Friday, March 28, 2008

Watch What you Eat

It happens to me every Easter season, I bite into something that looks a lot like chocolate and I need to spit it out immediately. I've learned the lesson again this year:

'Chocolate' or 'Chocolaty' Confection is not Chocolate!

I don't know what the difference is. My suspicion is that Chocolate is made by companies like Hershey, Neilson, and Cadbury, while chocolate confection is made by companies like Lux, and Palmolive.

From what I understand the key ingredient is cocoa butter rather than cheap vegetable oil. Look for it. If you're going to eat something that's not that good for you, it should at least taste good.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Canadian Diplomacy Pays Off

Back in January I wrote about John Manley's report on Afghanistan. It was brilliant in that it outlined why the mission is important, and why Canada should continue to fight the mission. One of my friends in the Military said the report should be required reading for every Canadian.

A key recommendation in the report was that Canada should give other NATO countries an ultimatum that Canada would withdrawal our troops unless an additional 1,000 fighting soldiers were committed to the Kandahar region. Looks like it's working. France is likely to commit 1,000 additional soldiers to Afghanistan next month. The Times article states:

The Ministry of Defence has made a working assumption that President Sarkozy will announce a deployment of “slightly more than 1,000 troops to the eastern region”, one said.

The deployment would deliver a significant fillip to the military operation in Afghanistan, ensuring that other countries such as Canada remain engaged. It would also provide concrete evidence that France was keen to forge a new relationship with NATO. . .

President Sarkozy is said to be still deciding whether the extra troops should be sent to the south to fight alongside the Canadians or east to the border with Pakistan. In the latter scenario, the presence of French troops would allow the US troops currently policing the border to be sent south.

This is how diplomacy works. Canada has been pulling more than its weight in Afghanistan, and it has re-earned credibility on the international stage. As a result, Canada has made a very reasonable demand of it's allies and they are responding. Now more than ever we should support the mission and help Afghanistan recover from the years of Taliban rule that have ravaged the country.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rick Mercer Skewers Human Rights Commissions

Rick Mercer has some fun blasting Ezra Levant while standing up for our right to free speech. It's 2 minutes and 19 seconds well spent. Go to the Mercer Report Website, select Season 5, Episode 18, and hit Rick's Rant. (Be warned there's a lot of good material on the site, so you'll want to come back later for more. I honestly just discovered the website, I'll likely check it out every week!)

In his Rant, Mercer explains how the publisher of the Western Standard has spent 2 years and $100,000 defending himself from a complaint brought against him for republishing cartoons of the prophet Mohammad. He called the Western Standard a 'nutty magazine,' but he drove to the heart of the matter saying: "Hey, it's a free country, or it used to be. Since then he's spent over a $100,000 defending his right to republish the cartoons. . . . If we're not careful, if we force the Ezra's of the world to shut up, our freedom of speech could be next."

Rick Mercer gets it. The Human Rights Commissions in Canada are the greatest threat to Human Rights in Canada. ~ More on this later.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stations of the Cross

Don't miss what could be your last chance this Lent to take in the Stations of the Cross at your local Catholic Church. Many parishes hold the Stations on Fridays in Lent, but you'll want to check your nearby parishes to confirm the details.

I'll confess, before I was Catholic, I had only heard of the Stations of the cross once. It was at a university christian club meeting when an evangelical friend of mine said she was going to stations of the with one of her Catholic friends. She had a relatively positive impression of them, and we left it at that.

The next time I encountered the stations I was well on the way to becoming Catholic. I went with my future in-laws to the Martyrs' Shrine in Midland, Ontario. We walked by 14 large (almost life size) statues of Jesus in many of the events of his suffering and death on the cross. We said a short prayer at each station as we reflected on each part of His passion.

Since then it has become one of my favourite Catholic devotions. It's a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge your sins before Christ, and to get a real sense of just what Jesus went through to grant us forgiveness. When we last went to the Stations at our Parish, a sweet lady came up to us and told us how she gets chills every time she comes to stations. I know what she means, many of the reflections are so descriptive, you can almost feel the cross pushing down on your shoulder.

I found out recently, that Christians have been praying these prayers and reflections since the 12th century. Maybe this Lent is a time to find out what you've been missing . . . If you don't have time to get to a church, you can always pray the prayers on your own. You can find a version attributed to St. Francis of Assisi here.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bill C 484 Unborn Victims of Crime

Bill C 484 Unborn Victims of Crime Act is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday. The bill may seem controversial because it acknowledges the value of an unborn child. However, the bill is not about abortion; it’s about protecting women and protecting society’s most vulnerable.

As I understand it, the bill simply ensures that if someone assaults a pregnant woman and harms the unborn child, the offender would be charged with two crimes, 1 for harming the mother, the other for harming the child. This is entirely logical as young women and their children are vulnerable targets from (ex) boyfriends, lovers or husbands who may try to harm the young woman and kill her child over a fear of becoming a father. If this seems far fetched, a simple google news search yielded the recent stories of Tyrone Vesperas, Gil Magira, and Gerard Baker.

Tyrone is a Hawaiian man who allegedly stabbed his son, Tyran, 14, to death as Tyran stepped in to protect his pregnant mother, who was also stabbed. Her unborn child later died.

Gil is a British man, who was terrified of becoming a father and was jailed last week for putting abortion tablets into his pregnant wife's food. Gil Magira crushed the pills into a sandwich which he fed to his wife when she had refused to have an abortion voluntarily after becoming pregnant in November 2006. His wife, Anat Abraham, 38 at the time, felt unwell and went to hospital but the baby survived. The following morning Magira put more pills, which he had bought on the internet "at considerable expense" into her breakfast cereal and yoghurt. Unfortunately, this time Gil succeeded.

Gerard Baker, is a Canadian who killed Olivia Talbot and her unborn child by shooting Olivia 3 times in order to "get rid of the baby."

There are already 37 US states that have similar laws. Such crimes are simply so deplorable that our country must have laws to reflect the gravity of the crime. I trust that women's groups and Members of Parliament will support this measure as a means to increase protection for young women, and their wanted children.

UPDATE: The bill passed second reading and is being sent to committee. My MP Michael Chong was among the MPs who supported the bill.