Wednesday Night #1688

Written by  //  July 9, 2014  //  Reports, Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

The début of Wednesday Night 2.1
Meldrum once again proved to be a truly professional company, the crew was efficient,cheerful and willing  – the physical move for all the big pieces was quick and easy. There is still much to be done; however, main pictures are hung and a number of familiar objects in place. Despite the inconveniences of having no land line and therefore no efficient system for admitting guests to the building,  Wednesday Night stalwarts persevered and  the discussion, introduced and concluded by Judith Patterson OWN (who had done the wrap-up of the first Wednesday Night in the old apartment) was lively and intense.
Illegal immigration
Of particular concern are the waves of illegal immigrants that are flooding Europe. Amidst the outcry over the dilemma the U.S. faces in dealing with the unaccompanied children arriving from Central America (Waves of immigrant minors present crisis for Obama, Congress), little attention is being paid to solutions to Illegal immigration – A global problem
While the details may vary, the problem of illegal immigration is not limited solely to the U.S., but is in fact a global problem that requires a far more comprehensive approach than we or any other nation is taking.
The Telegraph (Illegal immigration to Europe shows sharp rise) notes that: The number of illegal migrants reaching Europe’s border has jumped sharply in the first four months of this year, suggesting this year’s total could be on track to overtake the 140,000 refugees who arrived during the 2011 Arab Spring, according to new figures.
Frontex, the European Union border agency, said 42,000 illegal immigrants reached the EU between January and April this year, a four-fold increase on the same period last year.
Additionally, Italian authorities have reported that so far during May a further 14,000 migrants have arrived in the country’s territory – through key central Mediterranean routes for illegal immigration – bringing the total so far this year to at least 55,000.
Patterns of illegal immigration over at least the last 20 years have demonstrated that unknown numbers will attempt to reach Britain by crossing the continent and using Calais as a staging post. Just last week, the French authorities demolished two squatter camps near the Channel.

So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
When just the art of being kind
Is all this sad world needs. — Ella Wheeler Wilcox

As one travels the globe, one cannot but wonder at the marvel of homo sapiens, (perhaps a misnomer) as the hatred and cruelty sparked by the relatively minor differences between humans of different nationality, religion and/or language. It is disheartening to witness the desperation of those risking their life crossing the Sahara in an attempt to escape their misery or paying all their money to traffickers. We, the fortunate of the world, have had the advantage of the unhindered immigration by our ancestors to live in a country where tolerance is a sine quae non, where the minorities (or their descendants) constitute the majority, living peacefully together. It is anticipated that those, fortunate enough to be able to do so will emigrate to North America. The longer term solution would be the transfer of wealth to poor countries, difficult to achieve because of corrupt governments in the would-be recipient nations. For us, immigration would help offset our disappointingly low rate of reproduction. Under the assumption that education would help the third world local population solve their problem through the development of native genius, such projects have only proven successful when they involved the local population so that they have an interest in participating and maintaining and controlling them. The solution is therefore a dual one, namely to find the means to help people in situ and to help those who immigrate. One of the problems is that there is a current right wing opposition to any immigration, until and unless we collectively get over the sentiment that we are favouring the refugees over our own population.
The stock market is said to be entering a dry period until Sept and October. Although there may be corrections, the mull market continues. Some stocks have attained their high, others not so selectivity is recommended.
Quotes of the evening
“You accept the conditions that you are living in as normal, but the television and the Internet shows the other side so we are heading for a catastrophe.”
“While I`m deeply sympathetic to the plight of refugees, Canada has an obligation to clean up its act vis-à-vis the Aboriginals.”
“We have the resources but we just don`t care.”
“Altruism turns us into individuals, religion, community. What we are trying to do is to restore a sense of community.”
“Wealth is in inverse relationship with birthrate.”
“We have the tendency to ask `What can we do to help them` and then exploit them instead of helping them.”
“Most of the problems in the third world are structural. Our agriculture is subsidized so they can`t compete.”
“The vast majority of immigrants end up looking after themselves. They are not welfare bums. It is much less of a problem than people would like to admit.”
“A distinction should be drawn between refugees, immigrants and invaders.”
“The gap between the very wealthy and the very poor in the world; it`s almost as if there is going to be a catastrophe.”
“Think of the desperation of immigrants and their families and this is just the beginning. China has bought up agricultural land in Africa for their own use, to the detriment of the local population.”
“Capital brings income inflation corrected. Workers` income can only grow by productivity.”

P R E L U D E

The first Wednesday Night in the new apartment will be held the day after our move. We are not quite sure whether the fact that 1688 was the year of the “Glorious Revolution” is a good augur) – but  it is highly unlikely that we will have the fortitude (and possibly not the means) to  send out the usual chatty bulletin.

The move to our lovely new apartment (#7)  has been ‘fraught’ – new favorite word!

While the apartment had been beautifully maintained,  we nonetheless discovered a bunch of inconvenient truths – we needed a washer/dryer installed, The building suggested we hire their tradesmen for ventilation, electricity & plumbing. which sounded like (and was) a good idea, as these people know the peculiarities of the building – and peculiarities there are!
The ventilation man created more dust than a brigade crossing the Sahara – and it was all horrid plaster/concrete dust. Every room in the apartment has a door, but they never closed any of them, so every room benefitted from the dust storm.  The work entailed removing the ceiling in one bathroom. Once the (prehistoric) pipes in the ceiling were exposed, the plumber said  we should take advantage of the situation to have the building change the pipes, which looked ready to burst at any moment. The building management agreed. That work was completed last Friday. Meantime the electrician found very strange things in the electrical panel , but no 220, so they had to run a new circuit – more expense,  dust and mess. And  the need to devise a way of hiding the exposed cable in the walls with some sort of moulding.  I mentioned that there were two outlets in the master bedroom that didn’t work. They broke into three (newly painted) walls  and again found really strange arrangements. All solved now – and at the building’s expense –  but again, plaster dust everywhere. The holes were covered  with plaster, but not the best of jobs, so more sanding and inevitably, much  cleaning and repainting.  Jonathan Jonas has been an absolute tower of strength, always cheerfully efficient  and never once melted in the awful heat.  However, until each room was clean and ready, nothing more could be moved, liberating space downstairs ground to a halt. .
I will not bore you with the details of dealing with Bell who sold us a lovely package that  their technician said couldn’t be  done in this building (heritage – no dishes on the roof) and who knows when the building can be made fibre optic friendly– so back to PKP’s Videotron whether we like him or not! I really don’t understand how well-recessed dishes on the roof would detract from the building. SIGH!
So we asked  the movers to change the date again and they agreed to Tuesday the 8th. BUT Videotron cannot connect the cable and internet before the 11th if we changed the date, so  on July 4th, we will disconnect and reconnect – computers and TVs are to be disconnected and reconnected upstairs, but desks and other necessaries will not. Which explains why we will assume ‘radio silence’ until Tuesday the 8th .

The phones and door buzzer will – God & Ma Bell willing – be working. [NB – they were not]
Diana’s Sacred Heart and Jesuit training,  degrees in Languages & Linguistics and Latin American Area studies did not really prepare me for my current job as maître de chantier!

And in any event, please consider this your invitation for next Wednesday Night #1688

Looking forward to welcoming you to our new abode.

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