Year: 2016 (page 1 of 2)

The Trump Card

The Trump Card

After some of the very concerning things that have happened to the great country south of where I live and a very intelligent lady who I was lucky enough to marry, some interesting ideas began to foment.

Most news media we get to listen to/watch is staffed by educated and I’m guessing city people – our illiteratti. The USA President elect appealed to a more rural and probably less formally educated group.

Most media we get to take in probably don’t rub shoulders with what we used to call the common working types.

I, although purportedly, educated spent my career working under the direction of rural small town committees. I have yet to find a more common sense intelligent group.

If you’ve seen any other of my posts, you’d have figured out that I play old timers hockey. The teams I’ve played in are a collection of all types and lately a wide variety of ages. You can have some very interesting and enlightening conversations after an hour or so of team sport.

I also play in a marching band (bagpipes actually) and again a wide mix of personalities. About half of us blow a fixed volume, nine notes, can’t shut it off instrument and the other half beat drums.

Without commenting on the views of the President elect, he tapped into something that our illiteratti missed – that common sense that lives within all of us but is often not easily expressed. It didn’t matter that some of the things said and done were repugnant. His background appeal was to this unexpressed “something”.

It’s not bigotry (two syllables less than xenophobia), but it could be.
It’s not just fear, but it could be – sort of
It’s not jealousy, but maybe something a bit more akin to WTF
It is more like one part of his message was you not on the inside deserve to be represented.

Basically there is a frustration of being ignored. The intelligencia may perceive that they know it all (or at least enough) to get their way. However, living with and listening to the less formally prepared would have allowed those who try to shape our thinking to see that maybe we don’t need shaping, just consideration.

In order to avoid the more damaging aspects of the insiderism into which we seem to have fallen, it’s time to truly listen (and heed) widely. Sometimes the nine trumps the ace.

The Plaidneck

Hyphenated Canadians.

Why are there so many divisions of Canadians? Our mass media seem to call people by a myriad of sub groups. We hear Canadians referred to as:

“South Asian-Canadians”, or even further, Indian-Canadians, Pakistani-Canadians, etc.

“Asian-Canadians” – Chinese-Canadians, Japanese-Canadians, Korean-Canadians, Vietnamese-Canadians.

“African-Canadians”, or breakdowns by some country or other.

We don’t seem to hear “Arab-Canadian” but do like to hyphenate people who(se ancestors) came from the middle east by country.

We still sometimes hear of European-Canadians. Most likely for the first generation such as “Italian-Canadian” “German-Canadian” “the Greeks”, “Latinos”, but soon, we’re all lumped together as “whites” (which is still a sub division).

“First Nations” get a different treatment and that’s another topic.

Somehow, we’ve got to drop the “Xxx-Canadian”. You will notice that when our government announces that it is assisting a Canadian in trouble in another country there is no hyphenation. Why don’t we all try to emulate that manner of address.

I’m don’t think that we who occupy this vast, interesting country should develop into a combative “screw you” type of Canadianism, but that quiet pride that has made this a good place to live is definitely OK.

We are Canadians. Drop the hyphen.

The Plaidneck

We’re losing the Northern Imperative

We in Canada used to operate under a loose ethic known as the Northern Imperative.

We live in a climate where, in the past, we had to be careful, plan ahead and in order to survive look after each other.

Careful. Could not waste. When the crops were bountiful as yields were cyclical and we would need to have set aside for the hard times to come.

Plan Ahead With a limited growing season and a potential of a long winter, food stocks had to be sufficient to last until early summer crops started to become available.

Help Others At times, survival necessitated accepting help from others. This assistance would be repaid by offering aid to those who later may fall on hard times.

With today’s ability to move things around the world with relative ease, we are losing the northern imperative. It is nolonger necessary to set aside for the lean months, we can just get something that has been grown/produced elsewhere.

A couple of recent news(ish) items kind of brought this loss to mind.

1. If a group of apes and a group of humans were marooned on an island, which would survive. Most likely the apes; they have to constantly strive to survive. The humans, although more advanced as a civilization, have status built on the ability to use the collected knowledge of our predecessors. On the island, this lore is not available and we don’t have the background to draw upon. We’re losing the ability to truly plan ahead.

2. Somehow, our bureaucrats developed a scheme where all of us subsidize anyone purchasing a hybrid auto. Not a bad idea, but some bright wags have realized that anyone can utilize this program. Some very wealthy people have used the subsidy to purchase luxury sports cars.

I was born at the end of WW2 and my parents survived the Great Depression. One on a farm where they had food but no cash and one in a hamlet where cash was available, just. When I was in a final year of university, the bureaucrats developed a program where those in their fourth year were considered independent and could apply for grants no matter family income. I could have applied for and received a grant/loan for 60% of the total cost of a year at school; half loan and half grant. Between summer work and family, I had my year paid.
I suggested to my parents that maybe I should take the money, bank the loan part so I could pay it back in a lump sum when called and invest the grant part. The particular stock in consideration quadrupled in value a couple of years later. They advised that the program wasn’t for those who could already afford school. Kind of the northern imperative – help others. Accepting grants for hybrid Porsche Spyders is ME vs. help others. Another loss.

I’m not sure where this is actually going but I believe that there is a very big need for those of us who grew up without having to do without to regain at least that part of the “northern imperative” where we are careful, plan ahead and help others.

The Plaidneck.


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