Je Me Souvien


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Hey Dad! Thank Your Buddies For Me, Will Ya

(Remembrance Day XCIV, 2013)


At age 17.

My father joined the Navy in ’43, at the age of 17. His part in the war was as a torpedo-man on a Canadian Corvette, the HMCS Midland, a convoy escort ship on the Atlantic  “triangle run” between Boston, New York, Halifax, and St. John’s. (Oddly, Corvette’s don’t carry torpedoes. They carry depth charges. Tomayto, tomahto). The corvette was a U-boat chaser and the Midland saw “action” several times (I’m sure it always saw action, just not necessarily violent action) and got one “probable kill” of a U-boat not far off the coast of Newfoundland. They got called in for repairs after that and the HMCS Shawinigan took it’s place on next convoy. On that run, the Shawinigan was torpedoed and sank with significant loss of life. My father knew many of those aboard. There’s a right place, a wrong place, a right time, a wrong time.

Not surprisingly, the WAR was a significant presence when I was growing up and my father never tired of telling his stories. But not once did he express any malice toward anyone involved in that horror, with the exception of certain small-minded bureaucrats. He didn’t consider himself a hero, nor his German opponents as enemies. He didn’t flaunt his service nor proclaim that they saved “democracy’. He did what he felt he had to do and then came back and lived his life.

My Mom lived in NFLD during the war and lost a few cousins to the insanity. When it was over she came to Canada (NFLD was Britain at the time), to Montreal, specifically, to study at McGill where she met my Dad, a slightly more experienced Greek-Canadian boy who had a scholarship courtesy of the navy. (My Dad, a poor son of Greek immigrants, hadn’t a chance in hell of going to University if not for the war).

The story is pretty predictable from here on. I only tell it to remind myself, and maybe others, of just what we owe to our ancestors, as clueless as they might be to things WE find important.

My father and my mother were unflinching pacifists throughout their adult lives. I wouldn’t call them liberal or left-wing, that was foreign to their education, but when push came to shove they always chose the moral high ground.


At 82, a year and a half before his death. Opening of the War Museum in Ottawa.

And that’s how the Second World War created me. I’ve done some renovations, but the foundation is solid. And my daughters, though not yet old enough to fully grasp the historical significance, are definitely old enough to hold a moral code that almost makes me burst with pride.

Remember … but forgive.

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Homeless man killed in N.S. bus shelter fire

(I offer this without comment in its entirety – Drak)

Vigil for homeless N.S. Staff
Published Saturday, October 26, 2013 11:18AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 26, 2013 9:32PM EDT

A vigil was held Saturday evening for a homeless man who was killed in a fire inside a Nova Scotia bus shelter, an incident that remains the subject of an RCMP investigation.

A few hundred people attended the candlelight vigil, which was held outside the grocery store in the rural community of Berwick, N.S., to remember Harvey Lawrence. 

CTV Atlantic’s Nick Ritcey said before the vigil, the grocery store planned to shut down half an hour early to serve coffee to those in attendance.

Chaplain John Andrew, who runs the Open Arms emergency shelter, knew the 62-year-old man. He addressed the crowd on Saturday evening.

“May our hearts go out to those who struggled to fit into society,” Andrew said. 

Earlier Saturday, he said the vigil would not be a time to dwell on Lawrence’s death, but an opportunity to celebrate his life.

“I think some people genuinely were really touched by him, just through a ‘hello’ or giving him a coffee. I think we all see ourselves in broken people and Harley was a broken person,” said Andrew, who will be presiding over Lawrence’s funeral next week.

Police have called Lawrence’s death “suspicious,” but investigators have yet to release results from an autopsy that took place Thursday. 

Shannon Taylor, a woman who was delivering newspapers early Wednesday morning, said she spotted two young men carrying a container of gasoline heading toward the site approximately 10 minutes before the fire began.

Taylor said the two men appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s. She said she saw them fill a jug with gas at a station near the bus shelter. Taylor said she told police that the two men ran in the direction of the bus shelter after having pumped and paid for the gas. 

Taylor said she thought she saw a pile of leaves burning before realizing that the man, whom she had often see sitting outside the local Tim Hortons, or wandering down the street, was on fire.

Lawrence was sleeping in a bus shelter that morning when the fire started. The RCMP has not said if the fire was accidental.

Berwick Mayor Don Clarke told the Canadian Press that a number of residents in the community of 2,500 did not like the fact that Lawrence had come to the town about six months earlier. 

Clarke said he fielded a number of phone calls from residents who wanted to know if anything could be done to force Lawrence to leave.

Ritcey said that since Lawrence’s death, the bus shelter where he would frequently spend his nights has turned into a memorial, with flowers being laid at the site daily.

“Everybody in the town knew who he was, they’d see him on their daily commute so he became a staple in the community in the last six months,” Ritcey told CTV News Channel on Saturday. 

Berwick resident John McMahon said he’s glad to see “that something’s being done to sort of commemorate Harley.”

“I noticed in the news people are talking about homelessness a lot more than they were even two weeks ago and that’s not a bad thing,” McMahon said.

With files from The Canadian Press

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Frat Boy Cops With Tasers Target Teens Testicles

Too many cops are like huge, strong, and dangerous 15 year olds … with many weapons and few consequences. The 1% like ‘em that way. Intelligent, thoughful cops might just figure out whose side they’re really on.

The Ottawa cops that beat a barely conscious, homeless alcoholic (a man I knew) nearly to death and then harassed and intimidated the one, young witness willing to testify in court … yes, as predicted, they got off. No consequences. At what point do the middle class take notice? Police violence is becoming epidemic as our municipal forces begin to go paramilitary.

Teen says cop violated his civil rights by shooting Taser at his testicles

By Travis Gettys
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 14:52 EDT
Taser stun gun via AFP

    A black teenager says a police officer violated his civil rights during an altercation at a train station.

    Andre Little sued the city of Richmond, California, after Officer Kristopher Tong pointed a Taser at his groin and fired the stun gun at his scrotum.

    Read the rest in The Raw Story

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    Stun News Is Good News, Sometimes – Homeless Vets Get Help In Pilot Project

    bouquetIt may go against my nature, but I figure it’s time to admit that occasionally there is some good news in this particular wheelhouse.  (Warning, this is The Sun so make no assumptions about accuracy.)

    Might be a good time for The Stephen Herpes Government™ to drop their legal fight against the class action suit filed by injured Afghan War vets trying to get the federal benefits due to them.

    Anyway, a Bouquet to Western University/Lawson Foundation for undertaking the project.

    Dozens of homeless Canadian vets helped off streets in pilot project

    Dozens of homeless Canadian vets helped off streets in pilot projectCredits: QMI AGENCY


    LONDON, Ont. — Canada’s homeless veterans — “hidden among the hidden . . . living in the rough” — need new help from the country they served to get off the streets, a national pilot project has discovered.

    Read The Rest.

    Posted in Brickbats & Bouquets, Gov't Policy, Health & Welfare, Homeless, News, Photos, Public Awareness | Leave a comment

    Cell Phones Prove Welfare Doesn’t Work – Faux News


    ObamaPhone (Photo credit: alexander.steed)

    A cop stopped one of my street bros once and said. “I thought you were homeless.”

    When my friend replied in the affirmative, the cop asked, “If you’re homeless, why the hell do you have a cell phone?”

    My friend answered, “Well, I know land lines are cheaper but it’s hard finding a place to plug them in.”

    The cell phone thing gets mentioned by many otherwise reasonable people who say “How can you justify paying for a cell phone when you don’t have a job”.

    It never occurs to them that being unable to give a potential employer a number to reach you reduces the odds of getting a call back.  Nor have they noticed that pay phones are virtually disappearing from the landscape and only a small number of jobs take walk-in applications.

    And why do all these street folk have MP3 players but no place to live?   Putting aside the fact that many of the gadgets you find on the street aren’t entirely “white” market,  by putting that “wasted” $10 in the bank every month (which won’t have you as a customer, anyway) it would still take about 12 year to save up for a month’s rent and deposit — assuming, of course, that by then you have a steady income, a clean credit record, references from 3 non-existent previous landlords,  and a co-signer.

    Music, on the other hand, may help to keep one’s thoughts from straying toward suicide or taking refuge in psychosis.  Maybe not for 12 years, but on the street you live one day at a time … or not at all.

    The problem … excuse me, ONE problem … with Righties is that they confuse simplistic thinking with common sense.  Ignorance is one thing.  Wilful stupidity is another.

    Fox News’ Hasselbeck calls air conditioning ‘the ugly side’ of welfare
    (The Raw Story)

    Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Thursday suggested that welfare recipients who had air conditioning and cell phones were part of the “ugly side of entitlements.”

    Read The Rest

    Posted in Bigotry, Daily Life, Homeless, Public Awareness, Suicide, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

    LowLives Declares War On All That’s Dickish And Holy


    These are dangerous days. The lunatics have seized the asylum’s intercom and, in response, the-powers-that-be (TPTB) have jacked up the amperage on the electroshock machine. The Beast is slouching toward Jerusalem and the centre cannot hold still long enough to win the face-off. The surveillance state now has more information on us than we do, so much that terrorists can now hide comfortably in the spillover. The left has gone right and the right has gone wrong and the only moderates are drinking or eating a bit less.

    I can no longer stand by and watch the country I love, the country my mother’s vagina spit me into, descend into something more than mediocrity. Mediocrity is our birthright. To live in interesting times is a curse and so I vow, upon the sacred Beaver’s anal gland, to make a stand against excitement and the moronic acts that create it. The world is not a frat-boy competition and I refuse to follow TPTB on their drunken quest for exceptionalism or alcohol poisoning.

    LowLives was created to give light and sound to the outerclass and it will continue to do so. Today, however, the ranks of the outer and under classes surge as the plutocrats and their fellow travellers attempt to make an end run around the feeble remains of democracy. I’ve heard the call and I will answer.

    Beginning today, LowLives is a Webfolio (which is not a word but I like it so I’m using it anyway) dedicated to bringing you critical reviews of the “news”, the not-so-news, and the public pronouncements perpetrated by professional prevaricators including, but never limited to;

    • Politicians and their Enablers
    • The Musty Old Media
    • Prominent Twits and Bloggers
    • Fame Whores (Celebrities and other famous-for-being-famous folk)
    • Fiscal Vampires and their Moneyed Minions (the infamous 1%)
    • Faux Friendlies and Demagogues
    • Hypocrites and Hacks for Hire

    It will be seasoned with a soupçon of amateur douche-baggery by dicks and dickettes lacking the decency to keep their moronic misadventures and misanthropy to themselves.

    We will stand firm, nubile, and fulsome, against nihilism (right or left), violence, bigotry, execrable pop music, predatory capitalism, paternalism, sexism and its humourless anti-spawn of too-serious androgyny mongers, multi-camera sitcoms, bad science, bad logic, bad art, bad taste, theism, fanaticism, digital moralism (think about it), Gaiacide, ecophobia, homophobia, heterophobia, xenophobia, xenon lights, oil culture, rape culture, vermiculture (ich), wigglies, wiggers, and more …

    We will be your jaded eyes and ears, the imaginary friend willing to rummage the dumpster for you. We will never let intimidation, lethargy, common law, or common sense suppress the truth, the truthiness, or anything we can milk for lulz or laurels.

    We are fearless! We are Legion! We are possessed of a thesaurus!

    I know I speak on behalf of myself when I say that we are all very excited about this change and that we are looking forward to the inevitable denigration.

    Unabashedly yours,

    ~ Drakakis, (a.k.a Drak The Impaler)

    Drak is a self-styled writer living in the 2nd coldest and 32nd most exciting capital city in the world. (Suck it, Ulan Bator!) He is semi-retired, or semi-unemployed, depending upon one’s perspective, and decidedly overqualified to be producing this drek.
    Our current staff are strictly imaginary but, nonetheless, extremely talented and hard-working.
    LowLives welcomes your donations. We are a non-profit organization (although not by choice) and provide receipts for tax purposes, even though they are completely worthless. We accept PayPal (soon, really) or cash in unmarked, non-sequential bills in plain manila or Vanilla envelopes.
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