I saw you after a long long time

I saw you after a long long time,
Longer even than the times we had together.

I’m not inclined now, to pretend that anything has changed.

Except that in this falling out we had, I am at last learning

The lesson of acceptance of things as they are.

I move more easily now between the groaning pendulum of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.
I’ve met too many people who are kind and ‘wrong’ and just as many
Mean and ‘right’.

I find my fair company these days with those who care to look deeper.
Who dilute awkward prejudice with a well placed curiosity,
Who make room for the pointy elbows and soft underbellies of our proud and frail humanity.
Can lay their head in the grass of Rumi’s field.

If these hard years have taught me anything it is that
Opinions are ephemeral.
True friendship accepts difference and challenge, makes space for the ‘wrong’ idea.

What endures is the soft and timeless touch between Souls
That continues, sometimes shyly,
To reach out its ever expanding, heroically shimmering embrace.
Towards – not agreement – but

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Forgiveness isn’t what we think

You know that phrase that you hear once and it shoots like a fire-tipped arrow to your heart. And you can feel the Truth in it, like a heart-fire. That’s how I felt when I read Jerry Jampolsky’s line, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.”

Jampolsky is the author of book I haven’t read, Love is Letting go of Fear. Another line with that burning core of Truth to it. It wasn’t as if I completely understood it – the forgiveness quote. It was the fact that I knew I didn’t understand it, not viscerally anyway, and that heartburn effect that kept it out there circulating like a Truth boomerang. Until….one fine day. Plop. It landed, right at my feet. And I knew exactly what he meant.

I knew, because I had done the work. I had forgiven. And it was so different to what I thought forgiveness meant. I’d been carrying this idea around about forgiveness, that it was something you achieved when you had reached a certain peace with a person and what you felt they had done to you. Forgiveness was something bestowed upon high. You had to be this side of a saint to fully enact it. Forgiveness was, in short, was what people did who were better than me. But it was only when I had forgiven the people in my life that had hurt me, that I realized, forgiveness is not a thing, it’s a verb, it is the step you take TOWARDS THAT PEACE in all your weakness, uncertainty and pain.

“Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past.” There is no mention of the ‘other’ in this phrase. And that is really key. Because forgiveness has far less to do with your relationship with that person, than your relationship with the entire nexus of events that that person became part of. Forgiveness, I discovered, wasn’t just giving up all hope for a better past. It was, in many ways, giving up the past itself. Because so many things could have been better. Sure, the person who caused you pain could have been better. But so could have you. I don’t mean to say that there aren’t situations, my own included, where there was possibly nothing that you could have done to have made it better. Except one thing. You got wounded. This isn’t about blaming the victim. This is accepting that part of that hope for a better past, was the hope that you could have been less wounded.

This is not about judgement. Quite the opposite. It is about accepting the past as the past. Accepting others as the immensely damaged traumatized and clumsy souls they are. And accepting yourself as the same.

It is nice, so nice. when your friends say things like ‘how could they have done that to you’ and ‘I’m so sorry you went through that.’ That’s what friends do.

But we, as they, must face something deeper. That no matter how wronged we have been, no matter how unkind or unprovoked the slings and arrows, no matter how designed to inflict the most damage (and the closest to us know perfectly well how to do that) that it all arose from such a morass of events and circumstances that we could never truly know their cause.

Forgiveness then, is accepting this ignorance. It is accepting the wounds that you felt. It is accepting the It is accepting the pain of it all. It is, when all is done, not especially personal. And this is the secret to all peace.

I’m not trying to pretty things up here. I’m not talking about when someone says something offhand a little drunk or whatever, and they apologize, or at least accept they might have been drunk, and you ‘forgive’ them. I’m talking about when someone says pretty much the shittiest thing anyone could say in that moment and never apologizes for it or accepts that it was mean. THAT’S the only forgiveness that really counts. The rest can be simply filed under ‘being a grown up’.

Forgiveness of the awful is a full-body nod to the SHADOW. In us all.

Yeah. I’m talking about THAT thing. That comment or text that arrives as if calculated in a thousand karmic laboratories to land with the most lethal impact on your little fantasy island. To blow its innocence to bits. Forgiveness is not condoning this behaviour. It’s not even accepting this behaviour. Forgiveness is ACCEPTINGTHAT IT HAPPENED. You don’t need to have all the answers to all tyour questions to move on. Forgiveness is true POWER. It sets you free in truest sense. Because it makes you available to the present.

What many call ‘closure’ is a trap. Closure can be a scoreboard. A way to try to feel that you ‘won’. Real closure – is when the past no longer has the power to determine who you are. FORGIVENESS IS PURIFICATION. How do you know when you have truly forgiven? I believe it is when you can re-run the wounding event in your mind and you no longer feel the pain.

There is a deep awe to the experience of true forgiveness. A sense of wonder at the ties that bind us all. Forgiveness requires taking a knee to the forces beyond your tiny fishbowl view.

Forgiveness is almost always not what we think it is. Because when we truly forgive. We feel a peace deep down about it all. We no longer replay those classic drama scenes like some half-mad editor. We no longer pine for a better past.

In a world where the it often seems that the most cynical wins, forgiveness is an honour that we deprive ourselves of by holding onto grievances. It lights us up from the inside, and so lights up the world.

It takes work. It takes time. It takes pain. But it is – achievable. And when you have it, you know it. There’s no question. Will you ever talk to that person again? Maybe. Maybe not. In the sphere of forgiveness it doesn’t much matter. Because forgiveness is – at the end of the day- how you feel. And when you truly feel free, my friend. You are.

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When the common good becomes mutual harm

Back in June 2021, one month after the Covid health pass had been instituted here in France, I hosted lunch for a friend. At that time, the “passe sanitaire” required proof of Covid vaccination, a negative test within 72 hours or Covid recovery within 6 months for those over 16 years of age, in order to access most public venues such as restaurants, cinemas, gyms, cultural institutions, all public transport. It was also required for those employed in jobs where the pass was a requirement for the public.

As we chatted in the kitchen, the subject of mandatory Covid vaccinations hung in the air like a stubborn smell no matter how much lemon-scented bonhomie we tried to squirt at it, and I guess it was inevitable, since this friend (I’ll call her Valerie) and I had found ourselves sitting awkwardly on opposing sides of the issue, that we would have address it at some point.

I told Valerie (in my mediocre French) that I am very much pro-vaccine, but that mandating them is something else entirely. The mandates also made no scientific sense since the spectrum of risk for Covid was a thousand times different depending on age and health, even before Omicron. Everyone should have the right to access the vaccines and everyone should be able to reserve the right to refuse them, I said. It seemed to me to be the only position that a decent person could take. There was only one problem with this. Valerie was a decent person. A very decent person. I have since come to believe that the good intentions of people like Valerie has been cynically usurped for Big Pharma, Big Tech and Big Government to play out their own agendas. But that’s another post….

Rousseau’s social contract

This was back in the days when taking a position against Covid vaccine mandates did not automatically make me an ‘anti-vaxxer’ (Oh happy days!) That happened later on in a move seemingly designed to shut down all debate and critical thought which it succeeded in doing very effectively. But taking such a position did make me a kind of walking ‘variant of concern’ to people like Valerie who did not appear to differentiate between the right of access and right of consent.  

At no time have vaccines been a forced legal requirement in France (which would actually contravene existing laws), but an ever-tightening  screw has made them harder and harder to avoid in a relentless campaign of state and media pressure that has molded public opinion into a force of control in its own right. To not be vaccinated in France you needed to be willing to be excluded from ordinary public life, surrender freedom of movement, be treated as a pariah by your family and friends, and risk losing your livelihood.

Stories began circulating about vaccine free patients being denied medical care and being carted off to detention camps. On social media they were told to go away and die. You also had to accept that your government despised you and considered you a person of lesser status. When the passe sanitaire morphed into the passe vaccinal in France, a country with some of the strictest Covid measures in the world, it became almost impossible to fulfil the requirements without vaccination. Macron told a reporter that he wanted to “piss off” the unvaccinated, a comment that generated a certain amount of consternation. But it was what he said after that which was more disturbing- that he would continue to make life as hard for such people as possible until the “bitter end” whatever that meant. “That is the strategy.” What “strategy” is that exactly? He went further, calling the unvaccinated “non-citizens”. This was far more ominous to me than his vernacular griping. At the time, Macron probably imagined this stance would win him votes in the next presidential election, although his recent back-paddling, claiming that he said such things “in an affectionate way” suggest that either he misread the political climate or more likely that the perception of vaccine mandates has changed in light of its all too obvious failures.

Back in my kitchen, I could see that Valerie was getting agitated and I was over-stirring the fish sauce. We were doing our best to play nice but the fundamental schism of perspective between us was giving us both vertigo. She then said a phrase that we were soon to be hearing a lot – “le bien commun” — “the common good”. I recognized this as a watershed moment, where people such as myself who did not agree with the vaccine passport system were going to be tagged as somehow devoid of altruism, motivated only by self-interest.

Was I familiar with the French enlightenment philosopher, Rousseau, she asked. Only just but I appreciated the reminder that brushing up on one’s philosophers was a prerequisite for even a casual lunch in France. I had read something about Rousseau’s ‘social contract’ but only had a vague recollection of it. When I looked it up later that evening, I understood why Valerie had invoked his name during our conversation. In his treatise Du contrat social Rousseau wrote that individuals must defer to the interests of society at large. The end goal is the realization of the common good.

On the surface, this sounds reasonable enough. The common good, how could anyone argue against it? However, several scholars have argued that Rousseau’s treatise contains the seeds of despotism. Why? Because the ‘common good’ is open to interpretation. It can be interpreted in any way that those who wield power over the common people want it to be. Once a government can orchestrate collective ideological agreement of a common good in its citizens, all kinds of terrible possibilities are liberated from the restraints that individual rights and agency keep at bay.

In other words, in the wrong hands, the common good can very quickly degenerate into the common harm.

The good of the state before the good of the patient

People like me are not opposed to the principle of the common good. What we oppose is the interpretation. Informed consent was a principle that had been instated for the common good. So how did mandating a vaccine supplant that? Who gets to determine the nature of this common good, anyway? Are we sure that these people are motivated by the common good? Are we sure they would even recognize a common good if it sat on their face?

As we sat down to eat, Valerie firmly asked me if we could change the subject. She didn’t want to lose me as a friend, she said. I, on the other hand, worried that the friendship was more vulnerable if we didn’t have the awkward conversation. But I could see she was serious so we moved on to other topics. But it could not be denied that the air had thickened between us. The next day she wrote me an email:

I try to not to judge people based on their political views. I have friends all over the political spectrum, as well as on the far right.

She had friends on the far right? I didn’t even have friends on the near right. I wasn’t sure if I should be impressed or concerned. Wait – does she mean that she thinks I’m far right? I had to laugh out loud at the thought since by any measure my political views plonked me squarely in the camp of crusty old school lefties. (One of the multiple ‘not our finest hour’ pandemic moments was anyone voicing concern about the erosion of fundamental liberties being labelled ‘far-right’ – and that was on a good day.) I decided to assume the best of Valerie, and replied something along the lines that I appreciated her being open to the conversation.

Since that time, I have had several people knock at my door, jabbed and not, just to share a safe space to air their views without judgement or fear of reprisal. How strange it feels to have people afraid to share their opinions in a country that claims to be a liberal democracy.

What is fascinating to me is that those supporting the mandates seem to have difficulty imagining that anyone ‘decent’ could think differently to them. They cannot seem to imagine that someone looked at the same situation and came to a completely different conclusion about what to do about it using their own critical faculties. Either they were duped by nefarious forces or there must be something wrong with them. But is conformity of opinion the sign of a healthy society? Historian and political theorist Hannah Arendt who wrote extensively on the causes of authoritarianism didn’t think so:

Unanimity of opinion is a very ominous phenomenon, and one characteristic of our modern mass age. It destroys social and personal life, which is based on the fact that we are different by nature and by conviction. To hold different opinions and to be aware that other people think differently on the same issue shields us from Godlike certainty which stops all discussion and reduces social relationships to those of an ant heap. A unanimous public opinion tends to eliminate bodily those who differ, for mass unanimity is not the result of agreement, but an expression of fanaticism and hysteria.’ (The Jewish Writings)

 I couldn’t stop thinking about this phrase ‘the common good’ and wondering where I’d heard it before. At 3 am I woke up with the following rattling around in my head:

The common good before the individual good.”

I flipped open my laptop to find the phrase inserted into part of a speech outlining the program of the National Socialist German Workers Party on February 24th, 1920, just over century ago. The speech was delivered by Adolf Hitler.

There are valid comparisons to be made about the ominous direction that the State can take us when it enforces public measures that violate the rights of the individual and the rise of authoritarian powers in history. By the individual, I mean you and me. And by us, I also mean you and me, just to be clear.

In Nazi Germany, authoritarianism was aided and abetted by the way that national or public health — volksgesundheit— ‘took complete precedence over individual health care,’ notes Susan Bachrach, staff historian at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the US.

The ‘volk’ or social order supplanted all other social contracts, even the ones that are designed to be personal, in particular the Hippocratic Oath, that established the duty of care and intent of non-harm of a doctor towards the patient. “What was good for the State was important, not the individual patient,” says Boston University professor Michael Grodin, M.D in the extraordinary documentary ‘Caring Corrupted’ that examines the extent of medical collusion in Germany’s extermination drives. It is sobering to recall that physicians made up the largest single professional group in the Nazi Party.

In Nazi Germany, the patient was erased and replaced with a faceless and soulless social order interpreted by the State. And this laid the foundation and the rationale for the later atrocities.

We are not living under a Nazi-style regime. Not yet, anyway. But regardless of your opinion on mandates, it is evident to all that the State, the media, public health officials and a willing army of ‘good comrades’ have for the past two years been pushing the idea of the precedence of national over individual health. In fact, saving national health care has often been elevated by public officials as justification for mass lockdowns, enforced mask-wearing and bio-medical dictates.

The fatal flaw of emergency powers

Special Emergency Powers are the three-magic words invoked by those who rise to the defense of such measures. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that. But again, it is worth noting that Article 48 of the Weimer Constitution that allowed for the suspension of German law in a state of emergency was instrumental in Hitler’s rise to power, allowing him to pass the Enabling Act that gave him unprecedented powers. ‘Rather than a solution for national emergencies [it] became a crutch for authoritarian elites to resume ruling by decree. It also undermined the public’s faith in democracy.’ [The Holocaust Encyclopedia].

The ghosts of our un-glorious past would want us to keep history in mind as we are faced with legislation that extends and expands upon the emergency powers governments have used to enforce public health policy during the pandemic. One example is assembly bill 2098 currently under consideration in California that would require medical boards to censure and/or revoke the licenses of doctors who convey publicly or even privately to patients medical information or advice that the state has labelled as “misinformation” about Covid.

Who would you prefer to be treated by; a doctor who is free to use their best professional judgement to help you, or a doctor who follows only what the state deems appropriate to do or say?

In Shanghai, the residents are currently enduring a mass house arrest under China’s zero-covid policy. The videos circulating of people screaming into the night from their apartments and throwing themselves off balconies in desperation while puppies are bludgeoned to death in the streets expose ‘the dangers of giving dictatorial powers to public health officials,’ writes Dr. Jay Bhattacarya.

The harrowing situation unfolding there is a testament to the folly of a virus containment strategy that relies on lockdown. For two weeks, the Chinese government has locked nearly 25 million people in their homes, forcibly separated children from their parents, killed family pets, and limited access to food and life-saving medical care—all to no avail. Covid cases are still rising, yet the delusion of suppressing Covid persists.

If we learn anything from this it should be that any legislation that allows a government to override the law should include language that makes it as difficult as possible for that same government to abuse such powers.

What is ‘common’ what is ‘good’?

The divides around the Covid measures have tended to be geared around assumptions as to who is and is not in favor of the ‘common good’. But perhaps this misses the point entirely. Perhaps a more useful question to ask is how do we determine the criteria for a ‘common good’? This question does not presuppose malice and allows for a more nuanced expression of concerns and values. Lockdowns seemed to be a ‘common good’ but it is quite possible that they cost more lives than they saved. A meta-analysis by Simon Fraser University of Canada of over one hundred Covid lockdown studies concluded that this policy serviced the elites and the laptop class but did untold harm to the poor. The report ended in the following sobering line.

It is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in modern history.

Increasingly, science was informing us that the vaccines did not accomplish the very thing upon which the whole ‘common good’ argument depended.

The Covid vaccines do not stop transmission.

Stopping transmission was the entire raison d’être behind these vaccines, remember? They were going to help us reach herd immunity which, we were repeatedly told, could not be achieved any other way and certainly not through the learning curves of our own immune systems. When the vaccines failed in this regard, health officials morphed their purpose before our very (mesmerized) eyes. Suddenly no one had ever said that these vaccines would prevent us from getting infected by Covid or transmitting it. They were always intended to only prevent hospitalization and death. When it became clear that vaccination could not fulfil even this promise, health authorities simply fell silent on the matter, and then stopped publishing the relevant data. The CDC stopped publishing data on vaccine breakthrough cases on September 4, 2021, stating that doing so would encourage the perception that the injections were ineffective. Scotland stopped publishing its data on death by vaccination status in February this year. So, let me get this straight. You stop publishing data on a medical product because the data doesn’t support the effectiveness of said product. And we’re all supposed to just shrug our shoulders at that?

The common harms of mandates

There are no scientific reasons for these vaccines to be mandated, especially as the data mounts that the countries with the highest vaccine uptake are experiencing the highest case numbers. And yet, despite the current pause, recent murmurs suggest that health passes are not entirely off the table, and might well be redeployed for as yet undisclosed bio-medical dictates.

The Covid pandemic has brought about a shift in the relationship between the individual and the state, a shift that we ignore to our peril. The principle of informed consent has been long established as a core value of medical ethics; enshrined for decades in international treaties such as the Nuremberg Code, the Declaration of Helsinki and the UN Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. Informed consent serves as a cornerstone of medical legal codes of liberal democracies. How this principle was violated so quickly and pervasively with such scant resistance is a testimony to the power of government messaging and their instruments of mass media to convince people of their own powerlessness.

The mandate-mentality also crushed research into Covid therapeutics, which at the start of the pandemic was a subject that was discussed openly and enthusiastically among medical professionals and scientific researchers. Several promising preventatives and treatments for Covid presented by doctors and scientists were either ignored, outlawed and/or made the target of mass smear campaigns. We have yet to assess the damage this policy of early treatment suppression has caused but some doctors suggest that hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved with early treatment. A generous interpretation would be that this was the result of concern about vaccine hesitancy. A less generous interpretation, that it was the result of the greed for mutual profiteering by Big Pharma and the state.

But the pandemic has also changed relationships within society itself. The mandate pushers took advantage of already sensitive political divisions, and upped the octane by shaming, bullying, censorship, exaggeration and fear-mongering. The pandemic has ushered in a “papers please” society the likes of which we haven’t seen since the second world war, while barricading all avenues of meaningful dissent.

We were suddenly thrust into one of two camps; those of us who were pinching ourselves on a daily basis to wake up from this latest episode of Black Mirror, and the rest who viewed the vaccine mandates as either an obvious net positive or nothing to be especially concerned about. Relationships, even between friends and within families, strained and sometimes snapped as people grappled with their values and consciences. There was plenty of fear and anxiety to go around, though not always addressed at the same thing.

There are survivors of the holocaust who are making more direct comparisons between the early stages of the Nazi regime and the orientation of Western liberal governments towards increasingly authoritarian dictates. In a speech delivered last month in Brussels at an anti-mandate protest, holocaust survivor Vera Sharav described what she regards as striking parallels between what she witnessed as a child in Nazi-controlled Romania, and Covid policies. She rejects the way that certain people attempt to block any such comparisons under the guise of racism. Since the entire point of remembering the holocaust, she says, is to ensure that it never happens again, those who attempt to shut down discussion about the rise of authoritarianism in the West are as bad as those who deny the holocaust happened at all.

‘As a survivor I’m appalled by those who control the holocaust narrative. They deny the relevance of the holocaust to current discrimination and increasingly repressive edicts. These vigilantes censor and silence those who speak out. By denying the relevance of the holocaust in the current repression, these vigilantes are holocaust deniers.’

Those who take offence at any parallels between Nazi Germany and the past couple of years, always focus on the ultimate horrors. They never talk about the process itself, perhaps because the points of intersection with that process – the dehumanizing of your fellow human beings, the belittling of bodily autonomy, the erosion of informed consent and the silencing of dissent – are so uncomfortably familiar.

Vera Sherav’s argument is that the freedom to make such parallels is the paramount reason for remembering the holocaust at all; so that we can pull it out at the roots whenever it begins to take hold. Those who cry that these parallels are inappropriate do not understand the point of recalling such history. Surely it would be better to err on the side of caution than to find ourselves sucked helplessly into a spiral of personal powerlessness without ever daring to raise a concern.

We need to be free to analyze the steps that outline the darkest periods of our history – for the simple reason that it is the steps we need to watch out for. Once mass exterminations are underway, it is far far too late. It is not so much the fruits of authoritarian notions but their seeds that we need to watch out for.

You can’t cross a line that doesn’t exist

Rousseau envisaged a time where it will be necessary for humanity to embark on mass communal endeavors to ensure future survival. But instead of inspiring altruism through the respect for the person and the recruitment of their unique potential and creativity, he anticipates the need for the total surrender of all individual rights to the State. There is another word for this. Slavery.

The pounding silence from those who yesterday cried out for ‘my body, my choice’ to the carrion calls in the press and social media to exclude, marginalize and even to medical neglect the unvaccinated, will I believe, be regarded as a cause for shame in the not so distance future.

The list of crimes in the name of the common good are too many to count. Doctors fired for insisting on informed consent for children; doctors suspended for treating their patients; Doctors resigning rather than being forced to impose a no confidence vaccine on their patients; Doctors threatened for questioning the safety of a medical product; Patients refused organ transplants; A sick pregnant woman left to slump half unconscious on the floor of a hospital hallway; A 3-year-old boy refused treatment for a heart condition because his parents were unvaccinated.

Remind me again what world we all ‘staying safe’ for.

Even if being unvaccinated did make a person more likely to contract Covid and end up in the hospital (which is highly questionable if you look at the current data), how does this justify the refusal of medical treatment? An argument I have heard is that such a person is taking up a hospital bed that could be used by someone else. By whom, exactly? Someone in hospital for lung cancer after a lifetime of Marlboros? A heroin addict with double pneumonia? An alcoholic with liver failure? Someone morbidly obese from decades of junk food suffering from with kidney failure? What about people who suffer injuries from other high-risk activities such as extreme sports, or how about a teenager who has attempted suicide? No treatment for STD’s if you’ve had unprotected sex? Where does it end?

It’s the question nobody can seem to answer. Where do you draw the line? Not we. You.

I have asked this same question of several of my friends who support vaccine mandates. They never answer it. It’s almost as if they can’t understand the question. As if it is not for them to say, not their responsibility to consider. They look at me as if to say, “It’s not my line to draw.” Have they handed over personal responsibility to the State along with their individual rights. The two go together. The fewer the individual rights that the State grants its citizens, the less individual responsibility is required from those citizens or is even possible to exercise. Personal responsibility becomes outsourced to the State.

Netflix tells us what to watch, Amazon tells us what to buy. Now the State will tell us what to think by way of its Big Tech enforcers. Where do you draw the line? If we cannot answer individually then we are prevented from answering collectively. In fact, if we cannot answer this question individually, there is no line to cross. Anything is possible in the most frightening meaning of that term.

It rolls out the red carpet for crimes of the collective, where no single person imagines themselves capable of formulating a moral objection, let alone engaging in actual acts of resistance based on internal values because the idea of individual agency has been erased. You can get such people to cross any line. Because the very idea of a line that can be crossed has also been erased.

I don’t’ want to live in a world where doctors are not allowed to raise questions about State-sanctioned drugs. And, I would argue, neither do you. What we need far more than corporate-state-stamped decrees on the common good is the common dignity of the individual in the field of mutual fellowship.

Although represented as devoid of altruism, people like myself are, on the contrary, deeply concerned about the common good. In fact, we think about it obsessively. We watch with growing concern as policies are stealthily put in place that we are told are there to protect people but which are in danger of severely harming those very same people. For us, the question must always remain on our lips – who gets to define the common good, and what evidence do we have that they have the interests of the common good at heart?

I believe that when Valerie and I meet again, as we keep planning to do, we will both be reminded of where we align instead of where we depart; as two people who care about the direction of our society and the wellbeing of our fellows. But I do believe that it is necessary to have the difficult conversation, to be willing to be tested in the mutual pursuit of truth. The alternative is a long blind march towards a time too late, where the difficult and uncomfortable can no longer break bread with one another because they have already become the impossible and intolerable.

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Recruiting the Vagus Nerve: the best friend you didn’t know you had

La Vie en Yoga

The Vagus nerve is a master nerve that controls various functions of the heart, lungs, stomach and intestines.Without it we would be in constant fight-or-flight stress mode and we would quite simply keel over and die – probably from a heart attack.

My interest in this work is largely informed by my own past experiences with depression and anxiety forced me to go ever deeper and to seek underlying causes for mycondition. When I discovered the work of scientist Dr. Stephen Porges and read about his Polyvagal Theory a thousand lights went off in my head.

In this journey, I have discovered some fundamentalpractices that can dramatically change how we experience ourselves in the world. These practices bring together eastern wisdom traditions with modern science in very exciting ways that link together physical, mental, emotional and spiritual performance; cardiologists, therapists especially trauma therapists, sports coaches, educators, and yoga teachers, are…

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Welcome to VaGSS

I recently stumbled across a condition called Mass Gamer Stockholm Syndrome – aka MaGSS. Yes, it’s really a thing.

MaGSS is psychological condition that affects gamers – which can be video or role-playing gamers – who will defend their favorite game beyond all evidence and reason. Gamers are effectively ‘taken hostage’ by their game even if the game quality is obviously flawed. They defend their game so loyally that they become immune to logical reasoning.

Such people defend even bug-infested games, sometimes by arguing that the fault lies with the player instead of the product. If you complain that the game is sub-standard they will say things like, “It’s because your aim is off.”

This is like people who – when a certain vaccine is criticized because it doesn’t stop transmission of a virus, doesn’t stop you getting infected with the virus, doesn’t rule out severe illness or death from the virus, begins losing it’s protection after 5 months, requires indefinite repeat doses, has over 1000 documented side effects and barely works at all against the dominant variant that everyone is now getting exposed to – respond by saying, “Well, no vaccine is perfect.”

And if you persist they try to convince you your aim is off (“conspiracy theorist!” “anti-vaxxer!” “racist!”)

Welcome to VaGSS – Vaccine Gamer Stockholm Syndrome.

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Ode to the Worm Moon

Rise, rise, the Worm Moon rose this morning
The last full face of Winter, this year before the Equinox.
After, and it’s the first full moon of Spring.

The difference is the ligament between the last and the first.
Between the thaw and the stream.

This full moon has many names: Worm, Crow, and Sap
But all resonate with the stirring new.
That even you, my Sleep-Eyed Bird, can feel between your blanketed breaths,
Time to rise from the cosy unrequiring sleep you use as junk, as proxy death.

Time to uncurdle your slumbering heart from the churning stories of the other time
That kept you safe from the wisdom of monotony.

Time to close the tales of how the wicked winds ripped your flesh ten thousand ways
How the bare trees mocked your paltry offerings.
How the ice curated your memories into exhibitions for all those frozen ghosts.
Time to join the living now; to leave hope and despair to the accountants; to stop being afraid of Nothing.

Rise to the Sap Moon, teasing gravity. That gleaming superfood surging in the veins of bark and leaf.

Rise with the call of the Crow Moon on your lips. Never mind how coarse and dry from seeping hours apart from all your kind.

Rise, rise the Worm Moon has risen.
Leave the castings of your bed behind, and in it all your plans for being good or useful, adventurous or sensible, courageous, wise and loved. Let them rot into fertilizer for the Harvest of the Real.

Step out of that tired old disguise of being someone. It never suited You.

Let the stirring mount your new Spring blood within that fuels the Planless Action, The Not Doing that effortlessly cares for every need.
Soak up the sun like photosynthesis, the offer yourself to the first worm-eaterS
See the Cycle pass again from tiny beaks, to rotting feathers, to worm soil feasts, to the Ever-Changing Changeless Vast Continuum.

Enough with not being Worthy. That’s just the snooze button. Take only Love, and leave the rest.

You don’t need to be Jesus to practice Resurrection.

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My grandmother’s wallpaper as embedded wisdom code

It is like washing printed cloth. First, the design fades, then the background and in the end, the cloth is plain white. The personality gives place to the witness, then the witness goes and pure awareness remains. The cloth was white in the beginning and is white in the end; the patterns and colours just happened — for a time.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Like thousands of others, I keep a copy of Sri Nisargadatta’s I am That on my bedside table, along with whatever I’m actually ‘reading’ at the time. Because you don’t so much as ‘read’ I am That as you do swim in it from time to time.

After one dip into its waters, I sank into a momentary stillness. Trying to sponge up his words about the ‘witness consciousness’ – and knowing I’ve been here several times before.

All spiritual practice — he says, ‘consists in shifting the emphasis from the superficial and changeful person to the immutable and ever-present witness’. The witness is our deep-level awareness of what is—the continuum of consciousness that never changes — the quiet stillness of the land-far ocean — unaffected by the waves of thoughts and emotions churned up in the surf of memories.

I began to swim in the feeling behind the words, and entered a state that felt a bit like looking through a telescope at the stars, except that the stars were key moments in my life. I opened the breadth of my immediate experience to ‘a mind which is spread in time’. I felt a bit like the time traveler in H.G Well’s The Time Machine, with the dials of my invented contraption running — a mind spread in time — backwards through my personal history: 2020, 2010, 2000, 1990, 1980, 1970. 1970. The dial stopped here.

I am 8 years old. It’s night time. I am lying in my mother’s childhood room at my grandmother’s house. The bed is large and I am alone. It’s summer, so even though it’s 9 o’clock, it is not dark. In fact, the room is filled with that late summer glow that everyone born in the 60s and before remembers – before the sun changed. There’s the chest of drawers, the wardrobe with it’s oval mirror, the enormous armchair that no one ever sits in. But I am staring at the wallpaper. My grandmother’s wallpaper is a continuum for me. Because my parents were in the armed forces, and nothing stayed the same for very long. So this wallpaper already had significance in that it was emblematic of continuity; and for a child, continuity is security.

The picture I have of it in my mind’s eye is vague. There are flowers, of course, largish, Victorian-style on cream with blushing reds and pinks. I’m unsure of the exact design. It doesn’t seem to matter.

But then some more flotsam; a message in a bottle. That 8 year old girl distinctly recalling sensing a consciousness deeper than her thoughts. She went into it, further and further, remaining fixated on one spot on the wallpaper the whole time–through the corolla of a windblown rose, the floral equivalent of a black hole. Windblown. Mindblown. Like a recall to the fleshy secrets of the womb. And then a vast changeless continuum of absolute peace. And then the whole of space-time coalescing around a single thought.

You will remember this later.

And here I was, ‘later’ being a bit of an understatement, remembering it 52 years later. How odd. It was as if I’d planted that thought-seed back there in time and only now had it met the conditions to sprout.

And that peace returned, and I saw how it was impossible for the I to exist in the way it appears in the mind. Because the encounter with the witness consciousness was the same at 52 as it was at 8. Nothing, absolutely nothing had changed. So what about all those experiences that seemed to make up who I was? What were they? They were memories fabricated into emotions. They were unreal. The real was the continuum itself. At least, it was a whiff of the real.

I came out of this reverie and looked down at the open book in my hands. And this is what I read: ‘When questioned, they dissolve.’

Nisagardatta was referring to our prevailing sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ — our experience of our own identity as some distinct indisputable reality. The memory of what has happened to us, he says, remains after the event itself, and this memory takes the shape of our identity. When we recognize that ‘I’ and ‘mine’ is simply bundles of fears and desire based in memory, you will see that this ‘I’ and ‘mine’ has no foundation in reality. When questioned, they dissolve.

It is like washing printed cloth. First, the design fades, then the background and in the end, the cloth is plain white. The personality gives place to the witness, then the witness goes and pure awareness remains. The cloth was white in the beginning and is white in the end; the patterns and colours just happened — for a time.

All I have to do now is bring my grandmother’s wallpaper to mind, and the witness consciousness emerges naturally. A code. I spent a while on the internet later, looking up vintage wallpaper from the period (my grandmother was a frugal woman, not one to re-decorate on a whim, so I had to explore a wide time period). I couldn’t be sure. I kept thinking, yes, maybe, no. The one I attach to this post is very, very close. But the truth is I could have planted anything: a spiderweb, a passing cloud, a dandelion clock, the smell of apple crumble fresh from the oven. Of course, ‘I’ didn’t do anything at all, really. It’s all a trick of the light.

I like to imagine that millions of us in our childhoods planted such codes inside our software, secret lockets containing balms of wisdom ready to penetrate the pain of our limited selves. Or perhaps it is our evolved future selves leaning down to calm our burning foreheads. No matter. Here’s to this branch of magic, conspiring on behalf of our higher selves. Just when we need it the most.

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Freedum here, Freedom there

It is really worrying to me how few people can keep two thoughts in their heads at the same time, without one obliviating the other.

Take the recent protests in Canada against the Covid mandates – and then take the Russians protesting the war in the Ukraine. These two things can happen in the same universe and it really isn’t necessary to make comparisons. Mostly because there’s little sense in doing so. But we just can’t help ourselves, can we? So you get the authoritarian left presenting noble Russians risking jail time for demonstrating against an unpredictable and authoritarian leader as a long jabbing finger at those common Canadian protestors — even more sullied in light of the brave and pure Russian souls who understand suffering like few others do.

This tweet from George Takei sums it up.

Not sure why “convoys” is in quotation marks, but “freedum” – yeah, that’s there to show us how much smarter and better Mr. Takei is than those truckers and their rabble-rousing supporters. Oppressed people around the world fight for FREEDOM, but FREEDUM is what the workers here at home fight for; some slack-jawed inbred strain of what the Founding Fathers meant. FREEDOM makes you feel all warm and righteous inside. FREEDUM makes you look over your shoulder and check your wallet bulge.

If you keep using freedom like your personal lackey and then throw it under the nearest truck when it starts to demand a price, well, that seems like an invitation for some kind of reckoning.

Firstly, it’s very poor taste to use the situation in the Ukraine to take more potshots at the Canadian protestors. And secondly, because people somewhere are demanding a say in the direction of their country doesn’t de-legitimize people demanding a say in the direction of their country somewhere else.

Are the Russian protestors braver than the Canadian ones? Maybe. I don’t know. Is there a test for that? Does it matter? The Russians are a very brave lot, that’s for sure, and they have much to lose for their dissent. The truckers camped out in minus 20 weather for weeks. That’s pretty brave to me. The Russians can handle a nippy winter too I’ve been told. I heard several truckers say they were willing to die. Being willing to die for what you believe in is as brave as it gets, regardless of what other people think about it. I haven’t heard the Russian protestors speak but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were some who felt the same way. I heard their bank accounts were shut down, their assets seized and that the police have vowed to hunt down all who participated and make them suffer. Wait. No. That was Canada. See how easy it is to get confused these days?

No. Canada is not as bad as Russia. Isn’t that a good thing? And yes, we need to protect freedom and democracy BEFORE things get as bad as Russia. Because if WE DON’T, IT WILL.

And I’m not sure that Takei is a very good judge of human behaviour. He called the BLM protests ‘peaceful’ and he retweeted a post that called the Ottawa protestors ‘thuggish’. Does he know what these words mean?

No, not ALL the BLM protestors set fire to buildings. True. And no, not ONE of the Canadian protestors did.

Those who use words like “thuggish” to describe the Ottawa protestors really want to use the word “violence” but they can’t because, well, because the protest have been remarkably peaceful. As much as the legacy media hunted for smashed windows and petrol bombs, they kept bumping into people clearing sidewalks of snow and opening soup kitchens or holding hands, singing and dancing. But of course, you couldn’t report on that. Thousands, probably millions, of us saw those videos and photos on alternative media platforms For us, the legacy media reporting on what happened in Ottawa was a new low in an already gravely propagandistic time.

Takei’s tweets have the tone of much of the authoritarian left lately when discussing ordinary working people, like a character out of Downton Abbey who gets all pouty when the help gets ideas above their station. These thugs should stay in their place. How dare they imagine that my FREEDOM and their “FREEDUM” is the same thing? They need to get back to shipping me my Fair Trade RTD mochas (warp speed!) so I can get back to posting dance footage of Volodymyr Zelensky on my Twitter feed. The message from such people to the Canadian protestors (and as such to all the ‘convoy’ protestors around the world) is “Your job is the servicing MY FREEDOMS”. So stop your honking and we’ll say no more about it.

I don’t want to be a prophet of doom, but you may want to start reconsidering your supply chains.

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The FDA is laughing at you

I was already having one of those mornings. You know, the ones you only talk about with your cat because anything else is pretty much the definition of ‘oversharing’. The kind where you see the jogger in the same turquoise tracksuit, blonde hair and pink headband running up two perpendicular streets within seconds of each other. And you have one of those ‘simulation moments’.

When I watched the kind and earnest Dr. Suneel Dhand talk about this on his Youtube channel, I thought he must be having us on. Or maybe the Food & Drug Administration had got their calendars mixed up and thought it was already April 1st.

But no, it was true. The FDA – the health agency of the United States, just recommended pizza dipped in chocolate. For real.

But no, it was true. The FDA DID recommend pizza dipped in chocolate.

Are they just laughing at us now? Those simulator editors. It’s like they ran the movie Idiocracy through the simulation just to see if we would notice.

I’m not going to insult you with explaining WHY pizza dipped in chocolate is one of the absolutely unhealthiest things you can put into your body. But I will mention that pizza and chocolate are 2 of the top 5 MOST ADDICTIVE FOODS know to humans.

Scientists Find Pizza and Chocolate Are the Two Most Addicting Foods

Well, I’m going to just go and dip my pizza in chocolate and quietly die. Because I’m guessing this is what they want. And you know, I like to follow the science.

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Hate has no home here: how lies about the Canadian protests are lighting up the truth


Like many of you, I’ve been glued to scenes of enormous numbers of trucks that have crossed the great country of Canada and together with thousands of protestors are presently camped out in the nation’s capital, Ottawa, to voice their dissent against the government’s health mandates. It’s impossible to know what numbers we’re talking about since the legacy media consistently plays them down to a ridiculous degree and the organizers are likely to exaggerate them. But at this point it’s pretty clear that whatever figures you believe, that it’s 250,000 trucks, that the convoy was 70 miles long, or a lot less than that, no one can continue to effectively frame this as a ‘fringe’ movement as the opposition keep trying to do.

Whatever happens from now on in, the truckers have already won. They have garnered far more support than their wildest dreams, raised 10 million dollars in only a few weeks on GoFundMe (putting aside the fact that the fundraising organization tried to fraudulently relocate the donations) and have catalyzed a movement that has now gone global. And things are still in flux. Even as I’m writing this, the premiers of the Canadians provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta have both ended their vaccine mandates. Next Monday, thousands of trucks are going to converge in Brussels from all over Europe, all inspired by the Canadian truckers. As one French friend said to me over cake and coffee this morning, “Merci au Canada.”

Who has lost? To me it’s very clear that the losers here are the Canadian government – including the opposition – and the mainstream media. It has been pretty obvious for a while now that the media has acted as little more than government mouthpieces during the pandemic, but the protests in Canada have brought a sharp clarity to this realization.

The lies are acting like supercharged photographic developer, slowly but surely exposing the outlines of the truth. Trudeau and his cronies are desperately trying to stop the film from developing, or to convince you that what you’re seeing is something else entirely.

The smear campaign against the protestors carried out by Trudeau and echoed in the media has been so obviously orchestrated to foster fear and mistrust and to further divide people, that the prime minister and his Ministry of Truth media is losing the respect, not just of his own citizens but of the entire world.

Back in 2020, Justin Trudeau was hailing the Canadian truckers as heroes of the pandemic. Now, that they don’t want to follow his dictats he calls them names. He sounds like a fanatic when he does this. Racist, misogynists, fringe, people with “unacceptable views”. He claims they are coming from a place of hate and do not represent Canada. These are scornful and hateful, and they are aimed at his own people.

Canada’s public safety minister, Marco Mendicino, claimed that some of the protestors were planning on the violent overthrow of the Canadian government. Opposition party NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, suggested that some wanted a “Canadian version of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Capitol.” The demonstrators have also been accused of desecrating war memorials and of being anti-science.

The problem for these people is that anyone with access to the internet can see for themselves who the protestors really are. The organizers hold press conferences which are shared widely online. We can actually hear the things they actually say; the words that actually come out of their mouths, not the ones that the government tries to put in them. We can use our own judgement to assess their character. We can verify their claims with supporting media. We don’t need other people with questionable agendas telling us who these people are.

Okay, let’s take these claims one by one.

TERRORISTS AND INSURRECTIONISTS: When the Twittersphere got all bent out of reports that protestors appeared to be building wooden structure near City Hall and stockpiling propane tanks and diesel fuel the reaction was predictable in light of the media conditioning. One user tweeted: ‘Why are police allowing seditionists to stockpile potential explosive devices near city hall?’

What were the protestors ACTUALLY doing? They were building a soup kitchen. Yeah, the kind that feeds people.

ANTI-SCIENCE ANTI-VAXXERS: Actually, the vast majority of the protestors are vaccinated. If you’re going with the updated definition of an anti-vaxxer as being someone against the mandates then so be it, but let’s be clear what you mean when you use that term. As for being anti-science, well actually several countries in Europe have already dropped the Covid restrictions and many more are in the process of doing. There have been dozens of studies including one recently from St Johns Hopkins showing that lockdowns were ineffective at stopping the spread of the virus and vaccine mandates were always a political, not science-based, policy. And the protest organizers actual travel with a group of scientists who have offered to debate any government representatives. I doubt anyone will take them up on it though because debating actual science is not the same as shouting orders at people and shaming them for not complying.

And we also don’t expect that tens of thousands of people gathered in an emotive demonstration are all going to act perfectly. We understand there will always be some bad apples and idiots who don’t represent the majority. But wow, it’s hard to find even those.

RACISTS AND WHITE SUPREMACISTS: These accusations are hardly worth the time to debunk, but I’ll do it anyway because racist is such a loaded term, but oh so easy to chuck into a situation like a Molotov cocktail. Because the only thing you can really say in your defense is no I’m not a racist. The truckers have wisely let the evidence speak for itself. Yes, there WAS a swastika waved around – and that’s utterly reprehensible – there was also a Confederate flag (Confederate flag in Canada? that was a bit weird, don’t you think?). I heard the truckers intervened pronto to get the offender to remove them, but you have to wonder who this person was. Some characters on social media were in an uproar claiming this incident meant that the protest must have been organized by white supremacists. But does this mean that? There were also Nazi flags at a number of BLM protests, but in those cases the media said things like beware the white supremacists infiltering the protests. The Canadian protestors on the other hand get no such fair play. And the beautiful thing is they don’t really care.

Protestors have also been accused of DESECRATING MEMORIALS – Now it does seem unfortunately true that some protestors danced on the tomb of the unknown soldier. Which is really a stupid and ignorant thing to do. No defense there. But dancing is not desecration, unless they were really really bad dancers. The protestors were also reported to have ‘desecrated’ or ‘defaced’ a statue of beloved Canadian politician Terry Fox across from Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.

Protestors have also been accused of DESECRATING MEMORIALS. Unfortunately, it does seem true that some protestors danced on the tomb of the unknown soldier. Which is really a stupid and ignorant thing to do. No defense there. But dancing is not desecration, unless they were really really bad dancers. The protestors were also reported to have ‘desecrated’ or ‘defaced’ a statue of beloved Canadian politician Terry Fox across from Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.

Now, I didn’t know who Terry Fox was, I had to look him up. And I was happy I did because he seems like he was a very decent human being. Terry Fox was a Canadian athlete and humanitarian. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated due to cancer, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Obviously a brilliant guy.

The Toronto Star reported that: The figure was draped with a hockey cap on its head, a Canadian flag wrapped around its neck, an upside down Canadian flag hanging from its arm and a placard reading “Mandate Freedom” wedged under another arm.

So, I read that story completely differently from the way I was supposed to read it, I guess. To me it pointed to a couple of giddy protestors, after a couple of beers perhaps, putting the Canadian flag around the shoulders of the statue of this honourable human being, BECAUSE they admired him? Because they saw him as ONE OF THEM. Someone whom they imagined, would be ON THEIR SIDE. Later the MANDATE FREEDOM sign was replaced with another HE WILL NOT DIVIDE CANADA, even more telling of the actual intent of the so-called desecrators.

I mean, if this was someone they despised – like for example how Black Lives Matter protestors saw John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, regarded by them as a white supremacist for his treatment of indigenous peoples, the mandate protestors would probably have done what the BLM protestors did back in May 2020 as described by CBC Canada.

A handful of people climbed the monument, tied ropes around the statue and held up banners before unbolting it and pulling it down. The falling statue’s trajectory caused the head to fly off and bounce onto the cobblestones below.

Now THAT’S a fair description of desecrating a statue, even given that the decapitation was accidental. Not putting a hat on it and a flag around its shoulders like some drunk tourist. And the news story about the BLM protestors desecrating the John A. MacDonald statue had a really important sentence – It was not clear what affiliation, if any, those who pulled down the statue had with the march. Why couldn’t we apply the same kind of journalistic standard to the mandate protests in Canada? Why? Because there is an agenda to make sure you think of these people a certain way, and no other.

Why is the assumption always that these anomalous elements represent the body of protestors at large? Because they’re ALL supposed to be fringe. You can’t have the fringe of a fringe. The agenda to paint all of these people in a very negative light is crystal clear. But the labels just don’t stick because there is so much evidence that they are wrong. You have videos of Sikhs handing out boxes of samosas, indigenous tribespeople conducting blessing ceremonies, people of all stripes and ages joined together in unity. And isn’t THAT the real threat for the government? People strong and united instead of divided against one another.

The Canadian protestors might have been more or less abandoned by their elected representatives but have been adopted by anti-authoritarians the world over. These are the people who have borne the brunt of the pandemic measures, the frontline workers who worked the hardest and lost the most and have now said ‘enough’. Those privileged enough to have managed the last two years from their personal fiefdoms, have disconnected even more with the rest of society. They have suffered less economically but in many ways are more emotionally damaged, more fearful, more anxious, and far more conditioned to remain uncritical. As much as they might like to look down on the truckers and those who support them, they are consistently far less eloquent and intellectually adept. Their words are frontloaded with hate and fear and with that comes a lack of discernment and even a kind of grunting stupidity.

The media uses words like “toxic” and “dangerous” to describe these protestors while the protesters talk about “non-violence”, “unity”, “community” and “hope.”  They talk, in short, about all good things. They do not spew hate for hate. Videos of protestors holding hands and singing “Oh Canada!”, and clearing sidewalks of snow have circulated far and wide on social media. My favourite banner of all was HATE HAS NO HOME HERE. Think about that for a moment. What a beautiful sentiment.

But no matter what they do, they are assumed guilty of the most heinous crimes of wrong-think and wrong-doing. This leads to the most bizarre communications from on-high such as Ottawa mayor Jim Watson tweeting, “It’s disturbing when you see the protest turning into what looks like some kind of fun carnival, where they’ve got bouncy castles, and hot tubs, and saunas.”

THAT’S disturbing to him?? He must have become apoplectic when they started feeding the homeless. This is the craziness where detractors have to resort to comments like this because they can’t find any evidence of terrorism or any of the rest of it. They’re not blowing up buildings, they’re blowing up bouncy castles. Run for your lives!

It is evident that the organizers are in this for the long haul. They seem un-phased by the hate they are receiving from their government, from the media, and from certain sectors of the public. They are asking that the government sit down across a table and speak with them. They ask this very calmly and rationally. It’s so refreshingly old school. A good old fashioned sit-down dialogue to resolve human conflict. How civilized. And to be willing to sit down with a man who has does nothing but run away and demonize them – Classy.

What Trudeau does not understand, along with some of his peers across the Atlantic, is that when a government uses hate-speech against its own people for peacefully expressing disagreement with its policies, people start to ask questions like: WHO DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE?

The legacy media in Canada, the United States and much of Europe are in lockstep with Trudeau’s misinformation campaign against the protestors which is revealing of a global agenda. In the US, especially, where the MSM is mired in the warring bi-nomic language of MAGAstan vs. WOKEistan, very little light is getting through the murk. In this worldview, you’re either a true Covidian double-mask-wearing vaccine/boosting fanatic or you’re a racist ignorant dangerous (and don’t forget selfish) science-denier. But for those who know that this is actually not reality, it is as clear as the ever-lengthening nose on Mr. Trudeau’s face, that we are being lied to on a really astonishing scale. ‘Do we tolerate these people?’ he asked referring to the protestors, but perhaps the more pressing question is how long will the people tolerate such intolerant leadership?

Not for long, it seems. We are seeing stirrings of political discontent even within Trudeau’s own party. Liberal MP Joel Lightbound (now that’s a name I can get behind) had this to say:

I saw an interview with what seemed to be a very kind grandmother who demonstrated for her grandkids. She looked and sounded nothing like a white supremacist.

Mr. Lightbound (okay I DO like saying that) makes mention of others in the party who are fed up with the divisive politics and who think the government should take a more positive approach. Now isn’t that refreshing, sane and compassionate?

These times are really pushing us all to learn, to come to our own conclusions based on the evidence before our ears and eyes and based on our own critical thinking because if these events teach us anything it’s that we can no longer trust the sources of information that we used to rely on for the truth, or at least SOME truth. And this is not just Canada. This is a global movement. You see, the Canadian protestors do not represent a ‘fringe’ – they represent a global tide that is coming in fast and is going to swallow up the fanatical, the unkind, and out of touch.

But the lies are backfiring. In fact, THE MORE THEY LIE THE MORE WE SEE THE TRUTH. We can see a lot of people who look and sound fed up with two years of mandates producing very questionable results, trying to stay warm, playing impromptu ice hockey games, with lots of camaraderie, singing and dancing – and plenty of colourful woolen hats and more Canadian flags than you can throw a moose at. (They’ve also been called ‘traitors’ which again doesn’t work because its obvious to anyone – whether you agree with them or not — that these people LOVE their country).

This movement also is very revealing of what millions of people are feeling around the world now, that they have no political representation anymore. The terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ have become  more or less meaningless as political descriptors, and are perhaps only useful to describe which hand you use to write with or directions to the post office. Political homelessness is becoming the new normal. And this could be a really good thing because it might signal the possibility of real and meaningful change.

This movement is removing the masks to reveal a mean-spirited authoritarian elitist agenda that has permeated the political class and has lost its reason and its humanity – having long ago abandoned the interests of ordinary working people it makes not bones about despising them; a political class, in this instance, that has no problem distorting the facts to ensure a continuous barrage of character assassinations, while studiously avoiding the reality of the breadth and diversity of the movement that is, by every meaningful measure, peaceful, reasonable and humane.

The truckers have already won. Why? Because the more that the government and media lies to us, the clearer we see the Truth – heading towards us all, like a convoy of gleaming silver semis down the highway of history.

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