Saturday 29 November 2014

All Victims Deserve Respect

I had another convo last night with a co-worker about the pigs coming out in the news recently.  By pigs I mean humans who are unable to satisfy themselves sexually in normal, healthy, and respectable ways. Instead, most pigs either influence, rape, or drug innocent people and have their way with them.

Bill Cosby allegedly has a long history of doing this.

My co-worker says no way.  Cosby is America's Dad she says.

Laugh out loud.

She, and others in this convo simply stated .... in  a way that effectively washed clean their hands, their thoughts, their memories of any emotion, that those women are just lookin' for a pay-out.

Statute people .... statute of limitations states that those ladies couldn't get a dime even if they had evidence.  I was at work, speaking with an authority figure, so I didn't speak my mind.  Had I spoken my mind it would be like this:

"You're all assholes.  Clearly .... NONE of you have EVER been sexually mistreated in any way  or you would feel, speak, and act differently!!"

I was almost raped by a co-worker.  Had I not had my Rottweiller with me, things may be different right now.  And the thing is, when he finally left, his bruised ego and engorged passion in hand, I surely knew what had just happened.  The empty pit in my gut told me.  For days that void was there, making me feel ill, nauseous, unlike myself.  I knew what had happened to me.  But I didn't go to the police.  I didn't even yell NO as it was happening!   The one person I did tell ... our boss ... simply brushed it off saying he was told it was CONSENSUAL.

Sharing the details of a sexual assault is not a simple task.  Not in process;  nor in the volition it takes for a woman to actually report it to police.  As I stood before my boss, his words and the look he gave me, effectively negated all that I knew had happened.  Before that word was spoken, I was backed by my own knowledge, my own memory, and my own core wound that still felt empty and I knew I was right.

To me, that man had attempted to force me to have sex with him.
To the boss, that man was the best car sales person he had.  His #2.  His right hand man.

The look my boss gave me shattered all of my gumption.  All the truths I had backing me suddenly turned to smoke and dissipated into the great abyss.  This look my boss gave me, is likely similar or the same look that every sexual assault victim sees upon speaking their truth.  Whether it's shown to them or not, they feel shame and like every word they speak crumbles down their chin.

My boss looked at me like I was nothing more than a dirty, lying, stinking, slutty whore who just wanted my 15 minutes of glory.

I left that day FULL of shame.  I didn't feel like a victim.  I felt the guilt that should have been shouldered on that man ... that pig ... but it was shouldered on ME the victim ~ not HE the attacker.

Just IMAGINE how I would have felt had I gone to the Police.

Monday 24 November 2014

Civil Fukkery In the Happening

Officer Darren Brown is a free man.

Michael Brown is dead.

I don't understand.

There is such a crack~

a rapidly widening crack in the trust we feel for Police.

This will progress that further, opening up the ribs of humanity like a metal retractor ...

that will never go back again.

We need Police officers to come out against this decision.

We need Police Officers to come out and admit that they need more training, more experience.

We need Police Officers to come out against this training they get that teaches them to shoot to kill.

We need Police Officers who have shot an innocent in the past, to speak out about it.

I want to respect you ... but if you are shielded from all liability ... then how can I?

Kids and innocents keep getting shot.  Why do they keep shooting to kill?

At the moment, there is an eerie calm in Ferguson.  I pray it continues.

They say that visualization works.

Visualize Peace.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Some of the Angels of Successful Cannabinoid Therapy

I am a snifflin' mess ... but inspired nonetheless.

Realm of Caring, the group who gave us the medicinal Hemp strain named "Charlotte's Web" have shared a video on their page created by Barry Pogson.  With help from Nichole Montanez, a visual journalist with the Gazette in Colorado Springs, and photos from her "Face of Cannabis" project, they are showing just how many faces there are.

Grab a tissue and watch this video which gives voice to the parents of the children saved by the flowers of this plant.

This shot is profound.  Charlotte looks at the plants that will someday be made into the oil that is saving her life.

Many of us have heard, read, or seen a segment in media about that kid who's parents gave her Marijuana Oil.  But there are so many more than one kid ~ not that one kid isn't enough to change the world for!

Let's talk about that oil.  I love it, though I've never made it or used it.  But I like to talk about it.  The first time I was published was talking about that oil and what it can do.  Marco Renda, of the Treating Yourself Magazine was kind enough to publish my article in issue #42.  He expertly titled it "Gifts From Mother Nature".  At the time of this blog, the link for the original article on the TY website is down, but my article was very kindly shared by my friend Lincoln Horsley who runs the "Cure Your Own Cancer" website.  Read how and why he raves about this plant along side me and so many others.

This is a pic of medicine made by a friend.  He has been ingesting it for over six years now.  He makes it himself on his balcony I believe and then purges out any impurities.  This post isn't about the bazillion processes ... it's about the fact that YOU can make something that helps you.  And it shouldn't be viewed as a crime.

Imagine that there was this plant that really helped humans with disease and illness.  But the leaders of your world, want you to use this other medicine that they say is safer.  Oh ... and somebody also makes a lotta money off of that other stuff.  But you're not supposed to concern yourself with that.

Imagine someone made oil out of that plant's flowers.  Imagine they made it in the SAME WAY that many other common cooking oils are made.  Imagine it saved your life or the life of someone you love.

But they insist it's not safe, so you can't use it.  No no no ... you should use this stuff over here.  Look at how super-sterilized it is and so perfectly packaged too.

Are we free?
Do we really have free choice?

I'm cool with anyone who wants to choose man-made medicines, and I'm not ignorant to the fact that Western Medicine has made some majorly life-saving breakthroughs.  It deserves respect, this is true.

Personally though, I prefer to use naturally derived medicines.  Y'know ... the ones that were undoubtedly the instigation for many of those man-made meds?  And others do too.  We deserve the respect to choose what we use.

Why must every blog post have this angle?  Because in MOST areas of this world, a parent would lose their child if they gave him or her this oil.  In my city, no one is using it though the interest is everywhere.  And in my country ... my awesome country of Canada ... my Parliamentary Health Minister Rona Ambrose sits back and states that there is no evidence to support this oil.

I'd say the reduction of seizures from hundreds per day to none per day is evidence.

What would YOU do for someone that you love?
If you could save his or her life, but you had to break a stupid and asinine law, would you break it?

**See Mandy McKnight here ... she's been facing that very scenario along with hundreds of others for a while now.  Her son's seizures reduced IMMEDIATELY upon ingesting the oil.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Further To Today's Cannabis Debate on CBC Radio One

CBC Radio ... what a gem.

My hunni and I are tree-hugging, Wind Turbine-promoting, Cannabis-smoking, radical-recycling, CBC Radio-listening Canadians.  The station in the car hasn't changed from 107.5 FM in almost a whole year.  Today at noon they had a debate around Cannabis legalization.  The premise was this question:

"Would legalizing pot signal that it's safe?"

As the calls came in, I tweeted my thoughts.  And several times I wished I had paid more attention to the call-in number.  Basically, had I called in ... this is what I wish to have conveyed.

We're asking the wrong question.  Does this question help us make the big decisions?  With proper education, we can control what legalization 'signals' to the public and our youth.

The fact of the matter is, because of capitalism how unsafe a product is, does not hinder it's legality!
Take for example these well-known facts:

Tobacco is legal and unsafe.
Alcohol is legal and unsafe.
Bacon is legal and unsafe.
Nitrates are legal and unsafe.
Triclosan in common hand sanitizer is legal and unsafe.
Aspirin is unsafe yet is taken widely daily.
Acetaminophen is unsafe yet prescribed daily.
The list goes on and on.

A better question in my opinion, would be something like this:

"Is it ethical to keep Cannabis illegal when it holds a zero death toll, while other proven dangerous and toxic substances like Tobacco and Alcohol are allowed to be sold openly?".

The debate brought in so many experienced and educated opinions.  The expert on the panel was Dr. Jurgen Rehm, director of social and epidemiological research at CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health).  As expected, some of the callers' opinions with Cannabis were positive ones;  others were negative ones.  As each one described their experiences, it just reiterated what I already knew. And that's that we're all unique and Cannabis--like ALL other medications in the world--affect each of us uniquely.

Here's another great question:

"If Cannabis is legalized, and it holds a zero death toll, could lives be saved by simply switching recreational substances?".

It worked for me.  I rarely drink alcohol, and my hunni and I are tobacco free now for over four years.

For next time ... the call in number is 1-888-817-8995 and HERE is the site for CBC Ontario Today with Rita Celli who handled all of these opinions with diplomacy, patience, and genuine curiosity.

Monday 10 November 2014

Thanks To Ghomeshi ...

Thanks to Ghomeshi, every time I hear someone say that so-and-so is a "great guy" ... I question it ... and a little part of me doubts it.

This whole case is shocking to me.  The ball was dropped, hidden, and swept under the rug so many times it's a wonder it still rolls right.

Good job society of faithful prayer warriors.  While we were watching the injustices going on overseas, a man in a position of some influence and yes ... authority has been smacking women in private, and smiling bashfully and innocently in the public and media spotlight.

This particular blog post centers on the victim as female, but that in no way suggests that this kind of sick abuse only happens to the one sex.  Women's rights have slid backwards, they really have but even more I think Human Rights have gone backwards.

I mean . . . . . .

In what universe did Western University NOT have an obligation to share the knowledge that Jian treated female interns inappropriately?

Ball drop.

In what universe did the head of CBC, who KNEW about Ghomeshi's disrespect for women NOT have an obligation to forewarn every single female employee who has to come in contact with him?

Ball swept under rug.

In what universe do SO MANY women get treated SO POORLY and not feel safe to tell authorities?

Ball hidden for the sake of self-preservation.

In this universe.
How sad is that?
That cannot be.
Don't let this die People ... I implore you.

Use the words and the tears and the experiences shared by so many others in recent weeks, to stay alert to mistreatment of others.

Too many of us will defend someone else long before we'll defend ourselves.

Myself included.

We as a society must demand better of one another.  We have to start caring more about each other.
We need to be better humans.

That reminds me though that of course, some organizations are demanding better.  One such organization that I can think of right now, is the OHL Hockey organizations who help mold these young players into good humans.

Recently, two OHL players were faced with 15 game suspensions for derogatory and sexist comments made regarding females on a facebook page.  The action was described HERE as unprecedented.

So there you go ... in 2014 Canada, the Ontario Hockey League takes sexism, harassment, and verbal abuse more seriously than the CBC.

You can watch Heather Conway, the CBC's Head of English programming being interviewed about CBC's role in the Ghomeshi scandal by Peter Mansbridge HERE and HERE

Yes yes yes .... they did pick up the ball and slam dunk Ghomeshi off of his platform ... and off of his high horse.

But how many women were smacked, verbally abused, and/or intimidated by Ghomeshi over the past two years or more that people knew, wondered, suspected?

How many cases of mental scarring, emotional scarring, situational anxiety, or post traumatic stress disorder have been inflicted on how many women?  How many men?

That shit doesn't go away you know.  I tear up as I type this, because my experience scarred the eff out of me, and I got out physically unscathed.

But mentally ... well ... that's a whole other thing isn't it?

More than once, the CBC's exec states that she doesn't feel it was their place to call authorities about the evidence they received.

It's that that we must change.

Don't you think?

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Operation: Make Ends Meet

This coming January I will turn 41.  Remember those "After-School Specials" on tv?  You know the ones that were light in the acting department, yet chock full of wisdom and valuable life-lessons? Well that's me.  I'm an after-school special telling kids to stay-in-school, choose the right school, and the right subject for THEM, at said school.

I didn't do that, and I'm sorry if I sound like one of those "do as I say, not as I did" kind of bloggers.  
Come to think of it, my dilly-dallying when it came to my schooling, is likely a god-send in the long run.  I mean, I'm a tree-hugging animal-lover so of course, I dreamed of being a Veterinarian.  I even switched Mathematics in high school just so that I could get into that course at Guelph University.  I remember how responsible I felt when I was doing that.  I was planning my future ... laying down a path ... and making the changes needed.  But by the time I finally scraped by grade 12 advanced Mathematics with a mark of 53%, I had already come to terms with the fact that I would never be a Veterinarian. Thank Goddess for my faulty brain, or my reality may see me stuck with a huge-ass tuition bill working in an industry that's supposed to love animals, but only loves money.

What changed my mind?  When I was 16 I had to euthanize my very first horse Rusty.  Rusty was ... so amazing.  My mom bought her for $125, removed her from the field of heifers she called friends, and brought her to me.  She thought she was a cow, but she may as well have been Big Ben or Secretariat because to me, she was everything.  The day I said goodbye to her, was the day I said goodbye to that Veterinarian dream.  How could I ever re-live that pain on a day-to-day basis?

So from there I considered Veterinary Technician, but I scoffed at that measly $30K salary.  Ya ... I know eh?  Hilarity at it's best.  I barely make half that these last few years and yet it seemed like so little back then.

Y'know how you hear people say they wanna see themselves as their dogs see them?  Well I wanna see myself through those naive yet confident 17 year old eyes I had back then.

I was stuck on animals, so from there I fell into the romanticized world of Horses.  Somehow I had convinced myself that shoveling shit, getting kicked & stepped on, and living dusty was what I wanted.  I ended up going to Kemptville College for Equine Studies where you take your horse with you.  Oh KCAT will never be the same.

Before Rusty passed, she gave me Mia.  Yes it was a planned pregnancy, but the result of a quick weekend romp. The farmer charged me a 2-4 of beer for the service~which I hope he shared with the stud!  Eleven long months later came Mia.  She was a miracle to say the least.

At the risk of boring you, I'll suffice it to say that my misdirected education continued for far too long after this.  Basically, from start to finish I could someday be a full-service shop!

I could train your horse,
I could cut, perm, colour your hair.
I could list and sell your house (licensing pending)
I could arrange a mortgage on your house purchase (once again, licensing pending)
I could sell you a car~ not very well, but I could.
I could arrange the financing for that car and,
I could sell you Rust-proofing, Extended Warranties, and Insurances.
I could cook you a meal safely.
I could tend your bar responsibly.

So welcome to today ... where I just got a third part-time job.  Yep that's what it takes in 2014.

My second part-time job is for a marketing company who does relines.  Basically, I move products around according to a planogram.  Yesterday I kinda effed up, and didn't do the math.  I had to go to the store and do 5 audits that were to take me 15 minutes each.  More importantly, each audit paid me 15 minutes of $12.  I paid $10 for a cab there ... and I paid $10 for the cab ride home.  And I made $15 in total.  I may have to fax the paperwork for those audits and that should cost me anywhere from $5 to $10.  Do that math.  It's gross.

And today, the CBC was all abuzz because the head of the Bank of Canada has come out and said that with today's shaky employment scene, teens should work for free to gain experience.

There ya go kids .... stay in school so you can kick this douche-bag to the curb.

Sunday 2 November 2014

Spark It Up ... Change Begins

I've said recently, that I shun the silly idea that one must never talk about religion, money, or politics. I want to talk about almost anything in fact.  I want to know how you feel and why you feel it. Sometimes words are not my friend though.  In discussions with my fellow Canadians, the First Nations people, I have felt that every word from my lips dripped with ignorance. So at times like this I do feel muted.  Or that I should be muted.  Remain muted.  Speak only when spoken to.

I am white.  I'm as white as white can be.  Well ... I'm Irish/Scottish/German ... so you do the math.
But more importantly, I'm from an incredibly small town.  Discussions with people of other nationalities get stuck for me. The reasons for this are obvious ... I've lived a life sheltered by rural-ness.

When we learn about things in childhood, they often stick in the folds almost becoming part of the makeup.  For instance, the land that I will always call "home" was most definitely inhabited by native Canadian aboriginals.  I struggled there on how to word that.  Can I say the word "Indian"?  Or is that now an offensively outdated term?  I know the Indians lived there once because we used to find what to we kids were most definitely "artifacts".  Likely none as old as we thought they were.  But it was neat to feel that connection to a whole other people, from so long ago.

I went to a Catholic school that was situated right beside the Church.  Our church had the biggest steeple.  At the very top of that steeple is a cross.  According to the nuns at school and church, the Priest had to hire an Indian to climb up that steeple to erect that cross.  I remember visualizing that so many times, trying to understand how in heck anyone would get up that high.  If I'm careful, I can still sort of remember how that felt too, and how that image instilled some kind of 'knowledge' that Indians were fearlessly good climbers and very helpful to the Catholics.  Crazy I know.  But I was a kid.

St. Edward's Catholic Church, Westport, Ontario, Canada

Years later, came the knowledge that all the Natives paid no tax, and had liberties we didn't have.  I didn't really understand that.  No doubt, I had no idea what a contract aka a Treaty was! Needless to say, I had no idea nor any way of comprehending the atrocities that we white people did to the Natives.  Children shouldn't have to understand that.

In my early teens, I saw "Dances With Wolves".  Accurate or not, it coloured my perspective of all things Native.

Much later, my oldest sister began a relationship with an Ojibwe Native from Manitoba.  I learned so much more from Claude.  Many great things that broadened my knowledge of my fellow Canadians. But he told of some negatives too.  Conditions that he saw first-hand.

Being white and saying anything about this issue is not welcome or recommended.  I've heard it called a "financial distribution problem" where some get much while others get little.  All of whom reside on the same reserve with peers who once were called family.

But change ... it must always come from within.

Last month, a spark ignited within that fold.  A Chief in Squamish B.C. is the first to be held responsible for his own greed.  You can read about it HERE

Now yesterday another story can be read HERE that will leave you choked.  At some point, you'd think a person would see the err in their inflated salaries, in comparison to what their fellow humans get.  This is a second spark.

How many sparks to push change?

Back to my white-ness, my mute-ness, and my belief in one love ... I was lucky enough to take part in the Peoples' Social Forum in Ottawa a few months back.  On the Saturday, on Sparks Street with Mother Sun shining down on us all, I absorbed by proximity and osmosis some major Native Pride. A Pow Wow was center stage that day with dancers of all colours taking part.  I shed a few tears as the drums hit very deeply and powerfully.  And I spoke few words.  The best part for me, was seeing so many different nationalities dancing in that circle to that drum, feeling that Native Pride.

Change needs to come for many of us and though we cannot all be a part of each others' progress, we can still celebrate each others' greatness.

Cuz we're all pretty great.

Click HERE to watch a part of my favourite dance of the day.