”

Sorry guys, I’m calling Bullshit on this one. I’ll keep watching from a respectful distance from behind the Canadian wall that we have already started, on the right side of history.

 

 

What is Left Unsaid

It’s day 15,641 of the never ending U.S. election, and the reason I’ve not been more vocal is; a) I feel there are far too many people spouting garbage disguised as knowledge, b) if I start being vocal, I just might never stop.

With this in mind, and being that this is the eve of the election, I’m allowing myself ONE opportunity to write on this topic. ONE. UNE. UNO. 1. And I think you may be surprised.

At first I thought it was an “Emperor’s New Clothes” situation, where everyone could see what I saw, but was just too darn polite to say anything. I then realized, no, there are actually people who are drinking the Kool Aid here.

It became mildly amusing watching what appeared to be a reality show on Meth. New revelations. New scandals. New excuses.

That’s when it occurred to me. This is the ultimate reality show, with the entire American population as contestants. These two candidates are merely ratings props, but the fallout will have very real implications. As resident of the nation to the North, I recall the classic saying, “When the U.S. has a cold, Canada sneezes.” We have a lot riding on this election too.

I have family and friends who live in America. I’m very worried about what this election means for them. Regardless of who wins, there will be a large segment of the population who will be up in arms; some of whom have threatened to take up arms. I can’t image what it must feel like not to know what you future holds. What your country will become.

I feel it is just too easy to tear apart the candidates. Saturday Night Live has political satire covered. I just hope we can all live with the outcome.

 

p.s.

On a lighter note, Second Born Son decided to go as one of the candidates for Halloween. I’ll let you decide which one….

Yes, I had nightmares!

Yes, I had nightmares!

Things That Make Me Go – Hmmm…with #Hashtags

1. That Beyoncé’s followers (BeyHive) are ready to lynch any female with decent hair, and yet no one is saying “boo” about Jayz’s role in this alleged infidelity #doublestandard #comeongirls…

2. That there is any confusion over why the Canadian public is outraged about Karla Homolka surfacing in Quebec. Firstly, the crimes were heinous, secondly, Bernardo wouldn’t have been successful if she had stopped to think JUST. ONCE., thirdly, the public feels she got a golden deal from the Crown for testifying against for ex-husband. Pick one. Or select “All of The Above”…. #karmaisabitch #ifeelforherkids

3.  The outrage over Mike Duffy’s acquittal. This got as much air time as Ghomeshi (no, I’m not picking that scab) with one significant difference; Mike Duffy testified. He also owned what he did – is it “right”, no. Is it allowed within the wack-a-do Senate rules. Yup. Go figure. #donthatetheplayerhatethegame

4. Prince dies. Everyone in the world feels entitled to know why. Since you didn’t get the memo, remember, none of us is guaranteed any number of years. #noneofusgetoutofherelive #noneofourdamnbusiness

5. Donald Trump. #whatthehellyouguys #thisisntfunnyanymore #pleasetellmeimbeingpunkd

What makes you go “hmmmm”?

Letters That Need to be Written – Part VII

Dear Republican Party/Voters of the United States of America,

As a Canadian and a rational, somewhat intelligent person (I did put on blue socks with black pants today, but otherwise…), I want to kindly, gently, and firmly talk to you about an unhealthy relationship you are in right now…

…with Donald Trump.

Consider this an intervention of sorts. Friends don’t let friends date idiots.

We stood back when he first came on the scene with designs on you. We understood he was going to come at you hard, with the goal being your “#1” especially with such a large field of potential suitors. To a certain degree, one could see the initial attraction; money, celebrity (which, although it’s not OUR thing, we know you get sweaty palms over fame), and charisma – of a fashion.

We gave him a chance to win us over. We saw how he was peacocking and showing you how “in charge” he was. He’d go on and on about how he could show you how things could be GREAT again, even though things seem really good for you right now – especially after you broke it off with Bush  2.0.  Even then, we had our doubts about Trump, and hoped you would keep him in the friend zone.

Now, with less than a year until the Nov 8, 2016 presidential election, and Trump having some notable success in key states, we think now is the time for us to have a chat. You obviously are taking him a little more seriously, therefore, we have to take him a little more seriously.

<PAUSE>
Truthfully, it’s 9 months from the Presidential election. We don’t need you making a BIG mistake right now that will make you feel like you need to “seal the deal” with Trump. Please make sure you are taking all the necessary precautions!!!
<PLAY>

We are your BEST friend. We’ve lived beside you our WHOLE LIVES. We want the best for you. We want to get along with your “special” person. Right now, Trump thinks what’s best for you is a wall between us. What the hell did we do to deserve that? I realize this is a small slight compared to the asinine slams he has leveled against (including, but not limited to, as this list grows daily): Mexicans, Women, Muslims, African-Amercians, Megyn Kelly, fellow Republican candidates, John McCain, wait, I’m running out of time on this…..

Really, we question why you are interested in him in the first place, aside from the aforementioned glitz. The guy is, at the very least, a misogynist. I shake my head when I realize that this is a man who has not one but three “Mrs. Trumps” on his roster, not to mention two daughters. We think he knows how good he’ll have it when he’s with you. You have a lot more to offer him, than he does you.

Remember, you are judged by the company you keep, and Trump is on the record as praising Vladimir Putin. Putin, the bully and egomaniac of Eastern Europe, then gave Trump a verbal high five by saying he is a great man. This is not comforting to us!

Maybe you think he’s harmless and you are just stringing him along because his insane rants amuse you. I don’t think this is a game of Chicken that you want to engage in. Time is ticking and the longer you keep this moron around, the more you will believe get used to his crap! And don’t think we haven’t notice that his favorite word is “stupid”. Coincidence?

Perhaps your infatuation with this clown’s wealth (his corporations have declared bankruptcy, if may you recall) is clouding your judgement. Maybe you don’t see what the rest of us (read here: THE WORLD) sees? Trump is the loudmouth guy at every party, who is obnoxious before he gets drunk and is intolerable once he is inebriated. He’s not smart or even clever, as he blathers on about being so popular that he could shoot someone in plain sight and get away with it!?! He picks fights with unsuspecting guests, tells outrageous stories, then he defies anyone to question him, refuses to be accountable for his actions even when he’s caught red-handed,  and he will NEVER apologize because he is NEVER wrong. Just ask him! He is basically pissing off all of your friends. Remember Britain? Remember how it took you so long to get to a good place after that whole Independence thing?! Well, if you hook up with Trump, he’s not exactly welcome in England! What does that tell you?

If you give him a chance with you, what do you think life will be like? Personal jets and badly decorated boudoirs? Oprah, or Dr. Phil, or Dr. Oz, or Dr. Zeus said, “When people show you who they are – believe them.” He’s showing you who he is. It ain’t good. You won’t change Trump. He won’t get better. If anything, he’ll get worse once he’s “The One.”

Please understand USA, we are not judging you. We too have been in our share of unhealthy relationships. Hell, we just got out of one ourselves. (We don’t like talking about Stephen Harper, but for the purpose of helping you avoid such a disastrous mistake, we’ll make an exception.) We know you deserve better. You deserve someone who will let you shine on the world stage. Someone who values you and isn’t looking to further their own life ambitions. Someone you won’t be embarrassed to leave alone at a family gathering. You aren’t a career move, you are the self proclaimed Greatest Country In the Free World, mainly because we don’t want to argue with you over THAT. (Although we all know the truth now, don’t we?)

Call it of now. Save yourself (and us) the heartache.

Your pal,

Sarah

 

 

The Birds and the Bees

If you live in Ontario, you recently became aware of the new Sex Education curriculum for public elementary school students.

You also recently became aware that when it comes to talking about sensitive topics, some Ontarians would rather discuss personal debt and their credit score before they would want to talk about sex. Take our provincial government for example. The previous curriculum was crafted in the mid to late 1990s, decades before “sexting” was part of the vernacular.

Pix taken shortly before the last Sex Education curriculum update...

Pix taken shortly before the last Sex Education curriculum update…

Immediate reaction was critical; those parents who felt the new lessons went too far, and those who felt things were left out.

In a nutshell, the new curriculum would introduce the concept of consent starting in Grade 1. Considering grown adults struggle with consent, I think this is bloody brilliant. What better time to educate a human about permission to touch another human being than when they are at their most “touchy-feely”!?

Then, GASP, children are introduced to what masturbation is around Grade 6. Since most kids – particularly in my experience, the male ones, have hands-on experience in this area before this age, I’m not sure why this is so shocking?? Let’s be proactive instead of reactive. Especially when it comes to making babies! Pregnancy prevention hits around Grade 8 and while you might be about to protest that this is FAR too young, let me advise you that a student a year old than First Born Son became a daddy several years ago, at the ripe old age of 14. I’m thinking this new curriculum would have helped him tremendously!

The argument many people have is that sexual education should come from a child’s parents. In a perfect world, it would. In a perfect world, all parents would be perfect too, so the type of information passed to their children would be flawless. Alas, we have flawed parents who are teaching their flawed perspectives of sexuality on to their children. There are some parents who get it right and are able to give their children a healthy understanding of their sexuality; and there are the others. I’m thinking of the parents of a girl who came to school and accused two boys of making inappropriate comments to her (think along the lines of various sexual positions) that they would like to try with her. Oh, did I mention they were in Grade 4 at the time?! Following a traumatic interrogation of the two boys, it eventually came out that the comments were never made, and that the young girl shows an inordinate amount of knowledge of risqué vocabulary which, she eventually told the teacher, was due to the fact that her much older siblings allowed her to watch porn with them. THAT’S one way of educating the child in the home!!!

Now what about the parents who have their own personal sexual issues? Whether it’s an extreme religious view, homophobia, a history of molestation or perhaps being exposed to a sexually transmitted disease; is it ok that they pass along these traumas to their children? To make sex an evil and unhealthy activity that will only serve to warp yet another generation?

We were fortunate enough to have a really good conversation about sex with both our sons. The Big Guy wasn’t sure what to expect when talking to his sons, since his parents didn’t feel the need to have the conversation with him. His knowledge came from friends and the stilted sex ed program of the 1970s. I can remember feeling traumatized when the girls were corralled in one class room for the talk about the female reproductive organs, and then the following year, they threw us together with the boys to discuss how babies were made – THAT made for a very interesting afternoon recess, I can tell you that much! We were all afraid to stand too close to each other, for fear we’d make a baby!!!

Somebody needs to tell these two what is causing all these babies - and put an end to it!!!

Somebody needs to tell these two what is causing all these babies – and put an end to it!!!

Today the challenges are hitting children younger and younger. They see images online, in movies and in life. Technology provides good and bad opportunities, and denying the education necessary to navigate the waters won’t make these facts go away.

At the end of the day, sexuality is part of what makes us human and if we want our children to be healthy, whole individuals, we have to make sure they have all the information they need at the age they need it at, in the society they are faced with.

Letters That Need to Be Written IV

Dear Stephen Harper aka Canada’s Bully,

I have just this evening viewed the filth commercial broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, or should I say, the Stephen Harper Support Group, which bashes Justin Trudeau, the recently elected leader of the Liberal Party.

This would be my shortest communication ever, if I was to say “Smarten the hell up!”, but I feel I should expand on this somewhat.

First of all, in a day and age when bullying in the classroom, playground and arena is at an all-time high, can we really expect anything of our children, when our elected officials, indeed adults and purported “leaders” are guilty of such childish behaviour?

Your commercial criticizes Justin Trudeau for his background as a teacher, and a camp counsellor. How clever, because NO ONE would have thought that working with children was a lower calling. You seem to think that a strip tease is Trudeau doffing his suit jacket and shirt at a recognized fundraiser. I’m gonna help you out here, don’t Google “Magic Mike.”

It seems fairly evident that you are a little threatened by this supposed upstart. I can understand why. You have sampled all of the political parties (starting with the Liberals yourself in your University days, followed by the Reform Party of Canada – what a swell bunch, and finally the Conservative Party, which you felt the need to rebrand as “The Harper Government” once elected). Perhaps the fact that Trudeau has been a dedicated and loyal member of his party is threatening to you.

No one would blame you for being intimidated by someone 12 years your junior, and who received 80% of his party’s support in the first vote. Then there is the obvious; in our society, a man who is young, attractive, articulate and open to new ideas is much more appealing than a man, uh, hmm…. who isn’t.

Let’s face it, your brand of “leading”, which more closely resembles “dictatorship” is dated. Your regime would fit in nicely with Diefenbaker’s. Welcome to the 21st Century, where taxpayers like more support for the Environment, the Arts, Education and a little less importance on supporting your corporate cronies.

I would like to say that I believe our government can do better, and show leadership, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Although we are years away from an election (unfortunately), you have authorized attack-style election ads. Do you really thing the Canadian voter is that simple? It’s not our style. It never will be.

Why not earn your office through integrity, innovation and class, instead of degrading yourself and smearing the competition? Why not try to relate to the people you govern? And I don’t mean by playing The Beatles. All you have to do is look South to see a man elected to the highest office who people can identify with. Canada has become the laughing-stock of the free world, thanks to RoboCalls. But at least you were able to throw an intern under that bus.

What it comes down to is a bully has to put others down to feel better about themselves. If this week is any indication, I wonder how low your opinion is of yourself.

Yours in Democracy,

Sarah

Reality Check

A pause here.

Instead of the funny, sarcastic and opinionated musings you are accustomed to, I need to not play lightly on the news that 20 children and six of their care givers and teachers were murdered this week.

Two weeks before Christmas. Not that there is any time on the calendar that is accommodating to such horror.

A few short points.

1. Until Mental Health gets the attention it needs in society and specifically in the political arena, there will be more acts of frustration, desperation and retaliation. Rightly, or wrongly.

2. The media needs to smarten the HELL UP. I cannot imagine the thought process it takes for a “journalist” to ask a coroner, “What were the children wearing?” Jesus. Really?

3. Legislation steeped in history, created in a time that required citizens to bear arms to defend themselves against predators on four legs, and occasionally two, needs to be revisited and examined to reflect today’s needs. YOUR RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS IS USURPED BY MY RIGHT TO LIVE.

4. Less about the shooter. More about the victims. This is not the fast track to fame!!

While Canada is not innocent of murders involving guns – we cannot compare to the track record set by the U.S.

I look forward to what President Obama has in mind when he says change is coming regarding gun laws. If it is as well handled as his message to the families and the community of Newtown this evening, then Americans can start looking forward to more peaceful times.

Peace on Earth. Good Will to All Humankind.

(We’ll get back to the funny in a couple of days.)