A Small Procedure

Without naming it, I have a very uncomfortable procedure at the hospital early tomorrow morning. It’s only a few minutes long, but it can be painful afterwards when the numbing agent wears off. Then there’s the recovery. Ouch.

I’ll be laughing in a week. Hopefully. Depending on the aftermath and results. There’s nothing that brings you down to earth like a possible life altering experience, no matter how small the chances.

I wish I could jump a week ahead. 

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Love Flowers 

#love #friend #mother 

This post comes from the heart. It comes from the deepest riches of my being. And although I am a sensitive male, I am still a male. This makes it hard for us to express our inner emotions, lest we be shunned or shamed. 

Don’t believe me? Even the most sensitive of bards admits to this.

Even the most creative bard, the most immersed writer, the most passionate photographer, at some point gets attacked by a moment of reflection. To some, it’s like a long-awaited moment of truth slapping them in the face. In rarer instances, it is a moment of epiphanic proportions.  At its weakest, it pierces through some heartstrings and you feel the image above and start to cry tears of joy. 

In my case, a life of hidden hardship has been made wonderful by 2 things : my creativity and the love and friendship of others. Love is the antidote to many rough situations. You just need to be yourself and not be judged. You need to not be afraid to talk to the other because you’re scared of their reaction. 

Love is never a romance. It’s not a need. It’s something that comes naturally. It’s a mutual respect that grows bigger even when the initial physical attraction wanes. It’s something deeper, that negates physical attraction. True love is the understanding that all will be well and you always go to bed happy. Love has no distance. It has no barriers.  

In moments of pain and turbulence,  the heart and mind seek solace. They need a positive thought. They need reassurance. Someone who truly loves you stands through these moments with you. Ahhh…the comfort of a reassuring hug. The calm of a friendly voice. It does wonders for the soul. And it never seems trivial afterwards. And as hard as it may be to support this, you know the other will be there again. 

Do you see how there are no pics like this with guys? Maybe I’m a dubious sort. 

As trite as it sounds, the pain needs to be spread around. The angst needs to be repeated to a true friend. These are, indeed , hard to find. 

Then there’s the most profound feeling of all. A mother’s love is unable to be matched. And when the mother goes, so goes a part of you. 

I’m lucky to have some very good people I can turn to. It has kept me sane and allowed me to go down my chosen path, even when I’ve veered off it a bit. 

Terrorist Attacks, Vigil, Flag Avatar, Repeat 

#democracy #terrorism 

It’s taken me 5 days to give my opinion on the Manchester terrorist attack carried out by radical Islam.  I promise no political correctness, and will not demonize 99% of Muslims who are law-abiding citizens. As the caption says, there is no room for extremism of any sort. 

There are the Jewish and Armenian genocides that were atrocities and shameful. By a wide margin,  the genocide perpetrated by Christopher Columbus and others after him on the native Americans is the singlemost biggest genocide in history. This was done in the name of Christianity to further the cause of European expansion by helping these “savages” become enlightened.  

These are facts that can’t be denied. And whether we want to accept them for what they are is up to us. But the important thing to remember is that it was the work of Christians that weren’t even radical. 

Then you’ve got these clowns dressed up in white sheets that had wet dreams of lynching people who were not white, Christian, or heterosexual. These guys were a representation of Radical Christianity. 

Manchester native Morrissey wrote his politically incorrect thoughts on the subject and was called a racist, misogynist, and a downright insensitive idiot. 

The above is part of Morrissey’s rant on his official Facebook page. I would recommend reading it and the replies to it to get an idea of the complete ignorance of the far right and the neoliberal left. The former is just an example of Tea Party politics and the latter of politically correct regressivism. Both are the problem. But identifying the problem doesn’t automatically bring about a solution. 

Neoliberals scoff at the phrase “fake news”. Then they equate it to far right news. Being a lifetime progressive lefty has led me to surmise that we are dealing with fake news in mainstream media. The information they give is not necessarily false, but it is subjective and one-sided and incomplete. It is regurgitated in conjunction with what the audience and advertisers want. CNN didn’t touch the Copt Orthodox Christians being killed by radical Islamists, a massacre was as serious as the Manchester one. But maybe it won’t get ratings. 

In this example above, we see how the media is not against radicalism of any sort. Nor does it care about who gets killed. The media cares only for ratings and staying out of the scope of political incorrectness. It is sad to see an otherwise intelligent journalist like Anderson Cooper turning himself into an establishment whore. He shows up at vigils, talks to people in his nice sympathetic and empathetic manner, tells his audience how terrible all this is, and then tries to have some kind of celebration of the mundane life of one of the victims. It sort of makes you think why you can’t put your more interesting life on YouTube, as you fall for the fake news in front of you. Yes, it’s fake news. It’s fake because Cooper takes us into the aforementioned mundane moribund reality that tries to celebrate life in the aftermath of a major deadly tragedy. 

The responsibility of journalism is to get the story out and give facts and diverging opinion. It’s not an HBO documentary special event. 

“Love For All Hatred For None” sounds very nice. And it is. It is what we should strive for. But holding this sign up after a deadly terrorist attack is counterproductive. It breeds pacifism when we need to act. It makes people numb, just like fake news. Who is this sign for? Are they holding it up for the nice terrorists?  A perfect example of political correctness.  Don’t get out of line now. 

Then we have the “je suis Charlie ” craze. This is the most hypocritical sort of support we can show to others. How does a flag on your profile help the French people or France? Speaking out the truth helps. Perhaps putting a pic with a “terrorism sucks” caption would help more. This flag just serves to make the non-victimized feel better about themselves or just represents the satisfaction they get of having participated in some small way in making the world a better place. Sheep. I hate human sheep. But it’s not their fault. We need to blame social media shaming for this one. 

Here’s an article way out in left field, shaming Morrissey and making terrorism a feminist issue. 

Then there’s the sad vigil. This fits in perfectly with Anderson Cooper’s aforementioned presence. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing to do. But when there is nothing more done by anyone, including your government, it is just an exercise in nothingness with a fake closure. Closure comes with putting things behind us. But this problem lingers over us even more. 

Now that all this has been explained, it’s time to see why the fight against terrorism is failing. 

Firstly, we need to get rid of political correctness and be allowed to speak our mind without fear that our own neighbours will scorn or shun us or that we will lose our jobs or reputations. This can be easily done by promoting people to tell us how they feel about this. 

Secondly, we need to name the problem. Anything perpetuated or inspired or perpetrated by ISIS is Radical Islamic Terrorism. There should be no doubt and there can’t be much debate. This doesn’t make all Muslims into terrorists. On the contrary,  it separates them from the radicals or extremists. 

Thirdly,  Muslims need to admit these are acts of Radical Islamic Terrorism. We also need to make sure the media doesn’t demonize these people who are just like the rest of us. 

Lastly, government needs to take a hard stance when it comes to immigrants and refugees. People mock President Trump for his view on immigration, but his views on this matter are logical. He is tackling part of the problem that is tackleable. 

Islam is a young religion with good  core values. Like the Christians during the crusades, Muslims are having growing pains. In time, they will be united against extremism and hate. Till then, all law-abiding citizens need to be protected from terror. 

Democracy 101—You May Be Surprised at What Democracy Really Is 

#democracy #freedom #rights 

The ancient Greek, Pericles,  is credited with inventing and naming democracy as it is still seen today. Although this was the reinvention and not the birth of democracy, the ancient Greeks take credit for properly immersing it into bigger population groups. 

There are many faults with this model, as it was “rule by the people” where the people were free men. Excluded was most of the adult population, consisting of women and slaves. But it was a starting point. And it also brought about semi-autonomous rule of smaller communities within the bigger city states.  This is still alive in states and provinces that exist within almost all western states and the different levels of government that rule them. 

So democracy is rule by the people and each eligible individual having a voice, or a vote. 

There have been different forms of democracy since ancient Athens. It is important to look at some examples. 

Karl Marx brought to light the conflict that exists between capitalism and democracy. Although we have a vote, our available choices are pretty much the same. Marx believed that there needs to be revolution to put an end to tyranny. Marx was arguably the inventor of modern communism. Under tyranny, communism was to be the new democracy. 

When the vote factor is taken away from the equation, democracy begins to mean equality for each and every individual. And according to communism, the state is the one responsible for keeping everything in check. In most communist thought, there is little to no private property, everyone has more or less the same salary, and society is dependent upon themselves more because capitalist entities shun it or downright refuse to even give it a chance. 

At this point, we need to combine the ideas of Pericles and Marx. We hear a lot from so-called political historians of how Marx was just a repressive recluse who never worked a day in his life. On the other hand, there is barely ever any criticism of the ancient Greek model of slavery and misogyny. This needs to be pointed out here to understand the subjectivity of the media and other experts. When these two theories are  combined, we see democracy representing rights and freedoms for all. It is not a land of opportunity, but rather a land of thriving. As much as Marx’s theory bothers some, it needs to be acknowledged that his progressivism is responsible for rights being given, however slowly, to the ones that had been, and still are, fighting for them. 

One example of Marx’s theory coming to life is one of the fathers of the Cuban revolution,  Che Guevara. An Argentinian doctor from an upper middle-class family, Ernesto Che Guevara left his native land to help Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolution. Unlike with Castro, who was satisfied to stay and govern Cuba, Che eventually tried to spread the revolution around the world one country at a time. 

The rebelliousness of Che got him assassinated. But this will never change the fact that he was perhaps the biggest freedom fighter of the last 100 years. He wanted to rid the world of greedy capitalism and establish human rights for everyone. He still has a cult following because he represents the small chance people have of overcoming the system.  

Unlike his predecessors, Che was never popular outside of his circle of believers. He managed to blur the line between communism and democracy. In fact, he may have equated them. This brought about big theoritical change around the world as capitalists and communists were fighting to prove which theory was democracy. The cold war proved nothing, but it did cause strife. 

I would like to mention heroes like Nelson Mandela,  Martin Luther King Jr, and Mahatma Gandhi, who were peaceful men fighting for democracy. 

But let’s move forward to the most recent example of a man who is a great example of democratist, if you will. Yanis Varoufakis stood up to Europe and lost because he had no backup. He was the Greek finance minister who had the plan to go back to the old currency overnight. He was stopped by Alexis Tsipras, who changed his mind minutes before the midnight hour. 

Varoufakis wasn’t a politician. He is the inventor of modern game theory. He wasn’t a communist, but he still wanted to help the far left movement come to power. He did and was rewarded by being fired. Greece is now poor and losing its culture and pride. 

Click below to read about his memoirs. A great book. 

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/paul-tyson/adults-in-room-by-yanis-varoufakis-london-bodley-head-2017

In the following few blog posts, I will look at democracy and its implications on everyday life, politics, racism, etc. 

My short definition of democracy is:

Egalitarianism.  Striving to build a society where all people have equal rights and freedoms by birthright. This encompasses the responsibility of the government to listen to its citizens and guaranteeing that they are living the best life available to them. This ensures that they are empowered to be able to properly choose what they deem as the right thing for them.  The government has to make sure its  citizens are secure and that any dangerous activity is eradicated for the good of the citizenry. 

Swampland and More

#swamp #laval #Montreal #spring

The torrid record-breaking rains ended last week. This swamp was created by the rain. Love the reflection.

All this just minutes from Montreal.

The lavender out in full bloom.

And then there’s tending the farm.

Then the bridge over polluted water.

How the Medical System Is Killing Us 

#health-care #big-pharma #drugs #medicine #doctors 

When we speak of healthcare,  it tends to be synonymous with disease. Almost no one speaks of prevention. That’s just some taboo subject some bleeding heart Marxist must have in mind. 

In fact,  Cuba practices preventative medicine.  It’s a shame richer countries can’t do the same thing. And it costs almost nothing compared to having to fight the disease. But that’s the exact argument as to why the system wants disease to occur. Sickness is profitable. And it starts from the highee-ups and trickles down to the doctors. 

Everything in the name of your health is taken care of according to profit. Are they better off with you sick? Is it good to have  “too many ” healthy people?  Can a population exist and thrive if it needs to support its elderly? More importantly,  who’s worth saving? 

Above is a typical Montreal hospital ward with patients waiting to be put into a room. These people are definitely sick,  especially considering the stringent rules for being admitted to hospital set out by the government. They’re in pain and no one seems to have time to tend to them. When asking how much longer, they get condescension from hospital staff. The doctors on duty have become more limited due to a trend towards specialization promoted by the government. The specialist takes weeks or months to see. So where are these man hours being logged? 

In all fairness, there are more people who wind up at the hospital because of the limit of patients per day put on local clinics. Yet going to any health institution is seen with scorn unless you are on the verge of death. Then they’ll take you in with open arms and do every test available to make sure you’re properly diagnosed. Of course it’s too late. And of course it’s your fault. You had all the clinics, doctors, and high tech medicine available to you. Why were you too lazy to take advantage of it? 

I had intestinal pain and went to triage. Seeing as I was priority 4 out of 5, it was suggested to me to come back in the morning, unless it got worse. I came back the next morning and there was some frustrated nurse at triage whole snapped at me when I told him I had gone home overnight. He raised his voice and another nurse came in. She showed him the note written on my file. I asked for an apology and he gave me an alien stare. So much for professionalism and order. Nothing wrong found on the x-rays. 

3 weeks later, I take the same problem to a private clinic. The doctor I saw was very competent and listened. All the right tests we done within 3 days and we eradicated the problem. Had I waited longer, it could have been dire and potentially fatal. 

What did I get out of the 2 stories above? First of all,  I should feel privileged for even having the right to be yelled at when walling into a hospital. Secondly,  all staff except the doctors are overworked and underpaid. Thirdly, doctors have turned into the medical police. What are you worth? At the private clinic, I’m worth as much as anyone else paying for the services. In the public sector, I’m just another extra potentially sick person adding to the overload. And if I were important, I wouldn’t be there in the first place. 

Doctors don’t become doctors to save your life. They become doctors to make lots of money. 

Perhaps the biggest player in all of this is big pharma. They are a very corrupt bunch that create life-saving drugs for as high a price as they can realistically get. And drug insurance,  private or public, caters to their whims. They refer to doctors as their  “drug whores” because they can often convince them to push their drug just by buying sushi their them and their staff.  It’s hard to see the most respected professionals in the world stoop to such an embarrassing level of respect. While it takes more than this to convince most doctors, they are eventually convinced.  

Big pharma loves to promote their work as Research and Development. While that may be true at the onset, the ridiculous drug-peddling that goes on diminishes them to profiteers off of the sick and desperate.  They need to be regulated by the government and have a profit ceiling. Medicine should not be there to make big corporations rich without any trickling down to others. 

The picture above is for me the most despicable I’ve ever posted. 

Let’s get something staight. Drugs kill. Abuse of drugs kills. New drugs have no guarantee of anything. Your doctor’s hands are usually tied when it comes to what he can prescribe due to the scarcity if drugs no longer being pushed by big pharma. 

Turmeric, above, is a wonder spice. It does more than most drugs can for the digestive tract. If we learn its benefits from an early age, maybe colon cancer would be on its way down rather than up. Healthy habits are easy to teach. And there should be no fear of stigmatisation if one reveals their problems. 

I often think of how Kim Kardashian takes care of her health. You know, just your average idiotwith undeserved wealth. Then I think of how I would take care of my health if I had money. I would have a physical every 3 to 6 months. I would see a specialist in preventative medicine. I would not hesitate to see a doctor at the slightest problem. All this because I’d be treated with a smile,  no matter how much of a nuisance I may be.  

Finally, let’s stop eating junk. Let’s get some exercise. And let’s build our network of friends.  Let’s try not to have to use the system until as late as possible. 

In the meantime, we need to  not be taken for granted and we need to empower ourselves to be healthier and fight the shaming and injustice. Let’s give equal proper access to the exact same top notch quality healthcare to all. 

An Ode to All 

FROM :A FINE LINE 

#bittersweet-me #ode #new-adventures-in-hifi #thank-you 

This one’s for the dead 

The dead I used to know

The ones from my childhood mostly 

Who seemed so immortal 
The postman 

The barber

All my departed clan members 

The villagers in general 

The priest 

The man who lived up the hill tending sheep 

The drunk fisherman 

The fat ladies at the market 

The woman who baked your bread when you brought her granny’s dough 

The one-armed man

The blind woman 

The homosexual couple pretending to be brothers 

The taxi driver 
This one’s for the moribund 

Or so it seems they are 

The ones I met when I moved from Greece 

Who seemed strange 

Were different 

Colder 

Distant 

Who taught me to be careful 
I visited my elementary school 

Ceilings seemed so low 

Schoolyard so small

All that was left were anecdotes 
The principal 

The grade 6 teacher who also moonlighted as the music teacher 

The mean kids 

The meaner kids 

The bullies 

The ones who liked me 

Their aloof parents 

I wonder what happened to the dumb ones 
This one’s for the many 

The stupid 

The disturbed 

The adult bullies 

The idiotic young men I grew around 

The ones who only cared about getting the girls 

The nimrods getting high in the park 

The ones who copied my notes 

I heard most of them are worse off now 
Finally 

This one’s for the living 

The ones who knew life 

Though few 

They made my life plentiful 

They were my friends 

My girlfriends 

My allies 

Some family members 

The ones with understanding nods 

The girl with that perfect innocent smile 

The beautiful people who knew me 

Who 

By looking at me 

Saw through my expressionless face 

Into my bleeding heart 

And sensitive soul 
Gone by 

Present 

Future 

I love a fulfilling life 

A meaning 

A hope 

And if you’re reading this 

And you see yourself in here somewhere 

Well 

Thank you!!!

Copyright Ted Kouretas 2017 
 

Unalarmed 

FROM: A FINE LINE 

Anarchist fair 

Yet they charge admission 

Make you pay for books 

And judge non -anarchists 
End the charade 

Call a club a spade 

Hit the bullseye with the dart 

Anguish overhead 

Surreal injustice 

Let the led go 

Unalarmed 

Lead the show 

The road to nowhere has already been won 
Unalarmed 

I fly my flag 

With inner peace 

My heart throbbing somewhat 
You know the deal 

Peacemeal advocacy 

Intricacy 

Salivating for salvation 

With just a hint of hesitation 
I fly my flag 

Bloodied it is 

The rain trying to clean it up 

Still, I am unalarmed 

Copyright Ted Kouretas 2017 

The Internet Takes Away Privacy and Makes Us Ignorant 

#privacy #subjectivity #ignorance 

A selfie on a social network has been described as the epitome of narcissism by many.  Others see it as an attention-seeking mechanism for those who crave being liked and haven’t felt it. Either way, there’s a big price to pay for whatever the reason is. The price is the it’ll stay there forever, always available for others to see and use. Like me here, people can choose random photos to make a point or simply make it cohesive with the text. 

While a picture may not do much to your reputation,  the lack of privacy moves progressively from this to a total knowledge of your browsing history. 

This death of privacy leads to an unavoidable adherence to ignorance. It is not a conscious choice.  Rather it is forced upon by the big boys and girls running the Internet. It is the beginning of a new world order. 

As can be seen above, the new world order is empowered by all of us that use the Internet. Simply put,  your life is out there for the entire world to see. Remember the days when we had no idea about other nations? Now we have a lot of information about other people.  Ironically,  we may have less information about other nations and about life and the world in general. 

The more of our information that is processed,  the more prone we are to knowing less about the world. Our Facebook likes are used as marketing tools. They give us that dreaded “Suggested Post “. Then we get the even more important-sounding  “Sponsored Post”. Wow. They know I want to read “The Economist ” while trying to get me interested in the alt right. Yes, the algorithm needs work still, but the point is that we are being targeted as potential money. And make no mistake about it, we are nothing more than a dollar sign at the outset. 

Everything you post matters to fringe groups who live on the edges of society. Though some may have some shameful thing they do that they don’t want to get out, others are dangerous and recruiting on the net. 

Darknet is an exceptional show that gives great insight on the Internet. In one episode, they show how neo-nazis took advantage of a lonely teenager. In the same way there is recruiting done to disgruntled youth. At the core is the loneliness and dissatisfaction that the Internet creates. Then it is this weakness that the recruiters prey upon. 


Thereason ignorance is bred comes from the abundance of information itself. The problem is that our abundance of likes, shares, posts, etc, on social media helps build a pretty accurate profile of who we are. To keep us sated, or at least not less satisfied,  apps and Internet searches feed us news they think we’ll like. They will fill a liberal with liberal news from liberal media and news sources. While this may seem harmless, this liberal, or conservative, or whoever, will think nothing else exists. This will make him more unwilling to keep an open mind. It segregates him from alternative views. The polarization can be seen in politics. We get no unbiased breakdown of the facts. Each media outlet will give you a biased opinion. Most people won’t subscribe to different media outlets if the current one legitimizes their views. 

Look at the graphic above. Ever thought of what’s below the Surface Web? 

Spring Is Here — Rebuild Your Body and Mind 

#Spring #health #exercise #friends 

Spring is my favourite time of year because it is a new beginning. The body and mind have been cleansed and are calmer,  and it’s time to refill and invigorate them with all the good and positivity that we can. 

Here’s a good idea of how to start doing that. 

A favourite activity of mine is strawberry and raspberry picking. Just 20 minutes from the metropolis are local farms that afford you the pleasure of getting dirty by picking your berries or the luxury of just buying them outright. 

If you don’t want to venture too far,  just go to a farmers market. The food there is fresher than at the market. Eating well and healthier is a good routine that starts with delicious food. It is tantamount to empowering your body and introducing it to nutrition that will guide it and protect it from disease. 

Some people are coffee people. The good news is that coffee is being proven to be healthier for you more and more every day. 

Exercising is great for you. And you can now also do it outside the gym. Jogging or running take a lot of patience and endurance. Cycling, on the other hand, is much slower in pace, gets you to your destination faster, and doesn’t drain you. You can bike to work, to a friend’s,  or even to the market. 

Spring is a great time to go shopping. Statistics show people shop more in Spring than any other season. You need to moderate your shopping habits. Perhaps leave the credit cards at home and pay with cash would help. 

There’s nothing like a happy person with a smile on their face. We’ve all heard how much more difficult it is to smile than to frown. So go ahead and let those pearly whites shine. Speaking of which,  go to the dentist if you feel you need to. It will cost you as much as shopping and may save your teeth in the process. 

Go see beautiful places or landscapes. This calms the soul. It makes a hectic day calmer by letting you see it from outside your personal subjective box or bubble for what it is. It keeps anxiety in check. Simply put, it save your mental and, in turn, your physical health. 

Finally, we need to broaden our social network. No,  not on social media. Call your friends. Tell them to call theirs. Talk to strangers. Just be a free-spirit ready to take all positive energy of others in. 

Oh yeah,  enjoy some good barbecued meat.