Wednesday Night #1703

Written by  //  October 22, 2014  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #1703

Only some (very) random notes in no particular order for this Wednesday Night.

The reason being that Diana is  currently overloaded with work for The fifth annual Jeanne Sauvé Address  Democracy in the Balance: Journalism in Canada and around the World given by  Radio-Canada’s Céline Galipeau and followed by discussion with a panel of Sauvé Scholar alumni with impressive credentials. Friday, November 7, at 4pm in Montreal.  Do join us – it’s free, but space is limited.  If you will attend, please RSVP at:

Ben Bradlee, legendary Washington Post editor, dies at 93
Although he really did not look like Jason Robards (Watch: Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee in ‘All the President’s Men), Ben Bradlee was a folk hero for media junkies of several generations, setting an example that few of today’s editors would dare – or care – to emulate.
The tributes are pouring in. Vanity Fair: Legendary Journalist Ben Bradlee Dies at Age 93 — Bradlee’s self-confidence was the stuff of legend—and, as the saying goes, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend;  The Atlantic: Ben Bradlee: Everything a Great Editor Should Be — The legendary Washington Post chief, who died on Tuesday at 93, enlivened the newspaper and the nation’s capital alike; The New Yorker: Postscript: Benjamin C. Bradlee (1921-2014) By David Remnick.

Reminder: Catherine Gillbert invites Wednesday Nighters to “attend a production of Kafka’s Ape to be staged in Saint Lambert on October 23 -25 by Infinitheatre. The proceeds will be used to benefit Our Harbour, an organization that provides housing for people living with mental illness that I have been supporting for the past 10 years. The production has been touring in Ontario and has had excellent reviews.” Our Harbour hosts Kafka’s Ape — World class theatre on the South Shore. Reserve your tickets now through the Infinitheatre Box Office at or email the box office: or buy them from your local Our Harbour contacts, including Brian Morel in Saint-Lambert at . Tickets cost $25 each. Ron Meisels has seen the production and gives it a rave review.

School board election campaign heats up at EMSB
The Nov. 2 school board election got down and dirty Monday, with outgoing English Montreal School Board chairperson Angela Mancini attacking a commissioner for a “blatant record of misconduct”, while opponent Anne Lagacé Dowson retorted by accusing Mancini of playing “sandbox politics”.
The salvos were the latest controversy in a board plagued by deep divisions between elected commissioners who typically align themselves in different camps.
Mancini issued a press release attacking Dowson for associating herself with commissioner Julien Feldman, a seven-year board veteran who is running in downtown Ward 3, which includes Point St. Charles, St-Henri, Ville Émard and Westmount.

High drama in the Baltic Seas – Sweden bathes in echoes of cold war drama as submarine hunt continues — Calling John Lecarré or maybe Tom Clancy — while observers wonder if this incident might push Sweden into NATO membership.

Amidst the continuing onslaught of dreadful news about the Ebola crisis, there is one bright light: Nigeria has been deemed free of the virus.
Nigeria’s Ebola crackdown is an example to the world — Persistence, rigorous enforcement of quarantine and disinfection of premises contribute to a success story for Nigeria. In contrast, there is a lot less progress in ridding the country of the scourge of Boko Haram
Nigeria says return of kidnapped girls close despite shaky state of truce — Deadly attacks continue despite the Nigerian government announcing a ceasefire with Boko Haram

Kimon forwards this from Stratfor Kobani Ensnares the Islamic State — By expending valuable resources attacking the Syrian border town of Kobani, the Islamic State is failing to capitalize on gains elsewhere.
with the comment: “More evidence that ISIS is in fact defeating itself. It has singled out the capture of Kobane as a strategic objective in the same way that Germany concentrated on trying to capture Stalingrad in World War II, which turned out be disastrous. By fighting pitched battles in the open, ISIS has lost many hundred of experienced fighters and has offered ‘rich’ targets for coalition air strikes. Abu Bakr Al Bagdadi is no Hannibal.”

PKP: «Je n’ai pas à répondre aux questions des journalistes»
Pierre Karl Péladeau a défendu son utilisation de Facebook pour communiquer avec les électeurs, mardi, et affirmé qu’il n’a pas à répondre aux questions des médias.

Why everyone loves Peter Trent
Opinion | Peter Trent: In cutting home mail delivery, Canada Post isn’t listening to Canadians
Serving up a blend of the usual communications cant and oxymoronic clichés, Canada Post said it is getting rid of home delivery “to better serve all its customers.” They went on to say they are committed to “delivering a positive customer experience,” but not actually delivering the mail. Yet their stated goal is “to offer customers the types of services they want and need.” Right. They’ve decided on what we need. Who cares what customers want when you’re a monopoly?

Facebook Just Got A New Ally in China: Tsinghua
What does a company do to crack a market where its core business is banned by the government? For Facebook, the answer is joining hands with a prestigious business school founded by the country’s former premier.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive officer, has been named to the board of China’s Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management. The school, founded in 2000 by former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, has served as an important policy advisory body to the Chinese government.

The Atlantic argues that For a Better Brain, Learn Another Language, something we have been preaching for years. However, offers some new arguments that we like “Multilingualism has a whole slew of incredible side effects: Multi-linguals tend to score better on standardized tests, especially in math, reading, and vocabulary; they are better at remembering lists or sequences, likely from learning grammatical rules and vocabulary; they are more perceptive to their surroundings and therefore better at focusing in on important information while weeding out misleading information (it’s no surprise Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot are skilled polyglots). …
“Cognitive traps,” or simple mistakes in spelling or comprehension that our brains tend to make when taking linguistic shortcuts (such as how you can easily read “tihs senetcne taht is trerilby msispleld”), are better avoided when one speaks multiple languages. Multi-linguals might also be better decision-makers. According to a new study, they are more resistant to conditioning and framing techniques, making them less likely to be swayed by such language in advertisements or political campaign speeches.” So, do multilinguals dismiss attack ads?

Alan Hustak’s  newest book, Soup to self-sufficiency, a history of the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal is just out – in both official languages.  It is the second of four of Alan’s books about to published this year. Next up at the end of the month, Faith Under Fire .

To ponder: this article by James Zogby, President, Arab American Institute and author of ‘Arab Voices We Need to Know More, But the ‘Experts’ Aren’t Helping
“With the U.S. currently engaged in an air-war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and with voices now calling for deeper engagement in both conflict zones, the American public is being bombarded with commentary and analysis about ISIS, Syria and Iraq, and Muslims. Unfortunately, too much of it is shallow — mostly a stringing together of clichés. More disturbing still, is the extent to which this crisis has provoked another round of uninformed conversation about Arabs and Islam fueling fear and hatred of Arab and Muslim Americans.”

Meanwhile Katherine Waters writes:  Needless to say the Gazette did not publish this, but I thought you might enjoy it:
In The Gazette (Oct 16) two senior employees of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies urged Ottawa and Canadian companies not to enter into diplomatic or economic relations with Iran. Perhaps a little information regarding this Foundation might would help your readers decide how trustworthy their opinion piece is.
On its website the FDD describes itself as a neoconservative non-partisan Washington-based Institute. It does not make available this year’s Board of Directors; however in 2013 it included Joe Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, Eric Cantor, Gary Bauer, Charles Krauthammer and Richard Perle. It is highly secretive as to its funding.
Its chief preoccupation is Iran. Some of its “experts” advocate a US military strike against Iran. Its Executive Director, Mark Dubowitz, is pushing for tougher US sanctions that would cause domestic hardship and sociopolitical turmoil in Iran; he also argues against making US medicines exempt from sanctions.
The FDD also advocates the policies of Israel’s present Likud government toward Palestine. As early as a decade ago it aired several television spots, produced by a former officer for the US Israeli Embassy, conflating Yasser Arafat and Osama bin Laden.
Well, yes there is a Canadian connection. Apparently in 2011 the Bronfman brothers, Edgar and Charles, gave over $100,000,000 to the FDD.

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