Wednesday Night #1701

Written by  //  October 8, 2014  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

As we enter a new century of Wednesday Nights, we will bask in the happy memory of the celebration of #1700 that so many of the faithful made possible. Thank you all, once again.

It was with great sadness that we learned on Friday of the death of ‘Clou’ Sévigny (Corinne Kernan Sevigny 1924-2014 by Alan Hustak), a great lady – indomitable and unforgettable. She was part of Diana’s summer life since childhood and later was a real presence at 33 Rosemount where she and Pierre had lived for many years before Diana & David.

Given the considerable amount of time – and passion – devoted around the Wednesday Night table to the lead-up to the recent Scottish referendum, it seems wonderfully appropriate that the Act of Settlement was passed in the year 1701, leading to the parliamentary union of England and Scotland. Thus Britain would be ruled by a German Protestant dynasty instead of (horrors!) a Scottish Roman Catholic one. The act was responsible for the accession of Sophia’s son George I in 1714 — notwithstanding the claims of 57 persons closer by the rules of inheritance than Sophia and George.

Royal alert! The latest in John Curtin‘s seemingly endless takes on the Royals, Royals & Animals, premieres on Doc Zone on October 16th

Canadian political discourse has focused during the past days on Canada’s proposed role in the international coalition against ISIS, with particular focus on Justin Trudeau’s deplorable remarks at the Canada 2020 Conference, and the incoherent opposition of the Liberals to any form of commitment other than humanitarian aid.In all the uproar over the Trudeau remarks, Bob Rae’s excellent piece Canada’s role against IS must be more than just military in the Globe & Mail got short shrift. It reminds us how much we miss the grownups in the Liberal Party! We also commend Kyle Matthews for his cogent CTV interview What ISIS mission means for Canada. It seems that it is not only the Liberals who are struggling with the decision to join the coalition, however. Karl Nerenberg offers a good analysis of the differing views within all parties in Canada’s political parties struggle with Iraq war plan. However much analysis has been and will be done, it remains that Parliament has approved the combat mission. Meanwhile, the struggle continues in Syria, with the Turks resolutely refusing to move to aid the fighters in besieged Kobani. The long-term consequences, according to The Independent, may mark an ‘irrevocable breach’ with Kurds across the region and in the short term, the U.S. and NATO allies are less than pleased.

Before anyone thinks we are going overboard in favour of the Harper government, we suggest a careful read of the conclusions of the environment commissioner’s fall report, which among other failings, points out the “stark contradiction between the government’s words and actions when it comes to Canada’s plans for the Arctic.”
Despite the Conservative government’s much vaunted “Northern Strategy,” Gelfand’s report found Arctic waters were inadequately surveyed and, on top of that, there isn’t sufficient capacity to make charts. Meanwhile the always hapless Leona Aglukkaq is in trouble again – this time over altered evidence

The topic du jour for political and media junkies is, of course, the sale of Sun Media [English] newspapers and websites to Postmedia – If it goes through as announced, the deal would mean Postmedia, which was built out of the ashes of the former CanWest media empire, would control just about every major English-language newspaper in Canada that isn’t based in Toronto (the publishing home of the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail). What ever happened to the Kent Commission and its predecessor, the Davey Report? Or are we the only people old enough to even remember those names? So now PKP has divested himself of those tiresome English products (except for the television). Does this enhance his credentials as a true-blue Péquiste? Check out Martin Patriquin’s analysis PKP and the Quebecor deal: Business or personal? Ever so coincidentally, “As accusations of a conflict of interest continue to haunt Pierre Karl Péladeau, the Coalition Avenir Québec moved to revise the National Assembly’s ethics code to include a rule against media ownership. The legislature will vote on Wednesday whether to amend the code so that MNAs and their families are forbidden from possessing a major stake or position of influence in a media company.” (CAQ motion to revise ethics code targets Pierre Karl Péladeau)

Sad sign of the times:
Magnan’s Tavern to shut down Dec. 21; building already sold
“The Tavern will remain open until December 21 to allow everyone to live the Magnan experience one last time,” a statement reads on the restaurant’s web site.
The owners say they’ve noticed a steady decline in business over the past decade. Among other things, they blame traffic issues, high tax bills, the high cost of beef and online coupon sites for making their business unprofitable.

Odds & Ends
Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’
For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art – including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko – as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince – except that it acted secretly – the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years. Why? “Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.” And we thought the story had to do with decorating detention centers!
The History of the English Language, Animated
From the fine folks at Open University comes this infinitely entertaining and illuminating animated history of the English language in 10 minutes. Delightful and instructive!

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