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My Grandma passed away, yesterday, Saturday, March 10th, near 14h45 in the afternoon. Funnily enough, some of the calmest and happiest memories of childhood that I have are of playing with antique red, and white wind-up cars under the heavy wooden kitchen table in Grandma & Grandpa's LaSalle apartment when I was young.
Those cars were quite possibly old enough to have been my Dad's or late Uncle Michael's, and were among the small trove of child-distractors that they kept stashed in the back of the TV-room closet (along with a short stack of comic books which I reread a million times, until the stories were burned into my memory like mantras).
I slammed my head on the underside or lip of that table a multitude of times over the years of visits and holiday meals. Still, it was a good place.
Miss you Grandma & Grandpa.

Hello! Updates And Slight Setbacks

Haven't been on in a good while, just due to both the difficulties and sometimes fullness of life. May everyone be doing very well! 'Still dealing with periodic flashbacks of the bad kind over here (thank-you Josée Bolduc), which still makes life more difficult than yea'd hope. Some steady improvement of a kind, at times, got juggered by some rather failed experiments with medications. Elavil and Effexor were both tried-out over the last pair of months, as ways of mitigating migraines. Each ended-up making me extremely sick. Effexor went the extra ten miles by furnishing me with a solid night of physically reliving every experience of being assaulted I'd ever had. That's about as much fun as it sounds, let me tell yea'.

Since then, coffee hasn't tasted quite right, and I also had my first real, bona fidepanic attacks. I'd thought that I knew those quite well, but my goodness, I really had no idea. There is a marked difference between anxiety and a full-blown panic attack, let me tell you...

In the meantime, I have completed a year of the Classics program at Carleton, and my own editing business has picked-up. I've now a smattering of Latin and Sanskrit under my belt, which I hope to expand on, if I don't go mad in the meantime.

My work in Shambhala continues to be grand, and I only wish that I could give more. The setbacks have made it difficult to keep up with people. That said, I shall be teaching a bit more over the Summer and helping to organize delegs (or circles of friends/community members) to help with both the social and support sides of sangha.

On another note, I've still no idea what I'm doing with women. Though I have been seeing friend whom I love quite well, she's not completely committed (to me) shall we say. Yet she does drag the feelings out of me... More than half of the women whose company I'd keep are married or not speaking to me for reasons of their own trauma.

I've no idea where R.L. or F.S. et cieare at. I haven't seen Maben in an age, and haven't made much headway in helping with either his work, or Peter's. I'm also to help with Tom's novels, but that will actually pay some, so it's easier to prioritize. I'm a wee bit concerned that M.S. has flown off of his head, but I haven't been able to check on him. My relationship with A. and the kids, also degenerated quite a bit from neglect and inability over the past couple of years (thank you Josée Bolduc). That tears me apart. All of it does, really.

Basically, I need money so that I can get my health back, and move my life forward consistently. Or to get my health back so that I can move my money forward consistently... either one really!


Greek philosophic term of the week: Eudaimonia (common trans: "happiness, bliss, blessedness"). Though commonly translated as happiness, eudaimonia has all the hallmarks of a symbolic expression  which became an idiom and eventually a stand-alone noun. The expression would have been transparent in its meaning back in a certain epoch, but certainly not so in ours. The root words of the symbol are "eu" ("good") and "daimonia" ("a spirit").

To say that a person is eudaimonia is not necessarily to say that they are "good spirited" however, though the older English expression "to be in good spirits" comes close to the same mark. Rather, we should think of one being watched over or guided by a good daimon, much as a Roman might speak of being guided by a powerful genius.

We see evidence for this meaning in Plato's "Politeia", in the closing scene of the Myth of Er, in which the gathered souls who are destined to be reborn are enjoined to 'choose their daimon' for the next life. It also places in context the saying of Solon (repeated and contemplated by Aristotle in the "Ethics"), that one should not count a man eudaimonia before he's dead - translating the expression as "happy" tends to put a harsh and peculiar spin on it, as Aristotle noted. It is in fragment 119 by Heraclitus, however, that that archaic experience of being guided by a daimom in life, seems to have been first articulated as a sense of personal calling and responsibility: "Ethos anthropo daimon" ("A human being's character is their fate.") And, it is in the experience of Socrates that we encounter a peculiar man who insists that he avoids doing anything that his "little daimon" warns him against.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, in 1789, that “wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government;” he backed up that claim by founding the University of Virginia, about which he wrote, in 1820: “This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error as long as reason is left free to combat it.”

So, how are we doing, as the inheritors of the clock? Are we maintaining it well? If Madison visited Washington, D.C. today, he’d find that our government is divided into two all-consuming factions, which cut right down the middle of each of the three branches, uniting the three red half-branches against the three blue half-branches, with no branch serving the original function as he had envisioned.

And how are we doing at training clock mechanics? What would Jefferson say if he were to take a tour of America’s most prestigious universities in 2017? What would he think about safe spaces, microaggressions, trigger warnings, bias response teams, and the climate of fearfulness, intimidation, and conflict that is now so prevalent on campus? But first, let’s ask: How did we mess things up so badly..?
- The Age of Outrage: What the current political climate is doing to our country and our universities by Jonathan Haidt
Why Canada's federal parties will have precious little choice but to actually cultivate AFN votes:

“If you want to become an MP, you better listen to us. You better focus on our issues because we’re voting now,” he said, adding that in the past, MPs wouldn’t care about Indigenous issues because they knew they wouldn’t vote anyways.

“Federal MPs are paying attention to us now because we have influenced a number of ridings. We don’t have any economic power—most of our people are poor—but we can harness that political power.”

Mr. Bellegarde said the First Nations vote was able to influence results in 51 ridings, and that ballots even ran out on some reserves. Prior to the election, the AFN developed the list of 51 ridings based on which ridings had a large First Nations population and ones where its voters could swing a close result.

Out of the 51 ridings, the Liberals won 24, the NDP 15, the Conservatives nine, and the Bloc Québécois two. Out of the seats the Liberals won, 17 were gains for the party from the 2011 election.

‘If you want to become an MP, you better listen to us’: Bellegarde says First Nations are becoming an electoral force - The Hill Times - The Hill Times

The Great Eastern Sun

"The Great Eastern Sun is wakefulness and genuineness reflected in every aspect of our being. This realization brings a feeling of being a truly human being. Physically, psychologically, domestically, spiritually, you feel a gut sense of health and wholesomeness in your life, as if you were holding a solid brick of gold." -- “The Shambhala Warrior Slogans,” in The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Nine
by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, page 300.
THE MOST DRAMATIC cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet—powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers—that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn’t anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state. It was Minecraft.
The Mirai Botnet Was Part of a College Student Minecraft Scheme | WIRED

Facebook and Twaddling Sub-Routines

Literally just got the following ad in my FB feed: "Humans exhale carbon dioxide (CO2) with each breath. Plants grow by converting CO2 into biomass. CO2 is the gas of life, not a pollutant. Climate alarmism is a dangerous cult, NOT science. https://defyccc.com/g_breath/"

Observation #1: The legends of FB's magic soul-reading algorithms are bunk.
Observation #2: Pushing manipulative propaganda via social media isn't just for the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) anymore. Unless of course it's the FSB that's paying for the ads.
It looks like the Parti Quebecois (Quebec's traditional sovereignist/separatist party), is doing rather poorly in the polls - trailing in a distant third place in the run-up to the next election period. It seems that the PQ are failing to outrace demographics, and their alienation of allophones and anglophones.

Un nouveau sondage Léger-Le Devoir montre que la Coalition avenir Québec trône en tête des intentions de vote, qui récolterait 36% d'appuis. Les libéraux suivent avec 32% et les péquistes reculent à 19%. Explications.

Le « chemin des victoires » évoqué par Jean-François Lisée à son arrivée à la tête du Parti québécois (PQ) serait-il un cul-de-sac ? Chose certaine, un nouveau sondage Léger-Le Devoir confirme la montée en puissance de la Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ)… et révèle que rien ne va pour M. Lisée.

Pour un deuxième sondage de suite, la CAQ trône en tête des intentions de vote, cette fois avec 36 % d’appuis — en hausse de deux points. « Avec 43 % d’appuis chez les francophones, ça voudrait dire un gouvernement clairement majoritaire », estime Jean-Marc Léger, président de la firme de sondage.

Rien ne va pour Lisée et le PQ, selon un sondage | Le Devoir
As a giant polisci nerd, I find this fascinating and intruiging...

"In a show of backbencher strength, NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson could become the first MP in history to force her colleagues in the House of Commons into a secret ballot to save a piece of legislation.

Malcolmson plans to appeal directly to House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan today hoping he'll let her private members' bill to establish a national strategy on abandoned vessels proceed to debate.

The bill, first introduced in 2016 and then updated last spring, was deemed earlier this month to be "non-votable" by the House of Commons procedural committee because it deals with the same issue now being dealt with by a government bill.

That legislation, C-64, was introduced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau in October, more than six months after Malcolmson's bill. Although they both deal with abandoned vessels the bills are not identical.

Oak Bay cleans up derelict boats as problem persists along B.C.'s coast
Feds to ban 'blight' of abandoned boats, bring in penalties for owners
In order to ensure all private members' bills are eligible to be considered by the House of Commons they go through a review process. Malcolmson's bill didn't survive that process, with the Liberals on the House procedural committee deeming it to be non-votable and the NDP and Conservative MPs voting to allow it to proceed.

In the past this has been the end of the line for legislation but Malcolmson and the NDP have found a 14-year-old rule introduced to give backbenchers more power. It has never before been used..."

NDP's Malcolmson seeks secret ballot vote of MPs to save bill on abandoned boats - Politics - CBC News

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