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My understanding of life

My understanding of life

It is not what you say but what you do. Humans think that dogs with their big voice are much smarter than us cats – I hate calling myself a cat. Not that I am ashamed of being a cat but living with humans I find myself a bit different from ‘cats.’ Forgive me but I am not a snob. Just trying to understand life.
What is in a label? Cat, dogs, humans? It counts when others look at you.

As Daisy – use my name! I am me. I do not communicate much with my voice but when I do they are thrilled to hear it. You see, watching dogs I learned that giving too much of yourself will deplete the respect others have for you. You must know when to give information – oh!!! and to who. There is nothing more disturbing than someone you just saw goes on and on. Too close. I say to Mum can you make them shut up (she is a therapist – and just has that face) but of course she does not do anything. She know who she can trust with information. I hear them talking to each other – Mum and Dad but they keep stuff to themselves. Letting others know or asking questions for information makes for strange bedfellows. I know I sleep with Mum and Dad. They are always talking to me so I know more about them then they know of me – get my point? Of course they trust me as I never talk about other people, let alone myself.

Now about them tricks! No cat who has any pride performs for others. This is because we respect ourselves. We know that we were not born to jump around to make others feel they have power over us. I do not have to perform to be liked – who cares, I love myself. So we have taught humans how to respect us. We know what they are saying and asking but ignoring them creates a certain amount of respect. They can like us but they have to earn our trust.
Trust is there but they know if they go to far that we have claws. Boy, they hate getting scratched. If we get bugged we just ignore the person and distance ourselves from them. No way are we going to have a relationship with someone that is not to our standards. One has to have values. We cats know how to ignore people. Watch me.

What am I saying about life? Is is about respect, trust and boundaries. I have a wonderful life and everyone loves me. What do I give in return? well, they have to work to get my attention, they have to think that I need t hem, they have to get my affection – now you get my drift??  Have fun trying to be me. Can you???? See the rewards. Hugs from Daisy (really?)images[1]

Daisy Jacobs-De La Maza

Loved by many, bi-racial, and happily retired.
I enjoy long naps, and the occasional snack.

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Feeling of hate around the world – hate speech

Feeling of hate around the world – hate speech

This week has not been a good week globally. The killings in Syria, in North Lebanon, Iraq, then in Britain and France – all due to religion. In Myanmar, there was a law passed regarding Muslim Rohingyas and a 2 child policy. The use of social media, the pulpit and other sources of power are being used to make hate statements. Taken separately, it may not be enough to to use the word hate and then related to it to hate speech.
This issue is important when we add gender and sexual orientation.
In Canada, born-again Christian William Whatcott was guilty of hate speech  against homosexuals.  Global leaders denounced what they called a spike in anti-Islamic sentiment in Europe and Asia. Countries such as India have used laws to prevent hate speech – an example – Swami Kamalanand Bharathi, Tanzania has banned religious hate speech in all its manifestations and in Myanmar while Buddhist monk Wirathu speaks out against Muslims; multifaith activists there taking to the streets to counter the violence.  US citizens have free speech and therefore cannot do much against those who spew hate. Hate speech is not free speech.
There must be accountability and action.

When we hear religious leaders denouncing Western values in Western countries and then the analysis regarding this speech as a “Clash of Civilizations” we need to question what this means. I consider some points in this analysis as false discourse. We do not have universal aspirations for dignity and we see actions that kill women and children without thought.
The 38 + countries that have a human rights and social justice agenda have struggled with minority rights and have progressed to a point where women, LGBT groups, people with disabilities, and racialized groups have obtained in policies their rights.  Those who wish to live in these countries must know they are in countries that allow women to make their own decisions, have equal rights and status. I am told that many come to Canada and like countries for economic reasons and not for our values that allow women to be who they wish to be, keeping their daughters and wives as “in the old country.” We saw in London this week two British born men using violence to make a point. It is therefore not a Clash of Civilizations but rather a disrespecting of other peoples norms and values to the point of taking lives. Where did they learn to hate so deeply and disrespect a life?
Hate speech must be stopped, and it our political systems around the world that must take the lead. When they do not use their laws against those who encourage hate, that country will only encourage more hate.
In the name of religion, appointed leaders and some of their followers think they have the freedom to speak hate towards the other.  They incite youth and those who are socially dislocated to be filled with hate. For some this hate becomes action.

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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My Granma – Doreen Jacobs

My Granma – Doreen Jacobs

When I came to the house it was summer. Granma already had a stoke. But, she never thought of herself of not being able to do anything. “I do myself’ – and oh! Mum was overprotective. She got Gran all the home care available so she could stay at home. People do not know what they can get to stay at home. Mum talks a lot about this and told me to put down steps as to how you access help the government gives. Gran was a special lady and she really love little me. Oh, her eyes always lighted up. I adopted her and we became so close. Every day she would give me an extra treat from her food and if Mum did not see it I got to eat a bit of something. She loved to feed me. I wish I learned to dance so I could have danced for her – you see my legs are a bit shot and I cannot do jazz or tap. I do have structural issues. Enough about my body image.

I posted her picture so you can see her. She had a good smile – beautiful.  Everyone came to see her. She was like a gran dam, holding court. I always left when she had a lot of people as she did not need my attention. Molly the other feline in the house never came and visited. She hated our room and when Mum brought her to see Gran, she always ran like a bat out of hell – whatever that means. Humans say the odd things. Are there bats in hell, I do not think so as there will be bats in heaven. They did not sin, only humans. We non humans had no choice, they were the ones who did not behave and still do not behave.

Oh, I better stop and will continue a bit more about my wonderful Gran when I get to use this computer again, Till then my friends – the wonderful Ms. Daisy 

Daisy Jacobs-De La Maza

Loved by many, bi-racial, and happily retired.
I enjoy long naps, and the occasional snack.

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Can we stop the violence in Myanmar/Burma

Can we stop the violence in Myanmar/Burma

News from Myanmar/Burma is either mostly about economics or how some violence has occurred. We hear of conflicts based on perceptions, history, and wars. Trust and respect is difficult to grow and thrive in this environment

Fear and distrust causes violence in many different forms. There cannot be an acceptance of behaviours that result in trauma or learned helplessness. Perhaps the individual threshold towards abuse is higher as it has become more the norm than the exception after years of oppression. This is not a new idea as history shows how oppression can manifest oppressive group behaviours. We need to understand the relationships of economic power, and social power between people within a social group and between groups. Perhaps those who speak for ‘the group’ is not really speaking for ‘the many’ but for ‘the few’ who wish to control the voices of their communities. The silent majority in Myanmar is alive and well, just like us in Canada.

Social justice with its history in religion and philosophy is difficult to define but is viewed as part of our social fabric. The area of social and economic justice has many dimensions and provides a springboard to pursue non-supportive behaviours and injustices within societies, as well as provides a path to help heal both economic and social woes. When authority is diversified then no one becomes accountable for oppressive behaviours that occur in all societies.

Social exclusion will occur when structural process allow for inequalities that arise out of oppression related to race, class, gender, disability, sexual orientation, immigrant status and religion to exist within the social and professional environments; and when the government abdicates its responsibility. Societies must grant women equal rights not only in public spaces but also within the family, and community. Economics and religion cannot be used as an excuse for any denial for equal rights. Civil society is needed to ensure that is not just race/racism  is viewed as important but that gender, sexual orientation, as well as class is viewed as part of the complex nature of rights.
Central to the idea of breaking down barriers is creating partnerships with progressive leaders in order for subordinated groups to work with them on problems of exclusion. Pointing fingers has not helped race relations in Canada, and it will not work in Advocacy. Building coalitions and framing the discussion takes energy. Energy comes when we support each other and enlist progressive leaders to the cause.

It is my desire for us in Canada to work together to help bring unity and peace not only in Myanmar/Burma but also in Canada. Advocacy is a big part of this. How can we together  help change the dynamics of violence?
Merle A. Jacobs

Merle Jacobs

From Rangoon to London then to Canada, now home. Professor at York U in Toronto. Equity Studies.

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