Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Our Western intellectuals are sheltered orchids who are naive about the world beyond their upscale hothouses. The Western disease of deductive fury at everything the West does provides a sort of psychological relief (without costs) for apparent guilt over privileged circumstances. It is such a strange mixture of faux-populism and aristocratic snobbery. They believe only a blessed few such as themselves have the requisite education or breeding to understand the "real" world of Western pathologies and its victims.He goes on to ask some very good questions, such as why does Europe largely oppose democratic and inclusive Israel, and why does anyone treat globetrotting, jet-set, anti-globalization gurus seriously?
The Western disease is on full display in this review of the Return of the King in Maclean's.
I felt I'd been through a fundamentalist crusade in which the forces of light, and the West -- a lot of earnest, attractive folks with blue eyes -- go to war against dark and ugly races. I half expected to hear Onward Christian Soldiers on the soundtrack.This guy can't turn off his sophisticated and enlightened view of the world long enough to enjoy the story of various peoples banding together to prevent hordes of inhuman monsters from destroying their way of life. Reading between the lines, you can determine that the reviewer's real problem with the movie is that he feels those who are not quite as clever as him might be seduced by some of the ideas that the movie puts forth quite boldly. Ideas such as your duty to defend your civilization, that bravery in the face of impossible odds is a noble thing, and that there are some things worth dying for.
He probably also detests Aragorn's line, "Stand, men of the West!".
Friday, December 26, 2003
After Michelle got home (and Max and Talia got their dose of Magic Milk) we cleaned up for our guests and dressed them in fancy clothes. Just look at our adorable little guys!
And here they are again with their Oma and Opa:
After all the tedious present unwrapping, Michelle treated us to her fantastic roast goose with prune stuffing:
Not as good as my lamb with kumquats last year, but still quite extraordinary.
Here's the crowd from last night. On the floor from left to right is Cam and Cleo, Michelle's sister and her husband here from Prince George, and Rene, Michelle's travel-bum brother of no fixed address. Seated from left to right are myself, the harried father, Max Max (looking quite exuberant), Michelle (also looking exuberant), Talia, and Oma Marjolein and Opa Robert. Behind the camera is Tu Yen (spelling?), Rene's old roommate (but no longer now that he's homeless).
I meant to write more but these pictures will have to suffice. This Christmas was pretty calm but I suspect next year will be a bit different.
Thursday, December 25, 2003
(Speaking of dangerous mischief, Talia was just standing up and inching along the coffee table when she grabbed the bowl of oranges and learned the hard way that it would not support her weight. She is now howling away...)
Anyway, everyone is coming here soon for Michelle's roast goose. I'll try to post a cute photo of the kids later today.
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Friday, December 19, 2003
Monday, December 15, 2003
Here's a typical one -- Saddam as a itinerant.
And then we have Saddam Claus (or is it Santa Hussein?).
I laughed quite a bit at this one. I think it probably captures Jacques' REAL reaction to Saddam's capture. (Scroll down for the picture.)
This one is really scary. (click on the 'altered appearance' link.)
And there's this amusing collection illustrating the life he was living before he was captured. Enjoy!
(From Instapundit and Dave Barry's Blog.)
When asked “How are you?” said the official, Saddam responded, “I am sad because my people are in bondage.” When offered a glass of water by his interrogators, Saddam replied, “If I drink water I will have to go to the bathroom and how can I use the bathroom when my people are in bondage?”He must have been holding it in for some time...
Sunday, December 14, 2003
I really, honestly thought he might have more sense. But the Liberal instinct to follow the same misguided policies Chrétien followed is too strong, I guess.
UPDATE: I'm still listening to the CBC. I have to say that the rest of the news coverage was pretty good, it was only the snotty London correspondent that had to drench the story in her editorial bias. But now I'm listening to Michael Enright interviewing a "Peace Studies" professor, who is actually pretty knowledgeable and fair. I can't say as much for Michael Enright though, he's talking about the capture as a "propaganda coup" and has mentioned (as if it were common knowledge) that the pulling down of Saddam's statue a few months ago was "choreographed".
Friday, December 12, 2003
In celebration of this event, I have dug up from my archives this soundclip of our former great leader attempting to communicate. Enjoy!
UPDATE: Mark Steyn has dug up some great old columns about Jean. Well worth a look.
Tall and tan and old and wrinkly, the boy from St. Maurice goes walking and, when he passes, each one he passes goes: "Aiiiiiiiiii!"
Thursday, December 11, 2003
The next shot is of a typical street scene. Unfortunately, it doesn't really capture the insane bustle of the town, but it's the best I've got.
Here's my wine connoisseur friend trying to prevent his jaw from dropping at the quantity and quality of wine available at the Mona Lisa.
And it's not all drugs, guns and money laundering in Ciudad del Este, they sell vegetables too!
Monday, December 08, 2003
You can rest assured that "sucking the very marrows of those with nothing else to give" has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn't render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.Okay, so it's not a real letter. It's still pretty funny.
Talia is crawling now, though not very well, and Max dabbles in this activity a bit too. You might think that new mobility would mellow my little girl, but you'd be wrong. She's just as restless and quick to anger as before. She's got at least three teeth coming in right now, so I guess she's allowed. Max still just likes to sit and take everything in. Thank heavens for little boys. I've mostly baby-proofed the main living area, building a gate for the stairway and a little fence to protect the woodstove. But they'll find some way to get into trouble, I'm sure.
Here's a pic from this morning:
Friday, December 05, 2003
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
The deal negotiated by Canada in the Kyoto Protocol was a very bad one. European delegates dominated among the formers of the document and managed to work in very favorable terms for themselves. For example, the year chosen as a baseline for carbon emission levels was the year before Britain shut down its very dirty coal-fueled power plants. Europe is allowed to 'pool' their emission levels, so all of Europe basically started with credit for substantial cuts -- without having to do anything. As well, there are no provisions in the Accord for accounting for growing populations. Europe, with a declining population again comes out on top, while our growing country pays more. Canada also didn't manage to get credit for the massive carbon sink our forested nation is.
The US and Australia realized Kyoto was stacked against them and wisely rejected it. Europe makes only token contributions. 'Developing' countries such as China and India are largely exempt, and now Russia has skipped out. Canada says it will comply -- even though the treaty will not become international law due to the lack of countries complying. What suckers we are!
Global warming may or may not be real, but even if it were, the Kyoto Protocol would have almost no effect, even if other countries were pulling their loads. Our country, which has already spent C$3.6 billion 'studying' the issue, and is the same country that spent over C$1 billion in an attempt to count firearms, is going to try to regulate all chemical combustion occurring in our borders.