Wednesday Night #1769

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

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance DayDavid Jones takes the opportunity to publish in The Metropolitain a sombre reflection Remembering Remembrance Day  in which he draws attention to the low per capita rate of Muslim participation in the U.S. armed forces.

Happy to see PM Justin Trudeau exercising leadership on the issue of the Energy East pipeline by meeting with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and attempting to reconcile the concerns of Quebec municipalities with the needs of Alberta’s economy.
As our friend Carolina says: All Canadians know economy and environment go hand in hand and a balance can be struck so we can responsibly export our products sustainably while taking into careful account all stakeholders in the community: Voilà une belle approche de concertation qui certainement va plaire aux Québecois.

With the reopening of Parliament, the new government has several thorny issues to address including the lifting of sanctions on Iran. While Iran’s President Rouhani is busy in Paris reviving business ties, in Ottawa Global Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has announced that Canada will lift sanctions and reopen the Tehran embassy, adding that the sanctions against the sale of civilian aircraft will be among the first to be lifted to allow Bombardier to compete against Airbus, which has moved aggressively to sell planes to Iran. Tory Foreign Affairs critic Tony Clement is not happy about “cozying up to a rogue regime”, but haven’t noticed any criticism of the deal with human rights violator Saudi Arabia for military vehicles that was signed under the Harper government.

It has also been announced that Canada will sign the TPP next week in New Zealand but International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has also said that ratification is not certain. Her Open Letter to Canadians on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is worth pondering. It has been suggested that other nations will stall or refuse ratification, so Canada won’t have to shoulder the blame for a TPP failure.

In the so-now-what-do-we-do category. Quartz reports that Powerful people are terrible at making decisions together
Corporate boards, the US Congress, and global gatherings like the just-wrapped World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, are all built on a simple theory of problem solving: Get enough smart and powerful people in a room and they’ll figure it out.This may be misguided. The very traits that compel people toward leadership roles can be obstacles when it comes to collaboration. The result, according to a new study, is that high-powered individuals working in a group can be less creative and effective than a lower-wattage team.

This next item would seem to bear out the study’s conclusions. If, of course, you consider U.S. senators to be powerful people.  Of course. they don’t necessarily work together in a group.
The Senate exhibiting Sarah Palin Environmental Studies school of thought.
In 50-49 vote, US Senate says climate change not caused by humans while a U.S.-led team of experts wrote in the journal Scientific that Record hot years almost certainly caused by man-made warming
A record-breaking string of hot years since 2000 is almost certainly a sign of man-made global warming, with vanishingly small chances that it was caused by random, natural swings, a study showed on Monday. And separately on Monday, the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas confirmed U.S. and British data showing 2015 was by far the hottest year on record and noted that a powerful El Nino event, warming the surface of the Pacific Ocean, had stoked extra heat. However, “The power of El Nino will fade in the coming months but the impacts of human-induced climate change will be with us for many decades.”

What a contrast between the heartfelt tributes to René and Céline and the announcement that PKP and Julie are divorcing. Whatever one thinks of either/both of them, Céline and René were devoted to one another. PKP and Julie, perhaps not so much? It hasn’t been a great week for PKP, what with the Radio Canada report on allegations of Quebecor funds in tax havens.

Our friend C Uday Bhaskar, a frequent contributor to Wednesday Night, has shared a link  to the Making of the Indian Constitution (adopted on January 26, 1950). He notes that this is the first part of a TV series that was conceived by Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India. Not incidentally, the very attractive and articulate presenter is his daughter, Swara. While we have not yet viewed the entire segment, we have thoroughly enjoyed what we have seen and look forward to learning much more about the topic.

Linda Renaud is bringing Eleanor Ward to this Wednesday Night and Cleo and “Happy”will introduce Don Hill, former host of CBC’s Tapestry “and an all around interesting man.” He is in Montreal this week collaborating with some of Montreal’s virtual reality innovators. We are looking forward to meeting him and hearing more about what he is doing. Meanwhile, in light of the Republican nomination race, you might want to give a listen to A Field Guide to the Narcissist, aired on  Tapestry on January 3rd.

Inevitably. ‘narcissist’ brings Donald Trump to mind and the latest twist to the ever-more bizarre behaviour of the Republican front runner – his withdrawal from the final candidate debate before the Feb 1 Iowa caucuses because of Megyn Kelly’s presence as a moderator. And. in case you simply cannot get enough views on the race, the Jerusalem Post offer this handy Jewish guide to the US presidential candidates. We have not yet seen one from Saudi or Iranian-based media, but will be sure to keep you informed.

As for the gathering storm of the race for the Canadian Conservative Party, this entry in the Schadenfreude or it-couldn’t-happen-to-a-better-target category:
The real (and shocking) story of Kevin O’Leary’s business career

Meanwhile, never underestimate the vigilance of Israel’s skittish neighbors: a vulture was arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of spying. As The Guardian points out, conspiracy theories are endemic in the Middle East. Last summer, Palestinian media reported claims by the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers that they had apprehended a dolphin off their Mediterranean coastline equipped with video cameras for an Israeli spying mission.
In 2011, Saudi media reported that a vulture carrying a GPS transmitter and an identification ring from Tel Aviv University had been detained by security forces who suspected it was being used for espionage.

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