Mark Carney to Become the Governor of the Bank of England – The Canadian Conquest of Europe Begins

So, Mark Carney is becoming the governor of the Bank of England starting next February July.  Good for him.  Now if only we could find some way to put more Canadians in charge of the rest of the EU, maybe we could straighten out their mess. 

As an aside, it’s nice  to see that the Brits don’t seem to have any hang-ups about appointing a, ahem, foreigner to head one of their most important financial institution (I believe this is the first non-British Governor, though they have had senior American and Australian officials in the BoE). Could you imagine the uproar from the usual suspects in Canada if we were to appoint a Brit (no matter how talented) as the Governor of the Bank of Canada?

Justice Trudeau on Alberta – Aren’t you glad the Liberals don’t believe in divisive politics?

Conveniently timed to coincide with next week’s by-election in Calgary Center (where the Liberals were making noise about fighting a competitive race), Justin Trudeau, the presumptive heir apparent of the federal Liberals, is under siege for disparaging comments he made two years ago about Albertans.  In a 2010 interview with French-language interviewer Patrick Lagace, on a Tele-Quebec show called Les francs-tireurs, Trudeau said:

“Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work,”

When Lagace asked whether Trudeau believed Canada was better off “when there are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans,” Trudeau replied:

“I’m a Liberal, so of course I think so, yes. Certainly when we look at the great prime ministers of the 20th century, those that really stood the test of time, they were MPs from Quebec … This country — Canada — it belongs to us.”

Continue reading “Justice Trudeau on Alberta – Aren’t you glad the Liberals don’t believe in divisive politics?”

Notes on the Gaza War Part III – Walter Russell Mead and Proportionality in War

Walter Russell Mead has an interesting (if wrong) piece on the attitudes of the American public vis-a-vis the Gaza war.  The gist of his argument is that Americans do not object to Israeli actions in Gaza, because they reject the concept of proportionality in war:

In any case, when Israel brings the big guns and fast planes against Gaza’s popguns and low tech missiles, a great many Americans see nothing but common sense at work. These Americans aren’t mad about ‘disproportionate’ Israeli violence in Gaza because they don’t really accept the concept of proportionality in war. They think that if you have jus ad bellum, and rocket strikes from Gaza are definitely that, you get something close to a blank check when it comes to jus in bello.

Nice theory, as far as it goes.  Mind you, there’s an alternative, and I would suggest, more plausible, explanation.  It isn’t that Americans reject the notional of proportionality, it’s that they don’t believe (quite reasonably, in my view) that Israel’s actions in Gaza are disproportionate to the military goals that it seeks to achieve.  Continue reading “Notes on the Gaza War Part III – Walter Russell Mead and Proportionality in War”

Notes on the Gaza War Part II – Advice to Palestinians: Stop Cheering Civilian Casualties

What was most striking about this morning’s bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv was not the fact that Hamas, whose military wing reportedly claimed credit for the attack, was resorting to a tactic of targeting Israeli civilians.  That is, unfortunately for all concerned, an established practice on the part of Hamas, and part of the reason its leadership (to say nothing of ordinary Gazans) has spent the last week living in fear of Israeli air strikes.

No, what was particularly striking was the immediate reaction of ordinary Palestinians to the attack: Cheering.

Continue reading “Notes on the Gaza War Part II – Advice to Palestinians: Stop Cheering Civilian Casualties”

Notes On The Gaza War Part I – War Crimes and the Killing of Civilians

This morning’s bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv – for which Hamas’ military branch has claimed credit – drives home the fundamental moral distinction between Israel and Hamas in their ongoing war in Gaza.

For many of Israel’s critics, the death (or wounding) of civilians in Gaza is prima facie evidence of Israel’s evil and a war crime.  Mind you, those critics were notably quiet in response to repeated Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel over the past 4 years or, to the extent they do condemn such attacks, their condemnations are sotto voce and rather late in the day. But today’s events underscore the false equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

Continue reading “Notes On The Gaza War Part I – War Crimes and the Killing of Civilians”

The Republicans Need The “Rubio Rules”

In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, Marco Rubio was asked how old he thought the Earth was.  His answer is an object lesson in how not to answer stupid questions. 

I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.

Continue reading “The Republicans Need The “Rubio Rules””

Concordia University Student Sues School for Giving Him a B+

On the face, William Groombridge has a fair point.  He received an 81%, an A-minus, according to Concordia’s grading scheme, yet  he was awarded a B-plus.  For his trouble, he’s suing Concordia for $342

Still, I’m unsympathetic, because there’s a simple explanation why he got a B-plus- they deducted marks for having attended Concordia.  Seems reasonable to me, let’s face it, anyone taking a course at Concordia isn’t an A-student.  On the other hand, he probably has a claim against the university for the $342 – surely to God it’s unconscionable for Concordia to have charged Mr. Groombridge anything for the tripe that passes for an education at Concordia.  Take the free advice, Mr. Groombridge, argue unconscionability!