A Bear's Rant

Commentary on political and social hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both

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hopeI took a bit of break from the daily grind of writing posts partly because I just got really busy with a number of other things including a stupid amount of landscaping. I wish Maggie would whack me on the back of the head when I dream up these projects. You would think she would be eager to whack me considering she usually gets roped into doing a lot of lugging and mulching.

She’s a good soul is our Maggie.

I took a break because this year had a somewhat rough start with four deaths in the family over a few weeks in January and early February. These were people I have known and cared about all of my life and the loss of them made for a bitter spring. I needed some time to contemplate things and I came to the realization that my family has been too busy to stay in touch the way all our parents kept us in touch as we were growing up.

So. . .I decided to organize a family reunion and invited some 80 people from newborns to a few in their 80s. Because Maggie and I are hosting it here at the ranch, it’s been a lot of work preparing for the onslaught but it has been worth it. The response by the family has been a little overwhelming and people,  some of us haven’t seen or talked to in a very long time are coming; some from great distances, to reconnect with each other.

The other reason I needed a break was because I had lost my sense of humour and was becoming just one more angry voice in the discordant choir that has replaced civil discussion and thoughtful debate in this brave new world. We spend more time choosing sides, assigning blame and arguing about who’s right or wrong than we do trying to find solutions to our common problems. It’s as if we see life as just one big sports event and all we do is cheer and jeer. I wanted to take some time to reasses what I believe in and what is important to me.

Family stood out as the most important thing to me and my great regret is that it took the deaths of four people to remind me of that.

I’m ready to get back to it now, or more accurately, as soon as the reunion is over this weekend so I will start posting again on August 4th. There’s a lot going on in the world, much of it dangerous and too much of the west’s response has been weak, foolish and remarkably uninformed. Too many innocent people, especially children, are being slaughtered in places like Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq, Israel, Egypt and Pakistan and I can’t help but think of the devastation that has been brought to all those families….those innocent families just like mine…. as a result. I also couldn’t help but wonder if we would be as arrogant in our assumptions about who is to blame or what should be done if it was our families being slaughtered. It’s the 21st Century but we don’t seem to have learned very much for all of our technological sophistication.

But we can talk about that next week.  Until then, hope for the best for this savaged world and I’ll hope to see you next Monday.



© 2014 Maggie’s Bear

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Twitter: @maggsbear – Facebook: Maggie’s Bear – ivmaki@sympatico.ca


Vaginas and Frilly Dillies

There was a pro-life demonstration on Parliament Hill yesterday which drew the usual accompanying pro-abortion counter-demonstration. Sometimes I believe that the two groups are actually joined at the hip and are like opposite sides of the same coin. One couldn’t exist without the other.

It was all the usual stuff but one thing I will say about the pro-abortion side is that some of its members really know how to spice it up a bit. A couple of the demonstrators decided that the best way to stand up for what they see as women’s rights was to go topless and use their breasts to make their point.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m happy to encourage women on both sides of the issue to feel at liberty to promote the cause with bared breasts. I’m very egalitarian that way – or is it shallow?

The bared breasts were only a momentary distraction for me – I had forgotten my glasses so everything was kind of fuzzy. What really caught my attention was the message one of them was delivering.

“Stay out of my vagina!” Continue reading

Benghazi: Breaking Faith with the Original American Tune

“We come on the ship they called the Mayflower,
We come on the ship that sailed the moon.
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
And sing an American tune.”
- Paul Simon

There was no specific warning that night in Libya although there had been warnings and signs of potential terrorist attacks for months leading up to attack on the American mission in Benghazi. Intelligence officers on the ground had sent back warnings, the British had closed their embassy and moved their people out of harm’s way and even the unstable Libyan government had issued warnings to the American State Department.

They were ignored. Continue reading

Lost in the Noise

A friend and fellow conservative blogger out of the United States sent me an email this morning.

“Where the hell have you been? Snow’s melted, power should be back on and you’ve been quiet!”

The operative word in that short message was ‘quiet’. I took an extended break to try and get away from the noise that surrounds us all day – every day. It never stops; it’s just one constant barrage of uninformed opinion, bigotry, arrogant partisanship and simple-minded solutions put forward as the panacea for complex problems.

During my break, I didn’t write. I kept up with the news but only just. I’m as tired of the lack of informed analysis and the absurd partisanship in the mainstream media as I am with the trolls and the sanctimonious on social media. Continue reading

Barbarians at the Gates

“Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”
Thomas Paine

During the late 17th century, a new movement among intellectuals began to emerge. It emphasized reason as a means to challenge traditional ideas grounded in faith, superstition and convention. It sought to advance knowledge through the interchange of ideas, healthy skepticism and a scientific method. It was revolutionary using logic rather than opinion or obedience to dogma to arrive at conclusions and was unafraid to test its conclusions against newly emerging  evidence.

It was called the Age of Enlightenment and Reason or sometimes simply The Enlightenment. Continue reading

A Democracy Reliant on Bits of Paper and Cardboard Boxes

The people of Quebec voted yesterday and they voted overwhelmingly against separation from Canada and the PQ government’s Charter of Secular Values which took away the freedom of religious expression from some citizens. They also voted for something else – civility.

Quebecers are passionate about their politics but for the most part, the debate is usually quite civil. This election was noteworthy for it’s vicious personal attacks, especially by the PQ. The attacks were so low that there were times when it seemed more like a federal than a typical Quebec election. Continue reading