Sunday, June 29, 2008

Disturbing information about vaccinations

All Canadians need to be aware.
Action Alert June 27, 2008

CFAC supporters in Alberta, Here is some disturbing information about vaccinations. Especially the "new"wonder cure for cervical cancer - Gardasil. Read the red highlights, but this is only one of many stories about the dangers of, as reported, this mercury contaminated Merck drug that all young Canadian girls will be encouraged to take ( some places mandated to take).

The matter that parents must sign a consent form does not negate or lessen the matter of negligence the government federal and provincial (who approved this Gardasil drug), the doctors who have been in media telling how safe it is and the school administration that provide it if cases of serious or fatal reaction occur. Mercury was removed from some vaccines due to the serious illnesses they caused. Why does this contain mercury with all the evidence available as to its toxic dangers. The original source of the mercury report was a Dr. Mercola and some researchers.

I have asked you before, but if you hear of serious side effects, and perhaps even deaths related to the use of Gardasil please call us or forward to CFAC, the information. Here is the latest article below to help YOU be informed when the "consent" form arrives with your nine year old daughter ( and soon all your young daughters). If there is NO warning or mention of risks - with facts - in the information sent to you by the school we would also like to know.

Sincerely concerned, Brian Rushfeldt Canada Family Action Coalition

Rebel Scientist Battles Dangerous Vaccines and Antibiotics Dr. Shiv Chopra, as a vaccine and drug regulator for Health Canada fornearly forty years, evaluated every red-hot topic in public health. He tried, sometimes successfully, to protect the public from ineffective and harmful vaccines, genetically modified foods, pesticides, carcinogenic antibiotics and hormones used in food-producing animals, and agricultural practices that promote Mad Cow Disease.

Unsurprisingly, he was fired from Health Canada in 2004 for "insubordination" -- in other words, refusing to bow to corporate and government pressure to give a pass to unsafe substances. Dr. Chopra has now written a book, Corrupt to the Core, about his decades of struggle to have the law recognized as being above political policy.

Chopra observes that despite vaccinations, some childhood diseases are appearing with increasing frequency in the very populations that have been vaccinated for several generations. He finds it alarming that "the list of vaccines being administered to young children has been enlarged to include many more viral and bacterial infections with little or no scientific rationale."

The U.S. Center for Disease Control continues to argue that 36,000 people die annually of the flu, even though available statistics show that the true number is less than 100. Meanwhile, current research has shown that merely increasing vitamin D levels reduces the incidence of the flu by more than 70 percent.

Vaccination programs whose scientific basis is so flawed as to border on the absurd include Tamiflu, which has been discontinued in Japan because of so many deaths from sudden serious psychiatric disorders, and Gardasil, which during the first year of its use has resulted in more than 3,500 adverse events, more than any vaccine in history. Gardasil contains a whopping 675 micrograms of toxic aluminum, and one of the scientists who developed it, Diane M. Harper, warned that the vaccine had never been tested on young girls before it was released for widespread use by them.

Perhaps the worst is MMR, which supposedly provides immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. More than 4,900 U.S. families have filed lawsuits after their children became autistic within days of getting this shot.

A second area of concern in Dr. Chopra's career was bacterial antibiotic resistance, which is wholly avoidable and caused solely by use of antibiotics in food-producing animals and the reckless over-prescribing habits of doctors. There are currently entire classes of antibiotics that should not even be on the market; Dr. Chopra fought vigorously and unsuccessfully to keep Baytril and Revelor-H off the market. They were finally banned more than a decade after his warnings because of the undeniable harm they caused.

Sources: Vitality Magazine April 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Desert Storm

Have been writing a novel for the past oh, 3, 4 or maybe it's 5 now, years. I don't write with everything all planned out ahead of time. I have an idea, in this case it was a dream that inspired me, and I get a general idea of what may happen. I say what may happen because as with real life, sometimes things change.

This story seemed almost to write itself. I think having this blog has helped me enormously with my writing, not only because I have gone back and taken stuff from it, but also just because I am constantly writing, and the more you write, the better you get.

I say the story writes itself, but not because it suddenly all came to me. It comes to me in bits and pieces. The characters take on a life of their own. It almost seems as though they and not I write the story. Certain characters are definitely not doing what I expected them to originally. When I started writing, I did not foresee three parts to the novel, that just happened.

I enjoy writing, but don't have a lot of time for it. If I had more quality time, I imagine the book would be done by now. However, on the other hand, the story might not have taken the same turns. I like how it is turning out. I am almost done. Just working on the last bit. Perhaps this time next year, I'll have a whole story and will only have to work on taking out kinks and correcting bits and pieces here and there. Let's cross our fingers. And after that, the next challenge will be to find a publisher. But I am confident. If my father did it, why can't I? I am his daughter after all.

Here is the beginning of my story, which is essentially what I dreamt before I woke up, and which is what inspired the beginning of the whole thing.

The terrace of my parents' house sits on the edge of a cliff. Some 50 metres below is a long stretch of sand running from east to west. Once, thousands of years ago, a large river probably ran through here, but it dried up long ago. At the edge of the cliff, the city stops. To the North, on the other side of the Passage, as we call the dried up riverbed, lie sand dunes. Every year, foolhardy people get lost in those inhospitable hills. To the south, on the other side of the city, lies the Ma'hra-deh mountain chain. The mountains stretch from East to West and from the terrace, they are visible, beyond the east end of the city, rising up dark and forbidding, they are just as dry as the hills to the north. The mountains border the Passage to the south after the city and the hills to the north.

A steep staircase leads down to the passage from the terrace, as is the case with all the properties situated on the edge.

On that fateful day that was to be my wedding to Asur, I was standing at the edge of the terrace, looking down at the Passage. The Passage was particularly busy that day, with people passing by on the backs of camels. It seemed that everyone was in a hurry, they were all running.

Niños esperan respuestas bajo la lluvia y ante el frío

ABC Color - Cecilia Medina

El calor de un hogar no es el entorno para muchos niños y niñas, que pasan sus días en medio de los riesgos de la calle, bajo la lluvia y con frío. Así como su realidad es heterogénea, requiere de respuestas específicas.

Ayer fue un día especial para quedarse en casa, guarecidos entre el amor de mamá y papá, ante al calor de la estufa, al menos de la cocina, o tal vez del brasero, con una taza de rico cocido caliente con leche y galletas. O bueno, para ir a la escuela, y como generalmente acuden menos chicos, a causa de la lluvia, para hacer grupos de lectura, ver alguna película y analizarla, o realizar actividades de esparcimiento dentro del aula, entretenidas y educativas. A pesar de ello, esa no fue, ni es, la realidad de numerosos niños y niñas, que por diversos motivos se encuentran en las calles en situación de riesgo, ante circunstancias muy diversas. Mientras lo ideal hubiera sido que estén protegidos y a salvo, muchos niños, niñas y adolescentes vivieron ayer –y gran parte de su vida– la lluvia, el frío y la dura exclusión social.

leer más...

Monday, June 23, 2008

In which I complain profusely for no reason

I know I have a few pounds to lose, but I'm not really all that overweight. If you look at my face, my shoulders, my arms, my legs... I'm really not overweight at all. But then why do I look like I have the belly of a woman 4-5 months pregnant (depending on whether it's her first or a consecutive pregnancy)? Is this the curse of the mother who has had more than two or three children, to look like she is perpetually pregnant, even when she is not?

How does one get one's uterus to go back to it's original resting place, and one's skin to smooth out and lose the deflated balloon look? Oh, I suppose bloating and gas and constipation don't help either. But as long as I am still breastfeeding, there isn't much I can do about any of that. So why is it that I have cut back enormously on deserts and sugar and pop and junk food in the past 6 or 7 years, that I play soccer twice a week, that I go jogging every once in awhile, that I am also active in other ways, such as skating in winter and swimming in summer, and I STILL have the same 10 pounds to lose? How can one have boney shoulders, slim legs and a jelly belly?

Oh, and while I am ranting and raving, what happened to my hair? I know I have fine hair and not a lot of it, but it seems to me that just a few years ago, I was able to fix it into a fuller chignon than that. What I have left is pitiful. I hope that's only because it's very layered now, because I am not quite ready yet for the short, permed style older ladies wear. Not that it wouldn't look good on me, in 40 years.

Growing old...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The dark

Nicky got up in the middle of the night last night (as he does every night, and I wonder why I am still lethargic?), so I put him back to bed. He crawled into his bed and made room for me to lie down beside him.

Nicky: Dark. Eat fish. Night.
Me: The dark eats fish at night?
Nicky: Yup.

This dark eats a lot of things. I never have to worry about Nicolas running outside at night, because the dark might eat him. A month or two ago he was specifically worried that the dark would eat his penis. (What can I say, he is two, the anal stage.)

I think of all my kids he is the one that has the most imagination at this age, although Gabriel came pretty close. I think I may just have to write a little story some day about "the dark". All this and he hasn't even read the book "The dark is rising" by Susan Cooper yet.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Bible citation costs couple jobs, home
Apartment managers evicted, fired for being 'too religious'
Posted: June 20, 20084:57 pm Eastern© 2008 WorldNetDaily

For eight years Daniel and Sharon Dixon, apartment managers in Lake City, Fla., displayed in the apartment complex's management office a stained glass depiction of flowers with the words "Consider the lilies … Matthew 6:28" written in the lower left corner – an act for which they were suddenly fired from their management jobs and evicted from their apartment.

Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom that is representing the Dixons, told WND that neither before nor after the incident were the Dixons charged with any wrongdoing other than protesting the removal of the artwork and loss of their jobs.

"They were suddenly terminated as a result of the religious bigotry of one supervisor," Staver said in a press release. "The Dixons lost their jobs and were booted out on the street, solely because artwork in their office made reference to the Bible."

The Dixons managed and provided maintenance for the Thornwood Terrace Apartments, a government-subsidized complex owned and operated by the Hallmark Companies and Hallmark Management. The couple was permitted to live in the complex as part of their compensation.

Last September a regional manager for Hallmark, Christina Saunders, visited the complex in anticipation of a government inspection and saw the glass artwork. According to a Liberty Counsel release, Saunders asked Sharon if the words on the artwork referenced the Bible. After Sharon confirmed they did, Saunders instructed her to take it down.

Sharon replied that she needed to consult her husband and co-manager, Daniel, and left the office to find him.

When the couple returned, Saunders had already removed the artwork, entered the Dixons' apartment without their permission and deposited the artwork there. According to the press release, she then said Sharon and Daniel were "too religious," fired them and demanded they vacate their apartment within 72 hours.

Continue reading here

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nicky's version of "Hey Jude"

Nicky and Gabriel


Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood

Unbelievable but true, this is what is behind Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger called for (in her own words):

“a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring. It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them. Herein lies the key of civilization.”

* U.S socialist writer Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood
and the mother of the abortion movement (1879-1966)

Ahh yes... we live in such a more civilized society today. Thank you Margaret Sanger. Thank you. How is Purgatory? How many more millions of years of penitance do you have left? Assuming there was any mercy for you... I suppose instead of making cutting remarks I should pray for your soul... I really need to learn to be a better Catholic.

Moderate Muslims

An article I received, my comments below:

Letter from Dutch "moderate" Muslim

By "Al-Onal"

On June 10 the newspaper de Volkskrant published an intriguing essay (translation here) by a "highly educated Dutch Muslim woman" writing under the name Samira al-Onal. She challenges Muslims in the Netherlands to stop demanding special treatment, to reject religiously inspired violence, and to let go of "superiority, sanctimoniousness, and ignorance."

The broadsheet agreed to run the piece pseudonymously due to the author's fear of reprisals for sharing views such as these:

"We find it marvelous that Islam is growing. But there is a growth of blind belief. ... Take the beheading of non-Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan. The so-called heroic deeds are carried out in the name of Allah. What do we do? Do we condemn these? No, we look on silently. We do, however, take to the streets if there is an insulting cartoon in a newspaper and we threaten politicians with death."

"What do we say about ... Iran, where non-Muslims are not allowed to take a university course? About Afghanistan, where non-Muslims are spat at, insulted, and hunted by Taliban-like Muslims? Or about the Netherlands, where non-Muslims are pestered with similar tactics by Muslims and preferably hunted out of the district? Nothing."

"Why do we not take to the street against these and other actions of our fellow believers? Why do we behave without respect in the Netherlands, take few social rules or standards of decency into consideration, and commit senseless violence, while we make much use of medical provisions [and] complain a lot and say that others must take account of us?"

Al-Onal goes on to argue that European Muslims are largely to blame for the distrust, even animosity, directed at them by their neighbors. That also applies to a highly visible manifestation of such unease: the rise of populist politicians like the Netherlands' Geert Wilders, producer of the anti-Koran film Fitna. "He was not just dropped by a stork, was he?" she asks. "If we had given a bit more respect to others, he would never have sprung up."

Assuming that the author is who she claims to be, her letter underscores two important realities. First, moderate Muslims do exist and recognize the need to initiate a reform movement within the Islamic faith. Second, many of those moderates are fearful of openly speaking out against the radicals.

The former is good news for both Muslims and the West; the latter is good news for Islamists.

from this site:


My thoughts:

Ummm, yes, moderate muslims do exist, and it's about time you conservatives realized this. Some of our good friends in Prince George were muslims. They came to our Christmas parties, were absolutely NOT offended if someone said Merry Christmas or Happy Easter to them (they DID after all realize they were coming to a traditionally christian country), and we went to their Eid Al Fihr parties. I even talked theology with one of them. He had studied Islamic theology, while I have a bachelor in Catholic theology. He said those radicalists didn't understand their faith. They were law-abiding, open-minded citizens who would probably never dream of taking silly cases to the HRC's and who got along with pretty much everybody. Probably because they were outgoing and WANTED to get along with everybody. This has been the case for ALL the muslims I have ever known personally.

The Old Testament has some pretty harsh stuff in it. Stuff christians today would not call christian at all. Stuff that Muslims could, in turn, use against us to prove how fundamentally violent the christian and jewish faiths are. Granted, none of us takes any of it to the letter now, wheras some radicalist muslims still seem to take the Kuran to the letter... But shouldn't we give most muslims the benefit of the doubt? Or at least half of them?

Monday, June 16, 2008

The tempest

It only lasted for 15-20 minutes.

It left 7 trucks on the Champlain bridge overturned and the Champlain bridge totally blocked for hours. It uproofed houses in Saint Blaise, as well as knocking out about 50 hydro poles. In Montreal, a couple of window washers were washing windows on a building near where Marc works. The plank they were on started to swing out, back and forth up to about a 45 degree angle, until the people in the building broke the window to pull them in.

It left hundreds of thousands without hydro, some for only hours, others, like oursleves, for days.

We found ourselves pratically back in the colonial days. Except that instead of cooking on a woodstove, I was using the barbecue and the propane burners.

Instead of fetching water from a nearby river, I was carrying water from the pool to wash the dishes, flush the toilets and yes, even wash oursleves. We bought bottled water for drinking.

At night we used candles. Although I discovered (too late) that we did have a kerosene lamp.

Heck, all that was missing was churning our own butter and spinning our own thread.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

*Gifts for Men*

Got this in an e-mail today:

Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Rule #1:When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17, and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2:If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word "ratchet" or "socket" on it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?" "OK. By the way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3:If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car: a 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4:Never buy men bathrobes. Once I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5:You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money, buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule #6:Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after-shave or deodorant. I'm told they do not stink - they are "earthy."

Rule #7:Buy men label-makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks. Shorts. Cups. saucers. Door. Lock. Sink." You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #8:Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #9:Good places to shop for men include Canadian Tire, Home Depot, John Deere, RoNa, Home Hardware and Sears Clearance Centers. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is. ("From CTC, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.")

Rule #10:Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook, although they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?

"Rule #11:Tickets to a Leaf game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." Everyone knows why.

Rule #12:Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why, please refer to Rule #7 and what happens when he gets a label-maker.

Rule #13:It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a stepladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #14:Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8" manila rope. No one knows why.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

When did the Bible become 'hate speech'?


When did the Bible become 'hate speech'?
Father Raymond J. de Souza,
National Post, Thursday, June 12, 2008

Four years ago, I wrote an article entitled "Thinly Disguised Totalitarianism" for the religious journal First Things, surveying the erosion of Canadian religious liberty under various regulatory bodies, professional associations and human rights tribunals. I wrote then that "there are no restrictions on freedom of worship in Canada today." That's no longer true.

As Ezra Levant details below, the Stephen Boissoin case is an egregious assault on religious liberty, press freedom and freedom of speech. And for those of us who previously underestimated the threat to religious liberty, it serves as a rude correction.
The judgment of the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission (AHRCC) against the Reverend Stephen Boissoin, a Protestant youth pastor, is a direct violation of his religious liberty. Whatever his "guilt" --and who is not guilty before the human rights commission? -- the judgment requires him to write an apology abjuring his views on homosexuality, and prohibits him and the Concerned Christian Coalition from making "disparaging" remarks about homosexuals.

It is not specified what the AHRCC might consider "disparaging," but simply reading in public -- as in a sermon -- the Biblical admonitions against homosexual acts is not precluded. Indeed, the scope of the AHRCC order is so wide that it effectively says that Rev. Boissoin may not speak publicly on homosexuality ever again, unless he changes his opinion.

Given that the "offence" was a letter to the editor published in the Red Deer Advocate, the judgment by implication would apply the same restrictions to the newspaper itself. The offence was "causing to be published" the letter, which "was likely to expose homosexuals to contempt or hatred because of their sexual orientation." In order for something to be published in a newspaper, both a writer and an editor/publisher are required. Had the complainant in this case named the Red Deer Advocate in his charge, there is every logical reason to expect that the AHRCC would have slapped a perpetual ban on the newspaper publishing any "disparaging" stories on homosexuality.

Rev. Boissoin is not the only Alberta clergyman hauled before the AHRCC. In 2005, Frederick Henry, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Calgary, was brought before the commission for writing a pastoral letter against same-sex marriage to his own flock. Before the AHRCC had a chance to find him guilty, Bishop Henry clarified his remarks and the complaint was withdrawn. It is now clear that had it gone ahead, the AHRCC would have ordered the bishop of Calgary not to speak about same-sex marriage ever again.

There have been numerous other cases too, including ones against the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Insight magazine. We can expect more after this most recent AHRCC ruling.

Until a real court throws all of this out, the ruling against Rev. Boissoin stands. And it is no sure thing that the courts will not accommodate themselves to restrictions on religious liberty, even as they did on free speech when the "hate" speech prohibitions enforced by human rights commissions were first tested at the Supreme Court in 1990. If the courts uphold what the AHRCC did to Rev. Boissoin, religious liberty will be mortally wounded in Canada.

Rev. Boissoin, as one would nobly expect of a clergyman and citizen of free country, has said he will neither write the apology nor pay the "damages" assessed. Unless the courts overturn the AHRCC decision, he will eventually be found in contempt and imprisoned--a prisoner for religious liberty and press freedom.

About 18 months ago, a journalist friend writing a book surveying trends in world Catholicism called to inquire about whether, apropos of my totalitarianism article, I thought it likely that priests in Canada would, in my lifetime, have to go to prison for preaching their faith. I said then what I believed to be true: No. After the Boissoin ruling, that is manifestly not the correct answer.

The Charter of Rights enumerates freedom of religion as its first freedom. Freedom of the press is its second. As a priest first and a journalist second, I should be comforted. Yet I am not. Those freedoms are at risk in Canada, an attack not only on pastors and journalists, but on citizens of a free country. The enemies of liberty got Rev. Boissoin. They tried to get Bishop Henry. They are going after Ezra Levant. Everyone with a pulpit or a column should ask: When will they come after me?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

On n'enchaîne pas la parole de Dieu!

J'aime bien recevoir l'Évangile au Quotidien par courriel. Comme ça j'ai toujours accès aux lectures du jour, et parfois, comme aujourd'hui, il y a une lecture en particulier qui me parle à travers les siècles comme si c'était écrit juste pour moi:

Deuxième lettre de saint Paul Apôtre à Timothée 2,8-15.

Souviens-toi de Jésus Christ, le descendant de David : il est ressuscité d'entre les morts, voilà mon Évangile. C'est pour lui que je souffre, jusqu'à être enchaîné comme un malfaiteur. Mais on n'enchaîne pas la parole de Dieu ! C'est pourquoi je supporte tout pour ceux que Dieu a choisis, afin qu'ils obtiennent eux aussi le salut par Jésus Christ, avec la gloire éternelle. Voici une parole sûre : Si nous sommes morts avec lui, avec lui nous vivrons. Si nous supportons l'épreuve, avec lui nous régnerons. Si nous le rejetons, lui aussi nous rejettera. Si nous sommes infidèles, lui, il restera fidèle, car il ne peut se rejeter lui-même. Voilà ce que tu dois rappeler, en déclarant solennellement devant Dieu qu'il faut éviter les querelles de mots : elles ne servent à rien, sinon à démolir ceux qui les écoutent. Toi-même, efforce-toi de te présenter devant Dieu comme un homme qui a fait ses preuves, un ouvrier qui n'a pas à regretter ce qu'il a fait et qui trace tout droit le chemin de la parole de vérité.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hitler was doing God's Work?

Came across this today...

The Inherent problem with Religious Endorsements

There’s been much said about Religious Endorsements in American Politics. I see one vital flaw in seeking or receiving such endorsements. Politicians here should take note.

Clergy must explain the reality of the world under the assumption that God exists. Most of these people believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnivirtuous. Thus they must explain tragic events as they occurred with the blessing of their God. Here in lies the rub. You’re guaranteed to say something that will offend people as soon as you start equating reality with God’s hand.

Whether it be Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tsunami’s, or Terrorist attacks, a Clergy member is stuck in an uncomfortable position of validating God’s existence in-spite of these tragedies. So when Hagee says that “Hitler was doing God’s work”, in his mind, this is the only way he can coalesce his belief with reality. It’s a distasteful and horrendous statement to the vast majority who hear it, but in his mind, it makes sense with his world view.

This is the danger, is a religious endorsement worth the risk?

Here's my reply:

Hmmm… I’m Catholic. I’m pretty open to dialogue, as long as a person isn’t outright anti-catholic and going to try to put me in a corner just to try to poke fun at me. (...) That said, you are right. Trying to explain that tragic events happen with the blessing of God makes no sense. No more to me than it does to you. Belief in an all-loving God does not exactly logically go hand-in-hand with the belief that tragedy happens with God’s blessing.

I don’t believe it does.

I believe that God created us. I believe that when he created us, He wanted us to choose to love Him back. True love, true faith is not imposed. It is a gift. Free will. God doesn’t want drones doing everything He wants because they have no choice. He doesn’t want machines. Machines don’t love. I believe in a God who wants to share the gift of love. In order to love, we must be free to choose that love. We are free to believe or not believe.

Anyway, my point is, I don’t believe God gives his blessing to tragedy. I don’t think he desires it. Bad things happen. Sometimes it is nature, and has nothing to do with us. But that’s life. Everyone dies eventually. Atheist or believer, we all die eventually. Death is a part of life. My faith tells me that we were not made to live here forever. We were made to be with God eventually. So death is a necessary part of life.

But most tragedy is human doing. Humans are free to chose good or evil. When they choose what is wrong, bad things happen. That’s our fault. God doesn’t endorse that. I don’t believe in something like Hitler “doing God’s work”. That is, as you say, illogical. That’s not God. God does not force himself on people. If people want Him out of their lives, God stays out of their lives. If their lives “go to Hell” after that, or they make other people’s lives a living Hell, that’s not “God punishing them”, that’s them punishing themselves. (I don’t mean by that, that all atheists are bad or have bad things happen to them, I think you can have good atheists. I think you can also have unchrist-like “christians”.) I personally believe in a God who suffers along with us in this imperfect world.

I think people who believe in things like “Hitler was doing God’s work” have just not thought things through very carefully.

Or perhaps I could just have said that they are blundering idiots. But that would be mean. And if the guy who said this (and I listened to more of what he said afterwards, which just confirms the blundering idiot theory) were Canadian, and let's say... muslim... he could take me to the CHRC and sue me for thousands of dollars for hurt feelings. Thankfully, he's American, and thankfully, so far, the CHRC hasn't been into protecting Christians' hurt feelings. It's waaaaaaay too much fun and soooo politically correct to be anti-christian.

Ooops. Did I just mention the CHRC? Perhaps I should not have, because you know... they've been known to sue people for thousands just for slight criticism of their very hypersensitive and overly emotional selves. Oh the anguish! Can I get sued for linking to the story? Can I sue everyone who has ever hurt my feelings in a very uncharitably anti-catholic way? Because gosh,... I'd be a millionaire now. It's tempting... I'd like a convertible PT cruiser... in dark chocolate brown please... and a trip to Scotland... that'd be nice.

I read an article in LaPresse a few months ago, about how apparently faith in a higher being or higher beings is actually genetical. It's written in our genes. The person writing the article was apparently trying to use this as an argument implying that faith is therefore silly, it's just a genetical tendancy.

Blundering idiots (again). If they are going to come out and say something like humans have a genetical tendancy to believe, then one would think that it would be much more logical to believe that some God CREATED US SPECIFICALLY THAT WAY so that we would naturally be drawn towards Him, and be able to enter into a relationship with Him, than to believe that somehow, by some freak of nature and purely by chance humans just happen to have this GENETICAL tendancy to believe in God.

The way the author of the article went on about it, this was supposed to be some new discovery/theory that totally discredits belief in a higher power. This not new. It is old news. The Catholic church has recognized for millenium that humans have a void, a spiritual thirst that only God can truly fill or satisfy. Jesus himself said it. "The water I give you is living water, he who drinks of it will thirst no more." (Jesus is such a cool, metaphorical guy - Juana la Cubana can really appreciate this...)

Oops. Did I just call that author a blundering idiot? Oh no! And he/she was canadian and NOT christian! I could quite possibly be sued! On the one hand, I didn't mention the person's name, because I don't remember it. So they'll probably never know better. On the other hand, the CHRC doesn't need said person's endorsement to sue me do they? They could just sue me in the name of all atheists.

Perhaps I need to stop writing CHRC before they google me and find me.

If you ask me, aliens have invaded earth and made deals with people in high places. I suggest we put agents Mulder and Scully to work on a real file. Forget Area 51, the real x-file is at the C-you-know-what-RC.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

No more kisses...

I'm putting Gabriel to bed. We've said our prayers.
Me: "Big kiss?"
Gabriel: "That's dégueulasse (disgusting). Ok, but this is the last time. It's dégueulasse."
Me: "Huh? How come?"
Gabriel: "Because ummmm... because you can catch... emotion from somebody."

Tips for around the house

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder ofingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and for- get about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in nar- row openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car . When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Sonidos de la tierra en el Chaco - ABC Color

Los “Sonidos de la tierra” se expanden por el suelo chaqueño

FILADELFIA, Chaco (Marvin Duerksen, corresponsal).

El creador del proyecto “Sonidos de la tierra”, Luis Szarán, visitó el jueves a niños y jóvenes músicos en Pozo Colorado y Yalve Sanga. “Es increíble el resultado de este trabajo”, dijo el maestro, quien también ha dedicado recientemente una obra a los ayoreos de Chaidi.

El programa de integración social y comunitaria a través de la música “Sonidos de la tierra” ha iniciado también la creación de escuelas de música y orquestas juveniles en el Chaco.

Debido a las enormes distancias, el proyecto busca brindar oportunidades al desarrollo del talento juvenil entre niños, hijos de peones de estancia, a veces separados por cientos de kilómetros, etnias indígenas y áreas rurales de difícil acceso.

En Pozo Colorado, Szarán visitó la escuela San Isidro Labrador, que celebra en junio 70 años y donde el programa beneficia a más de 200 niños. “A través del canto de canciones colectivas les ayudamos a hablar mejor el castellano, a tener mejor comunicación y también a conocer mejor la historia y las matemáticas. Es increíble el resultado de este trabajo, creo que único en el Paraguay, encabezado por el hermano Roberto Etchegaray de la congregación Los Hermanos Lasalle”, dijo Szarán.

Después el maestro visitó el centro indígena de Yalve Sanga para evaluar el programa iniciado aquí en julio 2005 en cooperación con la Asociación de Servicios de Cooperación Indígena Menonita (ASCIM).

Allí hay 50 niños y jóvenes indígenas involucrados. “Me impresionó el interés de los padres y todos los instrumentos entregados en el 2005 estaban en perfectas condiciones”, indicó Szarán.

Otros emprendimientos similares existen en Mariscal Estigarribia desde enero 2008 con el Vicariato Apostólico del Pilcomayo (VAP) y en el Bajo Chaco y Fuerte Olimpo, alcanzando un total de 500 jóvenes chaqueños.

En todo el país, el programa “Sonidos de la tierra” beneficia a 8.000 jóvenes con acceso a 50 núcleos urbanos y 70 compañías rurales y barrios marginales de la capital.

Motivado por los reportajes de este diario sobre un grupo de ayoreos que abandonó el 3 de marzo 2004 el monte chaqueño en zona de Chaidi, Alto Paraguay, Szarán visitó el lugar el 28 de diciembre del mismo año, conversó con ellos sobre su vida y cantos.

Esta experiencia le inspiró a componer la obra “Chaidi – los últimos sonidos”, estrenada el 28 de julio 2007 en el marco de la Alba Music Festival de Italia por la Orquesta de Cuerdas de la Filarmónica de Torino y el solista de flauta Claudio Marinone, bajo la dirección del maestro norteamericano Larry Vote, en el famoso castillo real de Carlos Felice di Savoia.