Ignatieff on the Economy

From his appearance the other day at the Canadian Club of Toronto.

Not much the way of substance, but that’s to be expected given the ambivalent position he’s presently staking out. His talk with Peter Mansbridge (replayed on Newsworld this evening) was another finely tuned balancing act. I presume someone will have it posted before too long.


Draw your own conclusions…

More on the fallout from the “victory” that “just happened” here.

Great Design

A Never-Ending Journey of Discovery

Sociologist-turned-designer David Carson takes a humorous romp through a slide show featuring some of his work along with found images.

As someone who dabbles with design for a living, I found this pretty insightful, but even if you don’t give a toss about the subject (although most people do, even if they pretend not to), Carson is delightfully witty with a marvelous sense of comic timing.

Stephen Harper: “Public Intellectual”

He's Got Book Learnin'

Excuse me for a moment. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

There, I just had to get that out of the way first. We’ve all heard Stephen Harper referred to this way, but for the life of me I cannot fathom why. Robert Sibley is at it again in the pages of the Ottawa Citizen this morning with a worthless piece of rubbish ludicrously entitled “Philosopher Kings.”

When Parliament resumes next week, Canadians will be privy to what is still an unusual configuration of political antagonism in this country — two idea-driven intellectuals-turned-politicians bidding for the hearts and votes of the electorate.

With rare exceptions — Pierre Trudeau comes to mind — few Canadian political leaders have been public intellectuals, men and women who engaged in sustained reflection on political concerns prior to entering the political arena. In recent years, though, Canadians have witnessed several intellectuals in leadership positions in the House of Commons. Mr. Harper holds a master’s degree in economics and is widely read in political philosophy. Mr. Ignatieff has a PhD in history. His predecessor, Stéphane Dion, has a doctorate in sociology. NDP leader Jack Layton holds a PhD in political science.

Earth to Sibley (and the rest of the media chuckleheads for that matter), just because someone has a PhD from some third-rate university and claims to have read some books about politics, does NOT make them a “public intellectual” okay? Give it up already.

Hope Springs Eternal (Sort of)

Another day and another terribly gloomy story about the economy… This morning’s Washington Post reports that the world economy is rapidly deteriorating at an even more precipitous rate than had been forecast just weeks ago by so-called leading economists. Oh dear, that can’t be good. But not to worry, Prof. Campbell Harvey of Duke University has some, um, good news.

Well, okay, “good” perhaps wasn’t exactly the right word. But still, these days when someone says the outlook for the rest of the world is more grim, that’s perhaps not too bad. Or at least not as awful as it could conceivably be and may optimistically be said to even be relatively better than horrible. And mostly likely not entirely apocalyptic. Yet.