Northern Reflections

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"There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent." Leo Tolstoy
Updated: 1 min 57 sec ago

Down For A Bit

Sat, 10/25/2014 - 06:00

                                         http://subjectguides.fortlewis.edu/

I haven't blogged much over the last few days. We are currently involved in moving my ninety-one year old mother into an assisted living facility in Montreal. For today, all I wish to say is that, while cancer is a viscous disease, and diabetes is a horrific disease, the most tragic disease is the one that results in the body outliving the mind.

I will be back in -- hopefully --  at a not too distant date. There is plenty to write about.


The Man Behind The Curtain

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 07:16

                                                http://www.sodahead.com

Andrew Coyne is a philosophical and an economic conservative. So one would expect that he would support the present government. But he saw through the facade long ago. Despite his conservative bias, he has very little good to say about the Harper government:

If the nastiness of its politics is the dominant impression of this government, it is in part for lack of anything else to identify it. It seems so pointless, all this poisonous effort for so little actual accomplishment, until you realize that is the point: The partisanship is in place of the policy, not in pursuit of it. The end is only power, and power is, with few exceptions, the only thing of consequence this government has achieved.
Coyne sees the government's critics as inconsequential -- a judgement that will either prove valid or invalid. Nonetheless, Coyne writes:

It is the belief in this government’s consequentiality that, oddly, unites its critics and its friends. Much of that, I think, is bound up in the prime minister’s persona. Foes see a ruthless revolutionary; fans, a sober-sided, get ’er done chief executive, capable of making, as a Globe story put it recently, the “tough decisions.” He seems a formidable character, for good or ill: It is hard to believe that all that intelligence and self-discipline could not be in the service of some larger purpose, or at least some grander strategic design. Even dispassionate observers like Maclean’s magazine’s Paul Wells, in The Longer I’m Prime Minister, attribute to him a vast, if incremental, efficacy: so incremental it eludes the naked eye.
That judgment has always seemed -- to me, at least -- weak minded. Harper is a Canadian version of the Wizard Oz. If he's been successful, it's because he has been allowed by an apathetic public to operate behind a curtain. And he does his best to keep the curtain drawn.