The Three Amigos

In what could be the last “Three Amigos” conference, Trudeau, Obama, and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, are going to tackle environmental and economic issues. Adding to the importance of the meeting is the undercurrent of the U.S. presidential election and a sense of anxiety of what the outcome will be.

With the British voting to leave the European Union, uncertainty about the future of the EU, the unity of the United Kingdom, and the economic stability of Europe and Asia, having stable trading partners close by for all three countries is positive to ensure economic stability.

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Ethiopian Famine Vulture Photo

Ode to Images

It’s remarkable that photos can so effectively convey moments of extreme pain, joy, suffering, and horror. Whether it was the mushroom cloud that ended World War Two, the Syrian Boy Washed Ashorescreaming naked girl covered in napalm during the Vietnam War, the picture of the little girl in Ethiopia, so thin you could see her bones while a vulture lurched ten feet away, or the photo of the Syrian boy who washed ashore dead, these have done more than any words ever could.

 

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Voting Line

A Battle Between Tyranny and Freedom

With terrorism ever-present in our lives since the 1970s, whether by extremist Muslims, by extreme Fascists, or Anarchists, or other groups, is it time to accept terrorism as the new norm.  Should the foreign policy objectives be less about destroying ISIS and other terrorist organizations, and more about limiting their ability to attack directly in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America?

There are always going to be those “lone-wolf” attacks, but as we live in a free and democratic society with rights, the police cannot arrest people until an illegal act has actually been committed.  As terrible as that sounds, being able to freely move and purchase goods are principles by which open societies must live by.

Tyranny

Investigator after investigator said that they wished they could have arrested the man at the LGBT night club before he killed 49 people, but living in a democratic society entitles you to protection under a constitution and a set of laws.  And, when laws were passed that curbed certain rights to better protect people, like the Patriot Act in the U.S. and Bill C-51 in Canada, the public was in uproar about the civil liberties that were being taken away.  So where does that leave us?

Being open, free, democratic societies is what makes many countries around the world unique, but it is also what makes us so vulnerable to attack.  Because while authoritarian states can simply arrest people on trumped up charges and imprison them without just cause, that simply cannot happen in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom.  And, if it did, people would start protesting and pressuring the government to change the laws.

Living freely vastly outweighs living under tyranny, but it also makes us vulnerable to attack and danger.  Continuing to live as we do in many countries around the globe, we must be aware of danger and know that we are vulnerable because of our democracy and the rights it affords citizens within it.

 

U.S. Flag

Donald Trump Puts America First

Tonight, as Secretary Clinton gave her first speech as the Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee and the first such speech given by a woman of any major U.S. political party, Donald Trump eloquently articulated his policy of “America First,” which looks like it will be the cornerstone of his agenda if he is to march to the White House in January of 2017.

“America First”, as Trump said, means putting U.S. workers ahead of exporting work abroad. It means keeping jobs in the United States, protecting the steel workers and the coal miners, the farmers and the dairy producers from foreign competition.

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Forgotten Souls Wandering Into the Abyss

Lost in the abyss. That is what life is like with a serious mental illness. The doctors, nurses, and health care providers, do all they can for the patients. But they can’t live for them. They can’t snap a finger and make everything all better.

Being someone who has experienced serious bouts of depression for over a decade as a adolescent and young adult I hope to shed some light on the real problems young Canadians with mental health issues face.

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Terry Fox

There is a Town in north Ontario…

July 1, 2016, marks the 149th birthday of Canada. Canadians can rejoice in knowing that they live in a country built on respect, diversity, acceptance, and compassion. These ideas are in Canadian history. They are embedded in the hearts and minds of every Canadian whether an immigrant, a First Nations person, or someone born in Canada.

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Donald Trump

America’s Breaking Point?

A few months ago I wrote about how I thought Americans would not approve of Donald Trump’s message, his ideas, and his overall demeanor. That was before he became the Republican nominee for President, before there was no doubt that a contested convention would not take place in Cleveland.

Even a few weeks ago I still strongly believed that Americans would reject Donald Trump’s policies of division and intolerance. But perhaps he has just brought to the surface what has been bubbling underneath since the signing of the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Roe v. Wade decision.

Donald Trump has made it apparent that the American people, or at least his supporters, are more than just unhappy with President Obama, Congress, and the Supreme Court. What he has revealed is the racism, nativism, intolerance, and hatred of people who are not white Christians that hate diversity.

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