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Friday, March 3, 2017

EDITORIAL OPINION ABOUT NEWS & US PRESIDENT

MY RECENT EDITORIAL OPINIONS

February 27
Journalism objectivity does not exist. If it is claimed, it's a myth (call it false news). In fact there is no attempt to conceal bias. That's how journalism has changed. Objectivity as it pertains to fairness, factuality and nonpartisanship was once a journalistic criterion. No more. News media have shifted from reporting information to presenting opinions and personal interpretations. In fact, biases make news sources unique. News recipients (the public) gravitate to sources that align with their own biases. This places an onus of investigative responsibility upon readers to discern the factuality of any information. These are freedoms within a democratic (free) society. Freedom of expression, speech and the press are necessary to democracy. We want these so we must live with their consequences, even the nonsense. Remove them and we are done. Radical authoritarian nationalism champions ultranationalism, populism, anti-immigration and suppression of opposition press. These urgencies expose Fascism. Fascism flourishes in obscurity, (a censored society with restricted commentary). Fascism may be taking new forms. Open speech and opposition press do not stop even under fascism.

March 1, 2017

...just my impression: Trump spoke like a U.S. President last night in his address to the Congress. It was decidedly un-Trump-like. His speechwriter and his speech coach should be commended. Will Trump's public communication today resemble the speech to Congress or the Inauguration speech? Perhaps he enjoyed the performance of his fresh vocal persona enough to stay with it. I am not hopeful. I assume that personal drafts and unscripted speech will feature unfiltered and unguarded bombast and provocative ad libs.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I AM LOUSY AT ABSTRACTION

I am a realist/impressionist/representational painter. I like painting subjects to look like recognizable subjects. In recent weeks I have been faced with an uncommon task, painting a theme. A client asked me to paint two trees with interlocking branches and roots as a symbol of a marriage union. This will be a wedding gift soon. That is, if I don’t destroy my two attempts first. If they survive and if my client likes one of them well enough, we will complete the sale. I am sure that I am harder on myself than the client will be, but I can’t be certain of that either since Christine, my resident art critic keeps pointing out features needing improvement. It’s been an exercise in self-realization. I am less able to imagine images to convey concepts than I thought I was. I have greater respect now for aboriginal artists who capture the spirit of nature and creatures, and for cartoonists who visualize thematic interaction between people. There has been some artistic enjoyment in this work and a strong dose of frustration. Since I was told that the engaged couple are deeply committed to their Christian faith, I have painted subtle symbols such as the Holy Spirit superimposed as a dove in the foliage of the joined trees, and the tree roots sunk into the foundational principles and truths of the ten commandments and the assurance of Christ’s divinity with the open tomb underground. The paintings are coming along, with more fine touches to be added. Yes, I did two paintings and that will give my client a choice. She can have them both but she can choose the one she will gift to her friends. Upon completion, I can hardly wait to get at my next two commissions, true subjects that reflect light and create shadow. I would be a lousy and dissatisfied abstract painter even though I often appreciate some other artists’ work.  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

MY RETIREMENT YEARS ARE FULL OF ACTIVITY

There are more than four bases on my diamond and consequently I am not touching all of them consistently. I have not posted on my Retirement Memoirs blog in a very long time. Managing several blogs with different emphases accounts in part for that, besides having invested myself in the writing of books and the painting of commissioned pictures and occasional preparation for preaching ... yes I still do the latter. Admittedly, well, at least it’s my impression, I am rusty at the delivery. I still have a confident voice but humbled by disuse. Christine still tells me that she would rather listen to me than almost anyone else. I think she wants another overseas holiday. To think that when I began as a full-time pastor in 1969 I was in the small town of Smiths Falls, Ontario at Calvary Bible Church, and there I taught a youth Sunday School class, preached sermons on Sunday morning and evening, led the youth Sunday evening program, and prepared a Bible study for Wednesday evening Prayer night. Five years of that. Preaching twice on Sundays continued in Peterborough, Ontario at Ferndale Bible Church for seven years, and at Wishing Well Acres Baptist Church in Toronto for ten years. At Cloverdale Baptist Church in Cloverdale, British Columbia, where I was lead pastor for ten years, congregational growth required two morning services so that I preached three times each Sunday. Only during the third year due to low evening attendances, did the church opt for no weekly Sunday evening service. As an adjunct prof, I taught homiletics at Northwest Baptist College in Langley, so you might think I have something to say about preachers and preaching today. I do. But primarily I listen. I have much yet to learn and areas of my life to which I must apply truth. Moreover, I am off to the gym now, 6:30 am. Been up since 4:30 am. Love the quiet hours. Great to be alive.

Monday, November 28, 2016

I’LL BE DOWN TO GET YOU IN A TAXI, HONEY.

My brother Murray and I Facetimed today and he told me this.
My Dad was 92 years old and he was over the moon because he was going to a Christmas Dinner with his favourite girl. Mom had been in long-term care for one year while dad lived alone in an adjoining apartment facility. It was December and Dad's apartment neighbours were scheduling an annual Christmas Dinner. Mom's meds were balanced and she was feeling better than she had in a long time. Dad asked my brother Murray, "do you think it would be okay if I took Mom to the dinner?" Murray replied, "I don't see why not." Murray made the arrangements. The caring staff promised to have Mom's hair done and a lovely dress ready to wear. Mom could be seated in a wheel chair and if she grew weary during the evening, he could leave with her. Murray sensed Dad's excitement as the date grew nearer.  Murray had Dad's suit dry cleaned, and Dad had a favourite tie to wear. Murray said he would accompany Dad to Mom's room to insure all was well. Dad was noticeably pumped about this evening. His face and his mood told Murray that Dad was going on a date, a special evening with his sweetheart. They took the elevator to the first floor and as they walked down the lengthy corridors, an enthusiastic Dad surprised Murray by breaking out in song. The tune was unfamiliar to Murray as Dad sang heartily the words to 'Darktown Strutter's Ball' a landmark 1917 recording by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Upon finishing it by the end of the corridor to Murray's utter shock, Dad jumped off the ground and clicked his heels together.

I'll be down to get you in a taxi, honey
Pick you up 'bout half past eight
Oh honey don't be late
I want to be there when the band starts playin'

Remember when we get there, honey
Two step, we're gonna have a ball
I'm gonna dance out of my shoes
When they play the Jelly Roll Blues
Tomorrow night at the Darktown Strutter's Ball

Got my new threads ready
And they're really something
With you in yours we'll look a smash
We're gonna make a splash
And when the band starts playin'
Baby we'll start swayin'

Remember when we get there honey
We're gonna dance the night away
And things are gonna hit the roof
When they see the way you move
Tomorrow night at the Darktown Strutter's Ball


Mom and Dad have been gone since 2007 and 2008 respectively, and Murray, Neale and I cannot help thinking about them occasionally.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

3 DAYS & THINGS WE FORESEE IF ...

The light of my new 50-watt flood lamp will last longer than I do. If I let it shine 24/7 it will shine for 15 years.  My genetics project me that far without guarantees. Think of it, my Phillips 50-watt lamp and its two siblings in the 3-pack, will each glow through three more US Presidential campaigns and be on the cusp of a fourth. From north of the 49th Parallel, this Presidential amusement is spectator sport held every 4 years like the Olympics, Football World Cup, UEFA European Championship, and Rugby World Cup but is comparatively more costly.

3DAYS & THINGS WE FORESEE IF  

IF President Trump wakes up Nov 9th.
§  2017 trade war with China; 45% imports tariff
§  2017 trade war with Mexico; 35% imports tariff
§  China & Mexico go into recession; block US businesses
§  US businesses lose 7 million jobs
§  Soaring US inflation, recession, even depression
§  U.S. renegotiates NAFTA
§  Repeal Obamacare; 24 million without insurance.
§  Deportation 2 million illegal immigrants; cost $20 billion
§  Huge tax cuts > spending cuts > job loss
§  Halting immigration from Terror prone countries
§  Pull out of Trans-Pacific Partnership and Paris climate-change agreement
§  Cancel US climate change programs
§  Devalues ally nations risking international instability
§  military standoff with China in South China Sea
§  military standoff with North Korea
§  resumption of waterboarding
§  federal agencies go after Hillary Clinton

IF President Clinton wakes up Nov 9th.
§  Comes into office under criminal investigation
§  Scandals and Wikileaks never go away
§  foreign policy and national security platform follows Obama's
§  builds on Obama’s affordable universal health care
§  a Paycheck Fairness Act to challenge sex-based pay discrimination
§  Increases minimum wage to $12 or $15; requires Congressional approval
§  Creates a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants
§  Deports criminal illegal immigrants
§  Republican House resists all Clinton moves
§  Her administration raises tax for ultra wealthy
§  Withdraws from the Trans Pacific Partnership
§  Eliminates tuition for families with income less $125,000/yr
§  amends constitution to undue Citizens United (super PACS)
§  Expands background checks for gun sales

§  Increases federal infrastructure funding $275 billion over 5 yrs. (bridges, highways, airports

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

NOT TELLING CHRISTINE


There are just a few things that I do not share with Christine and this is one of them. Well actually there were two other times as well - identical situation. If I told her about this she would have more concern over my failing memory, and there is no need to worry her. I mean it. She can't even watch a blue Jays game like tonight's against Baltimore. So why tell her that I almost lost my KOBO. I love my KOBO eReader. I take it to the gym each morning. In a black cover it is almost invisible when the cover is closed on the stationary bike, or the elliptical machine. Yes, I packed up and came home without it. What are the chances that it would still be there, specially when this is the third time that I have done this. The first time I asked the attendant and was surprised that someone had turned it in for me. The second time it was still on the machine when I returned for it. This morning I came to the attendant and confessed, "I have done this before … and she quickly disappeared to retrieve from her desk, my KOBO, kindly deposited there by an honest person. Okay this is chronic. I need to tape a bright, "TAKE ME," on the cover.