Wednesday Night 1886

Written by  //  May 2, 2018  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

P R O L O G U E

We are deeply saddened by the news that Holly, our dear friend and matriarch of the Jonas family died on Monday evening. Jeremy writes that she died “with great dignity, serenity, and in an envelope of love with her family around her. She was in her room, with her brother’s paintings on the wall, listening to her chosen King’s College Choir. … she had many weeks to get closure and was mindful and serene the whole way through. She was positive and brave throughout this last phase, which was her last gift to us all, making it easier and providing plenty of opportunity to share our memories and messages of gratitude and affection.” Family and friends are invited to a celebration of her life on Saturday, May 5, at the McGill Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish Street, Montreal, 4 pm.

Once again, on behalf of Marc and Jean, Fiona and Jamie, we thank all of you who came to help us in Celebrating David T. Nicholson’s Life and confess that it may be some time before we are able to acknowledge all the touching messages from those who were not able to be present. We would also draw your attention to the elegant and fact-filled Eulogy by Alan Hustak.

News from Washington runs along two parallel tracks which appear unlikely to meet:

Donald Trump wading into multiple foreign relations files with assorted possible consequences: from Afghanistan, where the recent horrific attack that killed ten journalists has created more outcry than others that have killed and maimed far more people,  to the Israel/Iran feud which Benjamin Netanyahu continues to fan [Netanyahu’s Flimflam on Iran], to being talked about as candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize for having out-bullied Kim Jong-un. [UPDATE: Trump’s Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize Was Apparently Forged. Twice.

While the outlook for negotiations with North Korea looks rosy, skeptics abound.  We highly recommend Trump’s Triumph, Trump’s Folly in which David Graham argues that either the president has succeeded with North Korea where his predecessors have failed, or he has fallen into the same trap that ensnared them.

A propos Israel/Iran,our attention was drawn recently to the 2014 piece in The Guardian The truth about Israel’s secret nuclear arsenal “Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won’t come clean?

And then there is the swamp he promised to drain which is filling up with more alligators than the unsuspecting public ever imagined, topped  by, but certainly not limited to, the twists and turns of the Russia Probe. Scott Pruitt at EPA, Dr. Ronny Jackson, and other matters covered at the White House Correspondent’s dinner … pick your poison.

Donald Trump may want to either revise his policy or stem the frequent self-congratulations on the subject of the economy. Bloomberg reports that “More than 1,100 economists, including Nobel laureates and former presidential advisers, have signed a letter warning Donald Trump about his tariff-heavy approach to trade. Many of its passages quote directly from another letter sent in 1930, cautioning against protectionist measures the U.S. imposed at the start of what became the Great Depression.”

Canada, meanwhile, can breathe a collective sigh of relief over the postponement  (for a month) of the imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs, and can go back to worrying about what to do about the illegal migrants.  De facto amnesty? A look at the daunting reality of Canada’s migrant crisis The number of illegal border crossers in Canada will soon surpass the 25,000 Syrian refugees Canada accepted in 2016. There are so many Mounties needed to process illegal border crossings in rural Quebec that the federal government is now spending $250,000 to build an unofficial police station on the U.S. border. In Toronto last week, Mayor John Tory announced that the number of refugee claimants in the city’s shelter system has quadrupled from 459 per night in 2016 to an average of 2,351 in 2018.

We were honored to have been invited to the Montreal Press Club’s 70th anniversary celebration and the Freedom Award” honouring Raif Badawi. The keynote speaker was the controversial Jordan Peterson whose presence became the subject of an unfortunate – and quite incomprehensible – reaction from Blue Metropolis (Barbara Kay: Another cultural institution succumbs to Jordan Peterson hysteria). The audience was generally appreciative of Professor Peterson’s talk which to some of us appeared rambling, but to others incisive. Conclusion: we should read his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos before commenting further.

We absolutely love this item: Jeff Bezos Banned PowerPoint in Meetings. His Replacement Is Brilliant Narrative memos have replaced PowerPoint presentations at Amazon.

June 3-4 the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) celebrates the role Montreal and its citizens play in advancing human rights worldwide and help us re-energize the international human rights community in a time of upheaval.
In partnership with Amnistie Internationale Francophone Quebec, the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, and the Armenian National Committee of Quebec, two major events will take place this year: the #RightsCity conference at Concordia University and the Annual March for Humanity and the Prevention of Genocide.
Well-known Canadian and international human rights leaders are scheduled to make an appearance. At #RightsCity, you will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the most inspiring human rights champions, while gaining new insights into the human rights challenges of our times, and identify best practices to advance human rights in your city and beyond. This year the conference will focus on the rise of populism, protecting the rights in indigenous peoples in Canada, and women human rights activists. More information.

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