Sunday, 10 February 2019

They stole our name, but we are the true Conservatives.


They stole our name, but we are the true Conservatives.

I wasn’t going to write about politics, but someone chastised me for not being a Conservative while supposedly I owe a lot to the Conservative party. I have been a Progressive Conservative Albertan since 1968 when I was sold on the Peter Lougheed message. He started the party from nothing and became the Premier in 1971 if my memory serves me right. He set us up so well that his party remained in power for 44 years until it was changed beyond recognition. A true leader, he was, concerned with the people of Alberta and proud of being a Canadian.

Lougheed was born and raised in Alberta, an athletic,  Harvard graduate and above all a privileged guy who shared his good luck with others for the good of all. His educated vision was for Alberta to use the temporary prosperity from oil and build a prosperous clean, attractive province for future generations. Investments in education, health care, and other social ventures are paying off to this day. Oil boomed, but oil corporations knew he was the boss. Hospitals and universities sprung up, Alberta Energy company insured that we prosper and Alberta became a destination for people seeking a good future.

After a brief change over, Peter was replaced by Ralph Klein who was the opposite. A not very athletic, high school dropout, Ralph sold the goose for a few golden eggs. My Conservative party now dismantled the legacy of Lougheed, sold the assets, spent the savings, and allowed us to become a one big company town owned by private corporations.

Move forward to 2019, when the contest is wedged between champions of the two theories. On the right side is Jason Kenney an Ontario born Saskatchewan raised, man who dropped out of a US Jesuit University, was active in the Young Liberals and moved to Alberta to be elected as a Conservative. He and another Albertan Stephen Harper led the Federal government for ten years never completing even one of our pipelines that we have going east which would have guaranteed Canada energy independence. A pipeline east now would have provided a market for the oil which Peter Lougheed invested so much of our tax dollars to develop.

On the left side of the rink, we have a small but smart Alberta woman who grew up seeing the Lougheed advantage and under another banner decided to revive the Alberta Advantage. Just like Lougheed, she believes that investing in the people, infrastructure and diversifying the economy is the answer. The only main difference is, she is doing it while the province is suffering greatly from low world oil prices and from mistakes made before her time. Most of Alberta’s advantage has been sold, and those who bought it are trying to squeeze the last few pennies out, often at the expanse of Albertans.

Not surprisingly the fight between “left” and “right” is most noticeable in countries and provinces where there is oil. The people who own the oil, since it is on their lands, often are pushing “left” since they wish to benefit from their resources. We have all known for years that oil will come to an end since we recorded Lougheed saying it. The question has always been, who will get the money and what will they do with it. Peter wanted to make the future bright for all Albertans, and those who followed him chose to give it to outside companies and friends in exchange for staying in power.

My Alberta which I invested a lifetime of work to make better for my children and their children is not going the way I thought it would. The lady Premier is investing in children, elders, public education, transportation, diversified economy, families and health facilities, just as, Lougheed did. Her efforts are challenged by a New party that stole the name Conservatives doing what I consider damage to those of us who built the place.

A party, supported by some rural Canadians and a lot of new immigrants is threatening to reverse the good work that she is doing. A political force that wants us to work for less, reduce taxes for those who are taking our resources, privatize our health care, charge us to use our roads, reduce money for our schools giving it to private schools and fighting against our efforts to reduce pollution, is gaining in the polls. They do it by spending vast amounts of money on marketing as I see on expensive electronic billboards.

I am truly afraid that The Conservatives of my generation, and probably the parents of most of you, are losing the fight to outside “investors”  who don’t have our province’ best interest in mind. They will skim the cream off the top and leave us to fight the floods and fires on our own. They will not worry about how we will afford to clean up after them and find ways to feed ourselves after the need for oil is gone. All those who came here in the boom times will go, and all of Alberta will be like a coal mining town after coal was no longer needed.

I have the fortune of remembering the last fifty years in Alberta and the ability to assess what I saw and pass it on to younger generations. I will not be affected much by what is taking place, but I care about my children and the future of this province and the world around it. I also care about the investment that a lot of people that are now gone made in this place.

I am a Progressive Conservative, as were most people who worked with me to make this a great place for our future generations. No one with a fake interest in what we were doing is going to say that I am not. This is my opinion anyway.

Here is a link to my blog: https://thesimpleravenspost.blogspot.ca/  Feel free to check other articles and comment.

The man who invented modern Alberta, and the woman who made it possible.

 7225136[1] From Montreal Gazette Published in the Calgary Herald 2012.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Choose Love or Greed?




Choose Love or Greed?

I opened my email. It is much faster than how mail used to be during my youth and so easy to open. I no longer use my old trusty letter opener which I had for fifty years. Thank goodness for modern conveniences, but just wait a minute. The first letter was addressed to me but not signed by anyone I know. The unknown person is telling me that he has pictures of me watching porn sites and if I don’t send him 400 BitCoins (whatever they are), he will send all my friends those pictures. I printed and delivered a copy of the letter to the local RCMP, but they can’t do a thing about it. They have lots of those letters. I am glad that I am 100% sure that no-one could possibly have the pictures they have mentioned.

The phone rang, and I answered. A mature female voice told me that a lawsuit is being filed against me… and I hung up. The variety of threats made over the phone is nothing less than amusing. Sometimes I wonder if we weren’t better of when we had no telephone, received letters in the mail and borrowed books from the library.

What we have now is the results of the culmination of policies which we allowed to take place over a long time. It didn’t happen overnight. At one time we lived in communities where we knew the people around us, helped each other and faced problems together. When things went wrong, all of us demanded changes and got them.

Now it is a different world. As the years past, we glorified any and all actions that make money and lost any sense of decency. Business became holy and what used to be revered became trivial. Family relationship, faith in God, pride in being honest, honor, personal integrity and many other qualities that we believed in, went out the window. Now people devise ways to hurt each other and extort money, mostly from the poor, and receive accolades. People arrest power by openly lying and use the power to intimidate others, force sexual and other favors out of defenseless individuals, and get away with it. Even wars based on false accusations are fought and only criticized for not profiting the powerful.

I remember older people complaining and lamenting about the loss of the good old times, and I don’t want to sound like them. Perhaps I am only another old person who became a chronic complainer, but I don’t think so. I see a noticeable number of people much younger than I being very uncomfortable with the state of society.

We used to regulate ourselves by choosing governments that provided needed services and controlled misbehavior. I witnessed the striking down of laws that were good in favor of giving freedom to businesses claiming that they can regulate themselves and that the “market” will take care of all problems. It didn’t happen. President Reagan stood in front of cheering crowds saying that the government is not solving problems but is the problem and we agreed. Elected officials abandoned any attempts to do their jobs properly and applied themselves to raising funds to market themselves to win elections. The system became broken.

We used to have laws forcing the news media to investigate and report all sides of issues. The media was held to account if they knowingly misrepresented facts. I remember the government providing inspections and protecting consumers. Police officers were a part of the community and provided a good example. Now the police organization is under investigation for systemic harassment of some of their own. I am scared of what the future may bring if we don’t take action very soon.

The movement of the far right which is demanding less or no government has gone off the rails. We can’t live in a society that is regulated by greed alone, where no-one can be trusted. We can’t have all government services privatized, and there will be no protections for anyone who is not well enough to protect themselves. We used to have governments responsible for public services and accountable to the electorate, but we let them go. Some want the government only to provide an army to defend their property, but I disagree with them full heartedly.

I watch movies like Star Wars where the last remnants of decent humans are rebelling against an evil empire, and I think, let us not become such a world. I see political organizations building platforms based on hate for taxes, and I wonder. Are we ready to give up all the good things that made our society what it is? Are we going to trust business to take care of the world and all the people in it just because they are good-natured caring people?

I look across our border at one example. We had public healthcare now for close to fifty years, and they didn’t. If a person walks into a health facility in either country, we find the service and care on par. Yet, many millions of their people suffer and die miserable deaths for lack of money for treatment, and high insurance rates, while here they don’t. Very credible institutions examined the costs and found out that the expense per capita for healthcare in Canada is only slightly more than half of what it is over the border.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of having to fight all the time to protect myself from those who take advantage and extort money. I want a good government that will do it and will look for ways to make our society great again. It will not happen by letting foxes guard the hen house.

I have my computer, and I write. I have my vote, and I choose to elect people who will govern to protect me and build an economy good for average people, not on unregulated business. Most of my acquaintances who are business people agree.

Here is a link to my blog: https://thesimpleravenspost.blogspot.ca/  Feel free to check other articles and comment.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Mary Poppins in politics.


Mary Poppins in politics.

We went to see the new version of Mary Poppins movie, where there were more adults viewers than kids. The Disney Corporation obviously made the movie for kids since it is full of magic and only kids believe
in magic, or do they?

My daughter and her three kids visited us over Christmas, and the conversation veered off to the subject of magic. She sat there by the Christmas tree and said that when she was small she believed in magic and in a fair, kind world, but then she grew up. She saw that the world was a mean place in which everyone and everything is competing for domination over each other and only the shrewd and strong survive while others suffer. In our world, she said, you have to fight for a place and fight to keep it. She is right I must sorrowfully admit.

Many years ago, I left a country which was divided between Judaism and Islam, both Abrahamic religions just like Christianity is. My mother told me that if you live in a Christian country, you will notice a difference. Christians idolize a philosophy of sharing and helping the poor amongst them, she said. It's in their nature, and they learn it from the New Testament. We moved to the Christian world and lived and learned.

There was a striking difference between what was being preached in church on Sundays and what was going on in our lives on other days. Soon after I was promoted to a low-level supervisory position, and told by my boss to make business decisions. That’s the lingo for heartless choices based on profit.

Mary Poppins is a nanny that comes to families in great need and takes care of the children. Yes, as all fairy tales go, she uses magic, but not without people doing the right thing first. Here on the silver screen, we were watching a family in disarray devastated by the passing away of mom. Dad overwhelmed by his wife’s death neglected to make a few mortgage payments and the bank, which he incidentally worked for, demanded that the full mortgage will be paid in less than a week. He had shares in the bank, but without his wife, he couldn’t find the papers.

As the plot developed, the kids got absorbed by the stories that Mary Poppins told them, and I saw what my daughter realized. There are bad people around, who take advantage of people’s weakest moments, strip them of their rights and property and leave them destitute while absorbing all they have into an empire of riches. They do it with a kind smile and playing by rules that they set, convincing the victims that their way is the only way.

I look at the political game played in the world around me, and I see clearly how the game of power is shaping human destiny. Some years ago, when I arrived in Alberta, there were many opportunities and jobs. People like me were motivated to study and work hard, and those who did received good rewards. My dad was the sole breadwinner, and we lived a satisfactory life purchasing a house in the first five years. My mom had poor health but didn’t have to depend on private clinics for treatment but was treated by Medicare that had no incentive to prolong any conditions or medication for possible additional income. I was able to finish high school by evening courses, free of charge, and continue to University that I could pay out of my regular wages. I graduated debt free. The Province was debt free and helping other less fortunate areas of the country. Other people who were in my economic class started many little businesses and did just as well if not better.

Compare this to the world today. Just about all that I just described is gone. Many people work hard and lose their good jobs, lose their homes and often can’t even afford the medications they need. Kids can no longer afford higher education, and hardly a few manage to have little businesses. The newspaper in your hands at this moment is barely able to stay in business while just a few years ago this community supported two.

 

In the movie Mary Poppins stories changed the outcome. The children saved the day by rescuing the Bank share certificate that the family owned, and sticking it on a kite. The aunt, who was a Union organizer got the working men from the streets to turn time back by five minutes and an old man who owned the bank but was shoved aside took his business back and reversed the predatory decision to steal the family home from its rightful owners, the family.

 

I am not a child, and I don’t believe in magic, but I do reserve some room for miracles. I have seen too much evidence that miracles can and will happen. I believe that the good times can return and that the American and Canadian dream is not yet dead. If people realize that they can’t just vote for a political party which appropriated a name of a long-gone party that made us prosper, they will change the future.

 

We don’t vote for a name; we vote for a leadership that stirs us towards a better life. It is up to us to find out who is doing it and use our democracy and our numbers to make things right. We must take the time to discover who is lying and who is telling the truth and use the power that wise people gave us through a Constitution.

The young people are right, and we must fight for what we get. We fight like Mary Poppins, by telling ourselves the right stories. We are, after all, the stories we tell ourselves.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

What will eradicate poverty and make towns prosper?

What will eradicate poverty and make towns prosper?
Let's start with some statistics. I will give the numbers, and you will guess the country. 70% of the population is rural. 52% of the average income is spent on food. Infant mortality is 176 per thousand. 10% of households have electricity. 10% of the people have secondary education, and the life expectancy is 45. You may take as many guesses as you like but keep in mind that this is an example of how to go about eradicating poverty. If you have some possible answers here is the truth. These statistics are from the USA at the turn of the century, the end of the 1800 and beginning of the 1900. Canada wasn't much different as the grandparents told us.
What made the continent that was so much like the most backward countries today advance the way it did? We didn’t receive aid from rich countries and didn’t find huge reserves of diamonds and gold. According to a study at a reputable university whose name escapes me, the important factor was innovation. The author of the study, Efosa Ojomo, believes that it was the contribution of Henry Ford that sparked our forefathers into becoming what we are today.
Henry Ford had a dream that a motorcar could become common and affordable for most people. It was not a very popular vision, and investors pulled away from him. The prototype didn’t meet his expectation, and he built another. There were no factories that could build the model T and definitely he couldn’t afford to hire a huge number of highly paid tradesmen to build the revolutionary machine. They didn’t exist. No roads, gas stations, or any other infrastructure existed, and the engine, transmission, body, etc. had to be developed.
Henry Ford embarked on a project for one main reason. It was something he could do because it was needed. The time was right to get away from the horse and steam economy and utilize newly available internal combustion technology. In 1908 Henry began work on a car that would be simple, affordable and useful for farmers and common people. He had to design the vehicle and a way to produce it. Adopting the assembly line idea from the food industry he built a factory which revolutionized the way people did things. He used a human quality that is available to all, called innovation.
The car became a “must have” item and manufacturing it provided many thousands of jobs. Roads and bridges were built, extraction and distribution of fuel developed and supply of raw materials as well as making parts changed America forever making the continent the home of innovation. The US became the example of how Capitalism can enrich a nation. Soon farms were able to produce more; cities grew as suburbs were built and our way of life was set up for success.
Innovation is the tool that will bring humanity out of poverty and will rescue places like the towns we live in here in the southwest of Canada, if its used right. First people must give up the notion that what existed in the past and did well can be brought back. Coal for heating and powering industry is not returning; industry is not coming back to remote little towns, and even forestry and oil is coming to an end. It may provide us with the means to build new innovative economies but the past is gone, and the future is going to be something new.
Little towns that are fortunate enough to be located in scenic areas or next to newly established natural parks will prosper. Huge urban centers will provide a steady stream of people who will seek refuge in unmolested nature and urbanites will be looking for places to spend retirement. With automation and improvements in health care, people no longer will be a wasted shells waiting for death to arrive, but a vibrant crowd.
Towns in proximity to cities that have senior services, recreation, and cheaper real estate will be in high demand. Those same towns will be able to provide or even export clean energy and perhaps become home for a cottage internet based industry. Places that are fortunate enough to have some useful resources as we have here in the form of meteorological coal are double lucky.
Innovation can be stimulated with education. If a society invests in its young people the next generation excel. Germany for example have removed all tuition fees for higher education from colleges and universities. That move covers not only German citizens but all people who are in Germany and will make the labor force of the future. The Chinese are building new universities every two or three months. Peter Lougheed took similar steps here in Alberta in the seventies setting us up for the prosperity that followed.
China, the fastest growing economy in the world is doing more than just enhancing education. They regulate all investments that come into the country or made by the country. It is welcomed only if it is good for the majority.
Overall there is a huge potential for hope in the future. Poverty can be eradicated and little rural towns can prosper if we take the right steps. We must govern ourselves to make sure that we do what is good for the country not for a few people in the country. We have to invest in our young and our future. “Don’t ask what the country can do for me but ask what can I do for my country,” said John F. Kennedy, and he was right.
This is the time to change from the sad mistakes we have made. Making huge corporations and banks too large to fail and bailing them out never worked and never will. Look at Oshawa and the GM plant. Instead we must look after our people and feed innovation. Henry Ford succeeded when he doubled the workforce wages and trained them how to do a good job.


Sunday, 13 January 2019

A new page in my Day-Timer.


A new page in my Day-Timer.

It happens every year at this time. The weather is cool and the days are short. I close last years appointment book, all dirty and page corners curled, and open a brand new book clean and smooth. Somehow this is the moment that I realize the passage of time and the newness of life. Some memories from the last year are receding, perhaps to never reappear while I begin a journey on a new road. I think I know where I am going, as I judge what my long life experience dictates, but I never really do. I can set goals, work towards them, save money or build foundations, but the end of the year will reveal that life went its own way and my wishes were only a single contributor to the chain of events that took place.

What should be the main concerns in the coming year, I ask myself. In my judgment, we should devote most efforts to improving justice and reducing fears. Huge goals, amongst many other critical objectives, but we will do what we try the hardest to do. We are humans, and we routinely do the impossible.

Justice often is greatly affected by fear or by people facing fear and taking the right actions. First, we must realize the very real danger of “group think” that we are all subject to. We are scared of making our own decisions, just in case we are wrong, so we join a group, being political, religious, economic, professional or whatever is popular at the time and we let the group dictate our opinions, affiliations, conversations and all else. I can say this since that was my prime directive most of my life.

“ The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Said Franklin D. Roosevelt. Here is a statement by a real true leader, not just of the American people but the world. During his time, because he didn’t give in to fear and made some real social changes, America was great. Canada closely followed suit. FDR didn’t rule by fear. Instead, he gave the people a dream of how to achieve prosperity, and by following it, they did. From his time to a third of a century ago, America, including Canada, was great. I saw it and lived in it.

FDR took office during the Great Depression, fought the Second World War, all while being confined to a wheelchair. He created the Middle Class, caused a balance of power between “love” and “selfishness” and left his fourth term in office knowing that his country will be the leader of the new world, which it was. The fear at that time was fear of Communism on the one side and Fascism on the other. The brave invalid FDR, found a way. He made as many people as possible happy, and the West prospered. The majority of people lived in comfort, security, and satisfactory conditions, but a small minority of superachievers found themselves under too much restriction.

While the generation who fought wars and lived through the depression were disappearing a new generation became powerful. We see the Korean war fought to a standstill, the Vietnam war fought and lost, and the rise of power of financial institutions, weapons industries and above all oil becoming king. In 1989 the new power hired an actor (Ronald Reagan, who used to be a Union organizer) hired to break the FDR New Deal, and he does. Instead of justice and equality, we got Trickle Down that doesn’t work. A few prosper and most diminish. Under Trickle Down all power concentrates in few hands, and manufactured false fears keep people in line.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office in 1945 America was at its best, and was home to the happiest people in the world, when the sun rose on the first days of the new millennium a different world greeted humankind. Gone were the one breadwinner suburban families, infrastructure was crumbling, unemployment loomed, and most people were in debt like never before. Public services were privatized, and the main loss was the feeling of security that working people used to have. Jobs were leaving faster than being created, and education suffered.

The effectiveness of fear is diminished by knowledge. Education is becoming rare for average people as fear is used to manipulate political opinions. Now we have next door a president wanting to declare immigration, a practice that has been going on forever, as a national emergency, even while it is only a fraction of what it used to be. The great USA is paralyzed since the “golfing President” wants a wall to stop migrants. Fear of those poor workers is keeping him in power.

We humans are enslaved by imaginary fears and when it enters our group think we are left as helpless victims. We should make 2019 the year in which all people will say “be not afraid” instead of “drive safe,” or “safe journey” or any other statements that make people always afraid. We should remind people to think for themselves and avoid “group think.”

I had enough of political groups, religious organizations, or corporations with big marketing budgets dictating what I should think and scaring me into submission. I had enough with people telling me to make them rich or they will harm the economy and hurt all the people around me. In 2019 I am going to look at the facts and do what's good for me and those like me. This new white page in front of me has only one word written by my hand. HOPE.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Kids, Love And FUTURE.


 

 Kids, Love And FUTURE.

 

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When life is threatened, we pull all stops and try to keep breathing. All living and growing things are born with the same instinct, to stay alive. If a human is not threatened, he or she becomes concerned with the quality of life and competition for a better life.

Humans until recent history were threatened simply because often more were dying than being born. We were animals fighting not to be extinct, and it took all of our energy and ingenuity simply to go on. Some thousands of years ago the first laws were written and in some areas of the world agricultural civilization began to change the odds in favor of human survival. The Ten Commandments became the ideal, and people even started to realize that when co-operation happens the whole species benefits as long as competition is present but restricted by regulations. Most people believed that both co-operation and restrictive laws were Gods creation.

It is only in our present existence that the conflict between competition and co-operation became critical. Competition which motivated us to thrive and take over the planet now is capable of destroying all we have and know. The human population is divided into two camps that are equal in power and friction is sparking all over the place. It is time to open our minds and study what we are facing and how long do we have before the catastrophe.  

Sadly there are people who wish to spoil the party by exposing the fact that today’s enjoyments will have to be paid by tomorrows people, and I am not talking about national deficits.

A tiny fifteen-year-old Swedish girl named Greta Thunberg decided to take action. She began by skipping school and demonstrating alone on the Swedish parliament’s steps. The Media took notice and realized that she is able to rationalize and communicate very effectively. She was invited to make a speech at the  U.N. plenary session COP24 where she was featured on the world stage, aside from the main corporate media in North America.

GRETA THUNBERG: My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old, and I’m from Sweden. I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now!

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country, and it doesn’t matter what we do. But I’ve learned that you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.

But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.

But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.

The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children, maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

Until you start focusing on what needs to be done, rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.

We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past, and you will ignore us again. We have run out of excuses, and we are running out of time. We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people. Thank you.

I copied the speech from DemocracyNow.org. It is true, and we are stealing the future from our children. They can’t understand why we value jobs in polluting the planet more than we value jobs in producing clean, renewable energy. They clearly see that our addiction to immediate economic prosperity is dooming them to the hell we are creating.

Every one of us that states “I don’t believe in Climate Change” is guilty of killing and dooming to misery untold numbers of unborn children mostly our own.

Happy 2019 everybody.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Fake News and Yellow Vests.


Fake News and Yellow Vests.A protester wearing a yellow vest holds a French flag as he walks among tear gas on the Champs-Elysees Avenue near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Perhaps There is nothing wrong with finishing off civilization. Live it up, have a great party and go away peacefully. Some people are fine with it, and who am I to say they are wrong. I chose to try and prolong life, even if it’s not as fancy as it could be. We can live it up and not worry about the future.  Why should I worry about what will happen with this world a hundred or even fifty years from now?

The Canadian News Networks showed riots in France where people wearing yellow vests were demonstrating against new Carbon Tax. The French people were leading the fight against pollution for years, and here we see them fighting against the one thing that may slow down the emissions that we produce. Either the news was fake, or the political Right won. Vive les corporations. The political right is against measures which slow down consumption especially of energy.

It was time to communicate with somebody from France, and I did. Here is the story from a person in France. Since Emanuel Macron won power promising that he is a friend of the people and will work to help the average folks, the opposite has happened. Surprise? Not really. It is the same here in North America and other places but to various degrees.

In France, the fuel taxes increased in the last year before carbon tax, by about 25% combined with other taxes which increased the cost of living for the working people. At the same time taxes on high earning corporations were cut, increasing the country’s already high deficit. Lately, a 10% Carbon Tax was added, supposedly to curb pollution. It is not like the Canadian carbon tax that is rolled back to those who need it; it is simply used to shore up the government.

At the same time, there is talk about privatizing parts of the health care, closing schools and other austerity measures which will set back the standard of living of the lowest earners. The increase in fuel prices hurts the rural folks most since they have no choice but to use their vehicles, just as we do here.

Rural populations everywhere are marginalized since they don’t have the democratic power of city people who depend on rural folks work to survive. In France, they came to a breaking point, donned their yellow vests and headed out to the streets. Folks who are normally not very involved in politics went out demanding the resignation of the president.

As in every case of peaceful demonstrations, they were joined by the more militant people of both the far left and the far right and violence ensued. The French people can’t forget the Revolution even if they try, which they are not. To them, it is clear that the people have the power. Sadly, the guillotine is the tool that brings baguettes to starving peasants.

The problem in France and other developed countries is simple to understand. When the Soviet Union was strong governments were weary about the spread of Communism which mistakenly is often confused with Social Democracy. The Communists were not very kind to their working class but portrayed themselves as such. If Communism would have been true Socialism the world would have functioned much like a Hutterite colony without the religious aspect. It was not, but they did manage to lead the world in some ways for a while. When someone says that Capitalism brought the invention of the Cell phone, you can remind them that Communists invented the satellites which make cell phones work.

In France, the working people have been losing ground for more than thirty years now. Their factories were outsourced to poorer countries, wages remained low, banks and big companies got bailouts and here is the big crunch. Under the guise of reducing taxes, the big companies gained huge tax breaks while the many millions of workers were made to foot the bills. There was no trickle down — those who got the money invested in automation reducing jobs and forever taking as much as they could.

Since the media was bought by those with money the poor and average folks were convinced that life is meant to be harsh for them since they are not smart or don’t work hard enough. A few did very well, and the rest went on trying, until a couple of months ago when the truth became obvious. The average rural family, now paying about $100 more a month for gas realized that there is no end to greed and that abuse will not stop because abusers feel sorry. Poor people will lose the earth but not have a party.

At the time of the year when people celebrate the birth of a person who said to love each other as ourselves, there are so many who are shown the opposite from love. A scant few possess most of the needed resources and the many dream of better days without much hope of seeing improvement. Their productivity and sacrifices are siphoned into accounts shielded from taxes and used by those who treat them like “human resources,” not persons with feelings, loved ones and hopes or dreams. Assailed by commercials, dazzled by artificial fakes, the working folks who sustain our human community find themselves fighting for their livelihood wearing yellow jackets.

It doesn’t have to be like that at all. We can have a world where every human being is living comfortably, without threat to their person, world or future if we just choose to share and contribute willingly for human betterment. We can have more than enough for each of us if a few will forgo corruption that sustains nothing but a useless want of power which will gain them nothing but a feeling of superiority.

Lucky for us we are seeing a new trend in the generation coming up. These young people who possibly are not acquainted with the person born in Bethlehem so long ago, are naturally following his lead. They are concerned with cleaning up our mess and are willing to give not just receive.

They stole our name, but we are the true Conservatives.

They stole our name, but we are the true Conservatives. I wasn’t going to write about politics, but someone chastised me for not bein...