Various Veins

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Ross Andrews - Various Veins

When I take my eyes off the headlines screaming about this and that scandal or protest and look out the window I'm reminded of the line from In Flanders Field, "And in the sky the larks still bravely singing fly."

There are no larks, but lots of robins, doves, grackles going about their business. Remember, too, the Senior Centre Singers are bravely rehearsing for the concert on April 21 at 7:30 p.m. Laurel Beechey gave you the details in her last column. Lunch to follow, I like that!

Do you feel sorry for Amit Chakma, president of Western University, reduced to pleading for help to keep his job? Neither do I, but the people who made it possible for him to double dip his pay deserve to be booted out too, for lack of common sense.

Latest polls show support for the Tory terror bill has dropped below half, especially among young Canadians. As I reported last week, my OPP son asks what have they got to hide? It's especially comical because so many young people publish their behaviour online for all the world to see. They have no thought for their privacy or they wouldn't be flaunting their actions so proudly.

The trial of Senator Mike Duffy has enlivened the braying for abolition of the senate. Do we really want to leave the last word to leaders like the fire breathing leader of the NDP who opposes everything other leaders promote? Or the wily Stephen Harper? Or the leader who welcomes Lawrence Summers to his inner circle of advisors? Lawrence Summers who almost single handedly caused the meltdown of banking in USA seven years ago?

Instead of sending the senate into history, why not apply some sober second thinking to writing clear rules for senators about what may be charged to the taxpayers? And to back up a step, how about appointing men and women of proven integrity and wisdom to the office?

Don't push for elected senators. That way leads to deadlock as we can see by looking south to the USA.

Did you see the news coverage of the interview with the Minister of Education in Quebec last week? A gang of masked 'trolls' smashed windows and property in the University of Montreal. They blocked students from getting to classrooms. The rector called the police to restore control. The Minister of Education supported the rector's action. The government wasn't asked to get involved.

Reporters repeatedly asked the minister if the government is going to allow students to strike. The minister patiently refused to comment on this question because the 'troll' action was entirely separate from government involvement. It was a police matter and a one-time situation. In his position, I'd have been looking for a baseball bat, or more wisely exiting the room.

Last Friday night a thunderstorm crashed and flashed across the sky south of my house. Tornadoes roared across Illinois killing people and destroying property. Mother Nature, unlike human beings, is mindless. In case of need, I checked the batteries in my flashlights and felt relieved that I didn't need them.

Bird flu has struck the area. It saved workers from having to euthanize one flock by killing every bird in the building. This too, is nature in action, but unlike wild weather people can have some control by following guidelines for sanitation.

T.S. Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month..." but in my Aprils are three birthdays, and as last Sunday, I'm off to celebrate the second one.

Be nice to one another. Listen for the larks. Oh, and get your tickets for April 21.


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