Ski Afternoon

blog-ski-sunset This afternoon our weather finally improved. When I say “improved”, I mean it was -15C with windchill rather than -30C (with windchill), and the sun was out. The weather seemed nice enough to go for an afternoon ski.

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We’ve had snow and wind over the past several days causing the set ski tracks to practically disappear. On occasion you could see roughly the direction they traveled, but for the most part it was breaking a brand new trail.

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The first 5 minutes of skiing brought lovely weather, and then the wind whipped up, and with it came the blowing snow.

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The few pictures I took were on my phone, and they were fast pictures as my fingers, outside of my mitts, were freezing fast.

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Even in the cold there was a lot to look at. The Waskasoo Creek, frozen and covered with snow, was quite picturesque.

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There were also a lot of interesting tracks in the snow……..

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…..not just the ones I made.

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(Skiing “selfie” before I had to put on my hat.)

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*** Skiing area at Barrett Park, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

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A Year of Living Breadfully – #3 – naan

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We have been going through a spell of very cold weather with windchills of -30C and colder (yes, I do believe in “windchill”!). One thing very cold days are good for is baking. Yesterday I continued my “Year of Living Breadfully” with naan.

Naan was completely new to me. I picked a recipe off the internet, one in which I had all the ingredients. I have decided to not link this recipe as the measurements of liquid to flour were clearly off (as in, it did not create a workable dough, it was really, really crumbly). Luckily from having made bread in the past I was able to tweak the recipe at the end balancing out the final dough adding more liquid and a little more flour. I guess the 2/5 rating the recipe had was valid…explains why you couldn’t view the comments too. Sometimes, I guess, the ratings are correct.

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Once the dough was usable, it was left to rise for an hour. Upon rising, the dough was then flattened down, divided into golf ball sized balls, and left to rise for a second time.

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The dough was then rolled out into very thin circles. Using a pastry marble worked perfectly for this, releasing the dough with no issues at all.

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The thin circles of dough were then put in an oiled frying pan and cooked until they started to bubbled and brown. Once browned , they were then flipped to cook on the other side, plus given a light brush of butter on top. I found a mid range heat worked best for this. After each naan was completed I put it in the oven on the warming setting to keep the bread warm for dinner.

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Even with the recipe snag, this bread turned out to be very, very good. It tasted much like naan we have had from Indian restaurants in England. We paired it with a yam, lentil, chick pea curry that was beyond delicious.

Now I need to contemplate what my next bread will be. Perhaps it is time to bake something sweet. I’ll have to hit the cookbooks and the internet and look for recipes.

Photography by Debra Hunter

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A Year of Living Breadfully – #2 – Pizza

Pizza dough was the second item I decided to tackle for my “Year of Living Breadfully”. Now I have to admit I am not a huge pizza fan, and the choice to make pizza came mostly from the fact that we had a lot of cheese left over from the holiday season. A LOT of cheese (as in, we must have been expecting a world cheese shortage or something!).

For this dough I decided to do a quick internet search and go with the first recipe I had the ingredients for. It has been super cold here, so I had no interest in having to run out to the store. Luckily pizza is a pretty simple recipe, so it took no time to find a recipe that matched my pantry ingredients.

The recipe pizza recipe I used was found on http://www.ricardocuisine.com , and the recipe can be found by clicking HERE .

Below is a pictoral account of our pizza making.

blog-mixing-dough-2017_1640-aMixing.

blog-dough-2017_1656-aFresh dough from the mixer.

blog-dough-2017_1665-aDough ready to be stretched.

blog-2017_1690-aAdding toppings.

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The finished cheese pizza.


The recipe was simple, the crust tasted very nice, and we had a ton of leftovers for lunch the next day (bonus!). Another successful cooking session.

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Photography by Debra Hunter

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A Year of Living Breadfully – #1 – whole wheat bread

This year I decided to embark on a new kind of project, not a resolution, but rather an exploration. I have decided for 2017 to experience a year of living breadfully. By now you are probably wondering what I am talking about, and it is, quite simply, a year where I explore making different breads.

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The goal is to explore baking bread at least once a week, trying new flours, new recipes, or new ways to incorporate bread into our everyday eating. Bread has such a history, it has sustained civilizations for thousands of years, and it was actually through watching historical documentaries that the idea came to me to spend the year exploring this humble food.

Ironically, focusing on bread seems so contrary to modern society, a society that maligns “carbs” and puts “gluten-free” upon a pedestal. However anyone who has followed this blog knows very well that I don’t mind being contrary, so celebrating a food that sometimes receives negative attention seems apt.

I am looking forward to a year of the smell of freshly baked bread filling my home, a year of eating warm bread out of the oven, and having the chance to photograph some amazing loafs too.

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#1 Whole Wheat Bread

The first bread of the year is whole wheat bread. I tweaked a recipe that I have used for years, and it will probably be the basis for many of the loaves I make over the coming months. I used a combination of stone ground hard whole wheat flour and all purpose flour for this bread. We enjoyed the bread sliced for dinner along with butter, cured meats and cheese….and it was amazing.

For those who are interested, here is a list of the ingredients to make two loaves:

warm water – 2 cups
sugar – 2 tablespoons
yeast – 1 tablespoon

butter (melted) – 2 tablespoons
saltĀ  – 2 teaspoons

whole wheat flour (hard stone ground from Bulk Barn) – 3 cups
all purpose flour – 2 cups

(***bread was baked at 400F for 40 minutes)

Now I will be the first to admit I am not new to making bread, the first loaf I made was actually 26 years ago, with bread made at least once a month….so that is a lot of bread. What I have found is that bread making is actually much simpler than many people make it out to be. Making bread also is not that time consuming, but rather more about time management. So instead of detailed information about how to scientifically bake bread I will give a quick run down as to how I do it.

  • measure out two cups of warm water, stir in your sugar, sprinkle your yeast over the water and let it sit 5-10 minutes….whatever it takes to get all bubbly. While this is happening I usually go and do something else and come back to check on it.
  • once the water and yeast are all bubbly I add it to the bowl of my stand mixer (best purchase ever!), add in the melted butter, the salt, and two cups of the whole wheat flour. Turn on the mixer (bread hook attached) and let it work for a couple of minutes. This is a good time to check your email, or Instagram accounts.
  • after a few minutes add in 1 cup of whole wheat flour and let the mixer work for another minute or two. Then add in the first cup of all purpose flour and again let the mixer work it in.
  • with the final cup of flour add it in a bit at a time. Part of making bread comes down to the feel of the dough, you don’t want it to be too wet (sticky) or too dry (crumbly), so adding in the last cup of flour a bit at a time will allow you to monitor the dough to be the right squishy dough consistency. Sometimes you need less flour, sometimes you need more, just go off the feel of the dough.
  • once all the flour is added, and the dough seems right, I let the mixer work away for at least another 5 minutes. Another great opportunity to do something else while the mixer works.
  • now that the dough is ready, I remove the bowl from the mixer, take the dough out, spray the mixer bowl with oil or cooking spray, and put the dough back in. You can also rotate the dough in the bowl once so that the top of the dough is oiled.
  • I then cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let the dough sit. (Rotating the dough in the bowl so the top of the dough was oiled means the plastic wrap won’t stick to your dough once it has risen, making things much easier.)
  • usually I let the dough rise for 30 minutes to an hour. I usually line this time span up with going for a walk , doing errands or picking the kids up from school. I don’t need to be around for bread to rise….making bread is all about time management.
  • one thing to note is if your house is a little on the cool side, you can let the dough rise in your oven with just the light on. Sometimes that added warmth gets the yeast working and the bread rising.
  • once your dough has doubled in size (30 minutes to 1 hour later), I punch down the dough and shape the bread into loaves. For the loaves above I divided the dough in half, shaped each piece into a ball, placed the ball of dough on an oiled baking sheet, and flattened the ball
  • I then put the loaves on the baking sheets into the oven to rise a second time. This can again range 30 minutes to an hour. I usually pop it in, go do something, and then just check back later.
  • once the loaves have risen, I take them out of the oven, then turn the oven on, and bring it to temperature.
  • the loaves then go in to bake for about 25-40 minutes. This particular recipe was 40 minutes at 400F.
  • a ready loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom
  • when I bake bread I always rotate the position the bread is in the oven part way through, swapping bread on the higher rack for the bread on the lower one. Also, I never bake on the bottom rack….no one likes burnt bottoms on their loaf.

As I said, this is a rough idea as to how I personally bake bread. It is actually a stress free form of baking with lots of waiting times. Usually bread is baked to go with our supper, so I start around lunch time to have hot loaves to go with our evening meal. It is all about time management.


I think my project of “A Year of Living Breadfully” will be an interesting one, with so many types of bread to explore……and eat.

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Boxing Day and Ski Fun

With Christmas Day behind us, Boxing day always brings with it a very relaxed day. It is a nice break after enduring weeks over-scheduled with obligations. I like Christmas, I just don’t get the craziness. I like buying my family gifts, but it doesn’t need to be over the top. I prefer a rather laid back version of Christmas.

So as my family enjoyed the afternoon building with Lincoln Logs and Lego, and giving the PS4 a good workout, I ventured out to play with my new toys…..skis.

My husband and family treated me to cross country skiing equipment for Christmas. Years ago I skied a lot, but in recent years I had swapped skiing for snowshoeing. Now with everyone in school, I am able to sneak away during the day for an hour here and there, so it is the perfect time to get back into the sport.

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We are lucky enough to have groomed trails just around the corner, with a lovely loop of trails in Barrett Park ( Red Deer, Alberta, Canada ). This makes for a picturesque ski with views of the woods, creek and bridges. This afternoon also included viewing a coyote in the distance, which is always a treat.

At -20C, it was cool out. My feet and body stayed warm with the skiing, but my legs, fingers and face sure felt the cold.

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The final part of the ski also allowed me to watch the Boxing Day sun set. I’m sure there will be many more blog posts featuring skiing in the coming weeks.

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Silent Right

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Silent right…………..

No, that isn’t a typo or spelling error, it is however an indicator of current social and political oppression.

This has been a year where social media, ceased to be that, and in turn became a propaganda machine. Social media stopped serving the function of shared ideas and networking, and rather attempted to become a powerhouse of social attitudes and political manipulation.

The first rumblings started last year when anti-left wing Facebook sites started getting warnings from Facebook, followed by temporary suspensions of their on line activity. As of October, Facebook had banned site after site that did not align politically with Facebook’s ideology. Facebook was banning sites in an attempt to twist the public’s political stance. Interestingly it was not only American sites, but Canadian too.

The Facebook suspensions started to align with other online comments, online comments on Canadian news sites on their Facebook supported pages. People making comments on political threads were starting to complain about their comments going missing. They would go back to read a thread and their comment would be gone. More and more this was happening.

As this situation continued, leftist hate started to rear it’s ugly head even further. Political trolls were everywhere, some traceable back to an actual political party (this happened with the Alberta NDP back in May 2016). It ramped up immensely in Alberta (Canada) in the fall. Unemployment was rampant with a leftist government bringing in one policy after another to put people out of work (plus some stripping of religious rights which are actually protected under Canada’s Charter of Rights). The highlight of this era was Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley calling Albertan’s “xenophobic” for not supporting her Carbon Tax; a tax that will destroy the province through inflation and further unemployment come January.

By November even I was starting to notice the dynamic becoming stranger and stranger. An off-base balance to social media. Social media was no longer echoing the attitude on the street. Social media was being overrun with crazed leftest comments from posters that could spend 6, 7, 8 hours going at it constantly, calling anyone who didn’t agree with them possibly every derogatory term you could imagine. The posts from the left remained in the thread of comments.

So Facebook was becoming stranger and stranger, and this is from the viewpoint of a Canadian following provincial politics. That’s a pretty small microcosm on the world scene; pretty specialist.

By mid-November I experienced my first banned posting, but it wasn’t what you would think…..it was a watercolour painting of a landscape. A note came back from Facebook that I wasn’t allowed to post it. I tried intermittently for over an hour, it wouldn’t let me. Facebook was working, people were posting, I was blocked. Blocked for attempting to post a landscape painting. Weird.

Now I had put that incident of being blocked completely out of my mind until this week when in the span of two days I faced two censorship scenarios .

The first scenario took place on December 21st. I responded to an item on the CBC Edmonton Facebook page. I wrote out a response that included no profanity or hate speech; what the article did feature was a political preference different to the ideology supported by Facebook. The comment was not allowed to post over and over and over. Was this CBC censoring with key words? Possibly. Was it Facebook censoring? Possibly. What my comment was ,undoubtedly, was against the leftist view that social media is trying to push so heavily at the moment.

So I copy and pasted my comment (it can be read in the previous blog post), and I sent it out into the world….and to CBC Edmonton. CBC Edmonton, in many transactions through personal messaging throughout the rest of the day, said they could find no trace of the comment, but they would investigate. So the question is, WHO blocked the comment and why?

By late that day I had remembered the banned posting of the watercolour painting; I had experienced two weird bannings in a little over a month. It left me wondering what was going on and what were the similarities? It was peculiar, as when you post a watercolour painting the text usually reads “en plein air, 5×7, watercolour on white paper”, with perhaps the name of the beach (which this was, we were out on the coast). The only two things that were consistent were either the poster, “me”……..or the fact that the term “white” was used in the text of both posts that were blocked. Was Facebook just simply targeting intermittently individuals that did not share their ideology, or was Face book blocking the word “white”?

Interesting.

The next day I open up my Facebook feed, and the news story for the morning is regarding the Alberta NDP government stating something needs to be done to save money in healthcare. I commented that the Alberta government basically shot themselves in the foot with their Carbon Tax as anything that uses heat or transportation is going to go upĀ  in price. Their own tax is making the operation of their own departments more expensive; every piece of food or equipment shipped to a healthcare facility will cost more under the Alberta NDP’s Carbon Tax.

Out came the trolls. First it was one troll, then several hours in it became a second. But then the second troll started answering questions I asked the other one. Ah ha, same person, two accounts, never posting at the same time, alternating back and forth. I called them on it, and then things got nasty.

The troll threatened to call the police, then posted nasty comments on another Facebook page I have where I show photography and paintings. Then the troll started to stalk my husband’s social media, followed by her shouting that I need “meds”. Now please remember this is regarding the fact that I pointed out that the Carbon Tax was going to make everything more expensive, and that the government can’t expect to decrease costs when they implement a policy that is going to cause inflation.

Around nine hours into this scenario, yes nine hours, the troll decides to take a new tactic. She decides to create a fictional person, say it is my friend, then proceeds to say the language I am using in the comments is verbatim to the language I used to harass her and her son this summer. At this point I remind her that the healthcare story only broke THIS MORNING, how could I have possibly harassed you in the summer over this healthcare story? And then she went nuts….followed by me blocking her.

(Just as a side note, around two hours in another poster warned me that this troll does it all the time. So this is a reoccurring phenomenon.)

Guess what. This morning, message from Facebook, MY comments did not “meet posting criteria” and were deleted. My comments pointed out that a left wing government’s policy was going to be detrimental to their very own departmental budgets. I dared to oppose the left. I dared to challenge the left.

Another Facebook blocking for not supporting a left-wing ideology. Once on the 21st of December and the second for comments made on the 22nd.

Facebook is ensuring a SILENT RIGHT. They are attempting to manipulate social and political attitudes. Facebook is trying to create the illusion of left-wing support.

ILLUSION.

You see it is an illusion, and in the left’s overzealous and oppressive ways they have created a very dangerous situation, and that situation is the SILENT RIGHT. The left thinks if they silence other political views they simply don’t exist, but it isn’t true.

Why did the Scottish Referendum result the way it did? SILENT RIGHT

Why did Brexit result? SILENT RIGHT

Why did Trump get elected? SILENT RIGHT

When the those supporting left-wing politics try to silence those with other political leanings, it doesn’t make the voters go away, it doesn’t make them change their political stance, it just makes them quiet. People stop talking online (or are banned as is now a common practice), but they don’t change their beliefs. The left doesn’t silence the talk in the streets, on the playgrounds or in the coffee shops; support against left-wing politics is still there, it is just underground.

SILENT RIGHT

SILENT RIGHT is exactly why the polls, at the moment, are getting every large political decision wrong. Polls can no longer gauge public opinion accurately, and it is the oppression and attempted political manufacturing by supporters of left-wing politics that has created this scenario.

SILENT RIGHT, a situation created by overzealous left-wing supporters, has created a whole new dimension of underground politics. A political movement formed from bullying by the left. A political movement that frighteningly no one has a handle on as it has been pushed underground.

And so today I joined the SILENT RIGHT.

I closed out my Facebook accounts, all five……. businesses, art, personal.

Now I am one more choosing to go underground. The discussions will continue in the street, the living rooms, the schoolyard and the shops. We discuss the business policies and pricing that will be increasing and how our emails going out to our customers will indicate NDP policy as the cause for inflation. We discuss working on a barter system to avoid the government receiving taxation. We discuss how we withhold support from social situations that used to ease the government’s burden. These are quiet discussions, but they do not stop. They are the discussions of the SILENT RIGHT.

 

 

When CBC Censors Free Speech – CBC Propagates Racism

Today CBC Edmonton profiled an opinion piece on their Face book page, a piece called Minority groups are seeing one of their greatest fears come true- they’re becoming targets at home” written by Saada Branker. In this piece The very first line, added by the CBC Facebook staff, above the placement of this article reads “OPINION: How on earth did we get here?” Seeing as this was placed on a social media site, a site intended for discussion, I decided to answer that very question for them. But low and behold, when the time came to publish my comment, over and over again it would not be allowed.

Now knowing how slanted the CBC is in only supporting the left, and in knowing that the CBC censor comments and ban contributors, this isn’t surprising. We all know the CBC is a leftist propaganda machine that refuses to tell the truth even though it is funded by the Canadian taxpayer. After all no one is delusional enough to ever expect the “left” to be fair or “truthful”. So in response to not being allowed to post my comment on the CBC Facebook site, I will simply blog my response here and send out the links.


CBC asked, in response to this opinion piece “How on earth did we get here?”. Here is my response:

Closed minded slanted news reporting is to blame for a lot of the tensions “portrayed ” in the news followed by the hatred portrayed by the left.

Let me give you a few examples. If a person supported Brexit the media and the left instantly called the person a racist, it didn’t matter if the reasoning was that your support for an exit was more control over a country’s economy, law or regulations…..against it and the media called you a racist. If you were for Trump, the left and the media called you a racist, it didn’t matter what your reasoning was, even if it was the fact that running a government involves a lot of management of departments and funds, exactly like big business, and so business experience would be highly beneficial to get a population back to work, ……but say you support Trump and you are a racist.

The left and the media have been brow bashing whites, especially white males; they have been carrying out their own campaign of hate and lies with no other reason to make the comments other than the people are “white”. This, my dear media and leftest comrades, is racist.

Now let’s discuss an interesting topic, let’s talk immigration since the left and the media are experts. I have been through the immigration process, my husband has been through the immigration process, and because we have been through it we get to share our experience with others have done the same. In the past year we have had the immigration discussion with people of multiple ethnic backgrounds and colors. Guess what we are hearing? We are hearing “We came to Canada to be safe, and now the government is just letting in all these types, now Canada will be as dangerous as where we left.” we have also heard “We did it the right way, we went through all the security checks, it is unfair they are just letting them walk in.” Plus ” We immigrated following the rules, then we worked hard, but the government just gives these people handouts paid with my tax money. It is so unfair.” These are statements by NON-WHITES. These are statements by IMMIGRANTS.

With both Brexit and Trump the media showed their uneducated bias with flying colors, they showed their inability, or just plain reluctance, to show the truth. You see the media refused in both situations to recognize the difference between IMMIGRATION and FREE MOVEMENT. There is a vast difference. Some immigration is beneficial, and some is not, free movement is never beneficial.

Trump’s “build a wall” was to keep out ILLEGAL immigrants, however the media refused to accept these people crossing the border were committing a crime; it is the equivalent of a drug pusher being called a small business owner.

The free movement of people to Britain has kept wages at a standstill in Britain for over 20 years in areas outside of London, plus the influx of both refugees and migrants from eastern Europe has left their social services and social housing at a breaking point. But the media won’t report this, the left won’t accept this, it is easier to shout racist.

And then there are the put downs. The media tries to say if you supported Trump or Brexit you are a poor, uneducated, white male who feels threatened. I have heard this propaganda spouted endlessly on CBC radio and BBC radio. But the fact is this is a lie. For myself, the only criteria I fit of the media driven stereotype is “white” (well white is a derogatory term, I am CAUCASIAN of EUROPEAN DECENT yet one side of my family has been in Canada well over 250 years…..not common white, I deserve the same cultural distinction as others). I am educated, I am not poor, I am not threatened. I think if the media were to research who really supported Brexit and Trump, they were people who believe in free enterprise, advancement, less taxation, less nanny-state, and control over their own country. So could you tell me how this is racist?

Prior to Brexit I was listening to radio interviews on BBC, and they are as slanted as North American left wing media. They went through a business district in Birmingham (UK) and started asking business owners about Brexit. An amazing number wanted Brexit. They wanted it for business, and they wanted it for immigration because free movement meant the ONLY immigration the country would be able to handle (well not even) was the refugees and European free movement; it meant the UK was closed to the rest of the world if Brexit did not happen. Would you like the punchline (anyone who has lived in the UK has already guessed it), the business district was one where all those interviewed were originally from Pakistan. Not “white”. Not threatened “white” males.

But for closer to home CBC radio did an interview in Vancouver several months ago where it was indicated that many members of the Asian community did not support the influx of Syrian refugees. The radio piece quickly glossed over it and focused on the Asian person who supported the refugee effort; unbalanced reporting.

There are snippets that come out in the media, and then the left and the media sweep under the carpet the fact that “non-whites” also have concerns, they make this disappear. One would ask why? BECAUSE THE LEFT AND THE MEDIA ARE RACIALLY PROFILING WHITES. There you have it.

This is why stories like a Muslim burning down his own mosque disappears so quickly, or the woman who faked the account of her head scarf being torn off was a blip, or the fact that the media won’t call a terrorist attack a terrorist attack when the suspect is Muslim (oh my, it must be mental illness), or that it is all the fault of whites for the current state of aboriginals (even though the drug trade in our area is completely run by aboriginals…but somehow it is “my” fault that they are the ones dealing the substances that are killing people).

This opinion piece asks “How on earth did we get here?”….the MEDIA has created it and the LEFT has created it. You my friends are the two segments to blame.

But let’s look at this closer, how do we know it isn’t the left perpetrating these hateful acts in order to continue their hateful campaign against the “threatened white male”? How can we know it isn’t the left doing these shameful acts to keep the vision of the “hateful bad whites” in the media? We have a black Muslim man burn down his own mosque, but the assumption was a hate crime by whites. We have a woman faking a head scarf attack, again an assumed hate crime by whites….but in the end it wasn’t. It is starting to surface that many of these attacks profiled heavily in the media are incidents that have been manufactured by the left to be able to continue their hateful campaign against whites (yes indeed, that is racism).

Now I will sum up this piece, which is perhaps more in depth and wider reaching than the original opinion piece, because the opinion piece published by CBC was only another piece of media propaganda aimed at the “hateful white person”. Well done CBC.

I want to point out how warped the left has become, and how they try to use the threat of racism to oppress a society.

The Alberta premier, Rachel Notley publicly insulted Albertans who opposed the CARBON TAX as XENOPHOBIC. Did you catch that…….XENOPHOBIC. Because Albertans oppose an unfair taxation on CARBON, yes, CO2, she has in turn called the population of her province XENOPHOBES. Media do you know what that means? Left, do you even know what that means? I will supply you with a definition.

“Xenophobic: having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.”

So there you have it, if the LEFT have any opposition to their beliefs they simply call those who oppose them RACIST. RACIST IS THE LEFT’S DEFAULT. The media in turn laps it up, it is an easy tabloid story, they don’t follow up the facts, they don’t even investigate to see if they are real hate crimes. False sensationalistic tabloid news. Heaven forbid we would ever see investigative JOURNALISM (again why ARE you in the NEWS business CBC?…..oh yeah, government propaganda..right!).

So how did we get here? The left. The media. But most surprisingly I present to you another option, and that is that WE AREN’T . I suggest WE AREN’T is the most relevant point. The left and the media are choosing incidents of minute proportion in comparison to the whole population and geography of our country and BLOWING THEM OUT OF PROPORTION AS A PROPAGANDA MACHINE TO BULLY THE POPULATION INTO SUPPORTING THEIR IDEOLOGY. There, dear author of the opinion piece is your answer. Stop the propaganda machine, and go back to fact based journalism, and the world will seem to be a completely different place instantly.


And there, dear CBC is the work around to the blocking of comments and the blocking of free speech.

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