The CBC – “My Precious”

The CBC, especially radio, for me – is air. Not simply “on the air.” It is for my mind what air is for my body. It is what keeps Canada sensitive to human kindness and cooperation. It brings quality broadcasting to isolated communities in the far north of our vast and sparsely populated country – something that would never happen if it had to make a profit. It is as important an organ to Canada as the heart is to any human.

I can’t remember whether I listened to CBC radio much while growing up in Lachine, Québec, near Montreal. CJAD was a private station that my parents listened to primarily. My aunt, Helen, worked for CJAD. As a teenager I listened to the hit parade mostly on CKGM. Ray Charles was my favorite. Continue reading “The CBC – “My Precious””

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Cuba – A Reflection in 2010

February 26th, 2010

We returned on February 12, 2010 from a 17 day holiday in Cuba staying with Cuban families in Habana, Trinidad, Bayamo, Santiago and Baracoa. It was self-planned and wonderful. It has taken me two weeks to mull over the experience before writing about it, other than to put the photos up on Facebook. Cuba makes you think.

Villa Santo Domingo, near Fidel Castro’s hideout in the Sierra Maestra

Travelling in Cuba you are bombarded with slogans, exhortations and heroes. In countries like ours we are accustomed to billboards telling us to “Just Do It,” or making us feel guilty that we have so little regard for our friends or our time that we don’t have the latest cell phone. Continue reading “Cuba – A Reflection in 2010”

Why and How Things Got This Bad – A Primer

Sharing a moment of solidarity with health care protesters in Barcelona – April 2011

This post is really an eye-catching introduction to an excellent link on the Topsy-like growth of neoliberalism, now a bane of our, possibly short-term, existence.

A history lesson which everyone born after 1970 should read. It is well worth persevering through and reads very simply.

Cars With Fins And Sharks Without Them…

In October, 2004 I turned 60 and posted this blog of memories:

I was born on October 25th, 1944, which makes me 60 years old on Monday, please God. That sobering fact cries out for a blog of some sort.

Yes, I, dear reader, predate the end of World War II, the end of the Nazi death camps, the modern, and quite persistent, state of Israel and the age of TV. I have some very early memories, such as:

  1. being too shy (at 3) to visit my father in the hospital after his heart attack, after he had been in for months with no visits from children allowed. The treatment of HA’s is so much smarter now. I know that from personal experience
  2. burning my finger with an electric cigarette lighter (at 4) in the back of my Uncle Bill’s car because I trusted my cousin Jo-Ann when she said that it wasn’t hot after the red colour went away
  3. hoping there would never be another war in which I would have to fight and possibly die (I escaped, but TV reminds me constantly of those who don’t)
  4. being talked into trading, by some shyster in grade 1, my Maurice Richard hockey card for two or three others not worthy to tie his skates Continue reading “Cars With Fins And Sharks Without Them…”

Being Thankful For Sorrow

Allowing oneself to feel sorrow or any other negative feeling (owning the sorrow) without judging that emotion is OK. This is what the tonglen slogan “Drive all blames into one, ” means. Sorrow and joy are opportunities for growth, and we should be thankful for both.

In his website, heaven4earth, Mario d’Elena has a post called, simply, “Thank You.” It expresses this very well.

To Harper and Big Pharma: Hands Off My Inexpensive Vitamins!

In February 2o00 I had two heart attacks one week apart. The first one did about 10% damage and the second one was caught before it did any more, as I was in still in ICU when it happened. The problem was fixed with angioplasty, including stents, and drugs. I changed my eating habits and, after advice from holistic doctors and my own research, I began to take several vitamins, including several antioxidants now targeted by the Cochrane Collaboration and others, for doing nothing or, worse,  increasing mortality:

We found no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention. Beta-carotene and vitamin E seem to increase mortality, and so may higher doses of vitamin A. Antioxidant supplements need to be considered as medicinal products and should undergo sufficient evaluation before marketing.

These attacks on the vitamin industry have been criticized in a post by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation in an article entitled, a little “passionately,” perhaps:   Latest Attempt to Discredit Vitamin Therapies: Is it Criminal?.
Rath says that one of the study’s main authors, Christian Gluud, has conflict of interest due to his strong connections to Biologue, a network closely tied to the Danish Pharma Consortium. Dr. Rath also points out that Denmark has seriously restricted the allowable levels of vitamin supplements and that that country is particularly opposed to unregulated vitamins. He believes that this is a major reason why the metastudy was conducted there. Continue reading “To Harper and Big Pharma: Hands Off My Inexpensive Vitamins!”