Sunday, September 30, 2012

Name Sensory Garden After Local Cultural Achiever

Northumberland Today columnist and poet, Grahame Woods, has written an excellent piece concerning Victoria Park in Northumberland Today. I am troubled only by his suggestion that the Sensory Garden be named after some obscure duke from the 1700’s who had never known of Cobourg in any manner.

We have Victoria Hall, Victoria Street, Queen Street, Victoria Park, and other royal references. Enough already. Let’s turn our heads to celebrate and honour our own.

Aside from royalty, other municipal buildings, streets, parks in Cobourg have been named after administrators, bureaucrats and politicos. Not a hero, nor colourful character amongst them. Dull role models.

Not a musician, nor acrobat, nor artist, nor poet, nor composer, nor novelist, nor actor, nor anyone of a cultural character that has touched Cobourg in one way or another has a street, park, building, garden, or roundabout named after them. Pity.

I had brought up an idea back in January 1988, to namestreets after poets. Interestingly, I suggested that recipients of the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry be applied – we lo and behold, Cobourg has such a recipient since that proposal was made. First, Second and Third Street should be renamed after an individual of cultural achievement.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Reply From MP Rick Norlock's Office

This afternoon, a message was left on my voice mail. It was in response to my OPEN LETTER sent the previous day. There was banter about the "satirical" video and of the situation of Alber Saber. The most important message was this assertion:

"Mr Norlock will be keeping it in mind as he discusses this issue with his caucus colleagues and the responsible minister."

So far so good. I await the consensus of the Caucus in "this issue."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Member of Parliament for Northumberland – Quinte West
Mr Rick Norlock
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
September 26, 2012


Dear Mr Norlock

I write this letter with deep concern for the safety of my fellow Canadians.

The Prosecutor-General of Egypt announced that warrants were issued, charging two Canadians, Coptic Christians, with blasphemy crimes for their alleged involvement in the making of a satirical video. By naming and outing these two Canadians, the Prosecutor-General of Egypt has ostensibly targeted these two men for the benefit of murderous assailants. The two men advised CBC that they are in fear of their lives and the lives of their families.

If the Prosecutor-General of Egypt fails to provide any evidence supporting the charges, then it would appear that the two men are nothing more than political scapegoats for the Muslim Brotherhood regime to play into the hands and demands of the militant Islamists. It is well known to Canadian authorities that Coptic Christians endure lethal discrimination in Egypt.

January 7, 2011, Foreign Affairs declared that "Canada condemns the attack on Coptic Christians in Nag Hammadi. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. That the victims were innocent civilians congregating for a religious celebration makes this attack especially tragic.”

Recently a young Coptic Christian dissident blogger in Egypt, Alber Saber, was arrested on charges of blasphemy relating to the satirical video, Innocence of Muslims. He has been beaten, tortured and imprisoned. He will be standing trial this coming October 3.

(1) I request that Canadian authorities consider laying slander charges against the Prosecutor-General of Egypt.

Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, a cabinet minister for railways in the Pakistan govt, explicitly offered $100,00 to anyone who kills those involved in the making of the satirical video. This is “head money.” It is counselling murder. It is incitement to murder the two Canadians who have been unjustly listed by the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Egypt.

(2) I request that Canadian authorities should consider laying charges against that Pakistani cabinet minister for counselling murder against two innocent Canadians. Canada should request his extradition, or demand that he brought to trial in Pakistan on charges of counselling murder. He still remains a cabinet minister.

Furthermore, Mufti Mohammad Yousuf Kasuri, chief of Jamiat Ahle Hadith Party for Sindh Province, added his own reward of approximately $105,000 "for the one who will hand exemplary punishment to the blasphemer."

(3) I request that Canadian authorities should consider his extradition or demand he brought to trial on charges of counselling murder.

Producing and distributing a lowbrow satirical video is free speech, as protected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Counselling murder is NOT free speech; it is a crime.

Free speech is under attack by the forces of theological tyranny. It is time that all Western nations refuse to apologize for our constitutionally protected free speech.

(4) Lastly, I request that the law of blasphemous libel be removed from Canada’s criminal code. It is hypocritical and weakens Canada’s position vis a vis blasphemy and free speech when we oppose the second stage effort by the 56-nation OIC to impose shariah planet-wide. In this contest there will be only one winner: FREE SPEECH, and more of it.

Wally Keeler
Unit D4 – 135 Chapel Street
Cobourg, Ontario, K9A 1J5

Monday, September 24, 2012

Blogger Ben Burd Footsies With Fascists

It must be heartening for Mr Burd to learn that the Prosecutor General of the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Egypt has issued an arrest warrant for the “redneck preacher” Terry Jones, charging him with “harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information. The office said they could face the death penalty, if convicted.” The credo of the Muslim Brotherhood is "Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations."

Also charged with the “redneck preacher”, are seven Coptic Christians, two of whom, are Canadians. Coptic Christians in Egypt face lethal discrimination: sacked churches, burned villages, forced conversions of Christian girls, countless assaults and rapes and the everyday fear of being accused of blasphemy. No wonder they fled Egypt to safer lands where free speech is protected.

Two Canadians have been outed by the Muslim Brotherhood as perps in the making of the satirical Mohammed video. To use Ben Burd’s reasoning, “…if he hadn't [made] the [video] nobody would have died, has not even faced the suggestion that he committed a crime – inciting murder.” So if the two Canadians were perps in the making of this Mohammed video, then it would be consistent that Ben would be onside with laying incitement to murder charges against them as well as the “redneck preacher”. The Muslim Brotherhood charged the Canadians with offences that carry the death penalty.

(There is no chance that Canada will hand these two Canadians over to Egypt, even if it were proven that they were deeply involved in the making of the sophomoronic satirical video. Canada deports no one who faces a death penalty in another country.)

Canada must demand from Egypt that they put up or shut up. Egypt must present the evidence linking the two Canadians to the satirical video. Failure to do so is tantamount to a lethal slander against the two Canadians. They have been outed. A target has been painted on their backs, and on the backs of those near and dear to them.

A cabinet minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan held a press conference to announce that he was placing a $100,000 bounty on the heads of the video producers. The Minister declared that it was an Islamic “sacred duty”. This is counselling murder. It appears that that is acceptable free speech in that part of the world; note no street demonstrations against a ruling class politician counselling murder. Indeed contracts for murder seem to be all the rage. Mufti Mohammad Yousuf Kasuri, chief of Jamiat Ahle Hadith Party for Sindh Province, added his own reward of approximately $105,000 "for the one who will hand exemplary punishment to the blasphemer."

And Ben Burd wrote about the “Quran-burning American priest” with these immortal words: “… if he hadn't burnt the book nobody would have died…” How sickenly similar this local progressive blogger is with the voice of theological totalitarianism.

Below is a montage of catch phrases from the Holy Head Honcho’s theological epistle: “wicked enemies of Islam … deep malice … insulting the Holy Prophet … idiotic and disgusting movie …increasing brilliance of Islam and the Holy Quran in the world today... the holiest person in all of creation … disgusting nonsense … disgrace … great crime and sin…wicked movie … hostile policies … America and other leaders of the arrogant powers, who are vainly trying to make young generations in the Islamic world lose respect for what is held sacred and to extinguish their religious sentiments … American politicians … should duly punish the perpetrators and the financial backers of this hideous crime, who have filled the hearts of Muslim people with pain…”

How touching! Within hours of the Holy Honcho delivering his religious rant, an Iranian religious foundation headed by Ayatollah Hassan Saneii, raised the bounty on novelist, Salman Rushdie’s head. Ruling class theocrats counselling murder is acceptable free speech in the 56 nations of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation, but satirical cartoons lampooning an imaginary god, well, that cannot be countenanced.

Georgeous George Galloway, is someone Ben Burd gushes over in the same manner that Burd Report co-moderator, DebO, gushed over the family dictatorshit of the Castro brothers. George Galloway shares the same feelings about the satirical video as the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

This is the montage of similar catch phrases from George Galloway’s tirade on PressTV, owned and operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran: “… obscene videos … obscene atrocious attack on the prophet Mohammed, on Muslims and the religion of Islam … remember those vicious hateful cartoons, the hate drawings, that first emanated in Denmark, well, they’re back. They are in a French magazine called Charlie Hebdo. Now what could have possessed such a magazine to disinter those particular cartoons? Well, it’s obvious. They want to capitalize on the number of hateful sectarians that are out there, and the number of islamophobes that are out there, as we have seen in the relish of which some sectors of Western society have gloried, glorified to use the term in British law… hate cartoons against Muslims, and against the prophet of Islam … obscene hateful caricatures of the prophet Mohammed … insulting in the most obscene and pornographic terms the prophet Mohammed, the Muslims, Islam.”

Wow, George seems clearly upset about any negativity about (1) Muslims, (2) Mohammed, (3) Islam. Again, George reflects a sickening similarity to the Supreme Leader's religious rant. Hmmm.

Charlie Hebdo is a “French satirical weekly newspaper, featuring cartoons, reports, polemics and jokes. Irreverent and stridently non-conformist in tone, the publication has a strongly antireligious, left-wing and anarchist slant.” The images are as outrageous as the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers cartoons of hippie dippie days. Recall the infamous November 2011 issue of Charlie Hebdo which was ‘guest edited’ by Mohammed. The cover illustrated Mohammed saying, “A 100 lashes of the whip if you don’t die laughing.” Charlie Hebdo was firebombed for its satirical humour.

(Galloway is slovenly with his logic. Charlie Hebdo published original cartoons – it did not reprint the Danish cartoons as Galloway accuses it of having done.)  

It appears that Ben Burd and his progressive ilk, have allied themselves with the right-wing facists of theological totalitarianism who oppose homosexuality, sexual liberation, oppress women, etc. George Galloway is a closet Muslim who does not support gay marriage, does not support women’s rights, but does support theological totalitarians.The progressive left and their ilk are dupes, plain and simple.

After all is said and done, Ben can stand with bimbo George Galloway, but I will stand with comedian George Carlin who wrote, “I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is and cross it deliberately” and “Religion is just mind control¨ and finally, “When it comes to BULLSHIT...BIG-TIME, MAJOR LEAGUE BULLSHIT... you have to stand IN AWE, IN AWE of the all time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Poet James Clarke Reads @ 66 The Meet Tonight

A Memoir and Poems
Author: James Clarke
Publisher: EXILE Editions, 259 pages
ISBN 978-1-55096-260-4

Before James Clarke arrived in Cobourg to become a poetry-recitingTown Councillor, he began his life in Peterborough where his wartime experience of childhood becomes the subject of this rich and compelling memoir.

Our culture is chock-a-block with books about dysfunctional families written by victims, railing on about their celebrated parents dereliction of parental duty. This unrelenting glut of grief fuels tv ‘reality’ shows and book sales via the Ms O.

James Clarke’s memoir avoids all of the pitfalls of such a book. There is no trace of maudlin sentimentality, nor embedded bitterness in this book. There is no milking for sympathy. There is no wisdom being proselytized. It is neither cold nor clinical, but warmly human.

Canadian poet, (and Cobourg resident) Ross Stuart, in his recent book of stories, Buying Cigarettes For the Dog, wrote, “you never know where life’s journey is going to take you, like you never know how the years are going to shove you around.

James Clarke narrates his childhood turbulence from parental alcoholism. He describes incidents that shoved him this way and that with clarity and compassion. All too often, life’s most memorable lessons derive from arbitrary injustices.

Mr Clarke went on to practice law in Cobourg and became the first Town Councillor to make a motion in rhyme. He was letting his inner poet out bit by bit.  Even more impressive, is that Mr Clarke is now a retired Judge of the Superior Court of Ontario.

Mr Clarke’s childhood experiences informed him rather than deformed him. This, in turn, provided for the honest clarity of his book, as well, I am sure, for his judicial decisions when another life that had been shoved around by the years and ended up in the prisoner’s box bound by testimony.

It is the realm of tragedy.

After a lifetime of service to truth and justice, James Clarke looks back over the horizon to his childhood and to his father, and how the years dealt with him. The Hon R Roy McMurtry, former Ontario Chief Justice, Attorney-General and High Commissioner to Great Britain, wrote the Introduction for this enlightened book. Mr McMurtry highlighted the power of Mr Clarke’s prose-poetry by citing:

“Dad and I had lost each other in the shadow of each other’s silences. Dad, another child in the house, never did learn the language of touch. He spurned embraces and other displays of affection. It was as if after his experiences of war he had built a box and, gathering all his hurts and silences, had curled up inside it like a shivering dog, leaving us to pear in through the slats to glimpse his face in blades of light, to listen to the slow shrivelling of his heart.”

Mr Clarke took a different route. He emerged from the cocoon of his childhood and took flight into law and poetry. His memoir ends as he leaves Peterborough to go to university. Fortunately, the book does not end.

The book ends with a flourish of selected poetry that addresses his relationship with language as a judge and then as a poet. Mr Clarke is adroit with language, and he dazzles with simplicity.


PS: James Clarke is reading at The Meet, 66 King St E, 7pm, Thursday, Sept 20

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cobourg Poet Laureate Reviews Textual Artivity


Artist and poet-vocateur, Wally Keeler is having an art/poetry show at the Human Bean during the month of September.
        Talking to Wally Keeler, well, you need patience. The man is his own entertainment centre. He remakes the basic nuts and bolt words of daily usage into ammunition for his Imagine Nation of the Peoples Republic of Poetry. 
        You have to be careful how you throw words around in his presence because they will be re-born, - on the spot - as poetential building blocks for use in the uni-verse according to Wally. All is fodder in his galaxy. You need to give yourself a little time to catch up to his way of thinking. The patience isn't for him, it's for you as you get up to his speed.
        Spoiler alert for Keeler's upcoming show at the Human Bean during the month of September. Keeler's uni-verse is humorous. Keeler definitely doesn't think the way the rest of us do and that is part of his charm. Keeler is a senior who enjoys playing at the child's level while ensuring that the resulting images and words are very much for adults.
        "I utilize poetic licence to achieve poetic justice. The enemy of the Imagine Nation is mediocrity. This bloated bland gland debris culverts out of the mouths of politicos and bureaucrats and gets distributed by the plainstream media."
        Clearly, Keeler has a bit of edge leftover from the seventies when he accomplished some impressive feats of street and political performance that prefigure today's flash mobs. Keeler's, "1st Interm Report of the Commission of the Causes and Manifestations of Divergent Think Procedure Concerning the 1st 10 years of the History of the Peopls Rpublic of Poetry" book document's those days. Written, or rather assembled in Cobourg, it is an amazing record of Keeler's ability to manifest his poetic universe.
        Keeler is a free speech advocate, no doubt due to experiences like these, "During the 1970’s I experienced interference in my freedom by the Security Service of the RCMP intercepting and withholding my mail, wiretapping my residence, interfering with my employment and tenancy…Interestingly this led to connections being developed with the creative, dissident class in Eastern Europe during the cold war. It was an exhilarating pleasure to contribute to the subversion of totalitarianism by smuggling the manifestations of creativity in and out."
        Now Totalitarianism hasn't been seen on this side of the Atlantic, officially, for as long as anybody can remember but there is still an enemy out there according to Keeler. He says language and poetry in particular is "under attack by mediocrity". Society's obsessive concern with correctness has "commissions watching everyone’s words and enforcing nicespeak. Nicespeak is the new Newspeak, which is Nospeak at all." Engage Keeler deeper on this topic and it's plain he has much to say.   
        Older, wiser, but still playful, these days Keeler's stage is smaller. There are images in this show from his series: Child's Play. They "consist of configurations of children's wooden alphabet blocks on mirrors and other surfaces." that spell out the words liberty and freedom in English and other languages. In large prints, toy trucks, soldiers and lettered building blocks have been Photoshopped into Cobourg images. There are also Freedom of Speech posters.
        In other images, Keeler uses material objects like Scrabble letter tiles and again children's building blocks and arranges them according to the rhyming scheme of Shakespearean Sonnets which makes for some interesting non-literary understanding of the Bard's craft.
         Other images consist of ‘news’ stories from the series: All the Muse That’s Fit to Print. These stories represent some of the news coming from the Image Nation of the Peoples Republic of Poetry. Satirical and poetic, the stories are a careful blend of literary fact and fiction and are probably the most accessible productions of Keeler's show for those who find Keeler's universe and bit unusual.
        This show will be a bit of a home coming and a premiere event for the poet. "I have exhibited or performed in Poland, Hungary, England, Germany, New York, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, but never in my poemtown. Only a handful of close friends and acquaintances from Cobourg knew the kind of poetic work I manifested in Toronto since the early 70s." He has been active in the poetry scene in Cobourg since returning to Cobourg and regularly incorporates it into activities at Cobourg's Ecology Garden where he is the Chair.

The image below was sold. I miss it already. It was one of my favourites and graced my wall for the past three years. It now has a wonderful home with a hot-sauced poet.