Monday, January 25, 2010

Rare Good News

School or jail.

The choice seems obvious.

Yet it is only now that a local court had found the way to offer some people who break the law a chance to really change their own destiny.

Fourteen people to get a shot at a new life

Three schools offer courses for Judge Gove to allocate in court

This was the story in The Province over the weekend.

Read it and be cheered that we are at least trying something positive.

Then, follow this tale over the coming months and see how many have succeeded.

For this is only the offer and the first step, and many will fail.

But that is life and that is human endeavour and if one person succeeds, we will have done something.


The news and the stories and photos from Haiti are relentless.

So too are the "good" stories of a world jumping in to help - money, aid, supplies, food, clothing, the adoption of children and plans to try to rebuild a much better community.

But how can one absorb this idea - bulldozers pushing 90,000 dead into newly dug mass graves in the Haitian hillsides?

All praise to those who are helping in any large or small way. If you want to send a dollar, just Google something like "Haiti relief" and I am sure you will find a toll free number or website.

Here at home, I returned from a week of work in Winnipeg to learn that a lovely young woman in our neighbourhood had died.

She was the daughter of a local shop owner.

I scarcely knew her, but I knew her pop and I stopped in to see him.

There were 90,000 and they are real.

And there was one and she was real.

Grief is local and it is universal.

Familiar Ring

I confess ignorance here.

So you will forgive my being shocked by the revelation today that Canadian banks are buoyed by enormous support from me and you and our tax dollars.

At the end of 2008, the latest figures we have, CMHC had $149-billion of investments in mortgage-backed securities on its balance sheet, up from $96-billion the previous year.


Does anyone remember what happened not too many miles south not too many months ago?

Text Me

Last night over dinner, a friend pointed out that he knows many young people in their early twenties who text between 200 and 300 messages a day.

These important communications, he added, are typically of the order of "sup?"

Which roughly translated means, "And so Reginald, how is life treating you exactly these days, and how pray tell are you filling your ample time?"

The Globe editorial this morning leaps madly into the fray by suggesting that our youth are

Mesmerized by screens

Well, duh...

What, the writers ask, has ever happened to free play?

What, indeed.

Oddly and happily enough, there are more children than ever going to libraries and soccer practice and ballet lessons and the like.

But that doesn't change the fact that most people under the age of ...40?... are addicted to their cells and blackberries and TVs and computers.

Maybe they're just great at multi-tasking.

Rare Talent

Jean Simmons was one of my favorite movie actors and stars.

She died Friday at her home in Santa Monica at the age of 80.

Simmons was impossibly beautiful and she had the most lovely speaking voice.

And she was unforgettable as Sister Sharon in "Elmer Gantry."

Jean Simmons R.I.P.