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Remember when the Bush White House refused to let the Obamas use Blair House so t hey could start their girls to school on time. The Bush people said BlaIR house was occupied.Now we kn ow the whole miserable story. President Bush wants to honour John Howard, the former Australian Ptrime Minister who joined Bush in the immoral and illegal wafr against Iraq. Bush will fly Howard and his wife to Washington, put them up in Blair house for one night (JAN. 12) and present them with the Freedom Medal.
There is a delicious piece of iron y here. Howards government was just defeated and Howard lost his own seat in the election. Why secufritywould Howard wanto receive the Freedom Medal when the Australian psent;preeople have just given him the boot? But I digresWhy would Bush force the Obamas and ther two little girls into a public hotel (where the security woulod be difficult ) f0r ONE night so that Bush could present medal to his war crony, Howard.Does this reveal how selfish and miserable the Bush crowd is? It does to me. What about you?
In the last days of his presidency George Bush is doing what he can to save his legacy. This means also doing what he can to honour those who followed him into the Iraq disaster. High am ong these is the former prime minister of Australia,Joh n Howard,
So Bush is arranging for Howard and his wife to fly to Washington, to stay in the presidentiaL guest house, Hfor one night (January 12), then B ush will invite him o ver to the White and ;present him woth the prestigious Medal of Freedom.
There is a delicious irony here. ,Howard,s unpopular goovernment has just australianbeen thrown out of office and Howard lost his own seat.Why in the world would Howard want the Medal of Freedom when the Australian people have just given hi m the boot? B ut I digress.Can you believe the reason the Obamas and their children were forced to go to a public hotel where security wlould be more difficult, was because Howard and his wife were goin g to staY In Blair House (which has a hundred rooms) for ONE night it is hard to believe the Bush people could be as small as this. Do you agree?
On February 15 this year, I posted this question: “Should Henry Morgentaler be awarded the Order of Canada?” It was a short post and, I thought, relatively innocent. To my utter astonishment the post received more comment – 67- than any other post since my blog began in the fall of 2006.
On Canada Day, Governor-General Michaelle Jean announced 75 new members of the Order of Canada including Henry Morgentaler. He was awarded the Order, the Governor-General wrote, because of “his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined effort to influence Canadian public policy, and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations.”
Now 85, Morganteler, a Polish Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Montreal after the war, opened his first abortion clinic in 1969 and performed thousands of procedures, which were illegal at the time. Partly because of his efforts , the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s abortion law in 1988. Morganteler still runs six abortion clinics in Canada.
Not surpisingly, Dr. Morgentaler’s appointment has unleashsed a storm of controversey in the blogosphere, the editorial pages and most of all on both sides of the abortion issue.
The Campaign Life Coalition says it is dreadful that a man who spent his life performing abortions should honoured. Their spokesperson, Mary Ellen Douglas, says “If Morganteler had any integrity he would refuse the medal. This presentation should be given to people who have made Canada a better place to live and the elimination of thousands of human beings who would have contributed to the future of Canada is a disgrace, not an honour.”
On the other hand, feminist and author Judy Rebick, says “Dr. Morganteler is a hero to millions of women in this country. He risked his life to struggle for women’s rights …. He’as a huge figure in Canadian history and the fact hs hasn’t got [the Order of Canada] till now is a scandal.”
Campaign Life is urging Order of Canada recipents to return their medals in protest?
Should they return their medals?
Or does Dr. Morganteler deserve this honour? Some Conservative MPs say he is too divisive. But should only noncontroversial “safe” Canadians be awarded this honour. It would seem to me such an honours list would be pretty anemic.
Why do you think there was such a large response when we first raised this issue last February?
A new poll from Ipsos Reid – the largest poll of its kind ever taken – reveals the Top 101 things Canadians say best define our country. Here are the top 10:
Universal Health Care
David Suzuki came in at 33, Tim Horton at 58 and Rene Levesque at 64.
Were you surprised Pierre Trudeau made it in the first 10?
However, on this Canada DayI am proposing an event that did not make the cut: the Iraq War and the fact our country (thanks to Jean Chretien) stayed out of it.
Opposition to the war is huge in Canada, where 82 per cent of respondents said the invasion was the wrong decision. In the United States 54 per cent of Americans say their country should never hav e become involved militarily in Iraq. Even more remarkable, 59 per cent of Americans surveyed applaud Canada’s decision to stay out of the conflict.
Peter Donolo of the Strategic Counsel says: “Among Americans, more people think it was a good decision for Canada not to participate than think the Iraq war was a mistake. It certainly hasn’t had the negative impact on attitudes toward us that some had expected.”
In your opinion was staying out of the Iraq war a signature Canadian decision?
What do you think best defines Canada?
Happy Canada Day.
By a vote of five to four the United States Supreme Court has barred Louisiana and five other states from executing child rapists.
Between 1930 and 1964, 455 people in the United States were put to death by the states for rapes of adults or children. Apparently none of the executed was a white man who raped a black woman or child.
Justice Samuel Alito, writing in dissent in favour of the death penalty for child-rape, wrote: “The harm that is caused to the victims and to society at large by the worst child rapists is grave…. With respect to the question of moral depravity, is it really true that every person who is convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death is more morally depraved than a child rapist?”
But it seems to me there are several problems to a policy of executing criminals for the rape of children. First, there is the potential for wrongful executions, given unreliable or induced testimony from children. Second, the child victims would often have been obliged to testify, in effect to bring about the death of a criminal who might also be a close relative. Third the death penalty would remove the rapist’s incentive not to kill his victim. And fourth, rape within families would be even less likely to be reported than it is now.
What is most disturbing here is the U.S. Supreme Court came within one vote of joining the brutality of state-sanctioned murder to the brutality of child rape?
Do you agree?
Did you know that in scores of countries around the world–including Thailand, where food markets are stocked with commercially raised water beetles and bamboo worms — bugs and insects have long been part of a well balanced meal?
Furthermore eating insects could be a far greener way to get protein than eating chicken, cows or pigs. With the global livestock sector responsible for 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and grain prices reaching record highs, cheap, envirornmentally low-impact insects could be the food of the future – provided people can stomach them.
Insects require little room and few resources to grow. For instance, it takes far less water to raise a third of a pound of grasshoppers (150 g.) than the staggering 869 gal. needed to produce th same amount of beef.
Incredibly efficient to raise, insects are also crawling packets of nutrition.
Some people are revolted by the alien appearance of insects, but then again lobster could hardly be described as cute andcuddly.
Consider the Waxworm spring salad. Cook waxworms as well as Queen Atta ants. If cooked correctly, what you get is crispy, meaty and flavourful.
Would you ever consider eating well-cooked insects?
What an experience.
We left for Unity, New Hampshire (1507 pop.) about 10:15 Thursday morning. We arrived in New Hampshire four hours later. We knew we needed tickets which we didn’t have. So first off, we checked into the two locations where cars were to be dropped off before taking a bus to Unity.
There were no tickets at either site. Then we checked in to a Best Western and asked the effervescent young woman on registration if she would try to get us tickets on the Internet. She would. Sadly,the answer was all the tickets for the buses were gone.
With hearts sinking we drove a few miles to Unity and stopped at the school where the outdoor event was to be held on Friday. Jim stayed in the care, I went inside the school. Finally, I got to speak to a young Obama supporter named Duncan. I t old him our story. Duncan was impressed we had bothered to drive so far. Then he gift wrapped a huge Christmas present six months early. He would put Jim and me on the list for VIP parking. I couldn’t believe it. In one stroke we finessed tickets, buses, the whole ball of wax.
Friday was a lovely, hot, sunny day. We arrived in the meadow behind the school about ten-thirty, early enough to get a seat. People continued to pour in for the next two hours. Local politicians brayed away. The most interesting was the popular former governor, Jeanne Shaheen, now running on the Democratic ticket against the incumbent Republican, John Sununu. I expect she will win.
The smiling crowds pouring in were happy, the air electric with anticipation. Only one incident marred the pleasant scene. A few yards down the fence from us there was some kind of scuffle. A state trooper ushered a fiftyish man wearing a T-shirt of the National Rifle Association off the site. I had no trouble with the T-shirt but the man’s face, scowling and suffused with anger, resembled nothing so much as a cracked sidewalk. The incident left an aroma of apprehension.
Promptly at 1:15 the music stopped, the cheers swelled and Hillary (in a robin-egg blue pantsuit) and Obama (in a white shirt, blue tie and no jacket) walked onto the stage.
Obama made it clear he needed Hillary (and Bill too); Hillary made it clear she was on board for the duration. The crowd roared their approval. It felt like a tide of change was flowing, that something historic had occurred. It felt good to be there.
Oh yes, as a parting gift, I got to shake the hand of the next President of the United States.