NOTE: AS OF FEBRUARY 2017 AN UPDATED VERSION OF THIS BOOK IS BEING PREPARED IN BOTH E-BOOK AND SOFT COVER FORMATS WHICH WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR ORDER THROUGH AMAZON AS WELL AS FROM THE PUBLISHER, WRITER’S EXCHANGE E-PUBLISHING. ANNOUNCEMENT OF PUBLICATION WILL BE NOTED HERE AS SOON AS PUBLICATION IS COMPLETED.
About this book: This is the “Must Have” book for anyone wishing to learn the basics of metal machining right up to precision machining, or for everyone with an interest in any type of metalworking. Metal Machining Made Easy is loaded with illustrations, showing how-to with simple, yet practical information. Rules, formulas, and mystifying tables have been simplified to allow beginners and hobbyists an introduction to this interesting trade.
The book cover above lists the author’s former name, Ian Morrans. The updated version will list his current name, Ian Moore-Morrans.
We are honoured to share this timely and insightful blogpost by a friend we first met at a writer’s group in Vernon BC. What a timely analysis of the history and present-day situation of bigotry and prejudice leading to truly catastrophic consequences. Would that it become a wake-up call to our societies and individuals throughout the world.
A recent news report told the story of a reformed Skinhead who now volunteers his time telling high school students about prejudice and extremism.
“We live in a world that is very complicated,” he begins. “Extremists want their world made simple. It insulates them from the truth… from reality.”
This wish for simplicity has parallels elsewhere.
In the rust belt of the US, the owner of a deli described his support for Donald Trump’s ban on Muslims this way: “Do you lock your door at night? I do. I don’t want just anyone to walk in. They (Muslims) are not being properly vetted.”
Is he right? Let’s see.
First, prospective immigrants to the United States must go through a vetting process that is among the most, if not the most, extensive in the world. blog-peertransfer-com20130301This applies to every person seeking entry to America. Second, the image evoked by ‘lock your door’ deliberately reduces what is a complex issue that few comprehend into a misleading simile that anyone can grasp.
The practice of making simple what is complex is not new. We have become conditioned. This is the goal of product branding… bringing positive emotions to a visual graphic. athletebrandmanagement-comnfl-player-brandingIt is also what political campaigning has become: attaching to your candidate a host of strongly affirming trigger words, while attaching to opponents negative labels that evoke loathing and distrust.
Some folks want simple concepts they can love… or hate. But when simple concepts are advanced to define complex issues, truth often takes a vacation.
Thus, should we be surprised that this is also the strategy of terrorists? They must love it when our fellow citizens believe their barbaric actions slaughtering innocent men, women and children were sanctioned by a religion they claim to represent, but do not in any way. Some of our fellow citizens want to believe that Islam is at fault, not just the perpetrators. It is their way of explaining their fear of the unknown and covering for a lack of knowledge.
Those who have studied the Quran know the holy book of Muslims is all about peace and respect for others. I have. That book does as much to promote these virtues as does the Bible, the holy book of Christians.
The terrorists are succeeding because of our thoughtless prejudice. They are directing otherwise intelligent and caring citizens into making enemies where none exist. quotesgram-comprejudice-quotesWe would do well to remember that when we accuse others of being enemies, even if they are not, we are extending an invitation for them to oblige.
Is it so difficult for some to grasp these simple realities?
Apparently it is. To do so would involve placing strongly held prejudices in peril of being exposed for the myths that they are. The truth will do that.
Yes, evidently, we have learned nothing from history.
The irrational fear and hysteria swirling about for the past few years targeting Muslims is reminiscent of similar mindless travesties throughout history, both recent and distant:
Fear and ignorance are at the heart of the subjugation and persecution of African Americans that persist even now, 150 years after slavery was abolished.
Unsubstantiated fear led to the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of innocent people of Japanese descent during the Second World War, and the confiscation of their properties. Not one traitor was ever found.
Institutional ignorance enshrined for centuries in law has resulted in the persecution of the LGBTQ community, and that hysterical bigotry is wide spread to this day.
Government-led denigration of aboriginal peoples in the United States, Canada and Australia, as elsewhere, led to centuries of official programs to crush these incredibly rich cultures. Those efforts failed due to the strength of character of these remarkable peoples, from whom we have much to learn.
In the early 1930s a ‘nobody’ emerged from the political wilderness in Europe to anoint himself dictator after he won an election by successfully invoking fear and hatred, and the promise of a brighter future, among normally rational and responsible citizens. His target: the Jewish people. He murdered more than six million of them.
We can go back a few centuries to when armed horsemen slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people across Europe and the Middle East simply because they were not Christians. www-quintonreport-com20150205These were knights of the Crusades; the Roman Catholic Church organized and sanctioned them.
And we can step back even farther… a few millennia: History tells us that a kindly and caring person was murdered on the orders of a Roman emperor who came to fear this young man, because the emperor was ignorant of what Jesus was really all about.
What do we find common to all of these, and the many other examples to be found throughout history?
The pattern: difference begets ignorance, and ignorance begets fear, and fear begets hysteria, and hysteria begets catastrophe.
Humans have always been apprehensive about what is different… they fear what they do not understand. That’s normal. What is not normal is demonizing those and that which they do not understand. This often springs from their own self-confidence issues.www-allpsychologycareers-comtopicsracial-prejudice
What also is not normal is an unwillingness to exercise the intelligence and the moral fiber needed to step beyond uncertainty, and to dissipate that fear with verified truth and knowledge. Those who do not seek knowledge prefer to wallow in their ignorance by seeking out only that which reinforces their prejudices, including people who are likeminded.
Make no mistake, those four elements are in play today, and most certainly are among people who insist on shielding their ignorance from erosion by truth and knowledge. This was made all too clear graphically by the massacre at a Muslim mosque in Quebec City on January 29.shariaunveiled-wordpress-com20131204
As Sheema Khan wrote in The Globe and Mail following the funeral services: “Our elected leaders have set the tone toward healing. These profound acts of kindness help repair the social fabric that extremists desperately seek to rupture. Their goal is to sow hatred, division and fear. We must not let them succeed.”
Yes, Muslims are different than most of us. And so are the color and make of your car likely different from mine. So what? Period. Full Stop. Isn’t it time for us to learn and to emerge from our ignorance?
Perhaps we need to remind ourselves and others that ‘different’ is nothing more than ‘different’… until proven otherwise beyond all doubt. The consequences of not doing so is prejudice, and the consequence of that can be catastrophic as we saw in Quebec City: six innocent men murdered, six women now widows, 17 fatherless children, 19 people wounded.
—Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission therefore is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will and must be defeated.
— Kofi Annan, former secretary-general, United Nations
“Whither Thy Prejudice” is Copyright © 2017 By James Osborne. All Rights Reserved
Image Credits: athletebrandmanagement.com/nfl-player-branding; blog.peertransfer.com/2013/03/01/; carmenteresiano-2010.blogspot.com/p/features.html; quotesgram.com/prejudice-quotes; shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/; http://www.allpsychologycareers.com/topics/racial-prejudice; http://www.quintonreport.com/2015/02/05
We send greetings to all our readers, hoping that you have had wonderful Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations and that you will have a happy and peaceful New Year 2017. This year’s celebration has been a cozy one for us, though Ian’s health is fragile, necessitating a lot of sleeping, sometimes into late afternoons. He has to be cajoled (Gayle’s task) to get dressed and participate in some of our celebrations though he didn’t get out for church services, Gayle’s choir concert or the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s glorious performance of Nutcracker. We did host his Winnipeg family of daughter, son-in-law, two grandchildren and their spouses, plus five great-grandchildren on Christmas Eve, though. Thirteen of us in our small penthouse floor apartment made the choice of the description “cozy” a true reality, but our gathering was nonetheless enjoyable. Chinese takeout and frozen pies made for a festive but easy supper. The adults and one teenager huddled in around our large dining table while the four younger kids enjoyed kneeling around their own festive coffee table. With city lights twinkling below us through our decorated windows on our 17th floor apartment, candlelight inside, festive decorations, goodie bags for all, new pjs for the kids to don, some early presents to exchange and some Christmas carol singing and dancing, we all had a great time. As a long-time percussionist, Gayle has a collection of rhythm instruments that she brought out to enhance the music from our Christmas CDs, so we could all participate in singing and making music.
How enjoyable we find reading through many short stories in a favourite Christmas present: the 2016 “Chicken Soup for the Soul” anthology: The Joy of Christmas: 101 Holiday Tales of Inspiration, Love, and Wonder, compiled by Amy Newmark with a foreword by “Mrs. Nicholas Claus” and highly recommend it for your holiday enrichment. We also love to re-read and recall holiday stories of our own.
In past years we have shared several holiday stories from Ian on this blog: (Dec. 10, 2012) “Unusual Holiday Flavoured Passages from My Memoir” (including “My Non-Event Christmases of Childhood” and the New Year’s Eve story of his youngest daughter’s premature birth and how her life was saved by a bottle of Scotch whisky) and (Dec. 31, 2012) “Happy Hogmanay! Happy New Year” an excerpt from our yet-to-be-published autobiographical book “Mexican Follies.” Below pictures Ian, Gayle and our poodle Peppy in our motorhome patio in Mexico in December 2004.
In December 2014 we blogged a spontaneous play that Gayle and her then-4-year-old daughter had originated “The Christmas Story According to Gwynne” complete with Gwynne’s original illustrations.
This year Gayle wants to share her story of a unique holiday trip she and her late husband Gus Johannesson made in December 1972 from their home in Germany to visit Gayle’s family in North Dakota. She calls it “The Snowmobile to Strassenbahn Saga.” For those who don’t know German, Strassenbahn means “streetcar” or “tram.” Those who read her story will understand why Gayle is reluctant to consider any more extensive travel during the wintertime. Pictured below are Gayle’s family at the time: back row: husband Gus, Gayle, sister Barbara, niece Danelle, mother Grandma Mil, sister Doreen, nephew Todd and brother-in-law Bill; front row: nieces Billi, Lisa and Lori. Missing is brother-in-law Danny who presumably took the photo.
The Snowmobile to Strassenbahn Saga
Gus and I had moved to Germany in summer 1965 where he began to pursue a doctorate in systematic theology at the University of Heidelberg and work part time as a civilian chaplain with the US military and I worked as a secretary for the Judge Advocate, U. S. Army, Europe and Seventh Army. By 1972, we had already spent seven Christmas/New Year’s holiday seasons in Europe, either with Gus’ aunts, uncles and cousins in Norway or with our friends in Heidelberg and were excited to finally be flying home to the States to spend the holidays with my family members.
In many ways, 1972 had been a disastrous year for us–mostly because of Gus’ health. He had lost over 30 pounds due to an illness which was finally discovered in July and had already taken four bouts of rectal surgery for abscesses and fistulas, leaving him with a lot of pain and sapped strength, all of which grossly interred with continuing work on his doctoral dissertation. In addition, I had shattered nerves after terrorist bombs had killed three people in the barracks where I worked and our headquarters were plagued with continuing bomb scares and security precautions. Despite Gus not really feeling well, we had been able to get away to Spain in June for a few weeks’ respite touring the Moorish treasures in Grenada and then relaxing at the home of friends on the Mediterranean island of Minorca, sunning, swimming, snorkelling, exploring ocean-side caves and touring quaint fishing villages with Gus doing a lot of napping. However, returning to Germany and our daily routines led to more stress and, for Gus, the string of surgeries. We were really anxious to get away from it all and back to family and a traditional holiday at “home.”
In December, after several days with friends and attending to business in Chicago and Minneapolis, we flew on to North Dakota, spent some time with each of my two sisters and their families and then finally took a bus from Fargo to my mother’s home in New Rockford (middle of the state). We had a few relaxing days alone with Mom before the rest of the family arrived for Christmas. Here’s Mom (Grandma Mil) and Gus on one of our walks.
It was wonderful for me to bask in the smells and flavours of the traditional Swedish-American Christmas of my childhood. Picking out and decorating the live Christmas tree, stringing coloured lights, putting up the manger scene we had sent Mom from Germany,
singing melodious carols in English, Swedish and Norwegian, helping Mom to bake spritz cookies, sandbakelse, krumkake, Julekake, pepparkakor, and Swedish almond bars (from my grandmother’s recipe brought from Sweden), buying and wrapping gifts, preparing turkey, ham, Swedish meatballs and even Lutefisk (though I still didn’t like it, but good-old-Gus sure did!).
Gus and I got away a few times for walks alone. The photo above shows us posing on the frozen James River, not far from Mom’s two-bedroom apartment in a four-plex right across from the church where I had spent so much of my childhood. (I had been shocked when we first moved to Heidelberg to find out that the Neckar River there usually stayed open all winter long, only having frozen up once during the Twentieth Century, right after World War II.)
Once my sisters and their husbands and children had arrived, we were a family of 12. One sister had married a local boy so those five could overnight at his parents’ house just a few blocks away. However, my other sister’s family of four stayed at Mom’s, as did we. She and her husband slept in the living room on the couch bed but their two little ones got to sleep with Grandma Mil. Gus and I, as the “honoured guests from across the Atlantic,” got the guest room. This was fortunate as I had to be the nurse who cleaned his open (rectal) wound several times a day. (Surgery in that area has to heal from the inside out without any stitching.) It was a bit difficult to maintain much privacy, however, especially with five little ones underfoot. We got the biggest laugh of the holiday one evening when our two-year-old niece came out of the bathroom wearing two long “q-tips” (that I’d previously used to probe the wound and thought I had disposed of discreetly), one in each ear!!! (Even now in her late forties, she doesn’t appreciate the humour when reminded of the situation.)
Other laughter was more pleasant, while unwrapping gifts, joyously sharing the Christmas story, telling the little ones of Jesus’ birth, singing, eating, going to church, playing games, taking walks in the snow, shopping and loving being together. Billi, Lori and Todd even got in some ice skating time. How wonderful for me to be at worship services in our home church again, sitting with my sisters and singing all those beautiful carols in three-part harmony as we had always done in the past. We revelled in a sunny, snowy North Dakota winter (coming back to a gray, rainy Heidelberg winter seemed a bit of a drag). With five small grandchildren, three daughters and three sons-in-law under foot for a week, Mom (“Grandma Mil” was then in her late 60s) stood up surprisingly well. Here’s Uncle Gus taking nieces Lisa and Lori for a walk. Our church, First Lutheran Church of New Rockford, is in the background at the left and part of the school I attended through Grade 12 is in the background at right centre.
After our week together my sisters and their families drove back to their homes further east and we had another couple of days resting at Mom’s. Then came the start of our return trip, which I’ve named the “Snowmobile to Strassenbahn Saga.” The trip started with a wild bus ride in a near-blizzard to Fargo. This is usually a three-hour drive and took about twice that long. We were met by my sister Doreen and driven to her house in Fargo’s twin city of Moorhead, Minnesota.
Instead of flying out the next day we had a day’s delay caused by full-blown blizzard conditions which closed down the airport, plus everything else in the twin towns. We were to have flown from Fargo to Minneapolis and then on to Chicago where we were catching our international flight (a military charter airline from Chicago via New York to Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany). Listening to the radio, we learned that there was still a possibility of our getting out of town to meet our plane. The Great Northern railroad had a train plowing its way from Montana and across North Dakota, due in at 1 a.m. The only problem was that we couldn’t get to the depot (in Fargo, about five miles away from my sister’s house in Moorhead). My sister’s car was buried under layers of snow and, anyway, the roads were not passable. Fooling around in the snow in front of their house was about all we could do.
Absolutely nothing was moving … but snowmobiles. Gus had heard on the radio that emergency snowmobiles were evacuating people. He figured that we qualified for an emergency since we had to meet a “military flight” in Chicago the next day. He called, explained our situation and we were granted clearance from the city police. To my two little nieces’ delight and my terror, we were picked up by two snowmobilers at midnight. Gus and I rode behind one snowmobiler; the other one carried all our luggage. There we went, over the (Red) river, through the woods and over 18 inches of snow, not to mention four to five feet of snowdrifts to Fargo’s train station. I hung on for dear life and had visions of falling off all the way; but we made it, only to have a long delay. The train arrived three hours late, struggling across North Dakota with a snowplow on the engine. I was too flustered by the whole situation to get any photos at the time.
So at 4:00 a.m. we boarded the train. Delay continued to be the motto of the trip, however. We missed our first plane connection from Minneapolis to Chicago and barely squeezed onto the last possible one, making connections at the Chicago Airport five minutes before we were to report in for our charter flight. Luckily, we had friends in Chicago that met us at the airport and got us from the domestic to the international departure area in record time. Had we been on our own, we never would have made it in time. We were delayed an hour getting out of Chicago, had to circle New York for two hours because of fog, were delayed in New York because of waiting for other passengers who were late in coming in from connecting flights, made an unscheduled landing in Shannon, Ireland (we never did hear why) and finally landed in Frankfurt six hours later than scheduled.
Once at the Frankfurt airport, we had to take the subway into the city’s train station, then take the train from Frankfurt to Heidelberg (an hour away) and then the Strassenbahn (streetcar) to our stop on Rohrbacherstrasse and walk a block to our apartment on Turnerstrasse. So – bus to car to snowmobile to train to airplane to another airplane to subway to train to streetcar to foot – and we were finally home. (I think we had just about every mode of transportation but ship and dog sled.) It was time for a long winter’s nap – well, at least two day’s worth – before I had to get back to work and Gus to start cracking the books again … then surgery again. He had 16 surgeries in all over a five-year period before the problem finally resolved itself. I ended my Christmas/New Year’s letter that year with the following: “Neither of us has ever had a great deal of patience, but we’ve had to develop it lately. Once one gets through the inevitable periods of despair and self-pity and gets back to the basic trust in God’s presence and strength, things look better. So, we’re hoping for a year of fulfillment and health – and wish you all the blessings of our Lord for the New Year.”
We are happy to share this insightful commentary on the recent American presidential election.
My son is only about 6 months older than Donald Trump’s two year campaign for the Oval Office. My daughter a couple weeks older than Trump’s nomination at the Republican National Convention.
For the past few weeks I had been dreaming of how different the world of my children would be. Even as Canadian, the American President is an important symbol of power and authority. Thefirst president I remember was Bill Clinton – a white man. My memory is like every other person who had a memory of a president – white men.
But for the past 8 years, a new generation now will remember a person of colour as their first president. And then my son and daughter had the promise of remembering a woman as president.
That promise is gone for now.
I can only hope that things change by 2020, that the outcome to this election is…
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Gotta try this!
I posted the instructions to this project on the CLEAR blog way back in 2013, but for some reason, people have had difficulty finding it. Since people email me almost every week for it (which amazes me) I decided to try to make a more visible post for the instructions, which are in the form of a detailed PDF. Hopefully that will make it easier to find. Here are the instructions! 🙂
A thought-provoking call to action regarding the overwhelming number of South Sudanese refugees and how, we in the West can help.
Imagine welcoming 8,200 refugees in a day: those fleeing South Sudan need our help
Last year, Canadians were justly proud of the fact that our country decided to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees in just a few months. Last month, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that in just three weeks, it processed 37,491 refugees from South Sudan who were fleeing to neighbouring Uganda—8,200 arrived in a single day.
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