Sunday, December 17, 2017

Merry Cat-mas Everyone!

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was strirring, because I killed the mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that this mythical Santy Claws soon would be there.

The human larvae were nestled in their beds
While I walked and meowed, demanding to be fed;
And momma human in her 'kerchief, and the other in his cap,
I nestled up nice and cosy in a warm human's lap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the human's legs to see what was the matter.
Away to the window, I flew like a flash...
Tore open the shutters and clawed up the sash.

The moon shined brightly on the new-fallen snow;
I searched for the intruder up above and below...
When what to my wondering eyes did appear
But a miniature sleigh and eight mutant deer.

With a little human driver as fat as cattle,
I sharpened my claws and prepared for battle.
More rapid than stoopy squirrels, his mutant deer they came
And he whistled, and shouted...and called them by name.

Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

The sleigh shook and rumbled, and the deer started to fly.
I knew this was some sorcery and decided this fat man needed to die,
So up to the housetop his evil deer, they flew
With the sleigh full of who knows what...and the fat burglar too.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each stoopy hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney Santa Claws came with a bound.

His eyes ~ they seemed evil, his face all hairy,
His ears and nose pointed, this intruder was a bit scary!
His troll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And his evil wizard beard was white as the snow.

But he was chubby and plump, and I laughed to myself:
This was no mighty warrior, but some fat ugly elf.
He focused on the tree, as it sparkled and shined;
He didn't see me, sneaking up from behind.

One paw in front of the other and slowly I sneaked,
But I stepped on the stoopy dog toy and Boy, did it squeak!
The fat elf heard me and twisted his head...
So I gave him a look that let him know that he was dead.

He begged and pleaded and stood in the corner and pouted,
You broke into the wrong house, stoopy! Prepare for death!”
I shouted and with one ninja swipe, I clawed hard at his nose.
The fat elf screamed and up the chimney he rose.

He ran to his sleigh and screamed for the mutant deer to fly.
I scurried up the chimey with blood thirsty eyes.
The sleigh took off and Santy Claws didn't look back;
I knew I saved Christmas with my heroic attack.

As he drove out of sight, the fat elf cursed and spat,
Never that house again! Or any with a cat!”

(with thanks to Meg who sent me the foregoing a year ago)

Now...a few Thoughts from My Animal Friends
A dog is not a toy! I'm part of the family ~ not just another thing you can throw away. I'm not just for the holidays ~ I'm for LIFE!”

Cat, perched atop an open shower, leaning into the top with his paws to aid a human man, so nude in the shower, says,
 “Quick, take my paws ~ I'll pull you out!”

A pasture horse neighs,“Animals are born who they are.
We live with greater peace than people do.”

A stray kitten wandering the street, softly purrs,
Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart.”

When the humans are out, a Santa-capped dog, licking colourful cookies off the plate, comments to his canine friend, “It's OK, they will just think Santa ate them.”

A tiger-striped cat standing on back legs, sings: Deck the halls with catnip mousies ~ Fa,la,la,la, la; la la, la,la! Wreck the tree and blame the doggies!”

A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than you love yourself,” said Josh Billings.

Money can buy you a fine dog ~ but only Love
can make him wag his tail.” (Kinky Friedman)

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...December 11, 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 ~ A Year of Anniversaries

Is isn't just Canada's 150th anniversary...
there are quite a few other notable anniversaries in 2017

The following are excerpts from Harrowsmith's Fall Almanac 2016

100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge
When the British Empire declared war in 1914, Canada was automatically included. What followed was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the modern era. For the 650,000 Newfoundlanders and Canadians who served, it wasn't uncommon to be led by British officers or attached to larger British units. We were the little brothers who did as we were told.

By 1917, however, the Canadians had distinguished themselves
 as being tough, tenacious and capable.
On April 9, all four Canadian divisions were grouped together and were tasked with taking Vimy Ridge...a heavily fortified 7 km.(four mile) vantage point that gave the Germans a clear view of the Allies. More than 100,000 French troops had already been killed trying to take the ridge. Using a combination of good training, new tactics and heavy artillery support, the Canadians advanced into the German trenches...and within 4 days had captured the ridge.
Sadly, 3,598 Canadians were killed...and another 7,000 were injured.
Four Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross...
the highest award for bravery in the British Empire.
In 1917, Canadians would also distinguish themselves in combat at Ypres, the Somme, Beaumont-Hamel and Passchendaele. By war's end, the Canadian Corps was one of the most respected of the Allied forces, but it came at a heavy cost, with over 66,000 Canadians being killed and another 170,000 wounded. The battle of Vimy Ridge is seen as a defining moment in Canadian history, bringing the country together and beginning the process of stepping out from the shadow of the British Empire.

The Stanley Cup Turns 125...the NHL 100
Donated by the former governor general, Lord Stanley in 1892, the Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy awarded to professional athletes in North America. In 1907, the Kenora Thistles beat the Montreal Wanderers to win the Cup...being the smallest town to hold Lord Stanley's silverware on high. Under the 'challenge cup' system, Montreal won it back within a couple months.
In 1917, the NHL was created.
In the 1924/25 season, the Victoria Cougars became the last team outside the NHL to win the Cup.

There are actually three versions of the Cup:
The original 1892 Stanley Cup, which was awarded to the champions until 1970 and which is now on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The Presentation Cup, created in 1963 which is the one seen every spring in the playoffs. And the Replica Cup which is kept at the Hall of Fame and brought out when the Presentation Cup is not available.
Will the Stanley Cup return to Canada in 2017?
Montreal was the last Canadian team to hoist the Cup...in 1993.
At least with Canadian players making up nearly half the league,
there will certainly be new Canadian names added to it every year.

75th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid
When the 6086 Canadian and British soldiers boarded their landing craft in the dark early hours of August 19, 1942, they had no idea that they were heading for disaster ~ or that over 60% of them would be killed, wounded or captured. The objective was to capture the port town of Dieppe...hold it for a while...destroy various strategic targets...gather intelligence...and then return to England. The response was to distract Germany from its efforts against the Russians. But, things went badly!
The Allies were outnumbered by a German force that had been warned by French double agents. Some units stayed offshore or didn't land when they were supposed to. Artillery and air cover were largely ineffective and when tanks came ashore they floundered in the loose-rock beach. Consequently, the force, made up primarily of 5,000 Canadians, was mainly trapped on the beach. The Royal Air Force lost 106 aircraft...the Royal Navy lost 33 landing craft...the Canadians suffered more than 900 deaths and 1,874 were taken prisoner.
Although failing to achieve their objectives,
the Allies provided vital information that would lead to new and better tactics
in the subsequent invasions of North Africa, Italy and the D-Day landings
of June 1944.

The Canada Games Turns 50
The Centennial Year of 1967, also marked the birth of what has become Canada's largest multisport competition for young athletes. Held in Quebec City initially, in recent years, events have included athletes with mental or physical disabilities. Since 1967, over 75,000 athletes have participated in the Canada Games...from every province and territory.

40 Years Since “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen Hung up His Skis
Born in 1875, in a town just south of Oslo, Norway, Herman Smith-Johannsen first visited Canada as a machinery salesman in 1902. Legend has it that during his visit to northern Ontario, he was befriended by a First Nations Cree, who nicknamed him Jackrabbit. Eventually settling in the Laurentians in Quebec, Smith-Johannsen is widely credited wtih the popularity of cross-country skiing in Canada. In 1972 he was named a Member of the Order of Canada.

His Cross Country Canada's Jackrabbit Program introduced children ages 6 to 9 to cross-country skiing. More than 130,000 children have taken part in this program over the years. He also established many races, ski schools and competitions...teaching generations of Canadians and Americans the joys of skiing in all forms. He also helped found The Canadian Ski Marathon!
He was a prime example of healthy aging...skiing every chance he got.
The man who lived and breathed skiing stayed healthy and active
until his death in 1987 at the age of 111.

How We Got Here!
The 10 provinces and 3 territories that we know today as Canada, didn't climb on the Confederation bandwagon all at once. Even Prince Edward Island, where the idea was first seriously discussed, didn't sign on until 1873, Here's a look at who joined when:
Ontario ~ 1867 British Columbia ~ 1871
Quebec ~ 1867 
 New Brunswick ~ 1867
Nova Scotia ~ 1867
Manitoba ~ 1870
 Northwest Territories ~ 1870 
British Columbia ~ 1871
Prince Edward Island ~ 1873
Yukon Territory ~ 1898 (today called Yukon)
Alberta ~1905
Saskatchewan ~1905
Newfoundland and Labrador ~1949
Nunavut ~ 1999
Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...May 20, 2017
Comments appreciated: mbairdkerr@cogeco.ca or inezkate@gmail.ca

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Winter Wonderment!

Lewis Carroll muses, “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields,
that it kisses them so gently? And then covers them up snug,
you know, with a white quilt...and perhaps it says,
Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

Many would love to escape winter! While others revel in the beauty of drifting snowflakes...the luster of snow-laden evergreen boughs...the human thrills of sleigh, ski, skate..and sled-dog-racing in the crisp freshness of a winter's morn.
Yet, others will complain and bitch about summer's hot, humid days!
Be advised, that Nature has solution-ed the foregoing
by giving us Spring and Autumn!
We are so fortunate to live geographically where we have four seasons!
Winter is just around the corner.
We hear of January/February heavy snows...we hear of slippery, icy roads...seniors fear to walk outside their doors...and for them, boredom and ennui set in! Oh, what? Oh what shall we do?

Cheer Up! Recent magazines and news give us reason
to delight in Christmas with seasonal activities.

RBG Blends Nature With the Holidays!
It's a Winter Wonderment! It's a Paradise! It's an Exhibition of Decor with Christmas niceties! It's a Place of Awe and Personal Enjoyment! It's a Garden of Light (as photographed by John Rennison:
David Lee and Hy Nguyen stop for a kiss under the mistletoe in the 'light tunnel'
at the end of a kilometre-long tour of the Rock Garden
which is illuminated by almost 150 coloured lights.
Winter Lights at the Rock” is part of the RBG's Holiday Traditions ~ and the light display is one of the Ontario 150 Celebrations marking Canada's 150th birthday.
Five interpretive stations along the tour explain how WINTER
has influenced our various cultures.

The Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Burlington, is a pillar of the community, offering endless opportunities to learn and explore. Both the largest botanical garden in Canada and a National Historic Site, RBG is a registered charitable organization with an established mandate to bring together people, plants and nature. Four distinct formal gardens are contained within 1,100 hectares of nature reserve, nestled into the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.

Families and friends can connect over mutual admiration and awe of the many historical plant collections...the Mediterranean Greenhouse...and 27 kilometres of nature trails. The changing seasons in Canada only add to the RBG's allure presenting new sights to see upon each visit. The RBG is also home to many excellent events, courses, tours and activities. The venue comes especially alive during the holidays with wonderful events and remarkable decor.
Holiday Traditions” runs from Nov. 18, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018.
Join the RBG performances, Santa experiences, exhibitions and more
as we welcome the holiday season.

Winter Escapes
A snowy vacation has a feeling of its own ~ cosy evenings in front of the fireplace...adventurous days on the slopes...relaxing moments at a spa...and delicious dining. This winter, discover a vacation that embraces snow! If unable to check out these destinations...at least, one can dream about them:

Bavarian Alps, Germany: One of the most picturesque landscapes, offering blue skies, majestic mountains and rolling hills. Take in a beautiful dusk, atop Watzmann, Germany's third highest mountain. Stroll through the Garmisch-Partenkirchen village filled with cosy Bavarian-style inns while you walk across the crunchy, glistening snow...you may even hear yodelling.

Patagonia, Argentina: Peaks, glaciers and rivers are just a few of the many beautiful scenes to be experienced in South America's outdoor wonderland of Patagonia. Also, home to the best whale-watching and penguin watching. Los Glaciares National Park is the most accessible ice fields in the world with cascading ice mountains stretching 30 kilometres long.

Jukkas Jarvi, Sweden: Jukasjarvi village is home to the famous Icehotel, a hotel made of ice from the Torne River....which is remodelled each year with a new design. Travel to view the stunning Northern Lights in Abisko National Park. Enjoy the Laplands via dog sled and immerse yourself in the Sami culture with the option of indulging in an authentic meal.

Gstaad, Switzerland: The Gstaad Palace is a family-friendly hotel. Offering 5 restaurants, a full-service spa and located around the corner from some of the most magnificent hot springs. View the landscapes from above via hot air balloon...stroll in the sky on the Peak Walk, a suspension bridge connecting two peaks...or ascend into the sky on a paragliding tour.

Whistler, Canada: More than just snow covered mountains, Whistler is a great place for all ages. Best known for its glorious abundance of powdery snow (ideal for skiing), explore the beautiful village based around the lifts for Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. The accessible walkway is perfect for outdoor excursions...taking you through forests, over creeks between stores and galleries. Take in the magnificent arts and culture scene. Known for excellence in food, wine and hospitality.

Save Driving Tips for the Winter Season
From heavy snow to slippery ice, Canadian winter weather conditions can change without warning and provide challenges on the road. Sean Griffin, vice-president of operations at UPS Canada...where drivers are trained to deal with the harsh winter weather says, “Safety means everything to us! Our training helps ensure our drivers master safe driving methods, no matter what road conditions they're faced with.” Here are his top tips:
Minimize distractions. Leave your phone out of reach and map your route in advance.
Stay on the main roads. Snow is often cleared off these roads first.
Leave plenty of space. It's ideal to leave at least 2 car lengths between you and the vehicle ahead.
Adjust your speed for road conditions. Icy or snowy roads call for slower speeds.
Check the weather. Plan your trip around changing weather patterns and difficult conditions.
Stay alert! Pack water and snacks to keep you energized for the trip.
If you're feeling too tired: stay at home!

Anne Bradstreet's Philosophy:
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome!”

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 25, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Safety Tips for the Christmas Season

Labour Day seemingly announced summer's end ~ and onset of Autumn.
Thanksgiving Day passed ~ honouring Nature's harvest, so bountiful.
Hallowe'en's weather deemed good for Trick 'n Treating.
Remembrance Day paid tribute to all our military.
And now Christmas is abloom with poinsettias ~ and the 'happiest time of the year'!

'Tis the season for stringing lights...hanging decorations...and making cookies.
Ensure you also have a safe holiday by following these decorating tips from Hydro One:

Check your cords for animal bites or 'wear and tear.' Do not use damaged cords.
All lights, cords, plugs and sockets should be CSA approved.
Do not use 'indoor lights' outdoors.
Use clips or insulated staples when hanging lights. Nails and tacks can damage cords.
Do not overload circuits. If lights dim when you plug in decorations, it is a sign that there is too much running on that circuit.
When using a ladder, ensure you are on even ground and that the ladder has slip-resistant pads. Look up and make sure there are no electricity lines nearby.
Keep indoor trees away from heat sources.
Don't overload your sockets (maximum 3 light strands in a row).
Use LED tea lights instead of wax candles. 
 If you are using candles, never leave them unattended...
and always extinguish completely before leaving the room. 
 In addition, ensure the fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home
 are in working order.
Turn off your lights before going to bed or while away from home.
Dispose of your 'live tree' soon (less than 4 weeks after putting it up)...and recycle!

When You Gamble With Safety ~ You Bet Your Life!”

Protect Yourself From Online Shopping Scams
The holiday season is prime time for fraudsters ~ so it's important to be vigilant when hunting down deals and searching for the best gift online.
Shop only on secure websites.
Double check that the website address begins with “https://” (the 's' stands for 'secure.'
Never send cash!
Be on the lookout for prices that are 'too good to be true' as they are likely counterfeits.
Do not use public Wi-Fi to shop online. Wait to get home...or use your data plan.
Read the site's privacy policy and find out how your information will be used.
Don't respond to an email or pop-up message that asks for financial information.
Read your credit card statements and check for authorized charges.
Don't allow auto-fill for your passwords or personal information (like your address)
and never allow a site to store your credit card information.
Find more tips online at canada.ca/money.

Ramsay Mansour, vice-president of corporate strategy and marketing at Purolator states:
Online shopping is a game-changer for how retailers prepare for the holidays. And whether you're a small business or large retailer, planning early and choosing the right shipping provider to deliver packages safely and on time is absolutely critical. FIRST check their website to see if they offer advice and tips about proper packaging; this will ensure packages arrive safely. NEXT, look online to see if the company provides holiday shipping deadlines ~ this can help ensure packages are delivered on time. LASTLY consider having your shipments delivered to a convenient shipping location, giving you the flexibility to have your shipments to pick up, or delivered.

And Then: Christmas Day Arrives!
A few years ago, I missed celebrating Christmas Day with my daughter, her immediate family, relatives and friends. They live on a rural property along a paved road in West Lincoln. Her husband called early Christmas Day to advise me of pending freezing rain later in the day. Considering my evening drive to return home, I contemplated the following:
The only lighting in the rural evening darkness was those of Christmas lights;
Did I want to drive these curving country roads, even though paved?
Did I want to risk descending Highway 20's winding hill into Stoney Creek?
Did I want to subject myself to these hazards?

In lieu of the foregoing, I remained safely in Burlington...enjoyed a glass or two of Merlot in a crystal wine glass...slices of Gouda cheese...and listened to joyous Christmas music. In so-doing, I reflected on a Christmas Day of many years ago, when as a child living on a country farm, my father, realized that Mom, isolated from her family on this day, planned a sleigh-ride through the snow-filled roads to her homestead about 10 miles away. Dad hitched 'Whistler', (one of our Clydesdale horses who was harnassed with attached leather straps of sleigh bells) to the sleigh. Our gifts were hand-crafted clothing of scarves and mittens, and jars of preserves...my father contributed wooden tools.
With pen in hand, I wrote in detail this unique experience
that fulfilled my mother's hope ~ spending Christmas with her parents and adult siblings
and titled it: A Country Christmas.
Also stranded on Christmas Day, were American friends in eastern N.Y. State whose family was out-of-town. Emailing this true childhood story, would interest them because they were strictly 'city-slickers'.
Communicating by telephone, we, together enjoyed Christmas Day.
Thrilled, I was, that the following year, my writing was published in local newspapers!

Christmas waves a magic wand over the world ~
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
(Norman Vincent Peale)

'Tis the season to be jolly ~
Fa-la-la-la-la! La La La La!

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 25, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

Canada's Walk of Fame (2017)

Usually the actual ceremony is televised ~
although the current inductees were recipients in Toronto on November 15, 2017.
I've read that the event will be televised on December 3 of this year.
It may interest you to watch it...supposedly on Global.

The Stars on Canada's Walk of Fame are displayed in downtown Toronto
along King Street West between John Street and Simcoe Street:
open to the public for viewing.

The Canada's Walk of Fame Honour...
is bestowed annually to Canadians who have excelled in their respective fields.
  • Nominee must have been born in Canada or have spent their formative or creative years in Canada.
  • Nominee must have a minimum of 10 years' experience in their field and have an established body of work.
  • Nominee must have had national or international impact on Canada's heritage.
  • The nominee should represent the essence of the Canadian identity: Peace Loving, Diverse, Harmonious, Socially Responsible, Creative, Confident, Innovative and Successful.

The Selection Process: To date, 167 Canadians have been inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. Each year, an Executive Selection Committee (made up of CWOF Board and Executives) choose the inductees from a long list of deserving Canadians who fit the above criteria. The Canadian public is encouraged to put forward their recommendations via the CWOF website or by mail. All qualified public recommendations are then added to the list for the Executive Selection Committee.
All nominations received before December 31 of the current year
will count towards the following year's inductee selection process.

Walk of Fame to Add Diverse Group of Canadians
(listed alphabetically)
(as published by David Friend ~ The Canadian Press on October 26, 2017)
Donovan Bailey: is a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist and 3-time world champion sprinter who once held the 100-metre world record.

Stompin' Tom Connors: Canadian folk icon who died of kidney failure in 2013, is hailed as a writer of Canada's cultural songbook with staples like “Bud the Spud,”...“The Hockey Song ...and “Sudbury Saturday Night.”

Viola Desmond: who died in 1965, emerged as a figure who challenged racial segregation in Nova Scotia during the 1940's after being jailed for sitting in the 'whites-only' section of a movie theatre. She fought the charges in court, and after losing various proceedings, closed her business and left the province. Desmond is often credited as Canada's Rosa Parks' 1955 challenge of bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama. In 2010, Desmond was given posthumous pardon and an apology from the Nova Scotia government. More recently, she was featured in both a Heritage Minute and chosen to grace the new Canadian $10 bill.

Anna Paquin: The youngest Canadian to win an Academy Award, captured the honour for her role in the 1993 film “The Piano” and has gone on to play Rogue in the “X-Man” movie franchise and Sookie in HBO's “True Blood.”

Ted Rogers, the late president and CEO of Rogers Communications Inc. who died in 2008, is considered a seminal figure in Canada's broadcasting landscape. His upstart company stepped into the cable industry in 1967 and in the decades that followed, became a dominant player in TV, radio and publishing.

David Suzuki, who holds a PhD in zoology, rose to international fame with his CBC-TV program “The Nature of Things” which has aired around the world. He's also an outspoken activist for numerous causes, including his own David Suzuki Foundation which encourages living in a sustainable environment.
This year's Canada's Walk of Fame additions bring the number of inductees to 173.

Royalty Honoured!
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip Mark 70th Wedding Anniversary
Published in The Washington Post, Karla Adam from London wrote:
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, celebrated 70 years of marriage on Monday ~ the longest union of any monarch in British history.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, was one of many to congratulate the royal couple:
They have devoted their lives to the service of the UK and the Commonwealth ~
my best wihes to them both on this special occasion.”

Sending my best wishes to Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh,
celebrating 70 years of marriage!” tweeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Elizabeth was a 21-year-old princess when she married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, a 26-year-old Royal Navy officer, in an elaborate ceremony at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. At the time, Britain was still reeling from the end of the Second World War. Winston Churchill famously described the occasion as “a flash of colour on the hard road we travel.”

The Queen, now 91, is the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary. On their 50th anniversary, the Queen described Prince Philip as 'Someone who doesn't take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”
Dickie Arbiter, the Queen's former press secretary said that one of the secrets
to their long marriage is that the queen and duke make each other laugh
and enjoy each other's company...and further stated,
'They have love, humour, togetherness, compassion, compatibility and conversation .
They are never short of anything to say to each other.'

The Queen is Britain's longest-reigning monarch, having surpassed the record set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. Prince Philip, 96, is Britain's longest-serving consort.
He recently retired from pubic life.”
The palace released a number of photographs
by the celebrity photographer Matt Holyoak to mark the wedding anniversary.”

Merle Baird-Kerr...written November 25, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Sexual Harassment ~ Comments and Advice!

90% of workplace harassment is never officially reported!
8 in 10 women and girls experience sexual harassment in public spaces.

A young brunette-haired woman displays sign re men with sexual advances:
Because you're encroaching on my Fundamental Human Right
to be able to walk down the street without being groped or harassed!

Rape is the Ultimate Theft of Self-Control!
It often leads to a breakdown in the victim's sense of self-worth!

Leora Tananbaum in her article states, “Girls who are molested often go on to be engaged in risky behaviour...having intercourse at an early age...not using controceptions...smoking, drinking and doing drugs. This behaviour is at least in part because of 'their self-perception' as autonomous, worthy human beings in control of their environment...Has Been Taken From Them!”

Silence (by Robert Frost)
Never be bullied into silence!
Never allow yourself to be a victim!
Accept no one's definition of your life!
Define Yourself!

Men Must Grow Up: Not Shy Away From Women
(Excerpts from an article by Judith Timson...published in the Toronto Star Nov. 20/17)
Calling all men! In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment and alleged sexual assault scandal and the resultant tsunami of further allegations against prominent men, here are your new instructions. Cancel The Office Holiday Party ~ It Could Lead to Flirting!
Rethink one-on-one business meetings off-sight with female colleagues.
You never know when one of them will claim, you behaved 'inappropriately'!
Don't smile at a woman on the street or offer any observation that could be misconstrued.
Avoid unknown ~ and even known~ women. Too Dangerous!

And listen, if you come across a female accident victim and you're a man, think twice about CPR because you know, you may have to touch her chest...and what if she takes it the wrong way?

Heed the fact that many women and some men, emboldened by the 'MeToo campaign', have begun naming their harassers everywhere.
Those named and accused ~ some apologizing, some denying ~ are losing
their jobs, empires, corporate sponsorships, reputations and the support
of decent people everywhere!
So, are all men guilty? Are you that guy? Should all men be very afraid of either being exposed?Are you now or have you ever been a sexual harasser ~ or of making one wrong move? Of course not. There are a multitude of 'good men' out there who have never harassed anyone.

We've seen everything from a furtive bottom squeeze to a vicious rape included in these accusations.
From masturbating in front of female colleagues to sabotaging their dignity by verbal sexualizing.

It's mystifying that even after decades of consciousness-raising and specific workplace programs, men can still claim not to know the difference between what's appropriate and what's harassment.
Men Do Know that's it's outside the frame of civil or legal behaviour!
They want to harass anyway! They think they can get away with it!
Women entering the work force have had to quickly grow up...toughen their skins...
navigate all sorts of hard-nosed professional environments.

So Men: Do grow up and don't cancel the office party and don't shy away from professional relationships with women. Be warm, respectful, smart, funny and civil. Learn from them!

Country Music's Power Couple Speaks Out
(published in the Washington Post)
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill talk about Respecting Women
During a concert in downtown Washington, D.C.this fall, Tim McGraw performed “Humble and Kind” the quiet Grammy-winning ballad that urges people to “Hold the Door, Say Please and Thank You; Don't Steal, Don't Cheat and Don't Lie.” The country music singers have embarked on a Soul2Soul world tour together this year performing their combined hits to thousands in arenas. This spring they released a duet called Speak to a Girl (she just wants you to say what you mean and to mean everything that you're saying/Cause that's how you talk to a woman, that's how you speak to a girl), which urged respectful treatment of women, months before Keith Urban's “Female”.
Pay attention to the lyrics of that song,” McGraw ordered the 'young men' in the Washington crowd. “and young women expect it. Every single time.”

One Man Kills Another Man's Joy
Submitted by a previous comment in The Spec's 'Readers Write” column,
an Ancaster resident responds, Every man should speak of women in honourable and respectable ways.
Every man ought to speak up in defence of women who are harassed and molested.
Every man ought to challenge other men who who speak or act abusively to women, also when it's 'locker-room talk' or in a 'boys' club.
Every man ought to set the example of speaking and acting politely with respect to women.
Every man should teach his sons to respect women at all times; teach his daughters this is their due!
Every man should adjust his language...change his ways ...stand beside his wife and daughters and friends to bring justice and fairness with respect to gender.

Cudos to Dan from Burlington who wrote: TRY A STIFF ELBOW TO THE GROIN!
After reading Lorraine Sommerfeld's article about sexual assault, Dan wrote the foregoing
defence tactic. “Ladies, your best weapon in self-defence are elbows and knees. How simple it would be for a woman to draw back her elbow...make a fist...and deliver a blow to the groin. If this is not your style, then I would like to paraphrase feminist Camille Paglia who said, “Women have to learn to be more verbally aggressive. Disdain, coolness and humour work wonders against men who cross the boundaries of respectable behaviour. Nothing deflates a man's ego more than a woman's laughter!

Judith Batler's View
Sexual Harassment law is very important. But I think it would be a mistake if the Sexual Harassment law movement is the only way in which feminism is known in the media!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written November 20, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Despicable!

Judith Lewis Herman (re trauma and recovery) writes:
In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpretator does everything in his power to promote 'forgetting' and if the secrecy fails, the perpretator attacks the credibility of his victim.
If he cannot silence her, absolutely, he tries to make sure no one is listening!

Further, she states, “...in practice, the standard for what constitutes rape is set, not at the level of women's experience of violation ~ but just above the level of coercion acceptable to man!”

Since the Bill Cosby episodes (still ungoing), numerous other persons
are publically forwarding “sexual assault(s)” inflicted on them
by business associates, men at bars and those in 'high places'.
It's despicable that there are literally thousands of others' sexually assaulted'
whose names lack notoriety in the press.

In The Hamilton Spectator's “In Brief” Article (November 17):
20 More Accuse Spacey of Inappropriate Actions who claim, “Kevin Spacey acted inappropriately toward them, while he was working as artistic director of The Old Vic between 2004 and 2015,” according to an investigation completed by the theatre. The Old Vic released a statement on Thursday stating it 'received 20 personal testimonies of Spacey's alleged behaviour. No one was a minor at the time...and those who enountered Spacey's behavior did not know how to react...and therefore, did not come forward. All but 2 of the instances happened before 2009, according to the investigation.
The theatre's statement issued an apology for not creating a better environment
where people would feel safe about coming forward.

Woman Blasts Netflix for Renewing The Ranch: A woman accused Danny Masterson of rape is speaking out against Netflix for renewing and promoting the actor's show “The Ranch.” Chrissie Carnell Bixler told the Daily Beast, “I was sick when I read Netflix' s statement on continuing with 'The Range' and continuing their working relationship with a man who has violently raped her...and abused so many women.” Bixler who claimed the Church of Scientology brushed her allegations aside, accused Netflix of doing the same. Masterson, a Scientologist best known for his role on “That '70's Show,' produces and acts alongside Ashton Kutcher in the Netflix show. Months after the LAPD confirmed it was investigating Masterson for sexual assault, Netflix announced it would release new episodes of “The Ranch.” The streaming service took a markedly different approach after Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct, cutting ties with the “House of Cards” actor and suspending production. Masterson has been accused of raping 4 women in the early 2000's.

SUNY Strips Weinstein of Honourary Degree: Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged abuse of women has cost him an honourary degree he received form his old school. The State University of New York on Wednesday formally revoked the honourary doctorate Weinstein received from the university in Buffalo...a SUNY school, in 2000. “Today, the SUNY board of trustees made it clear that harrassment or sexual misconduct, in any form, will not be tolerated by the State University of New York. Weinstein attended the university from 1969 through 1973.”

Mark Schwahn Suspended from The Royals: After being accused of sexual harrassment, on the set of “One Tree Hill,” The studios said, “Mark Schwahn has been suspended from its current show, 'The Royals,' as we continue our investigation. “Royals” star Alexandra Park said that she had been exposed to this reprehensible behaviour, and that she wants to see a 'new normal' in the industry now plagued by sexual misconduct allegations. Over the weekend, writer Audrey Wauchope accused Schwahn of inappropriate behaviour on the WB show. The female cast and crew issued a statement backing Wauchope on Monday. The male co-stars followed suit with statements.

Andy Henry Accused of Urging Women to Disrobe: Five women have come forward alleging a former casting staff member for the CBS drama 'CSI' pressured them to remove their clothes. The accusers claim Andy Henry encouraged them to stick around after his group edition workshop courses ended so he could further instruct them privately, according to a new report by The Hollywood Reporter. But as their private session progressed, Jenny Kern, an aspiring actress at the time, claims Henry suggested she take off more and more clothing...starting with her bra, as a way of bringing 'more vulnerability' to the performance. Several other accusers shared similar stories. Another woman, Mandy June Turpin, claims Henry touched her breast and shoulders during their alleged encounter. Henry said in a state ment to THR that he “doesn't believe or recall” the fondling allegation, but did apologize for encouraging women to disrobe during the private audition tutorials. Once allegations of Henry's ploys came to light in 2008, he was fired from both “CSI” and his own private firm, according to THR. He has since helped cast major films including, “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”
(The foregoing are excerpts from Nov. 17th publication by News Services)

Sierra D. Waters' Solution:
I wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. I hadn't even taken a shower...and I did not put on an ounce of makeup. I grabbed a worn-out-black oversized jacket to cover myself, even though it is warm outside. I had made conscious decisions lately....to look like 'less of what I thought a male would want to see me.' I want to disappear from such male(s)!
Kate McGarry's Solution:
Hand off my ass ~ or I'll rip off your balls!!! And it works!

Positive Explanation Needed
Since most sexual abuse begins well before puberty, preventive education, if it is to have any effect at all, should begin early in grade school. Ideally, information on sexual abuse should be integrated into a general curriculum of 'Sex Education.' In those countries, where the experiment has been tried, it has been shown conclusively, that children can learn what they need to know about sexual abuse without undue fright...or developing, generally negative sexual attitudes. (Unknown Author)

Some Christian families (and other religious sects) object to
'Sexual Education' in both elementary and secondary schools...strongly believing
that such information should be given at home by the parents. Yet, do they do so?
My family with strong Christian principles was a prime example. I was not even informed about a 'monthly period' that girls have!!! Yet, my sister and I had the bi-jesus kicked into us...if we ever did anything unapproved by our parents. Lying and swearing were absolute sins...and Sundays were reserved for worshiping God in Sunday School and Church services...at the local Baptist Church.

Pregnancies in Grade 7 and 8: As a teacher of Senior Public School classes, 'Sex Education' was never part of the curriculum. Yet, I had 3 senior girls (1 Grade 7 and 2 Grade 8's) who had become pregnant! With a couple girls who had not yet told their parents, I sat with them (for support) in private conversations with their mothers as they were informed.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written November 17, 2017