Paradoxical Scientific Reporting
If this paper is true, then is it likely false?
If this paper is true, then is it likely false?
What a performance of The Merchant of Venice tonight! Despite the sad, unexpected passing of artistic director Patrick Christopher-Carter, Halifax's Shakespeare by the Sea's troupe matches up with the best that I have seen.
There is a happy—and that is not to say sappy—ending for everybody in “The Merchant of Venice”—everybody except Shylock. “Thou torturest me, Tubal!” he
exclaims when he learns that Jessica has traded that ring for a monkey. “It was my turquoise. I had it of Leah [his dead wife, Jessica’s mother] when I was a bachelor.”
And then, in an extraordinary line: “I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.”
Which says it all. Such is the world. A wilderness of monkeys.
Welcome to an old classmate, Liam O'Brien, across the blogosphere - although technically he's been around for some time. Liam's one of the sane members of the Blogging Tories, an honourable gentlemen and enjoyer of fine Scotch. He (along with Anna Pugh from Whitehorse) convinced me of the futility of the gun registry in the basement of the Domus one night with sound argument and good Keith's. He's one to watch.
A day early! Simply because it derives from a larger wonderful article on "classical" music (via Wells) that deserves as large an audience as possible, and because it is wonderful writing that speaks the truth. And who knows where this night will lead me into tomorrow. Do have plans for Shakespearean play #17 since last June tonight. From Vancouver Harbour through London, Oxford, and Stratford, now back to Point Pleasant Park. Bring on The Merchant of Venice. Will Bill Shakespeare do it again?
The best music is music that persuades us that there is no other music in the world. This morning, for me, it was Sibelius’s Fifth; late last night, Dylan’s “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”; tomorrow, it may be something entirely new. I can’t rank my favorite music any more than I can rank my memories.
Alex Ross, "Listen to This"
A little Ahab "Cheers and Jeers" to TDH Strategies' commentary yesterday (August 23rd):
Can anyone disagree? [dare I ask, lest Cherniak turn out a post entitled "Martin Has Saved Health Care"?]. I hope the Fall Parliamentary session sees some movement on this file beyond the tired bluster that "no one" wants "two-tier" healthcare. A meeting of Federal and Provincial Health Ministers, as Sinister Thoughts has long suggested (day 76), would be a productive first step. Let's please move away from political posturing and toward constructive engagement.
"Either disregard your claim to supporting a universal health care system, or begin the conversation on how we can better regulate the industry by updating the Canada Health Act.
But for the federal government to continue to operate in this grey area of apathy is just unacceptable, lazy and short-sighted governance."
We must modernize the Canada Health Act. And correspondingly, the only way a process can stay true to Canadian values and ensure the trust of the public is if it begins with a Liberal government.The "only" way? I don't know whether that's an indictment more squarely of the Canadian public or the Opposition parties. It is a sad statement, surely, that seemingly the only ones we can trust to save the public system are those same ones who have overseen the sharp rise in private clinics.
Liberals backbenchers are probably right to be concerned about the prospect of a Winter election following the Gomery report, but they have no legitimate grievance here. The Prime Minister knew exactly what the 30-day promise entailed when he went on the air under the guise of "emergency" to plead for an additional Gomery grace period.
Or poem actually. More Kavanaugh (favorite line obviously bold-faced):
Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal DublinI liked that one so much, here's another, perhaps better:
“Erected to the Memory of Mrs Dermot O’Brien.” (1958)
O commemorate me where there is water,
Canal water preferably, so stilly
Greeny at the heart of summer. Brother
Commemorate me thus beautifully
Where by a lock Niagarously roars
The falls for those who sit in the tremenduous silence
Of mid-July. No one will speak in prose
Who finds his way to these Parnassian islands.
A swan goes by head low with many apologies,
Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges—
And look! A barge comes bringing from Athy
And other far-flung towns mythologies.
O commemorate me with no hero-courageous
Tomb – just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by.
I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
I heard the Duffys shouting "Damn your soul!"
And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen
Step the plot defying blue cast-steel -
"Here is the march along these iron stones."
That was the year of the Munich bother. Which
Was more important? I inclined
To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin
Till Homer's ghost came whispering to my mind.
He said: I made the Iliad from such
A local row. Gods make their own importance.
The Kos '08 Straw Poll continues to favor Wesley Clark. Fair enough, as the bigger shock is, though I recognize he is only at 1%, there are still 158 people at that site who would like John Kerry to run AGAIN. Why? Were there still die-hard Bob Dole supporters out there in 2000? Some things just cannot be explained.
Otherwise, it's another Rum and Coke Friday. Check out yet another classic "Cheers and Jeers": Have a Great Weekend! Go make Liberal babies. Too funny. As Rick James might say, "Enjoy yourself!"
Some very shrewd observations by Colby Cosh on l'affaire Jean as well. You have to love the blogosphere for the quickness of its nature. And especially because most newspapers probably wouldn't let you refer to the Governor-General Designate and her "consort" as follows:
"It also seems pretty clear that, at one time at least, they were crass leftist
hipsters with a serious boner for Frantz Fanon."
Who knows if his vacation is over, but it is good to have Mr. Coyne back in the blogosphere. I hadn't read his latest reaction to Ms. Jean before posting below, though my thoughts continue tend toward the passively indifferent on this. But as always, Canada's best journalist makes several valid and compelling points:
How far our expectations have sunk. Because she's not currently working to bring about the destruction of the country, that makes her an appropriate choice for Governor General? She drinks toasts with the founder of the FLQ, her husband
hangs around with Pierre Laporte's murderers, she's supposed to represent the
Queen as a citizen of the French Republic, and she's known outside Quebec, if at
all, as the presenter of hysterically anti-American documentaries on Newsworld.
She has no record of service to the country, no outstanding accomplishments to her name, no specialized knowledge of law, politics or the constitution.
This isn't a sales clerk we're hiring. This is supposed to be the position of supreme honour and prestige in the country, one with important symbolic and substantive roles. It should be filled by titans, revered national icons, whose love of country is reflected in the love their country has for them.
This blog has been rather silent throughout the pettiness of the Michelle Jean business, perhaps because I keep nursing mid-week Split Crow induced hangovers, McNair is an avowed anti-monarchist, and Cooper has decided to join the ranks of Andrew Coyne in the internet's ether. I comment only now, at the end, because the Globe and Mail has treated the latest announcement to a full page spread here at home, following yesterday's overdue and all-too-official "clarification", and because the whole scene represents a fine example of the true pettiness and general ridiculousness of Canadian politics as a whole.
Tomorrow, fittingly, as Kos' "Bill in Portland Maine" will surely remind you, is Rum-and-Coke Friday as well. I have paid good money to a Young Liberal fundraiser to partake in a party "Boat Cruise". So in a salute to the rum runners of olde, I'll smuggle a pint aboard, order pop, toast my favorite captains (Ahab, Picard, and Mayo) and feign increasing worry about the state of the good ship Liberal. Ah, you Nova Scotia Good Times.
... so is the only prescription more Cow Bell?
A favorite new proverb. Still thirsty for that ever-expanding open road, while resting and scheming for the next destination within these cubicle walls. The ocean gives me strength. Onward:
"Fighting-men, all," the Master repeated, while Leclair listened with keen enjoyment and the Legion stood attentive, with the white-burnoused horsemen giving ear to every word - astonished, no doubt, to hear Arabic speech from the lips of an unbeliever. "We have traveled far, from the Lands of the Books. Is it not meritorious, O Sheik? Doth not thy Prophet himself say: 'Voyaging is victory, and he who journeyeth not is both ignorant and blind?"'
- George Allan England, The Flying Legion
"Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me."
-Sigmund Freud(1856 - 1939)
In an article otherwise important for its content on a possible fall election, Scott Reid offers the zinger of the week:
The government would no more force an election before Justice Gomery reports than we would follow the Conservatives example of dressing up our leader in a two-sizes too small Buffalo Bill Cody leatherette costume," Martin spokesman Scott Reid said.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper was photographed at the Calgary Stampede this year wearing a cowboy hat, string tie and a tight black leather vest.
"That's what is truly known as trying to engineer your own downfall," Reid said.
24.At the moment, this means Senators are appointed merely at the whim of the PM (subject to the meager age and property requirements). What is to stop he or she from instituting any type of additional procedure prior to selection, signifying to the public a willingness to bound by the results? Consult the provinces and electorate, of course and by all means, but then make a choice and stick to it throughout your term. Future PMs won't be bound, obviously, but if the public supports the changes, reversing them would carry significant political cost. In short, attempt to establish a Constitutional convention on appointing individuals to the Senate. Such appointments could even be governed by conventional limits, etc...
The Governor General shall from Time to Time, in the Queen's Name, by Instrument under the Great Seal of Canada, summon qualified Persons to the Senate; and, subject to the Provisions of this Act, every Person so summoned shall become and be a Member of the Senate and a Senator.
If I were back in England, I would be glued to the tube watching the Champions League matches. As it is, I am resigned to following the BBC Live Updates, where you find this:
2124: GOAL Man Utd 3-0 Debrecen
Wayne Rooney is involved once again as he collects Ruud van Nistelrooy's pass inside the area on the right and centres for Cristiano Ronaldo to slide home the third. Rooney has now scored one and made two.
Such a genius of a player. If only he didn't play for damn Manchester United. Still, he could be the one to take England to the promised land in 2006. The dream lives on.
Cherniak has posted a Defence of the Senate in response to my post below that I find pretty unconvincing. So, consider this an offensive against this particular defence. You may want to go over and read his post to follow the debate.
Fine article by Norman Spector this morning on political appointments that gives me an opportunity to beat up an old hobby-horse again, our Senate. Part I here - where consummate Liberal Jason Cherniak even concedes in his comment that it should be either toothless or removed. This column is especially noteworthy given Spector's call for Conservatives to forget the Triple E and join the NDP in seeking to abolish the Senate. He's probably right.
Fortunately, unlike the head of state, we have no need for the Senate. Acting as a brake on the House of Commons is no longer considered acceptable in a democracy. And its lack of legitimacy as an appointed body precludes the Senate from representing the regions.Actually talked possible Senate reforms over beer this weekend [ah! more smashing pick-up line material -ed.] but kept coming back to a basic point: any proposed changes must be measured by how well they help a newly packaged Senate better achieve its ultimate purpose. What is that purpose? I agree wholeheartedly with Spector - I just don't see one. Its cost trumps any marginal usage. What's the point in keeping it around if it's to be toothless? In March I mused about the possibilities of an elected body, but wonder now if it is even worth the effort...
Ironically, the various reform proposals for the Red Chamber have become part of
the problem. Paying lip service to an elected senate allows some to accept the
kind of cushy appointment that most respectable people would otherwise be too
embarrassed to consider.
Western Canadian conservatives should face reality: Thirty-five years of agitation have come to naught, and the odds of achieving a Triple-E senate are virtually nil. Those who are genuinely offended by the appointment process should unite forces with New Democrats and demand the immediate abolition of an institution that, with a few notable exceptions, is little more than a patronage slough.No doubt the NDP has considerable aversion to joining forces with Conservatives on a host of issues. But some synergies do exist between those parties - especially in areas such as parliamentary reform - that the Liberals would not otherwise implement. Proportional Representation should be at the top of Layton's list as long as we are in minority territory, and the best chance to pass such a Bill down the road would be with CPC (not Liberal) support.
No recent development in Presidential Politics [and perhaps politics in general] infuriates me more than the obsession with polling hypothetical races and reporting the results as fact. Hence, my morning annoyance at the following, via Nealenews:
Poll: McCain, Giuliani would both beat HillaryWell, there you have it. Even though the election is over three years away, no one has declared their candidacy - much less a platform, and Kerry hasn't a hope in hell of winning the nomination. Yet this is supposed to represent news? I wonder what chance the polls would have given Bill Clinton against President G.H.W. Bush in 1989... The very definition of meaningless analysis.
Survey shows Clinton, Kerry losing in hypothetical races
Answer: portent of good things to come for the Democrats.
Yesterday, one of the reddest regions in America turned a whole lot bluer.
I ran in a special election to serve in the United States House of Representatives from the 2nd District of Ohio. I am a Marine recently returned from Iraq, a husband, a father, an attorney, and a Democrat.
When I won the Democratic primary for this contest, few people believed we had a shot at victory. But DFA put its faith in me -- and went to work organizing on the ground and online. Your support helped build the greatest Democratic get-out-the-vote effort this district has ever known.
While we didn't pull out a victory yesterday -- we came incredibly close. We got 48 percent of the vote. And in those results rests hope for the future.
It had been 15 years since a Democratic candidate for Congress received more than 30 percent of the vote in Ohio's 2nd District and decades since a Democrat held the seat. Your support helped me improve Democratic performance by nearly 20 percent. This is a victory for democracy. And if we can do this in Ohio -- we can do it anywhere.
Join me, and help DFA elect Democrats in Ohio and across the country:
We have the power to win back Congress. Yesterday proved it. And DFA is on the front lines of the fight -- determined, hopeful and fearless.
I believe we can change this country. I believe we can win in every state -- and I know that you do too. Please join me today:
A Farewell to John Major, yet another of the Supreme Court Justices who ventured into the basement of Dalhousie's Domus Legis in its dying days to sign the bar's door. I love this CBC report, though:
Supreme Court Justice John Major has announced that he will retire at the end of the year, two months ahead of his mandatory retirement date.
Major joined the court in 1992. His departure opens the door for a new justice on the country's top court in the new year.
Last year, the Quebec government asked Ottawa for a formal participation in the process to select justices.
Justice Minister Irwin Cotler has said he's prepared to seriously consider candidates proposed by Quebec.
I love the hilarious randomness that you can find accidently via Google. These political awards, especially the headliner, prove yet again that truth can be funnier than fiction. I look forward to handing out "The Grewal" from time to time.
Interesting thesis put forth by Thomas Friedman this morning:
Message: In U.S. politics, the party that most quickly absorbs the latest technology often dominates. F.D.R. dominated radio and the fireside chat; J.F.K., televised debates; Republicans, direct mail and then talk radio, and now Karl Rove's networked voter databases.
The technological model coming next - which Howard Dean accidentally uncovered but never fully developed - will revolve around the power of networks and blogging. The public official or candidate will no longer just be the one who talks to the many or tries to listen to the many. Rather, he or she will be a hub of connectivity for the many to work with the many - creating networks of public advocates to identify and
solve problems and get behind politicians who get it.