Sunday, December 31, 2006

Wishing You All a Wonderful 2007!

This has not been a good year for our family, but we are optimistic and looking toward 2007 with hope.

This is Rembrandt, our dog who has defied all odds. We got him over a neurological problem earlier this year, only to find out a while ago, that he only has weeks left with us. He's home with us and we're giving him the best palliative care we can.

I only bring this up to say, he still wakes up every morning wagging his tail, delighted to see us and start another day. Pets teach us I think. They deal with what occurs, when it occurs and do not anticipate the worst. They show us what it is to live in the now and find joy in that.

My wish for all of you is that you find joy this year. We all have reasons to be optimistic and I hope you will join me in finding them.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


For all of you who are experiencing a green Christmas, here's a little snow.

My best wishes to all this Christmas and Holiday Season!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Our "Man of the Year" has no clout

It would seem that Harper did have an impact at the recent NATO meeting. Sadly it's not the one we wanted.

h/t: Far and Wide, Time article.

Friday, December 15, 2006

What's the problem then?

If this is true, why is this still a fact?

Given that Steve and George are so tight, shouldn't he be able to get Maher Arar off the list?

Also, why was Day unable to get an answer as to whether or not Mr. Arar is still on a watch list, but the Ambassador can come on radio and confirm it?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Short Sighted Once Again

Once again, in an effort to appear tough on criminals, the Harper government has cut a program that was working, here.

At first blush, it seems logical not to provide something like tattoos for prisoners, but if you look deeper, you can see the logic.

This is not a program designed to coddle criminals, it's one that is meant to prevent the spread of disease.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Too busy a week for coverage in Canada

It's understandable how events here at home, buried any coverage of Michaelle Jean's trip, but this is a cute story.

Apparently she's the first International figure to visit Mali since Nelson Mandela, here.

I'd say this woman is enhancing Canada's reputation wherever she travels, unlike....hmmm.

Monday, October 02, 2006

5 Things Feminism Has Taught Me

Some have suggested that the topic of Feminism is old news and not relevant today. I would disagree. Not only has it shaped our society in beneficial ways, there is still work to be done, so to me, it is very much alive.

We all have read horrendous stories concerning the abuse of women around the world, but all too often we think that we in the West have overcome all obstacles concerning women. The fact that we continue to require shelters for battered women, that we are underrepresented in government and other high profile positions, the fact that the trafficking of women still occurs, tells us that we still need to make strides and these are only a few examples.

That said, there can be no doubt that the Feminist Movement has benefitted society as a whole.

This is how it has impacted me personally:

1. It provided me with a role model, my mother, who never backed down from what she thought was right, regardless of conventional wisdom.

2. It created an environment where I was free to define myself and understand the importance of self respect and worth.

3. It made it possible for me to speak out and have the law support me when an employer felt it was justified to sexually harrass women.

4. It was/is an example of how important it is to stand up for and promote a just cause, until it is realised. That example has inspired me to speak up for and/or take action on behalf of those who have been unjustly persecuted.

5. It has allowed all people to moderate or redefine their role in society. Traditional roles are no longer the only avenue open to individuals and that has enhanced our society, by making it more balanced and accepting of all people.

Feminism has helped make what should have been obvious to all, (but sadly wasn't), a reality. That is that every person has value and equality for all is the only way forward for humanity.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What AIDS Conference? Let's play golf!

This is not another rant about the PM, exactly, but it certainly speaks to priorities. I just heard on the news, that Canada will not be making any funding announcements at the Conference. There will be an announcement in the weeks to come. What??? We have the largest group of professionals and activists gathered together in our country and we're not going to tell them what Canada is prepared to do to help them? After all the ridiculing our Gov't, (meaning we the people), has received for being missing in action, Harper's team decides to further make us look ridiculous by doing this? What a heinous snub to those who really care about the greatest humanitarian crisis we have known.

I thought this PM was supposed to be intelligent? I keep reading what a great strategist he is. He looks to me like a child that didn't get the response he wanted, so he took the public cheque book and went home.

Do you want to know the real kicker? Just after having heard that news, my husband came home from playing golf. Guess who was on the course at the same time....Tony Clement!!!

Yep, they're very engaged on this subject, they realise the importance of the issue, just as long as it doesn't interfere with their tee off time!

Monday, August 14, 2006

The "Spin"ning Wheel

Does this writer actually think anyone is buying, this?

How does this:

The poll states that 82 per cent of Canadians asked believe that Israel has a right to self defence

translate to this?

An overwhelming number of Canadians support Prime Minister Stephen Harper's assertion that Israel's attacks on Lebanon are justified because Israel has a right to self defence

Support for Harper didn't drop because he said Israel had a right to defend itself, it dropped because of the 'measured' comment, vis a vis the force employed and his unilateral stance.

"The Globe poll didn't really ask a fair and unambiguous question," said COMPAS President Conrad Winn ...right. As if Israel's right to defend itself was ever disputed by anyone.

Well, if the conservative's seriously think that a majority of Canadians support Israel's self-defense rights, translates to, the majority of Canadians support Harper, then they are more seriously deluded than I thought.

Update here. It looks like they won't be able to get away with misleading polls afterall.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Arctic will still be there in a week, the Conference won't

I know Stephen Harper's absence at the AIDS Conference has been on many blogs, but I'm struck by just how ashamed I am by this decision. I watched CBC this morning, and saw the Grandmothers Fighting AIDS assembly. These are women who have lost their children and now are raising their grandchildren. These are women in their 60's and 70's, with little or no means of support, most of them are widowed or have been abandoned by their spouses, responsible for the upbringing of the next generation. Schooling, uniforms, books, medicine, doctors...all these necessary things have costs associated with them, so it is with awe, that I watched these strong women, simply say , we must do it, so we do.

Given their struggle, their strength and dedication to this cause, (and of course they are only one aspect of the AIDS scourge), I do not care how you cut it, there is NO excuse, NONE, for our Prime Minister not to be there.

This latest inaction by the PM has me realising, that the pride I have always felt for Canada's actions and place in the world, is slowly being eroded.

I heard this interview this morning, after seeing the grandmothers and it further confirmed my feelings.

But what really got me was this interview with Tony Clement. Talk about saying a lot of nothing and basically inferring that it's not that bad because we're not the only country in this situation! Where's the leadership? I guess if you can't blame the Liberal's, blame the rest of the world too.

Clement -The second objective is that this conference is a large international conference, and if we can continue to move the agenda forward, in both the research that is being done - because this is a conference of scientists and as well as activists - and in terms of the continuing work we have to do together to collaborate on the treatment and the care and the prevention, then I think we will have achieved something.

So we are very much a multi-lateral player, and I would have to say that Canadians don't like blowing their own horn, but I've seen it in international forums that we are respected. Our point of view is taken very seriously because our activity is over the last 20 years on this file.

Yeah, that was then...

I would say that I've never been so ashamed of our position, but maybe I was the day this Government was elected into office.

I just heard that McGuinty will be speaking at the opening ceremony, good. I wish one of the Leadership Candidates was also going to be there.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ibbitson's "Good Guys"

In his column yesterday, John Ibbitson speaks about the importance of solidarity between the leaders of Cda, US, UK and Australia, vis a vis terrorism. At first blush, the comment seems both logical and benign.

He opens his column by stating that the PM, and the above mentioned leaders, read the same report every morning. The document is prepared by the security services of all 4 countries.

However, further along in the article he says,

So, it is hardly surprising that the leaders of English-speaking nations have virtually identical world views, speak largely with one voice and act mostly in concert.

Huh? Reading a security report provides them with the same world view? Wouldn't it be their interpretation of the data, based on their ideology, that has them speaking with one voice?

He then goes on to say,

"That is why those who accuse the Prime Minister of tying Canada too closely to the United States are dangerously deluded".

This rankled.

Though never mentioned in the column, there is an implication, through omission, that:

a) This is something new and Martin did not receive the same morning briefing. This practice began some time ago though, there was a brief period when we were somewhat left out of the loop, after not joining the Iraq fiasco. (This per an e-mail I received from Ibbitson.)

b) If there was a government in power, in Canada, that did not share the same ideology of the other 3 leaders, it would be left out of the loop. Isn't it logical and indeed in everyone's best interest, that the same information would be shared. Shouldn't the same level of trust exist, regardless of political stripe, between allies?

I enjoy Ibbitson's writing and I'm not wildly outraged here. However, having read cerberus's great post on media bias yesterday, it got me wondering about how the public debate can be shaped by what is not said in the media.

It helped me realise, at least in part, how misinformation can get out there and eventually become part of the discourse. I obviously read the column through the lens of my own bias, as will those with differing views, and so the public debate goes.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The tide seems to be shifting

When the poll came out suggesting that only 32% of Canadians supported the Harper government position in the Middle East, a common refrain from the Conservative's was, "then why hasn't their overall popularity dropped?"

As I read those comments, my thought was...patience. As the adage goes, it pays off, as seen here

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I just don't get it!

Read this:

How is it possible, that in the Western world, with an educated populace, they continue to buy the pap of the neo-cons? What is happening to thinking people? Have the results of Iraq, (100 innocent people a day being killed), escaped their pervue?

I honestly, honestly don't get it. Dogma has superceeded reason. How did this happen and how do we stem it?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Foreign Policy Shift

I'm really concerned about the unilateral decision by Harper to shift our foreign policy. Doesn't this deserve some debate?

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. His agenda has been too reduce government's role to the basics, leaving the more 'pedestrian' issues to the provinces.

I guess the issue isn't that he has a hidden agenda, the issue is it's been in plain view, but too few Canadians understand or have been given an explanation of it's implications.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Here's the Deal...You Won!

I'm up to here with the current government, blaming everything that goes wrong for them, is the Liberal' s fault. In my opinion, they are in government and should be taking responsiblity, (accountability ring a bell?) for what they are doing.

I'm also sick and tired of the media giving these guys a pass. Fluff pieces on the 'cool' couple in Saint Petersburg...please.

Now, instead of 4500 people being evacuated per day, it's 2000. I get it's a huge evacuation. Majorie Lebreton says everything is fine...military cut's are responsible...other country's got there faster because of proximity. My question would be, if we are chartering ships...shouldn't we have chartered them from the same proximity.?

Nice try, but the Liberal's are NOT responsible for this mess...AND, this shouldn't be about politics! This is about getting Canadians home...full stop, period.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Derision, not Debate

I'm new to this whole blog world. I was looking forward to having a forum, from which I could engage in intelligent debate. Having spent a number of days, reading both liberal and conservative blogs, I'm more than disappointed. I've read really brilliant posts on both sides, but the rebuttal always seems to fall to the level of derision.

Am I naive? I have no doubt...I'm new to all of this. I'm passionate however, about how our country works and would much prefer to engage in honest debate. I live with a contratrian, we debate. Though in principle, we agree on most things, he can always give me a run for my money when raising a political thought. Honest debate, makes us stretch. It forces us to think beyond the sound-bite. It encourages us to think through what we believe in.

In my mind, this is what we need to be doing in Canada right now. Yes, even if it is the summer time..and the living is easy. Complacency is not an option to me.

Now, is always the most important time, and to treat it lightly, is our failure and our foible.

Monday, July 03, 2006

It must be my imagination...

With every day that passes, I grow more perplexed with the amount of support the Conservatives receive.

I continue to search for the reason why, without merely finger pointing and blaming the obvious. There is no question in my mind that the ground swell of conservative views from south of the border, has had an impact. That is not to say it's George Bush's fault. It's merely a fact, as evidenced by the incessant use of phrases, coined in America..."Cut and Run", "Liberals stand for nothing", "Liberal elites", etc.

This is not the dialogue of this country, at least not as I see it looking back. I recall an intelligent, respectful debate of ideas.

It's also easy to point to the media, as they surely have given the Conservatives a free ride...but why aren't we demanding more of them? I laugh out loud every time I hear a Conservative refer to the 'left leaning media'. My hope is that as we progress toward the Leadership Convention, the press will honestly present the differences between the two parties.

The platform of the conservatives simply seems vacuous. Such small ideas, but each chipping away at the social fabric of the country. Have we become a country that can only digest 5 ideas at a time? Have we become a populous who can only follow a government whose language resembles that which we use to address children...."we are fighting the bad guys"?

My sense is that we are not these things. My hope is that anger blinded many during the last election and that slowly but surely, their vision is returning.