With the modern diseases (once TB, now cancer) the romantic idea that the disease expresses the character is invariably extended to assert that the character causes the disease -- because it has not expressed itself. Passion moves inward, striking and blighting the deepest cellular recesses.
Washington's answer to a self-inflicted financial crisis reminded Americans why they so deeply distrust the political class. The 'fiscal cliff' process was secretive and sloppy, and the nation's so-called leadership lacked the political courage to address our root problems: joblessness and debt.
The government's desire to expand global trade may be understandable, but we mustn't give away too much. We must tell our elected representatives to at least delay the Canada-China FIPA until it has been examined more thoroughly, and to reconsider the inclusion of investor-state arbitration mechanisms in all trade deals.