Friday, September 29, 2006

Cafe Talk Winnipeg
Re: Lindor Reynolds - Winnipeg Free Press - Apology
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ms Reynold for having the courage to retract her hasty judgments with respect to the Pasternak vs. Manitoba High School Athletic Association human rights decision. Ms Reynolds admitted she was wrong to call the girls “spoiled brat” and the disparaging remarks she made about their parents. Retractions and apologies are never easy to do but Ms Reynolds did it.
The thing I admire the most is to have done that, Ms Reynolds would have had to have kept an open mind and having done so, she had the opportunity to re-evaluate her position on the matter and having done that she developed a greater awareness and appreciation of the implications of the Pasternak twin’s action, which she now sees as “noble”. She concluded that the Pasternak’s fought for the right to try out for the best team, regardless of gender and in so doing may have made thing s easier for another little girl who simple wants to be the best she can be.Thanks Linda, for keeping an open mind.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cafe Talk Winnipeg
Cafe Talk Winnipeg
Canada's Governor Generaal

I watched the interview between one of CBC's reporters and Canada's Governor General, Michaela Jean. I was impressed with the GG's poise, clarity of thought and general decorum. I was touched when she talked about her mother's Alzheimer's disease and the way she praised her mother for being the person she is. She asked that her mother be moved from her current location to Ottawa where she could be closer to the GG. It is nice to see that a child is so caring of a mother who does not even recognie her at this time. The interviewer, her name escaped me also shared the same pain as the GG. Her mother also had this dreaded Alzheimer's disease. They both agreed it is like watching a living dead.
I wonder which is worse, the death of a parent or a parent with alzhmeir's disease. We must do more about this disease that kills people without killing them.
Anyway, Canada should be proud of their GG She is one classy, brilliant and articulate woman.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Model String Model String Theory - Killing young girls through deception

The world seems to be oblivious of the abuse models endure because of the stringent demands of designers and the money that fuels the fashion industry. Every now and then we are shocked out of our comfort zone but as quickly as we discard yesterday’s news, that passes too. This debacle is allowed to be continued because society supports this kind of public suicide mission of these girls. We are quick to condemn Muslim women for the way they dress, we are quick to condemn third world women who practice female genital mutilation, or men who abuse women but this blatant and the worst kind of abuse is aired in public view to the delight of millions. Has the world gone mad?
Who benefits from this sick delight and who stands to lose the most? Are people so crazy as to sell their bodies and soul to the devil for the fantasy that money can buy?
The girl who died on the runway practically went unnoticed and unceremoniously in the fashion world. The fashion industry continued on its quest of abuse of young girls while the parents remain to bury their dead child.
As a society we need to bring more attention to the demise of perfectly healthy and beautiful girls into this macabre spectre all for the sake of some misogynistic pleasure and fancy.
Theory - Killing young girls through deception

Thursday, September 21, 2006

We complain when kids go berserk and do all kinds of bad stuff. Look on the internet and see what kids are doing for pastime. The internet highway is their playground and anyone who happens by may be the target of their playful but hurtful venom.
The problem may lie in the fact that our children have too much free time on their hands. Parents have to stop babying children and allow them too be responsible and involved. I remember when I was growing up there was no time for boredom. I had chores to do before I can play with my friends. I was surrounded by family and familiar faces. People looked out for each other’s children. I felt safe. I felt that I was a contributing member of family that I was not just taking but giving something back. That made me feel good about myself. I often wonder how children feel when they are handed everything and not expecting much from them. Do they feel useless? a sense of helplessness? If you want to help your child, give him or her something useful to do. Instead of helping with the dishes, there is the dishwasher and even than parents have to pack the dishes into the dishwasher themselves. Many children do not lift a finger to help out in the house. If they are forced to do so, they go out to the fast food restaurants and eat and they feel no responsibility to help out if they did not eat the food at home, or if they are not around long enough to make a mess in the home. This is not how families behave. This is like having a room mate. There is a disconnect somewhere here and we as parents needs to get a grip on this laissez faire attitude towards our children. It is not doing them any good at all.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cafe Talk Winnipeg
Cafe Talk Winnipeg
For most of us, the shooting in Montreal brought back memories of the shooting down of 14 young women by a man who felt women were taking over what rightfully belongs to him as a male. In this case, the sad fact is that sometimes we render individuals invisible and this pushes them into the isolated cell of self. We all have a responsibility to each other, Many may disagree with me but when we do not take responsibility for each other, things like this happen and we all pay for it. The innocent girl who died leaving a trail of heartbreak and sadness behind. She was snatched away from her loved ones, mother, father, brother, sister, friends, uncles, godmother and a host of others who will mourn her loss. Sometimes all it takes is a hello to someone who seem to be on his or her own a lot. Teachers and school workers must pay attention to students who are isolated and try to get them involved with others.
Schools should have a policy to ensure no child is left on his her own. Students can be cruel and can be made to bow down to peer pressure.
What made this man feel his life was worthless? Why did he have such a hatred of Jocks? It is because he wanted to be noticed too, he wanted to be included and he wanted to feel that knowing him was worthwhile.
Let us hope that we learn a valuable lesson from this tragedy. Kindness does not cost anything. Just a little hello, how are you today might have changed the path this man was walking on. Let’s show some kindness to the one who needs it the most today.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I had the cause to fly recently and I am ashamed at how nervous I was. I was always nervous flying. I get claustropobic and feel helpless in the hands of some other than myself.
However since 9/11 I am more fearful and unless I have to fly, I take the train or plane or car. This Ottawa trip had to be by plane because it was only for a weekend. I got on the plane, making sure I looked at everyone’s face to see if I see any hint of terrorism in the eyes (how foolish!). Unfortunately, I look for the stereotype of the common picture of a terrorist which I am ashamed to say. I can’t help it. Would I walk off the plane if I saw a stereotype of a terrorist on the same plane as I am, I don’t know. Fear does strange things to people. The flight to Ottawa was uneventful. It was smooth sailing all the way and back. I praised the good Lord when my feet landed.
On Monday morning as I was preparing for work, I heard the radio announcer pitched a story that would be coming up after the break. It was the impact of 9/11 on two people re flying in an aero plane. This caught my attention. I wanted to hear. I stuck around until it came up. One little girl said she was scared of flying afraid that it might be her last trip, afraid that a terrorist may blow up the plane. She had the same thoughts and feelings as I expressed above. The second person, an older woman who had lost loved ones in the 9/11 fiasco said that she has become fearless. She is prepared to take as many chances as possible, since 9/11 she has volunteered with the Red Cross and traveled to countries outside Canada. She said that she was afraid of not living life to the fullest because we never know when it will end. I thought about this and thought it was a much better way to approach life. She said she tells her loved ones how much they mean to her, she goes places and does things she would have never done before. Her view has inspired me and I don’t think I will look at things the same way I did. I don’t know who this woman is but I thank her for sharing. Her words touch me. I am grateful to her.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Cafe Talk Winnipeg
How quick the weather changes
Yesterday in Winnipeg it was sunny and hot and today it’s almost zero. The Winnipeg Delta Hotel pool is cleaned out and now the staff are taking away the artificial greenery and flowers and cleaning up for the winter. A depressing sight considering that most people are not ready for winter. Are we ever? Unless you are an avid skier, I suppose one is never ready for such thing. Anyway, here are again observing the natural rhythm of life. Everything that goes around, comes around. That is so true.

Last night I looked at the movie Flight 93. It was riveting, a lot of nail biting anxious moments. The part that got me is the goodbyes to loved ones. It was sad and yet one has to appreciate the cell phone as a new technology that helped people make those important calls.

Having seen the movie and got my fill of fear of flying and thrills, I had to ask myself what was the purpose of the movie? Is it to scare us to remind us of the constant danger that lurks everywhere? Or was it to make money. I imagine if I had a loved one who suffered in the film, I might not have been ready to confront what might have happened on that plane.

I guess we all have choice to make on what to watch on television.

Maiko Watson in Smokey Joe's Cafe, Winnipeg Manitoba

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cafe Talk Winnipeg

War with Islamic Countries
The West cannot hope to win any war with Islamic dominated countries unless they first try and learn everything they can about the psyche of the people. It is difficult to quell the fire of cultural passion or the passion religious ideology, both of which embody the person of Islamic beliefs. One also has to be realistic in expectations of democracy rule in many under developed countries. Becoming a democracy is a process, a slow process that underlies the progress of the evolution of its people. When people are evolved and they see through the masks of power, the illusion of a leader who pretends to care but does not give a hoot, someone within the ranks will stand up and be counted. The efforts must start internally, firstly through dialogue and then by other means necessary. Outsiders are rarely tolerated by the masses for too long. Yes, there will be euphoria at first when people come in to help and the expectation of success and positive changes are high. When expectations dwindles into despair and the feeling that things are getting worse than better, people see the intruder as the enemy, which I think many Iraqis might be beginning to feel at the moment.
My personal belief is that this will be a war that will be talked about long after the foreigners leave without gains. Perhaps it might change the way we decide on the risks we want to bear for any kind of mission. It will also be helpful

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Cafe Talk Winnipeg
The War in Iraq is not a Game

We North Americans tend to be reactive people. We react to situations, events, and circumstances in a knee-jerk manner without giving much thought to the consequences.
I think the media helps to fuel this nonsensical reaction with their stupid questions.
As soon as a soldier dies the media comes in your face and asks a passer by “Do you think Canada should stay in Iraq or should we pack up and go?” Asking such direct questions when emotions are raw will most likely generate negative answers.
Thanks to some of our politicians, they cannot afford to be wishy washy in these matters. I guess that’s why we elect politicians, to think for the general masses.
I feel saddened whenever a soldier dies. I wonder why we as enlightened human specie can’t find a better way to solve problems than resorting to our hunter-gatherer mode, to kill or be killed. One must remember than when a person joins the army, the risks are clear. There is a good chance that during combat you will be killed or badly hurt. We cannot react every time a soldier dies. It is his/her choice to be in that field and we have to respect that and honour that person’s courage and dedication to his/her country.
Canada cannot pull out of Iraq on the spur of the moment. We have stirred up the hornet’s nest and we have to ensure that the bees are subdued before leaving. Leaving Iraq anytime soon will be unfair to the Iraqi people who have come to depend on us. It would be like running and leaving people burning in the fire. We have to stay the course until some resolution comes about or we have to develop a sensible exit strategy. It is not right to leave helpless people in more jeopardy than we found them, and that would be the case if we leave now. This war is not a game, it is serious business. We are dealing with vulnerable people.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Cafe Talk Winnipeg
September 2, 2006

It's September already. It's sunny, crisp and fresh today. It hardly seems like September but there is the writing on the wall. The Delta swimming pool outside my window has closed for the season. All the chairs are gone and the blue water twinkle lonely by itself. It is emply. Soon, they are going to empty the pool and the grey concrete will be exposed for a while. Later on in the month they may cover it with the green tarp they had over it last winter.
It's beautiful to observe life from my window and the confirmation that whatever goes around comes around. Isn't this what life is all about? Cycles, circles, death and rebirth. It's all there, we see it all the time.

It was a bloody weekend for our troops in Iraq. So many lives lost. Those soldiers are brave and deserve our support. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to be a soldier and going to war, knowing full well that they might not return. Is there a comparison here between a soldier and a person who straps himself with a bomb and blows up himself hoping to take a few enemies with him for the greater good? Is there a difference?

It was a great Labour Day Weekend in Winnipeg. The Forks Market teamed with people. I have not seen so many people at the Forks in a long time. It seemed like the entire city was there. The sun unleashed a heat I had not felt in a long time. One woman told me that when she was a child, she could not remember the sun that hot and that there was a softness to it. She blamed the global warming for the change.

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra had a free half hour performance under the Canopy at the Forks. People appeared to have enjoyed that a lot. It was great. The conductor was a woman.

Isn't it a shame what happened to Steve Irwin, the TV Host who was accidentally killed while on the job? I understand it was a stingray that pierced through his heart. As a child I was terrified of stingray. They can be found in Guyana's rainforest area in streams and rivers. As a child I heard a lot of stories about stinray knocking up pork knockers. Steve gave us a lot of thrills sitting in our armchairs while he exposed himself to mortal danger. Too bad he had to leave us so soon. I will miss him on Jay Leno's show. He had a regular spot there.
That's all for now. Gotto go home now.
Cafe Talk Winnipeg