Trump Congress speech- still a loose cannon wolf

A POV: Only DonaldTrump would have the unmitigated gaul to get a SEAL killed through his negligence, then parade his grieving widow as a prop…and then complain when some Congressmen don’t cheer. Respect for the death of any servicemen should be humbly honoured. Clapping and whistling shows of glee isn’t patriotic. God can hear each of our hearts just fine.


His tip to women and Trudeau initiative does not phase me one bit. Trudeau is just being wise and careful. Trump has no plans that I have seen. Tick tock… 

New friends? Who? I’m more scared today than ever…

-Al Smith 

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Immigration, citizenship essay – John Ralston Saul 

A truly remarkable Canadian, John Ralston Saul pens an essay about the time tested foil for conflict/ immigration. His current essay tackles the issue of identity in an age when borders or faith seem to reign mighty. A lengthy article but very rich in perspective. 

I’ll also argue it’s less a new vanguard of populist policy and more the collateral damage of a few zealots finding just the right demogogue to fortuitously obtain power.  There was no landslide. The Donald got lucky. If sensible wisdom prevailed and Trump lost, guys like Bannon or Miller would be unknown white guys. Perhaps more vital is citizens asking how the usual checks and balance of democratic electoral process has been breeched. Kings and crazies were not supposed to reach highest office. It’s no wonder that the weakest most desperate humans are now fodder for nationalist intolerance. – Al Smith 

When Canada decided in early December last year to take a first wave of 25,000 Syrian refugees, the government immediately flew a team of almost 600 immigration specialists to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. This included settlement officers, medical specialists, security teams, education experts, etc. Within two weeks families were being processed and flown out on chartered airplanes. On arrival they stepped off the plane directly into a room where they were registered as official refugees. In other words, the first act of the Canadian state was to put them on the countdown to citizenship. They were then registered for the healthcare system in a second room and in a third received social security and work papers.( Immigration)

Saul has studied and written citizenship his entire life so he speaks within a strong philosophical and national context. 


TRU. “President’s Lecture Series Presents John Ralston Saul.” InsideTRU. Lecture. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. 

“Immigration and Identity.” John Ralston Saul. <essay» IAI TV. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. 

Posted in Culture, Essay, History, Politics, Social Policy | Tagged , ,


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to paddle from the base of Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry? Did you know for the price of a kayak rental and a backhaul, one can paddle this 16 mile stret…


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19th C Philosopher muses about America – Trump era 2017

My post as an homage to Tocqueville… his insights were poignant wisdom. Almost prophetic. His words have been used by Neil Postman, academic and author who has posited that technology is not benign. See video. Today social media fake news, hacking, and journalism furor have us all in a state of fear. 

French sociologist and political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) traveled to the United States in 1831 to study its prisons and returned with a wealth of broader observations that he codified in “Democracy in America” (1835), one of the most influential books of the 19th century. With its trenchant observations on equality and individualism, Tocqueville’s work remains a valuable explanation of America to Europeans and of Americans to themselves. ( History)

Watch Neil Postman lecture 1997.(College)


 Postman, Neil. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Knopf, 1992. Web.

Postman, Neil. “Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology.” Barnes & Noble. 30 Nov. 9479. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. Staff. “Alexis De Tocqueville.” A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.<

College Lecture Series. Surrender of Culture to Technoligy. Web. Mar. 1997

Kjantzen. “Neil Postman’s Technopoly … Twenty Years Later.” Kyle Jantzen. 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

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Rise of tyranny- Plato

Chilling reference to Plato’s Republic and our fear of Trump.


Under such presumably decadent conditions, “a would-be tyrant would seize his moment”:He is usually of the elite but is in tune with the time. Given over to random pleasures and whims. Feasting on food, and especially sex.

He makes his move by taking over a particularly obedient mob, and attacking his wealthy peers as corrupt. He is a traitor to his class, and soon his elite enemies find a way to appease him or are forced to flee.

Eventually he stands alone, offering the addled, distracted, self-indulgent citizens a kind of relief from democracy’s endless choices and insecurities.

He rides a backlash to success. Too much freedom seems to change into nothing but too much slavery. He offers himself as the personified answer to all problems. To replace the elites, and rule alone on behalf of the masses. And as the people thrill to him as a kind of solution, a democracy willingly, impetuously, repeals itself.( Open Culture) 


“The Republic by Plato.” Project Gutenberg. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.

“Did Plato predict” Open Culture. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.

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#wct2017 Interior Savings weekly update

Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball

2017 Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament


Press Release: download (PDF)


ONE(1) WEEK we can’t wait….Feb 2-4, 2017 at Kelowna Secondary School. 1079 Raymer Ave, Kelowna, BC.

Kelowna Secondary School is pleased to be hosting the 44th annual Interior Savings Western Canada Basketball Tournament. This year’s tournament features eight quality teams, all of which currently rank in the top ten in their respective provinces.

BC teams include the Kelowna Owls, Walnut Grove Gators, Oak Bay Bays, Semiahmoo Totems, and the South Kamloops Titans. To round out the field, making the trek to the Interior from outside BC are the Raymond Comets from Raymond, Alberta, the Campbell Collegiate Tartans from Regina and the Oak Park Raiders from Winnipeg.

Participating Teams
1. Kelowna Owls, Kelowna BC
2. Oak Bay Bays, Victoria BC
3. Semiahmoo Totems, Surrey BC
4. Oak Park Raiders, Winnipeg MB
5. South Kamloops Titans, Kamloops BC

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Aboriginal identity and the arts- a cultural lens

With the recent alleged exposure of Joseph Boyden’s identity by the APTN , the whitewater ripple in Canada is growing. I’m no expert. I’m just a reader and retired librarian but the storm is as chilling as our cold winter. 

As a librarian I read, purchased and advocated Joseph Boyden books. Why? Literature but also cultural relevance mattered. In an age where Canadians are tackling reconciliation matters legally and socially , embracing the pursuit of point of view and discourse led us to literature. 

Like the storm around Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code or Jonathan Earl Franzen’s Opra plagiarism fiasco, librarians struggled with the fallout. I don’t think censoring Boyden titles based on assertions is sound but even if this issue eventually is proven, authors of fiction should not be banned. 

I harken back to the Gray Owl biography. Canada and the world embraced his tales of Canada’s wilderness life. Culture even cheered his ‘indianness’ despite his true story exposing him as just a charismatic white man. 

These narratives may ultimately serve the genuine need for change in Canada’s racial problems if by exposure only. I pass no judgement on Boyden at this early stage but , as always, I do prompt my colleagues to consider their selections with the context in mind. Just providing book titles does not indicate prejudice but being informed is always part of a defensible plan. 

Joseph Boyden is a great writer and whether his identity issues do expose deception, I still posit that his body of work deserves reading. Perhaps this specific issue, even if true, may help us all address what racial identity in a multi-cultural society means? 

“Author Joseph Boyden’s Shape-shifting Indigenous Identity.” APTN National News. 23 Dec. 2016. Web. 05 Jan. 2017.

“Indigenous Identity and the Case of Joseph Boyden.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 05 Jan. 2017. Web. 05 Jan. 2017.

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