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Joe Clark is regarded as a failure. He deserves better
January 3, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | MICHAEL HEALEY.

Joe Clark was Canada’s prime minister for nine months, 39 years ago (1979). He was 39 years old when he won the job. The portrait, by Patrick Douglass Cox, excellently captures the essence of Mr. Clark at that age: He’s forthright, sincere, slightly goofy and not entirely comfortable in his own skin. That unemphatic hand betraying whatever argument he’s making to the House of Commons.......He quit in 1993, then came back in 1998 to take over as leader of a severely diminished PC Party for the second time. He was bent on resisting a merger with the Alliance Party. He lost that principled fight, too. By 2004, even though his party no longer existed, he still referred to himself as a Progressive Conservative.

......The single unequivocal success he managed, in his nine months in power, was this: He brought 60,000 South Asian refugees, fleeing chaos in Vietnam and Cambodia, to the country. He did it in record time, and he had to invent the private-sponsorship model to do it. Sure, that was an initiative created by the previous (Liberal) government, but Mr. Clark didn’t care where a good idea came from........... He also managed something incredible – as minister responsible for constitutional affairs, he got two territorial leaders and 10 provincial premiers to agree to constitutional reform through the Charlottetown Accord. .....Sure, the Accord failed in a national referendum. But that had everything to do with Mr. Mulroney’s permeating unpopularity. Few people recognize the immensity of Mr. Clark’s feat because of how things turned out......These qualities: stubbornness, idealism, a willingness to subsume his ego to get things done, made him an effective statesman. Hence the strong poll numbers at the end of his career.
'70s  Canada  Joe_Clark  politicians  statesmen  Progressive_Conservatives  Brian_Mulroney  Pierre_Trudeau  red_Tories 
january 2019 by jerryking
It’s official! Robbie is a member of the Class of ‘23!
Statesmen  from twitter_favs
december 2018 by tmwsiy
Where's your passport? This ad brilliantly explains Sardar Patel's legacy
While some have questioned the need for the statue, the truth is that Patel’s legacy, despite his towering contributions have been dwarfed in modern India.This ignorance is brilliantly captured in this ad by the central government which shows a bunch of youngsters ribbing a man for reading a book on Patel.The stranger goes on to explain Patel’s legacy, how he united India’s numerous fiefdom.The 'Statue of Unity' dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel The statue, being built at a cost of Rs 2,389 crore, will be the world's tallest(182-metre tall) statue standing 3.2 km downstream of the Narmada dam on the islet.The statue will have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 metres from the sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time,It will have a museum on the life of Sardar Patel at the base..It will also have a projection mapping facility, wherein images can be projected on its surface to create light and sound show based on Patel's life..Flowers will be grown on the hillocks adjoining the statue to make the 230-hectare area look like a "valley of flowers",
statesmen  monuments  Gujarat 
october 2018 by thomas.kochi
What would William Gladstone champion today?
WILLIAM GLADSTONE dominated 19th-century British politics and helped shift government away from the preserve of the aristocracy to something approaching a meritocracy. In a career spanning seven decades, he pursued an ethical foreign policy, extended voting rights (to men), proposed home rule for Ireland and freed up the economy by removing duties and tariffs. He was prime minister four times between 1868 and 1894 and served in Parliament for 62 years.Gladstone brought liberal values to public policy. He sought to “rescue and rehabilitate” prostitutes; tried to establish a new university in Dublin open to Catholics and Protestants; and punished unfair landlords.Gladstone would be calling for religious tolerance and freedom of belief. His own spiritual journey started narrowly in an almost fundamentalist Christian household but widened by the end of his life to embrace all Christian denominations, all religions and ideologies.“I was brought up to hate and fear liberty. I came to love it. That is the secret of my whole career.”
Economist  statesmen  politics 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Vajpayee on Nehru’s death: Bharat Mata has lost her favourite prince
Sir, a dream has been shattered, a song silenced, a flame has vanished in the infinite. It was the dream of a world without fear and without hunger, it was the song of an epic that had the echo of the Gita and the fragrance of the rose. It was the flame of a lamp that burnt all night, fought with every darkness, showed us the way, and one morning attained Nirvana.Bharat Mata is stricken with grief today — she has lost her favourite prince. Humanity is sad today — it has lost its devotee. Peace is restless today — its protector is no more. The down-trodden have lost their refuge. The common man has lost the light in his eyes. The curtain has come down. The leading actor on the stage of the world displayed his final role and taken the bow.The leader is gone, the followers remain. The sun has set, now we have to find our way by the light of the stars.That vibrant personality, that attitude of taking even the opposition along, that refined gentlemanliness, that greatness we may not again see in the near future. In spite of a difference of opinion we have nothing but respect for his great ideals, his integrity, his love for the country and his indomitable courage.
icons  statesmen  remembrance  obituary 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Nelson Mandela’s Stolen Spoon
It’s the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth this month. Celebrations unfurl across the world. He was the master of his fate. The white man’s arsenal could not touch him. It was over. As with Mahatma Gandhi, the riveting inner force prevails.The 27 years stolen from Mandela by people with white skins, the suffering inflicted on tens of millions of black South Africans over decades, would not be repaid in blood.Perhaps white South Africans, like my family, got off too lightly. Theirs was a “picnic in a beautiful graveyard,” as Nadine Gordimer wrote.Then, when it was over, sanctions lifted, they joined the economic world, the sporting world. Suddenly a South African passport was a great thing. They could say, “I never voted for torture!” and forget their complicity in South African policing by pigment — the segregated schools, the forced removal of blacks from their homes, the banishment of blacks to invisible townships of dust and drudgery.Macdonald Maanda Muhali, age 30:“Do your best, God will do the rest.”“Mandela forgave them,We must trust him. If the people who suffered most forgave, why shouldn’t we?” You feel no anger? “None whatsoever.”
NYTimes  icons  S.Africa  leaders  statesmen 
july 2018 by thomas.kochi
Busting the Malicious Myth that Nehru Awarded the Bharat Ratna to Himself
The practice of awarding the Bharat Ratna has been straightforward: The prime minister recommends the names to the president of India, who then accepts such nominations. But this process finds no mention in the official gazette notification of India dated January 2, 1954, which institutedthe Bharat Ratna. An additional notification issued on January 15, 1955, to allow the honour to be awarded posthumously also did not mention its procedural aspect. Hence, the process under which the prime minister or the cabinet nominates names to the president to confer the Bharat Ratna is a convention and not the law of the land. President Prasad hosted a special state banquet on July 15, 1955, at Rashtrapati Bhavan. It was at this event that Prasad announced conferring the Bharat Ratna upon Jawaharlal Nehru. This suo motu decision by the president was ‘kept a closely-guarded secret’ as a Times of India report dated July 16, 1955 notes. Prasad described Nehru as the ‘great architect of peace in our time’, the same newspaper quotes him as saying.“In fact, the President himself confessed that he had acted unconstitutionally as he had decided to confer the honour “without any recommendation or advice from my Prime Minister” or the Cabinet”, the newspaper reported
controversies  statesmen  awards 
june 2018 by thomas.kochi
Busboy who held dying Robert F. Kennedy shares senator's last words,
“Is everybody OK?” he asked, to which Romero said he replied, “Yes” before cushioning the senator’s head with his hands."I could feel a steady stream of blood coming through my fingers, I remember I had a rosary in my shirt pocket and I wrapped it around his right hand and then they wheeled him away." The following day, a woman recognized him from a photo in the newspaper… and there was dried blood in between my nails… his first interaction with the New York senator, You could tell when he was looking at you that he's not looking through you — he's taking you into account. And I remember walking out of there like I was 10 feet tall."“I felt important. I felt American. And I felt good."
events  tragedies  remembrance  icons  statesmen  Kennedy 
june 2018 by thomas.kochi
Mistakes happen for a reason | Bloody shovel
Which leads me to this article by Scott Alexander. He elaborates on an idea by one of his ingroup about their being two ways of looking at things, “mistake theory” and “conflict theory”. Mistake theory claims that political opposition comes from a different understanding of issues: if people had the same amount of knowledge and proper theories to explain it, they would necessarily agree. Conflict theory states that people disagree because their interests conflict, the conflict is zero-sum so there’s no reason to agree, the only question is how to resolve the conflict.

I was speechless. I am quite used to Mr. Alexander and his crowd missing the point on purpose, but this was just too much. Mistake theory and Conflict theory are not parallel things. “Mistake theory” is just the natural, tribalist way of thinking. It assumes an ingroup, it assumes the ingroup has a codified way of thinking about things, and it interprets all disagreement as a lack of understanding of the obviously objective and universal truths of the ingroup religion. There is a reason why liberals call “ignorant” all those who disagree with them. Christians used to be rather more charitable on this front and asked for “faith”, which they also assumed was difficult to achieve.

Conflict theory is one of the great achievements of the human intellect; it is an objective, useful and predictively powerful way of analyzing human disagreement. There is a reason why Marxist historiography revolutionized the world and is still with us: Marx made a strong point that human history was based on conflict. Which is true. It is tautologically true. If you understand evolution it stands to reason that all social life is about conflict. The fight for genetical survival is ultimately zero-sum, and even in those short periods of abundance when it is not, the fight for mating supremacy is very much zero-sum, and we are all very much aware of that today. Marx focused on class struggle for political reasons, which is wrong, but his focus on conflict was a gust of fresh air for those who enjoy objective analysis.

Incidentally the early Chinese thinkers understood conflict theory very well, which is why Chinese civilization is still around, the oldest on earth. A proper understanding of conflict does not come without its drawbacks, though. Mistakes happen for a reason. Pat Buchanan actually does understand why USG open the doors to trade with China. Yes, Whig history was part of it, but that’s just the rhetoric used to justify the idea. The actual motivation to trade with China was making money short term. Lots of money. Many in the Western elite have made huge amounts of money with the China trade. Money that conveniently was funneled to whichever political channels it had to do in order to keep the China trade going. Even without Whig history, even without the clueless idea that China would never become a political great power, the short-term profits to be made were big enough to capture the political process in the West and push for it. Countries don’t have interests: people do.

That is true, and should be obvious, but there are dangers to the realization. There’s a reason why people dislike cynics. People don’t want to know the truth. It’s hard to coordinate around the truth, especially when the truth is that humans are selfish assholes constantly in conflict. Mistakes happen because people find it convenient to hide the truth; and “mistake theory” happens because policing the ingroup patterns of thought, limiting the capability of people of knowing too much, is politically useful. The early Chinese kingdoms developed a very sophisticated way of analyzing objective reality. The early kingdoms were also full of constant warfare, rebellions and elite betrayals; all of which went on until the introduction in the 13th century of a state ideology (neoconfucianism) based on complete humbug and a massively unrealistic theory on human nature. Roman literature is refreshingly objective and to the point. Romans were also murderous bastards who assassinated each other all the time. It took the massive pile of nonsense which we call the Christian canon to get Europeans to cooperate in a semi-stable basis.

But guess what? Conflict theory also exists for a reason. And the reason is to extricate oneself from the ingroup, to see things how they actually are, and to undermine the state religion from the outside. Marxists came up with conflict theory because they knew they had little to expect from fighting from within the system. Those low-status workers who still regarded their mainstream society as being the ingroup they very sharply called “alienated”, and by using conflict theory they showed what the ingroup ideology was actually made of. Pat Buchanan and his cuck friends should take the message and stop assuming that the elite is playing for the same team as they are. The global elite, of America and its vassals, is not mistaken. They are playing for themselves: to raise their status above yours, to drop their potential rivals into eternal misery and to rule forever over them. China, Syria, and everything else, is about that.
Heh heh. It’s a lost art. The Greeks and Romans were realists about it (except Cicero, that idealistic bastard). They knew language, being the birthright of man, was just another way (and a damn powerful one) to gain status, make war, and steal each other’s women. Better be good at wielding it.
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march 2018 by nhaliday
Abraham Lincoln Was Our Tallest President Ever. This May Be Why
Standing 6’4″, Lincoln is, to this day, the tallest president ever, edging out Lyndon Johnson by a full inch.Height wasn’t Lincoln’s only distinguishing physical characteristic. While he was in office, a journalist described the president’s “long pendulous arms” and “hands of extraordinary dimensions…far exceeded in proportion by his feet,” according to the book Abraham Lincoln’s DNA. These unique descriptors have led doctors to wonder if Lincoln perhaps had Marfan syndrome, a relatively rare genetic condition that was first identified decades after the politician’s death.Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue, which acts as a “glue” between cells, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The disease is usually passed down through generations, and children who have one parent with the disease have a 50% chance of getting it, according to the NIH. There is no cure for Marfan syndrome, though if its individual symptoms are treated and managed well, those who have it can expect to live a normal lifespan.Common signs include long limbs and phalanges; a long, thin face; heart murmurs, enlarged aorta and other cardiovascular issues; vision problems; and stomach and leg pain,
icons  statesmen  leaders  diseases  Time 
february 2018 by thomas.kochi
India without Gandhi
The close association of modern nationalist and democratic ideas, imported from the West, with unworldly religious values has been the most striking peculiarity of recent Indian political development. Gandhi has not been unique in displaying this union of aspirations which, elsewhere in the modern world, have tended to draw apart; before him such influential personalities as Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore manifested a similar outlook. But it was in Gandhi that this special ideology first became a real political force. Through him the new, reformed Hinduism began to colour the liberal nationalism which had grown up among the English-educated intelligentsia, while in the reverse direction the new political doctrine began to take hold of the masses, whose attitude was fundamentally conditioned by their religion and who would not respond to propaganda framed in merely secular terms. Through Gandhi’s inspiration the Congress Party was able to produce a huge, popular mass movement, arousing intense enthusiasm and reaching into the villages, where no political consciousness had hitherto existed.Gandhi’s belief in the fundamental unity of all religions and their function of promoting human brotherhood, was in line with the views of Mr Nehru, derived from the very different doctrine that religious belief is irrelevant in social and political life. Hence the genuine, though in some ways unnatural, alliance between the Indian Prime Minister and the Mahatma.
Economist  obituary  icons  statesmen  India 
january 2018 by thomas.kochi
Why ancient Rome kept choosing bizarre and perverted emperors - Vox
Why so many bizarre emperors were able to run a vast empire
Many of these emperors had extremely small circles of advisers who often did the grunt work of running the vast empire. "The number of people who had direct access to the emperor ... was actually rather small," says Ando. The emperors ruled through networks of officials, and those officials were often more competent. They propped up the insanity at the top.

What's more, most people scattered across the vast Roman Empire didn't pay much attention. "It didn't matter how nutty Caligula was," Ando says, "unless he did something crazy with tax policy." While those living in military provinces could have been affected by an emperor's decree, those in far-flung civilian provinces might have barely noticed the change from one emperor to another.

All that underlines the real truth about imperial power in Rome: yes, there were some crazy emperors, and some of the rumors were probably true. But the most bizarre thing about the Roman Empire wasn't the emperors — it was the political structure that made them so powerful in the first place.
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november 2017 by nhaliday
Nehru, the Patron Saint of Soviet Sexual Liberation?
Nikita S. Khrushchev, his second-in-command, Prime Minister Nikolai A. Bulganin, and a host of lesser lights, including the mayor of Moscow, accompanied Nehru to the grand entrance to the central park. Nehru suddenly noticed something: a long line of people queuing at the ticket boxes near the gates. Curious, Nehru asked who those people were, and why they were queuing. His hosts told him that they were purchasing tickets from cashiers to enter the park. Nehru, it is believed, was dumbfounded.The exact words uttered by Nehru are thought to have ranged from astonishment to admonition. He inquired how a communist government of a socialist country could charge its people to enter public parks, while the British, the US and other capitalist countries made public parks open to the public free of charge. The Royal Parks of London had been free public parks since 1851, a century before this Moscow encounter. Khrushchev was profoundly embarrassed, and livid. His retinue could not understand what had gone wrong and looked at their boss for instructions. He said something to his minions, who ran to the ticket boxes yelling and waving hands.The ticket boxes were closed immediately, and the crowd was told that entrance was free.A great social liberation ensued. More people could afford to use public parks more often for recreation, family pursuits, picnics and romantic exploration. Everyone was elated and grateful to Nehru, the young and the old, the athletes and the war invalids, the picnicking families and the dating singles. Especially the latter
statesmen  icons  leaders  Russia  India-Russia 
november 2017 by thomas.kochi
Post-Columbian Evolution – Holes | West Hunter
At this point, we have some decent examples of post-Columbian evolution, genetic changes in New World populations after 1492. There is evidence for selection for increased fertility in Quebec, along with increased mutational load due to relaxed selection. Something similar must have occurred in American colonial populations.

I think that the Amish are probably becoming plainer, thru the boiling-off process – which can’t be a common mechanism, because it requires very high fertility, enough to sustain a substantial defection rate.

HbS (sickle-cell) gene frequency has almost certainly decreased significantly among African-Americans – a simple model suggests by about half. There has probably been a decrease in other expensive malaria defenses.


In principle, if you had an immune gene that defended against an Old World pathogen that didn’t cross into America, Amerindians would have gradually accumulated nonfunctional variants, just from mutational pressure. the percentage of people with such mutations in any particular immune defense gene would not be very high (not in only 500 generations) but since there are many such genes, the fraction of Amerindians with at least one such hole in their immunological armor might have been significant. Probably this would have been more of a problem in the Caribbean islands, where the Taino seem to have just melted away… Presumably most such holes are gone now in surviving populations, but you might be able to identify them in pre-Columbian DNA.

I see where some Kraut is saying that we now know that human evolution is continuing. I think that’s been an obvious conclusion for almost 160 years.
Sarazzin acknowledges it.

interesting guy:
He became well-known worldwide after publishing a controversial book about Muslim immigrants in Germany in 2010.[3] In his book Deutschland schafft sich ab ("Germany abolishes itself"),[4] he denounces the failure of Germany's post-war immigration policy, sparking a nationwide controversy about the costs and benefits of multiculturalism.
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october 2017 by nhaliday

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