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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
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Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Friday, Jun. 10, 2005 - 3:39 a.m.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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WARNING!!!! if you know me personally, you may read my diary, but if you do, you take the chance of hearing things you don't want to know, misunderstanding what I've written and being hurt by it. If you are unsure if it is ok to read, save yourself and me the grief and heartache, and ask first!!! Please note that this is a DIARY, ie my subjective feelings, hearsay, suppositions, and outpourings of ranting of the moment. It does not represent objective news, the whole of what I think of a topic or someone, or even a thought-out representation of any of the above. Keep that in mind. Thanks. * Here is a Diary Etiquette Read Me.

Bopping Babes and Cheerworthy Conservatives

OMG I ended up doubling up what I need to do on Friday cuz I was stopped in my tracks today (Thursday) by something unexpected. My friend who adopted from China dropped by without warning. He was walking with the baby in a stroller and just ended up this far (about an hour's walk away). I was just on my way to the bank and downtown but cancelled everything and spent the next three hours with him and the cutie kiddo... we went to the park, and then I walked all the way back to their place with them.

She is really adorable. Totally not behind. Physically perfect, bright, just starting to talk, can walk and run (she was a year old a month ago), seems very attached already to her mom and dad.. she turns to him and not anyone else when she wants something, and when we arrived at their place she totally lit up and got excited to see her mom. What a little sweetie! She loves dogs, and goes "woof woof woof!!" while bouncing up and down excitedly whenever she sees one (she has one at home). She was engrossed in my keyset, and was loathe to show off her walking skills, she just stood there with her feet glued to the same spot and played with the keys, even when her dad took them away and moved a few feet away and tried to use them as an incentive. She held her ground but held out her hands and fussed. It was really funny... what great balance. I don't think I could stand that long without moving my feet or keeling over. And she CAN run, I saw her... she was just taken with the keys.

Anyways, it seems like such a doable thing, adopting, when confronted with friends who less than a year ago were standing where I am now... looking into things, calling around, making decisions. They are both off work right now, and doing the baby thing fulltime, and they are like kids in a candyshop, they seem so happy and in love with kiddo. She sleeps enough that my friend is working on his portfolio, and his wife is doing a few little side contracts.

It totally inspires me, I tell ya. I warned them, now you have the kiddo, you'll see more of me! GRIN!

I wrote in to the MPs (one of those action letters on a website) about supporting gay marriage here in Canada, and I got the following email back from a Conservative MP from Calgary (not known to be the bastion of openmindedness and fairplay... the closest we have to Texas). It so impressed me, I reproduce it here.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank-you for your recent correspondence with regards to Bill C-38. I appreciate your thoughtful comments and interest in this very important issue. I will continue to listen to the dialogue of my constituents on this legislation.

Since the Supreme Court of Canada decision, I have embarked on an extensive consultation process, fulfilling a commitment I made to my constituents in Calgary Centre-North during the 2004 federal election.

I can confidently say, after consultation with hundreds of people, that Calgary Centre-North reflects very diverse views and opinions on this subject. Enclosed are my thoughts, as put forward on February 2nd 2005.

I encourage you to stay in contact with my office to voice your comments.

Jim Prentice

Jim Prentice, M.P.

February 2, 2005, CALGARY – Yesterday the Liberal government introduced their much-awaited marriage legislation.

The decision I have come to has been a difficult one. I have spoken to many hundreds in my riding of Calgary Centre-North. I have met with many community leaders including religious leaders from Calgary and representatives of the gay community. I have held an open Town Hall Meeting and I have done my best to understand the legal and theological issues that this decision has raised.

For me, the marriage question is one of individual liberty – of constitutional liberty.

Let’s be clear. I have been married to the same woman for 21 years, reflecting my own personal definition of what marriage is. It is also the definition of my own church, the Presbyterian Church of Canada.

It is not, however, the personal definition of many of our fellow citizens who are homosexual and who have sought the protection of the Charter to obtain civil marriage licences from the government.

Fundamentally the question is this: what right do we as a society have to refuse gay Canadians something that the rest of us are entitled to – namely, a civil marriage license.

Set aside the legal debate, and ask the very simple question. What moral or political authority do we have to deny gay Canadians the issuance of a government marriage license?

The answer in my mind is clear. We have no such right at all because whether two people of the same sex marry, and how and whether their gender enters into the relationship, is none of the government’s business, providing they do no harm to anyone else.

“Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.” – John Stuart Mill

I am a conservative, and this is the philosophy that guides me in public life.

Each of us has the right to fashion our own life to suit our own character without impediment from others, providing we harm no one else and providing we accept the consequences of our own decisions.

If we have the right, as a society, to prohibit homosexual Canadians from civil marriage because their idea of a marriage differs form ours, do we have an equal right to prohibit some Christians, Muslims, or Sikhs from preaching aspects of their faith, which are not shared by the majority of Canadians? By parity of reasoning, would we not have an equally valid entitlement to suppress the literature, political opinions or political association of those who hold views different than our own?

These are the modern liberties of our western society. They are the very liberties that underpin western society, and they are owed to each of us equally and unconditionally.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures that all Canadians must be treated equally at law, including the right to marry. Equally the Charter protects the rights of religions to carry on their faith according to their own doctrine.

The vote for Conservatives is a free one. Stephen Harper has shown courage and leadership and his position has been very clear to Canadians. It is particularly disappointing that Mr. Martin did not have the strength of leadership to allow his entire Caucus to have a free vote on this issue.

I have come to the conclusion that I will stand in defence of the constitutional right of homosexual couples to civil marriage, even though their definition of marriage is not my own. I will be equally vigilant in defending religious marriage and religious freedom, for it is equally clear that neither the Christian community nor the other communities of faith can be compelled to accept or perform same sex marriages. Religious freedom must stand sacrosanct and religious marriage must stand as the exclusive preserve of our communities of faith.

I intend to vigorously support the Conservative Party amendments that would strengthen these protections of religious freedoms.

This decision has been a difficult one. My riding has a diversity of opinions on this question. I appreciate that my decision will not make everybody happy. I will be accountable.

In the final analysis, I have concluded that religious marriage is the authority of the church and that jurisdiction must be jealously guarded. But civil marriage, or governmental marriage, of two Canadians, must be available equally to all. Therefore, I will be voting in favour of this legislation and I will support Conservative Party amendments designed to protect religious freedoms.

I swear, I would have so much respect for Conservatives (of the Canadian variety, of the American variety, Capital C and small c concervatives), if they could grasp this concept of what conservative supposedly means... ie no govt interference in private lives and morals if it doesn't harm others. I mean really. I cannot say the last time I read an actual level-headed thought on this by someone on the other side (well, other side in that they have different values from me... he is actually on the same side in that we both believe that people can have their own beliefs. I will let them teach their children that I am a hopeless sinner, and marry in a church that wouldn't accept me, and they will let me teach my children that gay is ok, and they will let me be a churchless hopeless sinner)

So, that was the good news for the day.
The bad news of the day is that I have gotten zero work done.
I did finish the Toronto contract last night one day in advance, and send it off. Hopefully I will get brownie points for that (and get paid). I also washed off all my houseplants, washed the bug juice off the floor in the livingroom, and spray all the plants. But I haven't worked on the South Korea contract for nearly a week now. Yikes!!! Must get going on that tomorrow.

After I choose my illos to put in the catalogue for advertising this year, and do a presentation and book reading in front of 30 children in a public library. A busy day.


If you want to read a rant from earlier this evening, you can go here.

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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