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I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive

Legendary country singer-songwriter Hank Williams (with an assist from Fred Rose) summed it up best with the title of the last single released before his untimely death in January 1953 (also the title of this blog). Like Hank, none of us are getting out of this world alive; every single one of us is going to die. The fact that we allow the threat of death to hang over our heads like a black cloud is one of the reasons our government – all governments – use fear-mongering as a weapon.

The COVID-19 crisis has many people examining their own mortality, and rightfully so. Initial reports on the virus were downright frightening. Some models claimed as many as 65-100 million deaths worldwide were possible. Of course those of us who do our own research, dig deep in the dirt to find information outside of the governmental echo chamber, knew a month or so into this thing, that those numbers were way off.

Thanks to the daily data coming in from scientists around the world, it’s clear that COVID-19, while serious and dangerous, is not the next black plague. The information is out there, if you look hard enough. So why are some people still living in deep fear? I’m not talking about the elderly or those with underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus. I’m talking about, young, relatively sane and healthy people.

I see it every day: people driving around, alone in their vehicles, wearing masks. People walking outside, alone, wearing masks. Why? There are people afraid to leave their residence, posting memes on Facebook saying Stay Home, Save Lives. Says who? Maybe at first, but that’s simply not the consensus among scientists at the moment. Most are saying we actually need to be outside. A recent article stated that 66% of the deaths in New York, one of the hardest hit places in the world, came during lockdown.

It’s important to point out that there are a lot of elderly folks – at least locally – who are out every day, living their life; walking, driving, getting groceries. My best friend, who happens to be 81, and at high risk for getting the virus, says it’s time for people to get back to living. She’s not afraid; if the virus gets her, it gets her. She doesn’t want to die, but she’s not going to live in fear. About the virus, my father said, “it’s something people in my age group (he’s 76) have to deal with.”

So why are the majority of Canadians still living like we are in the midst of the next great plague? The answer is simple: government, and government funded media. The Canadian government doesn’t seem to want to listen to anyone outside of their own ‘experts’. The initial reaction was the correct one in my opinion, and as I stated in my previous blog, the provincial governments have done a good job dealing with the crisis. The Federal government failed out of the gate, and continue to do so.

The Liberals seem more interested in using the crisis to push their agenda, than actually help people. How can anyone forget the PPE Canada sent to China in February, just as our own frontline workers needed it the most? It’s also hard to forget the $300,000,000 emergency stockpile that was nowhere to be found when needed. Add on top of that the $850,000,000 the Liberals promised to the China-controlled WHO, after ample evidence has shown the WHO covered up the virus along with China, and the Liberals’ interests seem quite clear.

Like the American government, the Canadian government just couldn’t help themselves. They saw an opportunity to take advantage of the situation, to loot the taxpayers and add more than a quarter trillion dollars to our national debt, which as of today (May 13, 2020), according to the National Debt Clock, sits at more than $740,000,000,000. Once the new debt is added it will be over one trillion. Currently, our debt grows by nearly $29,000,000 per hour. How will this ever be paid off?

Something had to be to done to help Canadians when this crisis first arose, and the government leapt into action, promising everyone who needed a helping hand they would get it. The need for many at the time is not something that can be argued, it had to be done. But once it became clear that the virus wasn’t as big a threat as first thought, why did the Liberals continue to spend like drunken sailors? Why did they insist, and still insist, that it’s not safe to restart the economy?

Keeping the elderly and the most vulnerable safe needs to be the top priority, but keeping the government thumb on Canadian citizens is wrong. Places like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, Home Depot, Costco, grocery stores, etc., have been open throughout all of this, and people haven’t been dropping dead in record numbers. One of my relatives recently relayed a story regarding a recent trip to the liquor store. He said it was a steady stream of people. No social distancing. Yet we’ve only had 3 confirmed cases, and no hospitalizations.

In rural areas people have been discouraged from going outside. In some places people are being warned about walking in the woods or going to the lake: some are even being fined! Say what? Is this China or Russia? So the virus isn’t a danger in stores or at coffeeshops and fast food chains, but outside is deadly? Not according to science. In a recent article, Dr. Scott W. Atlas, from Stanford’s Hoover Institution, said the “overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19.”

Atlas lays out five reasons in the above linked article to end the panic and total isolation many in government continue to push. Atlas isn’t a lone wolf, he’s one of many scientists saying the same thing. The political reasons for the American government to continue their lockdowns are clear, if you’ve been paying attention. But in Canada there seems to be no other reason to keep everyone locked up other than the Nanny State’s favourite reason, “Because we told you so!” That and it gives them a reason to keep giving taxpayers their own money.

(It’s almost as if they’re giving out bribe money. Could a snap election be around the corner? Don’t be surprised to see one in the next year or so.)

It’s interesting to note that the Atlas article is from April 22! The data that has come out since then is even more clear. People need to get back to work, to living. With caution, of course, but it needs to happen. Now. The Ontario government opened 500 provincial parks and conservation areas this week, and they plan to open more tomorrow (Friday May 15, 2020). It’s time to get the economy and the country open, as well.

Since Canada is still a (relatively) free country, people can choose to live in fear or choose to get back to living. The choice is ours. We need to use common sense of course, but it’s time to stop allowing misinformation and the government-funded media to control us with their biggest tool, fear.

“No matter how I struggle and strive, I’ll never get out of this world alive” – Hank Sr.

 

We Don’t Need No Thought Control

I’m amazed at the number of people who blindly trust our government, and think there isn’t an agenda behind almost everything they do. Perhaps wannabe socialists and people with brains the size of walnuts believe (or perhaps expect) the government will take care of them. The same goes with government funded media that is basically a propaganda machine for the left; people put way too much faith in the mainstream news.

The information available outside the mainstream media is staggering. And I’m not talking about the conspiracy theory or extreme leftwing/rightwing nutcase sites (flat earthers, anyone?). I’m talking about legitimate sources. There are still good people in the world who want to get to the truth; people who take both the left and right to task when they step out of line; people who give a shit about other people. You won’t find too many of them on tv, but they are out there.

With the data and the information coming in daily about the current crisis, there’s no need for people to not be properly informed. Ask questions. It’s time to turn off the tv news; it’s time to use our brains. Yes, we have to actually dig and do a lot of research and, God forbid, practice critical thinking. It’s time to shake off the dust and start exercising that thing incased in bone between our shoulders.

The current crisis is not a left or right situation, although our politicians (naturally) are doing their best to make it so. I commend all parties for their efforts in dealing with something none of use have dealt with in our lifetime (at least not to this extent). They may have reacted slowly at first, but then they put their trust in organizations and countries that maybe don’t have our best interests at heart.

Our government has done reasonably well considering the circumstances. Minus our Prime Minister, who is a complete embarrassment. Hiding at home while other leaders are out on the frontlines is completely unacceptable. The young women and men working at grocery stores, etc., are braver than our PM. They’re not hiding at home, they’re on the frontlines, and only making minimum wage. (Well done.)

We’re at a point where our leaders are refusing to listen to anyone outside of their own experts. Why is that? Scientists around the world are writing papers and doing interviews, trying to help governments avert economic, social and mental health disasters. Too late on the economic and mental health disaster front, those ships sailed weeks ago and wrecked on the rocks of reality. (The bill will be coming due shortly.)

Scientists, doctors and health officials around the globe are saying we need to be outside, not locked down. People like David Atlas, Knut Wittkoswki, Micheal Savage and Anders Tegnell, to mention only a few names, are speaking out against governmental overreach and fear-mongering. They all say the same thing: we need to isolate and care for the elderly and those most at risk, not shut down the entire world.

So why is our government ignoring all of the new information coming out daily? Is it because they love control (they do), and the more they get, the more they want (hello!)? Is it because they can’t admit they’ve overreacted (they have), that most of their models so far have been wrong (they have)? Or is it simply the fact that our government, like all governments, can never admit when they’re wrong?

Hey, it’s okay to say: “we made mistakes, but we were doing our best based on the data we had at the time.” There have been no simple answers. What works in New York likely isn’t going to work in Edmonton or a small northern community. I believe in the beginning everyone did the best they could – with the exception of communist countries, of course – but now it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate.

With the announcement today that the beaches, boat launches and park lockdowns are being extended until the end of May (and then it will be June, and so on, and so on), the government once again proves they are not listening to anyone outside their own echo chamber. According to scientists, people need to be outside. Look at Sweden and the American states that haven’t locked down. Do the math.

Parks are closed in Ottawa, but walk-throughs are still permitted. That information is available right on the Ottawa website. We in the north can’t go walking on our hiking trails, but in the nation’s capital it’s okay to walk through parks as long you practice social distancing? Why is that, I wonder? Perhaps because the government doesn’t want thousands of protestors on parliament hill (and all over the news)?

There’s no rhyme or reason behind some of the measures being taken. Gatherings of up to 5 people are permitted, but you can’t park at the lake and sit in your cars (six feet apart) in the fresh air? In a city with a population of close to 1.4 million people, you can walk through parks, but in a town of 10,000 + you can’t go to the lake or walk in the bush? Toronto (combined population 6.1 million) is doing the same thing as Ottawa, by the way.

Go for a drive out back of town, and you will see side roads lined with cars, people finding other places to get out in the bush. We can walk past each other in the grocery stores and on sidewalks, but we can’t walk past someone in the bush? Nonsense. Our mayor and council are acting like they’re running New York City. It’s absurd. To their credit, most of what they are doing is by order of the province.

I’ve been reading comments on forums, etc., from seemingly intelligent people in this country (and other countries) who are all too willing to just accept what we are being told. It’s a bit frightening when you think about it. I’m convinced millions of people would load themselves on to rail cars and gleefully march into gas chambers if the government told them it was for their own good.

The information is out there, if you dig deep enough. Like many other people, I’ve been combing through the mountains of information daily since late January. I’m not asking anyone to take my word for it, find out for yourselves. We need to start using common sense while dealing with this crisis, and the government needs to stop the nanny state bullshit. They work for the people, not the other way around, and they don’t own or control us or our thoughts (although they certainly act as if they do).

Stay safe, be smart and ask questions.

 

William

We scattered your ashes out in your favorite place; the ridge overlooking the lake that goes on forever. The place where you would ride your dirt bike for days on end and pose for photographs high atop the cliffs. It seems fitting that your final resting place would be so far from civilization; far from the madness of the concrete confines of the city cage where you lived and worked and dreamed about a future life in the wilderness.

The trees, rocks and water that brought you back time and time again with the promise that you would one day retire in this place you called “Paradise,” surrounded us as we said our final goodbyes. It was your plan to live out your years among the wolves, bears, foxes, eagles and other creatures and critters that populate this place. This was God’s Country for you, and you longed to come home – spirit and flesh joined together for eternity.

Unlike you, dear one, we didn’t ride the winding trails and navigate treacherous terrain to deliver you to your resting place. We came by car, as far as the road would bring us. We hiked the rest of the way, your mother and I. It was your day of birth – Nov. 29th – and despite the forecasted rain and cold, the skies opened up early in the morning and the sun blessed us with its warmth. It was as if you and your sister had pulled a few strings with the creator.

As we slowly made our way to the place in the photo – the one where you are sitting on your dirt bike, perched perilously close to the edge of the cliff – we talked about you as if you were there with us. And you were there with us, whispering on the wind as we negotiated the final steps to where the photo had been taken so long ago.

It was a production getting your ashes out of the box (“don’t waste any money on a fancy urn,” you always said). I forgot to bring a knife, so I used my house key to cut open the plastic bag that held your powdered remains. I took a deep breath and secured myself safely inside the pine tree that lives at the edge of the cliff.

As we took turns scattering your ashes, a strong gust of wind came and carried you out into the canyon, down among the trees and into the lake below. It was beautiful. Some of your ashes clung to the base of the tree, and your mother said, “the tree will grow bigger, now.”

After we finished scattering your ashes, we found a giant rock and sat for awhile. The pain and stress of the last two months came crushing down on my heart like a load of gravel. I was overwhelmed with emotion. Thoughts of you (and of my mother, who died shortly after you passed away) knocked the wind from my chest. For a second I thought my heart might crack wide open. “We love you, Bill,” I said. “We love you.”

As we made our way back to the car, the stress and anxiety of what has been a hard year melted away. You were at peace. It felt like a heavy weight had been lifted from my heart. Your mother would later say the same thing. She felt your presence out on the cliff, and she was happy you were finally home.

 

Mother

“I love you, Mom.” Those were the last words I spoke to my mother while she was alive. There were words of comfort at the hospital less than a week later, as much for myself as they were for her. “Go be with Violet.” My mother’s mother, Violet, died when Mom was just seventeen. And now, as she lay unconscious, struggling to breathe; as the cancer that had wracked her body for years smothered the last bit of life from her chest, I encouraged her to go be with her Mom.

My mother and I had a very complicated relationship. It was rocky and full of unpleasant encounters and fights that now seem so petty and childish. Her life wasn’t easy. She was so wounded and broken. Negativity oozed from every single cell in her body. Yet I loved her, even though there were times when I thought I hated her. I came to understand in the last decade or so that it wasn’t hate that I felt, but dislike. Dislike of some of her actions. Her words. My absence was self-preservation more than anything.

In many ways we are a mirror of our parents. And maybe that’s one of the things that bothered me the most about my mother. I saw in her some of the things I didn’t like about myself. Like a wild beast locked in a cage, she would lash out at anyone who got too close, even the ones who tried to help her. I too had been like this once. Her mental health issues reared up like a three-headed snake at different times, and the depression and hurt would make her spew vile from her lips.

The fact that I had trouble being around my mother as she got older says as much about me as it does about her. I simply didn’t have the patience or the desire to rebuild what had been fractured. Some things can’t be fixed. We would go long periods, up to a year sometimes, without speaking. The manipulation, the lying, it became too much for me. Mostly, though, I didn’t like the person I became around her. Most of the time I wasn’t nice to my mother. We brought out the worst in each other.

She could be loving, mother, but her friendships always came with an expiration date. She sought in others what she herself lacked. No matter where she moved – and she was always running, searching, hiding – my mother would befriend an older woman who would become “Mom” to her. These relationships always ended the same, with “Mom” becoming the enemy. My mother expected so much, from everyone, from the world, from life.

In the end, my mother admitted she wasn’t afraid to die, she had been afraid to live. It was extremely hard to hear those words. Her mental health struggles, her brokenness, had so overwhelmed her throughout her life, my mother lived in a frozen state of fear, desiring so much, but unable to break the chains and live the kind of life she longed for. We forget that our parents are people, flesh and blood beings with hopes, fears, desires, dreams and hurts.

I didn’t cry when my mother slipped from this world to the next. I still haven’t shed a single tear. My heart ached, and still does. I feel different, empty in so many ways. I think about her. It’s still so raw,  her death. I try to process our relationship, to understand how it deteriorated so badly over the decades. How this woman who used to sit and watch hockey games with me; who put up with my music obsession and listened to some god-awful bands in my teens, became someone I hardly knew.

One memory sticks in my mind; it’s tattooed permanently on my heart. It was my eighth or ninth birthday. My father was missing in action, off drunk somewhere (before he sobered up and completely changed his life). Mother scratched up a bit of change and sent my brother to the corner store. Later that afternoon, mom presented me with a cake – the kind that came out of a box that included the container to cook it in and all the mix – and a tiny, toy car (actually, a small front-loading tractor). It wasn’t much, but it was all she had. It stands as one of my best birthdays ever.

She was complicated, and scarred; beaten down by personal demons, but my mother loved me and my brothers in her own way. And now she is gone, along with a piece of me.

“I love you, Mom.”