Happy Canada Day!

Hello world. Before I get into explaining the name of my blog and what it’s about, let me introduce myself. My name’s Rick Bolstler and I currently live in New South Wales, Australia. I’m launching this blog site on Canada Day, 2020. I’m Canadian by birth and Australian by choice, enjoying and appreciating my dual citizenship. Since retiring in 2008, my wife Heather and I have spent our Australian winters, June-August, in British Columbia, spending time with our family and friends and enjoying the lovely summers on Vancouver Island. This year due to circumstances falling out of the political machinations over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), our trip had to be cancelled and I find us spending our July 1 Canada Day celebrations in Australia.

Heather and I emigrated to Australia in 1983 with our two infant children. Why we did this is a story for another blog or two. We made a new life for our family in Sydney. My background was in computer programming, Heather’s was in teaching high school. We combined our skills and created a computer education company which we eventually sold in 2003. I speak only English, have no religious beliefs, consider myself to be a complete anarchist politically and am a very law-abiding citizen. I am a bit of a loner, preferring the company of my family and friends as my social life. I am very tolerant of others and expect them to be equally tolerant of me. My social philosophy would be summed up as Live and let live. My economic/political philosophy is laissez-faire. I am an advocate of the free market and advocate that each of us be free to carve out our lives as best we can in freedom.

I am an idealist who believes that we should spend our lives trying to improve our lot in life. I am an advocate of the ideal that man can be noble and wise. I believe in the laws of reality and the utter finality of their judgment. I do not believe any of us are exempt from these laws and what we don’t know can and does kill us. In one or two areas I have shed my ignorance and have found myself to be a tad lonely in my enlightenment. I have also found myself to be concerned with what I discovered, so concerned that I came to Australia and now am driven to do this writing.

I’m also one of the world’s best procrastinators. I’ve been meaning to get this blog going for some time now, but always found an excuse to delay starting it for another day, for another week. Two incidents of late became the straws that broke my procrastinator’s back. One was coming across a writing of mine in an essay I wrote for myself back in 1995. I was writing about my life in Australia and found myself reading these words.

We are politically a democracy with a strong heritage of freedom. I can come and go as I please without permission nor the need for permit.

The second incident was the travel restrictions imposed as part of the COVID-19 rulings. My words about being free to go about as I please were suddenly of another era. The strong heritage of freedom that I wrote so admiringly about had obviously disappeared while my attention was elsewhere. I can’t come and go as I please. I must ask permission of my masters. I’m not ignorant nor naïve about COVID-19 either. I’m well aware that Heather and I are in the most sensitive age bracket for this disease and that most of the deaths across all continents have been in the over-70’s age group. Perhaps we would have postponed our annual migration north given what is happening. But that choice is ours to make, not someone else’s – if we still live in a free country that is.

With few exceptions, most of the other nations have taken measures similar to ours in Australia. For me, the lockdowns and restrictions are far more dangerous to the world than any disease could be. For me, freedom to think, freedom to choose, and freedom to act trump everything. As a Canadian school boy, I was taught that we fought in World War I and II to defend our freedoms. The best of our youth were called upon to risk their lives to defend our freedoms. I also learned about the American Declaration of Independence and its self-evident truths, that we are endowed with the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unalienable means “not transferable to another or not capable of being taken away or denied”.

Clearly our rights have been taken away, denied. This is unacceptable to me and was the final straw. I have long been in admiration for the founders of the American struggle for independence. They were willingly and openly declaring that their freedom and independence were their rights. I love how their Declaration of Independence ends.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

This is what I intend to bring to the world with my writings. Honour. Sacred honour. We do not live in a world of honour. Instead I see us living in a world of arbitrary rules, rules that constantly compromise any notion of what it means to be free. We haven’t made any sort of pledge to each other to honour and maintain our freedom.

With what remains of my freedom to speak out, this is what my blog will be about: A world driven by obedience to arbitrary rules contrasted with a possible world driven by pledges to sacred honour.