Friday, October 9, 2009
I am concerned that the decision to prematurely award Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize will prove to be a greater source of disappointment and resentment throughout the international community than one of cooperation and peace. The committee's decision could also strengthen any existing arguments against the Prize's status as a true symbol of Peace-enhancing accomplishments.
Indeed, the aftermath of this award will further lengthen an already hefty list of obstacles facing the Obama administration!
Furthermore, awarding Obama at this stage of the game trivializes the Prize and transforms it into a tool to wield against opponents; to strengthen Obama's initiative toward paving peace. The peace prize is intended to be an honour bestowed on individuals who have ALREADY significantly contributed or made longstanding commitments to endeavours that furthered peace in various capacities. I believe that a quick glance at past winners demonstrates that fact--Mother Theresa, Woodrow... Wilson, Nelson Mandela, even our own Lester B. Pearson--all honoured after a) a life b)visible, consistent ACTION devoted to peace-paving goals.
Obama may aspire to pave peace in various areas, but where is the evidence? The prize should not be awarded in anticipation of great achievements or noble action, but after such accomplishments. Winning a peace prize shouldn't be an 'easy feat'.
A friend of mine questioned whether "Obama's peaceful intentions [are] really worthy of less recognition then that group's warlike actions", especially when seemingly bellicose officials like Kissinger have been awarded, to which I respond:
Everyone and their brother desires 'world peace'. True, the legacy of individuals like Kissinger are questionable, however at least they achieved something concrete that, if fully successful, would have established some semblance of improved peace/stability.
To position Obama next to the achievements of people like Willy Brandt, Gorbachev, Elie Wiesel? They have concrete evidence to show for their 'hopes & and dreams of peace'. Just because Obama wants 'change' and peace doesn't mean he should be lauded for it
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Fresh Autumn Pesto:
Spaghettini with garlic and garden-fresh basil tossed with a shrimp, tomato, and zucchini sautée
Step 1: Basil Pesto--inspired by one of my fav blogs, 'Simply Recipe'.
Step 2: Shrimp Sautée--1 medium tomato, diced; 1 large clove garlic; approx. quarter cup diced green onion; 2 tbsp lemon juice; shelled, de-veined shrimp; salt and pepper to taste; approx. 2-4 tbsp. olive oil.
-Warm water olive oil in med-large non-stick skillet/pan.
-Add 1 large clove garlic, fresh ground pepper and salt
-approx 2 tbsp lemon juice
-add shelled, de-veined shrimp to mixture
-wait no more than 5 min and add thinly chopped yellow zucchini and fresh diced tomatoes
Step 3: Pasta--Once waiting on shrimp sautée, bring salted water to a boil and add Spaghettini
Once pasta is strained and most of steam dissipates, dish into individual servings, adding about 2 spoonfuls of pesto per serving (depending on size, obviously!), mix, top with shrimp sautée, add extra Parmesan cheese, and ENJOY!
Curried Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Soup:
-1 1/2 med. tomatoes, diced
-2 medium sized onions
-3 large cloves garlic
-1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
-1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
-1/4 cup milk
-3 cups vegetable stock
-1-2 cups water
-approx. 3-4 tbsp. olive oil
-1 tbsp cumin
-1 tbsp coriander
-1/2 tsp curry powder
-dash of tomato sauce (slightly less than ¼ cup)
-approx. ½ tsp fresh basil
-approx ¼ tsp fresh oregano
*While on the stovetop, I didn’t turn the soup any higher than Med. Heat—for the most part, I’d say it was on Med-low.
Approx preparation time: 30min
Approx. cooking time: 1 hr
-Heat olive oil in large soup pot, adding onions and garlic gradually—allow to soften
-Add curry powder, along with cumin, coriander, and salt and pepper
-Add veggie stock and 1 cup of water
-Add cauliflower & sweet potato
-Allow to cook for 5-10 min, monitoring thickness, then add 1 cup water
-Add diced tomatoes, stir and allow to simmer
-Add tomato sauce
-Add ¼ cup milk
-Add basil and oregano in last 20min or so of cooking
-If desired, add more salt and pepper (I was pretty generous with the pepper)
*Once finished, purée and enjoy!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Here are the Hylozoists performing at London's LOLA festival (courtesy of CBC Concerts on Demand)!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Primarily, widespread alarm has followed the Federal Government's recent appeal of Omar Khadr's return to Canada (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawas-masochistic-khadr-decision-assailed/article1262977/).
The Conservatives' decision to eliminate two crucial terms, 'child soldier' and 'humanitarian law' from the Department of Foreign Affairs' lexicon has also precipitated speculation of a dangerous shift in Canadian foreign policy.
Admittedly, as posited by Errol--forget his last name! will fix later (interviewed by Lamb this morning), who is an expert in Constitutional and international law, a government is completely justified in altering its foreign policy course. Thus, recent criticism is not evidence of an unwarranted attack from by Liberal/NDP factions against the depravity of right wing views or Conservatism in Canada. [Incidentally, this move has indicated a significant break in continuity with the legacy of the (Progressive) conservative party. Brian Mulroney was actually one of the primary champions of the 'rights of the child' in international law.] Rather, opposition is directed at Harper's persistent execution of 'Democracy on the sly'. In order to legitimately address constitutional questions, politicians must adhere to a fully open and democratic process. Lamentably, (and, not for the first time) the Harper government has covertly implemented its changes, while maintaining that actions were backed by the majority of Canadians.
As an individual who paid close attention to last year's election issues, I do not recall significant foreign policy changes being critically examined at all. Hm.. suspicious. Once again, Harper has opted for 'democracy on the sly'.
View episode brief and links to the podcast here:
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The focus was the under-discussed and often undiagnosed, yet ubiquitous condition known as Acedia. Host Mary Hynes spoke with critically acclaimed author and Acedia-sufferer Kathleen Norris.
Here's a passage from Norris' acclaimed book, (that, incidentally, i have added to my 'to read' list)'Acedia and Me':
I felt bored, tediously bored.
I felt lethargic, tepid, like warm milk at midday.
I wanted to escape the confining and cramped cell of this book.
I enviously wanted to be elsewhere reading an exciting book.
I felt cynical—angry, even bitter.
“This book is drudgery—too much work—I don’t want to care about this book and this subject! Norris doesn’t want a relationship with me—she doesn’t care about me—I don’t care either.”
Dr. Benjamin Pratt defines Acedia as:
a dangerous lethargy [that prompts] stubborn sadness, world weariness, restless boredom, and cynicism. It is morphine to our spirits, squelching joy from life. Even God is no longer viewed as good.
The following is a New York Times review of Norris' explorations: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/books/review/Harrison-t.html
Here's the cbc link at which the podcast can be found. That or else, go to itunes: http://www.cbc.ca/tapestry/archives/2008/102608.html
Also, here's an interesting PBS interview with Kathleen Norris:
Will write more later. Just have been meaning to share this through as many outlets as possible. Really is fascinating.
Interestingly, yesterday evening's adventure to see 'Julie and Julia' prompted some of these thoughts. At one point, the down-and-out Julie (Amy Adams) receives a stellar vote of confidence from her mother who deems blogging to be a self-serving & rather purposeless endeavour.
Perhaps blogs do simply serve to perpetuate those circular 'me me me' thoughts that whir about individuals' brains?
Alternatively, I could romanticize this issue (as I am wont to do :) )--blogging then becomes an impassioned attempt to thrust oneself into the vast expanse of the world wide web in search of a faint glimmer of humanity--a pitiful call for intimate connection in a world of impersonal 'interconnectedness'.
Okay, so perhaps the latter is a bit exaggerated; but there is some validity to the claim. So often I find myself poised in front of a computer screen amidst all these glorious wires and blinking lights that bless me with instantaneous connection with friends and family throughout the world. Yet, so often I feel utterly detached.
Blogging could be a way of personalizing the internet; of demonstrating that there's more to fast-paced communication than small talk and empty chit chat. I'd like to think that, during those weeks or months when, for whatever reason, I am unreachable by phone or for lengthy face-to-face dialogues, having a blog could allow close friends to catch a glimpse of my life. To somehow remain in touch.
Well, I'll close now.
This issue will obviously remain fodder for public debate, but one final thought:
Whether or not one forges new connections or relationships with fellow bloggers or passing viewers, at the least blogging helps us to uncover or to regain sight of the SELF that is so often overwhelmed or obscured by the demands and the doldrums of day-to-day life.
With that, I say, BLOG AWAY!!