Archive for December 2006

MOVIES

December 28, 2006

It’s that time  again.   The best movies of the year.  I put the Queen at the top with the incomparable acting of Helen Mirren.  She surely is headed for an oscar.  So is the guy who played Truman Capote in the first version.  And don’t forget “Bobbie” an excellent reprise of the contribution made by Bobby Kennedy.   Best action film-Flight 93.  Can you add any to our list? 

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SADDAM HUSSEIN

December 26, 2006

If the current verdict is carried out, Saddam Hussein will soon be hanged by the neck until he is dead.  There are many reasons why this sentence should be commuted to life in prison. There are many questions about how fair his trial was and how politicized it was.  How will another act of violence by state murder help to end the violence in Iraq?  Iraq must change and rejecting Saddam’s murder would be a good place to start.  Let Iraq’s future be based on due process andf equal protection of the law, not the crack of a hangman’s rope.

CHRISTMAS

December 23, 2006

As Christmas approaches, the thought occurs it has not been a sterling year for many of the world’s rulers.  Three years ago George Bush began a disastrous pre-emptive war against Iraq.  He now says it is up to the Iraqis to sort out the mess themselves.   Tony Blair backed Bush to the hilt on his (Blair’s) understanding that Bush would get serious about the Palestinian problem.  Bush didn’t.  The Pope insulted the Muslim world, then blamed them for getting upset.   Harper promised he wouldn’t touch income trusts, then over night wrecked them.   Michael Ignatieff thought a foreign academic pedigree was enough. It wasn’t.  Charest started to turn things around but is it too late?  Maybe not. Boisclair is the Liberal leader’s strongest card.  Let’s hope next year is better.

        My wife and I are off on the train this morning for Christmas with family in Kingston. Back here on Tuesday at the old stand.  

         Here’s wishing you all a happy holiday season.   Cheers.  Neil

THE DUPLESSIS ORPHANS

December 22, 2006

The Quebec government has just given $15,000 to each of the 1700 adult orphans still alive who were abused physically and emotionally mostly by priests and nuns of the Catholic church simpy because the orphans were illegitimate.   The orphans were cruelly treated as little more than indentured slaves.  Many of them still feel that the Catholic church was primarily responsible for their daily sufferring.

             Isn’t it time for the church to make some compensation or at the very least make an official apology for the sins committed on these helpless children?  So far as I am aware such an apology has been refused time after time by curch authorities.  Why? 

TUBAL LIGATION

December 21, 2006

Two doctors have resigned from a Saskatchewan Catholic hospital because Catholic bishops have forebidden the hospital to perform tubal ligations for contraceptive purposes.  The point is not whether the bishops have the right to do this.  They do.  The point is that this is a publicly funded hospital.  Should taxpayers have to support a moral position with which they do not necessarily agree?

THE MAPLE LEAF

December 20, 2006

A  group of Canadian hockey players visited an army base in New Brunswick. The army gave them a Canadian flag to sign before it was  sent as a gesture of suport for the soldiers in Afghanistan.  One player told his teammates he would only sign his name on a Quebec flag, not a Canadian one.  He is now being threatened with dismissal from his team..  But could you not argue the point this young player was trying to make is the same point Canada’s soldiers are defending and fighting for in Afghanistan?

CHRIST FOR MANY

December 19, 2006

Up until now Catholic priests prayed at Mass that Christ gave his blood for “all”.  Now an order has come from Rome that “all” is to be changed to “many”.   Cardinal Arinze explains the reason for the change is to emphasize that salvation is not automatic.  Which begs the questions who are excluded and by what criteria?

ANGLICANS

December 18, 2006

The Anglican (Episcopalian) church in the U.S.  has begun to split up over the issue of gay relationships.  (The same thing could soon happen with an Anglican Diocese in British Columbia.)  The breakaway groups in the U.S. have now placed themselves under an African bishop who calls the growing acceptance of gay relationships “a satanic attack on the church.” Does it make any sense to break up a church over the  interpretation of ancient bible texts whose meaning was never clear in the first place and whose content has been changed by many modern sciences such as psychology?

CONCERT HALL

December 17, 2006

During this past week the Quebec government made two announcements:  2000 hospital beds are being closed to save money;  plans are beginning to build a concert hall near Place des Arts to cost $105 million.  Do two projects of this nature make any sense in humane terms?

FEDERAL ELECTION

December 15, 2006

Duceppe says he will defeat the Harper government on the Afghanistan policy. So does Jack Layton. Dion says he will defeat the government on the budget.  If any of these things comes to pass we will have a winter election in March.  A federal election costs about 300 million bucks.  Do we need an election that soon?  Would the results be much different than they are now?