Wednesday Night #1795 with Désirée McGraw

Written by  //  July 27, 2016  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

We are delighted to welcome Désirée for what may be her last Wednesday Night for some time, as she moves her family to their home at Pearson College UWC after a year of coast-to-coast commuting for her.

If you have not heard her talk about Pearson (you must have been deaf, or at the South Pole!), you will enjoy her infectious enthusiasm for her role as president of the only United World College in Canada, the great plans for the future and the amazing young people who attend.

How appropriate that this is the week of the Democratic National Convention – Désirée, the original political junkie, has long been an admirer of Hillary Clinton.

After last week’s mesmerizing and deeply dark  Republican Convention, so many of us had expected the DNC to be filled with good humour and optimism, especially with the announcement of Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s choice for VP; seems nobody can find anything bad to say about him!  However, despite the best efforts of Bernie Sanders and the brilliant Michelle Obama , the Sanders camp was restless and uncontrollable on the first day. They might have been anyway, but certainly the flap caused by the WikiLeaks release of emails pointing the finger at a far-from-neutral National Committee and Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz stoked the fires. The resignation of the odious DWS , which for some reason does not take effect until after the Convention, has not helped much.

However, since the revelation that the WikiLeaks release may have been/were generated by Russian hackers, the thread regarding the Putin/Trump bromance has gained ground (It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin — Fulfilling what might be the Russian autocrat’s dearest wish, Trump has openly questioned whether the U.S. should keep its commitments to NATO).  How damaging this may be to the Trump campaign among any other than geopolitical wonks around the world Donald Trump’s and Vladimir Putin’s Shared Agenda Should Alarm Anyone Concerned About Democracy remains to be seen, but we note rising concern among European friends and observers.

On the subject of dictators, the crackdown in Turkey is cause for increasing alarm as Erdogan moves to shutter 2,340 institutions including schools, charities, unions and medical centres.

Brexit revisited with much wringing of hands by the G20 ministers, and a marked absence of original ideas about how to stem the effects.

As if the Republican National Convention has not been enough of a downer, seemingly random acts of vicious, and often unpredictable, terrorism are being reported more and more frequently including the deadly blast in Kabul ,  suicide bombing at a concert in Ansbach, Germany on Sunday, and most recently the death of an 85-year-old  French parish priest whose throat was slit in an attack claimed by ISIS. Pontificators of all political stripes pontificate, but there seem to be no solutions and no end.

Last week, Gerald reminded us that Catherine Gillbert is now on her second El Camino de Santiago – this time via the Le Puy Route and in the company of Wednesday Nighter Chris Schoch.  As before, she is writing a delightful blog http://ourharbour.org/catherines-camino-blog-2016/ which is a joy to read with its focus on architecture and flora (occasionally fauna) and some stunning photos. Catherine is raising funds for Our Harbour and we urge you to support her efforts if you can.

Tuesday night should provide real  entertainment as Bill Clinton, ‘explainer in chief,’ is  set to make case for Hillary at DNC Whatever one says about ‘Slick Willy;, he can deliver great speeches and this should be one of them, especially given his unique role of both a former president and the spouse of the candidate. Plus, he is auditioning for the role of First Gentleman – a thought that may make some of us shudder.

In the aftermath of the RNC, the too-true-to-be-funny  “Trumped” Starring Matthew Broderick & Nathan Lane, producers of “The Producers”, offers another form of entertainment.

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