a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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About The Bear

I am a retired corporate executive that has traveled some dark roads in my life and not always willingly or by my own choice. I am a husband, a brother, an uncle, a father and a grandfather and each of those roles, along with what I have experienced, defines my life in one way or another.

I am also a conservative heretic.

By that I mean that I am conservative by nature but don’t subscribe to the brand of conservative politics being practiced these days. I don’t know what it is but it ain’t conservative. It lacks principles, integrity and seems to exist for little purpose other than to obtain and maintain political power. I fail to see how that is any different than the politics of the other parties.

My family is multi-racial and international. We are conservative and liberal, heterosexual and gay, young and old, Christians, Buddhists and agnostics. We are multilingual with various members speaking two and three languages that include some combination of English, French, Dutch, Japanese, Mandarin, Nigerian and some Spanish, Russian and sign. My grandson could sign before he was a year old and could speak.

In other words, I come from a family that is an average representation of a cross-section of society.

I started this blog with the intent of having a place where I could explore my thoughts by writing them down. I didn’t intend the site to be anything more than what it is, an exercise in the right of freedom of expression. I don’t impose my views on others and have no issue with those who don’t agree with me.

I’m not trying to change anyone’s opinions, just explore my own. While I welcome comments that both agree and disagree with me, I don’t suffer fools gladly. I have a high degree of tolerance for everything except intolerance, bad manners, hypocrisy and stupidity. I consider dishonest behaviour to be a combination of all four and I consider stupid people to be the single greatest threat faced by our society today.

For me, stupidity has nothing to do with educational level. It is a willful ignorance of facts and a blind observance to ideology. It is the refusal to hold those one supports to the same standard as those they oppose. Some of stupidest people I’ve ever known were the best educated which isn’t much of a recommendation for our modern educational system..

I appreciate the fact that you took the time to visit A Bear’s Rant. Hopefully you found something here that will encourage you to want to return. If not, thanks for dropping by.


  • M.Bohannon-Kaplan

    My husband & I
    call ourselves enablers-the one thing we agree on (other than we love each
    other more than we could have ever imagined over 50 years ago) is that everyone
    has something special to express while on this earth & that our special
    mission is to encourage an environment that will allow & inspire them to do
    just that—express themselves. (For me that is war against big government with
    its intimidating laws & regulations.) I pride myself on my absolute tolerance
    & love of diversity; however, I find that I am aligned with you in a
    limited tolerance for stupidity which seems to be nourished in our universities.
    Real truth and knowledge lies in common sense—something that all of us are originally
    endowed with and the least educated mange best to retain. I have been looking
    for thoughtful people via the Internet and I must say your blog is the closest I
    have come to good company since I discovered Milton Friedman & more
    recently, Murray Rothbard.

    • MaggiesBear

      Your comments are very kind and appreciated. Congratulations to both you and your husband finding each other 50 years ago. It took me 50 years to find Maggie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharon.letcher Sharon Letcher

    I just read your blog for the first time. The article “Where has all the money gone” is right on the mark. I live on a reserve in BC. And I also have been asking these same questions. No on listens because all those putting that money in their pockets want to keep the status quo. They are corrupting their children with a mindset of entitlement. They are handed money from their parents so the neither go to work or try and get a higher education. The people that do get a higher education come home and are shunned. The best jobs have been given to uneducated drop outs, but whose parents are in management. These are the people in charge of health, housing and social services. To be fair I come from a small interior band, but have lived on the coastal reserves as well. Maybe there are more people out there that want change but it will be slow in coming I fear.

    • MaggiesBear

      What bothers me is that issues become more important than our common humanity. We all know there are serious issues on many reserves and that the Indian Act isn’t helping things along but we make those issues more important than working together to help each other.

      Idle No More has a political agenda not a human one. The government has a political agenda, not a human one and in the end, those agendas do nothing to help anyone but the people with the agendas.

      Big wheel keep on turning….

      Thank you for dropping by. I hope you’ll come by regularly.

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    • MaggiesBear

      Thank you

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  • CarlaJD

    First time visiting A Bear’s Rant. Love it. I have a sense of right & wrong, but have found over the years when I express my views, I open views up to people who usually begin to whine & tell me I am cruel & out of touch with real people. WHAT ! I have worked in DC USA, delt with idiots, fools, nut-jobs,ding-bats & I am told I am out of touch?
    Living in the USA now is as if I somehow was transported to a different plane in the outer universe of space & time. Since 2006, I have seen my country transform into someplace I wish did not exist at times. I am challeged to study the views around me and somehow come up wtih a method of better understanding the attitudes that bombard me & other Conservatives daily.
    I’ll come back from time-to-time & find some words that may not come across so bitter or distant. I have but one life, but I truly pray the next four years will not prove to be the downfall of the USA. She has withstood a great deal over the years, but these last few years she is going through some harsh and questionable growing pains.
    Thank you for this time to RANT.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      A Bear’s Rant welcome all points of view provided they are presented with some sense of common courtesy. We don’t condone the kind of nonsense prevalent on sites like Twitter but do encourage people to express their opinion even if it disagrees with our own. You’re welcome to express your point of view here. Thanks for dropping by.

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  • http://bgulk0.wix.com/raspberry-h-venue gramma Barb

    I wanted to take a few lines and say thankyou for the explicit explanation of the Idle No More movement. After 7 decades in this world, I have much of the same views as you expressed in your writings, and wish above all else, all Canadians could work and live in harmony for the better of our vast and beautiful country. We’re humans, alas, I doubt it will ever happen. I too am tired of those that feel ‘entitled’ I hate labels, dislike loafers, bullies and ego’s. We have so many blessings in this country of ours, yet we tend to whine about what took place hundreds of years ago, of which we have no control over. Get up, get over it and get on with ‘it’ FN people, take responsibility for yourselves! quit blaming me, my neighbors & the government for your ill lifestyle. The blame game is over!
    I took some time to read some of your blogs…keep up the good work, I enjoy reading commn sense writing!

  • Sandy

    Your site would not allow me to use my real email s-l-h-@shaw.ca and erased my comments…shall try again.
    It would appear you see what you want to when reading, therefore I wonder at your accuracies on reporting the financial aspects of First Nations. I too am quite certain ALL monies need to be accounted for in our government and in First Nations. Unfortunately many First Nations are fearful to challenge their councils – especially a chief, who seems to be ‘entitled’ to whatever he/she wants. Sort of like Mr. Harper. However I digress, you did not read the comment correctly-the writer stated it was a LARGE bear-not a Polar ber- on the small bike. Am quite certain Canadians know a polar bear is white, maybe those in the U.S. do not. Steven Harper would do well in the US, probably lead the Tea Party-as long as he could be the boss! The comments from the writer who stated one of the big problems with some of our politicians having archaic beliefs rather than logic was right on. Faith can sustain us, but archaic beliefs only get in the way of the truth.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      The financial aspects of what I write are not numbers I dream up. They come from the financial statements of the First Nations bands themselves which are readily available on their websites. You will note, that an additional audit of Attawpiskapt was released today and it affirms what I have been writing. It isn’t pretty. Fully 81% of financial transactions conducted by the band council are not properly documented and more than 60% are not even identified as to what the funds were used for. You can shoot the messenger by denying the facts if you like but that isn’t helping those who are living in poverty or having monies that was intended for their benefit being mismanaged and skimmed off for the benefit of a few.

  • Joe Prins

    “I now count my friends on every habitable planet on the globe.”
    Will come back, “bear” but care to fix one word above in the quote? There are no planets on this globe, only continents and seas and trees etc. You get the picture.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      You know – I try and I try and I try to edit these articles for grammar, spelling and accuracy before I post them. Invariably, after I’ve posted them I find errors that have be corrected and not just once, three and four times. I went back to this post and checked, it was edited and revised no fewer than 14 times and still that absurd mistake got by me. I wish Mrs. Jamieson, my grade 8 English grammar teacher were checking these things. Nothing got by her, the old witch. Thanks for drawing it to my attention. I’ve fixed it…..and thanks for taking the time to read the blog – mistakes and all.

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    Your blog is refreshing. I’ll be a frequent reader!

  • http://mojopages.com/user-profile/jesus-p/1018798 Georgeanna Centi

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any points for newbie blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

  • Tony Rideout

    After wandering around your site for a few minutes it appears that your desire to be respectful of those with different views than your own is belied by your use of derogatory terms (contextually) to describe those with a different ideology. That’s not unusual. I, too, like to think that I’m open-minded and make rational decisions but if I’m honest I have to admit that I’m as narrow-minded and illogical as any of my right-leaning adversaries, if you catch my drift. Liberal stupidity indeed.

    Happy New Year.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      We all have our flaws. The difference between some and people like you and I is that we at least try to overcome our bias and prejudice even if we don’t always succeed. I make no pretense about my political and social leanings but I do try to allow those with whom I disagree to present their opinions and comments here. I tend to try and avoid name-calling as much as possible but sometimes, when I encounter hypocrisy and abject stupidity, it’s hard to do and I fail in my resolve.

      Oh well, the Lord loves a sinner and there is always another opportunity coming to try and and do better.

      Happy New Year.

      • Tony Rideout

        Thank you for your response. I am often disheartened by the the name-calling that passes for dialogue on most media websites, yet I do see those same impulses within myself although I rarely express them. Re: political ideology in general, I consider myself a small-l liberal but I tend to vote strategically. Although I have very little regard for Stephen Harper, I did vote Conservative at the end of the Chrétien/Martin era because the stench of corruption, hubris, etc. became too much. Now, however, I am deeply troubled both by the tone and direction of the Conservatives, especially with respect to their environmental record, ideological myopia, and deliberate divisiveness. I look south of the border and how the Tea Party has savaged both the Republicans and Congress in general and I now see parallels here.

        I also grew up in a Christian fundamentalist home and spent many years doing missionary work, so I believe I have a fairly good grasp of the values, beliefs, and fears that underlie some of the key players in the TP movement in the US and the Conservative Party here in Canada. In my view, these people are not rational and make decisions based on archaic dogma rather than research and inclusive dialogue. I see similarities in the policies of people like Vic Toews, for instance.

        The other element of the TP that I find disturbing is that of corporate moguls like the Koch brothers who are willing to destroy nations to profit the bottom line. Our economic model is literally destroying the planet and our captains of industry and political leaders are fiddling while Rome burns ( to use a dead metaphor!). I’ve ranted enough already, so I’ll end it here. I do welcome your reply if you so choose since I do believe you are sincere. I had to give you a little poke initially just to see how you would respond; you passed 😉

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          We may not fully agree politically but we do agree on what is happening to our society. There is just too much polarization and uninformed opinion. We live in an era when we are overwhelmed with available information but information is not necessarily knowledge. We’re impatient, opinionated and too often for all the wrong reasons.

          I supported the Conservatives because I believe they’re basic approach is sound. They have shown a greater respect for the division of constitutional powers between the provinces and the federal government than previous Liberal governments, especially in the area of health care. Their immigration policies are bang on and they have provided pretty good economic management.

          I will grant you that they are not perfect. I don’t much care for Stephen Harper’s sometimes aggressive attacks against his opponents although I cut him a little slack because of the attacks that were first directed at him when he became leader. I think some, like Vic Toews, are too ideological if not also incompetent but I look at all of the parties and see a Vic Toews or two in them as well.

          Overall, when I look at the state of our political parties, I’m somewhat discouraged. The Liberal Party has all but decimated Ontario. Federally, they had a senator sent to prison last year and have a former cabinet minister charged with fraud in London. The NDP were charged and fined for illegal campaign funding and tried to use the death of Jack Layton as a fund raising gimmick before he was even buried. The Conservatives provide good management on some files but stumble over others.

          I also agree with you about the lack of ethics of some in the financial services industry . They are greedy, selfish and dishonest. But just because they are doesn’t mean our system is broken, it means that there are corrupt people in the system and that applies to politics, unions, academia and activism as well.

          I think too many special interest groups be they the wealthy or activist put their own agendas ahead of the welfare of the nation and its citizens. It’s why I write this blog. I hope to encourage people to speak up and start to influence change; not in the system but in how we use it.

          I hope people will start to inform themselves rather than relying on the last tweet they saw or some biased comment in the media. I hope people will start to get involved and demand a higher degree of integrity in politics, the media, unions, academics, business and all the other areas of our society.

          It is, after all, our country and our society. We have a right to influence how it is built and managed.

          Thank you for your comment. Feel free to drop by and rant any time you like whether we agree on an issue or not.

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  • http://www.myblogdammit.net Jon Newton

    You’re clearly someone who cares about animals, so I find it strange that you’ve chosen a large bear perched uncomfortably on a tiny bike as your avatar.



    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      When my daughter left home and got her first place, she invited me over for dinner. I asked her if she would like to go the Shriner’s circus with me later in the month as she used to when she was a little girl. She replied that she was boycotting the circus because they were cruel to animals and when I asked her why, she told me it was because they made them do tricks and kept them in cages.

      We were sitting on leather furniture and having steak for dinner and I suggested that it didn’t get much more cruel than turning animals into purses and furniture but the irony was lost on her.

      I don’t believe in being unnecessarily cruel to animals but I don’t take that concern to extremes. In this case, however, it’s a non-issue. The photograph was created in Photoshop by the original photographer. It is meant to be a visual metaphor that while I can be quite assertive (like a bear) about the issues I write about, I don’t take myself seriously at all.

      It’s a grizzly bear, by the way, polar bears are white.