why I joined the Liberal Party of Canada

To Joan Crockatt, my current Member of Parliament:

Hello Joan,

I will be actively campaigning in your riding against the Conservative Party in the upcoming election.

Born in Calgary, a fiscal conservative, still I cannot support your military mission in Iraq. It’s a waste of money. And will likely backfire, making Canada a more prominent target for any Canadian extremist or kook. It’s making me and my family less safe, not more.

Scholars Pape and Feldman:

… more than 2,100 documented cases of suicide bombings from 1980 to 2009 and concluded that most of the perpetrators were acting in response to U.S. intervention in the Middle East. …

The Canadian military should be Peace Keepers.

My other main issue is online privacy. I’m almost certainly going to be strongly against the coming omnibus public safety bill (Bill C-51). The NSA has proven that method doesn’t work. It’s not at all the best way to find terrorists in Canada.

Rick McCharles
Sarcee Meadows, Glamorgan


I do like your work for women’s rights, by the way. But not enough to offset my disgust with your Party bombing and shooting innocent women and children in the Middle East.

 Sergeant Andrew Joseph Doiron was killed by friendly fire in Iraq

Sergeant Andrew Joseph Doiron was killed by friendly fire in Iraq


Joan Crockatt did not reply. Not even a form letter.

So I bought a $10 Liberal Party membership.

Justin Trudeau:

We will not be supporting the government’s efforts to deepen this combat mission and expand it into Syria.

Speech by Justin Trudeau on the government’s motion to extend the combat mission in Iraq and expand into Syria

I’m hoping the Liberal candidate will be my Mayor’s chief of staff, Chima Nkemdirim.

I’ve written the NDP Party, as well, asking why I should vote for them instead of the Liberals.

Mulcair says NDP would pull Canadian troops from Iraq mission

glasses at Walmart

Walmart Visions Centres get some bad reviews.

Many have no full-time doctors. They bring in part time people as needed.

But glasses are incredibly overpriced. The Italian firm Luxottica, controls a big chunk of the market. Lack of competition means poor value for the consumer.

I’ve been shopping Walmart for at least 8 years. No complaints. In 2011 my eyes had deteriorated to the point where I finally tried progressive lenses. $500 at Walmart with every possible markup option.

Many people can’t get used to Progressive spectacle lenses, also called no-line bifocals, progressive addition lenses (PAL), progressive power lenses, graduated prescription lenses, and varifocal or multifocal lenses

I was still wearing them 4 years later. But despite anti-scratch coating, they were too scratched for me. I recently booked a check-up at Walmart. $70 or thereabouts.

Surprisingly my prescription had not much changed. I took advantage of their 2-for-1 promotion to order two new pairs: 1) single vision $105 and 2) progressive $200 (zero add-ons).

On picking them up I instantly found I LOVED the progressives. LOVED them so much that I went back next day and ordered 2 more pairs ($200ea on the 2-for-1).

Yep. I now have 3 new progressive pairs. My old progressives (for hiking). And the single vision. Those are not likely to get used.

South America next winter

I stayed in Canada this past winter. What a mistake. How can people live in this frozen wasteland? :-)

January I’m tentatively (again) planning to travel to Patagonia for hiking and cycling. Here’s some inspiration.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

That stunning footage was taken over a 5 week trip through Chile | Bolivia | Ecuador | Brazil | Argentina | Peru.

(via Adventure Blog)

what about Ted Cruz?

I can’t support this guy. He’s far, far too right wing for me.

Let’s Be Serious About Ted Cruz From The Start: He’s Too Extreme And Too Disliked To Win


He’s totally against same sex marriage. Extremely against a woman’s right to choose abortion.

FREEDOM for Cruz does not include those freedoms. I’m always astonished how politicians who speak most about “liberty” are so intolerant of anyone who’s not exactly like them.

He’s 100% for the NRA. His base is the Christian Right.

His main platform is to “kill Obamacare” (with no details on what would replace it) though he announced he may have to sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. A hypocrite.


He’s not all bad.

• born in Calgary, Canada

• first Hispanic or Cuban American to serve as a U.S. Senator from Texas

• he’s a Constitutional expert

• very familiar with American Law. Believes in the rule of law.

• he’s outspoken, willing to speak against the Republican Party line. I admire that. No doubt his corporate paymasters consider him too much a loose cannon.