An old hippie’s prayer – Ron Ayotte

22 Nov
 “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

           President Dwight D. Eisenhower  

Farewell Address   1961

My father was not an educated man. His limited understanding of politics and economics did not keep him out of the army though, and he did his bit in WW II until Eisenhower, who was a Five Star General then, said it was time to come home.  Dad didn’t talk about the war much, and he had even less to say about growing up in the depression.  One day when he’d had a few beers, he just blurted out  “we used to wonder sometimes, how there were years of no money for children’s mittens, and all of a sudden there was a blank cheque for a war”.  He looked at me as if he thought I’d have an answer for that.  I guess I shrugged, and after a while he looked away.

That question never went away though, and his generation gave us Employment Insurance, the Canada Health Act and Canada Pension. They were the first generation in most Canadian families to send anyone to university, and the last who could claim the government was afraid of them, instead of the other way around.

We should be so blessed as to be worthy of their memory.


18 Responses to “An old hippie’s prayer – Ron Ayotte”

  1. Ben Kendrick November 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Such an unfortunate world view Kurt Austin has, i pity the way his father raised him, sounds as if his father was emotionally unavailable and didn’t show him compassion or good will toward fellow man. I would rather “squatt” in a park being hate by all then be emotionally bankrupt like you.

  2. Robin Reid November 23, 2011 at 11:01 am #


    you are doing a friggen wonderful job with all of this.
    all is true what you say, it’s hidden human rights abuse
    by godly corporate governments, corruption from the top

    it’s a system built on deceit and lies at the expense of children, women and men, human abuse, and the indian people have suffered greatly, as every race after them, from slavery to condoned pedophilia, created poverty, all for the illegal income tax loop holes. it’s all indian land and genocide is a crime.

    it’s a pleasure to read what you write Idnami,thank you, reid

    • idnami November 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm #


    • Anonymous November 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

      Yes, thanks so much for providing this space.

    • idnami December 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

      Thanks so much. I hope you will keep reading!

  3. ron ayotte November 23, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    Fifty years ago “undue corporate influence” was still a topic for polite conversation. Someone made a statement or proposition and others were free to agree or disagree. I want to believe it’s all still about logical arguments and evidence, but I’m not so sure anymore.
    I have spent too many hours listening, explaining, and arguing. It has accomplished very little. I don’t want to be the person people call when they can’t get through to open-line radio, so I’m getting practiced now at keeping a discussion focused.
    Rather than assume someone wants to talk about some topic, I try to remember to ask. For example if someone might be honestly interested in the aims of the movement I’ll ask if they would like more information. It’s important to remember that there are just two answers to that kind of question.
    Answer 1 : Yes
    Answer 2 : Any other answer

    I might have to ask more than once what they would like talk about. Sometimes people will answer with a” goodbye rant “ which can waste much more of their time than mine. I feel better about those situations when I can finish by saying something positive and encouraging. It’s the old story, when rationality is powerless love is all I have left.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if all the ugly, mean-spirited abuse was confined to the daily newspapers where it belongs?
    With all the effort the campers have put in to sparking these conversations I feel obliged to try to redirect abuse rather than retaliate and give up right away. Maybe that’s a personal call.
    Speaking for myself, if all I had to go on was information from the media, I’d probably be pretty hostile towards the Occupy Movement. And I would never know what I was missing.

  4. Kurt Austin November 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    So, … what do you want, other than the privilege to squat, and all necessities that come with it? As a (self proclaimed) working Calgarian, have you ever thought of providing for your own needs for your purpose, whatever it may be? Why should I, who disagree, pay for it?

    • idnami November 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

      I’m not sure what it is you think you are paying for. The whole issue of “taxpayer’s money funding squatters” is media hype. Did you know that between 2008 and 2010 Stephen Harper gave $69 billion dollars of taxpayer’s money to the banks? Have you let him know how you feel about if you did know?
      Occupy makes an easy target. I suggest you go after the REAL drains on our economy. Don’t let a bunch of sensationalized nonsense give you the excuse to forget who the real crooks are. Redirect your resentment.

  5. Kurt Austin November 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    My father fought in the WW2 from 1941 to the end of it. But that never stopped him from pursuing his career through hard work and determination afterwards. And that’s how he raised me and my brother, … to get proper education and work for our living.

    You seem to think that your father’s sacrifice entitles YOU to live off other people’s work. If I were your father, I would be ashamed of you.

    • idnami November 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      Where do people keep getting this idea? You don’t even know the person who wrote the post. For that matter neither do I. Yet you make assumptions about what he is doing with his life for what reason?
      I don’t see anywhere that it says that his father didn’t work hard after the war or that the author himself does not so why would you make such an assumption?
      I do wish people would use their brains and stop spouting off ignorant generalizations about people they don’t even know.

      • Kurt Austin November 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

        I may be mistaken about his father, … but please, please, state what your problem is, other than that banks are bad, corporate media/whatever is evil, poor are poor, and your ridiculous demands that squatting is in line with the Charter of Rights. I haven’t yet heard a coherent message from you, whatsoever. And make no mistake, Calgarians are pretty fed up with you and your conduct guys. Perhaps not that much with you, as much as with our mayor’s inaction.

        • idnami November 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

          This blog has over 60 posts related to the intricate web of issues that brought us to this. That is why it exists. Yes much of it is unclear even to us. My question for you is, why are people SO angry at us and not at, say, Stephen Harper’s $69 billion bank bailout that he used our tax money for. If you want to get mad at your government, that would be where I’d direct it.
          I’d also argue that likely all you know about our conduct are sound bites. And of course the posts in this blog.
          We are fed up with a lot of things and we are standing up peacefully to say so. I’d like to know how this personally affects SO MANY Calgarians that they can’t stop raging about it, yet the fact that we all just got ripped off for $5.5 million by TransAlta is something we can swallow. I mean seriously, are you guys planning a big picnic we don’t know about? The tents aren’t out on the ice so it won’t stop you skating. We aren’t actually in anyone’s way and if you’ve ever spent much time at the plaza before this you would know it has never been a nice, family friendly park. It’s been a pit of drug and alcohol use since I moved to Calgary 17 years ago and I stopped walking through it because of the number of times I got propositioned for paid sex. I don’t have that problem when I go there now I can tell you.
          Occupy won’t go away even if the tents are removed. If we took out the tents what would the next target for public disapproval be? For every camper there are about 10 people like myself working for this movement. Is it really the movement you are mad at or only the tents? Because I can’t do much about that. As I’ve said once before if you want to tell the campers what you think of them you’ll have to go to them because there are no computers at OP.
          I will respectfully ask you to keep an open mind and not be hateful. There is room for everyone in this city and the anger is very misdirected.

      • AFish November 23, 2011 at 11:26 am #

        Kurt, you asked for reasons for the Occupy movement. This question is difficult because there is no one answer.
        The way I see it though, is that there’s a pyramid of reasons. At the very top is the simple fact that our civilization is based on an economic system that has worldwide disaster as the inevitable outcome. Maybe not for us or even our children, but we can’t keep going on like this. We are poisoning the well we drink from. Some may argue that advances in technology will save us from ourselves, but who does technology serve best? – those who can afford it. We are creating a world where only the wealthy will be able to lead successful and productive lives, and where you draw the line at “wealthy” is only getting higher and higher.
        You seem to be focusing on the tents and campers, which is understandable given the information that’s available. Believe me when I say that this movement is so much more than that, and that our objectives are not immediate or easily achieved. If suddenly, every camper was given a suitcase of cash, it would not change anything, so please forget the idea that anyone is looking for a handout.

    • idnami November 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

      Also, for the record, my Mom is proud as hell. Her opinion means a lot more to me than yours does.

      • Kurt Austin November 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

        How about you give her a big hug and enjoy her hospitality (?), other than squatting and freezing your butt. No working Calgarian would give you such a comfort.

        • idnami November 22, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

          I AM a working Calgarian. And I sleep in my apartment which I pay for with the money that I make at my job. And i can’t give my mom a hug at the moment because she lives in BC, where the economy is much much worse. She knows it’s her rights I am fighting for as much as anybody’s. She struggled to raise my sister and I in poverty with little support and did the best she could. Now she has gone back to school and works as a health care aid for the mentally and physically disabled in a province which slashes the health care budget every chance it gets. And when I was talking to her on the phone last night and telling her how discouraged I was feeling by people’s inability to see past the tents and the way that image has been projected onto me, you know what she said? “Stand your ground. We need these things to be addressed”
          She has said she is proud of me about 3 times in my life. The third time was when I told her I was putting my name, my writing skills and my reputation on the line for this cause. So you see, I can’t let her down.

    • Stephen November 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

      My Father also served this country during WW2, and through his wisdom he instilled compassion and empathy along with a strong work ethic. Although many of the details of his experiences he kept locked deep inside of him, those same experiences made him realize that one can not sit on the sidelines of life and just watch it go by. He not only encouraged his children to be involved with social change, there were many times he stood in our place when we were unable to. He was patient and quiet, but we knew that that was not a fault, that was a tactic that he used to implement change. He stood by us during the late 60’s and early 70’s when we marched and protested. When we felt defeated and lost, he knew exactly what to say to recharge us and keep us going. My father and his friends sacrificed a great deal to ensure freedom throughout many parts of the world and although he is not with us today, I know he is standing beside me whispering those same encouraging works I remember form so many years ago.

      • Regina May 10, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

        this actually isn't a comment on this post, but i don't know where to ask this question, so i'll ask it here:my video got removed due to some copyright violation. i don't know which copyright i violated, because video came straight from my camera, in non-edited, raw form, without any music background or anything that could be coitrpghyed.i would appreciate if you could write me where to address this issue (if i'm not at the right place (i know i am not, but i can't find better suited ;))thanx


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