Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

O God! that one might read the Book of Fate.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Idle No More: The Way Some See Things

Over the months that Idle No More has been around, there have been those who are strong advocates for the movement and there have been those who are strong opponents to the movement.  And in between, there are a number of people who have populated the spectrum between the two.

One of the most recognized names in the opponents corner is Michele Tittler, and her rants against Indigenous peoples is what some consider to be extreme.  But who is Michele Tittler?

She claims to have attended Humber College in the early 80s. She records herself dancing and uploads the videos to YouTube.   Mainstream media reports that she’s in her fifties and has a history of harassing people.  And CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has referred to her as an aggressive and racially charged Internet troll.

CBC_20 January 2014_Michele Tittler

Michele Tittler’s most recent video is certainly one for the books, and at around 16 minutes in length, there’s considerable repetition combined with comments and behaviors that seem intent on flaming the fires of racial hatred, from the headdress she wears as her protest against “Indian industry” and “Indian dialogue” to her demand that indigenous peoples stop talking about the genocide that has happened over generations.

To facilitate this dialogue, I’m providing a very brief history of the term genocide and how it is viewed in International Law.

The term genocide didn’t exist before 1944 when Raphael Lemke, who worked for the U.S. War Department, created the word, and used it in his essay, “Axis Rule In Occupied Europe.”  He created the word by combining the word geno (meaning race or tribe) and cide (meaning to kill) thereby creating the word genocide.  The United Nations General Assembly included Article III (c) in the Genocide Convention that was passed on December 9, 1948.  Article III (c) states that “direct and public incitement to commit genocide” is a crime.

[G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

In Michele Tittler’s video, she accuses First Nations peoples of being the “least productive, least contributing, least respectful group of people in Canada.”

She accuses First Nations peoples of “holding progress back,” of “impeding the progress of mankind,” and of “oppressing Canadians.”

She refers to discussions about First Nations issues as being “cruel, vile, divisive, repugnant dialogue.”

She alleges that “a lot of good came out of residential schools” and that “the damage of residential schools is a bunch of lies.

She accuses First Nations peoples of being “part of a lying culture,” and says First Nations peoples “don’t even know what colonialism is.”

She loudly proclaims that “everyone who immigrated here lost their language and their culture.”  It’s an odd sort of pronouncement given that across Canada, many who immigrated to Canada — or whose parents or grandparents or even great-grandparents immigrated to Canada — have held on to their traditions, their culture, and their language.

There are mosques and synagogues and churches where culture and spirituality thrive.  There are different sections in major cities across Canada where ethnicities are celebrated in their restaurants and their shops and on city streets.  Quite clearly, her assertion that “everyone who immigrated here lost their language and their culture” is incorrect.

What Michele Tittler hasn’t done is educate herself on the issues that are central to the Idle No More movement.  She doesn’t seem to know much about any of the Treaties, and she doesn’t seem to know much about Canadian or World History.

It’s unfortunate when someone who is so passionate about matters insists on ignoring the facts in favor of the controversy and attention such controversy may bring her.

And contrary to what Michele Tittler claims, we have a very good understanding of what colonialism is.  It’s the policy of practice of acquiring political control over another country for the purpose of exploiting the country’s resources economically and flooding that country with one’s own people to achieve that goal.  And no, colonialism should not to be confused with imperialism, which is altogether a horse of another color.

Elyse Bruce

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

No one knows what he can do till he tries.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Mingus Mill Stream

Mingus Mill in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park sits along a beautiful stream.  The simplicity of the mill and the stream working in tandem takes visitors back to simpler times when nature was a vital part of every day life.

Photography / Videography:  Elyse Bruce
Music:  “Mingus Mill Stream” by Elyse Bruce
Copyright:  © Elyse Bruce, 2014

Made In Legislation

From 1929 to 1932, American imports fell by 40%.  This was due in large part to the falling demand for products as a result of the Great Depression.  The Tariff Act of 1930 (also known as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act) is said to have contributed to only 5% of that fall.

The original intention of the legislation was to protect domestic farmers from foreign imports as well as to protect American jobs.  What happened instead was that a bill that was meant to provide relief to farmers morphed into a means to raise tariffs in every sector of the economy.

When all was said and done, the tariff levels were greater than the already high rates that were part of the Fordney-McCumber Act of 1922.  They were also marginally lower than the high rates that were part of the Tariff of Abominations of 1828 which led to the Nullification Crisis of 1832 which, in turn, led to the Compromise Tariff of 1833.

The Tariff Act of 1930 didn’t cause the Great Depression.  What it did do was create an environment where other governments returned volley by establishing retaliatory measures.  This resulted in an unprecedented decline in international trade.  In 1929, U.S. exports to Europe stood at $2,341 million USD.  Three years later, in 1932, U.S. exports to Europe were a paltry $784 million USD.  And as exports continued to decline with each year, the Tariff Act of 1930 did nothing to instill trust between countries, or to encourage and nurture cooperation between countries.

By 1934, politicians in the U.S. got the message and enacted the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934.  This act emphasized freer international trade, and stepped away from the protectionism mindset that had been central to the Tariff Act of 1930.

This article isn’t about pointing fingers at which nations retaliated against the U.S. for the Tariff Act of 1930.  It also isn’t about blaming the U.S. for the substantial drop in exports from, and imports to, America during those years.

One of the best things that arose from the Tariff Act of 1930 is that every imported item must indicate the product’s country of origin.  In this way, power is placed in the hands of the final purchaser.  He or she can decide if the item “Made In Taiwan” wins over the item “Made In Canada” or if the item “Made In USA” trumps both their labels.

In every good deed lies the possibility the good deed will be made into something negative.  In every bad deed lies the opportunity to create something positive from its ashes.  If legislation puts your business venture at risk, speak up.  If legislation furthers your business venture, speak up.   In other words, no matter what direction legislation pulls your business, educate yourself on the pros and cons as they pertain not only to your business, but to the economy overall.  In doing so, you are creating the best opportunity to strengthen both your business and the economy.

Elyse Bruce

Who Said That?

The graduates of McGill University who finished their degrees after World War II ended are the great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents of those who are graduating from university and college over 65 years later.  The quotes beside each graduates’ name speaks volumes of how they interpreted the world around them.  Since most of the quotes fail to acknowledge the author of the quote, I thought it would be fun to see how many of these quotes are recognized by those who follow or visit my blog.  Today’s quote is this:

He who knows he knows, knows not; He who knows he knows not, knows.

Feel free to add the name of who you believe was — or may have been — the person who first spoke or first wrote those words, in the Comments Section below.

Teaching Fans To Bully

For as long as there’s been wrestling, promoters, organizers, and wrestlers, they have all worked together to create and hone personas meant to polarize fans that are passionate about drawing lines and cheering their heroes’ on to humiliating their opponents.  Wrestling has become big business over the decades, and dirty tricks have always been part of the business.

Whether it was staged or unexpected, when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson serenaded Vickie Guerrero with Eric Clapton‘s “Wonderful Tonight” with rewritten lyrics, the entertainment value that has always been a large part of wrestling took a hit.   The message sent to young fans seemed to be one that supported bullying, regardless of whether that’s what was intended.

It sent the message that if you dislike someone, and if you can get popular opinion on your side, it’s okay to bully another person.

It doesn’t matter if the script calls for wrestling heroes and personalities to stoop lower than anyone could imagine to score points, it’s important to know where to draw the line. It would seem, however, that the line isn’t being drawn where the WWE is concerned.  In fact, if anything, they seem to be promoting the concept that bullying is fine as long as a group of people dislike the target that’s being bullied.

Those teens and adults who understand the “story line” involving Vickie Guerrero — the target of bullying by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — know that her job was to make fans hate her as much as they had loved her late husband, Eddie Guerrero.  Without a doubt, she is an incredible performer and fans, old and young alike, bought into her performances.  She made people believe she was one of the most hated women in wrestling history.

However, despite the fact that it was scripted animosity and enmity, young children who aren’t able to discern fiction from reality came away from watching those performances between WWE actors believing that if bullying was okay with their wrestling heroes, then it was okay for them to take that to school and victimize someone they didn’t like.

Is this the message the entertainment industry — and more specifically, the WWE — wants to send to young fans?

With all the anti-bullying awareness on social media and in mainstream media, isn’t it time for those in the entertainment industry who glorify bullying to take a real stand against bullying and stop scripting it into their shows?  If kids can’t count on their heroes to take a stand against bullying, why should they take a stand against bullying?  After all, what kid doesn’t want to be just like their hero … even one who bullies people he or she really hates?

Elyse Bruce

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,172 other followers

%d bloggers like this: