Monthly Archives: September 2010

The lower side of politics

One of the oddest stories of the week, which takes some doing, was Michael Ignatieff apparently trying to undermine Canada’s bid for a UN Security Council seat. I know politics here doesn’t stop at the water’s edge but tries to shove the other fellow in. Still, this seems weird.

For the record, I’m not objecting because I want us to get a Security Council seat. As I subtly hinted in endorsing the suggestion back in 1999 that the UN be dismantled and hurled brick by brick into the river, I consider it a dangerous organization, less for the generally feeble things it does than for the illusions it fosters among well-meaning Westerners that there is some sort of world government committed to fair play and decency. Wednesday’s Citizen said our annual push to censure Iran’s human rights record might cost us crucial votes for that Security Council seat which gives you a pretty good idea what really goes on at the UN. Continue reading

Stay away from my seasoning

Can you believe our governments intend to make us eat less salt? Have they nothing better to do?

OK, less sodium. There really is a public-sector initiative to reduce my MSG intake, as insulting as it is useless. (For the record, I also don’t eat pure sodium; I hate the way it bursts into flames in water.)

Such a story certainly makes me shake my head at periodic fulminations about a hard-right conservative counterrevolution in Canada. This initiative came from a meeting of health ministers in Newfoundland that included federal Tory Leona Aglukkaq and four right-of-centre provincial representatives. So I ask you: What sort of conservative thinks the state should be telling people what to eat? For that matter, what kind of liberal thinks the state should be evicted from the bedrooms of the nation only to move into the kitchen and mess with the condiments? Continue reading