Please allow me to introduce myself…………
Relax, all you baby boomers and other aging Stones fans, I am not Lucifer….though I admit I sometimes play the devil’s advocate. I am also, most definitely, not a man of wealth, nor fame. I am, and always will be, a man of the people, and I am proud to announce that I, Rod McPhee will be the newest contributor to Muskoka Post.
I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit about me, my background, my experiences, and why I believe I can relate to many, if not most of the growing readership of Muskoka Post.
I am a Northerner, born and bred, one of 10 children in a working class family headed by two wonderful parents who taught us to differentiate between needs and wants. To stay out of debt, to sacrifice, to think clearly, to always be honest, especially with ourselves, to work hard, to always pull together, to care and to share, to treat others as we wished to be treated. Never losing sight of those less well off, along with meeting our obligations to contribute in a positive fashion to the community at large.
I grew up in hard rock mining country, just outside of Sudbury, where many feel Northern Ontario ends around North Bay. I have lived and worked in Northwestern Ontario (Thunder Bay), the Mid-North (Sudbury), Southern Ontario (Toronto), Southwest Ontario (London), and briefly, Eastern Ontario (Arnprior), as a result of which I have a good grasp of the diversity of the province, its people and its issues.
I have an Honours degree from the University of Western Ontario, where I studied Journalism and English Literature. I have been a high school teacher, a construction labourer, an insurance investigator, a regional and National Claims Manager, a specialist in disability and medical claims, an Employee Benefits Specialist working in Sales, a contractors’ helper, doing roofing, painting, foundation/waterproofing along with a variety of general renovation work. I have also worked in a call centre and as a car salesman. Over these years I have worked for a six figure income and for minimum wage, doing my very bestin each position.
I am familiar with and equally comfortable in either the corporate boardroom or the shop floor, wearing either a dark blue pinstripe suit with tasseled loafers, or a hard hat and steel-toed work boots.
I don’t particularly like labels or pigeonholes as I am sensitive to the complexities in life, in a world where shades of grey are far more common than stark black and white. However, most would consider me a “progressive” thinker, though this does not even remotely reflect my often unconventional thinking, my fiercely independent points of view, and my antipathy towards “group think”.
My preference in all things is to operate from as fully informed a perspective as possible, with well-considered opinions which, while often strong, are always open to revision based on new, compelling, objective, verifiable evidence.
I fully expect that many of you will disagree with some of my opinions. My goal is to encourage thought, discourse and discussion. I look forward to your feedback.
It is important to point out that I not only refuse to practise “political correctness”, I generally detest it. It has a hugely corrosive effect, not only on freedom of speech, but on freedom of thought. I consider it to be a highly specialized form of cholesterol which blocks only the carotid arteries, making clear-headed, intelligent, balanced thought impossible.
I adhere to the belief that there is a vast difference between being offensive and being offended, despite the unending attempts of the politically correct to conflate the two. I have no intention of being offensive, though, as always, it is your choice whether to be offended or not.
I plan to address a wide variety of topics, political, social, economic, not only local, but national and international in scope. I will welcome any input or suggestions from ourreaders, though I can only commit to giving them full consideration, not necessarily to implementing them.
I previously wrote a blog with the same title as this column, which is a prelude to the intended revival of my blog. I shut it down on the demand of the party that had asked me to stand as a candidate in this riding for the 2015 Federal Election. They ultimately rejected me for very specious political considerations and their inability to handle my statement that I didn’t give a flying fig for politics, preferring to concern myself with good government and social equity. My position on this has not changed. I hope to ultimately use my blog to expand on some of the topics discussed in my column and to deal with others more fully.
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