Chock full is a great expression which means: full to the limit. Some synonyms are: completely full, cram full, crammed and jam-pack. The origin of the phrase is rather amusing. Middle English chokkeful already had the same meaning as modern chock-full. Both this word and choke “to strangle” likely derive ultimately from Old English words meaning “jaw, cheek.” The end result is the same: a mouthful. Alternately, chokkeful may derive from a more violent word: forced full.”
To begin, here is one piece of good news heralded by the 10/2/2022 Edmonton Journal. This, I do admit, is entirely selfish. “Canada Approves Bivalent Vaccine” Yes, indeed and a batch of 780,000 shall be delivered to Canada from Moderna on Friday, 10.5 million doses” At first, of course, it will be ear-marked for the most vulnerable such as long-term care residents and health care workers. But there is the promise that those eligible will receive the vaccine during the fall and winter. That news has special meaning for me as it may make it possible for me to safely travel to Mecca during these long winter months. No idea what is going on in the USA with the vaccine, and frankly I do not care.
Another front page story requires more background, particularly for those readers who are unfortunate enough not to be in Canada. The Conservative party in Alberta (UCP) is having a leadership battle – something that happens in a parliamentary system where party members, not voters, decide who is boss. One candidate is Michelle Smith who is a fire-brand. She is anti-everything. anti-vaccine, anti-science, anti-federal government. For some strange reason she is popular and is doing everything imaginable to broaden her base amongst the uneducated. There is a phrase that describes this woman – is she had a brain it would be lonesome. She actually may be intelligent but she wants power and will do anything to get it. She reminds me of Sarah Palin – horribly divisive which means tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people. Synonyms describe the two of them: alienating, estranging, isolating, schismatic; discordant, disharmonious, inharmonious. What those two women are not is the antonym: unifying.
Michele comes up with the brilliantly divisive idea of a sovereignty act which would enable Alberta to break away from Canada, not giving any thought of the possible repercussions. Besides that it is most probably utterly unconstitutional. But the rabble roushing peoples are all excited about it. What is a rabble rouser? Quite simply, it is a person who speaks with the intention of inflaming the emotions of a crowd of people, typically for political reasons. Its synonyms definitely describe the hordes of people that descended on Washington at the urging of Trump: agitator, troublemaker, instigator, agent provocateur, mischief-maker, incendiary, firebrand, demagogue. Wikipedia explains further, including a frightening painting: José Clemente Orozco’s The Demagogue. Look it up yourself, it is scary.
“A demagogue /ˈdɛməɡɒɡ/ (from Greek δημαγωγός, a popular leader, a leader of a mob, from δῆμος, people, populace, the commons + ἀγωγός leading, leader) or rabble-rouser[ is a political leader in a democracy who gains popularity by arousing the common people against elites, especially through oratory that whips up the passions of crowds, appealing to emotion by scapegoating out-groups, exaggerating dangers to stoke fears, lying for emotional effect, or other rhetoric that tends to drown out reasoned deliberation and encourage fanatical popularity. Demagogues overturn established norms of political conduct, or promise or threaten to do so.”
That is Michele Smith’s aim in life: lying or emotional effect that tends to down out reasoned deliberation and encourage fanatical popularity. She is exaggerating the danger of the federal government to stoke fears.
Demagogues are everywhere. For example, former Pakistani Prime Minister Khan and then (tragically almost) another Canadian who is vying for leadership of the Federal Conservative party, Pierre Poilievre. More about him later, Al Jazeera Opinion section totally exposed this rabble rouser and he will be revealed in all of his glory on this blog. He has been dealt with too politely by Canadian publications.
But the Edmonton Journal stepped up to the plate, so to speak, concerning Michele Smith and it is possible for all to read the article that riveted my attention to demagogue Michele Smith.
The front page article featured the remarks of the Lt. Governor of Alberta, am amazing Muslim woman born in Uganda. The subtitle to the article captures her resoluteness and determination. “This is why I live in my own house,” Lt.-Gov. Lakhani said, referencing 1937 closure of viceregal residence following the refusal of the lieutenant governor of the day to give Royal Assent to three bills.” She is refusing to be bullied by crowds of those that Smith hopes to incite. You may read the extremely well written article by following this link. https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/albertas-lt-gov-says-shes-willing-to-toss-smiths-sovereignty-act-if-unconstitutional.
But before, or after following this link you must learn of how I obtained a free copy of the newspaper the morning of September 2, 2022. I was breakfasting at the Legislative Cafeteria, and began to speak with an interesting woman stopping by but with a clear purpose and motive somewhere else. At the conclusion of a brief conversation I asked her if she worked om the building.
She: No, I am a journalist. I work for the Edmonton Journal.
Me: Goodness gracious. I did briefly a long time ago, in 1966 – I was the U of A correspondent to the Journal. I had totally forgotten about that until I returned to live here after an absence of 55 years.
We chatted briefly, I asked her where she went to school.
She: I am off to a meeting. Here is the paper, I will not have time to read it.
Off she went, I began to read, of course focusing on the front page story featuring our Lt. Governor. My journalist friend returned briefly, told me her name and I commented on the story briefly. Went up to the Legislative Library, told the librarians I was bringing the paper in and would take it out (so they would not think I was stealing it). I read the article to its conclusion, noting with some surprise that the donee of the paper and the by-lined reporter had the same name. This morning sent her an email – the email addresses of reporters are provided. This is what the email said.
How amusing! That you gave me the Edmonton Journal in which it was featured. Was not aware of your authorship when we briefly spoke of it. Your article was excellent in that it said so much – not necessarily in plain words because that was not allowed.
For example when the Lt. Governor said that ‘she hopes she would be prepared for backlash and then says: “That is why I live in my own house.” – she is saying that the hordes of “freedom lovers” will make every move to restrict her freedoms if she does her job. That is subtle but it is so true of what these rabble rousing idiots with no sense of history can, and will, do.
You speak of her Uganda heritage and then quote her as saying that prosperous nations have a responsibility to respect the rule of law and protect its democracy. Yes!!! Her comments so forceful because of her background – Uganda is scarcely a prosperous nation.
You make Brian Jean look like an idiot by quoting his Twitter talking about his being extremely comfortable with Lakhani getting political”. Excuse me Brian Jean – that is her job to be political when it is needed. Absolutely no understanding or knowledge of anything that quote illustrated.
Matthew Altheim saying that that the draft will be in sound constitutional language and principles is equally absurd as the sovereignty act proposal is itself unconstitutional on its face.
I am thinking of doing a letter to the editor so I can publicly support your journalism and perhaps take away the subtly for those who may not understand the subtle approach. But did want to congratulate you first. Also the photo selected is excellent. Premier Kenny looks rather dim-witted, she trying to explain something to him which he does not get. And may not. Haha.
I would subscribe to the Edmonton Journal but the Legislative Library is a fabulous treasure trove of periodicals and newspapers from around the world. I have a library card and live so close by.
Best regards, Alexis”
I have not received a response as yet.
Further exploration landed me on page A8 and there on the Opinion page was a factual, insightful article written by Randy Boissonnaut, It was entitled Ottawa delivers for Albertans and the Canada is Far From Broken. This is one paragraph, “Canada is not broken, far from it. During times of crisis during these past few years, it was our federal government that stepped up for Albertans when others stepped back. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nine out of every ten dollars that spent to get Albertans through the crisis came from the federal government. This support kept our businesses afloat, our bills paid and food on the table at an unprecedented time. Boissonnaut spoke of the historical child-care agreement , the support the Federal government has given the Alberta energy sector , the cooperative agreement with Germany which will benefit Canada in so many ways. Randy Boissonaut, the Minister of Tourism, associate minister of Finance and MP for Edmonton Centre concludes: Canada is not broken, and Alberta is not better off alone. We have always been stronger together, and we should be wary of those who would suggest otherwise for personal gain or to chase an easy headline.”
Guess what I just figured out? Randy is my guy – I live in Edmonton Centre so he is my MP. Lucky me! I am so incredibly grateful and fortunate to be back home. So there! So there! So there! So there, three times used to be my mantra in 2017-2019. No idea why, I guess I will bring it back. Mantra is a statement or slogan repeated frequently.
These days the most repeated manta is “There you go” – by everyone it seems, except me I hope. Hahaha