Wednesday Night #1771

Written by  //  February 10, 2016  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Monkey2016Happy Chinese New Year 2016!

The Year of the [Red] Monkey kicks off around the world
According to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold. Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the year of the Monkey. Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. If you want to have good return for your money investment, then you need to outsmart the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events will be changing very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes for your finance, career, business relationship and people relationship.
That sounds about right so far in our calendar. And good advice for investment gurus.

While recognizing that there are a number of global and national vital issues that demand our attention, we have not been able to resist the lure of the New Hampshire vote, from the earliest results which at least did not as they would in Canada, trigger instant projections of victory:
“Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich were the early winners on the Republican side, each receiving a total of nine votes across the three towns. On the other side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders won handily, defeating Hillary Clinton with a vote count of 17 to nine.”
Pretty accurate, nonetheless.
For those who actually had other things to do during the day, PBS Newshour served up a Brooks & Shields analysis, complemented by some informative facts and figures about New Hampshire voters. (start at 26.01), while CNN exit polls yield some fascinating information about voter profiles and concerns.
Poor Brian Williams (remember him?) has been lambasted on social media by Saunders supporters for his comment, “Nobody, nobody, no one Predicted this a Year Ago”.
And so, as the campaigns head to Nevada (Feb 20 and 23) and South Carolina (Feb 20 and 27), we are left to ponder What About Ted Cruz?

Turning to Canada, the principal topic is the newly unveiled Liberal government’s policy on Canada’s role in the fight against ISIS (Canada to pull fighter jets, triple training in mission against Islamic State) Not everyone agrees with the new policy (Prime minister’s adviser gets into heated back-and-forth with political analysts) and one thing is clear – with more troops committed to training, there is a higher risk of casualties. Was the Canadian contribution to the bombing missions significant? Unlikely, given the small number of fighters.
In an interview with CTV Kyle Matthews raises some points not mentioned elsewhere, including the absence of any reference to cyber strategy to combat ISIS’ very effective use of social media, and the need to address our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, the situation in Syria – and the role of Russia – is increasingly fraught Peace talks are going nowhere. As Ian Black of The Guardian points out [Syria war: neither political solution nor military victory are anywhere in sight]. “Last September, when Vladimir Putin sent his air force to Syria and claimed to be targeting Isis, western governments were unsure what his plan was. It is now brutally clear that Russia – along with fighters from Hezbollah and Iran – has tipped the balance in Assad’s favour. Rebels are losing ground. The mood in Damascus is defiant again.”  Robert Fisk is equally gloomy. And now, Iran is to upgrade missiles, and acquire previously blocked Russian defense system.

Europe is also causing gloom and doom among observers. In a lengthy article in Vanity Fair (Terrorism, Migrants, and Crippling Debt: Is This the End of Europe?), Henry Porter writes: “Europe is beset by so many crises that it can be hard to remember them all. In rough order of prominence, they are: homegrown terrorism, the largest migration of people since World War II, sovereign debt, doubts about the euro’s viability, the rise of extreme right-wing parties such as France’s National Front, Russia’s menace to its western neighbors, growing Euro-skepticism (especially in Britain, which may easily vote to leave the European Union in a forthcoming referendum), the election of hard-line governments in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Catalan independence movement.”

If all of the above were not enough to worry about, North Korea is at it again, launching a long-range rocket missile test or “an earth observation satellite” (depending on who is speaking) on Sunday as a follow-up to last month’s nuclear test. Furthermore, a confidential U.N. report has concluded that North Korea continues to export ballistic-missile technology to the Middle East and ship arms and materiel to Africa in violation of U.N. restrictions.

Varia
Wayne Larsen’s review of MacKay L. Smith’s book, Montreal’s Golden Square Mile: A Historical Perspective, Revisiting Montreal’s Age of Opulence
— MacKay Smith pens an elegant tribute to our Golden Square Mile neighbourhood
A heartwarming story about our friend Albert Sévigny’s daughter, Catherine Marcus Bookshop worker restores Parisian writer’s faith after terror attacks. Her grandmother Clou and grandfather Pierre would be so proud!
Just when you thought the OQLF could not be any more ridiculous or petty comes this story St. Leonard jungle gym subject of complaint to OQLF Perhaps the tongue troopers could better spend their time studying the 1990 rulings of the Académie Française which have recently generated the furious campaign #JeSuisCirconflexe.

To conclude on a lighter note, two delightful and clever items. Star Wars Characters Reimagined As Winnie The Pooh And Friends by illustrator/artist James Hance introduces a whimsical Chewbacca as Pooh Bear, but Eeyore as an Imperial Walker steals the show! Equally delightful, Brian Kesinger, story artist for Marvel and Disney Animation Studios, and Bill Watterson fan, has digitally drawn a Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Calvin & Hobbes mashup.

 

 

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