For administrative reasons, I am moving this blog over to my old website. From now on, I’ll be blogging at http://www.brigittepellerin.com. Hope to see you there!
I’m doing my best to watch this with an open mind. I am trying to understand what it is about this man that so many people see.
I confess I am still not getting it. I hear what he’s saying. In fact I’ve said some of those things myself (that Canadians don’t like political nastiness and aren’t nearly as partisan as all that, that Canadians are desperately hoping to hear REAL TALK from politicians instead of rehashed talking points, that young people are engaged in their own way, that left-right divides aren’t where most people are at, that we ought to focus on helping each other out more than trying to smash down opponents, and so on). I also like his commitment not to go negative, although honestly his conduct in the House of Commons (that Peter Kent episode, especially, for which he apologized) and elsewhere (that Francs-Tireurs interview) in recent years gives me reasons to doubt his sincerity – but whatever, we’ll see where he goes from here.
So here’s my question to those of you out there reading this who are Trudeau believers: Can you explain to me what, specifically, it is you see in him? Add your comment, or reply on Facebook or Twitter. I am not a Liberal and many of the Liberal policies I strongly disagree with. But that’s not the point. I would like to understand the fascination with Trudeau. Maybe I’m immune to it, I don’t know. But I’d like to understand it anyway. Help!
I try not to follow every new food/health craze, because you can go nuts in no time flat trying to follow all those recommendations that often contradict each other. But I’ve spent many years training very hard and finding the best way to look after my body, with results that I think are fairly decent. I’m told I don’t look my age (I’m 42), I am rarely sick and don’t suffer (knock wood) serious injuries even though I beat myself up pretty hard (6-8 hours of martial arts and 18-20 KM of jogging per week).
My secret? I need sleep (7.5 hours night), protein (1 g of protein per kilo of body weight per day), good fat (real butter, heavy cream, stinky cheese, fish oils), water (at least 3 litres per day) and exercise.
So now you’ll understand how much I enjoyed reading this…
I am absolutely convinced that low-fat, low-meat and non-fibre carb diets are responsible for many health problems we find today, even among folks who are trying their best to stay healthy. Now researchers are starting to wonder whether those diets contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, too. Your brain needs fat, your body needs protein, and no-fibre carbs are pretty much a negative (though an often delicious one). It’s time we brought back diets that work well for the human body.
A nice piece summarizing the problem of kids with degrees (often graduate degrees) ending up working at a coffee shop. Not that there’s anything wrong about working at a coffee shop. There are no unworthy jobs. But if you spent 6-8 years of your life, and borrowed tens of thousands of dollars, to acquire a degree in something unrelated to coffee-shoppery, let’s just say earning minimum wage serving java was probably not your career plan number one. It’s going to be a while before you’re debt free…
So, now what? Honestly if you’re in that situation already, I don’t have much by way of practical suggestion to offer. Develop marketable skills and do your best. But if you’re thinking about your options near the end of high school and aren’t really sure what to do with your life, here’s what I would suggest you try.
Instead of going to college because everyone tells you it’s the thing to do, take the time to take a good look inside yourself and figure out who you are. What do you really want to do? Who do you really want to be? A fantastically rich and successful rock star? Good. How do you get there, and what else could you do in that vein that would make you happy if your Plan A fails to materialize? Would working in a band at weddings make you happy, too? If so, then work on your music. Hard. And have some kind of other marketable skills ready to go in case the music gig doesn’t work for you. You want to be an accountant? Great! You should head straight for that college program. You want to work in the construction industry? Awesome. Head for the technical college.
You’re 16 and have no idea who you are and what you want to be? You’re exactly like I was. I had no idea either. I finished high school (by the skin of my teeth, yes, but still), took a few years off school and went to work. I started at McDonald’s then moved to retail then started a small business, then wrapped it up a few years later and decided, at that point, that I wanted to go to university to study law. I got in, and worked in a bar to pay for my tuition so I wouldn’t end up in debt. A good thing, too – for at the end of my degree, in my mid-20s, I realized I didn’t really want to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a writer. I worked all kinds of odd jobs (research projects, translator, editor, ghost writer), worked for free as a columnist for an online magazine for a few years (nothing helps you get a job as a paid writer more than being able to put “published” before “writer”), wrote a few books, and here I am today, with a steady well-paying job in a major media company. If you’d asked me 20 years ago what my chances would be to end up where I am today I would have said roughly zero. (And no, I never went to j-school.)
Yes, I worked low-paid and low-skilled jobs. A lot. I sold shoes, beer, cars, insurance, clothes, food and fashion accessories. I even learned to make pizza. Once I worked the night shift in a convenience store making sandwiches. It wasn’t glamorous. But the experience I gained in those years serves me to this day. So does my law degree (amazing how often it comes in handy). Plus of course all the things I learned along the way reading books, going to lectures or speeches, and just listening to smart people. And you know what? All this bizarre twisted unrelated random experience is helping me be a better journalist.
Today I tell kids to get an education, absolutely. ALWAYS LEARN SOMETHING, no matter what you do. But don’t necessarily go to college – at least not until you have a pretty good idea *why* you’re going there and have some kind of plan to pay for it. Earn yourself a scholarship, find a job you can do while you study, even if that means it takes you two extra years to finish your degree. Real-world experience counts, and a future employer will probably favour an applicant who was able to think ahead and had a plan for staying out of debt while gaining real-world experience over some slack-jawed kid who has no idea who he wants to be and still doesn’t know why he majored in English.
So there. That’s my advice. Figure out who you are, always learn something, stay out of debt as much as possible, and be prepared to work hard. And don’t you dare think that a job is beneath you. Good luck!
Kids having sex: fine. Kids drinking too much soda: not so much.
I’ll repeat what I said earlier this week on TV. In order to convict someone of a crime, the Crown needs to prove two things *beyond a reasonable doubt*:
1. The actus reus (the “guilty thing”)
2. The mens rea (the “guilty mind”)
Both are equally important to get a conviction. I gather in this case there was never any doubt about the actus reus – we know who killed Sgt. Russell. The only question was whether the Crown could prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused had the necessary mental capacities, at the time of the events, to understand the consequences of his actions and to know the difference between right and wrong. The Crown presented its evidence and the Defense did what it could to raise a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors. Based on the evidence presented at trial, the jury found that the Crown had failed to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that the accused had the “guilty mind”. That means that under the law he cannot be found guilty of the crime. He is considered “not criminally responsible”.
Now I have not seen the evidence and have no plans to second-guess the jury. But I will say this: The finding of “not criminally responsible” is not a new development brought about by maudlin left-wing media and/or judges. It is a legal concept that goes back hundreds of years.
Does that make it fair to the family of the victim? No. Absolutely not. But – and I realize what I’m about to say sounds heartless, but it is nevertheless the truth – the criminal justice system is not about fairness, and it’s not about victims. It’s about the Queen’s justice (that’s why it’s the Crown prosecuting criminals under the Criminal Code, not the victim or the victim’s family).
Nothing will ever make it right for the family of Sgt. Russell. He didn’t deserve to die, his wife didn’t deserve to be widowed and his son didn’t deserve to grow up without his dad. And regardless of how heart-wrenchingly painful it is for them and for anyone in a similar situation, the reality is that a jury of his peers – not Don Cherry’s left-wing bogeymen – after carefully reviewing the evidence, found the accused not guilty of first-degree murder in the case.
Update: Christie Blatchford makes some similar points, especially about the role of the criminal justice system with regards to victims and families of the victims.