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LETTER: Nothing could be further from the truth

“me” Wilhelm, being “deeply angry” against which I had actually no objection.

Dear editor,

I was watching the closing scene of our eleven premiers, the Premiers of a huge country, add the Yukon and NW Territories of course, the second largest country in the world with only 37,000,000 inhabitants and 80,000 cubic meter per person of water, against oil rich (as is Canada) Saudi Arabia with only 76 cu meter per person. The last question they had to answer was regarding Canadian unity and it was answered very much in the positive, although Alberta and Saskatchewan had some but only slight reservations – their grudge, if you can call it that is that, they have greatly contributed to equalization payments, and I heard the Alberta premier state the sum of 600 billion dollars, but cannot sell their product now to the rest of the country, implying building that pipeline to the West and selling that huge Canadian resource, the Tar sands, the Tar Sands that has made Canada an oil super power, if and provided the stuff is allowed to be, unrestricted, send to Asia so they can keep polluting our planet earth to their heart’s delight, or the excuse is: if we do not sell them the oil, someone else will.

At any rate, there was real comradeship among the premiers, in their common goal, to keep this a great country but of course to make it even much better, “just let them to continue to be premiers”, my thinking aloud what is implied, because, unlike in China, they have, any moment and at whatever turn, they know, they need to be re-elected to do the job.

Canada, 3.8 million square miles with huge resources against a very small population! And after our intelligent and ambitious editor of our North Island bestseller picked out that challenging and provocative sentence from my last letter, using it as the topic for the letter, “me” Wilhelm, being “deeply angry” against which I had actually no objection as it is really true, yet I must let the honourable reader know that they must not misunderstand that I walk around and waste my energies, the energies of an old man now, being angry. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I want to be is be creative still and see how I can be of benefit and be useful in making suggestions, pointing out what is wrong and what and how we could, can and should improve things.

I went on my daily walk on our beautiful trail and then see the first little slug that had dared to get onto the asphalt surface – it must somehow feel to worms and slugs like it is to a passionate automobile driver to be able to drive on the autobahn – but beware, like the drive on that fast lane, there is danger. For the car driver, make one mistake and you are dead; for the worm or slug, delay to get to the other side or fail to go at a ninety degree angle to get to the other side fast enough, and the sun comes out and the surface dries up, and “voila” you are dead. Looking at one of these little creatures that have to live by touch and not sight, it occurred to me to close my eyes for a moment and then imagine to be blind. What one would miss. And then I looked again with new eyes at my surroundings: the fantastic country we live in, lush, green, rich! Imagine a desert or semi-arid area, or a low lying area near a huge river system, the constant danger they live in? I know, I am quite aware that we could someday be hit by the Big One, the big one I like to sometimes remind my dear and lovely older lady next door when a little bit of my grass cuttings jumps through the fence (as I once in a while, reluctantly so it can flower, cut the grass), and on her immaculate clean driveway. And this brings me to another topic for a moment that sometimes drives me bonkers: why do we cut the grass on our lawns so compulsively short any time it starts to get to the point it may start developing flowers. I sat in my back lawn and there I hear a sound I wished I had heard when my apple and pear trees were blossoming in the spring; the humming of bees! When I let the back lawn alone long enough, the clover starts to blossom (as it did in my home little village) and there it is: B E E S! Why are we so afraid of mosquitos? Do we hate birds?

“Canada with unemployment is like a young fellow on welfare!”(Now I remember, it was a Canadian prime minister during the Depression, trying to get re-elected, RB Bennett – correct me anyone, you “Historians”! One of our more intelligent writers made that observations – No, I sure it was Bennett, in a re-election speech. I once in a while give one of my older First Nation’s friends a ride home (I get praises for my nice VW Passat – that cost me dearly!), a distance half that of from my village of Kornbach to the nearby larger little town of Gefrees, where we had to go once in a while to buy some coffee and or sugar or one or two other things – everything else was produced on the land, and I think I have told my readers that we had no garbage dump and yet it was a very clean village – a “German” pride, “cleanliness is next to Godliness” – and every time I drive through our First Nations lovely village, I miss the gardens of my Kornbach. My last visit there showed me how global warming is really helping the little mountain village at 2000 feet to grow better apples and now even grows roses as it has become warmer. I do not blame the First Nations for not having gardens but it is never too late. The lady I drove home surprised me in what fine new house she lives. But many and most houses need paint and repair. So what we need is carpenters, painters, electricians, plumbers, masons and not computer experts sitting at a table all day, doing goofy things. (Or making silly movies to entertain us into boredom!)

We should be so lucky we Canadians! But beware! What do you think would happen if we announced we want to join the European Communion as we find it too expensive to defend our north against Russia and China and the USA? We would find out who owns us! Why do we not have our very own automobile industry when we are such a car-needed huge country? And wen are we getting the electoral system that truly represents us and not the silly and childish first past the post system as if we played games still out the back of the school yard. Want to hear more? Wish me a long life and I will discuss celibacy to end for Catholic priests, population control in a world that does not know what to do with all the immigrants, crime, for which there is absolutely no need in a rich country like Canada, where there is such plenty and there is absolutely no need to steal as there should be plenty for everyone: all we need is to remind ourselves what they teach in Church re the Good Samaritan. (Did you know in the USA there are 150 different “Christian” denominations. The Catholics are the one biggest group with 72 million members. Those young people of you who really have a passion for knowledge: re religion, to start with: Read Hans Kueng and Joseph Carroll (the one who also wrote the mind-bocling revealing book on the American Empire, House of War. The latest book by Hans Kueng I recommend without reservation to anyone: it will not destroy your Christian faith, I promise. If anything, you may be able to believe in a more “rational” fashion.(Oh, I almost missed finishing my sentence: the book: Was ich glaube/ What I Believe, a summarization of a life’s thoughts and writings of a great mind.)

Wilhelm Waldstein,

Port Hardy

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