Monday, February 20, 2017

Capitalism is not the enemy

The fact that Pope Francis is a strong critic of capitalism bothers me. Matthew Lau says:
In another speech in February, Pope Francis said that “capitalism continues to produce discarded people” — an ill that, according to him, is thankfully curtailed by taxes which promote “solidarity” and “mutual care.” He then told the over 1,000 listening to his address that “we must work toward changing the rules of the game of the socio-economic system.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with capitalism, and many things right about it. Greed and excess etc.--is a product of man not capitalism.

For over fifteen years my husband and I owned and operated a small business. We created jobs for people, we provided goods and services, we provided our children with a good and honest work ethic, we contributed to the economy of our country. This is all good and healthy. It is not evil.

After those years of running our company we both took jobs for the next fifteen years in the government. The amount of money wasted and squandered in government was horrendous--those taxes Francis talks about are frequently mismanaged and wasted. The way many people were treated and abused in government was horrifying. Managers on power trips, and employees too lazy to work sprinkle themselves throughout the bureaucracy. Managers who couldn't manage produced "discarded people", not capitalism.

As business owners we never wasted money, we worked hard and didn't abuse people, we added to the GDP. There was nothing nefarious about the fact that because we lived in a capitalist society, we were able to make a good and honest living as well as provide people with jobs. All because of capitalism.

I would argue that communist governments like Cuba, are evil. The people there suffer from low wages, lack of goods and services, lack of motivation, lack of basic property rights, lack of something to strive for. These kinds of living conditions do not occur to this extent under capitalism.

In third world countries where there are very poor people, is it capitalism that's at fault, or is it corrupt leaders, wars and terrorists that are at fault?

Certainly there are greedy and evil capitalists. Just like there are greedy and evil people in dictatorships, in socialism, in communism, and in terrorists.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Minister Joly interview on CBC's Power & Politics regarding "Islamophobia" motion

I received a copy of this letter from a Canadian citizen to Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, regarding the "Islamophobia" Motion. Well worth the read. 

The Minister doesn't seem to grasp the problem with the motion as it currently stands.

Interview here.


Dear Minister Joly,

I just finished watching Terry Milewski interview you on Power & Politics regarding the "Islamophobia" motion. 

He asked you why you would not consider changing the word "Islamophobia" in the motion to "hatred of Muslims" for example. Irwin Cotler apparently also made the same suggestion to you, as did some Conservative MPs.

And yet, you did not explain why you refused to make that change, which members of all parties would probably agree with. Terry Milewski repeated a few times that "Islamophobia" means (at least for some people) fear of the religion, Islam, and not fear/hatred of the Muslim people. In other words, fear of the ideas that Islam espouses (for example, death to infidels.) And in the debate in Parliament today, I heard Conservative MPs make this distinction as well.

With respect, Minister Joly, you did not seem to grasp what Mr. Milewski was saying. You do not seem to grasp this important distinction. You kept going back to examples of hatred against Muslims. And yes, we can all agree that is WRONG. So why do you not then change the word "Islamophobia" in the motion to "hatred against the Muslim people"?? That is exactly what Mr. Milewski was asking, as have people like Irwin Cotler. And, with respect, you have not given a coherent response to that question.

I urge you, Minister Joly, to watch for yourself the interview you gave to Terry Milewski. You will see that you are not addressing his questions regarding the distinction between "Islamophobia" and "hatred of Muslims." 

You go on to say you don't want to curtail free speech. Well, if a person criticizes an Islamic idea such as "death to infidels," then they could be considered "Islamophobic" (since there's no definition of that term in M-103) and because M-103 condemns "Islamophobia" then you are effectively saying you want to condemn people who make legitimate criticisms of ideas like "death to infidels."

I sincerely hope, Minister Joly, that you/the PMO/Ms Khalid will amend M-103 accordingly. Otherwise, we can only conclude that the Liberal government really does intend with M103 to condemn people who validly criticize the religion of Islam, thus putting a chill on freedom of expression which will also undermine freedom of religion in this country. 

I have to assume you want to do the right thing, Minister Joly, for Muslims and indeed for all Canadians. Then please, try to understand what Terry Milewski was getting at and what Irwin Cotler and some Conservative MPs were explaining was the problem with M103. Please don't discount what someone is saying, just because they are not part of your Liberal government. I would hope, in the spirit of inclusiveness, you would listen to what is reasonable, regardless of who it is coming from, and not continue down this divisive path, purely for the sake of partisan politics. 

Thank you for considering my remarks, Minister Joly, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Thank God for St. Michael the Archangel

I was able to go to Mass while in Toronto to the newly refurbished St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. Such a beautiful building. A fitting home for God in Canada's largest city.

Bishop Michael Power originally built the Cathedral in 1845. He never saw its completion because he died of typhus, from the Irish who he helped when they more than doubled the size of Toronto:
"Bishop Power did not live to see the completion of the building he had spearheaded. In January 1847, Power had departed on a six month-month trip to Europe to recruit priests for the growing Diocese of Toronto and to raise money for the Cathedral. The trip took him to Ireland where he witnessed the Great Famine (1845-1851) that would result in the emigration of so many Irish to Canada. Prior to his return, Bishop Power sent a pastoral letter read in all Catholic churches in and around Toronto, urging congregations to be prepared for the influx of Irish Famine victims. Between May and October 1847 over 38,000 emigrants arrived in Toronto. With a population of only 20,000, the influx strained local resources. Upon his return to Toronto, Bishop Power administered to the sick and dying, many of who were suffering from typhus. He contracted the fever and died on October 1, 1847. During Bishop Power’s Episcopate, the number of Catholics in the Diocese of Toronto approximately doubled from 25,000 in 1842 to 50,000 to 1847. During his short term, Bishop Power provided energetic leadership to the Catholic community. 
He is remembered for his contributions to the new Diocese of Toronto including the establishment of its operational framework. The construction of St. Michael’s Cathedral and his compassion to the victims of Irish famine. Although the funeral of Bishop Power was held at St. Paul’s, he was buried in the crypt of the unfinished St. Michael’s Cathedral."

 I'm glad St. Michael he Archangel is out there protecting us all from evil. Of which there is a lot.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

False gods are alive and well

A lot of celebrities died in 2016. People get all weird about these deaths, of people they don't even know.

Then there are sports people. People get all weird about them too. Games have throngs of screaming fans who go crazy over their favourite team and or sports person.

Sports people and celebrities--these are the new gods of the 21st century. People are looking for some kind of transcendent meaning to their lives but can't find it. They don't believe in God anymore, or if they do, God doesn't play an active role in their lives. Their search finds what they are looking for in the hero worship of humans, humans they look up to, humans who are famous, humans who are fallible, humans they don't even know.

And then these fallible imperfect human celebrities die, and those who don't know them, mourn them. It's all so weird.

St. Augustine of Hippo famously said in his book Confessions
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
If Jesus Christ appeared at a hockey rink instead of the usual hockey players, I wonder how the crowd would react to him. Would they cheer him? Would they give him a standing ovation? Would they adore him? If Jesus was tortured, humiliated, spat upon, nailed to a tree to and died, would they mourn his death? Would they even know who he was?

Maybe I'm the weird one. Maybe everyone else knows something that I don't know.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Lies from the father of lies

For anyone who thinks Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church did nothing about Hitler read this:
The Pope, Christmas, and the “Fake News” about Hitler

The author ends with this:
"So why does the myth persist of the “silence” of the Church? For the same reason that other anti-Catholic myths have found a place in our culture. In this case, it’s more than just “fake news,” because when the Church’s heroic efforts at rescue are ignored or even transformed into their very opposite, it’s out-and-out lying prompted by the Father of Lies."

Friday, November 18, 2016

When people flocked to Mary in Ottawa 1947

The provincial promotional office Ciné-Québec presents the Marian Congress in Ottawa, June 1947.

A tribute to His Excellency Archbishop Alexandre Vachon, Archbishop of Ottawa

A film by Fr. Maurice Proulx

"The great serenity instilled within countless faithful by preaching and prayer will never be known.
The anonymous face of this throng will never reveal the individual exaltations of consciences, the hidden, intimate shared joy. 
Transcending the divisions of languages and borders, the universal Catholic Church here offers the comfort of true faith and many are they who come to draw from it. 
The Heads of State whose daily task is the life of a nation. 
The great and the humble, the weak who no longer feel tired, the sick who smile in the blazing sun, the pious and the reluctant who ask for strength, the strong who seek prudence, the unbelievers who are surprised at being shaken, the skeptics who look on astonished and cannot avert their eyes, the curious or the sincere, they all wanted to go to the Virgin, and grace lined their way."