Archives for: August 2007, 12

08/12/07

Permalink 11:15:52 am, by Email , 1630 words   English (CA)
Categories: BlogTalkers

BlogTalkers: Irish Need Not Apply...

BlogTalkers!

This week's question/request...

How important are the issues of race/ethnicity towards building a stable country/government? And what are your views on immigrants & immigration laws?

I realise that in the blogsphere... there are people who believe that borders should be sealed and no one ever be allowed to walk the "good green grass" of their home and native land.

They usually refer to themselves in the positive as "patriots"... in the negative as "isolationists"... in reality, they are racists.

Oh sure, some of their best friends are "X" and they recognise that some of "X" have helped build their country... but it's "Y" they really could do without.

...after all, "Y" takes good jobs from the REAL people that live here... "Y" is where ALL crime stems from...

...and the most recent, "Y" will be where the NEW criminals will come from.

On several blogs, I've read that the next wave of Al Queda terrorists will be coming over with the throngs of evil illegal Mexican immigrants or with the evil drug-smugglers from South America... and therefore, America MUST shut down the border.

In my opinion, this is like saying there is a very good chance that a large asteroid or even meteor will most likely cause mass destruction so America must seal-off the sky with an impenetrable shield to protect from these alien bodies... but I digress.

Ever since I was a kid, I always thought and believed that ANYONE should be allowed to come to my country regardless of race, creed, spirituality, or the like... provided they adhere to a few tenants...

#1: Please adhere to the laws of the land.

#2: Please be as accepting of others as they should be of you.

#3: Please share your culture, your food, and the good things about your homeland with us... and we will share ours with you and learn about each other.

#4: Please leave your animosities back home. This is not the ancient land of your ancestors... or your enemies ancestors... and old grudges don't have a home in this new land. Leave history to history.

This would be the extent of the "rules and regulations" I would like to see in our country... no more.

Once you take the scythe to immigration for a particular "reason"... you open the door to really becoming a pure isolationist... and that's bad.

Whenever I hear the ultra-racists discuss the "purity" of ANY race, I think about my one true belief... hard and fast science with evidence and fact. Truth is, if you only ever had one "race" (or group of people) isolating themselves into a clique in society, you WILL end up with the equivalent of inbreeding... and a "race" or people WILL grow weak without additions and modifications to the genetic pool. This is not speculation, this is fact.

As for "Y" taking jobs... I must have missed all those white, Anglo-Saxons that lined up to pick lettuce... that dreamed of sweeping a factory floor... that saved every penny to buy a convenience store so they could put their kids through university...

...and lets look at those kids...

Where did THEY grow up? What is THEIR heritage?

To be honest, in my country, they are Canadian.

They have their roots... they know they are, in essence, what their parents and grandparents were... but they are still Canadian.

You could take THE MOST MILITANT ethnic person in Toronto... and they will still celebrate a Toronto Maple Leafs win, still head to the CNE, still go to The Taste of the Danforth (Greek festival), and still feel a sense of pride when Canada does something good on the world's stage.

The above is not the exception... it's the rule. Exceptions exist, but they literally make up less than 1% of the population here that I'm aware of.

The other day, on my bus ride home from work, I saw two women... both had SEVERAL young children... One was in a full burka and veil... the other was very obviously Hindu and dressed thusly. ALL their young kids were dressed pretty much like any other kid their age in Toronto... and they were travelling TOGETHER and helping each other with their children and parcels.

Those who understand such things would know that this SHOULD be an anomaly... but here, it isn't at all... they may have roots elsewhere, but these two mothers and their kids are Canadian at heart... and because of this, their children will have a greater understanding that they would have WITHOUT isolationism of each other.

I posted a while back that it would be VERY difficult to "open fire" on someone you're messaging back-and-forth on FaceBook and MySpace and mentioned how Marshall McLuhan had it right... The global village is upon us... but immigration and multiculturalism was already providing that with spades.

My country does not have the "issues" with immigration and "illegal immigration" that our neighbours to the South have... but every so often, someone or something "abuses" the immigration system... or a hostile person slips by who really doesn't want to build this new adoptive country... but they are SO rare that to simply use them as a "reason" to slap restrictions or controls on things is dumb.

My family has been in North America since the early 1600's... and I have evidence to show this... and the bulk of BOTH SIDES of my family have been in Canada since the late 1700's... and this is my home and native land... and yet, I recognise that I am from immigrant roots... I am not TRULY an aboriginal to this land... and without the settlers and colonists, North America would be a VERY different place... possibly better, possibly worse... but different... and the concept that "MY" people built this land is not something I really hold high as a reason that "I" should dictate (or those like me) who gets to be here now... unless they are TRULY criminal.

I am (mostly) French... Scottish... English... Dutch... Irish... but I am Canadian first.

I have friends who are Pakistani... Indian... Sri Lankan... African... Mexican... Spanish... but are Canadian first.

Do they have less rights than I?

My title, "Irish Need Not Apply", was a common sign in Toronto even into the fifties... this is despite the fact that Irish people DID truly build this country as newcomers moreso than many... but some folks couldn't look beyond the concept of a persons origins to see what matters most... the person themselves.

Look at one of my heroes for an example... He suffered from "racism" and "culturalism" thanks to "The Irish Troubles"... and never achieved the fame or office he deserved because of it.

...but in typical Canadian fashion, he grumbled only slightly and STILL did the best job for his adopted land and people. He helped, despite being held back.

So do we change our governmental rules on immigration based on ANYTHING other than past criminal intention? My obvious answer is no.

"I want the cultures of all lands to blow about my house, as freely as possible, but I refuse to be blown off my feet, by anyone of them"
- Mahatma Ghandi

"There are as many ways of being Canadian as there are of being French or British, and many more than there are of being American or Irish."
- Lister Sinclair


In Addenda: I live in what is still a primarily Ukrainian neighbourhood in Toronto... in fact, the Ukrainian Festival is held just outside my door every year with rides, games, art, music, and food.

The area was NOT originally Ukrainian... it was primarily English and Welsh at one time... but over the years, the Ukrainians came and settled here... and today, it's less Ukrainian than you might expect with a mass insurgence of other folks...

None-the-less, (except this year,) the festival happened... and EVERYONE came to it to enjoy the day(s) it was on.

...but here's the point of me bringing this up...

Sure, you could get sausages, perogies, and potato pancakes... but you could also get fajitas, spring rolls, and lo mein from vendors... AT THE UKRAINIAN FESTIVAL... and no one thought this was odd at all.

In fact, in many ways, what was more Canadian?

Heck, Sue and I will miss the Ukrainian fajitas this year... it was a treat we looked forward to while strolling through the vendors and musicians on that day.

Heck, we were hoping to convince someone that we REALLY needed Ukrainian roti! The best roti in Toronto is a bit away from us... and it would have been great to have real Jamaican... er, Ukrainian festival roti closer to home!

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The standard last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

This blog is here to help promote a dream that an entire family shares... that dream is to rescue an old London Double-Decker bus.

RLH 3

Please, if you have a few minutes, take some time to find out more about this bus and the kooky dream by clicking here.

This bus is VERY special to myself and the whole family, and any help any person can lend us would be most gratefully accepted.

If you or someone you know might be interested, there's our tiny banner site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and a PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, a Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff!
(...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

We thank you for your support!

Please Note: We are also hoping for help from a public relations/marketing standpoint... If you might be able to assist OR know someone who might be willing to, please click here and read this entry...

Spacer

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 858 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessings Sundays: Back To Nature...

Blog yer Blessings

Our little one is home today... She was "up North" to a cottage near Minden, Ontario... which I kinda blogged about early last week...

Her coming home today (and apparently with tales of visiting Kawartha Dairy,) brought back some really good memories... I was VERY blessed as a kid for having that cottage in my family. I visited it often from the ages of two to seventeen! Sadly, as an adult, my visits were restricted to the extreme... but I still gots my memories!

I remember learning about the wildlife up there... watching the bears at the local garbage dump (you'd drive up at dusk and they'd come rambling out of the woods to snack... they were brown bears, but it was a little bit of nature if a little offset by man's encroachment,) counting ducklings in the river, watching beavers smack their tales in the water when they dove, watching herons fly with their enormous wings, catching frogs and turtles, netting minoes, canoing, sailing, boating,learning to read water, swimming... hiking through woods and blazing new paths...

Wee Froggy

The island was pie shaped... and the "point" was a grey coloured clay hill with huge trees growing out of it... you could see down the whole lake and feel the breeze come off the water.

My sisters and I also loved being up there during storms... watching the rain come across the lake... and then the obligatory need to get out the rainy day box... which is something that ALL parents should have on hand for young children in my estimation!

...but it was the real closeness to something a little less "city-fied"... you see, I was born in Toronto (the city) and have lived here all my life... but that little island up North was my attachment to something different... fresh... real.

Not paved. Not guarded. Not "cleaned up" with chemicals... it was not "pure" nature... but somewhat controlled nature.

SURE, the cottage was about as "roughing it" as staying in a large hotel room (full kitchen, bath with shower, etc.) but we still needed fire places to keep warm... we still battled black flies and mosquitoes... we swam in a lake...

...and we had fire pits... and "birch burgers" (I'll explain those another day) and memories like picking baby potatoes from the garden for Thanksgiving dinner... we had "double-pot" popcorn, not from a microwave, but a stove top... we had family Scrabble, Monopoly, and a myriad of other board games...

...and we had, often the hard way, learning about the great outdoors...

Often, as a kid, I felt like a Voyageur... or an explorer... or just like a kid out in the REAL outdoors.

...and I wouldn't trade a second of it... not even for the old green bus.

I'm so glad our little one is experiencing this... I wish we could have been there with her... I am looking forward to her stories...

...and then telling her about the place she missed just outside Miner's Bay that serves SQUARE ice cream cones! (Though Kawartha Dairy is still best...)

Anyway, my blessing is being one with nature... and really feeling free of the city.

This is what it DOES look like up there...

I'm not really a religious man, nor am I particularly pious in any way, shape, or form... in fact, I'm honestly rather agnostic... but when you look out over a fresh water lake and see an old farm and other than that, nothing but the occasional vacationing person and loads of trees as far as the eye can see, you really do see God's work... and it's hard to stay agnostic.

You can bet your bippy that the Old Green Bus, once received and made ready, will be making it's way up North... for all of us.

Don't be shocked, those in Pefferlaw, Sunderland, Kirkfield, Coboconk, Moore Falls, Norland, Minden, Carnarvon, and Haliburton if you see an old, green London bus roll through town... with a VERY happy family on board!

Soon, it will be ALL of us up there... and with any luck, on our bus.

Spacer

The standard last note on the old blog... PLEASE SUPPORT THE DREAM!

This blog is here to help promote a dream that an entire family shares... that dream is to rescue an old London Double-Decker bus.

RLH 3

Please, if you have a few minutes, take some time to find out more about this bus and the kooky dream by clicking here.

This bus is VERY special to myself and the whole family, and any help any person can lend us would be most gratefully accepted.

If you or someone you know might be interested, there's our tiny banner site, HelpCoverTheBus.Com and a PayPal donation button (see the upper-right hand side of the blog) and, of course, a Cafe Press shop for T-Shirts and shtuff!
(...and who doesn't need some shtuff!)

Please help us make this dream a reality and save a piece of history!

We thank you for your support!

Please Note: We are also hoping for help from a public relations/marketing standpoint... If you might be able to assist OR know someone who might be willing to, please click here and read this entry...

Spacer

D O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V. M
Et In Arcadia Ego

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The Current Time in Toronto is...


One Old Green Bus

This blog was started in April of 2006... its original itent was really twofold. One was to be a "sounding board" for it's author... and the other... well...

At the time we started this, your humble author was unemployed and going through the usual crisis situations that arise from being jobless.

We (my wife, stepdaughter, and I,) used to "amuse" ourselves (read: Take our minds off our troubles) by more-or-less fantasizing as a family about what we'd do when things "turned around". Along this route, we discussed going to England on a vacation... and in that, alighted on "double-decker buses".

We kind of adopted one bus... Regent Low Height 3... as Our Bus... and we used to talk about what we'd do with "our bus" if we got it... from fixing it up to the trips we'd take on it.

Along the way, we became students of the history of this bus which HONESTLY seemd it was truly for us... trouble was, we couldn't afford the bus and weren't in a position to work towards the bus... so we had a couple of options...

Since the bus' position was sketchy (there's a chance she might be sold for scrap or "carved up" in other ways,) we could forget about her and pretend she didn't exist...

...or we could TRY... ask for help... put our dream of owning and saving "One Old Green Bus" into the universe and see what happens...

As of February, 2008, we knew that there was a perspective buyer for the bus (not us, obviously,) and made some difficult decisions... The first was that we wouldn't "beg" for help anymore and give the little money we received to a few different charities both online and off... and the second was simply hope that either we find a corporate sponsor (for an "ad" idea we have, click here to about read that,) or even a patron who see's the value in a silly family's dream...

But, if the bus is about to be purchased by someone who's planning on restoring it and they "get there first", we wish them well and are glad that at least Our One Old Green Bus is in a safe place being looked after.

For now, though, we are still hoping WE might be the ones to get our One Old Green Bus and see a family dream come true...

Regardless, this blog WILL continue... and we will still "go for" a bus of our own... but this blog will ALWAYS be dedicated to our own One Old Green Bus.

Want to know more about Regent Low Height buses? Click here!

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