Wednesday Night #1876

Written by  //  February 21, 2018  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Is Justin Trudeau’s visit to India a genuine effort to court that country, or a crass  attempt to court the Sikh vote in Canada? Many in India view it as the latter.  It was noted that the Indian government did not invite him, but rather, he invited himself (and his family). Is it appropriate to don local dress for such a visit? On-line reaction has not been favourable (see Trudeau’s election-ready collection of excellent vacation photos and Critics say Trudeau’s Indian attire is ‘a bit much)

P R O L O G U E

Wednesday is We Day in Montreal and, in the rest of the world, it’s also International Mother Language Day, which celebrates diversity and culture. Did you know there was an International Mother Language Day? Of course, there is an International Day for just about anything these days, however we wonder how gender equality linguists deal with this title? What if Mother and Father have different ‘Mother’ Languages?  Does it discriminate against single fathers?  Should we petition for a change in name to International Parent Language Day? Such a dilemma.

We are delighted to welcome Cleo Paskal back to Wednesday Night and urge you to read her piece in the Sunday Guardian Things can only get better between India and Canada in which she comments “It will be up to Trudeau to show that he is in India not just to please a certain vocal section of his electorate, but rather to build a new relationship with India that benefits all Canadians and Indians. That new mutually beneficial and trust-based relationship, built on a nation-to-nation basis, rather than an ethnicity or religious basis would anyway ultimately be an even bigger vote-getter for Trudeau among Canadians, including farmers, tech companies, film industry, defence, etc.” We invite you to compare & contrast with this from the WaPost: Why India is being really rude to Justin Trudeau in which the author answers ” It has to do with the Sikhs.” and continues “As the Khalistan issue simmers between India and Canada, New Delhi wants Trudeau to publicly affirm Canada’s commitment to “the unity and integrity of India.” Speaking on Monday, Trudeau said Canada supported “one united India.” At the same time, Trudeau is going around making noises about India’s diversity and pluralism, which will be read by Sikhs back home as having given India the message.”
Should Global Affairs/Foreign Trade Canada follow a more commercial approach and offer Indian luminaries with Justin?  Indian investors offered dinner with Donald Trump Jr
“Prospective investors in a Trump Tower project near Delhi are being offered a conversation and dinner with Donald Trump Jr. as part of a marketing campaign that has drawn criticism from corruption watchdogs.”

It’s either all about the Olympics or all about Trump this week. Trump of course is subdivided into Trump and Russia Probe and Trump,  the horrific Parkland, Florida shooting and the aftermath.

You have all seen extensive coverage of the tragic events , heard or read the impassioned speech by Emma Gonzalez and seen the ham-fisted response from the Narcissist in Chief. A Canadian blogger summed up the reaction of many in this sardonic piece:
At Current Rates Of Use World Could Run Out Of Thoughts And Prayers By As Early As 2019
“A worldwide shortage of thoughts and prayers may leave us with no choice but to actually do something by as early as January 2019, researchers are warning, after a recent study revealed the popular refrain is now fueling 93% of government inaction globally. And we are running out.”

We have collected a few pertinent stories on Firearms, gun control and politics /2

Our admiration knows no bounds for the young people who have mobilized more effectively than the older generation has ever been able to in following past horrific school shootings and we are convinced that this story will not disappear. From editorialists (the New York Times refers to a Mass Shooting Generation) to celebrities, including George & Amal Clooney, Oprah and Stephen Colbert  to, perhaps most importantly, donors . Adults across the country and even politicians of various hues are responding to the mobilization of these young people who may not yet be able to vote, but are far more savvy than political advisors in the use of social media.

A ‘Mass Shooting Generation’ Cries Out for Change
“… the children of the mass shooting generation. They were born into a world reshaped by the 1999 attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, and grew up practicing active shooter drills and huddling through lockdowns. They talked about threats and safety steps with their parents and teachers. With friends, they wondered darkly whether it could happen at their own school, and who might do it. … this generation is almost grown up. And when a gunman killed 17 people this week at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., the first response of many of their classmates was not to grieve in silence, but to speak out. Their urgent voices — in television interviews, on social media, even from inside a locked school office as they hid from the gunman — are now rising in the nation.”

Among the most despicable responses, some prominent figures in the right-wing media are suggesting that the students are making it all up, or that the children are paid actors or that their talking points have been manufactured by public relations experts on the left.

The NYT reported that “just an hour after news of the shooting broke, Twitter accounts suspected of links to Russia were using it to inflame the gun control debate. They used hashtags like #NRA and #ar15, and posted messages both for and against gun restrictions.” Among the

Which brings us to Trump & the Russian probe. Mr. Mueller’s centipede has dropped a shoe and riled the occupant of the White House ( Trump blames Obama, lashes out at Schiff and Democrats, but spares Russia criticism in weekend tweet storm) but while this is a yuuge story, the  security issues that are part of the fallout from Rob Porter’s dismissal may have more short-term impact on the WH as John Kelly overhauls White House security clearances

Meanwhile, the final version of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)  has been released It’s expected to be signed in early March. Global Affairs has  concerns that it could affect NAFTA negotiations that resume next week because of impact on the auto sector.

Every silver cloud has a dark lining!

So let us take comfort in the glorious achievements of the Olympic athletes – medallists and those whose performance did not entitle them to a place on the podium, but for whom participation and giving their all is an unequalled experience. For many of us, the high point will remain the incredible ice dancing competition. The flawless performance by  Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir merited the Gold, but their French rivals were also superb and we applaud the engaging U.S. team of  siblings, Maia and Alex Shibutani. If you haven’t seen the performance, CBC’s video (Figure skating, Feb. 19: free dance) is a keeper. Speaking of which, in our opinion CBC’s coverage deserves its own gold medal.

Many, but not all of you, are aware that  David had an unprovoked fall in the apartment and was admitted to Emergency at the Jewish General Hospital last Wednesday evening. Not our best-ever Valentine’s date, but we received such wonderful support for which we are forever grateful. On Friday, he had a partial hip replacement and is now resting more or less comfortably.  I had hoped to know more about the long-term prognosis after the weekend, but the surgeons are waiting for the physios to take the lead in telling us all what he is able to do and when. However his vital signs are steadily improving and he is receiving wonderful care. It is more than likely that he will go to rehab as it would be pretty much impossible for me to look after him appropriately at home. Needless to say, he only wants to come home. Friends and total strangers have been incredibly kind and supportive, so I am bearing up well and of course, WN must continue. I do apologize to those whom I have not previously notified, but with the installation of a new computer last Thursday, my emails took on a life of their own and I was unable to initiate and send messages.. As of tonight, we hope that issue is resolved. Meanwhile, in the interim, I resorted to Facebook which has reached many of you.

 

 

 

 

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