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Today is Tuesday, January 27 / 2015

Monrning wind chill is - 28C

Today is International Holocaust Day

The Greek Election
Two Lost Sons
Hong Kongers ready to escape again
Yemen what happened and why it's important

Bill & Melinda Gates' Annual Newsletter:TheirBigBet

Follow the Logic - Peter March's discussion on attaining peace


Willie Nelson & Norah Jones - Baby, it's cold outside

Opinions & Analysis

Conservative Scholar Helped Shape Stephen Harper's Worldview
Walter Berns inspired a generation of Alberta conservatives
. . . Strauss argued that those in power have the right to lie to the masses to achieve their means.

More on Strauss philosophy: ". . . clandestine cabals with secrets imparted from teacher to disciple . . . Strauss promoted mass deception and perpetual war. . . " ReadHere

CalgarySchool WikiMoreHere


Gwynne Dyer

With Allies Like These ReadHere

The Greek Election ReadHere

Gwynne Dyer's books >>BuyOnAmazonHere

Michael Harris

Harper’s success part of a global network of lies … and liars

Trading shots in Iraq, twisting facts in Ottawa

Michael Harris' books >>BuyOnAmazonHere

New York Prepares for Blizzard Amid Warnings of Closings and Hazards

It’s not ‘mission creep’ — it’s a war zone IPolitics


The bloom is off the boom: How Alberta blew it


Auschwitz liberation's 70th anniversary focuses on survivors


Welcome to our discusssion board

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3. Send your comments, dissenting opinions, questions, ideas. They will be posted the same day.

Peter March


Dr. Peter March welcomes all forms of critical remark.

World Peace

Q - Why are we all so pessimitic about our future?

A - Peter - The Logic of Pessimism . . . What we need is a quantum leap over all of all these disaster scenarios - there just isn't time to deal with them separately READ HERE

* Kirk E. Very thought provoking. Well done. I agree about panic mindsets. One thing about the mounting deaths of species - call them animals with similar characteristics (or species for short) - is that the disappearance of species is not always explained by animals adapting en mass to their environment to the point of no more of those antiquated species.The thing is that many animals aren't adapting. They're simply dying off. That's not evolution; the animals haven't produced offspring that's better suited to the environment than the parents; the offspring just stops springing off. The line ends, no new evolutionary story begins, and we're not left with new species or different animals to replace the now defunct ones. This isn't environmental panicism, I'm just watching the numbers dwindle. I'm not saying your logic of pessimism is wrong; only that the evolution example doesn't help it much.

* Peter @ Kirk - They die off. The present is no rival to the extinctions in geological time. That's one thing, another is that we don't, can't detect the evolution of new species. Anothe that undoubtedly we shall be. Able to bring back 'sppecies' by using their DNA. Thanks. Emery what you say is true, of course, just a matter of being positive and optimistic. I really would miss the. Monarchs on my hikes. Such utterly gorgeous creatures.

Peter @ Kirk - The 'species' thing is deeper than you think. Species can't die out if they don't exist. You say, Oh, come on, we almost lost all the whales. Well, the whales are one branch of a tree of cetaceans containing hundreds of animal types which common sense say that are not whales of this or that type. But the tree has branches and the branches branches and the branches, branches of branches, in a glorious tesselation. And all the branches right down to the individual are changing in ways which pass on their genes either acquired by transfer or by reproduction. That really is a different picture. It has consequences.

* Ronald C - I agree that we should avoid panic over individual problems. This is almost always misguided and ill-considered. In regard to big questions such as: is climate change happening or about to happen, or are we in the midst of a mass extinction, my answer is: Ask me in a million years. By then we may know or at least have an inkling. I do think that we did respond to Rachel Carson's warning. We did ban DDT, which helped make the noises of spring return. But also returning was malaria, which had almost been eliminated. Now malaria is a huge killer once again in Africa and elsewhere. This demonstrates the complexity of systems and attempted solutions within complex systems, and the many unexpected consequences of our attempts to solve these problems.

* Sher - I agree. There is logic in pessimism. Science and medicine tempt us, briefly, into wanting a longer life, but life soon teaches us that temptation is an insidious beast. Climate change? It's - 62C in Iqaluit tonight. Evolution of species? I've listened to mother orcas scolding their young and the songs of humpbacks. My thoughts always end with, "Is there a grand design?"

Anyone else?

Other comments? Add yours here


Q - Sher - Peter, what is the big deal about money?

A. Peter - Money, The Essential Commodity . . . I was told a hundred times that money does not make one happy. And its . . . But the fact is . . . READ HERE

* Peter -- I think the idea that money is evil, the root of all evil, is pressed upon us on pain of being , oh, blind or stupid. Money makes us happy because it is a sign that we are being rewarded, that is a sign that we are learning something, that learning then promotes our survival as homo sapiens (those who know). So, happiness is a promising sign, money produces it, so money is a promising sign. Mind you, there are lots of things which make YAMS happy: fighting, killing, hurting, humiliating, raping, bullying. All repulsive, but happyfying for those with IMHOP, that's the problem, that happiness does come from money but also from abhorrent behavior and this gives it a bad name. So, yes, money makes us happy and happiness is also the root of all evil, so it looks like money is the root of all evil, when it ain't.

* Nathan - It's the love of money not money per se that is the root of all evil.

* Peter @ Nathan - Right. We don't think one should love money because then it rates top billing in ethics and that would imply criminal, sadistic, cruel, stupid behaviour just for the love of money. So money has to accept a lower rating, perhaps a very low rating. Will think about this. I hasve always pretended that money didn't matter and that didn't work out so well - though I've been very, very lucky in that department. So maybe I've gotten away with self-deception on this one. Hum. I think so. It has to get a rating which puts other's well being ahead ... But then there's those pesky illegals, maybe rate it ... No I just don't know. Troubling.

* Sher - I agree. In my younger days when I was enjoying the benefits of my labour & indeterminately long hours, I was happier. I loved my big shiny trucks and my MGB, spoiling my kids, etc. Pensions are so awfully limiting. The thing is, Peter, we have learned lessons along the way from which nobody wants to benefit. People need to make their own mistakes, and so we keep silent.

Other comments? Add yours here

Anyone else?


Kindly remember to refresh your screens often to view ongoing discussions.

Q. -- Sher: Ok, Peter, how can we have a peaceful world?

A. -- Peter - World Peace- I'll open it up by comparing how we managed the problem of world-wide plagues. . . . Now think of people who are prepared to attack, on mass, another group of people, they produce a close analogy to a plague event. . . READ HERE

* Frederick @ Peter - Eugenics? I think the world has been there and done that... with, ahem, the Nazis! I don't think that's the way to bring about world peace... but hell on Earth. An inspiring epic song may sound unlikely to some but more likely to lead to positive change, in my opinion, the kind of change in consciousness that really matters... a spiritual one.

* Peter @ Frederick - As to spiritual differences, I treat them as psychological differences and consider them quite properly treatable. Thus someone who is spiritually an IMHOP then he/she needs treatment and the correction of their IMHOP is something which constitutes a spiritual difference.

* Steve @ Peter - Eradicate diseases? That's in the realm of possibility. What I don't think is possible is to figure out a way for people to share power/influence. That is the root of conflict, period. Figure out to manage that and things will begin to change.

* Peter @ Steve - Every institution except marriage presupposes dominance. The present view of marriage is therefore highly suspect. Power sharing is not a viable model for human relations . I would want to examine carefully all the instances you might bring forward of power sharing and see if they are successful. I think not. My suggestion here would be that we eradicate IMHOP and, by this, leave only negotiation as a way of getting what you want. That is a viable option, as unionism and many other instances demonstrate. But this is not 'power sharing', I've been president of my faculty union and, though we negotiate, dominance reigns in a stable union and in a stable administration, and in a strike one party emerges as dominant. On we go. Now, my view of dominance is hardly popular, so that becomes the sensitive difference between our views.

* Steve @ Peter - I couldn't agree more with you regarding power-sharing. It doesn't work and never will work. Ergo, and forgive my pessimism, there never will be world peace.

* Peter @ Steve: There is a difference between genetic medicine and eugenics. In genetic medicine we define the disease and people are offered a medical procedure to relieve it. In Eugenics a power above the individual defines the disease and forces the procedure on the individual. Further, because the individual is determining the definition and the treatment, this is not a racist move, as eugenics is, designed as it is to make a master race, or at least to improve the race.

* Peter @ Steve - I don't think you are being pessimistic, why not copnsider that you are possibly or probably right. Pessimism is a disease worth writing about in its own right. Given that absolutely nothing is certain to work, how high do the odds have to be before we try it? Please answer me however vaguely, it is a crucial issue if you want to change the world. How low on the odds can you bear to go without giving up. Think of Christ, Ghandi, King M.L., and make your own list.

* Sher @ Peter: It's too sci-fi to modify neural structures, defeat Darwin's ideas on natural selection, but we are genetically engineering plants & selectively breeding animals. We'd have to cross a line to Rockefellers & Dr. Mengele, Hitler's geneticist, & eugenics. Are you seriously going there? Are you speaking metaphorically?

* Peter @ Sher - There are lots of diseases which we need to treat by genetics, which we do treat by genetic modification. It's the future of medicine we are talking about. I realize this is a hot button issue, but here we are, are we going to to refuse to treat IMHOP because it is 'genetic', the province of Darwin ? You have nailed the fundamental problem with attaining peace, it's deep, fighting is built into YAMS, for understandable reasons, but no longer justified. Look, we decide what is or is not a disease, that's a value judgment. Some diseases are genetically induced, let's treat them if we want rid of them. Side effects? That's a fair question, of course. We need to go very easy, but not because we're into eugenics. The difference is this. Eugenics aims at producing a better human race, genetic medicine aims at producing a healthier human individual, not a better one. That doesn't settle it, of course, but this crack in the problem is worth following. Eugencis and genetic medicine are worlds apart. Saying how is the important challenge posed by your question.

Other comments? Add yours here

Anyone else?


Einstein, Relativity, and Mind >BuyOnAmazon

Jules Evans - Politics of Well-Being - The healing response, faith healing, transcendence of suffering, witches, medicine men, and Stoicism. MoreHere

Listen - Invisibilia - The secret history of thoughts - Dark Thoughts

To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This - NewYorkTimes

To Fall Out of Love, Do This

The Penis Comes Out on the Parisian Catwalk . . . you didn’t even notice their diddlers dancing. TheDailyBeast
This Week's movies NewYorkTimes
Where do the wealthiest 1% live?
Grapefruit and pills mix warning

We Support Our Troops

Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to the Middle East Stabilization Force (MESF) – the multinational coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Republic of Iraq. DNDMediaReleases&Videos& Mission UPDATES

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Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum & Momorial & History



Children of the Holocaust return to Auschwitz and pay tribute to those who saved them



Days that rend our souls asunder



Remembering Alberto
Housecleaning just getting started at CBC News
Const. David Wynn honoured by thousands at funeral
RCMP officer shot while confronting suspect at a casino on Jan. 17
Stop playing with words': Mulcair calls on Harper to ‘finally’ say troops are in combat mission in Iraq
Canadian forces engage in two gunfights with ISIS on the ground in Iraq
The NationalPost
ISIS spokesman calls for more Ottawa-style attacks in Canada, warning ‘what lies ahead will be worse’ The NationalPost
Kelly McParland: Danielle Smith says she didn’t realize her treachery would upset people TheNationalPost
B.C. resident diagnosed with first North American case of H7N9 avian flu
RBC is first to cut mortgage rates as bond yields plunge

Gary Roberts charged with animal cruelty after 16 starving horses seized CBCNews

Quebec preparing major reform to immigration policy


Gideon Christian, Ottawa lawyer, accuses Scotiabank of customer profiling


Parliament returns with security, economy on the agenda CBCNews

Ottawa to miss deadline for thalidomide victims’ financial aid
Michael Wagner can only donate liver to save 1 twin daughter
Kingston, Ont., father's 3-year-old girls have Alagille syndrome, which affects liver function
Surviving Auschwitz: Ottawa man who endured horrors now has 'beautiful life'

World News


Project Blue Book: US Air Force UFO documents revealed BBCNews

Trapped Quebec moose makes a run for it

Mind Your Moods, Cat Owners . . . cats may participate in social referencing . NPRNews

Downton Abbey’ recap: A proposal to remember
Amnesty International: Saudi Arabia- Saudi Arabia - Raif Badawi was flogged in public 50 times a fortnight ago. He has 950 lashes and nearly a decade in prison left to serve - simply for blogging about free speech. Free RaifBadawi

Stocks & Money

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FP 500Canada's biggest companies by 2013 revenueTheFinancial Post






Davos in 60 - A quick taste of the busy week at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Reuters

Here's how Yemen got here - The president of Yemen has resigned after months of pressure from rebels. Here's what led to it, and why you should care. (GillianBrockell / The Washington Post)

Disenchanted Hong Kongers are preparing to escape Beijing’s rule QuartzMoreHere

Obama declares nuclear 'breakthrough' during India trip ALJazeera

Euro, stocks slip as Greece set to reject austerity

Japanese PM stands firm on foreign policy after Isis hostage murder

The Mill of Muslim Radicalism in France


WikiLeaks demands answers after Google hands staff emails to US government

Libby Lane: First female bishop to be consecrated

Greeks have handed a huge election win to a far-left anti-austerity party Quartz MoreHere

Anti-austerity Syriza sweeps Greece parliamentary poll - Party's leader Alexis Tsipras, who wants to renegotiate EU and IMF bailout terms, set to become next prime minister. AlJazeeraVideo

Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party TheIndependent

The lost sons - This is the story of the murders of two teenage boys, one Israeli and one Palestinian, whose only mistake was to stand by the side of a dark road. Mike Thomson / BBCNewsInteractive

Bill & Melinda Gates Newslettter

Our Big Bet

The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else's. MoreHere




Our World


Faces of War
Home Front
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Memory Project

The Keystone XL Pipeline debate explained in detail. VOX here

The U.N.’s latest report on climate change is terrifying

A Reminder - The Difference Between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and Why It Mattersr-
TheHistory Network

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