Thursday, May 31, 2018

Kill All the Billionaires

Kill all the Billionaires; yes even the Gates Foundation Billionaire.  The Billionaire club sure is something; a group of the humblest and most generous souls on planet Earth. Right now the world over the Billionaire is killing the Earth, killing communities, and killing people. They are so possessed by greed they can't see it. Either that or their greed is so powerful, they don't care if the world dies. They are protecting a system, a way of life which cannot sustain itself. Sooner than later it is going to collapse. We see the pillars cracking and crumbling.  The rest of the world is going to start taking a hammer to the Billionaire club. Sadly it may be too late for the collapse to really have an effect on the Earth. The pursuit of riches is killing us, the Earth. The consequences are real. What in the heck can the individual do to stop this, the Billionaire killing the planet? Do we stop letting the faucet run as we brush our teeth? Do we put our empty pop cans in the blue box? Do we drive smaller cars or do more bicycling?  While we are doing that, Billionaires are crushing rock deep into the Earth, emptying all sorts of poison in the Waters of the World and clear cutting all the Trees of the World. So what do we do?

So why not kill all the billionaires?  They are the biggest contributors to inequality of people. They are actively killing the planet. They use governments for their bullying tactics. The world will be a better place if they knew they were going to be hunted. Think they would stay in the Billionaire club if they knew their support staff would hunt them/kill them?

I joke about making it into a movie plot:

The movie could be about disgruntled government agencies. Agency heads grow increasingly dismayed (or quite angry) with their political masters and how the decisions are made to increase the cash flow for the ultra rich. When an agency Head's cousin dies a slow excruciating pain-filled death from cancer because the health care insurance was cancelled, she has had enough. Finding nothing to comfort her, she only sees despair and looks to where it is coming from. She sees it lies with the interests of the Rich. So knowing the current world order cannot change, she sets out to enact change. She organizes other agency leaders and sells them on her world change.

So they decide to host a conference on how to get equity into the world. One way they think is to have a rich ceiling. Rather than limit the wage ceiling to the fat CEO (specifically old white men but not limited to) the agencies want to rid the world of the Rich Conglomerate and Corporations. They decide that any company which has more than a billion in assets must be killed. Killers from all over the world are given vital information on where the Billionaires live, travel, vacation and socialize.

The idea is to have them divest cash to the public services and goods in order to dive below the billionaire mark. So the Billionaire club would cease to exist by their own design or by the agency actions. The smart billionaires would become the Nine Hundred Millionaire club members.

Imagine that; the race to get out of the Billionaire club would be pretty quick. Wonder who would star in the movie.

There are so many post apocalyptic dramas out there, and this one could be a comedy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Heck With Walmart:

You want cheap and mass produced stuff? Walmart is a good place to find generally inexpensive items. However the prices may spike around the first of the month ( I'll let you figure out that one).
I admit I shop at Walmart for some items.

I do try and balance or shop at local stores as well. My wife and I like to support Family Foods. It is not much further than the local Walmart but we go there for the meat, the baked goods and for vegetables. Walmart will take our dollars for junk food items. Costco, Extra Foods, No Frills and Giant Tiger are also a few of the Big players we shop at. Dollar Store and Dollar Tree is where I take the Grand Kids. Its part of the city-world we live in, shopping at the stores owned by big business.
Vice News did an eye opening segment on the Dollar General and the reality of their harm.  These stores kill local stores. They also kill jobs. Local grocery stores like Family Foods generally hire more people and have fresher food and healthier foods for consumers. Stores like the Dollar General have a lot of processed packaged foods which are not really very healthy.

Study after study outlines how the Big Box industry is bad for us.

Even if chain stores do save us a few dollars now and again, it comes at a great cost. Chain stores contribute far less to the local economy than independent businesses.

You wonder why the big box stores have lower prices? Its buying power for sure. In addition it is where they get the product made. The big box stores go into countries where labour costs are cheap. Many of those countries operate their labour supply differently than what we are used to.

In the end when we support the Walmarts we support losing jobs in our community. The effects are felt by many.

So we should all be wary of the Walmarts.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Two Hours of The Forks Winnipeg, Manitoba

The city of Winnipeg has a few gems to it and it is not just the people. People are actually quite willing to talk, share a smile and even the big wave when you let them get in front of you in traffic. Of course there are always exceptions. So today my wife, our five-year old and myself decided to go check out The Forks. The Forks is named because of the two converging rivers, the Assiniboine and the Red River.

The Forks used to have free parking but no more. We paid 4 dollars for two hours. At the parking lot we met a family from North Dakota who had not been there before. So they asked what its all about. We told them to get away the hell away from us. What do we look like, tourist guides? No of course we didn't do that. We gave them a quick description and told them about the river walk-way and the Museum of Human Rights. They said they were going to go for a boat ride on the river. We then walked towards the river. There is a small free parking lot by the main building close to the river. There was a guy putting a canoe on his truck. I went over and asked him a whole lot of questions about his canoe. He made it himself and  it took about 60 hours of work. It was a cedar canoe and it was nicely built.

Cedar canoe build by this man from Fort Rouge. 

There was a lot going on at the Forks. There was a banquet being set up for 1200 people along the river. It is a fund raiser for the Architecture community. They raise money to help young people get into the industry.
Banquet set up along the river

May is Asian Heritage Month. The television network Omni was hosting an event at the Forks.
A lot of color, beautiful people celebrating and demonstrating some of their dance moves for people. I took a few pictures. I admit I may have been guilty of the bad thinking regarding Asian Fetish. We know the movie has perpetuated this myth of "Yellow Fever". I have been watching a lot of Korean shows on Netflix these days. The stories are fun, engaging and I enjoy them. It has nothing to do with the fact, Women are beautiful. Also you know who is extremely handsome?  Waris Ahluwalia was cast in the Beeba Boys. A film by the great Deepa Mehta.  I watched the movie on HBO Canada.  The men and the women are striking. Anyway, the Forks was busy. 

My wife decided to take our five year old on a boat ride. I am not a fan of the owner of Splash Dash Tour Boats. In my opinion the owner is a jerk. But I could be wrong. The Queen of England took a boat ride when she came to Winnipeg. The boat broke down. How fun is that? I mean what would be the odds right?

So the ride was really good. Its nice being on the river. Haven't been on the water for a long time now. Funny as kids growing up in the Reserve, we were on the River all the time. Its not like that much in our community.

The thing about going out and seeing what goes on in a city, you  get to see how amazing and interesting people are.

We saw this tattooed up older guy on a unicycle jumping rock to rock. What a talent. We saw this older guy, covered in tattoos, just enjoying the sights. Another fellow had a stubby beer bottle tattoo on his arm?

Mom's with tattoos walking around with babies and small children. Buskers playing musical instruments  like a saxophone. We listened to Phillip Natividad playing his Ukuklele and covering What a Wonderful World.

City News 

Louie Reil, Mb Legislative view from River

Speaking of Hollywood promoting stereotypes. Have you seen the movie Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood? The young actress Ahney Hera uses the line about Asian Fetish in one scene where some young guys are harassing her. It is a movie filled with Asian characters and a good old American codger. Anyways, just thought of this movie. I am torn between boycotting Clint Eastwood and watching his movies.  Indian Horse is one of his new ones.

I know I didn't do justice in showing you the two hours at the Forks. The day was nice and there was a host of other things to see but we only had two hours. A chance to get our girl an ice cream cone and back home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Weird Sayings From the Reserve

Language Warning.

If you are squeamish, have a tight arsehole, drink tea with your pinky finger pointed up in the air, don't have stinky farts (pooget), use a bidet rather than good old toilet paper, and are just offended by anything, then this is not a good page for you. I suggest skipping this page and thank you for stopping by. If you don't scare or can look at a maggot ravaged carcass then by all means come in.

Some people have their own way of saying things. Lot of these sayings, we have no idea what in the heck is the message. I am trying to remember some of them. I share a few of them here. Perhaps you know the intent of the saying. Some I will just put up with no context so it may be hard to decipher.

"You've been through the hole, eh Shoelace?"

This was a favorite saying of an older cousin in the 1970's while he was partying.

"Fucker John, your money's gone."

Not sure if it was "fuck her" or fucker.

"Fuck them and their little red wagon."

This one is my friend who told me this one. It was his friend who coined this one.

"You dirty cunt lapper."

My cousin was mad at his younger brother and said this to him. This was when we were about 14 to 15 years old. My Auntie asked my cousin, "what is a cunt lapper?" Some of the phrases used may not be specific to our Reserve. I imagine this one is used all over but can't really say if I have heard it anywhere else.

"You got bad thoughts Chi-gaa?"

Not really sure of the last word. I am mispronouncing it for sure. It could be "tii-gaa" or something different. It is what the French priest used to say to the older boys. He was before my time and mostly for the older people in the reserve, those who went to the boarding school in the late 30's 40's and 50's. The Priest now long gone was an infamous predator of young boys in the school. I guess he would say that to the boys and he "washed" their genitals. So the older guys would tease each other with the saying.

"Ween-jeeg" and "Paa-chack".  Two sayings in the Reserve. One is to say when someone is stinky, like pee smelling stinky. The other is when someone is a jerk or a help themselves type of person. It can be a good jerk or a jerk kind of jerk.

Paugan and frog.

These words are euphemisms for vagina. Like, "wash your dirty old frog".  Or Ah-ki-to-paugan. 
The word paugan is a bastardized word. I can only speculate but its actual meaning is Pipe. The Pipe in Indian world is made of the feminine and masculine. So it may have been bastardized because of the Christian affect in our community. As I think it was only in our community where the word was used in this manner. Just like the word for Creator was changed to mean the Devil. Like "michim-imato" instead of Chi-Manito which is Grand Spirit.

Ploode or Plude.

"You old ploode face". "Wash your stinking ploode".  Ploode is specific to our reserve to mean the penis. Not sure of where, when or how it came to be used.

There were/are many sayings specific to the community.

A very good saying is Neechie. Neechie is not specific to our community but its part of the Ojibwe/Cree lexicon. It is used in place of Indian but is a shorten version of the word of friend. "Hey Neechie".  "Hey there are some Neechies over there." 

Be nice to hear some of the sayings specific to your growing up and to your community.

  Riel Benn Artist

Monday, May 14, 2018

Benefit of Doubt? No, Not For Some.

If your neighbor George says "Hey, there was a rat big-as-a-cat on your front step last night," you would no doubt believe him. Same thing with your co-worker Nancy who says "I went for a three-mile jog last night and was within to 15 seconds of the American record". There is no reason not to believe them in these common-place incidents. Same with being at college and you decide to take a nap in the common room, no issue right? Everyone would just believe you belong there. As well, you are picking up trash around you home and it should not be an issue. Having a barbecue with your family in a park should not cause any room for doubt, right? Your children go on a college tour along with a full group of other youth; there is no reason to believe they shouldn't be there, right? We have no reason to not give people the benefit of doubt in everyday situations. 

Even with the not so common situations or stories you might believe others.  Like if Tom Hanks said, he "saw an unidentified flying object, a UFO", he might be believed. Most likely he would be believed because he is Tom Hanks. Maybe even a fellow like Denzel Washington could be believed if he said he was kidnapped by a group of Scientologists, who wanted him to join their group. Denzel would be believed by most people. There are some we believe and there are some we immediately doubt, don't believe. Annabellas Sciorra says she was raped by Harvey Weinstein. Would anyone believe her?   What about if your neighbor said "The Dingo ate the baby?" Why are we quick to believe some and not others? Is it from experience or from perception? The benefit of doubt is very important. In today's society the benefit of doubt could actually save your life. The benefit of doubt is not awarded to everyone. Black people, People of Color and Women are generally not the first to be believed. It is a reality which has harsh consequences. 

Can you imagine how difficult it must be for a Woman to come forward when she has been assaulted?  With the benefit of doubt is hardly ever given to them? Or how about an Indigenous person filing a complaint about the police officer who has kicked them in the stomach? The Black person who has been punched by a police officer? Even when the evidence for a Person of Color, a Black person, an Indigenous person, a Woman, is right clear, the benefit of doubt is still lacking. Belief is not accorded to folks of a certain mold, a certain segment of the population, a certain color, a certain gender, a certain age, a certain sexual orientation. However, benefit of doubt is given almost automatically to one specific segment of society. The saddest example with deadly consequences was police officer Joseph T. Gabrish, didn't believe a 14 year old boy, "Konerak Sinthasmphone, who was killed later that night. Incidentally, Jerry (Dahmer) had drilled a hole into his head and poured hydrochloric acid inside,..." The police had let a serial killer take a young boy because they believed him, a white male. 

These things are happening all the time where the benefit of doubt is not given. Just the other day an off-duty police officer pulled out his gun, loaded it, and pointed at a Hispanic man who had just paid for candy. Even when the store clerk told the off-duty cop the candy was paid for, he still didn't believe, he asked "are you sure?" The default position is not to believe the Person of Color, the Black person or the Woman. These lack of benefit of doubt is seen in every step of the justice system: from the initial police contact to the judgment by the courts. 
In Saskatchewan an Indigenous boy was shot in the head and the man who shot him was not guilty of anything. The story was the bullet didn't fire until way after the trigger was pulled and the gun was accidentally pointed in the boy's direction. They called it a "hanging bullet." The benefit of doubt went to the man who shot the youth directly in the head. The man, Gerald Stanley was released free and clear. Even more upsetting was when the police went to notify the family (Cree people) of the boy's death, the police treated the Mother as having been guilty of a crime. 

Society has a default position of believing the police. When people challenge the police they are not believed. The police get the benefit of doubt. That benefit of doubt is causing great harm in society. To challenge police benefit of doubt can also be dangerous. The Black person, marginalized person and the Woman is often seen as an aggressor, trouble-maker, or a liar. 
To give someone the benefit of the doubt is to default to the belief that their intentions are honest, and not assume malice when there is uncertainty or doubt surrounding the circumstances. Urban Dictionary.  How can society give benefit of doubt to others?  What should the default position be? Society's default position is to believe White people. Shocking I know. Many instances in life should be mundane, common-place and not an incident of drama or hostility. It is ugly how something as mundane as having a nap, having a seat, walking or even reading a book is seen as trouble; so much trouble where you feel the need to call the police. It really is perplexing. What kind of world do you live in where you need to call the police over someone just being you? 

Of course we can't believe everything and everyone, there are times when judgements are made at a situation.  Still, what is it which makes us discount certain segments of society so quickly or not even consider them at all? Lately you can't even sit in a Starbucks, ask for a plastic fork in Waffle House, have a nap in your College/University, touring a potential College, having your car cleaned, shopping or even go out for a walk with not having benefit of doubt. In society a specific segment of society (white people) decided to use the 911 telephone as their default in any situation.  The benefit of doubt is supposed to be given in everyday situations but it is not. Benefit of doubt in not given for Black people, Woman, Indigenous people and People of Color. There are shit-loads of examples with people being harassed for just going about their day. This is the major reason, the biggest spark to the fire of conflict. People just don't see People of Color, Indians, Blacks, Women, LGBTQ as part of the community; viewed as outsiders.  Meaning they don't see them as belonging in the situation, in the community. What makes matters worse is the fact the system and the systems actors follow the norm of not giving benefit of doubt to the "outsiders." The system and the actors in the system will believe a cold-hearted killers, the Gerald Stanley's, the Raymond Cormier's of the country. While innocent people like Maxwell Johnson, his 12 year-old granddaughter Torie Ann are arrested, hand-cuffed and taken to jail for trying to open a bank account. The police will fight against consequences of their actions in almost all cases. In the end if there are consequences, it is usually the police making statements of "doing better, having sensitive training, etc." 

“Police are not private security for any white person that’s offended by the presence of black folks in our public spaces.”  Huffington Post

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Erotic Dream or Night Terror

I am one of those people who can remember their dreams, vividly. It's funny because some of those dreams become part of my memory. I mean I know its a dream but I remember it like any event that happened in my life. Most of my dreams are just of regular events, like visiting or having an encounter with friends, relatives or even strangers. Many of my dreams include those who have been dead for a while now.  The dreams vary with good messages from the dead and some dreams that may be disturbing.

Growing up the in the 1960's and being part of the Indian Catholic Boarding school system, I had been instilled with the horrors of Hell and the Devil. Hard to unlearn something that has been drilled into you. So for much of my life growing up, the Devil was as real as the kitchen fridge. So when the Devil comes to you in a dream it is god-damn scary. 

The damn Devil when he comes into the dream he comes like a tricky snake. He comes but not dressed as himself, he uses disguises, and sometimes he is just damn sexy. As an old guy I don't really have very much erotic dreams or dreams of the devil. I still have them but not as a regular occurrence. Oh by the way young folk, nocturnal emissions seem to be regulated to you. Old folk don't go that far. So in my dreams, there were hints of erotica, like Stormy Daniels but in the end it was a demon, more like Donald Trump.

Growing up  in the Reserve we had one of those Canada Centennial project arenas.  A beautiful wooden beam barn style arena. The Federal Minister of Indian Affairs, Jean Chretien skated with the Fort Alexander Braves hockey team in that arena.
Old style barn arena 
In the arena there were dressings rooms in a basement area. It was spooky as all hell. It was dark, damp dingy and the lighting was not very bright. In my dream I was in the basement there. I looked up at the top of the stairs and there was this dark figure there. It had a long black robe on and some small red patterns on the robe. The person walked down the stairs. I ran I was scared. I ran into one of the dressing rooms and it was dark but you could still see. The figure came into the room and it turned out to be a woman. In my dream I went from being scared to excited. I was quickly becoming aroused. The Woman grabbed me and I thought it was going to involve sex. She grabbed me by the arm and the back of the neck and she started to spin me around.  I asked "where are we going?" She said "you're going ... to hell" as she spun me round and round. The word Hell seemed to be drawn out as I was spinning and starting to spiral to hell. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't break free. The Devil had me. I came to in my bed for a second trying to scream but couldn't and as quick as I felt that I was in my bed I was back in the dream, struggling, trying desperately to scream and grab at her. I finally woke up. Damn Devil had me in his grip and it was horrible.

In my dream I was walking on the shoreline, and there was a woman there with her child. The child was in the water. The woman started screaming. There was a boat on the shore. I jumped in a rowed out into the water with the waves getting higher. I got the little girl into the boat and brought her safely to shore.  The woman came to me and to thank me. I was feeling pretty good about myself. The woman hugged me in a very tight embrace. I was getting excited as she was hugging me tighter. It was going to be sex; erotic stuff. The hug became tighter and tighter and I couldn't breathe. She started to turn into a snake and I knew it was the Devil. I was being choked to death. I tried to fight, to scream but it seemed like nothing could escape from my throat. I don't remember how I got out.

I tell you the Devil is a snake. He comes to you in a dream and disguises himself as a sexy woman. You welcome the embrace, the opportunity to fornicate. To indulge in coitus.

Now that I am older I still have dreams, or terror night mares, but I always fight and want to win in those fight.  A few times I have woken myself up when my hand, my fist hits the wall. The devil does not come disguised as woman anymore.

For some reason I no longer fear the Devil. I lost fear of a number of things. The fear of dogs. The fear of being hurt. The fear of dying. Quite frankly there are days I long for death. I think it has to do with my Son dying from suicide. You kind of lose a lot of things after something like loss to suicide.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Enjoy a Night of Arts in Winnipeg.

This home-body decided to go out and enjoy a night of the Arts in Winnipeg. First stop was an (painting and other media) art show, followed by an evening of music in the West End of Winnipeg. Normally if I do go out for an evening of entertainment it is usually at the opera (just kidding). Actually I do like Classical music. I always thought as a kid it was too snotty for me but if it were not for Bugs Bunny I would never had experienced The Barber of Seville. If not for the movie Excalibur I would have missed on O Fortuna, Carl Orff. Anyway, cartoons and movies have expanded my taste in the arts.

Cre8ery Gallery and Studio had an art exhibition tonight. There were a few artists having their work on display. It was a very good night of meeting the Artists and discussing their works.

Michael Joyal - Would You Even Remember show was fantastic.

Artist Statement
My red hood was torn; I'm never coming back
Michael’s work focuses on reinterpreting characters from mythology and fairy tales. Self-taught as a watercolour painter, Michael explores roles of feminine power, turning victim into victor. Worlds of wonder and mystery evoke feelings of strength, anger, melancholy and joy. Villains are vanquished, and creatures are empowered in large, vibrant watercolour landscapes.  

Jordan Miller is the owner of Cre8ery Gallery in Winnipeg. She is of course an artist and lover of the arts. Her partner Dave Swiecicki is a photographer and musician. 
Dan Hawksworth,  Susan Birdwise, Holly Nelson Elena El were a few of the artists on hand to meet and greet the public. Elena El is having an solo exhibit May 24. 
Dave S
The art show was my first stop for the evening. From the art show I went on to a music show at the West End Cultural Centre Bill Bourne was having a show.  I had never heard of him before, (I live in a cave it seems). The man was awesome. A man his stopping foot and a guitar and a banjo. 

The thing I found great was the opportunity (however briefly) to meet new people. That is what is great about the arts, people are there to enjoy themselves. That good energy is easy to feed off.

I met quite a few people.

German Women
A trio of German Women. Lydia and her friend had just met Frederike as well. Frederike is traveling Canada via Greyhound bus.

Elena El

Jordan Miller
I love art and appreciate those who also love the arts. 
You know what is cool?  Art is everywhere and there are so many different types of artists. The other cool thing, artists are willing to answer my stupid and annoying questions. 
The opening music act at the West End was a local singer Madeline Roger.  Artists put the groove into groovy. 

Cherokee Fiddle, cause Good Whiskey Never Let Him Lose His Place

 Urban Cowboy is a 1980 movie with a soundtrack steeped in western songs that had great Redneck lines like, "single bars and good time ...