Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
But, racism is not unique to the USA. It is part of the human condition. I live in a community that has large ethnic groups that have immigrated to our country in the last two generations. As I examine my own attitude, I find that my thinking is probably not that different from other's. I suspect that what most call racism is not exactly what the true definition would call for. Racism is believing that some races are superior to others, meaning that discrimination and bad treatment would be based strictly on colour of skin or race. I am sure there is some of that, but when the rest of us have bad feelings toward our neighbours of East Asian descent, it is not a problem with their race, but more of a problem with their culture. Is this as bad as racism? I do not think so.
Every country has developed a culture based on the races of people that have inhabited it. A culture develops with time and eventually an accepted norm surfaces, and all are either comfortable with it or simply give in to it. But recently, as the world has become a global village, there is a mixing of races and more importantly a mixing of cultures. Mixing cultures will naturally clash because the accepted behaviour and even moralities will be different. Each will think they are right because that is how they were raised. So, we live side by side, expecting each other to accept those behaviours that are considered normal. But, we cannot or will not bend our ways and soon we are making generalizations and saying things like, "They are all the same." That is not true. Each person has to be judged on his or her own merits, in all aspects of life. If we do this, racism, or even 'culturalism' will not factor into our relationship with them. We are all made in the image of God, therefore, there must be a whole lot of common ground between us, if we but look for it.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
On a different note. Yesterday I was reading through the details of the budget that was tabled in the House of Commons only hours before. I read the section on tax credits for home renovations and repairs and commented to Lis that is the part of the stimulation package that I would probably benefit from the most. It basically states that anybody can do any kind of home repair/upgrade, apart from regular maintainance, and submit the receipts to get a tax credit for up to $10,000.00 worth of spending, The tax credit would then be 15% of what you spent over $1000.00. Ten minutes later the phone rang and someonse wanted to book me for this benefit. I just confirmed that job this morning so the incentive is already working!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
• Artery - The study of paintings.
• Bacteria - Back door to cafeteria.
• Barium - What doctors do when patients die
• Cesarean Section - A neighbourhood in Rome
• Catscan - Searching for Kitty.
• Cauterize - Made eye contact with her.
• Colic - A sheep dog.
• Coma - A punctuation mark.
• Dilate - To live long.
• Enema - Not a friend.
• Fester - Quicker than someone else.
• Labour Pain - Getting hurt at work.
• Medical Staff - A Doctor's cane.
• Morbid - A higher offer.
• Nitrates - Cheaper than day rates.
• Pelvis - Second cousin to Elvis.
• Seizure - Roman emperor.
• Tablet - A small table.
• Terminal Illness - Getting sick at the airport.
• Tumour - One plus one more.
• Urine - Opposite of you're out
These medical terms have nothing to do with the frost pictures, but it is better that the rant I had planned against Obama. Maybe another day.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Three comments I remember: A young woman said, "It is so wonderful! Everyone will get to live in a more socialistic society now. It will be better for everyone."
Another one was by a young man who said, " It is wonderful that America has its first African American President. Maybe some day Canada can have its first African American Prime Minister"
The third was by an articulate and attractive young woman who said, " Now there is a black president, and next there will be a woman President"
Friends, these are the future leaders, or maybe, hopefully, just voters, of our country. If the wishes all come true, Canada will have a black female Prime Minister who is a socialist. Before you shake your head or laugh (or cry), we are already there. Consider this. Michealle Jean is our true head of state as we are a Constitutional Monarchy, and she is the Queen's representative, who our Prime Minister is ultimately responsible to. She is black and she is a socialist.
We beat the Americans to the punch. :)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I was left with several very strong impressions, but remember, I am a Canadian and as such, am looking in from the outside.
1. The new President comes across as being confident, cool, and self assured. He was mis-cued on his oath, but it didn't phase him a bit. Shame on the justice for screwing it up.
2. His speech was articulate, and I suppose, to Americans, inspiring. There were huge expectations for him to top some of the other famous presidential speeches of the past.
3. There were shades of Martin Luther King there in abundance. There were many references in the ceremony, and his speech, to remind us all that he is the first African-American president and equality has come a long ways.
4. It was made abundantly clear that America is still a Christian Nation, if calling on God was any indication. I find it strange that there are prayers and supplications for God's protection and guidance for America, and yet there is a concerted effort to rid the nation of God and all things Christian. (not at the inauguration, but in general)
5. His speech was at times taken out of the "Miss America Manual for All Inclusive Speech Writing". Let's see, there was equality for all, an end to war, an end to poverty, an end to global warming, a warning to enemies, and a bit of love spread all around for good measure. Not that any of these is bad. But for goodness sakes, the expectations are high enough, why raise them even higher?
What a job he has ahead of him! I wish him success, but can someone tell me how he can turn the situation around that is portrayed in "I.O.U.S.A.? http://www.iousathemovie.com/
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
You can see it here. http://www.iousathemovie.com/
Monday, January 19, 2009
I wonder if that is the same one we had in the late fifties, early sixties. It certainly looks similar. Every home had one and the great height was required because we lived 75 miles from the only broadcaster, of the one and only station, which was in Saskatoon. These antennae also acted as great lightening rods, provided they were properly grounded. Ours was. We were hit, because, remember, we lived on a hill. When the storms approached, we unplugged all the appliances and just waited for the big explosion. It was more like a big bang and never did any damage.
In those early days of TV (black and white only) the broadcasts did not start until mid afternoon so the rest of the time we sat and watched the test pattern. This image is indelibly imprinted on my mind and was actually the inspiration for a sweater my mother knit for me when I was a little kid. It had a tomahawk wielding Indian on the front of it. Today we have HD, 200 channels on 24/7, and brilliant colour and strangely enough a lot of it is not much better than staring at the test pattern.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The small window to the left of the front door was my room. I threw a baseball through that window one time and it cost many weeks of delivering newspapers.
We too had a patch of potatoes in our front yard, but much smaller.
We were on the only hill in town and kids from all over would come to 'ski' down our driveway. As you can see, it was no Olympic event.
We had a rarity in town, indoor plumbing.
Also, immediately behind our hose was the Hospital, no longer there. This came in very handy for our family as my mother could cook and clean right up until the last contraction before dashing next door to deliver the latest baby.
In 2001 we visited once more and the small trees in the front were giant, so much so that I could not recognize the place until we were in front of it.
My dad paid $6.00 for the lot and the total cost of construction, by one man, was $2500 for all labour and materials. One had to be 'rich' to be able to do that back then, so we got the reputation as the "Rich family on the hill!"
How the mighty have fallen! :)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
There was a time, many years ago, that I had the opportunity to leisurely observe these birds in the wild. I was laying face up on a large flat rock in the middle of a lake, in the middle of nowhere. Above me towered a 3000 ft. granite faced cliff, angled toward the south and facing the sun. It was a cool summer's day, but I knew the rock face was attracting heat because there was a pair of Eagles riding the thermal up-drafts. They would cruise higher and higher until they reached the summit of the cliff and then on cue would lock talons and come tumbling down through the air, seeming to twist and roll out of control. Then, half way down, they would suddenly unlock, spread their massive wings, and glide to the nearest thermal for the elevator ride back up. It was thrilling to watch two wild creatures, just having fun and enjoying each others company, all the while never flapping a wing or exerting any effort. It was a Wilbur and Orville moment for me.
The word bailout has become part of every one's vocabulary in the last few months. Its origins are in the world of boating and speaks of removing something that should not be there, namely the water that is sinking the boat. But today it has become a fiscal strategy to put something into a business when it is sinking, namely money. Businesses can fail for a variety of reasons, as they can succeed for a variety of reasons. If a business is under-capitalized in a growing economy, an infusion of cash via share offerings or a line of credit with a bank would be a good strategy. This is not generally done by government because it is not the role of government in a free market society. The main reasons why a business fails are because of poor management, over leveraging (high debt), or a dried up market. The first two reasons can be dealt with and rectified. The third is a little tricky because there are various reasons why a market dries up. If you have a product or service that the public no longer requires, needs or wants, you are in trouble. If it IS a product or service that is needed, but people are holding back on spending, there is not much you can do except to weather it out and hope money will be freed up in the future and your business will pick up.
We have governments on both sides of the border bailing out businesses that should be allowed to go 'under'. For example, if nobody is buying new cars anymore, how is throwing billions at the auto industry going to improve business. In our province, the lumber industry is big but it is in the dumps right now because nobody is buying lumber because nobody is building houses, because nobody is buying houses because the prices are falling and those in the market are waiting for the best deal. How is throwing money at the lumber industry going to save it?
If bailouts are about saving businesses, it is doomed to failure. If bailouts are about keeping people afloat financially, why not give the money directly to the people? In a free market economy, business has the opportunity to both succeed or fail. When it succeeds it does not want to be penalized. It should neither want help when it does not succeed. If the opportunity to fail does not accompany the opportunity succeed, then government intervention is nothing but welfare for the rich. Our nations are willing to mortgage the future generations with massive debts instead of letting the market run its natural course and weed out the businesses that do poorly in hard economic times. This always get rectified with time. It is a bitter pill to swallow, but the medicine tastes terrible and works quickly. The way things are going now, the poor patient is on life support and will be for many years to come.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Since we registered on our national DNCL (telephone Do Not Call List) the number of calls soliciting for various things has not dropped at all. The rules state that if a company had a relationship with you in the past, they could bypass the list and call you. Also, charities and political parties are exempt. These exceptions are now becoming the rule. Any bank, car dealership, credit card company and charity I have ever dealt with is calling me more than ever. But I discovered something. These entities also have 'do not call ' lists that you can be put on by request. So now I politely ask if I can be put on their list. They have been, as a rule, very obliging about it and the calls are now on the decrease. Of course, in some cases, it is not wise to cut off the relationship. I still want my bank to notify me when the NSF cheques arrive. :-)
Monday, January 12, 2009
I have been doing some reading concerning the Hamas/Israeli conflict in Gaza. The beauty of the Internet is that one can access sources of information other than mainstream media.
There is a reason that, generally speaking, world opinion is not on Israel's side. I think that there is a concerted effort on Israel's part to get more information out to the public that defends their position and could turn the tide of that opinion. There are some things that you will not hear well publicised regarding the current conflict, but could influence one's thinking about the situation.
The Hamas, a militant faction that has taken over Gaza from the Palestinian Authority, knows for a certainty that they cannot win a fighting war with Israel. Their strategy, therefore, is to garner sympathy for their cause and turn public opinion against the Israeli's. That people around the world fall for this, as demonstrated by the well supported protests held by pro Arab rallies around the world, is quite remarkable. The Hamas are a recognised terrorist organisation and yet they get public support even here in North America.
Their favourite method for discrediting Israel is to flaunt the civilian casualties via world wide media. You will rarely if ever hear why there are civilian casualties in the first place. You will rarely if ever hear that Israel sent thousands of text messages and emails and cell phone calls to people all over Gaza, days before the air strikes, warning of impending attacks. You will rarely if ever hear about the tons of leaflets dropped from planes warning people of Gaza to remove themselves from any proximity to any Hamas terrorists or their strong holds. You will rarely if ever hear about how Muslim Mosques were storehouses for weapons and munitions and not houses for prayer. You will rarely if ever hear about the truckloads of food, medicine and water that Israel is sending into Gaza as she suffers for the sins of its terrorist leaders. You will rarely if ever hear how the school that was struck by Israeli fighter planes was loaded with explosives, and Hamas soldiers sent to the rooftop to fire rockets, thereby enticing attacks. The resultant damage and death was a macabre and cruel trick both on the Israeli's, the citizens of Gaza, and on world opinion.
Israel has been bombarded continually with rocket from within Gaza, putting fear and terror into the hearts of all living within range. Israel is putting a stop to it now. It is destroying the tunnels that run under the Egyptian/Gaza border, whose purpose it is to smuggle arms and munitions, it is targeting the Hamas leadership, and it is temporarily occupying the land from which the rockets are being fired. A Nation has the right to defend itself.
I read one every interesting analogy: Imagine a renegade northern province of Mexico defying the national authority of the Mexican government. They smuggle in arms and munitions from Cuba and Nicaragua. Then they demand from the USA that all lands taken from the Mexicans in the past, (California, Texas, and New Mexico) be returned. The USA does not give in to their demands so they begin to lob mortars and rockets into those three states, occasionally hitting shopping malls, schools and private homes. Each time there is "incoming", the US citizens would get 15 seconds of "RED ALERT" warnings. Everyday would be a day of fear and uncertainty. Do you think for one minute that the USA would stand by and allow this to continue? I think not.
The bottom line here is that when fanatics and radicals take over a government, they are not concerned with what the ordinary citizenry wants. I believe the average Palestinian wants peace and security. They want work and safety. They do not want themselves or their children to be killed or maimed. They are also afraid to speak out. Because the ultimate goal of the radical Muslim movement is the total annihilation of the all Jews, this conflict will continue in spite of the wishes of the average mom and dad and grandparent in those nations. I give so much credit to a young Arab girl in Gaza who lost her 4 year old sister in a bomb blast only days ago. She spoke the words that all of her people should have the courage to say. She said, "Hamas is responsible for all of this. They are responsible for all this war."
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
That was free medical advice and worth about the same amount of money. I know of several nurses who read this blog and if they are not laughing too hard right now, they can throw darts via the comments tool on this blog.