Are We All Sitting Ducks For Ebola?

While the global medical community struggles to figure out how to deal with any cases of Ebola that may reach their country’s doors, it seems that there is little action in trying to prevent cases from leaving the hardest hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

WHO (World Health Organization) has been blamed for its lack of proper action and protocol in its leadership in West Africa.  With some 4,484 people dying in West Africa to date and WHO predicting a possible 10,000 new cases every week being diagnosed, it’s certain that this illness is not under control.

“Ebola is a huge and urgent global problem that demands a huge and urgent global response,” reporters were told.

“Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” WHO said of the outbreak and the ability of this virus to easily be transmitted outside of the borders of the countries hardest hit.

The UN has noted that WHO heads in Africa have “politically motivated appointments” and that is why this was so poorly handled from the beginning.

When asked why WHO didn’t act more quickly the response from WHO indicated that it was the fault of the office in West Africa.

“It’s the regional office in Africa that’s the frontline,” he said. “And they didn’t do anything. That office is really not competent.”

The gear alone to work with a patient with Ebola is frightening enough, let alone the procedures where one mistake can expose the virus.

The gear alone to work with a patient with Ebola is frightening enough, let alone the procedures where one mistake can expose the virus.

What seems more perturbing than this is that most countries are not prepared for Ebola.  Many North American hospitals, though fully staffed and equipped for what we’re used to dealing with, are not at all prepared to deal with Ebola.  Training on how to deal with it is currently being implemented.  That means that a lot of us are at risk.  One can only imagine going into a hospital for a routine procedure or for some other ailment requiring hospitalization, only to hear that a case of Ebola has entered that same hospital and the staff aren’t as prepared as they thought that they were.  Or, worse may be to find out that during a flight you were on, one of the passengers had come down with Ebola and everyone on the plane was possibly at risk.

Officials in North American hospitals have quickly discovered that they are frightened because they are not as prepared to deal with cases of Ebola as they thought they might be.  The virus has already affected several healthcare workers who were ill trained and equipped to deal with the total quarantine procedures necessary.  What was first thought to be effective, has proven to not be fail-safe and needs to be rethought as well as retraining of all front line healthcare workers.  That’s putting a lot of healthcare providers at both great risk and tremendous worry and fear in an already stressful career and, they have stated such in the media of late.

In what might be an unpopular and perhaps, drastic measure, one of the possible scenarios to keep this virus in check or at the least contained, might be to stop all flights out of the countries most affected before having each and every passenger produce a valid, signed document by the medical community that they have been quarantined for at least the incubation period of 21 days before they can board a flight out of that country.

If someone truly needs or wants to go to the countries most affected, it should be a requirement that they cannot board a plane out of it without having remained quarantined for that 21 day incubation period.  While it might put great hardship on some people in doing so, it would be prudent to warn all flights going to those countries that there will be a period in which they cannot return without the proper protocol having been followed.  It would then be their choice as to whether they choose to go or not. This action alone might not stop the virus from spreading but, it is certainly a step forward in working to keep the spread from filtering through the rest of the world like the wild fire it’s been in those countries most affected.

Why aren’t authorities stepping up to the plate with this type of measure, knowing that they mishandled this from the very beginning.  Does it take other countries also becoming hot beds of this virus before something is finally done that may appear a drastic measure but, one that might save thousands more lives?  Are we that money and power driven or, that politically correct that we can’t seem to put restrictions on some people’s “rights” to save other’s lives?

If you choose to enter the countries that are hardest hit, you are also choosing to endanger your own life.  That is your prerogative but, you don’t have the right to endanger other people’s lives with your choices.  There must be far more stringent measures put in place to help protect others who are simply innocent victims of both authorities’ lack of action and other people’s choices.

Something more has to be done to save this from becoming a world-wide epidemic and minimizing the deaths and stop us all from becoming sitting ducks for ebola.  At least, that’s the way that I am seeing things from my little corner of life at this point in time.

James Randi, The Illusion of The Great And Powerful Oz

James Randi, magician, conjurer, de-bunker.

James Randi, magician, conjurer, de-bunker.

I recently stumbled across a Youtube video of magician, skeptic, James Randi, shockingly saying that Psychic Sylvia Browne’s death was the only way that she was “stopped from hurting so many people.”  His full statement can be read here on his foundation’s James Randi Educational Fund or JREF website.

It was shocking to hear such a statement from anyone.  While I am not a fan of the Late Ms. Browne, she was a person…a human being who has died and, his statements appeared to be those of someone who was relieved that she no longer existed.  It was uncalled for at this point in time, cruel and totally bitter towards her as a person.  He seemed to see her only as her profession rather than also a mother, grandmother and wife who left behind a family and friends.  It begged the question of his own human state of mind in spite of calling himself a Humanist.

Most everyone has heard of James Randi throughout the years.  He’s infamous for his $1 million challenge for any psychic, healer, homeopathy or other paranormal claimant to prove that they have the ability they claim to have.

Born as Randall James Hamilton Zwinge August 7, 1928 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Randi became a “conjurist”, a term he carefully uses to replace the term “magician” so that one doesn’t associate the trickery or illusions he creates with anything in the supernatural realm that he is so certain cannot and does not exist and, has spent his life trying to prove doesn’t exist.

Randi appears to give off the public persona of a crusty but, rather humorous and loveable grandfatherly like figure to the public.  Yet, there feels to be a sour bitterness beneath his public appearance that isn’t just an illusion.  He is a man on a mission and has been for many years.  The question is why?  What has set this man into such a frenzy that he has made it what some would call, a vendetta against anyone who makes claim towards having anything paranormal or supernatural especially, psychics/mediums?

There are few photos of Randi without a look in his eyes that almost dares the viewer to try to scam him or, seemingly beg the question from him of “what wool are you trying to pull over my eyes? I’ve seen it all!”

Having spent a good chunk of his life studying and performing magic tricks, he retired from stage performance to gear his sights onto debunking anything someone might construe as supernatural.  For what reason?

During an interview with journalist, 

”They don’t have any scruples on that, just like any other thief or burglar,” he said.  “A thief doesn’t look at a house and think to pass it up because the family has just suffered a recent tragedy. No, he goes in and robs it anyway.”

When Kohls asked if Randi thought it was driven by money, Randi made what can be thought of as an opposing statement to his own test.

“They’re all different. They all want to make money. They all want to make a living,” Randi said.  “They find an easy way to do it, and it’s so easy that the money just pours in. If you found that you could go in your backyard and find gold-nuggets by digging around you would do it. That’s exactly what they’re doing. Unfortunately, they’re taking other peoples money and making them suffer. They don’t care about that though.” (And, Randi hasn’t made a very good living off of this arena too?)

By contrast, Randi’s foundation, JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) has been offering up a $1 million dollar prize for anyone who can prove that they possess some sort of ability in the psychic/paranormal arena.  To date, no one has been able to claim it.  Some have said it is because of the criteria by which they must be tested that hems them in but, most won’t even attempt such an endevour.  It seems almost incredulous that these are alleged people who were in it for the money but, would by-pass such a chance.  It would be more logical that the lure of $1 million would be a huge draw with the “robbers” flocking to try to claim that money.

Kohls also asked Randi if he had ever met someone who had confounded him with something that they claimed they could do.  Randi answered that he hadn’t encountered such a person.

“Frankly, no,” he answered in response to Kohls’ question.  “I’m 83 years of age now, and I’ve been a magician since I was a kid. I know the tricks and none of them are surprising. They’re all the same old-tricks that have been going on for hundreds of years. We magicians know how these things are being done.”

Perhaps, Randi’s answer, itself is giving Randi’s drive away right there?

In other words, what some of us might hear in that statement if we read what’s coming out the other side of his mouth, is that if he can reproduce an effect via some gadget, some set up, some slight of hand, some electronic method, it can’t be real.  It is only an illusion and yes, apparently he’s saying that magicians know it all.  Interesting statement to think about, Randi.  If you weren’t an Atheist, I’d swear you were implying magicians are somewhat forms of “gods” (I say that with a humorous but, sarcastic grin and a wink).

The most telling statement of all about Randi might lay in an answer that he had given to Kohl when he was asked where he “draws his meaning in life” given that he’s a devout Atheist.

“All I have to do is look into the eyes of a two month old baby and I get the whole thing. That’s enough for me. It’s enough to live for, and inspire me,” Randi responded.  “I don’t need miracles and people running around on brooms in the night-sky. I don’t need any of that to make the world a beautiful place. It’s a cruel place, it doesn’t care about any individual in it, because that’s the way nature is. I’ll manage somehow. I don’t have to have a meaning for life. That’s a meaningless phrase in my estimation.”

Kohl is asking him where he draws meaning in his life and, Randi gives a set of opposing statements which appear to show that there is perhaps, both conflict and confusion going on within himself.  Could Randi have foiled his own illusion right there?

On the one hand, Randi is stating that he is inspired by a baby’s glance but, on the other hand, he’s saying that he there is no meaning to life in this world.  How is it that someone can “get it” (meaning) from the look from a baby’s eyes but, sees no meaning in life and calls “meaning”, meaningless?  Quite the mixed mouthful he’s spit out there isn’t it?

Secondly, he’s saying that he doesn’t need any miracles to make the world a beautiful place but in the same breath, goes on to say that the world is a cruel place that doesn’t care about any individual in it.  Someone please tell the babies whose eyes he looks into that because they are in for a let down that life has no meaning and the world is purely a cruel place to be by the nature of it.

Both of those statements seem to openly display the inner workings of a man who has lived a good portion of his life, preaching to others about the lack of need for and in religious beliefs and has tried to debunk it, seemingly smugly feeling that he’s succeeded in doing so.  It is reminiscent of the great and powerful Oz from the movie, The Wizard of Oz.  When the curtain is drawn back, there stands a bearded older man, operating the levers of a projection produced illusion of a great and powerful magical, fear inducing leader who knows all and is much like Randi, even in appearance.  “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”  It’s all simply an illusion, a great and powerful, money making illusion that Randi has projected much like Dorothy had uncovered in Oz when she exposed the man behind the curtain.

What I see personally in Randi and his life, is someone who has more than likely been emotionally hurt rather early in his life, lonely even when surrounded by people and perhaps, was considered somewhat of a “geek” by others within his peer groups. I imagine him as a child, surrounded by books and a train set, doing little else but, reading and mostly, solitary pursuits. It’s known that he spent a good deal of time with books on magic and, I’d be willing to bet that he wanted the appearance of someone as seemingly great and powerful such as the magicians he’d watched on stage or read about as a child.  The draw of fooling others with magic does have a sort of super power feel to it and may be what drew him into it.  How awed would everyone be when they couldn’t figure how he did something as mystical and mysterious as magic tricks seem to be to those who haven’t studied it?  I can imagine him feeling that he would be perceived as a step above those who perhaps, made fun of him.  However, this is only from my own personal reflections and nothing more as is the following.

There is a powerful feel to the name “James” which later became his stage name. Randall may have felt  small and powerless but “James” may have had a sense of strength within its feel to him.  Even removing his last names and never referring himself or attaching himself to his surname(s) seems to indicate that he somewhat distanced himself from his childhood. There feels to be a bitterness from within him, likely beginning in that time frame. Or, perhaps, that bitterness and distancing from religion and his Atheist connection came about when he discovered he was Gay and eventually came out about?  Religions don’t seem to take kindly to the Gay lifestyle and is shamefully, ruining many people’s lives because of that stance.  That bitterness could be understood if that is to be the case of when he pulled the plug on religion.

What we see him proclaim to be doing by allegedly protecting the vulnerable from the charlatans is more likely Randi’s cloaked and hidden protection of himself and his own personal demons.  It’s akin to a crab with its tough exterior shell to protect the inner softness from harm.

Incredibly, Randi has lived his life trying to both fool others as well as divulge the possible foolery in others.  He’s made a living, a rather good living at doing both of these things.  He’s become a martyr in a sense but, been paid well to have done so. He simply justifies his money by labeling it as a noble cause.

If Randi can’t use his five bodily senses to detect it, can’t reproduce the effect, it doesn’t exist.  He’ll even refute Quantum Physics discoveries.  In part, could it be that it might prove that there is a connection between consciousness and a deity or perhaps, simply that consciousness survives physical bodily death and, Randi would be out of business in his skepticism, humanist and atheist involvements?  Would Randi, himself then be de-bunked?

No one, including Sylvia Browne (real or not) could possibly pass Randi’s million dollar test simply because it is set up to cause them to fail.  Randi doesn’t want to see anyone prove what he has spent his life believing doesn’t exist.  Yet, I can’t help wonder if perhaps, there is a tiny part of him that wishes to see someone prove it to him, under the most difficult of circumstances and beyond what he’s set up to cause them to fail so that he can believe.  Let’s face it, Randi is no Spring Chicken anymore but perhaps, it doesn’t matter to Randi.  He’s either going to be dead and not know the difference or, he’ll be surprised in arriving at some place beyond this physical world.  Either way, he has nothing to fear.  His real fight seems to be with himself and this world.

At least, that’s how I am seeing James Randi from my little corner of life.

David Blaine’s Stunts/Illusions Need Clarification As To Real Or Illusion

Illusionist David Blaine's stunts are crossing lines to dangerous.

Illusionist David Blaine’s stunts are crossing lines to dangerous.

We all know that Magician/Illusionist, David Blaine is both a genius and a total obsessive compulsive freak with his illusions.  The man has gone to no ends to figure out how to perform wildly different versions of old magic tricks.  There is no refuting that point.

We also know that Blaine has gone to extraordinary lengths to get himself in shape to do his stunts.  Some of them have been pure mental and physical training where he’s put himself in great health danger but, for the most part, Blaine’s illusions are more the result of lengthy, oftentimes a decade or more, of re-creating newer and more exciting versions or spins on old magic tricks done by many before him.

One stunt stands out in mind as perhaps, one that is a combination of disgusting as well as worrisome.

In Blaine’s television special which aired back in November of last year, entitled “Real Or Magic” Blaine proceeds to seemingly and realistically, put an ice pick through his hand on a couple of occasions, in front of celebrities.  He also seemingly sticks a metal skewer through his arm in the bicep area and has someone else pull it back out for him. No blood, no pain on his face (except for his smirky, quirky grin), he pushes both the pic and the metal skewer through both his arm and his hand on separate occasions.

Watch actor, Ricky Gervais’ reaction when Blaine sticks the skewer through his arm at the bicep.   Note: if you’re faint of heart or squeemish, you may not want to watch this one.  

A fantastic and magical endeavor but, one in which it has an ethical dilemma that it leaves behind for younger people.

Blaine leaves in doubt whether this is an illusion or whether he’s simply a total freak or to use his word, a “maniac”.

While there are people throughout the world who have meditated and can do this type of thing in reality, Blaine has had people talking about this on boards all over the net. Most people don’t know how it’s done but, know enough that sticking something like an ice pick or a metal skewer through parts of their bodies, isn’t something that anyone should do.  However, there are younger people and even older people who are curious enough to want to try this.

A lot of people are under the assumption that Blaine is actually sticking these objects through his body parts and Blaine has done nothing to uncover the reality behind this illusion.  He leaves it to the imagination as to whether he is really doing this or it is an extremely well done take on a very old illusion.  It is also leaving behind, people who will inevitably, sit in their own livingrooms, bathrooms or bedrooms, sticking needles through their hands and biceps, figuring it is real.  Afterall, Blaine has bragged about his “training” for other stunts.

There have been several explanations for Blaine possibly really doing this illusion.

Some have hypothesized that Blaine studies with swamis and mentally prepared himself for pain and to control bleeding.  Others have thought that Blaine may have had tubes, surgically implanted in these body parts to pass the pick or the skewer through with the skin having become scar tissue over both sides.  Still others, have hypothesized that Blaine had spent years of sticking needles through exact spots in his hand and arm, working his way up to a thicker gauged instrument.

No matter what hypothesis one can come up with, this is dangerous to go on believing that Blaine has done this in reality.  It is a trick…an illusion that many before him have done.  It’s simply a far more clever variation than what has been done before.  That is what took Blaine the 13 years that he claims it took him to prepare to do this illusion.

One of the best known versions of this came back in the 80’s when actor and amateur-comedien magician, Harry Anderson of “Night Court” fame did his stunt in front of audiences.  Again, if you are squeemish or faint of heart, you may want to by-pass watching that video but, know that it IS a trick.  Anderson is really not sticking anything through his body.

Anything dangerous that is an illusion, shouldn’t be left to the imagination that it’s possibly “real”.  It not only allows for imaginations to run wild in those who have more guts than brains but, it opens doors for kids to get themselves into serious problems. One can only hope that Blaine will come out and tell his fans that this IS an illusion and not to try this as a real event.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life but in the meanwhile, let’s lighten this entry up with a parody on David Blaine’s Street Magic.  

Celebrity Deaths Can Help Us

Three celebrities died during August and early September of 2014  Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall and Joan Rivers all passed away within a couple of weeks of one another.  One was barely talked about, another was covered for a couple of days and the other was and still is being talked about.  What made the difference?

Lauren Bacall had been out of the limelight for awhile.  She was also 89 years old which led to an acceptance that Life has to end at some point or another.  This was hers. More to the point, Bacall’s death came a day or so after a tragic suicide of another celeb who was more in the spotlight at the time of his passing.  It was with little wonder that Bacall’s passing got little more than a media notice and the public was still engaged in William’s suicide.

Comedian/Actor, Robin Williams on the other hand, was only 63 years of age, had a number of projects wrapping up and was moving onto the planning stages of yet another.  His sudden death by suicide was shocking to the world as he was well known around the globe.

Comedienne, Joan Rivers’ end came at 81 years of age and was just as much of a shock as Williams’ death but, was seemingly the result of a medical error or condition. The final cause of her death is still under investigation.  Rivers was also still extremely active and in the spotlight at the time of her passing.

While one can accept that Bacall had lived a full and long life and this was simply her time, it has not been the case with Williams’ nor, with Rivers’ deaths.  Yet, there is seemingly more fascination with Rivers’ death than with Williams’.

Perhaps, the reasoning for the public’s fascination with Rivers’ death, in spite of being 81 years of age by comparison to Williams’ death at 63 years of age, has to do with a number of factors.

Williams’ death had a known cause.  He ended his own life.  Furthermore, it was known that Williams had been suffering from depression and anxiety as well as early stage Parkinson’s Disease.  We quickly dismissed his death as being one of “choice” in a loose fitting way and accepted the explanation given to us as the public, being that of depression.

Rivers on the other hand, seemingly full of life, no depressive episodes known to us, going in for a routine procedure many people go through on a daily basis, seemed implausible to have happened especially, given her fame, fortune and connections with the best of medical care and, we still don’t know for certain what it was that happened during that procedure that caused her life to end.

What also made a difference were a couple of more pieces that our minds can’t seem to accept.

Williams’ family quickly had a very private funeral without public notification.  No one knew that his remains had been quickly cremated and ashes spread.  While the public was still chewing on the horror of his tragic death, his family was discreetly carrying out his funeral, unbeknownst to his fans.  It was over before it began for the public.

Secondly, suicide still has a taboo attached to it.  For many, suicide is still thought of as a “sin”.  Not many want the “shame” attached to a family member’s death via suicide.  It has the ability to cast a form of blame onto those who were closest to him.

Rivers, on the other hand, did not look like her chronological age of 81.  Thanks to her many rounds of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, we were fooled into feeling her to be younger than the years she actually had lived.  Her vim and vigor at this age, with a full plate of both ongoing and future public appearances were of little help in the public’s mind of her being the age that she was.

Next to those facts, the idea that her death was one that shouldn’t have happened while undergoing such a routine procedure that millions have every year, in a clinic that allegedly had the most state of the art equipment and, she could afford the best of doctors, was a shocking revelation to most that things can and do go wrong in spite of all of the above.

Finally, we don’t know yet what actually caused Rivers’ heart to stop and deprive her brain of the oxygen that damaged her brain beyond the capacity to live.  For all intents and purposes, this never should have been the case but, we don’t yet know what it was that caused it to happen.

What is saddest of all (beyond the obvious that world stars have gone) is that Williams’ death by suicide has been all but dropped as a topic of discussion.  The stigma of suicide has once again, caused the topic of depression to be swept under the carpet when it needs to be front and center and discussed to help others who may be facing a similar fate.  Many are in need of this type of a discussion being had and the families of those who have or will face the ravages of guilt from family or friend’s suicides through depression, also need the support that can only come through such a discussion.

On the same hand, we need to know what happened to Rivers in the clinic so that future patients will not end up with the same outcome.  Though extremely rare for this type of thing to happen during a procedure such as this, there are lessons to be learned for all.

Williams’ death needs to be kept in the lime light as much as or more than Rivers’ death.  Until we can remove the stigma attached to depression, mental illness/disorders and suicide, more will happen.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.

Rob Ford Ill While Doug Ford Takes Over Mayoral Race: Does Toronto Lose Out?

Rob and Doug Ford.  Toronto City Council's "Bad Boys".

Rob and Doug Ford. Toronto City Council’s “Bad Boys”.

The Toronto Mayoral Race is in full gear though, Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford has dropped out of the running for the Mayoral position due to his declining health issues.

Ford was admitted to hospital last week with severe abdominal pain in the lower left quadrant.  Tests showed a large tumor in Ford’s abdomen.  After several tests at Toronto’s Humber River Regional River’s Church Street site, Ford was transferred mid-last week to Mt. Sinai Hospital in Downtown Toronto for more intensive care and further testings not possible to be done at HRRH.

Mt. Sinai has done extensive testing on Ford, including an MRI, biopsy of the tumor, lung biopsy while Ford is reportedly in pain, nauseous and vomiting.

Results of the tumor biopsy are reported to be available sometime Wednesday or Thursday of this week and further information will be made available to the public when or if it is deemed by Ford and his family to be appropriate to be released.

Media is camping out by Mt. Sinai Hospital, waiting for word and updates from family members as they enter or leave the hospital.  Most family members are being quoted as saying, Ford is in “ok spirits but, in pain.”

Celebrities have been publicly announcing their well-wishes for the controversial but, “likeable” mayor.  Jimmy Kimmel sent his regards and made an aired statement of best wishes for Ford.

Meanwhile, Ford’s bid for the Mayoral Seat in the upcoming October 27th elections was dropped in a last minute deadline last Thursday before 2 p.m..  This was the election deadline for candidates to officially either drop out of the race or, enter it.

In a twist of events, not surprisingly, Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, dropped Rob’s name from the Mayoral Race ballot and entered himself in his brother’s place. Doug then, entered Rob’s name in the running as councilor for Ward 2, Doug’s current riding and pushed nephew Michael Ford out of the councilor’s race for that ward. Michael Ford is now set to run as School Board Trustee in another ward.

Doug Ford was not running for the upcoming elections.  It was said that Doug had wanted out of politics to work in the business sector.  He stated in a news conference last Thursday night that it was Rob’s wishes that he run for mayor in his place and Doug followed his brother’s wishes.

While heart-wrenching to see a family in such pain, a mayor who has caused the city a lot of embarrassment world-wide with lies, illegal and distasteful actions, aided by his brother, Doug with cover-ups, everyone hopes that Ford will come through this and get well.  Most hope the Ford Family will stay by the ailing mayor’s side and help him get through this horrific time and to come through this with flying colors.

What is disturbing for Toronto residents are several points about the entire situation with one Ford wanting to drop out, the other wanting to stay but, being ill while another, tries to enter the Toronto Municipal political ring.

The Ford Family is well known for being extremely wealthy.  They are no slouches when it comes to business nor, money.  None of them are going without anything and have a lot of people and resources at their fingertips.  Money is not an object for either of these men nor, are jobs.  So, why is it that the brothers and family are so intent on getting a strong-hold on Toronto in the municipal political arena?

Doug Ford, by far, has much less experience in Toronto politics than his brother, Rob Ford.  With only 4 years under his belt, by comparison to his brother’s 13 or more years, Doug has the disadvantage.  However, it is said that a vote for Doug is a vote for Rob as one cannot separate the two brothers’ politics.  Doug is simply the one with the least scandal under his belt and is thought to be less contemptable than his younger brother, Rob.

However, while the Brothers Ford have claimed to have Toronto’s best interests at heart, a couple of things come to mind.

Firstly, Rob lied to Torontonians and the world, repeatedly about his drug and alcohol usage as well as his affiliation with drug dealers and dealings.  By mid last year, there was little that came out of Rob’s mouth that anyone could believe.  He was later, stripped of his Mayoral duties and left with the title of “Mayor” in name only.  Brother, Doug, backed Rob in all that he said and did, including the lies and, vehemently denied his brother had issues most of that time.  Doug also fought with anyone who said anything against his brother’s wrong-doings to the point of making a buffoon out of himself as well when truths would eventually surface.

Secondly, Doug had made it clear that he did not want to go back into the political ring and wanted out completely to enter the business world.  This fact makes him an “unwilling participant” in the ring as he has stated that he is doing this because his brother “asked him to do it.”  Not exactly the picture of someone who would have the best interests of one of Canada’s largest and most important cities in mind, is it?

Driving that point home is the fact that Doug has stated that his real interests are in his brother’s well being.  While natural, normal and expected by a brother who loves his younger brother, again it is showing that Doug’s heart is not in this race nor, does he seemingly have the drive or focus on being what the city needs most.

It’s obvious to everyone now that Rob is going to need a lot of time to recuperate or, to have treatments if the tumor turns out to be malignant, which is looking more likely by the moment.  Again, while everyone hopes and prays Rob will be ok and make it through this fine and healthfully, the reality is, no one knows yet and, with Rob being so ill, time and attention from Doug will naturally be devoted to his brother’s well being as well as that of his entire family.  How does one run an extremely large and difficult city’s politics and business when his mind, heart and soul aren’t into that role?

Both brothers have also stated that Toronto is where they want their focus to be but, with one sick and likely unable to do his job as even a city councilor for quite sometime to come and the other brother, worried about his brother’s well-being and perhaps, life…it is not likely that either of them will be able to fulfill either role successfully nor, with the amount of dedication it takes to do those jobs.  How fair is that to the city or themselves?  It appears more self-serving than anything else.

With their nephew, also now entering the Toronto political ring, it seems that the Fords are simply out for a monopoly in Toronto City Hall for their own agendas rather than what is best for the city, itself.

From my little corner of life, I think it would be best for all concerned, if both Rob and Doug were to sit this one out and wait to see what happens.  However, the saga continues with the focus still on the Ford Family’s business rather than on city politics. If nothing else can be said about the Ford Family brothers, it’s that they know how to draw attention to themselves and, that may be the shame for Torontonians in this Ford Circus.

Watching The News Can Make Our Lives Feel Worse

Have you ever been having a bad day, week, month or year and been watching the evening news, only to find yourself feeling even worse than you were already feeling?  Is it little wonder that it does that to us?

I mean, who needs to come home from a hard day’s work, feeling worn out, cruddy and tired, only to turn on the news and hear what else cruddy has happened in the city you live in or the world? 

What worse way can you end your day and go to bed with visions of disaster, leaping through your head?

Or, how about the idea that you already feel anxious or down and turn on the news to hear that there’s been a stabbing in one end of your city, a shooting in the other end, there’s a war going on in several countries simultaneously and by the way, your property taxes, utilities and the cost of your vehicle gas are all going up next month?  

Now, doesn’t that just want to send you off to a restful, peaceful sleep?

Is it any wonder why we all feel stressed in the first place with today’s fast paced world and all that happens in it?  Does it come as any big surprise that we are feeling more anxious, more depressed and that antidepressants are being prescribed by doctors like candy to many of the population, even though not many want to admit to taking them?  

One piece of advice is to avoid listening to or reading the news.  However, that’s not easily done when the talk around the water cooler the next day is about all that was heard in the news the day before or, you suddenly are faced with your boss who wants to know what you think about the most recent event on every news channel as light chatter and you have no clue what they’re talking about.  How foolish do you feel at shrugging your shoulders and saying, “I didn’t hear about that.” 

Maybe, I’m a dreamer and maybe, I’m not facing reality but, why is it that the news can’t contain good things, nice happenings just as much as the bad?  Is our world that bad that there isn’t any good happening in it?  Of course not.  

Good happens but, bad sells.  That’s the bottom line.  People tune into the news to hear the bad.  There seems to be a morbid fascination with hearing all of the ails of the world so, the media works fairly solely on that premise.  The more of it we watch, the further their ratings shoot up and the more they’re going to cover of it.  

What if people were to boycott the news?  Not that it will happen but, let’s suppose for just one moment that we were to all turn off the news channels, turn off the radio news stations, stop buying newspapers and start watching more Big Bang Theory or re-runs of Friends, instead of the news?  What if we were to turn off our radios the moment we heard the latest traffic news and listened to music instead?  What if we were to all do this for a period of time until new producers got the idea that the world isn’t all bad and good things happen all of the time too?  What if the sponsors of the news got the hint that they need to report a mixture of both the bad and good instead of the lopsided stories that they report on?  

Of course, there will always be those who will say, “but, I love the news before I go to bed and can’t go without it.  I don’t want to hear the good.  I want to hear reality.”  

Reality is, that there is good that happens in this world.  We just don’t seem to care about it as much as we do about the tragedies, fighting, negativity, death, murder and everything else that we listen to in each newscast.  

I, for one, have turned off the news more often now.  I still want to stay informed but, I also want to balance it out so that it’s not so negatively affecting my mind on even a subconscious level.  Instead, I turn the radio to music.  I turn the tv to some comedy.  I read the articles and commentaries in the newspaper that capture my interest with new revelations instead of the regular news reports in the papers.  I simply wish to balance it out a bit more. 

If we were all to start doing a bit more of that type of thing, the sponsors and news channels might get the idea that it’s not so appealing to not report the good that happens.  At the least, we will be more balanced within ourselves.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.  I may be alone in that corner but, it’s my corner and I’m sticking to that. 

 

Infamous Toronto Mayor Rob Ford In Hospital With Abdominal Tumor

Rockin’ Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been lambasted with several things in this past week.  The latest came today when Ford was hospitalized in Toronto’s Humber River Regional Hospital, having gone in for abdominal pain.  A CT scan has diagnosed a tumor in his abdomen, lower left quadrant.  A biopsy is to be done through a colonoscopy it’s been reported. No one knows for sure but it’s expected that the tumor is one of the colon.  It’s also unclear what size it is at this time.  

Doctors and Rob Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, have said that they don’t know whether it is malignant or, if it is, whether it has spread.  They will be doing tests to figure that out in the next couple of days.  It may be the end of this week before we know but, Ford is said to be in “good spirits”.   

The Ford Family has asked for their privacy while they await further diagnosis and figure out what needs to be done to treat it.  

Speculation about whether Ford will continue on with the re-election campaign is on hold until the outcome of these tests are found out.  

Late last week, Ford was subpoenaed to testify at the “Sandro” Lisi extortion trial that is coming up likely after the elections are done next month, possibly as late as next Spring.  

Lisi was Ford’s friend and an occassional driver for Ford.  Lisi was charged with extortion when he allegedly attempted to retrieve the videos that surfaced in May of 2013 of Ford smoking crack.

Up until this point, Ford has allegedly, refused to co-operate with police in answering questions about Lisi’s involvement in the extortion for the tapes, his interactions with the Dixon City Bloods and his involvement, if any, in trying to recover the crack video.

Something stinks in all of this but, it seems that Ford has bigger fish to handle before this legal matter becomes an issue. It seems that the last few days have been one hell of a ride for the tarnished and trouble-plagued Toronto Mayor.  

Whether one is a Ford Lover or a Ford Hater, we all wish him well.  No matter what else he may have done or not done, he deserves to be well and not ill.  At least, that’s the way that I see things from my little corner of life.