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By David Foster, Port Perry, ON, March 1, 2014
I had and an exchange in writing with a promoter of an event that is to bring a handful of prominent Aboriginal leaders from various parts of the Americas to Peterborough Ontario in the summer of 2014… ‘Spirituality’ was the overview publicized, and ‘Sacred Water’. Sponsored among others, by the Ontario Lottery Corporation in its face as a do-gooder philanthropy, ‘Trillium Grants to municipalities’… the not for profit sector. (The implication is that it is ‘good to gamble’).
When people give out money, it is usually for selfish reasons. ‘Follow the money’ was the advice of the Mystery Figure ‘Deep Throat’ who helped the Washington Post investigative team crack the Watergate case in 1972. Just who was playing dirty pool in the US election system? And how? Is dirty pool being played now in Canada?
No one on the receiving end of ‘grants’ follows the chain of its collection, and political decisions made, on monies the optimistic poor in Ontario throw away in casinos and on lottery tickets. Why bite the hand that feeds you? It is the faint hope of something for nothing. But as Julie Andrews sang in ‘The Sound of Music’… ‘Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.’ Good for whom? It is ‘double think’… We know some things are wrong but we can get away for now by ignoring it.
This essay is about how the bastion that held North America for the British Empire was overwhelmed by international corporations who sold their shares to others than those who cared about the British Empire. Nestle comes to mind, an International Corporation based in Switzerland that hires local turncoats to convert a human right into a market commodity they can create a monopoly on… Bottled Water taken for free from natural springs and sold to a really unaware public at huge profit. The bottle itself is likely poisonous. Slow poison, not intentionally done, just out of haste to make a buck out of water before the people running the town water supply have a chance to bottle their own perfectly good water in glass. But of course they are forbidden to do that because of a morass of strange customs and laws we have allowed to hamstring us. Public sectors are not supposed to do what the private sector can do. (What a strange Republican notion!)
There was a man in the 1920s who served as a radio attendant on Sable Island (that 26 mile long sand bar 109 miles south east of mainland Nova Scotia). Its five inhabitants are allowed to vote in the electoral district of Halifax Citadel 190 miles away. In the long boring watches, this man taught himself to write well, and from it came a novel published in the 1950s and set in the 1920s, ‘The Nymph and the Lamp’. What do you do if you are going blind and you live alone as a light house keeper a hundred miles from shore trying to keep ships at sea safe? The writer was Thomas Raddall who became one of our first great novelists. There is a school that bears his name at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Of the 40 or so of his published works, ‘Halifax, Warden of the North’ is the most durable. It explains why Britain poured such effort into building the Port of Halifax and its citadel bastion fortress. 1745 to 1780. Slaves to live in nearby Africville, and the underclass impressed as marines and sailors for the Royal Navy.
From there the competing forts of the French were one by one isolated and destroyed. Canada became British, and then found rebellion in the ranks of British North Americans… Nova Scotia would have been the 14th colony to secede were it not for the British Navy and the fact that the province is surrounded by water where warships out of Halifax can maintain control. No good Paul Revere riding by villages to say ‘the British are coming!’ Halifax is where they would come from.
A long sad period followed those wars, and finally the ‘War of Independence,’ ending in a trickle of refugees throughout the 1780s from what had become the new American Republic. ‘Loyalists’ flowed into Canada, many enduring great injustice and hardship. Exile, the penalty paid by those who had been loyal to the Crown but on the losing side. They flowed into Nova Scotia, and what was to become New Brunswick, the Eastern Townships of French Canada, and the yet unsettled fertile lands in southern Ontario.
The flow of settlers became a torrent after the Napoleonic Wars ended in British victory, and that led to re-thinking by many leaders about how a kingdom should operate in the face of Republicanism, British ‘possessions’ now as a full empire.
Since there was so little real money to pay off the soldiers and sailors who had won the wars, many were paid off in land grants in all corners of the empire. Militarism was what founded Canada. The military was to remain aloof from politics in a strange culture where its members were to be uprooted every two years or so, deliberately moved so that close relations with the local populace would never get to the point where a soldier would not take action against local people when ordered by the civilian authority to do so. Martial Law, that was last misused by Prime Minister Trudeau in a heavy handed response to citizen restlessness in Quebec during the October crisis of 1970. Militarism however has trickled down to every community in the form of fascist political policy. ‘Support Our Troops’ because our Federal Government was so unwise as to expand the paid military and then commit it (inadequately trained) to unwinnable wars. And then act surprised when the survivors came back totally wrecked, no longer valuable citizens, unable to think clearly or banish nightmares.
In the small town of Uxbridge, there is an evangelical church that called itself a ‘Free Methodist’ church. Evangelical churches renew themselves frequently (depending on the passion of the current bishop). It recently adopted a name ‘Living Waters’. A decade ago its bishop wrote a history of American Evangelism in its expansion into Ontario. The Free Methodist Church was totally a creature of US evangelism and Republicanism, all its literature and values American. (‘Free’ meant you didn’t have to pay to sit in a pew). In spy talk it is a ‘mole’ undermining our sense as a kingdom.
One of the interesting anecdotes told in that bishop’s history was of the first Martyr among the 19th century evangelist ‘circuit rider/preachers’ from the USA, of an American bible-carrying preacher who went into the lion’s den of Kingston, Ontario (the original Capital of Canada with a fortress and military presence eventually equal to Halifax, and home of the Established Church of which the King at the time was head). There the preacher began to hold basement meetings about the American notions of Faith, morality and freedom. He was warned several times to cease, and eventually was simply arrested and marooned on an island between Canada and New York State in the St Lawrence in winter. His friends were supposed to come and get him. Legend has it he subsequently died there. Thus he became a Martyr.
To the Officers of the Crown, he was a damn fool who didn’t understand that we are a sovereign nation content with the Crown and our different sense of community. Our Officers didn’t mess around. Plainly they could smell sedition and took action to root it out. The last armed conflict with the Americans was over incursions along the Ontario New York border where Fenians and Hunter Companies attempted to invade, (again in the belief the locals would rise up and help them). All were crushed, most by brotherhoods of soldier-settlers belonging to Orange Lodges (the social network at the time that stood for Protestantism and loyalty to the British Crown). Orangemen faded in numbers in the 1930s, and into the gap they left, a trickle of other brotherhoods expanded, again mostly from the United States because of Loyalist roots. The attempted invasion still goes on… Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimists, (look at the Civic billboards at the entrance to any large town, and you will see the organizations that claim citizen virtue, and more than half are American in sympathy and fellowship). Republicanism lurks everywhere, and its face is now Fascism as in ‘1984’, (the frightening look forward from 1950 that George Orwell wrote). We enter a sort of ‘double think’ where we know full well that much is wrong but we really do little about it.
Protecting sovereignty is one of those. Equipping children in school to be able to continue their education for later life is another. Obedience is a prime lesson. That is what makes good passive Americans. Except for the National Rifleman’s Association. Republicans need to be armed at all times. They can neither trust nor be trusted.
So when a do-gooder group knocks at your door and asks for either money or support, find out first just how Canadian they are… How willing to continue to uphold the Crown? We don’t give social or religious door knockers much opportunity any more. Republican Commercialism rules the day. And the night (shops open 24 hours a day year round as an expression of ‘freedom’). No one should be denied the 2 days off each week when their fellows are off. Time to get together as a ‘community’. Without ‘community’ we are simply consumers being manipulated by powerful corporate forces. ‘Community’ doesn’t mean we all agree on the same things, only that we come together in peace to ‘commune’, talk about how to help the poorest among us so that there is less envy and less crime. Of course it helps to have a commercial sponsor… like Coca Cola, or Nestle, or AT&T, A&P Foods, Safeway, Canada Dry, Esso, or their 100 other foreign owned civilian counterparts, Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimists and so on. All are American and complicit in making us care less about Canada than following the money that flows into their pockets regardless of who else profits. In commerce a One Per cent continued disadvantage compounds to eventual bankruptcy of the weaker partner. Parker Brothers game of Monopoly taught us that 50 years ago.
So when you buy a Lottery ticket or a can of Nescafe, think about the marginal disadvantage you are cementing in place. Eventually it will bite you on the ass. Free Trade… hah! The Chinese are now buying up our arable farm land with money we gave them… It began with NAFTA in 1992 and its underlying strategy of International Corporatism. 22 years to pave the way for fascism. Sedition.
David Foster, Port Perry, ON, 1 March, 2014
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