Wednesday Night #1789 with Peter Berezin

Written by  //  June 15, 2016  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

A delightful salle comble evening, with considerable – and sometimes passionate – discussion of the effects of a Donald Trump presidency on the US and world economy – not necessarily bad in some views, but disastrous for US standing in the world. Would he bring with him a Republican majority in the House and Senate
Gun control – read  the amendment as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, then-Secretary of State:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

P R E L U D E

As Gerald Ratzer will no doubt inform us, the year 1789 was filled with genuinely historic events in a number of countries, some of which are particularly relevant today. Not only did the U.S. Constitution come into effect, but also the ratification of the Bill of Rights (including today’s troublesome Second Amendment) commenced.
In France, in the wake of the Estates General, the French Revolution began with the Fall of the Bastille, followed by Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Alexander Hamilton (see 2016 Tony Awards) became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
A footnote: On June 13, 1789 Elizabeth “Betsy” Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton, first served ice cream to George Washington at the White House. Perhaps Marie Antoinette would have known a better outcome had she suggested “Let them eat ice cream” and supplied it?
1789 was the year of the (in)famous Mutiny aboard HM Bounty and the remarkable voyage of Captain Bligh and his loyalist crew to Timor. The historical significance comes not from the mutiny, but rather from Captain Bligh’s great skills as a navigator and cartographer.
Aside from these minimal highlights, TimeMaps History Atlas: World History Map gives a sweeping summary of the year, offering a counterpoint to the Atlantic-centric views of Wikipedia and other sources, reminding us that “The Chinese empire has experienced a run of three of the most remarkable emperors in its history – in fact, in world history. It is the largest state in the world at this date, and by far the most populous. It is almost certainly the wealthiest.
The only other state which comes near to rivalling it is the British empire, which is in the process of acquiring large slices of India.”
And concluding
“The global picture in 1789 is clear: the entire world is being drawn into one overall trading system, based on the ports of Western Europe. A globalised economy is taking shape, and world history has acquired a unifying momentum which is leaving no region of the world untouched.” Shades of TPP?
Which brings us neatly back to Wednesday Night’s featured guest, Peter Berezin and his most recent ruminations on the effects of a Donald Trump presidency (God help the United States of America – and the world) on markets and the U.S. economy. He also debunks the (conflicting) theories on the Presidential Election Cycle, “Since 1920, the U.S. stock market has delivered a real total return of 8.9% during election years, compared to 9.2% for all other years, a statistically indistinguishable difference.To the extent that there is a relationship, it runs from the stock market to the election rather than the other way around. A flagging stock market is almost always bad news for the party of the sitting president. Hillary Clinton better hope the S&P 500 holds up this summer.”

As the Brexit vote of 23 June approaches, we were deeply disappointed that the CIC had to cancel the Thursday evening event with Peter’s BCA colleague Marko Papic on “BREXIT: Can We Work It Out?”. Registration numbers were simply too low. We had expected that the impending vote and the quality of the speaker would have overcome the many competing demands – professional, academic and familial – for peoples’ schedules. Or are those most deeply interested feeling overwhelmed by all the voices clamoring for their attention?

Following on one topic of our discussion last Wednesday with Cleo, comes the news that China, Southeast Asia foreign ministers meet amid sea tensions

In our informal series of inspiring commencement addresses, Ken Burns delivered a splendid one at Stanford on Sunday. In the wake of the horrible massacre in Orlando, he skillfully draws on his wealth of knowledge of American history, combining eloquent advice to the graduates with a searing condemnation of Donald Trump and the pro-gun lobby (We must “disenthrall ourselves,” as Abraham Lincoln said, from the culture of violence and guns. And then “we shall save our country.”). Read every word!

We have made only one reference to the horrific event in Orlando. Not because we are not touched by it, but because so much has been written and spoken already. A deeply saddened President Obama, as several publications have reminded us, has now had to address mass shootings 16 times [15 Other Times President Obama Had to Address Mass Shootings During His Presidency] during his time in office, but those are only the worst. As the Guardian highlights in  1,000 mass shootings in 1,260 days: this is what America’s gun crisis looks like Sunday’s attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida was the deadliest mass shooting in American history – but there were five other mass shootings in the US during that weekend alone.
“We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” Barack Obama said after the San Bernardino attack in December 2015.
Data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive via the crowd-sourced website ShootingTracker.com reveals a shocking human toll: there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter – on five out of every six days, on average. And still, millions of people insist on their Second Amendment rights. And the NRA continues to fund the lawmakers who block every attempt to introduce reasonable gun control measures. Could this be a turning point (Former) GOP Senator Endorses Hillary, Orlando Inspires Him Against “Dark Forces”, or just one more good man with a voice crying in the wilderness? And how committed is Hillary Clinton to gun control? The rise, fall, and rise again of Hillary Clinton’s passion for gun control

We must conclude on a lighter note.
Now You Can Enjoy Gluten Free Versions Of Famous Art
As gluten free options are on the rise in trendy circles, someone had the bright idea to go back into classical art and make it gluten free, too. So if you have a gluten intolerance or just hate wheat, the Gluten Free Museum Tumblr is everything you’re craving!
You’ll find everything from Andy Warhol to Pieter Brueghel to Edouard Manet to Ridley Scott, all de-wheatafied accordingly. Some gluten free versions are hardly different while others just don’t make sense with the wheat removed.
And this from Air Canada, aimed at Americans prepared to be unhappy with the outcome of the presidential race:
If you’re thinking of moving to Canada, it might make sense to #TestDriveCanada first.

Mark your Calendar – Book Launch of “Four Equations”!
You’re invited to our book launch on June 21, 6 pm at Paragraphe, 2220 McGill College Avenue, Montreal, H3A 3P9
Robert Landori will be in attendance from 6:00 to 7:30 pm to sign books, answer questions, drink some wine and nibble on goodies with his guests.

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