The Quest for a Perfect Reputation
Four years ago, in 2010, I was in the tenth grade. I was selling cigarettes that I stole from my dying mother and my stepfather. It wasn't a cool thing to do, and I believe what I was doing was illegal, but it wasa popular move. People respected me because I provided them with tobacco. Usually I'd give them all out for a dime, when everyone else was charging fifty cents. "What a rip-off!" I hissed to the smokers at my school. I ended up giving a few of them free cigs. Why? Because those few people were always good to me. Most of those people now have turned their backs on me, over a couple of stupid little Facebook posts, but one day I'm sure that they'll remember that I was good to them, and they'll see the tremendous error in judgement they've made.
I've since stopped breaking the law. Since my mother's death, I was a squeaky clean person. Yes, I had some grudges, but I never acted on them, even though I knew I could crush those who stood in my way of happiness without lifting a finger. I was never a violent person, and though sometimes it was tempting to pay someone big and muscly to beat someone to within an inch of his life, I could never do such a thing. I'm a good person. So, a couple years later I graduated high school, thinking that never again would I walk into White Pines.
So wrong I was. That summer I met a pretty young lady, a couple years younger, but not too noticeable. She was great. I still think she's great. But her and I got close, and she forced me to walk back into that building, despite my many objections. "There are still people I know in there!" By that time, the panic attacks had started (I wrote an article about panic attacks in March, look it up in the archives!) and I was scared to be seen by anybody I knew.
The pains that were taking over my body were severely impairing my mental stability. I admit, that for a while I felt like I was going to fall off some mental cliff and have to never be seen in public again because the panic attacks would addle my brains. Of course, the panic attacks faded and I became more confident in walking around places that only months earlier, I was scared to death of being in those areas.
While I was having the panic attacks, my entire network of Facebook friends collapsed. I started counting how many people were deleting me. And by December of 2012, over 500 people deleted me off of Facebook, about half of them people I went to school with, a few who knew me when a was still in diapers. It was a slap in the face, a stab in the back, every time someone deleted me. I didn't feel I deserved it. "I GAVE THESE PEOPLE FREE CIGARETTES AND FREE MONEY, FOR GOD'S SAKE!" I shrieked at my computer screen, before throwing my laptop against the wall. Over a couple of somewhat controversial statuses. Later that night, when I let out all of my anger, I said to myself, while siting on my neatly made bed, "why do people hate me?" Then, "how can these people be such judgemental PRICKS?" And finally, "What has this world come to?"
I admit it, I have OCD. I get obsessed over stupid little things. Words. People. My biggest obsession is to be respected and admired. And I'd do absolutely anything to maintain a positive reputation. I sold cigarettes. I spread a couple of rumours. Not really damaging ones, but still. I was determined to gain the respect of every single person I ever met. In a way, I still am. But now, I'm less likely to be totally overwhelmed with anger and hurt every time someone betrays me. People move on. People judge. It's something that I've come to accept. It took me over a year to accept that not everyone likes me. It was hard, it was excruciating. I could find VERY few reasons for people to hate me.
But alas, the world is becoming addicted to judging, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. I can preach to people, "Don't judge, don't hate," but it goes in one ear and out the other. If I seen these people face-to-face, I'm sure I could convince them to let go of their hate, I'm a very emotional person, I can give heartfelt speeches and people will listen. But when you live online, and Facebook is the only way to talk to those people, it annoys them to see me preach. Sadly. I want them all to understand, I'm a good person. There's no need to be so mean. There's no need to hate me.
In 2003, Dalton McGuinty campaigned to save Ontario. David Orazietti campaigned to give Sault Ste. Marie better representation in Toronto. Both men won, both men have improved the lives of every citizen of Ontario. The record speaks for itself. Billions of dollars have been spent on jobs, on making Ontario a great place to live and a great place to work.
The Conservatives and the New Democrats, they are making this election a referendum on Premier Wynne and the Liberal Party. They are playing partisan politics. They rejected a good budget. Yes, this is a referendum on the Liberal Party. Yes, we will look at their record. The Liberals have done so much good for this province.
While the Liberals were in office, twenty three new hospitals have been built. 23. That's a lot of hospitals. Here in the Sault, the Sault Area Hospital has flourished under the Liberal government. The quality of care in this city has improved drastically. While the Conservatives were in power for eight years, between 1995-2003, they only built three hospitals. The New Democrats between 1990-1995, they built NONE.
Education. In Sault Ste. Marie, David Orazietti has delivered us 5 new schools. Five. And the Liberals have funded expansions and renovations for many more schools. It's incredible what we have been given here! The NDP, they cut teaching wages and increased class sizes, while building very few schools in Ontario. The Conservatives, they did even worse, they cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the education budget, and they closed hundreds of schools. The PC's say that they're committed to education? Their record shows otherwise.
The Premier of the Turks and Caicos is in Canada for a two day working visit with Parliamentarians and businessmen. The Premier of the British-controlled Caribbean Island even met with PM Harper. His territory and Canada have solid relations. Of course, there will always be a question where the Turks and Caicos are concerned: Will Canada ever claim the islands as its own?
The people of both Canada and the Turks and Caicos react quite positively to the idea of Canada annexing the islands. To Canadians, a tropical destination where one doesn't have to show his or her passport, that's a terrific idea. A Canadian vacation hotspot! I can imagine people deciding to sell their winter homes in Florida and buying a home on the shores of the Caribbean. According to recent opinion polls, 60% of Islanders and over 80% of Canadians support annexation.
There are, however, other options that don't include giving the Turks and Caicos islands the title of Province or Territory. Nova Scotia's legislature has already voted overwhelmingly in favor of inviting the islands to join their province should Canada be given control. On Twitter, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says that his province would be interested in taking over the Turks and Caicos. PEI Premier Robert Ghiz supports the idea.
When we have Canadian politicians seriously considering making a play to annex an overseas territory, we have to accept that the annexation of the Turks and Caicos could actually be more than just an idea. The people support it. Canada has a strong economic partnership with the T&C Islands. It's actually quite surprising that they're not using the Canadian dollar there. I predict that within a decade, our currency will be introduced to the people of the Islands.
Today news broke that the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China have signed a $400 billion gas deal. The gas will flow from Russia to China through a Gazprom pipeline built in Siberia. This deal is a clear sign that the Kremlin doesn't give a damn about sanctions from the western nations over the Ukraine crisis. The Russian Federation is looking to China. China and Russia, both countries that would love nothing more than to see the United States of America and her allies suffer.
NATO reports that Russia has not yet withdrawn any troops from their border with Ukraine, despite a vow from Vladimir Putin to pull the army out of the region. China has been accused of cyber-spying on US companies. As well, China is drilling an oil rig in Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. Both nations have also vetoed dozens of major western initiatives in the UN Security Council.
That's the word NASA uses to describe the melting ice in Antarctica. The ice is melting, and it appears that it's too late for the human race to do anything about that. Even if every driver in the world stopped using their cars for a whole year, the ice won't stop melting. The greenhouse gasses are too much. We've screwed up royally. Within the next decade, we will begin to notice sea levels rising. For us here in Sault Ste. Marie, we don't have to worry because we are far from the ocean. Geography is on our side. Thank God for that.
In Atlantic Canada and on the West coast and on the Northern coast as well, there will be consequences. Sea levels will rise. And while a couple of inches may not seem like that much of an increase to us, it actually is a significant problem. Flooding will be more common. Billions of dollars more in damage. All it takes is for a Category one hurricane or even a tropical storm to create waves, push all that water on land, and with a higher sea level, areas further from the ocean, usually safe from catastrophic floods, will be at risk.
Democracy, from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections."
Now, after reading the definition of democracy, let's examine the results of the Donetsk referendum held yesterday. So far, the results say that 90% of voters chose to secede from Ukraine. This does not mean that the region will join Russia. Another referendum will be held at a later date asking voters if they want to reunify with the Russian Federation.
90% in favor. 71.4% turnout. According to the Separatist regime. The regime that was not elected by the people of the region. This 'government' was created by force, not by democracy. Guns, not votes. We are in 2014. The violent takeover of a government should not be happening.
When the rebels set the referendum in place, the entire West (Europe, Canada and the US) decried it, arguing that the results would be illegitimate. Indeed, the results aren't legitimate at all. Reuters reports that some of the ballots arrived already pre-marked 'yes,' in favor of seperating from Ukraine. There are also news reports that some people voted multiple times.
When people vote more than once, and when ballots come to the polling stations already marked, that's not democracy. It's a farce. Democracy is when an election or referendum is held with blank ballots. People are only allowed one vote. It's unfortunate that the Russian Federation is even recognizing these results.
A year ago, Russia was a growing country, the economy was booming and the people were happy. Now, because of Russia's Soviet-style anti-democratic actions, they will continue to be punished.
This website, www.matthewfrankkot.ca, will be highlighting the beautiful nature and the cities of Northern Ontario. Click on the 'Photography' tab and prepare to be blown away. Our region is naturally gifted. Thousands of rivers and lakes, thousands of square miles of forests and many, many mountains. The wildlife is majestic. The cities are a blend of modern and historic, a perfect balance that guarantees your 100% satisfaction. Please enjoy the photographs that many talented people have taken, and if you have any pictures that you want to be spotlighted, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thousands of people read this website. If you choose to share your works of art with us, I absolutely will make sure that you are credited.
I sincerely hope that you all take some time to admire Northern Ontario's beauty. These pictures are breathtaking, and what you see will make you say "I want to go there. I want to see Northern Ontario."
Note: I'm now writing blogs for Sault Online, in addition to this website! My blog is called "MATTer of Opinion."
Eleven years ago, US President George W. Bush and the American congress ordered the invasion of Iraq, claiming that Saddam Hussein's regime was in posession of weapons of mass destruction. Canadian Prime Minister Chretien chose not to take part in the war, knowing that it would be pointless. A few Canadian troops did see the inside of Iraq, but they numbered in the dozens, not the thousands that were in Afghanistan, where a real war was being fought. The War in Afghanistan was absolutely necessary. September 11th, 2001. Canadians were killed in that attack too. We needed to destroy those responsible for killing innocent people. We succeeded. Afghanistan is a better place now.
When a leader sends their nation's army into another country, that is a difficult choice. Iraq was a colossal mistake, and Afghanistan was a show of force by the international community to the terrorists: If you kill innocent people, we will kill you.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram is an Islamic terrorist organization that has done so many terrible things. They are crawling through the Northern part of the country, destroying everything in their path. Almost a month ago, over 200 innocent young girls were kidnapped by the group. We are learning now that over 300 people were killed in a new attack. This organization needs to be annihilated.
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath announced today that she and her party would not be supporting the Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne. Which means that Ontario will be going to the polls in a few weeks.
This afternoon Ms. Wynne confirmed that she has asked Lieutenant Governor David Onley to dissolve the legislature. An election will take place on Thursday, June 12.
As things stand right now, the Liberals have 48 seats in the legislature, the Progressive Conservatives, led by Tim Hudak, have 37 seats, and the New Democrats have 21. Most polls show that the race is between the PC's and Liberals, with the NDP not too far behind in third place.
This election was almost certain to happen. The Liberals for years have been seen as a corrupt party. The cancellation of a gas plant in Southern Ontario has cost taxpayers over $1 billion and has turned many voters away from the Liberals.
About The Author
Matthew Frank Kot was born and raised here in Sault Ste Marie. He first starting writing articles for Soonews.ca in early 2008, becoming the city's youngest columnist and journalist. He then went on to write for Local2, and for a short time had his "MATTer of Opinion" column on SaultOnline.com. Matthew was very involved in the 2010 and 2014 Municipal Elections and wrote several opinion pieces about important issues. In 2011, Matthew started Sault Transit Reform and has continued advocating for a better transit system since then.