Love to Learn, Learn to Love.

Lesson #69: Here and there

Here and there…

First of all as promised here is Gary’s answer to my question to him about whether or not he had heard of Blind Faith. This issue had surfaced as a result of my bringing up the name of God and Gary’s counter that there is a body of p neuroscientific research pointing to the inescapable conclusion, according to Gary, that God – what he refers to as the immaterial soul – does not exist.

Anyway here is his answer: “As for ‘Blind Faith’, I assume you mean the rock band? If not, then no, I don’t believe in anything ‘blindly’. Blind belief leads to Nazism, devoting hours/years of your life to amassing the latest consumer goods, sports team tribalism, ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’ with your fellow cult members, unconditional allegiance to Israel, and a long list of other pretty awful things.”

Overall a harsh but fairly accurate indictment, at least as far as Gary sees it, of what blind faith can lead to. However, I must take exception to his declaration that blind allegiance to Israel is an awful thing and dumping it into the same category as Nazism or the pursuit of material things.

Further I take issue with his portrayal of blind faith as being a negative phenomenon. I believe in God in the sense that there is a force greater than us in our world and that we exist so that God can also live. A Creationist, of which I am not one, would argue that The Lord created us in His image. I believe in evolution but that does not remove God from the equation.

My parents ended up living in California, Rancho Mirage to be precise. Prior to my father’s retirement, Mom would spend the entire Montreal winter down there in Rancho Mirage and my father would go down there whenever he was able to take off from work.

One time when my father wasn’t there I borrowed his car to go into Palm Springs, an approximately thirty-minute drive from Rancho Mirage, to have a drink and do a little dancing at a bar. Long story short I got done for driving under the influence. According to my blood test which I chose over a urine test because I wanted to be difficult, my blood alcohol level was .14, almost twice the legal limit of .08. As I understand it, one beer = one glass of wine = one shot of hard stuff =.02. Therefore without taking into consideration extraneous variables like a person’s size, how fast drinks are consumed, whether the consumption of alcohol takes place in the presence or absence of food, and if we mixed our drinks or had confined our libations exclusively either to beer, or wine or spirits, we can conclude that four beers = four glasses of wine = four shots of hard stuff = the legal limit [four beers, glasses of wine, whiskeys X (times) .02 = .08].

I spent the night in jail, went back to my parents’ home, got a lawyer (actually my mother secured the services of a solicitor for me), returned to Montreal, and was found guilty in abstentia in a court in Indian Wells. The whole incident ended up costing $1500 USD in 1982; can’t recall what the breakdown was between my fine for D.W.I. (Driving While Intoxicated) and the lawyer’s fees but I vaguely recall something to the effect that the fine was $1000 with the lawyer’s fees and court costs together making up the other five hundred bucks.

As part of my sentence I had to enroll in both A.A. and N.A. (Narcotics Anonymous). At first I was hesitant to get with the programme which includes elements of both God and prayer but in the end, my nine-month experience with both of those twelve-step programmes taught me that I do in fact believe in some kind of superior being. This belief kind of snuck up on me but I do recall one incident which played an important part in helping recognize the fact that I am a religious person.

At the time that the above-mentioned incident happened I was living just with Alice, my beautiful and loving cat who I ended up adoring for almost twenty years. Anyway I had a few problems at that time and decided to follow the A.A. roadmap which is supposed to help its members achieve peace and serenity. This roadmap involved surrendering to God, writing your problems down on a piece of paper, crumpling the paper into a kind of ball and tossing the piece of paper now ball-shaped, roughly anyway, up to God while simultaneously saying something appropriate for that moment, like “Here God. Please you take my list of problems because this list is too much for me. Help me, please.”

Well like I said I decided to give it a shot. When I threw the balled paper toward my living room ceiling while invoking His help, something paranormal did definitely occur. The paper just took off towards the ceiling too fast, as if some supernatural power had taken control of the situation for less than a split-second. Also those problems seemed to leave me alone after this – dare I say it – miracle.

So that was my first conscious interaction with my God and it turned out that it provided me with substantial proof for the truth that He (or She) really exists.

It seems almost sacrilegious to talk politics now but nevertheless here we go:

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If Stephen Harper were to admit that he knew of Nigel Wright’s intention to write a cheque to that complete asshole Mike Duffy, then Wright could avoid being charged with fraud and breech of trust. This is due to the following extract from the Criminal Code, Section12 (1) (b), which is entitled “Frauds on the government” and “forbids anyone [read Wright] dealing with the government from making a payment to a government official [read Duffy] unless the person has the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government [read Harper] with which the dealings take place.” In other words if Harper, the head of the executive branch of government with which the dealings were taking place, knew what was going on, criminality is removed from Wright’s act. But Harper has seemingly, due to his consistent denials, dug himself a deep fucking hole, too deep for that rat to scurry out of. Thus not only does Wright get thrown under the bus but he also may get thrown into prison if Harper maintains his story and no credible evidence which contradicts his tale pops up.

However, if the Prime Minister, proving himself daily to be rotten to the core, sticks to his story that he didn’t know about the $90k payment from Wright, his former chief of staff, to Duffy until approximately three months after the fact, then Wright could be staring three years imprisonment in the face if found guilty of charges of breach of trust and fraud which, by the way, have yet to be laid against him. Also on the ropes would be two lawyers affiliated with the PMO who knew about the deal and who consequently might face sanctions from their law societies unless of course Stevie boy owns up. A real dilemma for our fuckface of a Prime Minister and I can hardly wait to see what happens.*
*(Courtesy of Stephen Maher, the Montreal Gazette, Nov. 26/13)

It seems obvious that Harper knew about Wright’s plan before the fact rather than after it as he has continually claimed in responding to questions in the House of Commons. “To believe the prime minister’s story, then, you have only to believe that his chief of staff and his chief fundraiser — oh and his legal counsel, his Senate leader and assorted other senior aides and senators — conspired to make a secret payment to a sitting legislator, then tampered with an audit and whitewashed a committee report, without informing the P.M. of any of it. Or perhaps, that they were conned into it by that master of double-dealing, Nigel Wright.

“For example, you have merely to believe that when Wright spoke with the prime minister on Feb. 22, having told staff he wanted ‘to speak to the PM before everything is considered final,’ the plan he placed before Harper was not the one hammered out between Duffy’s lawyer and the prime minister’s lawyer, Ben Perrin — that is, for the party to pay Duffy’s expenses, remove him from the audit, etc. — but was simply for Duffy to repay his own expenses.

“Further, it asks only that you believe that, having lied to the Prime Minister, Wright then went back to his fellow conspirators and lied to them, claiming to have the PM’s approval for the plan they had been working on: “We are good to go from the PM.” And that, when Wright later told the Prime Minister’s then-communications director, Andrew MacDougall, ‘the PM knows, in broad terms only, that I personally assisted Duffy when I was getting him to agree to pay the expenses,’ he was also lying.

“Well, also that Wright kept this secret for months from the Prime Minister, though they met several times daily; that either the P.M. never asked about the Duffy file again, or that Wright kept lying to him about it; and that even after the Harper learned of this monstrous, sustained, calamitous deception, on the morning of May 15, he was so stunned that his immediate response was to express, through a spokesman, full confidence in his chief of staff, and, in the days that followed, to defend him as an exceptionally honourable public servant.

“It requires nothing more than that you believe that, even after the revelation of Wright’s treachery, the P.M. was kept in the dark about the full extent of the operation, and of the others’ role in it; that, knowing the truth of their own involvement, they nevertheless allowed the prime minister to tell Parliament, falsely and repeatedly, that Wright acted alone; and that, when at length the full dimensions of the cover-up were uncovered, Harper, though he had at last been persuaded to accept Wright’s resignation, demanded no similar price be paid by the others who had betrayed him, such as Gerstein.

“It asks us to believe a Prime Minister famous for his controlling ways took almost no interest in what his subordinates were up to; that finding his almost childlike trust betrayed, he reacted with Christ-like forgiveness; and that, notwithstanding his own utter blamelessness, he has refused for months to answer the simplest questions about what he knew, admitting only as much as the belated emergence of facts demands.

“It requires that we accept that Stephen Harper, who says he would never have agreed to any piece of the plot — the pay-off, the audit tampering, the Senate whitewash — somehow found himself surrounded by people who, on the evidence, tackled the lot without hesitation.
“Where could they have got the idea that this was acceptable? How could he have been so wrong about them? Why, it’s almost unbelievable.”**
** (Courtesy of Andrew Coyne, Ibid, Nov. 26/13)

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Peace. Out.
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Jerry Cohen

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