The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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The Ripping of Our Social Fabric

Posted on December 30, 2017

Another year is ending, and in some respects we are more divided as Londoners than ever – not a popular sentiment, I know, but one with which we must come to terms. Somewhere in the last few years, the possibilities we once envisioned for social media to help guide us into a more collaborative future have floundered. Friendships have been lost, enemies gained, and a brighter future dimmed. It has exacerbated an already difficult generational divide in London and threatens to derail our potential. We’re not alone in this challenge, as communities around the world wrestle with a remarkable resource that has somehow turned citizens against one another. News was made recently when former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, spoke out concerning the harm the…

Heather Stewart – A Humanitarian Hero’s Last Flight

Posted on December 28, 2017

News of her death brought sorrow flowing through our home. Heather Stewart, a frontier pilot in a field dominated almost exclusively by male counterparts, lived one of those remarkable lives that only a place like Africa could produce. It was repeatedly like something from the movies. In a land so vast, barren and dangerous, she journeyed, lingered, and faced mortality head-on for the sake of the seemingly hopeless southern Sudanese situation and the non-governmental agencies seeking to help. Jane and I were on many of those journeys and returned from that remarkable land with tales of the valiant woman’s exploits. She was nicknamed “All Weather Heather” for her willingness to lift off when other pilots remained sensibly and safely on the ground. But in…

For 2018, Boring is Better

Posted on December 26, 2017

Journalists can be forgiven for growing jaded over time. Covering politics can prove to be a deep struggle of getting facts from those seeking to shelter them. More often than not journalists know they are being played. “The media are less a window on reality, than a stage on which officials perform self-scripted, self-serving functions,” wrote Thomas Sowell, and there’s a strong element of truth in it. Given what’s going on in places like America, Venezuela, Russia, Britain, Spain and China, Canadian news at times can seem outright boring. Yet it says something about this country – our politics, our citizenry, our economy, our institutions. Closing out 2017, we as Canadians understand that our pliability is a blessing. There are numerous challenges existing at…

Rudolph – More Than Just a Jingle

Posted on December 23, 2017

A man named Robert L. May, depressed and broken-hearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.  His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing.  Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.   Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.  Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.  When he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys.  He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He…

Societies Can Fail

Posted on December 21, 2017

We are well aware of the key characters involved in the ancient Christmas story – shepherds, wise men, angels, Joseph, Mary and Jesus. It’s all so quaint and moving that we forget the oppressiveness of that era. Few would have believed in those times that the mighty Roman Empire was about to crumble. And they would have been incredulous to learn that within 70 years, the temple, Jerusalem and the Jewish homeland itself would be gone. This is ever the problem with societal decay: the seriousness of the situation is hardly obvious at the time. Yet Aristotle warned that a growing inequality would only bring instability and chaos. Plato wrote that tyrants utilize the premise of free speech and public angst to claim absolute…

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