Friday, June 22, 2012


It is possible to be an honorable and courageous soldier for an inept, corrupt or wicked regime; one need look no further than an honest Chicago policeman for proof. Possible, but difficult and even tragic, if the inherent contradiction becomes open conflict.

It's possible to be a good soldier -- a great officer -- in a fairly idiotic war, too, which is how I ended up looking up Canada's Rideau Canal, the best-preserved example of an old European-type canal to be found in North America. It is a monument to Imperial paranoia -- or prudence, depending on how you look it it -- bypassing a section of the St. Lawrence River especially vulnerable to American blockade, built following the War of 1812.


John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Prudence, I'd say, and the main reason that Canada's "new" (1867) capital-Ottawa-is located at the north end of the Rideau Canal, as far from the Great Lakes as they could put it.

Both sides in the War of 1812 had burned each other's capitals (Toronto and Washington). Burning Ottawa would have been a tough proposition for an invading army.

The handiwork of the Scottish stonemasons who built the Rideau-by hand, in the 1830s-is pretty amazing. Still works.

Today, a pleasure boating highway by summer, and the world's longest skating rink in winter :-)

Ed Skinner said...

Skating from the government area to the lake, you can get a deep fried "beaver tail" (sugary pastry) to recharge yourself for the long skate back. In 30 below temps, it is a memorable experience.

Dave H said...

Fat lot of good that canal did them. I run raids across the Niagara routinely. In fact, my fiancee and I took Fort Erie just last summer.

(By "took" I meant "visited and watched some guy dressed as a redcoat shoot a Brown Bess.")

Carl-Bear said...

" need look no further than an honest Chicago policeman..."

Good luck with that, Diogenes.

Roberta X said...

Second City Cop?