International Women’s Day

March 8.

The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America. It started as International Working Women’s Day. Somehow this is connected with the rise of socialism in society and also as a result of male shortages after two world wars, that women were forced to do men’s work. Particularly in countries that were hardest hit by those wars: Russia, Germany. After the almost complete destruction of my homeland workers were needed to re-construct. We called them Trümmerfrauen [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C3%BCmmerfrau ] women who cleared the rubble left by Allied aerial bombings and started with shovel, pick and axe to rebuild, in the absence of men (fallen at the front lines).

I admire more than anything Russia’s women, who as early as 1907 started revolutionary movements against the Russian Monarchy, resulting in the abdication of Czar Nicholas II, and beginning the Russian revolution, March 8, 1917. More on feminist reforms from 1850 to 1917 in Russia [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Russia ]. While the rest of the world needed to wait to get women into the actual forefront of becoming real laborers. Talking about those who don’t wait for some husband to carry out the garbage or drive the car.

[ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/business/economy/women-as-family-breadwinner-on-the-rise-study-says.html ].

The right to vote is not all that makes a woman more equal than a man. Hard labor is, equal labor is and taking the same decisions as any man, even when married. I always feel when a woman is married, she can never be quite equal. Only when she needs to work to survive, or when she is by circumstance a single mother. How does voting right enables a woman to become more equal if she is still under male guardianship, like in Saudi Arabia, where dress codes are imposed and enforced.

In North America, today’s women’s rights movement is more about fighting for pay equality, getting more women into board rooms, or the military. Although military means that women soldiers must suffer sexual abuse by male soldiers. What do they do ? complain to their commanders. Meaning that they are not equal to men, else they would help themselves.

Claiming Refugee Status in Canada

Case studies. Unbelievable. It is 2017, not the 1960s when many Latin Americans came into Canada claiming refugee status. A couple with child, a second on the way, walking across the border from the United States, claiming refugee status from Donald Trump’s new policies, “to clean up the country of illegal migrants.” Pretending that if they are sent back to Honduras, the man will be recruited by some drug gangs. Even in Honduras there are not only drug gangs, there are also working citizens, contributing to the economy. These same people have lived in the US for two years, never accomplished to settle with proper jobs and integrate and get residency. Now claiming refugee status. How can Honduran war gangs have such a long arm to recruit (illegally migrated) Hondurans inside the USA ? Canada seems to be stuck with everybody and anybody. Welfare system exploitation, on the shoulders of hard working Canadian tax payers.

Myself came into Canada with an expired student visa, just completed my graduate studies degree program at a US University in New York State, with a 8 year old son, his father died two years previously in Europe, no family, no money, no food, living in my little car for weeks. Did not take me two years (on welfare ?!), but couple weeks to fight myself into the system and find a mediocre programming job (in Europe I had top IT positions, and a US graduate degree in Information Processing and IT) for starters. Never in my entire life and as a single mother did I get one single dime from any country. Neither my own then, or after becoming a Canadian citizen. Even when the oil industry busted in Alberta and all of us were unemployed did anybody get unemployment insurance. You pack up, get into your truck and go where the jobs are.

Shame on you, who want to exploit the system !

[ https://www.pressreader.com/canada/vancouver-sun/20170211/281479276163020 ]

[ http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/appraising-violence-in-honduras-how-much-is-gang-related ]

The good people of Fort McMurray, Alberta

do not deserve negative commentaries the likes of “you asked for it”, or “Fort McMurray hell on earth with oil sands developments destroying the environment”.

Myself, I worked for Suncor, Fort McMurray, on a computer contract in 1987. When I arrived in my old farm truck, I did not have a place to sleep. Prepared to spending the night parked in a street, sleeping in my truck (like so many times on the road). A lady saw me from their kitchen window, came down and offered me a sleeping place in the couple’s kitchen for that night, until I could find a room for rent. These were the years after the oil industry downturn.

Those who publish vicious comments on the plight of the Fort McMurray residents who had to leave their homes in a hurry, have apparently never experienced any losses. Like we had, loosing everything during WW2, and again during the 1980s in Alberta. Being forced to drive between Alberta and Ottawa to work on computer contracts.

Amazingly, fund raising – as usual – in full swing, which is good and can be bad, with some organizations again making profits lining their pockets with millions of donated moneys. I want to see that all donations actually go to those who need them, the people of Fort McMurray.

Insurences – how useful are they

In general, the insurance industry is mainly focused on making money, not spending it. Therefore, an insurance policy (fine print) is worded such, that in reality the insured is hardly ever covered. From my own experiences, I have never gained any advantage from buying any insurance at a high cost. The only insurance at a low cost and part of a travel package had been in 2012, when traveling to Tunisia and Marocco. Where in Marrakech I fractured my left foot. And needed a travel medical emergency insurance, because of the cost incurred. Other than that: Most of my travels had been from North America to Europe or maybe Mexico, or the odd cruises. Pacific and Caribbean. Most online travel insurances bought in North America are very expensive, I suspect because of the high incident of liability suits. For example I bought for a four months stay in Germany a travel insurance for around over $2,000. The cost itself is not even the problem. But, the absence of decent communication lines between the insured and the insurer. In Europe regular telephone lines do not exist anymore, only mobile phones. Some insurances still operate with a “collect call” system. Try to call North America collect on a European mobile phone costs a fortune, because of either high wait times or not getting connected at all. Consequently, I cancelled this insurance and bought one in Germany for almost the same time, for around €140.
The same applies to home insurance. In forty years and multiple floodings of my homes in Canada, I never got one cent out of any home insurance, I never even tried to submit a claim. I fixed it and I paid it. Question again: How useful are insurances really ? There are numerous websites and blogs and posts that discuss this topic: “should you buy, or not”.
It is for peace of mind. But even so, if really something serious happens, the insurance would find a way, not to pay [this even rhymes].

Living with Wildlife

Since the many years I had lived by myself with my horses in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, surrounded by wildlife (grizzly, black bear, wolf and cougar) on my own land, I do not get nervous hearing in the local news: “another cougar sighting”. Puma concolor, Mountain Lion, Puma, Panther. Known by many names with a far ranging habitat, from Northern BC down the Western United States, all through Mexico, down to Argentina and most of South America.
We are here on Vancouver Island. With a healthy population of these large predators. [ http://www.geog.uvic.ca/viwilds/iw-cougar.html ]. Reason being, that it is assumed that the mountain lion cannot swim, being that this is a big island. Not so, just watched a YouTube video showing a large cougar swimming to shore. But generally the waters surrounding Vancouver Island are pretty much impossible to swim in, even dangerous for any boats.
Recently there have been multiple cougar sightings in our city. The cougar is special in the sense that this big cat has survived for so many years quite nicely among the human population and urban surroundings, and unlike the other members of the big cat family is not threatened and even thrives. While the cougar is not particularly interested in attacking humans, unless pushed or cornered or sensing opportunity for a hunt, still the danger is there and present. In danger are any prey animals in flights, such as horses, deer of course, and also small pets. If a child would be attacked, that would be rare. These animals are very elusive and secretive, one of the reasons for them surviving here quite well. I myself am cycling a lot outside the city limits. How an encounter with a sch a fairly large cat would turn out were I on my bicycle, that I cannot say. Being on a bycicle one is also moving, thereby triggering the attack response of a cougar. One thing is certain, I love those animals as much as I love our Orca (Killer Whales) and all west shore wildlife, and I would consider it a priviledge to see one in the wild and be able to take a photo.

Amnesty International and reality of war

International humanitarian law is based on three key principles.
• Distinction. All sides must distinguish between military targets and civilians. Any deliberate attack on a civilian or civilian building – such as homes, medical facilities, schools or government buildings – is a war crime (providing the building has not been taken over for military use). If there is any doubt as to whether a target is civilian or military, then it must be presumed to be civilian.
• Proportionality. Civilian causalities and damage to civilian buildings must not be excessive in relation to the expected military gain.
• Precaution. All sides must take precautions to protect civilians.
Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961 that is long after World War II. During which millions of civilians were deliberately killed and entire countries destroyed. [‘Barbed wire around a small lighted candle’ being the symbol of Amnesty International.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amnesty_International_logo.svg ]
How does that look now ? In the light of the more recent wars, which it must be said are also conducted by the same nations (formerly called: The Allies – Britain, America and Canada), joined by other nations, which formerly had been occupied during WWII, nothing much has changed. What was the military gain expected by totally destroying our home land ? by killing unarmed women and small children ? Protect civilians, how ? When the Allied tanks rolled into my home town which had been fire bombed for 4 years and left destroyed, first order of business was to erect barbed wire fences around our part of town, and set up their camp across in our city park. Afraid, that we small children were carrying guns and shoot at them ? That was probably the reason that when we went over looking for food that the fat American cook chased us out by setting his killer dogs at our heels.
So, I am asking Amnesty International to not knock at my door and ask for donations.
Food for thought: [ http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/syria ], which armed forces are using Barrel Bombs ?? [ https://www.whitehelmets.org/ ]

Victoria BC Vancouver Island

has one of the most beautiful Parks – Beacon Hill Park – just across from the Ocean – Juan de Fuca Strait, the southern end of Vancouver Island, looking across to Washington State, USA. We have many special birds and foul in the park – particularly colorful peacocks. Today was another sunny day, I walked through the Park taking some video’s of our birds and the Ocean.

Citizenship Injustice

Loosing one’s citizenship of birth is a big deal, especially if the new country of citizenship has not been acquired in the course of regular or desired immigration, but merely due to circumstance and under duress.
Canadian citizenship usually is easy to acquire, provided there is proof of employment (at least this was the case forty years ago when we arrived) or maybe a sponsor – some sort of relative who lives here already. Dual citizenship used to be more difficult. Many larger European countries removed birth citizenship from any of their citizens once they assumed Canadian. Of course, Canada does not care much about dual, but it is the country of birth that controls it – either keep it or loose it.
In between there were multiple citizenship and immigration reforms, one of them allowing dual citizenship under the following circumstances: At the time when applying for the Canadian one must prove that there is still a bind with the home country, family or property or other. In my case, my entire family never left their country, they are all in Europe, only myself and at that time my little son were in Canada.
Unfortunately, all this happening before the European Union (EU) came into being.
Also in between and many years ago my son – who has dual citizenship because he was born in a smaller European country – returned to his home country for good.  Meanwhile I am still in Canada, still only Canadian citizenship, and when travelling to my home country am forced to go to the Foreigners’ Office to buy myself an extension for stay, else stay is limited to three months.
To argue: why do those who do not care about Canadian citizenship – because they neither live here anymore nor are interested in Canadian affairs – still keep and retain dual citizenship including Canadian, while at the same time those who decided to immigrate to Canada retain theirs, although they never even visit their home country anymore.
We should allow dual citizenship for those Canadians who are longtime taxpayers in this country and receive pensions in this country, but have all of their family residing in Europe. This not also because of complicated taxation issues arising out of income in both countries, but mainly to make a long term visit to their families, instead of only a measly three months.

TransCanada – TCPL the 1980s – inside story

TransCanada. [http://www.energyeastpipeline.com/home/pipeline-101/ ] Parent company of  TransCanada Pipelines Limited (TCPL), a company operating during the 1980s among others with an oil related division = hence the name TCPL Resources. Calgary 1983. Following the take over of the former Maligne Resources oil company and all of their employees. Initially all, but soon transferring many managers to other outside companies and/or somewhat related companies. Big shuffle. At that time I was one of the employees, and had been part of the systems and computer department, as a senior systems analyst and developer. Also project leader for a number of big computer re-design projects, both hardware and software and complete re-writes. Lots of work. Difficult work, because one of the vices common inside those companies was “the permission to chain smoke” on the job and inside the open floors, thus forcing all innocent bystanders (non-smokers) to inhale those deadly fumes. At the same time expecting them to perform their heavy quota of workload.

Apart from that, it started out nice when TCPL Management came on board. But wait a minute: after couple of years the tables turned in a terrifying and tasteless way. Not only was everybody by that time sick of that cigarette smoking, but also TCPL sent down from their headquarters in Toronto, an “Enforcer”. Tasked with identifying, how many people were supposed to get laid off, kicked out or otherwise harassed on a daily basis, until they knew no better, than to leave anyways.

That’s not what you do with professionals, ‘Mr. Enforcer and Prosecutor’. That is not how you treat human beings, unless you don’t care to be openly perceived as a racist and human rights violator. By 1986 numbers of professionals had been kicked out into the street with a couple bucks remuneration. Our (computer) department, starting first with females and single mothers. But how it was done by the Enforcer was tastelessly unprofessional: Assembling large documents with hundreds of pages of all sorts of lies on some employee (who was supposed to read that ?), and sign some silly legalized (bullshit) document? Which nobody of course did. We just left, in the middle of the (oil industry) recession, trying to find some other job. In Alberta at that time almost impossible. I lost my home, my family got ripped apart and I had to go to Ontario. One thing I got, though, is a number of excellent reference letters from the highest level of Management, testifying to the specifics and the quality of all the projects I had done for this company.

End of story. And now they want to go with their big new Eastern pipeline. Trans Canada. Is this legal ? Of course, it is. As is their treatment of experienced and qualified professionals who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time  (meaning “being employed by the wrong kind of company”).

On May 15, 2003, TransCanada Corporation received regulatory approvals to establish it as the parent company of TransCanada PipeLines Limited. Shareholders voted in favour of the change to the corporate structure of the company at the Annual and Special Meeting on April 25.

For background on this issue, please see the letter to shareholders and Q&As from Board of Directors’ chairman, Dick Haskayne and chief executive officer, Hal Kvisle, as well as information included in the Management Proxy Circular.

HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI remembered

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%22Jap…You%27re_Next%5E_We%27ll_Finish_the_Job%22_-_NARA_-_513563.jpg  so, who is next on your plate ?

August is the month to remember the horrendous war crimes carried out against the Japanese civilian population, where hundreds of thousands civilians and fellow-Christians were killed in the fire storms released by the plutonium bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And many more following those years by the radiation effects. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Man ] August 6 and August 9 of 1945, following May 1945, the surrender of Germany after 3 years relentlessly fire bombing civilians, women and children. The children were Nazis ? Ha, ha. The Japanese civilians were fascists ? No way.

And who got away with murder and mass killings and is now celebrated as ‘war hero’ , perpetually during the remembrance and memorial day celebrations ? Those responsible for it. How do they feel about it ? Do we hear again: “We did not do it” ? They actually solidly revel in the belief that little children were carrying arms and shooting the Allied planes out of the sky.

[It just so happens that I am a victim of war, I was three years old when we were fire bombed every night by the British and every day by the Americans/Canadians]