Wednesday, August 22, 2007

France & Iraq

Holding what appears, even to myself, as inextricably conflicted views about France, I was nonetheless wholly pleased to read of France's new diplomatic efforts in Iraq.

One of the options under consideration, the official said, would be a peace conference that would bring Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish representatives to one table, modeled on a similar gathering Mr. Kouchner organized for Lebanese factions last month. Such a conference could be organized in France or in one of Iraq’s neighbors, said the official, who declined to be identified because the issue was still under discussion.

It remains uncertain whether any diplomatic effort is capable of yielding a favourable result at this juncture, but France's apparent willingness to expend diplomatic toil and political capital to make the attempt reflects well on the nation, the Sarkozy administration, and, above all, Bernard Kouchner.
The State of the Culture

As is all too evident we live in societies which put up with enormous levels of cultural detritus. To give but the most straightforward example, we are inundated with the presence of pornography- be it in the corner store, in advertisements, on television. But church bells, well they're an entirely different kettle of fish. They're a public nuisance, which must be kept within strict limits.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The NDP & Family

We learn from the Globe & Mail of a controversial statement from Diane Ablonczy, who attempts an explanation for the low participation rate for women in politics:
“Women generally place a higher priority on caring for their family – either their own children, or sometimes grandchildren, and sometimes older parents.”
Now, I happen to agree with Ablonczy's argument, but certainly one can disagree. One can argue that more needs to be done to overcome this reticence. However, Irene Matheson of the NDP responds by saying of Ablonczy and the Tories that: “Now they're blaming women for having the wrong priorities.”

So, according to the NDP caring for children, grandchildren, for elderly parents are "the wrong priorities". Is it any wonder that the NDP are regarded as hostile to the family?