Friday, December 22, 2006

Are We Finally Getting It?

You might not know it, but I'm prone to bouts of excessive dewy-eyed optimism. If I put my rose coloured glasses on, it doesn't take me long to be totally convinced that everything is going to turn out exactly the way I want it to. You should know that because what I'm about to say is way out there.

I wonder are we (Muslims and Christians) finally starting to realize that people of faith have far more common interests than differences? Any sincere believer wants the ability to practice their faith and to share it in public. We're fortunate to live in a culture that was based on a fundamental right to practice your faith and express it publicly. Unfortunately there is a real threat to religious freedoms from secularists that wish to totally marginalize religion from the mainstream of our society. A recent example was when a judge in Ontario ruled that a Christmas tree could not be allowed in a courtroom. Hardly news given the battle going on in our culture.

The exciting thing is the reaction of Muslim leaders to the news:
"It's so stupid, I'm at a loss for words," said Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. . . ."If people are offended [by a Christmas tree], I'm glad they're offended," he added. "I think it indicates a serious mental disorder when people want to bring down other people's happiness."
This isn't the first time that Muslims and Christians in Canada have been able to cooperate when the cultural elites are actively working against common values. This fall religious leaders from several Christian denominations and representatives of the other major faiths united in support of traditional marriage.

So, and this is a stretch, if mainstream Muslim groups and Christian groups can work together against the anti-religious secularists in the west, this should protect religious freedoms here and facilitate the dialogue that Pope Benedict is beginning with Muslim leaders. This dialogue, by the way, is the best hope to disable Islamic terrorists; secularists by contrast show disdain for all people of faith, which will only continue to cause tension between Muslims and "the West."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Feeding the World

Poor Gwynne Dyer someone should tell him that the world is overpopulated and we're all going to die nonsense has been out of style for some time. Unfortunately he wrote a panic piece just two months ago:
We are still living off the proceeds of the Green Revolution, but that hit diminishing returns twenty years ago. Now we live in a finely balanced situation where world food supply just about meets demand, with noreserve to cover further population growth. But the population will grow anyway, and the world's existing grain supply for human consumption isbeing eroded by three different factors: meat, heat and biofuels.
Hmm. Obviously Mr Dyer has no connection to anyone actually involved in agriculture. Farmers have been struggling with low commodity prices for the better part of a decade because of over supply.

Agriculture Canada has just released a discussion paper on this topic. One interesting observation from this is, "Since the 1950s, global food production has increased 250%, outpacing a global population increase of 135% over the same period."

The US government still pays land owners not to grow crops on marginal land as a means to limit supply.

Finally the "Green Revolution," which introduced modern farming techniques to developing countries, may be dwarfed by the GMO revolution, where genetically modified crops can be designed specifically for biofuels or increased yields or other desirable traits. Human innovation has proven itself, feeding the world will not be a problem, with demographic trends in many countries on a massive downward spiral, the question is not will there be enough food, but will there be enough people.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm sad. The House of Commons voted not to protect marriage today. When former Prime Minister Paul Martin forced the issue on Canadians with an undemocratic vote, we had same sex marriage because of a lack of democracy. Today we have same sex marriage because of a lack of will. I'm especially disappointed in those MPs who voted down the motion in a misguided attempt to make the issue go away. Sorry, it won't just go away.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Canadian Politics Update

It looks like time to trade in my crystal ball. Stephan Dion is the new Liberal Leader, Bob Rae came in third. I haven't given up on Ted Morton in the Alberta Conservative's race, but at this point he's third.

Big Day in Canadian Politics

Christmas has come early for Canadian political junkies like me. Both the Federal Liberals and the Alberta Conservatives are holding leadership elections this weekend. I'm still confident Bob Rae will win the Liberal Leadership for pretty much the same reasons as I had back in September.

In the Alberta race, I just can't call it. It looks to be a two way race between the centrist former Provincial Finance Minister Jim Dinning and the eloquently conservative Ted Morton. Jim Dinning led slightly in the first round of voting, but hopefully his lead won't be enough to see him through.

Ontario Conservatives had a similar choice to make, when Mike Harris, the very successful premier who came to power using a clear and principled election document called the Common Sense Revolution. After successive majority governments, the party started to drift and it became clear that it was time for the premier to retire. Unfortunately Ontario Conservatives took the easy way out and voted for a 'centrist' former finance minister, Ernie Eves, who was a disaster as leader. The party was rightly booted from power and has been in opposition ever since.

I sincerely hope Alberta Conservatives learn from the past and rejuvenate their party with a man with fresh Conservative principles, like Ted Morton. Voting for Jim Dinning is doubly bad for those who want a conservative government; at first it will mean liberal government under a Conservative banner and later after a brutal election, liberal government under a Liberal banner. Alberta, Vote Morton.