Wednesday, February 14, 2018

True Love ~ a Real LIfe Story

From diary of Sayed Jaffrey ~ the famous 'bollywood character actor'

I was 19 when I married to Mehrunima who was 17. As I grew up, I was fascinated by the British culture in colonial India. I learned to speak English fluently...wear suits with grace...and developed impeccable etiquettes. But Mehrunima grew up to be my complete opposite ~ homely, a typical housewife. All my advices and admonishments couldn't change her basic personality ~ an obedient wife...a doting mother...and a good homemaker. But, she was not what I wanted.

More I tried to change her, more we drifted apart. Gradually, she metamorphosed from a cheerful affectionate young girl into a quiet insecure woman. Meanwhile, I started getting attracted to a co-actor of mine who was all what I wanted in my wife. After 10 years of marriage, I divorced Mehrunima, left my home and married my co-actor.
I had ensured financial security of Mehrunima and my kids.
For about 6 to 7 months, everything went well.
Then I started realizing, my new wife was not caring and affectionate. She was only concerned about her beauty...ambitions...her wants...and desires. Sometimes, I missed Mehrunima's caring touch and concern for my welfare. Life moved on. My new wife and I were 2 persons living in a house...not 'one soul' living in a home. I never went back to find out what happened to Mehrunima and my kids.

After about 6-7 years of my second marriage, I came across an article on a Madhur Jaffrey, an upcoming famous chef who recently launched a book of her own recipes. The moment I looked at the picture of the smart elegant lady, I was stunned! It was Mehrunima! How could it be???
She had remarried and changed her maiden name too.

I was shooting abroad at that time. She lived in US now. I caught the next flight to US. I inquired about her whereabouts and went to meet her. She refused to see me. My daughter who was 14 and son who was 12, told her they wanted to talk to me one last time. Her new husband was by her side. He was also my children's legal father now.

To this date, I cannot forget what my children told me: that their new father knows the meaning of true love. He accepted Mehrunima as she was and never tried to change her into what he himself was...because he loves her more than he loves himself. He let her evolve at her own pace and never tried to force his wishes on her. He accepted and enjoyed her person as it was.
And she bloomed into a confident, loving, affectionate, self-reliant lady
under her second husband's selfless love and acceptance.”

Where, as my selfishness...demands...and non-acceptance of her persona had crushed her ~ and then in my selfishness I had discarded her.  I never loved her! I had always loved myself!"
And Those Who Love Themselves ~ Cannot Love Others!”
(My thank-you to Dilu for this true Love Story)

Secrets of a Good Marriage
My wife has not so subtly reminded me, this anniversary marks 30 years of marrige!”
(wrote Paul Benedetti, a frequent contributor to The Hamilton Spectator)

Because a lot of modern marriages seem to last about 30 minutes,
many people ask: Paul, what makes a good marriage?
First You Must be Considerate and Thoughtful in Your Speech! If people said whatever popped into their head, they'd be Donald Trump! Do not, under any conditions, say the first thing you think of!
Example: “Do you mind if Mom joins us on our Jamaica vacation?” (Your thoughts may be: Are you insane? I'd rather hang-glide into an active volcano!) Instead, you must pause and ask yourself:
What offers the lowest probability of death...
or a week of the silent treatment, which is like death, only it feels longer.)
Or she may ask, “Honey, do you like this scarf on me?” Should you answer, “I wouldn't like that scarf on Cindy Crawford; it looks like six-feet of old wrapping paper!” The proper answer is, “Honey, you make anything look great and did I mention, I love your mother!”

Secondly, Always be Prepared to Compromise! Early in your marriage, you're trying to decide where to have Christmas dinner and your wife says, she just loves having Christmas with her family. Then, a fair and equitable compromise is to have all Christmas dinners with her family for eternity.

When Making Large Decisions, Always Engage in Dialogue. Returning from work one day, your wife says she would like to paint the living room a bright tangerine colour. A reasonable course of action would be to rationally and calmly drive directly to the paint store and buy 2 gallons.
Of course, the most important advice is what doctors say about your health:
Choose the right parents!” Same for marriage: “Choose the right spouse!”

When we were first married, and I would introduce my wife, who happens to be very beautiful, people would look at her, look at me, and blurt out, “Boy, are you in over your head!”
I should add, these people were not Donald Trump!

Simply put, she is extremely smart and nice. And if having a good marriage ~ is a 'crap shoot' ~ and maybe it is ~ then pass the dice, brother, because I've been rolling 7's for years. I've been lucky and I've continued to be lucky. Our 30 years together have not passed without challenges: sick children...lost jobs...lost parents...but it's mostly been filled with good things, good family and good times. So, next week we will celebrate ~ and on that Tuesday night, I will...or is it Monday?
Oh God, excuse me, I have to check a calendar!

Love is a Many Splendoured Thing
(as sung by Frank Sinatra)

Love is a many splendoured thing.
It's the April rose that only grows in the early Spring
Love is nature's way of giving reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king

Once on a high and windy hill, in the morning mist
Two lovers kissed and the world stood still
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love's a many splendoured thing.

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted February 4, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Valentine Quest

Emma Riley, reporting from The Hamilton Spectator
writes: PICTURE THIS: Two strangers walk into a room...spend an hour answering a prescribed set of questions...and fall in love! It seems impossible ~ but it's been scientifically proven to work. To coincide with Valentine's Day, roughly 20 Hamiltonians will have a chance to test out the theory for themselves in a real-life social experiment. The process, popularized by a column in the New York Times, stems from a study by psychologist Arthur Aron~ exploring whether feelings of intimacy can blossom between 2 people by having them ask each other a series of increasingly personal questions ~ 36 in total ~ broken into 3 different sets, each designed to be more revealing than the last.
The original participants in the study sat face to face in a lab,
answered the questions ~ and then stared silently into each other's eyes for 4 minutes.

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
What would constitute a 'perfect' day for you?
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
If you were able to live to the age of 90, and retain either your mind or body of a 30-year old, for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Name the 3 things you and your partner appear to have in common.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
Take 4 minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

If a crystal ball could tell you about yourself, your life, the future, what would you want to know?
Is there something you've dreamed of doing, for a long time? Why haven't you done it?
What is the greatest accomplishment in your life?
What do you value most in a friendship?
What is your most treasured memory?
What is your most terrible memory?
If you knew that in one year you'd die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
What does friendship mean to you?
What roles do love and affection play in your life?
Is alternate sharing a positive characteristic of your partner? Share a total of 5 items.
How close and warm is your family? Was your childhood happier than most other people's?
How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Make 3 true 'we statements' e.g. “We are both in this room feeling.......”
Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share......”
If becoming a close friend with your partner, what would be important for him/her to know?
Tell your partner what you like about them...things you might not say to someone you've just met.
Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
If you were to die this evening, with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet?
Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find the most disturbing? Why?
Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you, how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Animals Express Their Love
Pause for a moment and think of the people you love the most. Has it been some time since some of you told them how important they are to you? Some say, “Love doesn't say words!” Many animals have the ability to 'express love' without uttering a single word. In your mind, picture the following:

You Quack me Up” as one duck 'beaks' the cheek of his mate.
A Hug from you is the world's best medicine,” as 2 lion cubs hug together, embracing with paws.
We are Two Halves of one Whole,” signifying 2 swans standing beak to beak in shallow water.
I'm always here to give you a shoulder to lean on,”  child giraffe reaches to touch Mom's long neck.
Nothing makes you less beautiful in my eyes,”
as one hippo faces another, touching mouths and eyeing each other.
I feel good just seeing you!” Two white dogs, facing each other, touching their black noses.

We don't have to do something special to enjoy ourselves.”
state 2 tigers laying on grass and embracing each other.
Even when things are tough, I'm always here for you.” Gorillas (orangutans) hold each other.
I can never forget all the good you've done me,” chat 2 elephants, joining tusks and ivories.
Kitten, whispering to speckled-skin dog lying down, “After all, we were meant for each other!”
An orange tabby purring to a gray one, softly mews, “I promise to always watch out for you,” with hugging paws around each other in their silent love.
One holstein cow in the meadow to another, as though whispering in her ear,
....because some secrets I can ony tell you.
Two beautiful and heavily plumed birds confide, “And no one knows me better than you!”
We're different, but deeply connected,” states a tan-coloured rabbit to a gray one.

Two blue-eyed llamas with necks and faces touching,
You give me strength to carry on.”
Mourning Dove to his female, coos, “You can depend on me ~ I'll be by your side
and raise our 'squats' together.
Herd horses, as stable-mates, agree as they neigh to each other, “You're may pal and friend...I love your flowing mane and tail. And she adores his white socks.
2 Camels lying nose-to-nose in desert sand ~ “Let's spend vacation time at the oasis.”
Lovebirds on a high wire, side by side with bills and heads touching,
muse ~ “You are the one for me!”
Beaver, while building his lodge, states, “I'll paddle the pond for you.”
Black Bear, preparing for winter, invites,
Come ~ spend the winter and hibernate in my cave.

The Animals and Birds ~ All Say it Best!

Scripted by Merle Baird-Kerr...January 29, 2018

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Pandora's Box ~ Innocent Until Publicly Disclosed!

John Suiston's Opinion:
It is not a Pandora's Box that Science opens ~ it is rather a treasure chest.
We, humanely can choose whether or not to take out the discoveries
and use them ~ and for what purpose.

An ideal quote for today's perpetrators whose past escapades violate 'human rights'!

From Oklahoma: Former 2-term Republican state Senator, Ralph Shortey, accused of engaging in child prostitution entered his plea of 'guilty' to a federal charge of child-sex-trafficking...in exchange for dropping 3 child pornography charges against him. Wearing a GPS tracking device on his left ankle, Shortey faces between 10 years and life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for child trafficking.

Netflix Writes Accused Actor out of Comedy “The Ranch” Actor, Danny Masterson! Los Angeles police investigated sexual assault claims against him that date back to the 2,000's. He has denied the allegations by 3 women that were assaulted by him. Netflix said Monday was Masterson's last day on the show...and producers will resume next year without him.

Hoffman Grilled Over Sexual Misconduct Claims: Discussion of the film, “Wag the Dog” turned testy recently when moderator John Oliver confronted Dustin Hoffman about allegations of sexual harassment. Hoffman, defensive by the questioning from the host at HBO's “Last Week Tonight explained the accusation was 40 years old and maintained he did nothing wrong. Actress Anna Graham Hunter has alleged that Hoffman groped her and made 'inappropriate comments' when she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of the 1985 TV movie, “Death of a Salesman.” Hoffman stated that, “The incident is not reflective of who I am,” when Oliver seized on the opportunity and replied, “It is reflective of who you were!”
(The foregoing are excerpts from Hamilton Spectator Wire Services)

Analyst Zaun Axed by Sportsnet for 'Inappropriate Behaviour.' Baseball commentator, Greg Zaun has been fired due to 'Inappropriate behaviour and comments' toward female employees. Rick Brace, president of Rogers Media, said the company was terminating the contract of Blue Jay analyst effective immediately. “This type of behaviour completely contradicts our standards and our core values.
Zaun, a former Blue Jays catcher, began a part-time broadcasting career with Sportsnet .

Fact: 90% of workplace harassment is never officially reported!

No Tomorrows for Today Host ~ This editional ran in the Winnipeg Free Press:
and published in The Hamilton Spectator December 5, 2017

The shameful rollcall continues. Another high-profile career has been brought to an end by allegations of sexual impropriety. NBC's 'Today' show took to the airwaves, Wednesday morning, with the startling announcement that host Matt Lauer had been fired from the long-running daybreak programs after network executives received a 'detailed complaint' from a co-worker about 'inappropriate sexual conduct.' The undoing of NBC's morning star reinforces the notion that we are in a new age:
a post-Weinstein age in which harassment and abuse and other misdeeds
of a social nature by people in positions of power will no longer be tolerated.
Those who have been wronged will not only be believed, they will be encouraged to speak their truths and be enbraced for having had the courage to do so.
Victims have been empowered.
Abusers have been exposed.
A long-awaited cultural moment has arrived.
One can't help wondering how many powerful people in how many corner offices and how many companies, industries and empires...go to work these days, sitting anxiously at their desks wondering, 'Is This The Day They Find Out About Me?'

The 'Silence Breakers' Who Started a Movement
(Excerpts from editorial by Doug Stanglin and Maeve McDermott ~ published in USA Today)
“Time magazine named “The Silence Breakers” ~ women who triggered a #Me Too national outcry over sexual harassment ~ as the 2017 Person of the Year.

“Editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal revealed the cover on Wednesday morning's Today show, which featured Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler and a woman whose face is obscured (intended to represent women who haven't yet come forward).
“This is the fastest-moving social change we've seen in decades
and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women and men
who came forward to tell their own stories of sexual harassment and assault,”
Felsenthal said.
“ActressAlyssa Milano and #MeToo creator Tarana Burke appeared on the Today show, (which recently experienced its own harassment scandal that ousted former anchor Matt Lauer), as well as Megyn Kelly TODAY to discuss the Time cover.

“Harvey Weinstein, whose scandal jump-started 2017's months of reckoning over sexual harassment,
looms large over the Time list, with Judd, one of the more than 80 women who have accused him of assault and sexual harassment, featured in the the story. Also included is Selma Blair, who accused director James Toback of misconduct, with Swift speaking out against Denver radio DJ David Mueller whom she prevailed over in court this past summer.
“Time's list cuts across the entertainment, media, tech and service industries
including an unnamed housekeeper at the Plaza Hotel.
“The short list included Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the Dreamers, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Colin Kaepernick (the former NFL quarterback who launched a national protest against racism and police brutality), special prosecutor Robert Mueller and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

Heidi Stevens from Time Magazine Comments:
A magazine can't wipe out sexual harassment.
But to paraphrase, Dr. Martin King Jr.'s view,
The arc of the moral universe is long...but it's starting to bend towards justice.”
“Women have had it with bosses and co-workers who not only cross boundaries that don't even seem to know exist...they've had it with the fear of retaliation...of being blackballed...of being fired from a job they can't afford to lose...with men who use their power to take what they want from women.

“These 'silence breakers' have started a revolution of refusal, gathering strength by the day and in the last 2 months alone, their collective anger has spurred immediate and shocking results: nearly every day, CEO's have been fired, moguls toppled, icons disgraced...and even criminal charges laid.”

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr: December 7, 2017

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

February's Notable Days

My calendars indicate February, to be perhaps the busiest month of the year
with several notable days to celebrate.
Two calendars keep me 'in tune' with activities: The Canadian Wildlife Federation which is yearly sent to me in recognition of my support; the other is a yearly gift from my son ~ a large 2018 calendar this year depicting cats and kittens. (Last year's was of 'Mennonite Lifestyle' in Pennsylvania).

Northern Gannets (on January's calendar), have large webbed feet which make landings and take-offs look awkward and clumsy; but with a wing span of almost 2 metres wide, adult gannets are graceful, fast and powerful, gliding for hours just above the waves, seldom moving their narrow tapered wings.

Lion's Mane Jellyfish on February's calendar are found along all of Canada's coastlines. They are the largest jellyfish with a diameter as large as 2 metres. Their tentacles are divided into 8 clusters and can reach up to 30 metres in length. They have a potent sting that is unpleasant but not usually a serious threat to people. ( I comment here that the only jellyfish I've seen was along PEI's north coast...don't know the species, but on the beach, it looked ugly! Wouldn't want to step on it in water.)

February is “Heritage Month”
in Canada, The United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Also known as “Black Achievement Month” it is a way for remembering important people and events in African history. Visit free displays at Burlington's Central Library on New Street. Learn something new this winter at Ireland House Museum ~ Open House here is February 4; and February 6 features “A Toast to History.” Also, a great place to celebrate 'Family Day.'

February 2 each year is “Groundhog Day.” According to folklore, if the groundhog emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow (a sunny morning), winter will last 6 weeks. Ontario's 'Willie' lives in Wiarton located in Bruce County. It's an annual festival highly celebrated in both Canada and USA.

February 2 is also “World Wetlands Day” (the annivesary of the adoption of a treaty ~ providing the framework for the conservation and wide use of wetlands) observed annually around the globe.

February 12 is “Family Day” in Ontario and British Columbia ~ and is observed to celebrate the importance of families and family life to people and their comunities.

February 13 is Mardi Gras Day. The most popular time to visit New Orleans is the extended weekend before Mardi Gras (Feb. 9 to 13) which features colourful parades and celebrations. (Of interest is that back in February '70, I was in Rio for a week with my little boy, staying with my husband's cousins ~ Mardi Gras had finished ~ all colour decor for the parade celebrations were still in place.) Superb!
When I was there ~ the weather was very hot and very, very humid!

February 14: Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting, is the first day of Lent in Western Christianity and time of personal 'reflection' and 'penitence.'

February 14 is Valentine's Day, the feast of Saint Valentine, honouring one of more early saints named Valentinus and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions world-wide. Some refer to it as 'Lovers' Day.'

February 15 is “National Flag of Canada Day” and falls during the Olympic Winter Games. Canadians honour their flag and cheer on their Olympic and Paralympic Team Canada athletes.

February 16 is Chinese New Year ~ known as the Spring Festival in modern China or simply “The Lunar New Year.” Celebrations are exceedingly high at this time with great honour.

February 19 is President's Day in United States honouring George Washington ~ its first President.

February 19 is also Family Day honoured in Alberta, Saskatchewan and 'Islander's Day' (PEI). Nova Scotia honours Heritage Day and Manitoba honours 'Louis Riel Day.'

February 23 is Yukon Heritage Day, in place for several years, honours government employees, teachers and students.
You may wonder about the Northwest Territories and Nunavut;
they honour the identical holidays to the rest of Canada.

February's History
Around 690 B.C. Numa Pompilius turned a period of celebration at the end of the year into a month of its own ~ naming it after the festival of Februa ~ thus its name February. Since I hear many people calling its name in error, I draw attention to the correct pronunciation: Feb-ru-ary.
Perhaps you know that January was not always the first month of the year.
The ancient Romans used a different calendar system than ours.
Their year began in March and ended in February.

February is the boundary between winter and spring. (Teri Guillemets)

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds
and swells the leaves within. (William C. Bryant)

February is always a bad month for TV posts:
football is gone...basketball is plodding along in the annual mid-season doldrums
and baseball isn't even mentioned. (Unknown Author)
Seems this author is not a hockey fan!

Scripted by Merle Baird-Kerr...January 26, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Investigative Ongoing Social Crimes

In Canada, Women's Rights are a vital part of our effort to build
a society of real equality ~ not just for some ~ but for all Canadians.
A society, in which women no longer encounter:
DISCRIMINATION ~nor are 'shut out' from opportunities
open to others.” (Paul Martin)

From Ontario Human Rights Code (posted at the entrance of our Senors' Residence:
Part 4: We do not tolerate harassment or unwelcome comments and actions.
Part 5: We take prompt action if such occurs.
Our organization recognizes the dignity and worth of everyone!

When you choose the behaviour ~ you accept the consequences” (Dr. Phil)

Christopher Plummer (at 87), busy with 5 movies scheduled to release, says he's busy and states, “ I plan to work until the very end. I love my work. I love what I do. And I'm so sorry for a majority of people who do not like their jobs...and can't wait to retire...which is, of course, death.”
He also is concerned about women currently suffering from social injustices.

Teach Men to be Gentlemen
Juliana, from Hamilton responded in 'Readers Write' about a previous writer advising women to:
 'Try a stiff elbow to the groin' when being sexually assaulted. She states that this is also an 'assault.' and could be questionable. “Its a cultural thing and everyone has to learn from the earliest age possible that there are behaviours that are never acceptable. It's sad that the only real suggestion women have in dealing with such dweebs is to ignore them. Men need to be taught how to be gentlemen!

Man Arrested for Yelling “FHRITP”: Natalie Paddon reported that Hamilton police have arrested a man for causing a disturbance after a CHML news reporter was sexually harassed on the job for the third time this week. Reporter, Britt Dixon was interviewing an officer outside the Hamilton police station Friday when a truck drove by with its windows down and a person yelled, 'f..k her right in the p..y.' The truck parked outside the station and the officer went over to it, Dixon said. When the man who yelled at her walked by to enter the station, she said the officer asked him why he did it, to which he replied, Because everyone in the States does it! (He is a 24-year-old from Maryland.)

Earlier this week, Dixon was yelled at twice by men at Mohawk College ~ once while doing an interview...and again before she was about to go ' live' on TV. Mohawk security is investigating those incidents...along with the Hamilton Police Service.
Britt Dixon states, “ Making lewd statements at people doing their job
isn't funny ~ it is Wrong and Unacceptable.
It's unnerving and it's offensive and it's mortifying ~ this is my workplace!”

It's No Joke, Senator Franken: (Excerpts from an editorial in the Los Angeles Times)
Stories about powerful men engaging in sexual misconduct are becoming so common that, as with mass shootings, the country is in danger of growing inured to them. The latest revelation comes from L.A. Radio anchor Lee Ann Tweedin, who says U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D. Minn.) forcibly kissed her while they were rehearsing for a USO show overseas in 2006 just before Franken began his campaign for the Senate. She also said he groped her without her consent...and there's a photo that adds legitimacy to her tale. Franken grins over his shoulder at the camera as he reaches for her breasts ~ possibly touching her, possibly not ~ while she sits asleep in a military plane jump seat.
Franken has apologized, though he 'doesn't clearly remember the incident'!

We're having a moment of reckoning, America. Stories that would have been waved off at the time they occurred as harmless or aberrational are now gaining currency.Today, women are stepping forward with stories of sexual aggression of every variation. Hearing mostly about the misdeeds of very powerful men ~ not the harassment and intimidation meted out daily in society's lower echelons.

Franken 'Embarrassed, Ashamed'
Minnesota senator returning to work looking to regain public's trust
after groping accusations by women.

29 Service Members Booted from Forces (written by Lee Berthiaume from Ottawa)
Canada's top military officer promised to take no prisoners when it came to sexual misconduct in the ranks. And that could be just the beginning as defence officials say they are still reviewing dozens of other cases in which military personnel have been implicated in inappropriate sexual behaviour.
The move came amid frustration that some members were continuing to engage in such activity despite his unequivocal orders to cease and desist!
I gave an order to every member of the Canadian Armed Forces that this behaviour had to stop!”

Grieving Quebec Dad Seeks Rules to Combat Bullying: (published from Montreal in The Canadian Press) The father of a Quebec teen who committed suicide last week after years of alleged incessant bullying wants stricter measures for how schools deal with intimidation. Martin Dufour said his 15-year-old son, Simon, was bullied in primary school, with the taunting extending into his time in secondary school, Dufour said he spoke with administration over the years, but that nothing ultimately helped his son. “What I would like to see is a provincial guideline for every school that they should...that they could...that they would apply for everyone who's a victim or is bullied,” he told The Canadian Press in an interview Monday.
He believes such a plan already existed at his son's school in Longueuil,
south of Montreal...but it is unclear whether it was actually implemented.

According to him, it's time for bullies to be held accountable for their actions
with harsher punishment for those who bully on a regular basis.
If there were people bullying Simon, I want them to be subject to the full extent of the law.”

Release the Sandy Hook Report
(excerpts from an editorial from the Hartford Courant)
It's been nearly five years since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, but the state police still haven't released a report evaluating their response on that day.

The after-action report could be of value to rural and suburban police agencies that don't have the resources or training that major metropolitan forces might have. A forthright and critical analysis should provide prospective on issues that, sadly could present themselves to another small town.
Should the officers who first arrived at Sandy Hook have stormed the school?
Did police properly clear the school before proceeding with their investigation?
Was access properly controlled immediately after the shooting?

Merle Baird-Kerr...written November 29, 2017

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Continual Sexual Allegations in High Places!

'The Snowball Effect' is a process that starts from an initial state
of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger, graver, more serious
and also, perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a vicious circle) ...
though it might be beneficial instead (a virtuous circle).

(Reported recently and today, November 30 in News Services)

TV Producer Fired Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations: An executive producer for several Vancouver-shot superhero shows has been fired following a 'thorough investigation' into allegations of sexual harassment against him. Warner Bros. Television Group says it has terminated Andrew Kreisberg's employment, effective immediately, and is “committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.

Kreisberg had been suspended from his work on “Arrow,” “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” amid accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching made by 19 former and current employees. The accusations were first reported by Variety, which did not identify the 15 women and 4 men who said they feared retaliation if they went public.

Minnesota Public Radio Severs Ties with Garrison Keillor: Citing inappropriate behaviour with an individual who worked with him, Minnesota Public Radio has terminated its relationship with Garrison Keillor, the former host of “A Prairie Home Companion” who helped build MPR into a national powerhouse. In an email to the Star Tribune Wednesday, Keillor said, “I put my hand on a woman's bare back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it bout six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she'd forgiven me. We were friends...and continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called”.
MPR retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations.

Matt Lauer Fired After Claims of “Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour” NBC News said Wednesday that it has fired Matt Lauer over 'inappropriate sexual behaviour,' making the “Today” show star the latest high-profile man to become embroiled in workplace harassment allegations. In a staff memo, NBC News chair Andrew Lack said the network received 'a detailed' complaint about Lauer Monday night. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment. Lauer,59, joined “Today” in 1994 as its news anchor. He became co-host of the morning program with Katie Couric in 1997 after Bryant Gumbel stepped down.

Lauer is among one of many whose careers have been hit by harassment allegations in the weeks since Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein was accused by numerous women of sexual assault.

Last week Lauer's morning rival on CBS, Charlie Rose, was fired after 8 women told the Washington Post that he had acted inappropriately toward them over a number of years.

The post-Weinstein wave has brought down figures in the news, entertainment and political fields ~ and renewed discussion about allegations against President Trump first raised, when he was the Republican candidate for the office last year.

Donald J. Trump Has Pretty Much Over Decades ~ Insulted All Women!
In May '91, in an Esquire magazine profile about his bad press, Trump had this to say, “You know, it doesn't really matter what they write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass; but she's got to be young and beautiful!”

He insulted a breast-feeding mother, “You're disgusting,” he hurled at female lawyer who had asked for a medical break to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old daughter.

Admonishing Robert Pattison re taking back Kristen Stewart, “She treated you like a dog and will do it again...just watch! You can do much better!”
Bette Midler is an extremely unattractive woman;
I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct!”

He's insulted Moms who expect their husbands to change diapers when they're busy.
He's insulted Muslim women.
There wasn't much I could say about Hilary Clinton
that was worse than what I was already saying!”
He's insulted victims of sexual harassment....and the list is endless.

Politically Speaking ~ Alexander Panetta writes from Washington today, “Donald Trump promised to govern for America's forgotten men and women; yet he promoted Wednesday, a tax reform plan that independent analysts say, does the opposite ~ transferring tens of billions of dollars in wealth up the income ladder. The president claimed at a rally in Missouri that the tax plan would be great for the little guy, while clobbering rich guys like him: “ It's gonna cost me a fortune, this thing.
Believe me, this is not good for me!” he stated.

Analysts are piling on to pummel that analysis.The plan would hike taxes on 9% of lower-income Americans and within a decade, hurting the lower 50% of income earners
according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.

(From this writer's viewpoint in posting the foregoing article, anything promoted by Trump is certain to be beneficial to his financial and political life...it's up to readers and analysts to decipher his true intent!)

Donald Trump's I.Q. Obsession!
He repeatedly cites his sky-high IQ ~ and the relatively low IQ's of his political rivals, stating, “Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure ~ it's not your fault.”

Studies say that bragging about your superiority, makes people like you less,
so what does Donald Trump hope to gain?

Stephen Hawkins states, “People who boast about their IQ are losers!”

Trump finds himself increasingly at odds with his own staff ~ and at war with would-be-allies. He is squandering, perhaps the most precious presidential ability to surround himself with a challenging mix of intelligent and experienced advisors!

Written November 30, 2017 by Merle Baird-Kerr
Comments always welcome: mbairdkerr@cogeco.ca or inezkate@gmail.com

Monday, January 15, 2018

I Feel So Lucky!

Prior to opening my blog-writings in March, 2011, I had several prose-style articles written ~ often based on true experiences (as is this one today). Physically, due to scoliosis in my back, pleasurable recreational activities thwarted me. Yet, realizing I had 'untapped resources' within my soul, I had the potential energy to pursue other interests...with time and opportunity to create the next phase of my life.
A dear American ski friend firmly stated,
You have far greater inner strength, than you believe you have!”
Yes, we humans do have a reserve tank awaiting our pursuance of possibilities!
(Understandably, I've updated a time or two in this rendering.)

Outside a Pharmacy door,
I recognized a Realtor peer
Whom long ago I knew.
Seated on a bench,
She was frail...'bout 80/90 pounds...
Slowly turned her eyes aside...
Hopeful, unnoticed she would be.
She looked so lonely...
And preyed upon my mind.
At that moment, positive aspects
Altered my perception:
I Feel So Lucky!

I reside in a pleasant Senior's home
Near buses and small shopping mall.
Lonely are some...women and men
...no visiting family or friends;
Oft in the lounge, they await the mail;
(Their daily routines, they chat about).
Read their letters...and show their pics.
I Feel So Lucky!

Lifestyles change as we mature:
I cannot schuss down the snowy slopes;
Cannot golf on fairway greens,
But am quite certain I can putt!
Tennis agility is a skill of the past ;
Cannot polka or clog a routine;
Cannot hike along the forest's lush trails.
Yet, I Feel So Lucky!

Many other pleasures I then pursued:
The Theatre, the Play; Observer of Sports!
Time to Imagine and Time to Create
Fashion accessories and Inspired to write!
(A page-turner novel 'transports me away.')
Duplicate Bridge was one captive game;
Played local clubs and Bridge Base Online.
My 'family of Friends' greatly increased
From Chile to Turkey, to Portugal and France!
One year I travelled to U.S with my son;
Discovered a Bridge Club locally to play;
A truly Great Gentleman, I partnered with...
Amazing! This vibrant Vet of World War II.
Bridge tournaments were many...both near and afar.
Upon invitation, the Border I crossed;
Drove a few hours to an eastern State
To gain a few points...either Red or Gold.
I Felt So Lucky!

In 2001, drove the scenic distance
From California coast to Ontario home.
(Green Honda Odyssey for emission test).
Viewed mountains and canyons
And high desert plateaus;
Tumbling rivers and placid lakes;
Ambitious cities and sleepy hamlets.
I Felt So Lucky!

I feel so lucky for All of the Above!
Yes, I have aches and I have pain;
In January '17, slipped on ice,
Breaking a couple small bones in my wrist.
(I wasn't so lucky!)
Graciously, I've learned, 'Thank You So Much';
Appreciate Tylenol and a Helping Hand.

2018 has fast-approached ~
I wish to all “A Healthy and Happy New Year!”
And now, in the Spring when my Birthday arrives,
I'm another year Younger
and another year Wise...hopefully!”
I AM SO LUCKY!

Merle Baird-Kerr...rewritten December 16, 2017