QUOTE OF THE DAY
As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.Christopher Henry Dawson was a British scholar and a Catholic historian. His book The Judgement of the Nations was published in 1942. His words have great relevance in the post-9/11 world and in this age of terrorism. They should be required reading for the radical right wing and for one George Walker Bush.
- Christopher Dawson (1889 – 1970)
From The Judgement of the Nations
The memoirs of former U.S. President Bush were recently published in a book entitled Decision Points. In his memoirs, Bush admits that he personally authorised waterboarding. When George Tenet, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) asked for the president’s permission to use “enhanced interrogation techniques”, Bush emphatically replied, “Damn right.”
Yes, it’s true. By his own admission, the President of the United States approved torture. Not only that, but he is completely unapologetic about it. He truly believes that he acted responsibly and ethically. “No doubt the procedure was tough,” writes Bush, “but medical exports assured the CIA that it did no lasting harm.”
I do not sympathize or empathize with terrorists in the least. However, I believe that such tactics as “waterboarding” demean the United States of America and sully its reputation around the world. They can only be described as disgraceful and shameful. The names “Guantanamo” and “Abu Ghraib” will forever live in infamy. What happened in those prisons is a sorry chapter in the history of the United States. America is better than that.
ON THIS DAY
American flour industrialist Charles Alfred Pillsbury was born on December 3, 1842 in Warner, New Hampshire. He was the co-founder and builder of the company that bears his name. It is interesting to note that Pillsbury had a connection to Canada. He spent several years in Montreal involved in various business ventures, including a mercantile company. At the time, Montreal processed a great deal of grain from the Western United States and it was in Montreal that Pillsbury really began to take an interest in the milling business.
After selling his share in a Montreal dry-goods business in 1869, Pillsbury returned to the United States. He joined his uncle, John Sargent Pillsbury, in Minneapolis, Minnesota where they founded C.A. Pillsbury and Company in 1872. It became the largest flour-milling company in the world and it revolutionized the flour industry by producing superior quality flour. The other mills in Minnesota used large buhr stones to ground their flour. Charles Alfred Pillsbury was a great innovator and he introduced a series of gauged steam rollers that ground grain into especially fine flour. His technique was eventually adopted by all the larger U.S. mills.
John Sargent Pillsbury later served as the governor of the state of Minnesota. Charles Alfred Pillsbury died in Minneapolis on September 17, 1899 at the age of 56. When I visited Minneapolis in the year 2000, I saw the mansion of Charles S. Pillsbury, one of the sons of Charles Alfred. It was built in 1913 and is located in the Washburn-Fair Oaks Mansion District of Minneapolis. Click on the link below to view a photograph of it.
The Toronto Maple Leafs lost another game last night. Ho hum, what else is new? The Edmonton Oilers shut out the hapless Leafs by a score of 5-0. How sad that the Blue and White have sunk so low! It’s early in December, but if they continue to play so poorly, they might as well start dusting off their golf clubs now.
Here are the grim facts concerning the Maple Leafs. They have now lost four consecutive games. They have fallen behind the Oilers and are 28th in the standings with a record of 8-12-4. They have 20 points and are only one point ahead of last season’s pace. Meanwhile, the Oilers are improving and have great hope for the future. They have Taylor Hall and he scored twice last night.
The Boston Bruins must be hoping the Leafs’ woes continue because they have the Maple Leafs’ 2011 first-round pick from the Phil Kessel trade. Yikes! Could it be any worse for the Leafs? Well, they may be struggling on the ice, but they’re sure not suffering at the box office. 19,465 suckers - oops, I mean fans, paid exorbitant prices to attend last night’s game. Late in the game, they chanted “Fire Wilson.” A lot more than the firing of Ron Wilson is required to clean up this mess.