A letter to Canadians from the Honourable Jack Layton
August 20, 2011 Toronto, Ontario
Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.
Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.
I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.
I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.
A few additional thoughts:
To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.
To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.
To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.
To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.
To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
All life experiences are but a mere consequence of our internal life design. To say that external factors can invade the sacred space we carefully craft is to inevitably deny our own responsibility for our existence. Not to say that the world and its inhabitants do not play an important role in how we decide to behave, for that will also be a denial of our inter-existence. However, the distances we project between our emotions, our actions and others are nothing more than our self imposed rules that sometimes we unfairly bestow upon others.
There is no running away from ourselves. It does not matter how far we can make our eyes see the horizon we craft, since –it seems- most of the time we are always standing in the same empty space, giving our perspective the value it does not hold in order to achieve meaning-less goals that reassure and falsely validate our sense or protection and success, and in extreme cases our survival.
Pain I have discovered is but a distraction. It’s a symptom that can be patched, but if one does not address the root of the suffering it will just become a nation of isolation that will eventually provide the comfort and policing of our own borders.
There is no harm but that that we inflict upon ourselves. We can decide at any given time to twist and bend stories in order to find the perfect excuse to ‘move on’. But there is no movement in that, on the contrary there is nothing but dwelling.
Fascinating enough, the only light that one can shed upon darkness is the love we are willing to feel, but if that love is caged by fears and boxes upon boxes of past premises or pre-conceived ideas, the object of your affection will have no choice but to dismiss it.
Failure might not be a comfortable place, but it’s the starting ground for self reflection, it’s the perfect opportunity to re-member, to embrace the finely ethereal real state of being. Blame its just a game. It’s the card most use to ‘pay’ for the credit of their loss. But really, just like our current system of things, that would only bring debt, an intangible weight that we will carry along in all of life’s experiences.
Finding, or better yet, recognizing our own underlining self-fulfilled and made up prophecies and fetching back all the expectations we have put in others instead of ourselves might just be the true path of being able to cross beyond the borders of loving, so those we love can feel it as purely as it is felt from its source.
The only lonely place we inhabit its that built of our inability to look within and then reach out purely to what we long for.
“Yes, for those of us who manage somehow to cope with our mortality. The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism – and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong – and lucky – he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”—Stanley Kubrick on the meaning of life.
Straight truth shooters with no fear of embarrassment. Kindred curious spirits who are amazed by the world and its inhabitants.
If a child wants attention he or she will tell you so. If they want to feel loved they will ask for it. When they are tired, happy, sad, hungry and/or sleepy they will communicate it.
How incredibly spiritual is that?
A child who is loved will forever be sure of its place on the planet. A child who is talked to and not talked at will open his or her eyes and ears to learn you. A child who knows there are infinite possibilities of being will be free to be. A child who is treated like a child and its not made prisoner of unfair expectations will enjoy his or her age to the fullest, giving way to soul & character development.
For children, life is a series of moments. They have this so clear that each moment is lived in the present tense. If you can grasp the infinite wisdom in that and decide to join them, you will experience a gratifying harmony between souls who seek nothing but share the love that we as adults long for.
There is a beautiful way to give children the validation they need; Just remember they are not adults. Its simple, but its true. They are children.
If you give yourself the chance you will see how much they are really teaching us.
We were all children. We all had childhoods. As much as we think we have left it far behind, we forget that it is in essence the building blocks of the way we learn to ‘be’ and to ‘act’. The way we relate to the world started there, the way we perceive ourselves and hence the way we perceive others and the world.
So next time you are with children, remember they are the diamonds, we are the rough.
“How’s an intelligent person supposed to react when he discovers that he’s merely the product of a corrupt and evil system? How do you continue to live after you learn that your every breath, every dollar you pay in taxes, every baby you conceive and love will only perpetuate some evil system?”—
“I must remind you that starving a child is violence. Suppressing a culture is violence. Neglecting school children is violence. Punishing a mother and her family is violence. Discrimination against a working man is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical need is violence. Contempt for poverty is violence.”—Coretta Scott King (via nirvikalpa)
“For decades, the American financial system was stable and safe. But then something changed. The financial industry turned its back on society, corrupted our political system, and plunged the world economy into crisis. At enormous cost, we’ve avoided disaster and are recovering. But the men and institutions that caused the crisis are still in power, and that needs to change. They will tell us that we need them, and that what they do is too complicated for us to understand. They will tell us it won’t happen again. They will spend billions fighting reform. It won’t be easy, but some things are worth fighting for.”—
“Experiments conducted by researcher Herbert Krugman reveal that when a person watches television, brain activity switches from the left to the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere is the seat of logical thought. Here, information is broken down into its component parts and critically analyzed. The right brain, however, treats incoming data uncritically, processing information in wholes, leading to emotional, rather than logical responses. The shift from left to right brain activity also causes the release of endorphins, the body’s own natural opiates—thus, it is possible to become physically addicted to watching television, a hypothesis borne out by numerous studies which have shown that very few people are able to kick the television habit. It’s no longer an overstatement to note that the youth today that are raised and taught through network television are intellectually dead by their early teens.”—
He’s quite accurate. Most oppression succeeds because its legitimacy is internalized. That’s true of the most extreme cases. Take, say, slavery. It wasn’t easy to revolt if you were a slave, by any
means. But if you look over the history of slavery, it was in some sense recognized as just the way things are. We’ll do the best we can under this regime.
Another example, also contemporary (it’s estimated that there are some 26 million slaves in the world), is women’s rights.
There the oppression is extensively internalized and accepted as legitimate and proper. It’s still true today, but it’s been true throughout history. Take working people. At one time in the U.S., in the mid-19th century, working for wage labor was considered not very different from chattel slavery. That was the slogan of the Republican Party, the banner under which northern workers went to fight in the Civil War. We’re against chattel slavery and wage slavery.
Free people do not rent themselves to others. Maybe you’re forced to do it temporarily, but that’s only on the way to becoming a free person, a free man, to put it in the rhetoric of the day. You become a free man when you’re not compelled to take orders from others.
That’s an Enlightenment ideal. Incidentally, this was not coming from European radicalism. There were workers in Lowell, Massachusetts, a couple of miles from where we are. You could even read editorials in the New York Times saying this around that time. It took a long time to drive into people’s heads the idea that it is legitimate to rent yourself. Now that’s unfortunately pretty much accepted. So that’s internalizing oppression. Anyone who thinks it’s legitimate to be a wage laborer is internalizing oppression in a way which would have seemed intolerable to people in the mills 150 years ago.
”—Liberating mind from orthodoxies - Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
“Oh. & another thing: isn’t it perfectly convenient to have riots that damage communities just about the time when things might get worse for the common people? As the world rises in peace, this last ‘violent’ ‘spontaneous’ event will stop any eagerness to take the streets & will probay give way to ‘much needed’ new laws to ‘ensure’ security.”—Hm.
“As I see the current riots I cannot help but wonder why is it that it’s not as obvious for everybody that the same (worse) has been happening with our natural resources by looting corporations. Can’t you really see it?
Think, they come, they appropriate, they take all they can with no regards to any interest but their own and then they leave, leaving behind broken ecosystems & communities that now have to deal with the aftermath.
Sounds eerie familiar, no?
Except this corporations also make us pay afterwards for the products they created from looted sources. Call it adding insult to injury, literally.
So where is the full force of our law & lawful rights when it comes to those looters?
Where is the outrage?
“Apparently the consumer is in panic that this ‘economy’ won’t provide the necessary hope of getting what he or she doesn’t have yet. It is not a matter of a failing system fighting to stay, but the letting go of the made up dream of the asleep consumer to give way to the conscious human. Paradigms need to be revised, Empathy & common sense need to be awaken. The real failure would be to continue giving away our existence, desperately holding on to premises we now know create misery, war, famine & common un-wellbeing; All to be able to still hope for a propaganda of a life that never was.”—
Oh, well. I'm sure they don't do this anymore. Now it's all about 'spreading democracy' for the benefit of human kind. Right?
CIA eyed Trudeau, Canadian economy
The Canadian Press
The CIA said Pierre Trudeau wanted to ‘jettison’ Canada’s image as a major player in the Third World. Chuck Mitchell/Canadian Press
The CIA secretly painted Pierre Trudeau as a politician torn between being a leader of the Third World and a genuine player with global industrialized nations, declassified records show.
The January 1982 assessment of the Liberal prime minister’s ambitions is among several detailed, and until now virtually unknown, analyses of the Canadian economy by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, The Canadian Press obtained more than a dozen CIA reports that explore various aspects of Canadian commerce, industry and technology during the Cold War era.
The assessments reveal a keen interest in Canadian affairs on the part of an agency better known for waging a covert war against East Bloc spies in the decades leading up to the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
CIA analysts pored over almost every available map of Canada, scrutinized Canadian mineral production, pondered Japanese interest in Alberta’s tar sands, catalogued shipping trends and kept an eye on Canadian dealings with the Communist world.
The CIA’s directorate of intelligence prepared a pair of confidential studies of the Canadian economy in April 1972 in advance of a meeting between Trudeau and then-U.S. president Richard Nixon. One study noted pressure was mounting in Canada for control over foreign investment — a dominant theme of the time —”despite a continuing need for additional funds to further Canadian development.”
A decade later the CIA crafted an incisive analysis of a faltering Canadian economy for the U.S. trade representative.
"With a domestic market about the size of California’s, Canada is sensitive about living in the U.S. economic shadow," says the January 1982 assessment, which explored Liberal government efforts to bolster Canadian control of key sectors, including energy and technology.
"Politically, Trudeau frequently appears torn between the urge to play leader of the Third World and the desire to hold his own with the industrial giants. Economically, however, he clearly wants Canada to jettison its Third World image."
Interest in Canada’s mineral industries
Canada would never have been a principal target of U.S. intelligence collection efforts, but clearly turned up on the American radar screen from time to time, said Wesley Wark, a University of Toronto history professor who took part in an April conference on the history of the CIA and its place in politics and culture.
A February 1974 CIA memo, assembled using “sensitive intelligence sources and methods,” warned that a ferrous metals shortage in Canada triggered by U.S. export controls could lead to political problems.
The document illustrates that the Americans will sometimes use clandestine methods “to find out things about Canada that they want to know,” said Wark.
The CIA took considerable interest in Canada’s mineral industries, producing a May 1972 study that weighed trends and implications, concluding the country was in excellent position to further its position as the world’s leading mineral exporter. However, Canada would continue to rely on U.S. markets and long-term capital.
Long before Canada’s western tar sands became familiar to the world, the CIA recognized the “enormous amounts of oil” along the Athabasca River, probing possible Japanese interest in the deposits in an October 1972 memorandum.
"The sands rank with the U.S. shale deposits as the world’s most extensive known, largely untapped oil source," says the memo, which includes a map of the deposits and presciently forecasts environmental concerns over the project.
"The pollution issue and opposition to defacing Alberta’s landscape may arise but has not as yet."
Concern about links to Eastern Bloc
Seen together, the analyses indicate the CIA was taking a long-term view of Canada — possibly eyeing the country’s assets as an advantage in the event of war with the Soviet Union, said Steve Hewitt of the department of American and Canadian studies at the University of Birmingham in England.
"I guess what surprises me, is not that the U.S. has interest in Canada, it’s more the range of areas that they’re looking at and how strategic they are," said Hewitt, who also attended the April conference on the CIA at the University of Nottingham.
Memos show the U.S. government tapped the CIA’s cartographic expertise to provide evidence in a 1983 maritime boundary dispute with Canada heard by the International Court of Justice. In the early 1950s, the CIA relied on the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence for information on the B.C. shipping industry.
Sometimes the CIA’s interest in Canadian trade was sparked by concerns about dealings with the Soviets or nations under Moscow’s influence.
I’ll repeat this one more time, for repeating sake.
We can complain about the media’s lack of reporting and/or biased bending of information; But when it comes down to it, for me there is absolutely no difference between an ad for a brand or corporation or one of this 24 hr news networks.
They are selling as much as any 30 sec ad. The are trying to ‘get you’ as much as any product out there so you buy more. If anything, the thing that separates them is that the news networks do not generate content, they just mould it, bend it, cut it, edit it and regurgitate it.
When I have pointed this out to ‘seasoned’ journalist, they reply that these networks are just fulfilling the demand of the public.
Hm. And I wonder.
Just how is the public taken into account? Better yet, is the common well-being of the people the driven interest of this corporations?
No, I do not think so. Neither should it be. We already know they are profit driven.
The mistake is to think they owe us something, or that they actually have some type of responsibility to you and to give you accurate facts.
The most responsible thing to do is simple: TURN IT OFF.
Its a side show. The game’s been rigged. The house always wins. You get my point.
Research you own news. There are no platforms that you can trust; truth is that not even a story told by a friend is completely accurate.
But you can get a sense of the big picture. That is what we need. What is happening is never isolated, nor it never goes without consequences and implications.
News Corporations are companies. They are selling you something. All the time. You are giving them your loyalty by permitting them to trade your opinion and shape your reality.
Your opinion, your beliefs, your standing holds immeasurable value, don’t just give it away.
Especially to people who use it and then discard you.
“the economy shown by nature in her resources is striking. All wealth comes from Nature. Without it there would not be any economics. The primary wealth is food, not money. Therefore, anything that concerns the handling of the land also concerns me.”—Charles Darwin.
“The world, you must remember, is only just becoming literate. As reading becomes more and more habitual and widespread, an ever-increasing number of people will discover that books will give them all the pleasures of social life and none of its intolerable tedium. At present people in search of pleasure naturally tend to congregate in large herds and to make a noise; in future their natural tendency will be to seek solitude and quiet. The proper study of mankind is books.”—
Huxley. As much as I want his words to be true, I recognize the inhumane essence of his statement. We are fundamentally social, the question is how have we defined our social interaction & why we deny our human needs. I love books, but I know they don’t love me back…