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END-DP

Life can be so cruel.
A story in yesterday’s Brandon Sun really touched my heart, reading it as I sipped my morning coffee.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and have such a pity party for myself over what I consider to be my oh-so-terrible mountains to climb in life.
But as I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes at 7 a.m., I almost started to cry as I read reporter Graeme Bruce’s story — complemented by Tim Smith’s touching photos — about Cheryl Mauthe and her family’s incredible struggles.
It put my silly worries into perspective and made me feel guilty about ever even thinking I got some kind of raw deal in life.
As you’ll have read yesterday, cancer has wholly dictated what Mauthe and her small family can do.
Chemotherapy, blood work, and a gamut of other medical appointments are as common and consistent as piano lessons and soccer practices are in other homes, reporter Bruce wrote.
You see, Mauthe’s seven-year-old son, Colin Clark, has been battling leukemia for nearly two years and lives a life that will hinge on blood transfusions and chemo for at least another year and a half.
“Super Colin” — a name given to him by his peers at École Harrison — was the focal point of a blood drive by Canadian Blood Services called “Colin’s Crusaders” that drew hundreds to give blood.
But earlier this month, Mauthe received a call regarding the results of a recent breast ultrasound. She has breast cancer.
Now the 32-year-old single mother of two — Colin, pictured above with his mother, has a six-year-old sister, Emily — faces a mastectomy at the end of the month.
And she doesn’t know what will come next in terms of the extent of the treatment she’ll have to endure after the initial operation.
For more than a year, Mauthe has been living on stress-leave wages followed by long-term disability payments — which equates to roughly three-quarters of her regular salary.
That’s why a casual acquaintance of hers — not even a close friend, but that’s how this story motivates people to try to help — left a message on my voice mail explaining Mauthe’s predicament and asking if there was anything the Sun could do.
Of course there was. 
While crowdsourcing might be a popular new online money-raising tool, mainstream media — such as the Brandon Sun’s print and online editions — remains a very effective vehicle to get a message out when someone needs help.
Sherri Facey wanted to inform folks that she has set up a fund to try to help out Mauthe and her children. She was also hoping to let other people with cancer know they aren’t alone in their fight.
“Thankful, shocked, overwhelmed,” Mauthe told the Sun on how she felt about Facey’s gesture. 
“You kind of feel like you’ve used up all your good with Colin ... you hate to keep leaning on people for support, but it’s overwhelming when they’re there and willing to help you.”
The account is at the Westoba Credit Union under the name “Super Colin and Mom.”
Said Facey: “I’m just hoping people will feel the need to donate to try and help her through this because I think it’s going to be tough for her.” 
I went to a Westoba Credit Union at lunchtime yesterday and made a donation to the “Super Colin and Mom” fund.
For me, it was the right thing to do.
I hope many other people who feel the same way and have the means to donate even a modest amount will do so.
Life can be cruel. But there are ways to make it better.

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Life can be so cruel. A story in yesterday’s Brandon Sun really touched my heart, reading it as I sipped my morning coffee. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and have such a pity party for myself over what I consider to be my oh-so-terrible mountains to climb in life. But as I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes at 7 a.m., I almost started to cry as I read reporter Graeme Bruce’s story — complemented by Tim Smith’s touching photos — about Cheryl Mauthe and her family’s incredible struggles. It put my silly worries into perspective and made me feel guilty about ever even thinking I got some kind of raw deal in life. As you’ll have read yesterday, cancer has wholly dictated what Mauthe and her small family can do. Chemotherapy, blood work, and a gamut of other medical appointments are as common and consistent as piano lessons and soccer practices are in other homes, reporter Bruce wrote. You see, Mauthe’s seven-year-old son, Colin Clark, has been battling leukemia for nearly two years and lives a life that will hinge on blood transfusions and chemo for at least another year and a half. “Super Colin” — a name given to him by his peers at École Harrison — was the focal point of a blood drive by Canadian Blood Services called “Colin’s Crusaders” that drew hundreds to give blood. But earlier this month, Mauthe received a call regarding the results of a recent breast ultrasound. She has breast cancer. Now the 32-year-old single mother of two — Colin, pictured above with his mother, has a six-year-old sister, Emily — faces a mastectomy at the end of the month. And she doesn’t know what will come next in terms of the extent of the treatment she’ll have to endure after the initial operation. For more than a year, Mauthe has been living on stress-leave wages followed by long-term disability payments — which equates to roughly three-quarters of her regular salary. That’s why a casual acquaintance of hers — not even a close friend, but that’s how this story motivates people to try to help — left a message on my voice mail explaining Mauthe’s predicament and asking if there was anything the Sun could do. Of course there was. While crowdsourcing might be a popular new online money-raising tool, mainstream media — such as the Brandon Sun’s print and online editions — remains a very effective vehicle to get a message out when someone needs help. Sherri Facey wanted to inform folks that she has set up a fund to try to help out Mauthe and her children. She was also hoping to let other people with cancer know they aren’t alone in their fight. “Thankful, shocked, overwhelmed,” Mauthe told the Sun on how she felt about Facey’s gesture. “You kind of feel like you’ve used up all your good with Colin ... you hate to keep leaning on people for support, but it’s overwhelming when they’re there and willing to help you.” The account is at the Westoba Credit Union under the name “Super Colin and Mom.” Said Facey: “I’m just hoping people will feel the need to donate to try and help her through this because I think it’s going to be tough for her.” I went to a Westoba Credit Union at lunchtime yesterday and made a donation to the “Super Colin and Mom” fund. For me, it was the right thing to do. I hope many other people who feel the same way and have the means to donate even a modest amount will do so. Life can be cruel. But there are ways to make it better.

"A resolution, passed by the convention, said ‘mainstream media is rarely onside’ with the party’s beliefs and ‘ignores or perverts’ its accomplishments."

— From a Winnipeg Free Press story on last weekend’s NDP convention

It appears the desperate and dying NDP government is fed up with the way its demise is being documented by the mainstream media.

So the New Dems figure using social media is a better way to get their propaganda — er, message — across to the great unwashed.

What rot.

I have a mainstream message for Premier Greg Selinger and his Birkenstock wearing budgetary Bohemians — the jig is up.

Or, more precisely, will be up when the people of Manitoba finally get to boot your corduroy clad butts out of government after a decade and a half of allowing you to let this province become a beggar in a land of plenty.

We’re deep in debt. The government is broke and is now blaming Ottawa for what will undoubtedly be a spring budget full of extra taxes — many hidden in the forms of fees, fines and other feckless methods of finding ways to fund pet projects in a last ditch attempt to save some seats.

But that’s gonna be some pretty tough sledding for Gregger & Gang.

And the NDP’s new attack ad on Opposition Leader Brian Pallister will only be chuckled at by any Manitoban with even the slimmest recall of the real events of the ’90s.

You can’t rewrite history with a 30-second bald-faced lie. The mainstream media isn’t ‘onside’ with that and will tell people the truth.

As we’ve recently read and watched — and for me, savoured — in the mainstream media, polls show the current incarnation of the NDP hasn’t been this unpopular since 1988, after former premier Howard Pawley’s government fell. Pawley is widely considered to be one of the worst premiers in Manitoba’s modern-day history.

Probe Research surveys in recent months show support is evaporating in key Orange-held constituencies in the provincial capital and support is also dropping among women voters — a key demographic for the Dippers.

Things are even worse in Westman.

While it’s no surprise that another Probe poll just showed Progressive Conservative strength is super high in all Westman provincial electoral districts, it’s also tops in Brandon East — once a strong beacon of Orange in the sea of Tory Blue.

Not to mention, a new Liberal leader is bringing newfound attention to the third-place party, which can only drain votes from the NDP and give more chances for the Tories to take seats in key areas across the Keystone Province.

In Brandon, it looks right now that the east end will be a bloody political battleground, as longstanding MLA Drew Caldwell has decided to forgo a run at the mayor’s chair this fall to fight for his party and his cherished seat.

Caldwell was sniffing out his chances at staging a successful campaign in October after I essentially challenged him late last year to do so or quit criticizing the current mayor and senior officials on Ninth Street.

He subsequently had quite a groundswell of support, but by law he would have to quit his post at the legislature once the mayoral race officially starts on May 1.

He was also waiting for the results of that Brandon Sun/Probe mayoral poll, which had him in third place, behind declared right-of-centre candidate Rick Chrest and the incumbent, Shari Decter Hirst.

It’s also now an open secret that Decter Hirst will be running as she does indeed still have the backing of many of the city’s big wheels —those who aren’t on the same road as the other big wheels who will be backing Chrest.

And Caldwell isn’t stupid — a little wacky and carefree, perhaps, but not stupid — and he knows that the low numbers concerning the NDP’s chances in Brandon East could very well mean his penniless government will still find enough of our money to make some major spending announcements in the lead-up to the expected spring 2016 provincial tilt.

The oversized novelty cheque industry will be in for a windfall for sure, allowing Caldwell to perhaps move to complete some of his legacy projects — the Dome Building restoration, improvements to the Brandon hospital and Assiniboine Community College’s move to the North Hill campus — before he might be back on civvy street.

But I digress.

Back to the completely ignorant and insulting resolution regarding mainstream media passed at last weekend’s patchouli and elbow-patched annual general meeting at Canad Inns Polo Park in Winnipeg.

You simply can’t blame us mainstream media folks for your bad showing, NDP peeps.

And no amount of lipstick on your PST-hiked pig will make voters any more attracted to your party, which has held office since defeating the Tories in 1999.

What’s more offensive is that the NDP don’t just want their own party to find ways to sneak around the trained and ethical reporters and editors of the fifth estate — they also believe the entire government should be using "alternative media such as YouTube channels and other social media" to get their message out to the public, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

Now you’re just asking for a fight, you tax-and-spend terrorists.

And it’s also reported you believe social media would be an effective way to reach the younger generation.

Well guess who isn’t being followed on Twitter by 18- to 24-year-olds? Any politician who isn’t federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

People who care about the communities, care about the financial health of the province and are true citizens with homes, families and responsibilities still read and watch the mainstream media.

Even Caldwell, whose Twitter account remains locked-down to only approved users, rendering it all but useless, is often heard to praise the "daily miracle" that is a traditional newspaper. And he often writes letters to the editor of this fine publication.

Praise the Lord and pass the paper.

I wanna read more facts — not fiction — about the NDP’s descent into madness.

"Brian Pallister is a serious threat, but I’m a fighter and you’re fighters and this caucus is full of fighters," Premier Selinger told the convention crowd last weekend.

Yeah, it’s a caucus full of fighters alright.

Bullfighters.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 15, 2014

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Indeed, a beggar province in a land of plenty.

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"A resolution, passed by the convention, said ‘mainstream media is rarely onside’ with the party’s beliefs and ‘ignores or perverts’ its accomplishments."

— From a Winnipeg Free Press story on last weekend’s NDP convention

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"A resolution, passed by the convention, said ‘mainstream media is rarely onside’ with the party’s beliefs and ‘ignores or perverts’ its accomplishments."

— From a Winnipeg Free Press story on last weekend’s NDP convention

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