Archive for August, 2006

Regimental honour: a reminiscence

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — In 1941, the beleaguered British people, staggering under merciless bombings, the thought that so many families had been torn apart by war and the discomforts of blackouts and rationing, were in no mood to receive ugly news of how empowered people were abusing privileges. (more…)

Edmonton needs more immigrants says mayor

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

By Arnim Joop, editor/publisher of The Albertaner, a monthly newspaper for German-speaking people in Alberta
Mayor Stephen Mandel
Mayor Stephen Mandel
Photo by Uwe Weltz
(Canscene) — Edmonton’s mayor is reaching out to the many ethnic groups in the provincial capital to help the city to attract more immigrants to the region. (more…)

Fear of fear

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

There’s no doubt that the fear of terrorism has coloured our lives in recent years.

Now, 17  men and youths have been arrested  and for the first time we’re confronting alleged homegrown terrorism of the kind that erupted in Spain and Britain. Please note I said alleged, for in the public eye, a person should not be considered guilty until tried and convicted

All kinds of people are claiming the arrests as proof multicuturalism is to blame — heaven knows why. Scratch the surface and you’ll find outright blowhards who’ll seize on any topic to get publicity and closet racists who’ll claim 17 non-white persons among 32 million Canadians have been driven to terrorism because of our policy of multiculturalism.

The two things just aren’t related but when  you tell them this, the next thing they’ll harp on is our immigration policies.

I’d like to quote the late great Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Second World War “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  So let’s remember not to let fearmongers drive us out of our minds and  into blaming multiculturalism.

The last word

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Canscene) — The following is by Colin Isaacs, publisher and editor of the Gallon Environmental Letter

In a recent column in the Los Angeles Times, Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert analyzed why so many governments are so much more worried about terrorism than climate change.

Gilbert analyses why our attention to the threat of climate change is so much less than our attention to the threat of terror from a very small number of antisocial individuals. He theorizes that we worry much more about the activities of other people, where we can demonize a human face, than about the activities of natural systems, that we are concerned much more with breaches of morals than about the impacts of our activities on global systems, that a clear and present danger is much more real to us than threats from a more distant future, and, perhaps most importantly, we suffer from the boiling frog syndrome, where we jump out of the way of a pot of boiling water but luxuriate in a pot that is slowly being brought to a boil.

Humanizing the situation vital
If Gilbert is right, and we are inclined to agree with much of his theory, then those of us who are concerned about rising global mean temperatures need to explain the situation in more human terms. We need to give climate change a human face. We need to follow the advice of Queen’s University Religious Studies Professor James Miller in recognizing that climate change is as much a religious and ethical problem as it is an economic and environmental problem. We need to continue to highlight the devastation already being wrought, most obviously today upon the lives of many northern peoples by increasingly mild winters and the melting of traditional land and ocean-based food gathering areas.

The slow rise to boiling of this frog pond we call Earth is more threatening to the future of all peoples than the issues of gay marriage, day care funding, and international terrorism combined. Those who refuse to address the issues of climate change should be condemned by religious and moral leaders. Those who actively oppose action on climate change should be seen for what they are: terrorists against future generations.

Linguini alla mentuccia

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

(Linguini with mint and sausage)
ALDA.jpgIn 1980, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing American actor-singer Robert Alda, noted not only for his roles on Broadway (Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls) and in films (George Geshwin in Rhapsody in Blue) but also star of a long-running Italian musical. Robert was here with his charming, Italian-born wife Flora to promote their anecdotal cookbook, 99 Ways to Cook Pasta, published by Macmillan.

I admired the love he expressed for his two sons, Alan and Antony, both actors and whose names appear frequently in the book. My wife, Anne, and I frequenty enjoy this recipe which can be prepared quickly, with simple ingredients.

3 tbsp sweet butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage (or mix of half and half)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup fresh mint chopped
1tsp dried oregano
1 lb. linguini
3 tbsp salt
In a medium skillet, melt the butter add the crushed garlic and sauté until golden. Remove the sausage meat from the skins, crumble and place in the skillet; sauté until the meat is browned. Remove the galic, add the wine, mint and oregano and mix well. Cover and let simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn off the flame and let stand
Cook the linghini in 5 to 6 quarts of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well and place in a large serving bowl.. Add the sauce and toss well. Serves 4 to 6
You may substitute any long, thin pasta — like spaghetti or even angel hair for the linguine if you wish. For the mint, we prefer the stronger flavour of wild broad leaf leaf mint that grows like a weed to the more subtle spearmint variety And if you’re hyper cholesterol-wary, remember that turkey sausage, Italian style is widely available now.
I understand copies of the book may be still be avalable through Amazon or book search engines

What I thought about Canada Day

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

More than ever when we celebrated Canada Day this year we needed to remind ourselves what we stand for The first thing that came to my mind when preparing this commentary was a single incident.

In June, Mount Everest challenger Andrew Brash from Calgary stopped short of the summit to save the life of an Australian climber who was near death. He and his team
cared more for a fellow human being than reaching the top.

I was once asked to write an essay on the Canadian identity and defined us as a caring people. Cynics laughed and skeptics pointed to the plight of the poor, disconcern for the environment and our sense of being inferior to Americans

So we’re not perfect and maybe never will be, but most of us do care still. Let’s set our goals higher and higher. Many young Canadians are challenging us to do just that — to care and to admit it.

Our hope for the future lies with our youth and it is up to us older people to convince them that the things they’re concerned about really count.