Friday, May 4, 2012

Joanne's Journal: May 4, 2012

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012

Edition No. 7

Quote of the Day

One would need to be already wise, in order to love wisdom.

- Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), German dramatist and poet
From On the Aesthetic of Man [1795]

The subject for today's musings is wisdom.  Wisdom is the cornerstone of philosophical thought and the word "philosophy" is derived from the Greek word "philosophos" meaning lover of wisdom. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the first known use of term "philosopher" occurred in the 14th century.

Since owls are associated with wisdom, it is only fitting that the link between owls and wisdom goes back at least to ancient Greece, the home of great ancient philosophers such as Socrates and Plato.  The theme of the helpful, prophetic and wise owl occurs in Aesop's Fables and in Greek mythology and folklore.  For example, Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom for whom the city of Athens was named, was so impressed with the owl's stately appearance that she honoured the nocturnal creature by making it her favourite bird.

For your enjoyment and edification, Number 16 presents some further quotes on wisdom.  Let's begin with this gem (pun intended) from the Hebrew Bible (Job 28:18).

No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. 

We shall return to ancient Greece with this astute observation from the playwright Euripides.  He points out that wisdom and cleverness are not exactly the same.  Wisdom, he reminds us, requires much more than a quick wit, intelligence and cunning.  One can be clever but unwise.  That's why some of the cleverest people make some poor choices.

Mere cleverness is not wisdom.

- Euripides (c.485-c. 406 B.C.), Greek dramatist
From Bacchae


TO: Margaret McCain, philanthropist and former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, for donating $10 million to Toronto's Centre  for Addiction and Mental Health.  McCain, the widow of New Brunswick food mogul Wallace McCain, stated that the money will be used to create the Margaret and Wallace McCain  Centre for Child, Youth and Family Mental Health.  Bravo!  I hope it inspires some other exceedingly wealthy citizens to make similar donations.

TO:  The Toronto Transit Commission for finally renovating and cleaning up its subway washrooms.  They were an absolute, filthy disgrace, especially the one at Yonge and Bloor.  It's about time that more attention is being paid to keeping them clean.  Why did it take the TTC so long, though?  We sure could use some more public washrooms on the subway lines too.

TO: Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, for pandering to the extreme right-wing, anti-immigrant and xenophobic elements in his country. Sarkozy hope to gain their support in his bid for re-election.  His opportunistic bid to court the far-right, however, doesn't seem to be paying off.  In fact, it appears to have backfired on him. His chances of holding on to power in France's run-off election on Sunday, May 6 are fading.  Although Socialist Francois Holland's lead in the polls is narrowing, Sarkozy's actions have cost him the support of Centrist Framcois Bayrou who will vote for Hollande.  Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen also refuses to endorse Sarkozy and intends to cast a blank ballot.

TO: The Canadian government for giving such speedy approval to Conrad Black's application for a one-year temporary resident permit.  Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper denies that the former media baron was given special treatment, there is the  perception is that he was treated differently than others due to his wealth and his ties to Conservatives in high places. Although Conrad Black is not a violent criminal, he has been convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice.  The United States is deporting him now that he has completed his time in a Florida prison.  With much fanfare, he renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 in order to accept a British peerage.

The Montreal-born Black has made some highly derogatory comments about the country of his birth.  Now he is eager to return to Canada and talks of the possibility of regaining his Canadian passport.  He should be treated the same as anyone else who has renounced Canadian citizenship.  Conrad Black is the perfect example of a clever person who lacks wisdom.


How about those Baltimore Orioles?  It's still early in the season but the O's have really impressed under the stewardship of Buck Showalter who recently won his 1,000th game as manager.

When is Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell going to take Adam Lind out of  the fourth spot in the batting order?  Edwin Encarnacion is hitting like a house on fire.  He should be in that fourth spot right now. He is hitting .320 with 9 home runs.  Adam Lind, on the other hand, is hitting .193 with one home run.  It just does not make sense for Lind to remain in the cleanup spot.  He provides little protection for Jose Bautista and his record against left-handed pitchers is so bad that Farrell hasn't even been putting him in the lineup when the Blue Jays face a left-handed starting pitcher.  My intention is not to pick on Adam Lind.  He has worked hard to develop into a decent defensive first baseman and I respect him for that.  Yet he is a detriment to the team when he bats fourth.


I'm really not a big supporter of any of the teams remaining in the NHL playoffs.  Wouldn't it be strange, though,, if the Phoenix Coyotes should happen to win the Stanley Cup?.  NHL Commissioner for Life, Gary Bettman, would have to present hockey's Holy Grail to a team owned by the National Hockey League.  How long can the Coyotes remain in limbo when a beautiful new arena is being built for them in Quebec City?

- Joanne