American Spy Plane Detects Canadians Conducting Peace Exercises Along US Border

More Out and Abouter satire that’s too good not to share. We have to be able to laugh, right?!

The Out And Abouter

img_8306 Alarming footage of Canadians engaging in peace games within sight of the U.S. border. A clear provocation.

In a flagrant escalation of their agenda of utter non-aggression, and a continuation of their publicly stated desire to just get along, the Canadians have today made good on their threats to conduct large-scale peace games in close proximity to the uncontested Canada-U.S. border. 

A spokesperson for the CIA has released footage of the Canadians engaging in such inflammatory actions as looking at the United States border, playing pick-up hockey in close proximity to said border (while openly inviting their American counterparts to join them), and waving good-naturedly. The images were reportedly captured by a high-altitude surveillance drone that was sent aloft to search for signs of Democrats illegally using democracy to win elections. It was while doing this that the spy plane stumbled across the Canuck’s worryingly inoffensive actions.

“It appears the Canadians…

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100 years of Remembrance Days: what we remember and what we forget

November 11, 2018. One hundred years since the signing of the. Armistice that ended World War I.  One hundred years of remembering the many, many sacrifices made by millions upon millions of people. Horrific sacrifices. Heartbreaking sacrifices. For far too many, the ultimate sacrifice. Sacrifices made by countless young people – on both “sides” – who had little or nothing to do with the decisions that led to the war in the first place.

What we remember

Every year in most towns and cities in Canada, and I assume most places in the western world, people of all generations come together to honour those who have served and those who have laid down their lives in past wars, especially WWI. Our town happens to be located in close proximity to Base Gagetown, the largest military training base in Canada, and as a result we have an extremely impressive and moving parade of service men and women marching in our Remembrance Day ceremony each year. It’s a sight that stays with you. The few remaining WWII veterans leading the way, with fewer and fewer each year. Then of course there are a few vets from the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and many who have served in Afghanistan, sometimes several times. Not to mention many dangerous peace-keeping missions. To watch all those soldiers, probably spanning three generations or even four, marching proudly in uniform, is to be reminded in a profoundly moving way of just what our service men and women sacrifice in taking on the role of protecting our country and our freedoms. The applause for the men and women in uniform as they march past all the spectators is loud and heartfelt. Continue reading

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How to Give ‘Feedback’ to Anyone

Positive reinforcement needs to accompany constructive criticism, no matter what we think or who we are. Cynthia Reyes does a great job of reminding us why this matters and how to do so.

Cynthia Reyes

A team member, working on a project with me years ago, had seen me give feedback to others.  She noticed that I always pointed out ‘the positives’ before getting to what needed improvement, and especially so if the critique took place in a group-setting.

One day, she told me: “If you ever have to give me feedback, just get to the bad stuff first. Please don’t spend a lot of time telling me what’s great: it’s the bad stuff I need to know about.”

So there came a time when I had to identify a few things she needed to improve. I respectfully pointed them out, specifically and without identifying the positives upfront.

It meant I’d compromised my own leadership principles to give her what she’d said she wanted.

But she felt deeply hurt.


Praise matters. Everyone I’ve ever met wants to know what they’ve done well. The…

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“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

Boy, these days we really are not seeing mankind at its best, especially in politics. Maybe outside the news cycle there are some uplifting stories and signs of hope, but if so, sadly, it’s not coming from inspiration from most of our leaders. Or is it?

A few weeks ago was Fall Convocation at my university, the University of New Brunswick (UNB). I’m sure there were fall convocation ceremonies at post-secondary schools all around the continent. And I’m sure that the new graduates heard words of wisdom from convocation addresses at nearly all of these ceremonies. But none of them could have been more sincere or compelling that the addresses shared with our newest UNB graduates. These are the kinds of stories that inspire and hopefully encourage our young graduates – our future – to find their own path to making our world a better place. And if they choose to do this through politics, let’s hope that they insist on a new, positive, trustworthy and transparent approach that is truly focused on the public good. Such a change would indeed help make our world a better place.

I’m not only borrowing this blog post title from Mahatma Gandhi, I’m also lifting it from the title of one of two heartwarming convocation addresses I listened to at our recent Convocation (merci, Gaëtan). And along with the two deserving honorary degree recipients on our campus, Gaëtan Thomas and Nancy Strickland, we also heard remarks earlier that day about and from our Chancellor Emeritus, Dr. Richard Currie, who was being honoured for his extraordinary financial contributions to UNB, as well as his gifts of time and wisdom. The themes of the remarks and the personal stories of all three being honoured were similar: a good education is the foundation to a good life and a good life is one that is purposeful, one in which you are positively impacting the lives of others. Let me start with lessons learned from Richard Currie. Continue reading

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The world needs more, many more, politicians who encourage the better side of human nature. The kind, compassionate, caring side as opposed to the greedy, self-serving, cynical side. And Lilie’s poem at Tea and Toast with Kindness expresses our thirst for more compassion in the world with such impactful economy of language.

Tea and Toast with Kindness

beto o’rourke

did something


jaw dropping

awe inspiring

did I hear him right?

my husband says

yes, i did


i’ve been having


of decency


this was real

mr. o’rourke

he said

we should work with


who are struggling


for their people

to keep

their place

their land

homes, families


with growth

and hope

he said things

like that

out in the open

out in the air

out in the places

that have the least


for kindness


and its

good sense

beto o’rourke

beto o’rourke

keep talking

on the way

to my state

make it a

national cry

keep it

keep this kindness


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Thoughts on women in leadership – Part I

Women in Leadership. Women in STEM. Women on Boards. Women in politics. The push to encourage more women to consider these options is ever-present and intensifying, at least from where I sit. The questions don’t go away:

  • How do we attract more women to ____________________ (name your domain of choice)?
  • How do we mentor well-qualified women to _____________ (same as above)?
  • How do we identify qualified women to _________________ (once more with feeling)?

These questions aren’t new, and the lack of answers isn’t new either.

Recently I was asked to be a speaker at a conference on Women in Leadership, and in particular in the realm of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). For possibly the first time in my life I declined. I know, how could I?! Well, I’m past 70 and I’ve been adding my two cents worth for a long time. It strikes me that young people need to hear from women whose experiences are closer to their own age. Besides, I’m trying to be more successful at being retired, so I need to practice saying “no”. But – and you were waiting for that “but”, right – that doesn’t mean that I can’t share some thoughts on the subject in the blogosphere. So here I go. Continue reading

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Trump Announces Charity Run To End The Accidental Torture And Dismemberment Of Journalists — from The Out And Abouter

Reblogging yet another required-reading satirical piece from the redoubtable Out and Abouter.  Laughter’s always a good counter to despair or rage.

In the latest sign that U.S. President Donald Trump is taking the tape-recorded killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi as an occurrence requiring an immediate and significant response, Trump today announced he will personally host the 1st Annual Run To End The Accidental Torture And Dismemberment Of Journalists. “We don’t know why it happens. We don’t […]

Keep reading by following this link:  Trump Announces Charity Run To End The Accidental Torture And Dismemberment Of Journalists — The Out And Abouter

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