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Devion's Views #159

SUMMER TIME (posted July 27, 2018)

"Summertime" is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1938 opera 'Porgy and Bess'.

"Summertime, and the livin' is easy

Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high

Your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin'

So hush, little baby, don't you cry

One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singin'

And you'll spread your wings and you'll take to the sky

But till that morning, there ain't nothin' can harm you

With daddy and mammy standin' by"

The song soon became a popular and much recorded jazz standard. My favourite is sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

Summer time, that time in the lives of many when it's time to push the pause button.

A time to get off the treadmill for a few weeks, get some R & R, take a timeout, shut off the electronic device(s) that enslave and reflect on the really important things in life.

Summer time...when the living is easy.

                                        A MARE USQUE AD MARE

The phrase comes from the Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 72.8 in the King James Bible: "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth".

The Canadian national motto; officially translated "From Sea to Sea" and "D'un ocean a l'autre".

Canadians are extraordinarily fortunate to live in a country surrounded by three oceans with tens of thousands of lakes and rivers within its borders.

A country so large you have to travel through six time zones to cross its width; super rich in untapped resources, one of which is an abundance of fresh water - vital to the very survival of humankind.

It's a reality that with the accelerating impact of climate change, the amount of drinkable water on the planet is shrinking rapidly.

There is more than enough fresh water to satisfy the needs of our population, which is smaller than California's, providing it is carefully managed.

Logic suggests a way has to be found to share with those in need like California, If not, our national security is threatened. Would "they" then be forced to come and take it by force?

Before that can take place, those who govern must stop "giving away" this precious resource to international corporations who pocket enormous profits for their shareholders.

An alternative method of "commodifying" water to benefit citizens, who own the resource, rather than corporations, has to be developed.

Example:

Provincial governments have given companies, like Nestle's, a Swiss-based transnational corporation, the largest food and drink company in the world, the right to extract B.C.'s precious "liquid gold".

Giving away one million litres of water to Nestle's for a meagre $2.25 return to the taxpayer.

One bottle of BC water is sold for more than the cost to Nestle of one million litres of BC water.

By what measure can this "deal/arrangement" be considered either fair or acceptable for the owners of the resource, and not claim the BC taxpayer is royally screwed?

                                   HOW SOON WE FORGET

It has been awhile since Senator Mike Duffy got us focused on the shenanigans going on in the 'Mad Hatter's House', or 'The House of Sober Second Thought', also called 'The Red Chamber'. The colour taxpayers turn in frustration whenever this non-elected gang is mentioned.

Remember how Mickey got himself into a financial pickle because he wasn't certain where his principle residence was located confiding he was advised to select whatever suited his predicament best, from the list of options provided in the handy-dandy senators handbook for claiming living expenses.

Remember Nancy Ruth (Jackman)?

Nancy was the Conservative senator who complained about airline business-class food. "The camembert was ice cold and was served with broken crackers. How could I possibly eat that for breakfast?"

This happened while travelling on the taxpayers dime and broke on the heels of a report about the auditor general's office asking dozens of senators to account for some "dubious" expense account claims. Oh-Oh!

As is often stated, "In life, timing is everything".

The honourable senator for Cluny, Ontario, tut-tutted, "How can anyone, like the auditor general's office, possibly understand the nature of my work and the hardships I endure in the performance of my job?"

Don't they appreciate it was my initiative to study changing the line of "O Canada" from "all thy sons command" to "thou dost in us command", the original wording?

NB #1: "Thou dost" didn't cut it with folks who love to enthusiastically sing the national anthem at sporting events. The intense public backlash that followed caused the PMO to announce the issue had been dropped from consideration.

NB #2: In 2018, the Mad Hatters finally managed to pass a bill approving a "gender neutral wording" and change the anthem to "in all of us command". Nancy Ruth was pleased. 

Those of us who are categorized as "maturing citizens" become easily confused as we age and don't take kindly to change. Especially if it relates to something we've been doing for decades. Like the anthem, miles, pounds, inches, yards, acres, etc. were drilled into our memory bank, only to have some politicians change things.

At this year's July 1st Port Royale residents gathering to celebrate Canada's 151st birthday, many had to mumble past the wording change, as we lustily sang the national anthem. We are not amused about the change.

Before being appointed to the senate, Nancy Ruth was a social activist and philanthropist. She founded several women's organizations in Canada and battled for women's constitutional rights.

Undeterred by the minor anthem flapdoodle setback, Nancy Ruth, sparked another controversy in 2010, with comments she made during a meeting with women's equality rights groups on Parliament Hill.

The groups were pushing the Conservative government to include funding for abortions in their maternal health plan to be presented at the upcoming G8 meeting.

She fired back at the groups, telling them, "We've got five weeks or whatever left until the G8 starts. Shut the f..k up on the issue. If you push it, there'll be more backlash. This is now a political football. This is not about women's health in this country. Canada is still a country with free and accessible abortion. Leave it there. Don't make this an elections issue".

The next day, the Conservative government cut funding to 11 women's groups.

Finally, in 2014-15 the Auditor General conducted an audit that "alleged" 30 senators filed inappropriate expenses and claimed $600,000 of ineligible expenses.

The 30 senators trumpeted their dismay. We are honourable ladies and gentlemen who conduct ourselves by a time-honoured code, called the honour system. We make up our own rules and have committees to investigate any "alleged" misdeeds. How dare these bureaucrats poke their noses into our expense claims that were internally approved in accordance with our honour system.

Of those who "got caught" four were singled out for special attention as having their arms much too deep into the taxpayer's cookie jar. But really, they were just following the rules "as they understood them".

Mr. Duffy, Ms. Wallin, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau (who got his clock cleaned in a charity boxing match with the current PM)

The RCMP conducted a criminal probe of the four, but only Mr. Duffy was charged with fraud and breach of trust.

What happened to Mickey?

He hired a very skilled lawyer who convinced a judge that all his client was guilty of was abiding by the rules in the handy-dandy handbook of options as all other senators. The Supreme Court of Ontario judge found Mr. Duffy "not guilty".

Ever since, the Mad Hatters have attempted to remain quietly below the radar of the snooper bridgade. None have been caught "alledgedly" dipping too deeply into the taxpayer's cookie jar.

However, if you are ever among the lucky few to receive an appointment to join the Mad Hatters, look forward to receiving the following:

Annually:

Salary                                $147,000

Accomodation allowance      25,000

Hospitality expenses               3,000

Office expenses                   226,000

Additional compensation for chairing a committee

Additional compensation for committee meetings

Travel to exotic locals to study "important stuff", especially in mid-winter

And a reward for your service to the nation, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, a very generous golden parachute.

                                                   UPDATE

Emperor Crazy Pants' ordained military parade is scheduled to take place on November 10th. According to officials from the US Defense Dept., the cost to American taxpayers will be in the range of $12 million USD and climbing.

Ronald Reagan used to say, "Well...if you're going to make-believe, you have to dress up for the part".

Commander-in-Chief 'Moonbeam', who ducked the Vietnam draft on five separate occasions, has his officials researching military uniforms to wear on such occasions.

Those assigned the task have been made well aware of his preferences:

The uniform worn by Gregory Peck, playing five star general, Douglas MacArthur, in the movie 'MacArthur'. Especially the braided hat.

The uniform worn by George C. Scott, playing "old blood and guts" general, George Patton, in the movie 'Patton'. Especially the silver helmet and pearl handled pistols.

Several uniforms worn by a man of similar girth, World War I fighter pilot ace, Reichsmarscall and convicted Nazi war criminal, Hermann Goring. Especially the white one.

Several uniforms worn by square jawed, National Fascist Party leader, "Il Duce", Benito Mussolini. Especially those featuring a sash that can cover up the absence of any earned military medals and ribbons.

One knows the heat is on "bigtime" when the consigliere turns on his Godfather and the Godfather's corporate CFO, Allen Weisselberg, is subpoenaed to testify, under oath, before a grand jury. Can the Emperor somehow squiggle out of that?

"Nobody, nobody in the history of the world, can lie better than I can. Everybody knows, I'm the greatest liar ever. I lie so good that even I can't tell the difference anymore. The truth is whatever the hell I say it is" - The great leader, Crazy Pants

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory