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“The mass of citizens plays a passive, quiescent part, responding only to the signals given them. The most popular politicians are those who succeed in altering the script and reframing the debate – in other words, those who can bend the media to their will. With sortiton, you do not ask everyone to vote on an issue few people really understand, but you draft a random sample of the population and make sure they come to grips with the subject matter in order to make a sensible decision.”

That quote came from a Guardian News article my son sent to me.  So true.  Look how Trump is bending the media thru his inane tweets.  And how many citizens who do vote, really have a solid grasp of issues?  I suspect that very few do.  Our elections in the western world come down to popularity contests.  Who is the most photogenic?  Who has the best grasp of social media to “bend” it to “their will”?  Who’s gone door to door and shaken the most hands?  Who’s kissed the most babies?    In effect then, who has been in the public eye the most, in the few short weeks leading up to the election?  There is your eventual winner.  Not the guy or gal who has a grasp of the issues and a plan to deal with them.  No, it ends up being the loudest who wins.

Sortition is a concept that makes so much sense.  We should investigate this option and implement it.

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I’ve been following the stories on Madison Project in Toronto and the parallel efforts to save Estonian House for some time now. It is unfortunately eerily deja vu. It’s like we have not learned anything from growing up in a community that used to work together for common objective. Instead of emulating the Jews who have an admirable knack for putting aside personal and political differences when it comes to strengthening and growing their community, it seems that Estonians (in the West) today have a propensity to do whatever it takes to stop progress and live in the past. As much as I have enjoyed the Broadview Avenue Estonian House and all it has done to preserve Eestlus, it is an edifice and mindset that represents a pagulas history that no longer exists. Except in the minds of a large sector of the Eesti community who seem to want to continue living in the past. And the language of this discussion is at times so silly and bizarre it makes me roll my eyes. It’s time to take a risk folks and project this community into the 21st century. Yes I agree, the Madison Project is rife with unanswered questions and potentially crippling roadblocks. But to comfortably sit on our past achievements is to deny the future. Look at Eesti today folks. Do you think our homeland got to be the envy of Europe by living in the past and obsequiously caving in to potential and real threat from the big bear on its border? No. They have even at times thumbed their nose at Putin and his cronies and barged ahead because they know that those who live in the past are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past. We should emulate homeland Estos and take example from their incredible risk taking achievements. Estos invented Skype! The present day fibre optic infrastructure project for the entire country, even rural areas. Obviously you can never forget the past and should forever celebrate and mourn its watershed moments. But it is time to think big folks. Time to take a risk. Time to move forward. Be an Estonian and make your children proud. Make yourself proud. The people at the helm of Madison Project are not stupid. They are approaching this with intelligence and a forward thinking energy that is sadly missing from the cadre of folk who insist on living in the past. Eesti Maja was a grand achievement for pagulas Eestlus. But that’s history. Let’s forge a new history. Together.

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Sad when issues like doing the smart thing and saving your life have to be mandated by government.  Have we become so brain dead about preserving our health, that we can no longer be relied upon to make decisions about our own bodies?  Apparently so.  Perhaps it is time to push thru class action law suits against Redpath and other sugar purveyors for decades of misleading and false claims about the adverse health impacts of sugar.  We did it to tobacco.  Why not sugar?

No more refills: France makes it illegal for restaurants, schools to offer unlimited soft drinks

 

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Demonstrating the incredibly powerful influence of his office, the Donald’s tweet threats about slapping tariffs on cars coming from Mexico into the USA has no doubt had a major impact on Ford Motor Co’s decision to quash development of a $1.6B manufacturing plant in northern Mexico. There go a few thousand Mexican jobs. There will be others. Many others, as US companies revisit their development plans in Mexico and shut down existing facilities to ward off the wrath of the White House and Congress and the Senate. So while the Donald tweets on about the primacy of US jobs and the need to “make America great again” you have to wonder how thoroughly he thinks these things thru. If he’s broadcasting now about the horrible impact of illegal aliens in the United States, and the loss of American jobs because of these nasty alien Mexicans, I wonder what impact closure of plants in Mexico will have, given the Donald’s fear mongering about illegals and the loss of American jobs. You think there might be a slight increase in migration from Mexico across the Rio Grande when thousands and thousands of Mexicans are thrown out of work? Oh, yeah, I forgot! The Donald is building a wall to keep them out! So he has thought this through. And he’s going to force all those unemployed Mexicans to build it, and get the Mexican government to pay for it. What a brilliant leader.

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Malic acid.  Titanium dioxide.  Brilliant blue FCF.  Allura red.  Sunset yellow.  Carbon dioxide.  Carnauba wax.

Sound like ingredients in making car wax or paint.   Or perhaps some metal working industrial process to chrome plate steel.  Titanium dioxide!  Really?  I suspect  a full Hazmat suit would be recommended when handling that.   Our kids are gorging on titanium dioxide.  That can’t be good for you.  Carnauba wax?  Why not just grab a spoonful of Dad’s car wax to satisfy that sugar craving?  These are just some of the ingredients I read off candy wrappers.  Oh yeah.  The sugars.  Corn syrup.  Sugar.  Sorbitol.  Glucose.  Dextrose.  How many sugars or substitutes are out there?  The most perplexing and bizarre ingredient was carbon dioxide?  In candy!  Whoever heard of such nonsense?  CO2 in candy.  Is that not the stuff we are trying to eliminate from our atmosphere?  The ingredient that is responsible for accelerating climate change.  How on earth does CO2 have a place in candy?  Mind boggling!  Is it any wonder our kids are developing strange and never before seen health problems?   We are living in precarious times and the future does not at all seem very bright.  So before your kids get to the bottom of their pillowcase stuffed with Halloween haul, have a look at what they are ingesting.  It better blow your mind, because if it does not, it will surely blow theirs.

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11.11.11


Veterans

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Finally good news on the Dad front. He’s settling in to his new home in a senior’s residence 20 min from my house. Ideal. No more stress living in a large house. No more paranoia staring out the window all day. Lots of peers around him, some worse off, some better. A nice suite, plenty large for him, private bathroom. It gets regular cleaning from the staff, unlike his house. Still blows my mind how Dad’s other son could let his father live in a house that reeked of mould and misery. Now Pop gets three squares a day, and I’m talking really good food! I’ve eaten there several times, no cafeteria tray bland food. This place has an in-house chef preparing tasty food and pastries. So now we can get him a new set of teeth so he can enjoy that food. Going for the first form fitting for new dentures this week. Sadly the previous caregiver who lived under the same roof neglected most of Dad’s personal care and needs. And it is so refreshing to not have to make 3 hr one way drives every week to attend to Dad issues. Wonder if the brother will ever bother to come and visit his father? At his convenience of course! We lucked out and got the last suite in this 3 year old building. No long-term health care facility kind of smell or vibe. Feels like a beautiful condo, which it basically is. Hopefully will add a few more good years to Dad’s life. Dad and lilacs

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