Monday, January 01, 2018

The Almost Fatal Year of 2017 and the Hope of 2018

It's hard to believe. The year 2017 is finally over, and we're still here. 

But although just about everyone I know seems to heaving a giant sight of relief, and declaring that 2017 was a REALLY bad year.

I think some really good things happened during its brief reign.

Even though it was the year when I was almost killed.

Not far from one of my favourite boyhood places, when my motorcycle hit a patch of black ice in the Scottish highlands.

And I went flying through the air, narrowly missing a massive tree and a sturdy fence, before crashing into a farmer's field.

But although I had to spend two days in hospital, another week in bed at home, and more than two months going to rehab when I got back to Canada, I now feel what happened was a valuable life experience.

Which taught me more about the suffering of others, made me appreciate nurses even more than I already did, and made me a stronger and hopefully wiser person than I was before.

Which is exactly the same way I feel about some of 2017's big political stories.

In Canada, the Cons got a chance to renew themselves, after ten years of Harperism, and failed miserably...

Choosing the religious fanatic Andrew Scheer, who was only elected with the support of anti-abortion and anti-gay candidates like Brad Trost and Pierre Lemieux.

While Justin Trudeau stood up for the rights of women and LGBT Canadians like no Prime Minister before him...

And despite the relentless attack of our shameful Con media, ended the year as popular as ever.

And then there was Donald Trump, the bellowing orange elephant in the room, or the monster in the window...

The man who never should have been President...

The one who has many Americans regretting their fatal choice.

Especially since interviews like the one with the New York Times the other day, keep raising questions about whether Trump is mentally fit to remain in office... 

And I'm pretty confident it's only a matter of time before most sane Americans conclude he isn't, and work to defeat him, or remove him from office.

There were other good news stories to celebrate as well.

Aboriginal Canadians are now firmly on the political agenda. Alternative sources of energy are growing cheaper and more popular. 

The U.N. recently announced that extreme poverty is expected to be eradicated within the next decade, so hopefully and probably for the first time ever, all humans will have enough to eat. 

The #METOO movement gave a huge boost to women's rights.

And in Australia same-sex marriage was put to a referendum... 

And love won.

So there is reason for hope.

And a lot to look forward to in 2018

And yes, if I had been in Edinburgh last night, this is how I would have celebrated my survival.

By running after 2018 and shouting " Hey don't leave me behind!"

Thank you for reading this blog, and contributing to it with your comments.

And Happy New Year everybody !!!


  1. Happy New Year, Simon!

    1. Hi UU4077...thank you and all the best to you and yours. May 2018 be your best year ever !!

  2. Hope your Hogmany was memorable Simon.

    Watching the Barton Beasts the other night I was amazed. They blamed rain for Canada Day on Joly. Coin has indeed tipped into irrelevance. The debacle was saved by Hebert's admission that maybe they are completely out of touch with Canadians. That comment should give us all hope for 2018.

    Thanks for all the work you do and I hope to read more all year .

    1. HI rumleyfips...thank you for you kind comment. My Hogmanay was somewhat subdued due to the prevailing weather conditions. But I did have some whisky cake which due to the fact I don't drink made me quite merry. 😉
      I saw the At Issue program you're talking about and had the same reaction, Barton and Coyne and Althia Raj are in the Twilight Con zone, and I was amused to see the looks on their faces when Chantal Hebert said that maybe most Canadians didn't think like Ottawa
      Insiders. Let's hope it's a sign that sanity will finally prevail...

  3. yvonne4tn10:19 AM

    Happy New Year Simon

    1. Hi Yvonne...thank you and Happy New Year to you too. Thank you for promoting my blog on Twitter, and may 2018 be the year we finally put those evil Cons in their place, or at least force them to start acting like Canadians...

  4. Happy New Year, no relief in sight until at least Nov 2018

    1. Hi Steve....thank you, and Happy New Year to you too. I'm afraid you're right, there will be no relief until November, and even then the odds are stacked against the Democrats in the Senate, so a lot will depend on what happens with the House. And of course on whether the world is at war or not....

  5. Anonymous2:17 PM

    Be it fate or some other worldly intervention, your inadvertent, unimpeded flight into a farmer's field could be seen as a sign that your good work is not done here yet Simon.
    Keep on keeping on my friend.

    1. Hi JD...I hadn't thought of that, and maybe you're right. It wasn't the way I flapped my arms like a bird that saved me. 😉
      But seriously I was very lucky, and the no doubt bitter disappointment of the Cons is enough to keep me going all the way to the next election...

  6. Jackie Blue5:58 PM

    Happy New Year Simon! Glad to know you're all right and that you're going to keep fighting the good fight, for Canada and for all of us.

    May the GOP North and their elephantine counterparts including the rabid orange woolly mammoth just keep riding themselves into a ditch.

    Sunny ways, mon ami, sunny ways.

    1. Hi Jackie...thanks a lot and than you for joining our little band's struggle to take down the Cons on both side of the border. I believe that social media will play a big role in what happens over the next two years. Not just by shooting down the fake news or lies we are bound to be deluged with, or by helping to organize and mobilize. But also by trying to prevent progressives getting discouraged and succumbing to despair. Despair is the death of hope, and that can never be allowed to happen. That's what I like best about Justin Trudeau, I'm tired of the politics of fear and I demand something better. And at the end of the bumpy orange brick road we will have our sunny days...

  7. e.a.f.8:25 PM

    Happy New Year, Simon. Think of your flight into the farmer's field as an "environmental" method of flight. No oil was used.

    Yes, we're still here, lets hope we get through this coming year without Trump blowing up the world. Kim 3 gave a 30 min. speech today without mentioning the "great orange one".

    1. Hi e.a.f...thank you and Happy New Year to you too. But if you guys keep praising my amazing flying abilities it might go to my head, and start walking around in a Superman costume or whatever 🐥
      And yes, let's hope that sanity prevails and all this talk of war finally ends. But I see that Mike Mullen is saying that he doesn't see how it can be avoided, so we are in dangerous waters...

    2. Anonymous12:25 AM

      Is Trump crazy enough to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike at North Korea as a way to divert attention away from the Mueller investigation?

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account

      North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
      4:49 PM - 2 Jan 2018

      And puuuuuuuuh-lease, as fat and out of shape as that BIG FLABBY orange bastard is -And puuuuuuuuh-lease, as fat and out of shape as that BIG FLABBY orange bastard is - there's no F'n way his "button works".



  8. Anonymous9:46 PM

    Happy New Year Simon and all of your supporters. Hope you keep on encouraging people to walk on the sunny side of the street. It really doesn't take any extra effort but the results of seeking intelligent cooperative solutions to current problems are so much more rewarding than shadow boxing the phantom others on the dark side of the street.

  9. HI RT...thank you and Happy New Year to you!! I will never stop encouraging people to keep walking on the sunny side of the street. I know no other way. Despair is the mortal enemy of hope, and without hope we will never change the world. Which doesn't mean that we shouldn't attack those who would destroy us, as long as we remember that we are only doing that to help build a better world...

  10. Happy New Year Simon! Great work on some amazing posts in 2017, your writing just gets better and better with age. Indeed, barring any Trumpesque miracle, Andrew Scheer is a complete dud as leader of the cons and they will go nowhere under him. While many things, especially defending tax havens for friends like the Bronfmans, have disappointed me about Trudeau, he is in it for the long haul and will continue to be a bright light for Canada. Raise a glass to 2018 and may the world be a better place this time next year.

    1. HI bcwaterboy...thank you and Happy New Year to you and yours!!! And thank you for saying that my writing is getting better with age, because with the year I had I feel like I have aged about twenty years. 🤕
      In fact, if it wasn't for Andrew Scheer and the ghastly Domald Trump I probably would have retired months ago. But as we all know the world is a dangerous place, and we all have to add our voices to those who are demanding that sanity prevail, and let's hope that 2018 will be the beginning of something better....

  11. Anonymous1:52 AM

    Aug. 3, 2016
    Retired General Michael Hayden: Possible I Won't Vote In This Election | Morning Joe | MSNBC


    Donald Trump asked a foreign policy expert advising him why the U.S. can't use nuclear weapons, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said on the air Wednesday, citing an unnamed source who claimed he had spoken with the GOP presidential nominee.

    "Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump. And three times [Trump] asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked at one point if we had them why can't we use them," Scarborough said on his "Morning Joe" program

    Go to 5:55 mark...
    Retired General Michael Hayden: Possible I Won't Vote In This Election | Morning Joe | MSNBC

    Joe: 'Nothing Rational' About Donald Trump's Behavior | Morning Joe | MSNBC

    Video Archive: Morning Joe | MSNBC