Temas de Capa


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We really need to stay more in tune with history. I go as far as suggesting that there should be a committee whose purpose is to remind us of the consequences of every move and decision made by those who govern us, at every level. I’m convinced that life, as we know it, would be much richer. Following the holocaust, the Jewish community vowed to never let anyone forget what had happened, so that it would never be repeated.

That’s what we need to implement, permanently, in general. We keep repeating our mistakes, and we are all responsible. Sure, it’s government and the slew of entities that influence them, that create policy, but we put them in charge, hell, some of us even turn into them. I realize that we are surrounded by so many blinking lights that we can’t see straight ahead, never mind back, but when things around us consistently lack in sense and no real answers have been given to the pertinent questions, how long before we conclude that there’s more to it than meets the eye?

In Ontario, these days, but when I say Ontario, I could sub that with many other places in Canada and the world, current government is beginning its plan to fill the holes that they keep digging, year after year. The Ford government, for example, is planning to take a page out the Mike Harris 1995 “Common Sense Revolution” handbook, and start cutting in health care, social programs and education. They’ll blame Covid and the liberal spending of the left, (and probably they would be able to make a couple of good points). The thing is, if you ask the Liberals why they spent so much, they will blame the Conservatives and their cutbacks. See what I mean? If we could all remember the mistakes they had made in the past or be reminded of them by someone credible to all, (I know, rose coloured glasses), we could all confirm that this is all a silly game they play. That may not be the best way to put it, but the shoe does fit. I believe there’s a reason that when there are cuts to be made, the first ones on the chopping block are always the arts, health care, and education. Health care is a primary target for cuts, but why? Not important enough? Are you happy with your health care services at the moment? My guess is that you’re probably not, but the main reason for that is that the system is chronically underfunded. Slowly, but surely, the private sector has been setting roots and governments have looked the other way, even welcomed them. Private health care has its place, but it should fight for it, fairly. Yet a great deal of its business comes from frustrated users of the funded system, who often can’t afford to wait. Mainly, for me, fundamental services should never be in private hands.

When it comes to education, we read now of low math and reading scores in North American students. When hasn’t that been the case? As long as I can remember, that has been an issue. I recall, as a teenager, hearing reports from U of T, stating that an alarming number of its student population had deplorable reading skills. The videos, in the US, of college students being quizzed in the streets with some of the most basic questions and failing miserably. That is reality today, the new generations are, for the most part, clueless of the goings-on around them, and they don’t care. Usually, the easiest kind of person to convince is the one that knows the least. Here in Portugal there’s a saying: «Em terra de cego, quem tem olho é rei», translating loosely to, in the land of the blind, he who has an eye is king. I believe that to be applicable here. When most are distracted, the advantage goes to someone who can recognize a good opportunity. This, like many things, can be used both for good and bad, all the more reason not to get distracted.

Fiquem bem.

Raul Freitas/MS

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