Wednesday Night #1815

Written by  //  December 21, 2016  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

stonehenge_winter-solstice
Winter Solstice today. Yes. Wednesday 21 December 2016 is the shortest day of the year and last night was the longest night of the year. From here on the days will be getting longer. YAY!
It seems only appropriate to share this news:
Pagan priest wins right to wear goat horns in licence photo, arguing they are his ‘spiritual antenna’

While we are delighted to continue the now-traditional pre-Christmas “Mince Pie Wednesday” and will enjoy sharing our first-time-ever non-traditional Christmas tree (which, incidentally, we really, really like), events around the world inevitably cast a pall on celebratory thoughts and actions. Our thoughts go not only to the inhabitants of the doomed city of Aleppo, who have endured innumerable, cruel, false starts in the evacuation process but also to the victims and families of the Berlin Christmas market attack who had every reason to believe that their outing would be a happy, seasonal, event. The parallels with last summer’s attack in Nice are chilling.The explosion that flattened the San Pablito market in Tultepec, Mexico was the third in a decade, pointing to the dangers of concentrating such products in one place – no consolation for the victims and their families. In Ankara, the Russian Ambassador was shot dead by an off-duty policeman – perhaps in an attempt to spike Russo-Turkish relations?

Of course, it would be unpresidented if we were to go without mention of Donald Trump.
Please read and revel in Andrew Cohen’s brilliantly acerbic Donald Trump’s cabinet of curiosities which concludes with the suggestion that “As Trump’s trumpet, Lord Black should be named U.S. ambassador to Canada. This would relieve Black of the nonsense of petitioning to regain the Canadian citizenship he renounced “temporarily” in 2001. It will come with an offer of a presidential pardon, which, of course, Black would reject.”
On a much more serious note, if you have not yet delved into the mysteries of the Emoluments Clause, we highly recommend The Case for Donald Trump’s Impeachability and Stratfor reminds us that
The Trump Doctrine [is] A Work in Progress
“The world is in a “frenzy of study,” Henry Kissinger said in a recent interview. At home and abroad, strategists and pundits are trying to piece together a blueprint of American foreign policy under U.S. President-elect Donald Trump from a stream of tweets, some campaign slogans, a few eye-catching Cabinet picks, meetings at Trump Tower, and a ping-pong match already underway with Beijing. Highbrow intellectualism can be a handicap in this exercise.” [italics added]
Let us not overlook the appointment of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel which set off a furious reaction by the New Yorker’s David Remnick – and J Street.
Finally, if you have nothing more entertaining to do, check out The 289 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List (but only as of December 6)

Congratulations to Transport Minister Marc Garneau!
Trudeau voted most valuable politician in 2016, despite some political setbacks: The Hill Times’ 20th Annual All Politics Poll
Transport Minister Marc Garneau, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale ranked the top three cabinet ministers in 2016.
(The Hill Times) Transport Minister Marc Garneau was voted the best cabinet minister in 2016, which may be a surprise because he is not flashy and keeps a relatively low profile, but respondents said he has a strong work ethic and is smart.
Canada’s first astronaut in space told The Hill Times that he loves his job “because it’s a technical portfolio and it’s one that I identify with, so I am genuinely highly motivated towards it. It’s the kind of stuff I like to dig my teeth into, so maybe it shows that I’m enthusiastic about my job.”
One senior official in Transport Canada said Mr. Garneau—who also served in the Canadian Navy, and was first elected to the House of Commons in October 2008— is “an exceptional communicator, is perfectly bilingual, and understands the importance of speaking plainly and directly.”
The official also said that Mr. Garneau is “up for anything,” and has been enthusiastic and open to the ideas of using new platforms and mediums, like Facebook Live events.
“He reads everything. He understands his portfolio really well,” said the official. After the launch of his Transport 2030 vision speech—which Mr. Garneau told The Hill Times was his proudest accomplishment this year.

In case you missed it, our OWN Julius Grey‘s op-ed in The Gazette Fighting right-wing populism and the identity politics of the left. He argues that ” It appears that the identity politics that has taken over the left — gender politics, ethnic politics, native rights — exhibits much of the cruelty of the new demagogic right. We see no problem in destroying careers over politically incorrect statements, especially in academia, in smashing reputations because of unproved allegations, in creating panic about sexual matters so as to exclude non-conformists, in demanding quotas and depriving some of the chance to succeed. The reason for this harshness is the same as on the right. The lack of jobs in academia and in the arts promotes competition for the few positions available. The instinct is to eliminate rivals. The left has become obsessed with diversity and political correctness as instruments of re-distribution and exclusion.”
A distinctly different essay from Robert Landori, Che and Chess gives a fascinating glimpse of the multi-faceted Che Guevara.

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