Today is the feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, a woman ‘renowned for her learning’, put to death as a virgin martyr in 305 under Emperor Maximiam (whose wife the saint converted, and who was also thereby condemned). The emperor brought in the best and brightest pagan philosophers to convince Catherine of the folly of Christianity, but Catherine’s reasoning and eloquence bested them all. So Maxentius resorted to the argument that ends all arguments, the ad baculum fallacy, or ‘to the stick’. In short, he could not argue, so had her tortured and killed. Catherine thereby gave the ultimate witness, and her triumph, or rather Christ’s, was assured. She has been adopted as the patroness of philosophers, so to all of you out there who think at all, a seemingly decreasing number in our milieu, at least amongst our elites, for should we all not be philosophers as both Saint Thomas and Chesterton declared, a blessed and joyous day! Read a phrase or two of Plato, Aristotle and Thomas to celebrate.
Speaking of not-thinking, Justin Trudeau was in Liberia the other day, the nation that was created out of thin air just before the American Civil War to house all the former slaves of the United States colonies. Not surprisingly , it has never really worked as a country. Like many other African nations, Liberia is struggling just to survive. Yet Trudeau has the solution: Wider access to ‘abortion’, and other rather vague and sinister aspects of ‘maternal health’. Sad, sad, sad. This ill-formed, adolescent man, whom Canadians have adopted as their leader, a faint vestige of a ‘Catholic’, espouses pre-born murder as a means of advancing the cause of women, and saving a nation.
And here we are back in Canada, paying through the nose to maintain the residence where he and his family refuse to live, it is in such rough shape, at least for the Trudeaus. We, the taxpayer, are on the hook for $10,000 a month in hydro bills alone for Rideau Hall ($22,962 when you add gas and ‘maintenance’), a giant, gusty mansion in which no one dwells, except, perhaps the ghosts of Prime Ministers past. (Hmm. I see a book in the offing). The cost to renovate the place to fitting living standards has ballooned, as all governmental things seem to do, multi-fold: From just under 10 million to just under 40 million dollars; the silver lining, I suppose, is that it’s all in Canadian currency, slowly folding like a hastily-built bedouin tent. Forty million could buy you quite the mansion all on its own. I don’t know too many movie stars and moguls who live in an edifice that expensive. I wonder how much of that is actual ‘renovation’, and how much union wages, expenses, overtime for all the government contractors and material?
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has apparently decided to spend part of his time living in his own residence, the multi-storied penthouse on top of Trump Tower in New York. Melania and Barron, his wife and their ten-year old, plan to stay there full-time. This will save the American taxpayer a few bucks, one might presume, but also creates a nightmare for the Secret Service. As too many sub-par movies to mention describe, the White House is fitted with any number of ‘secret’ defenses for the President, from hidden, reinforced rooms, to caches of weapons, to any number of heavily armored personnel, with high calibre weapons at the ready. How does one defend an exposed penthouse, right off the waterfront of New York harbour? This does sound like another one of those movies that one would never have thought come to life…
I will say this in favour of Mr. Trudeau: No one seems out to assassinate him, for he does exude an air of absent-minded bonhomie, whatever his deeper intentions. And I am a fan of his devotion to his wife and children, even if he is raising his boys as ‘feminists’.
On that note, Bill C-16 makes its way through parliament, which would criminalize any discrimination based on ‘gender identity and expression’. Will the use of the ‘wrong’ pronoun put you in jail? Perhaps. Certainly, other things will accrue, all those ‘accommodations’ that make this world a more and more bizarre place for any sane individual to live and move and have his being. Which, I suppose, is why the Bible says that such verbs take place in God alone, regardless of these passing and transitory inanities, even all the evil that they will bring in their train.
I suppose laws such as this are what make our Prime Minister, and Canada in general, less threatening on the world stage, insofar as we are on the stage at all. I fear our much-vaunted nation, built by valorous men and women, will become a laughingstock. The times, they are a changin’, sayeth one Nobel laureate, whom no one can seem to find. I just wish sometimes that Trudeau and his parliamentarians would make themselves as invisible as Mr. Dylan/Zimmerman. Perhaps he’s out rollin’ with the stones…