Thinking about Canada Day

CN: Mentions of Genocide

On Monday July 1, we celebrated Canada Day.

In a lot of ways, this day is really an excuse to have a BBQ, drink a bunch, and go see some fireworks. While you will get people dressing up in red and white and waving flags, possibly singing the national anthem, as often as not most probably aren’t even completely sure what specific event is being commemorated.

This year however, amid all the bustle of helping prepare the home for guests, I found myself spending a lot of time thinking about what exactly it is we have been celebrating.

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Thinking about Canada Day
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What makes you feel loved?

What makes you feel loved?

Whether in a familial, platonic, or romantic relationship, what are the things a person does that really let you know that the other person loves you? How do you show love? Have you ever talked about these things with your family, friends, loved ones?

The ways in which we communicate love is a language that is made up of words, actions, behaviours, and so on, and each person has their own individual language that is shaped by their culture, upbringing, socialization, experiences, and so on.

While this communication is highly individual, there are commonalities which exist and which can often be grouped into types. Additionally, certain commonalities also seem to occur as a result of specific phenomena.

There was a meme going around Facebook recently which paraphrased said basically that people who grow up feeling unloved or unsure of whether they are loved overcompensate in relationships by doing everything they can to be useful. The idea being that if they couldn’t be inherently loveable, that they could at least be useful.

It makes sense if you think about it.

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What makes you feel loved?

I’m Tired.

If ever there was a motto for our generation, this would probably be it.

I’m so tired.

I’m tired of my news feed being one atrocity after another. Of each new headline convincing me that I’ve finally reached the peak of shock and fury I could feel, only to be proved wrong when I read the next one.  Of watching the world seemingly falling apart at the seams.

I’m tired of listening to people make excuses while the body counts grow ever higher. Of quibbling over whether a problem really even exists or whether these are just a few bad examples. Of arguing whether genocide is too severe a word, or whether these here actually count as concentration camps. As though just the fact that these words could be applied isn’t horrifying enough. As though we shouldn’t be striving to stop things before they reach this point.

I’m tired of listening to people make excuses for why this act of violence is excusable and acceptable while condemning those just trying to defend themselves and others. Continue reading “I’m Tired.”

I’m Tired.

Raised Garden Bed

As the weather’s been warming up, my thoughts have turned to my garden. One of the hard parts about leaving Ottawa was also leaving behind the wonderful community garden and oven and all the amazing people involved with it. I have found gardening helpful in helping me to relax, which may seem trivial but is actually essential to managing my health, and actually surprisingly difficult for me. My parent’s garden is something they have been working on for some time. There are several elements put together painstakingly and so I worried about the possibility of getting a space in it. But luck was on my side and with a little persuasion, I was granted a section to do with as I pleased, provided the end result was also attractive and fit with the overall garden aesthetic.

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Raised Garden Bed

Politics, Public Relations, and Social Psychology

With the federal elections of both Canada and the US approaching, not to mention the constant political maneuvering happening across provinces and states, a lot of things are happening at once. It can feel like a whirlwind, just getting your bearings about one issue before the next one suddenly crops up demanding your attention. The breakneck pace of the news cycle means that a lot of the resolution or lack thereof of one issue often gets missed.

It’s the perfect setting to employ several tricks of social psychology that make it possible for politicians (and salespeople and so on) to change the conversation without ever having to convince the electorate of the issue. I’ve talked about at least one of these social psychology manipulation techniques before.

Additionally, it allows them to employ several public relations tricks to encourage several extreme side groups, while also counting on the majority of the population to forget about it before it’s time to vote.

It’s called a Test Balloon.

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Politics, Public Relations, and Social Psychology

Let’s Talk About “Unnecessary” Tests

Ford’s government recently proposed a series of cuts to what is covered by OHIP in the provincial budget. As justification for him depriving the population of Ontario of adequate healthcare, in particular those who happen to be poor, on social assistance including disability, or underage, were the claims that a significant portion of tests are unnecessary. He went on to claim that less than 4% of family doctors are responsible for ordering over 40% said tests, in a demonstration of how statistics and a lack of understanding can be used to obfuscate the truth.

Let’s start with the latter claim. While it may seem strange that such a small percentage of family doctors may be responsible for so many tests, it’s less surprising to those of us who deal with chronic illnesses.

Not All Family Doctors

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Let’s Talk About “Unnecessary” Tests

Dear Doctors: Even if you Disapprove, You Need to Educate Yourself

Dear Doctors,

I understand. Marijuana, for all that it has been legalized, is still a controversial topic when it comes to its uses in medicine. It wasn’t that long ago that medical professionals feared reprisal for prescribing it, either from government bodies, law enforcement, or insurance companies. Despite all the mounting evidence suggesting its benefit in treating various conditions and its relative safety, it’s hard to overcome the conditioning of several years that viewed it as an illicit substance.

Even if you disagree with the use of marijuana, however, it is important that you educate yourself about it from reliable sources, and not just about the negatives either.

Why?

Because regardless of how you feel about it, I guarantee that you have patients who either use it or are exposed to it regularly. Ignoring for the moment the problems surrounding making your disapproval obvious making it more difficult for your patients to discuss their health, use, symptoms of concern, and so on; not being educated about marijuana on a medical level puts your patients at risk. Continue reading “Dear Doctors: Even if you Disapprove, You Need to Educate Yourself”

Dear Doctors: Even if you Disapprove, You Need to Educate Yourself

Incubators, and Eggs, and Chicks, Oh MY!

Some of you might remember me talking previously about some pet quail I had started out with from the wild bird sanctuary in Ottawa. They were two hens, both friendly and lovely, who couldn’t be released to the wild since they were tame domesticated birds.

I built them a lovely coop in my apartment. This coop was destroyed when I moved though so I had to build a second one when I moved to the Niagara Region. Continue reading “Incubators, and Eggs, and Chicks, Oh MY!”

Incubators, and Eggs, and Chicks, Oh MY!

Dear Ontario: I’m Begging For my Life

Dear Ontario,

Have you ever woken up wondering how your government was going to put your life at risk today? Have you had your government propose torturing you on a regular basis as a reasonable way to save money? Have you had your government put your life at risk for daring to need to be admitted to the hospital because of a genetic condition? Have you been told that you are a burden on society and that you are too expensive to be worth keeping alive?

This has been my reality for at least the last month.

(Truth be told it’s been my reality a lot longer than that, but it’s been a lot more obvious the last year.) Continue reading “Dear Ontario: I’m Begging For my Life”

Dear Ontario: I’m Begging For my Life

April has been a pretty ridiculous month

It started even a bit before April.

After publishing my last article about Ganjahnista’s, shit really started to hit the fan.

I went to visit my medical dispensary and found out that despite a COURT ORDER ordering that medical dispensaries be allowed to stay open until the court could rule on whether they provided a necessary service to patients in accessing their medication, Police had started raiding and shutting them down. They claim, contrary to the truth, that in light of legalization that it meant the court order no longer applied. This is patently false since the court order was specifically in anticipation of the court case, and stands as long as the court case stands.

The fact the police are outright lying or so completely unaware of the law, that one wonders how they expect to enforce it, is done at the behest of conservative pressure. Have to make sure the government pot shops don’t have any competition, especially when they’re trying to get away with charging $500 an Ounce. Their illegal crackdown jeopardizes the H.O.P.E project previously mentioned, and even in just the 24 hours since it started happening, there were reports of a rise in overdoses and ambulances responding to calls all over the city.

I’ve since found out that despite being open for years with city approval, the Police have also shut down Ganjahnista’s. Not only is this another patient safe space gone, but I had also JUST arranged to have some of my artwork on display there on consignment so that’s all gone now possibly.

Continue reading “April has been a pretty ridiculous month”

April has been a pretty ridiculous month