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Baptiste Lake, by A. J. Casson (Group of Seven)


 A. J. Casson (May 17, 1898 – February 20, 1992)
As my readers probably noticed, the three vignettes presented in an earlier May 14, 2012 post, were related. 
  • People seek comfort in times of turmoil.  The fine arts and music are refuges.  So is literature, but in a less immediate manner. 
  • As for Pascal, he knew that all was not well in seventeenth-century France, but he advocated remedial measures that would not cause a bloodshed.  So he calls peace a « souverain bien », or sovereign good.  Pascal’s Pensées, were published posthumeously from liasses: little bundles of paper neatly tied up.  So there are different classifications: Léon Brunschvicg, Louis Lafuma, Philippe Sellier (probably the most accurate).  They have been translated into English and they can be read online: a Project Gutenberg achievement.  Click on Blaise Pascal.  To read the Pensées in French, click on Blaise Pascal Pensées
  • Finally, the news report tells part of the story that generated my first two vignettes and it trivializes the demands of Quebec students who are mere pawns in these events.  Obviously, the indépendantistes have little to criticize, not to mention that they are the ones who have created the current difficulties in order to rule and secede from the rest of Canada.  

The Cost of Duplicating Services

In Quebec, citizens pay higher taxes: 15% of their taxable income.  Outside Quebec, citizens pay 10% of their taxable income.  The reason for this discrepancy is the duplication of services offered by the Government of Canada.  This, I cannot understand.

Students have been on strike because of a small increase in tuition fees, which shows that someone is behind all this, Pauline Marois.  This I know and so do others.  She is the leader of the indépendantiste movement.  Further negotiations will take place, but a small raise in tuition fees is not central to what is happening and it does not justify releasing harmful fumes into the Montreal subway system.  Some students have been slightly injured. 

I went to Pauline Marois‘s Facebook site.  One woman reported that she had seen policemen entering a subway station with dogs.  She used this as an example of police brutality.  To my knowledge, it is customary to use dogs to tell the origin of a fire, but in this case, they were sniffing to determine where the fumes were released.  This is normal police procedure.  Dogs are the experts in such cases.  I just hope the police is not pushed into brutal acts. 

The indépendantistes are saying that they want to be masters in their own home, « maîtres chez nous, » where they would be a French-speaking majority and, at the moment, they are using the students.  But many students, including anglophone students, think that they are opposing a raise in tuition fees.  They cannot see that they are being used by a political party, the indépendantistes.

* * *      

So, we will continue to examine the history of this country, but I also need to write posts about artists and thinkers who have left a permanent legacy.  The internet is a good tool for diffusing knowledge. 

Updates on the three-month old strike are available if you click on the links.  The government is still negotiating with the students so figures keep changing.

CTV News
CBC News (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) 

10 Track 10 Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte, Barenboim (piano)

Battle of Saint-Eustache (1837-38)

   Micheline Walker©
   May 14, 2012
   (Photo credit: Wikipedia)