Sunday, October 29, 2006

Daily Digest October 29, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:

The
DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN’S to VICTORIA.

Where have the nationalists gone?
With iconic Canadian companies being sold off willy-nilly, where's the hue and cry over the loss of our sovereignty
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162072211424&call_pageid=970599119419


Taliban planning major winter offensive: report
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061029/nato_afghanistan_061029/20061029?hub=TopStories

Que. nation debate heating up Grit leadership race
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061029/quebec_nation_061029/20061029?hub=TopStories

Fraser hands reins to Dutch after Afghan mission
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061029/afghanistan_fraser_061029/20061029?hub=Canada


Standing on guard in an era of hate
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162072211472&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467

Big human footprint crushing fragile Earth
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162034469830&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

The real problem is that it is illegal for one country to invade another country, says Linda McQuaig
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162034469856&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

Withdrawing coalition forces from Iraq would not serve Western interests, says Rondi Adamson
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162034469864&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

`Stay the course' cliché is being given the boot
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162034469853&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

Iggy risks splitting the party
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Copps_Sheila/2006/10/29/2165078.html

NATO soldier killed in southern Afghanistan
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2006/10/29/afghanistan.html

'New' Quebec abandons its own heritage
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/
Columnists/Byfield_Ted/2006/10/29/2165164.html

Liberal record tells the story
Anti-Israel stance impossible to deny
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Jackson_Paul/2006/10/29/2165165.html

Posties have no business sorting the 'truth'
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Robinson_Ian/2006/10/29/2165163.html

Tories' big act falling apart
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Columnists/Weston_Greg/2006/10/29/21648
84.html

Bring back Soldier Apprentice Plan
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Worthington_Peter/2006/10/29/2165073.html

Sending teen to jail right thing to do
http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/Columnists/Brodbeck_Tom/2006/10/28/2164876.html

Serious issue dogs MPs
Absurdity of ‘Doggygate’ illustrates why Canadians are losing faith in Parliament
http://www.calgarysun.com/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=160095&x=articles&s=comment

Re-opening a can of worms
http://www.winnipegsun.com/Comment/Editorial/2006/10/28/2164840.html

The Liberals? It's a man's world
http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2006/10/29/2164957.html

Putting justice agenda to the vote
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2006/10/29/2165443-sun.html

No dumping allowed
http://www.ottawasun.com/Comment/Editorial/2006/10/29/2164881.html

NATO rapped over deaths
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/National/2006/10
/29/2165041-sun.html

Medical discharges thinning military's ranks
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061028.wxsoldiers28/BNStory/National/home

Union open ballots are not democratic
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=d776a457-17f3-47bb-ba67-bea382d49f9e

Anti-terror act rushed through
Justice official: 'Job was not completely finished,' counsel says of contentious section carried over from Cold War era
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=8c7c741f-4dc0-462b-9b08-03
ca6638a6f0

Treaty terms must change
Natives: Now united, bands say blockades are not out of the question
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=40fc39fd-a76a-4398-aa19-ce562a03e255

Quebec returns as a top priority
Separatism will dominate the next election, no matter what the Liberals decide to do
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=bcc0a684-37e6-41a4-8431-72cc6cbf3220

China's level of corruption cannot be sustained
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/new
s/comment/story.html?id=6ac2fa1f-6f18-45da-8a37-570de1e97de0

Fish stocks return to old streams
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/islander/story.html?id=c466bc27-63df-4056-8efc-ee822fef7370

Flaherty’s tax riches
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/537348.html

A dog's breakfast
MacKay's treatment of Stronach reveals a dark side
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3752023p-4337940c.html

Growing older, working longer
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3752025p-4337978c.html

Guilt-edged profits
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=5Q1I33RC2AM2JQFIQMFSFF4AVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/10/29/nclimate29.xml

Taliban handpick their targets
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/HJ28Df03.html

Question period: Liberal MPs on lack of Conservative consultation
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/HTMLTemplate?tf=/ctv/mar/video/new_player.html&cf=ctv/mar/ctv.cfg&hub=QPeriod&video_link_high=mms://ctvbroadcast.ctv.ca/video/2006/10/26/ctvvideologger3_161856718_1161885268_500kbps.wmv&video_link_low=mms://ctvbroadcast.ctv.ca/video/2006/10/26/ctvvideologger3_161856717_1161884427_218kbps.wmv&clip_start=00:03:23.97&clip_end=00:06:58.65&clip_caption=Question%20period:%20Liberal%20MPs%20on%20lack%20of%20Conservative%20consultation&clip_id=ctvnews.20061026.00168000-00
168113-clip1&subhub=video&no_ads=&sortdate=20060918&slug=qp_060918&archive=CTVNews#ctvnews.20061026.00168000-00168113-clip1

Afghanistan
Autre perte pour l'ISAF
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/International/2006/10/29/001-isaf-soldat-tue-oruzgan.shtml

Colloque régional du Parti libéral
Charest démolit l'héritage du PQ
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Politique/2006/10/28/002-charest-demolition-PQ.shtml

Forces armées canadiennes
Hausse des renvois pour raisons médicales
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2006/10/28/004-hausse-renvois-armee.shtml

Commission canadienne du blé
La Saskatchewan s'agrippe au monopole
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/regional/modele.asp?page=/regions/saskatchewan/2006/10/28/002-ccb_monopole.shtml

Ottawa reste ferme devant Al-Qaeda
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20061029/CPACTUALITES/61029023/1019/CPACTUALITES

Kyoto: «Le Québec n'avait pas de plan», dit Dion
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20061029/CPACTUALITES/610290687/1025/
FRONTPAGE

BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)0)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)0)
_____
Firstly, George's post expresses the thoughts of the many who responded to The Day GOD SPILLED THE PAINT!

May I thank all of you through thanking him.

Joe
Thanks, Joe, for the picture.
Looking at a gladiola blossom, or a stem with a wheat head weaving in the wind, or testing the str
ength of a spider thread it comes to mind that humans are really puny, when it comes to the big picture. Mankind can't produce anything like that.
Best wishes
George Weiss
________
Secondly, in that I had to make this for another purpose I thought I'd post it here to provide you with something of my backgrounding.

Joe Hueglin

Birth Date: February 7, 1937
Age: 69
Birthplace: Stratford, Ontario

Education: London Teachers' College, Honours History, Assumption University of Windsor, Ontario College of Education

Marital Status: Married
Name of Spouse: Aase
Children: Three — Lise, Erik, Janet

Career Background: Currently retired, Secondary School Teacher 1962 - 1999 broken by holding th
e office of Member of the 29th Parliament for Niagara Falls, 1972-1974. Elementary School Teacher 1956-1959, Clerk with Bank of Montreal 1953-1955.

Always interested in politics as member of an Anglophone Progressive Conservative minority attending overwhelmingly Liberal Francophone primary and secondary schools Joe developed an interest in the historical development first of Canada and then the world at large.

Meeting Prime Minister John George Diefenbaker during the 1958 Federal election led him to join the Progressive Conservative Campus Club and sit as a PC Member in a Student Parliament while at Assumption University.

Active involvement began in the 1965 Federal election in Blind River, Ontario. Upon moving to Niagara Falls, Ontario he was elected to the Executive of the Niagara Falls Federal Progressive Conservative Association in 1967. He continued to serve on the Association in various capacities and was President until the de-r
egistration of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada by the Chief Electoral Officer on Sunday, December 7. 2003.

Convinced the continuance of a progressive-conservative party was vital to the well being of Canada, Joe, with others, was instrumental in the ballot name "PC Party" bring registered with the Chief Electoral Officer, albeit with the full name of Progressive Canadian because Progressive Conservative, it was feared, might cause confusion with the new "Conservative" Party registered on December 7, 2003.

Joe continues to serve progressive-conservatives in his capacity as National Co-ordinator of the Progressive Canadian (PC) Party through communications with members and supporters by telephone and internet and with Canadians at large through Letters to the Editor and F.Y.I. posts to the national media.

An activist in community organizations over the years, soon after its creation Joe saw the potential of the internet for politic
al purposes. Since retiring in 1999 he his concentrated on increasing political communications through the world wide web.

Joe publishes "The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN’S to VICTORIA.", obtainable without cost or obligation by contacting him at joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca.

Posted at http://www.progressivecanadian.org/english/contacts.html

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Grenville Rogers

Subject: Information Clearing House - News

Hello Friends

This is very interesting; well worth the 20 minutes to vie
w it.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15425.htm

===================================
John Dowson

Quebec as a Nation within Canada, well Canada recognizes the natives as Nations "First Nations" so why not Quebec?. It's interesting to note that within the past ten years Quebec based companies have and are aggressively investing and purchasing companies that have traditionally been recognized as "English Canadian" companies with head offices outside of Quebec. The Power corporation, Desjardin's financial, Industrialle Alliance, and major insurance brokers like Group Parizo and others are purchasing Canadian Insurers whose head office has always been in what Quebec likes to call English Canada. Why have these companies suddenly gone a shopping spree? Is it because they finally see the limitation
s of their future growth in a "country of only 6 million people?. Quebec has the best day care plan in Canada, the best TV, movies, arts and theatre production most of which is funded by citizens in "the rest of Canada" What will happens to Quebec's wonderful day care program, arts, Television, movie and theatre productions when the subsidies from citizens in the "rest of Canada" dry up after independence? Is this why the Quebec based companies, cash rich from subsidies are hunting for acquisitions in English Canada? Do they know something the rest of us don't? Cash has no master and it goes where the best future investments can be had, and from all appearances it's not in Quebec? Perhaps in the long run it's cash that will keep Canada together, food for thought Joe.

John Dowson

===================================
Ron Thornton

"There is no Alberta Nation, Quebec Nation. There is only one country, one poli
tical-nation in northern North America, Canada."

This is true, unless there becomes a Quebec Nation. If that happens, all bets are off.

Ron.
(Will comment later)
===================================
Harold Fletcher

Subject: RE: Nation

Joe,

Re "Nation". No one seems to object to Indians referring to themselves as First Nations. Why all the fuss about Quebec? Don't forget that the Quebec legislature is comprised of Members of the National Assembly (MNA's). The word Nation carries a different meaning in French than it does in English, perhaps that is where the misinterpration comes in.

I heard Chantal Hebert's speech to the Union of BC Municipalities. she is a newspaper writer living in Quebec and she thinks the whole thing is
a tempest in a tea pot. I agree with her.

Cheers
Harold

===================================
Mark Hendriks

Subject: Garth Turner on Harper's Government

Joe

I came across this interview with Garth Turner:
http://www.gregfelton.com/canpol/2006_10_28.htm

More confirmation that Harper is a control freak is not surprising, but
what Turner says really demonstrates that point.

Aside from saying a lot about Harper, I also think this should be a
warning for those who think that an elected senate will mean more say
for the provinces. If elected senators are getting marching orders from
Harper, how then are they representing their provinces?

Mark Hendriks

==================================
=
Eugene Parks

Expert technical analysis of the tape of MacKay's words will easily reveal that he said "it". His denial in parliament will be exposed.

How serious is this?

This incident as it occurred involved an insult to a MP, to Parliament, and to women. An apology was required. But now, the situation has escalated to an apparent lie to parliament in front of the entire country. And, the speaker now has grounds on two counts to discipline Peter MacKay.

The parliamentary speaker has already once been willing to let it drop, gave an opportunity to say sorry, but now has reluctantly agreed to "listen" to expert testimony and read the affidavits. Expert analysis will show that he said it - as those with good ears can already hear it on the tape without aid of technical support.

Peter… you did it… and you apparently fuddleduddled to parliament about it… the latter ma
king the former worse.

It’s always the cover-up that gets’m!

And there is a pattern here. He broke his written promise to the PC party and David Orchard... now he has insulted an MP, parliament, and the country with further disingenuous bluster.

The Speaker ought to hold him to account. In the next election his riding should do the same.

Eugene Parks

===================================
Stratos Psarianos

Harper refuses to be drawn into Quebec nation debate
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061027/n1027117A.html
And well he should. He's on a short tether, what with the CPC not forming a majority. How could he claim to have a mandate to recognize Quebec's "nationhood" (whatever that means) without AT LEAST the legitimacy of
a majority government? Plus, since when do Liberal not-yet-leaders drive Tory policy, anyway?

As they say here in Quebec: "M. Ignatieff a le doigt dans l'engrenage" and "Bient?l aura le bras dans le tordeur". Two somewhat-mixed metaphors that say: "Mr. Ignatieff has his finger in the gearworks" (as in he's stuck, it hurts and he can't get out) and "Soon he'll have his arm in the wringer" (more of the same kind of imagery but worse).

Now that the finger's in and some Quebec Liberal MPs have endorsed his position (among others, the swinish Denis Coderre (aka "Porky Pig" in my book) <== guess what, I despise the guy), the Liberals are in for a rough ride both within (opinion isn't unanimous within the party, to say the least) and without (that's even more the case with Canadian electors including Quebecers). As Ben Franklin said: "Experience holds a dear school but fools will lea
rn in no other". Mr. Ignatieff et al will learn the hard way that politics isn't a question of pointy heads coming up with neato ideas that are just gosh wonderful.

Questions of integrity continue as MacKay tries to stifle slur controversy
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061027/n102787A.html
For Heaven's sake, Peter. Be a man and say that you expressed yur hard feelings (justified, by the way) and that you're sorry. We'll understand.

And as for Belinda and such incidents "explaining why so few women get into politics" ... grow up, already. Most women I know would be offended at such a slur. Are they nothing but children who shun unpleasantness because some guy will put them down (no matter how justified the putdown is)? If that's th
e case, then there's good reason for keeping women away from politics ... were they to get in a huff every time they'd think they've been put down, I wouldn't want to have one as minister responsible for trade talks or security matters. Alternatively, maybe what Ms. Stronach meant here is that political practice is too ungentlemanly for women's taste. Either way, Ms. Stronach owes us an explanation.

That said, I was wondering if what DD readers think about what I've written above. Does it make sense or am I in left field? Honest, I'd really like to know.

Emotions are dangerous in 'nation' debate
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=dcf57eb0-052a-48fa-b1fb-2fbcb6ec7c58
Silly thing to say. The sense of nation and identity IS an emotional thing, not a rational one.

Environmentalists, industry kept out of UN conference
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/national/story.html?id=6d1d6fdb-3aff-4684-b15f-5d50b3ebc37b
From the article: "Last spring, secret instructions to delegates at international meetings in Bonn, Germany, were leaked, revealing the Harper government wanted its negotiators to weaken targets for greenhouse gas reductions under the update to the UN treaty that was signed in 1997 -- the Kyoto Protocol."

If a government's negociating position gets undermined by some unelected person who's unaccountable to the people of Can
ada, it's only reasonable that Canada's government keep unaccountable people off its delegation.

Tests defy greenhouse warming theory
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3751726p-4337464c.html
Anecdotal evidence that global warming may not be all that it's made out to be. (Then again, maybe it is).

===================================
Mary-Sue Haliburton
Signing off from Ottawa West - Nepean

Farewell to the list -- and to the monarchy?

Dear Joe:

Due to discontinuing my writing for <pesn.com> in the near future, I am going to be giving up my internet account as well. Without online work as a justification, it's too expensive. So this is a farewell message.

I thought I may as well make it a statement too, abou
t Canada (or at least my perception of what Canada was). This feels like a farewell to the country I loved, as much as a farewell to the people who read this list. I'll probably still be living here, since I don't really have any place else to go. However, in the very near future, "here" won't be the Canada we knew, if there is a Canada at all. In the future borderless north-south "North America" people will have to learn new rules and believe new things.

Whither the Monarchy?

As a lifelong monarchist -- as defined under this constitutional system we have enjoyed -- here's what I meant by "Canada as I knew it".

In that concept, it was understood that both government and opposition parties served the Crown. The party in power did so by implementing their policies as announced to and voted on by the public. The parties in Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition also served the Crown by vigorously objecting to any policy that they perceived
as not being good for the realm.

By using this word "realm" I allude to the old Canadian concept of "responsible" government: bidirectionally responsible both to the monarch (who being "above politics" represented the idea of God -- not man -- as supreme) and to the people who build the country by their work, and who depend on good management of the basic infrastructure such as the sewage system without which civilization is impossible.

Peace, order, and good government, with freedom of speech. It was nice, wasn't it?

Will there be any ceremonial handover of Canada by the Queen (or the heir to the throne), featuring the usual crowd on Parliament Hill and the royal flag being lowered and the flag of "North America" being raised in honour of the new rulers of United North America? I wonder if we'll all be called upon to rubber-stamp this in some way, or whether we'll just be dumb spectators obediently waving those new flags.


Some Americans believe it's the opposite that will happen, that the banner of British Royalty will be raised over Washington D.C. (and presumably over Mexico City). A very odd incident of that cultural fear showed up in an an episode of Star Trek, Enterprise. In an alternate timeline, the Nazis (or rather their alien backers in this space-fantasy alternate time-line yarn) were shown to be winning World War II. The dialogue indicated that Britain was under Nazi control and they had taken over most of the eastern states. But in an "establishing shot" it was clearly the Canadian flag that was waving over the White House! Maybe the producers were too chicken to portray the red swastika flag there; it seemed that even the British flag would have been too controversial. So they did the "blame Canada" trick to avoid triggering unwanted censure (or censorship).

(If anyone is still unaware of the issue of "North American Union", please do a search on that topic. You
might even find my article among an increasing number of listings.)

Nobody has said yet what happens to the monarchy, or whether this central part of our tradition is just going to be shunted aside as not relevant.


Human Rights?

But the era of "human rights" seems to have ended.

Under the new torture/detainee bill, the U.S. Administration now defines opposition to policy as Not Supporting the Leader. Therefore, anyone who does not agree (such as by opposing war) with what the Administration is doing can be arbitrarily defined as a terrorist and locked away permanently, including journalists (as explained by William Rivers Pitt in his article "In Case I Disappear").

Enforcement by torture (as shown by the new detainee bill) is the political choice of the powerful, even though it's ineffective. We all know that torture -- as eventually even the infamous torturers of the "Inquisition" adm
itted -- doesn't yield the truth. Moreover, it's obsolete. Technologies exist now, such as infrared mapping of the face, that can detect lying. For important cases, MRI scanning of the brain during testimony provides proof positive if certain telltale areas of grey matter light up.

So why would the rulers legalize torture if it's completely unnecessary and retrograde in every way? Who knows? Maybe they just love those old traditions (the rack, thumbscrews, etc.).

The same group that is in power in Washington was present at that secret conclave in Banff, and apparently plans to spread that ethos throughout the continent. Those people may already have appointed themselves as rulers of the super-parliament of the SPP, i.e. "North America".

Harper is in full agreement; Stockwell Day was there representing the current Canadian government. So, what happens to the idea of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition? Will we also be defined as disloyal to the
Leader for not agreeing?


Empty Slogans

There won't be another choice for voters nationally if you require a "mainstream" party. The probable new Liberal leader, Ignatieff, believes a similar philosophy. His books examine how torture can be used by the state in certain circumstances -- as if it can be limited to those circumstances and as if it isn't a slippery slope to darkness. He glosses this over with vague high-sounding phrases like "liberal internationalism". His books make it clear that in his lexicon, "nation building" is what the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan and Iraq: occupation and stripping of resources, with a big show for the cameras of "democratic" government, and a bigger show of foreign force to prop up the local government against the inevitable "insurgents" who want to reclaim national autonomy.

So much for nice-sounding slogans.

Harper says Canada is to be an "energy superpower", i.e. the Albe
rta oil-sand deposit is to be sucked dry. Without trees to moderate this significant area, the temperature swings will be more extreme in this new manmade sandy desert, negatively affecting the prairie climate. That Shell TV ad with its soothing phrases about "returning the land to nature" describes this as "putting the sand back". I always ask, "Where else are they going to put the sand?? Truck it to the ocean to replace the beaches that are washed away as sea levels rise?"


We're All Responsible

Why am I complaining if it's all a done deal and can't be changed? I'm not, really. I'm admitting co-responsibility. A handful of people don't and didn't decide everything for us. Millions of people making billions of decisions throughout their lives have determined what is happening in the present. Unified North America is going to be the new government and the SPP is the new policy direction because we have all chosen this.

Oh, n
ot by voting for it. We all thought we were voting for human rights, or freedom, or security or "standing up for Canada" or whatever slogans and blather has been used and will be used to hook voters in the past and will always be in the future.

The votes that really counted were the ones we all made with our pocketbooks.

We put oil companies into power by choosing to buy and drive cars, by not using public transit or walking on our own feet whenever we had the choice. So by using our money we voted into power the system that requires continual pumping of oil -- and warfare to seize and to defend those resources. I am as "guilty" as anyone else since I also own a car.

Mea culpa.

We are getting the government we deserve. It's also an old saying that "you've made your bed so lie in it" -- even if it's hard, or lumpy, or mostly made of nails, pointy end up. It may not be comfortable, but it's what we chose. At the level where
we choose personal comfort and conveniences over the good of all and of the planet, we wanted what we're getting.

I would be pleasantly surprised if this scenario about a North-American super-state replacing Canada were proven wrong -- by EVENTS (not by arguments or propaganda or the usual character assassination tactics). But I'm not holding my breath.

And politicians are not going to take the MRI truth test.

This is my farewell to all on the list. No doubt we're going to keep seeing the "interesting times" spoken of in the old curse.

Best wishes all,

Mary-Sue Haliburton
Signing off from Ottawa West - Nepean

===================================
Andy Rutherford

Subject: Fw: Food for thought... re Ben Stein

What do you think of this idea Joe?

=====
.. . . sounds kosher to me.

&
nbsp; Joe
=====
Why not post it?

_____________________________________
Subject:
Fw: Food for thought... re Ben Stein

Many folks think Ben Stein is just a quirky actor/comedian who talks in a monotone. He's also an economist and a very intelligent attorney who knows how to put ideas and words together in such a way as to sway juries and make people think clearly. The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here with a few confessions from my beating heart:

I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change m
y life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important?

I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife. Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. If this is what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

Next confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.
It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crèche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the

Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.


In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this Happen?" (regarding Katrina)

Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our sch
ools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said w e shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, b
ut question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards .. honestly and respectfully,

Be
n Stein

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