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Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

Am I moping?

When will she wake up?

How long does this experiment last?

I’m pushing my luck ; but when you’re in my shoes, what would you do?

I don’t think I can do this, this way, for long.

Not without consequences.


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Sometimes (okay, often) I wonder why I'm not 'over it' yet, why I'm not working again, why I still have so much pain. Today is the 4th anniversary of my life-saving surgery, and while I'm incredibly grateful to be alive, I'm also giving myself permission to unload some of the pain - mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological, financial - that I continue to experience.

Whether it is

the diagnosed insomnia and (when I do sleep) brutal nightmares, or the debilitating abdominal cramps;

the depression that hangs over me like a sticky, soupy mess, or the pain of knowing that Shandi and I will likely not have…

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Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou. Photo Credit CBC News

With the arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver last week, tensions have been running high with China, which is rapidly becoming the most powerful nation in the world. As the United States lets its global influence wane, preferring to focus inward rather than outward, Canada risks becoming caught in a global war for economic and cultural influence.

I want to highlight two ‘longread’ articles worth reading as you reflect on the interesting political situation in which we find ourselves, arresting an influential Chinese business person on Canadian soil, at the behest of the United States. The first, in Wired magazine, concerns the Chinese predilection for commercial and military spying. In the period between 2010 and 2014, China was especially busy, stealing the plans for the American C-17 Cargo plane, which is used to ferry large equipment and munitions around the world. After American intelligence determined that a Chinese spy based out of Richmond, B.C. …

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One of my biggest sources of PTSD-based anxiety is the going-to-sleep process. I’ve said to Shandi many times, “I don’t want to go to sleep because I don’t want a nightmare.” I might pop an extra nightmare pill that night, but for the most part, I’m at the mercy of my sleeping brain. If it so chooses, I will relive components of my trauma, including nightmares with similar themes to the ones I had in the hospital, most often being caught in some kind of dystopian hospital society. In these dreams my family, my friends, and the people I love the most are on the lookout to actively cause me harm. …

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Harvard educated Putzi Hanfstaengl, Hitler’s right hand man, talking Germany First. | “1933" Philip Metcalfe

<This is a FB comment turned brief blog post, and is not meant to be an exhaustive comparison of Hitler’s Brownshirts to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. It is intended to provoke both thought and action.>

In 1933, the year that Hitler took power, he created paramilitary goons known as Brownshirts to terrorize populations of people that were coming and going from Germany. The targets were based on race and ideology among other things — not only Jews were targeted, but so were the Roma people (Gypsies), folks coming from the Mediterranean regions who didn’t fit the Aryan profile. Among these were communists, blamed for a fire at the Reichstag actually perpetrated by Brownshirts. That gave Hitler a “reason” to take over the reins of not only the executive branch, but also the legislative branch. …

Watching B.C. and Alberta duke it out over oil pipelines from afar is really frustrating for a westerner like me, trapped as I am in central Canada. While I have lived in both provinces, I understand most the British Columbian attachment to the great rain forests and their beautiful and precarious coastline. But I also understand that continued Albertan economic prosperity requires the successful movement of oil to shore — with the development of natural gas fracking, the United States no longer buys already-discounted Alberta oil, meaning that Alberta oil must find alternative international customers, and in particular, China.

Tied up in this battle, and simmering behind the scenes, are the identities of two provinces frequently on the sidelines of politics here in Central Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in a bit of a pickle too, because this this time it’s a bit backwards, with Alberta is looking for federal backup on its energy policies, while B.C. urges Ottawa to keep its hands off their own natural resources. …

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Vidyard, 8 Queen St. S, Kitchener

I’m not sure how many of you have had a chance to read the latest in dude-bro complaining in the Globe and Mail, but for a booster of the local community, Michael Litt, CEO at Vidyard, seems to find a certain amount of enjoyment in complaining about the Waterloo Region. In his op-ed, Litt takes to offering the tired high-tech trope that the Waterloo Region doesn’t have enough culture to make this a vibrant community. Indeed, his thesis is this:

“Importantly, it’s not technology but rather community resources that the region lacks.”

He then takes aim at our health care system, complaining that “Currently, both of the region’s major hospitals sit in downtown Kitchener, making them hard to access from outlying areas,” a note that is increasingly at odds with the Waterloo Region Strategic Plan, which is to grow up from the cores out, instead of simply building more and more single dwelling homes on already disappearing prime farmland. While his complaint that there are a lack of specialists in the Waterloo Region may be true, this comment shows a deep lack of respect for our world-class cardiac care program at St. Mary’s Hospital, and the success of the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre, built with support from former Blackberry co-CEO, Jim Balsillie. Additionally, McMaster University Medical School already runs a teaching program out of a building just down the street from Litt’s office; the Kitchener downtown core is also home to the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy. …

Refusing to apologize for Canada’s culturally genocidal, horrifying, Church-led, Residential School system is precisely what it means to “turn away from the cross.”

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Pope Francis

There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with Pope Francis tweet yesterday morning, at least not from the perspective of Christian theology:

But I’ve been trying to process exactly what that means, exactly, especially since I had just finished reading in the Toronto Star that the Holy See wouldn’t offer an official apology for the cultural genocide and violent abuse endured by Indigenous people in Canada’s residential school system. Despite a request for one from the Indigenous community in the Recommendations to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Pope Francis said he was “declining to offer an apology,” an obvious dismissal of past wrongs committed in the name of the Catholic Church. …

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More of my cannabis photographs can be found at

This IPolitics headline, “Trudeau could be barred from U.S. after he’s PM because he smoked pot: U.S. lawyer” is a little misleading.

The context is not just that ‘Trudeau smoked pot’, but that U.S. law currently makes it illegal to travel to the United States if *any Canadian citizen* has *ever* used cannabis in their life *ever*


If an American Border Official asks you the question “Have you ever used Marijuana” and you answer YES, you will be denied admission to the United States. If you answer NO (and you actually have), you’re guilty of a felony offense. …

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

After spending some time reading The Atlantic’s March cover piece on the fall of evangelicalism and reviewing some challenges to it, I thought I’d offer my thoughts on why the piece carefully wrought though it was, missed the mark.

The most glaring problem in the piece, I think, is the extent to which Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, whitewashes over the longstanding problem that Evangelicals have had with racism, simmering under the surface for a long time before Trump came along to give it a comfortable face. …


Peter Thurley

Professional Writer-for-Hire, politico-in-detox, desmoid tumour survivor; more at

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