Saturday, January 14, 2006

What's the New Pope Up To?

Interesting article in the local news today, reprinted from TheTelegraph from Rome.

According to the article, the Serengeti sunglass-loving, Prada shoe-wearing, new Pope loves to dress up in fur-lined things and disguises. According to Smirking Chimp, "
Even the 78-year-old Pope's normal reading glasses have been identified as Cartier's demi-lune Santos model. "Hmmm.....

Same Pope has been spotted three times in the last few weeks disguised as a priest and sneaking back to his private digs outside the Vatican walls, accompanied by his "One other smart and stylish accessory, his gorgeous [and very young] private secretary, Don Georg Gaenswein", who goes in with him and spends two hours or so hanging out. (photo from Papa Benedetto XVI, site in Italian).

I dunno man, but the last time I checked, guys who wear disguises, fur, Cartier and Prada, and sneak about late at night with other men, are usually up to stuff they're not exactly willing to make public.

It doesn't sound like bible study to me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bad, Bad English
This page is a collection of Bad English and poor grammar collected from mostly Canadian media sources. There's more at "Sunday, September 25th, 2005."
From a wire piece that ran in the Calgary Herald: "... a car that had went into the ditch...".

Oh seriously!!! Actually, either "...a car that went into the ditch..." or "... a car that had gone into the ditch...". "Had Went?" Please!

Of the same genre of error: "... I seen..."

Nope. Never. "I saw" or "I have seen." Never, "I seen." Never!

From numerous CBC radio personalities:
"What we're talking about here are issues...".

Nope. Not "are" because the "are" is referring to the "what," not the "issues."

The correct form: "What we're talking about is issues...".

"There's many," or "there's 14 of them."
Nope. "Many" and "14 of them" refer to more than one of something. "There are" many, or 14 of them. There is (or there's) one of them.

Alternatively, however, "There is a lot of them," because a lot is an entity. Like when you're at an auction and the auctioneer says "The starting price for this lot...". He/she is talking about a lot; one lot of something.

You also have to say "There are (there're) lots of them," because now you're referring to several lots, not just one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

About Universal Daycare.

Some guy on the radio today said that the Liberal Government had done nothing for his 5 year old daughter and 7 year old son because they hadn't had access to a government supported and run daycare system.

I have news for you, pal! YOU'RE supposed to be doing for your children, not the government.

There is a government run and supervised daycare system in Canada. It is called the prison system!

People really need to consider the reqirements of having kids before they have them. One of those requriements is that your kids need you. They do not need to be raised in an institution by strangers, nor do they need to be raised by the lady down the street. They need their mums and dads.

Yes there is room for occasional childcare. Moms and dads need it so they can stay sane.
Yes, it is good for kids to have social interaction in groups of other kids.
Yes, some people are absolutely in a position where they must access care for their kids on a daily basis -- these are usually single parents or people whose spouses/partners can't work.

Those situations should not be confused with "We both have to work to afford our lifestyle," if that lifestyle means having all the latest, coolest, most expensive stuff. That's not a lifestyle, that's a complete lack of self esteem.

Empathetic Parenting's website puts forth some interesting ideas on ways society induces guilt in parents.

Two points:

If you can't afford to have children, don't have them.

Understand the difference between WANT and NEED as it relates to being able to stay home and raise children and affording to have kids.

You NEED a safe, comfortable place to live. You do NOT need a $3000 per month mortgage or a 4000 square foot home, unless you have 20 children.

You probaby need a safe vehicle. You do NOT need two Lincoln Navigators or anything like those.

Your children and you need clothing. You do NOT need branded, high-end, designer duds. Believe me, your kids will not remember that, between birth and kindergarten, they weren't wearing the latest, most expensive fashions. Kids care about play dough and sandboxes, not labels.

Canadians have such a weird, skewed idea of what they need. If people would stop worrying about who around them has what, and if they would concentrate on what's important, they'd find pretty quickly that a LOT of what they think is NEED is nothing more than competitive consumerism. You won't be any nicer a person if you have the latest, shiniest BMW.

For the record, and speaking of clothing, Value Village and all those great consignment shops have tons of hardly worn kids clothing -- and adult stuff as well. Swallow your pride and save tons of cash.

As for labels, since when does any corporation have the right to use you or your kid as their billboard??? If they want to paste their labels on your kids, make sure they're paying for the space. They won't do that, you say? Then why are you buying their stuff anyway? It isn't like you NEED it.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Monday night’s vanilla debate was expectably disappointing, full of hot air and stuffy with rhetoric. But one issue debated stands out in its redundancy and that is the continued discussion of whether Quebec will or will not choose to separate.

That issue is nothing more than a political ping-pong ball, being essentially weightless and without significant mass. It can be violently battered about and can impact any of the players without ever doing any significant damage.

I have lived in Quebec, am fluently bilingual and speak unaccented French. I lived in Montreal during the Oui-Non campaign and passed myself off as une Quebecoise for the entire two and a half years I lived in the province.

I am absolutely sympathetic to why the Quebecois are so disenfranchised, the reasons for which became patently obvious in very short order while I was there.

The reality is that a referendum on separation will not succeed in Quebec now or at any time in the future for three reasons.

One is a question of simple demographics. The majority of people of voting age in Quebec have children, jobs and a mortgage, all of which require continued economic stability.

Secondly, there is a large First Nations population in Quebec that enjoys significant benefits by being part of Canada. What's more, with Oka and other skirmishes as examples, it is not likely that members of First Nations would fare well in a sovereign Quebec.

Finally, there is a large immigrant population in Quebec, as lamented by Jacques Parizeau at the last referendum. Those people came to Canada the country, not to Quebec the potential nation.

Without anything to export other than a distinct culture and language and really excellent food, which amount to the groundwork for an excellent tourist trade, Quebec cannot survive as a country on its own.

Even the vocal separatist minority in Quebec must agree that if being part of a multicultural Canada poses problems, being assimilated into the great U.S. melting pot would be the death of the culture and language entirely.

That assimilation, however undesirable, would be inevitable baring a lot of crow-eating in the vein of “Please let us come home.”

What is more worthy of debate is why a provincial party that does not want to lead the country and fields no candidates outside its provincial boundaries, despite French communities across the country, is even participating in a national election.

The questions that should be asked are “Mr. Duceppe, why is your party even participating in a national election?” and “Why are we still talking about this?”

Monday’s debate left Canadians with nothing more on their hands than the stink of a rotting red herring.

Issues in the news

I was going to post something about this move for reparations regarding the hated head tax. Before I do so, I'd like to know what people's opinions are on the subject.

To very briefly quanitfy what I think, I am apalled that such an awful episode in Canadian history should be reduced to money.

I'd love your comments.